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Old 12-23-2019, 02:40 PM   #1
jesdude7789
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Diesel engine swap

Can you guys tell me what are the best candidates for diesel swap into these trucks and burbs without too much hassle? I have done LS swaps 3 times now and I want to figure out diesel options for my suburban to give it new life and use it for towing more often. I see the 6BT cummins selling for well over 3 grand with high miles and no accessories on ebay. I'm hoping to find a combination that gets me some engine and compatible transmission for under 3k. My LS donors cost me 1600 at the MOST with transmission and accessories. I have pretty much the normal amount of tools required to fab and modify as needed for exhaust, wiring, etc. but I want to keep from cutting up the stock firewall and frame. Is there some oddball combo you might have seen like an international engine or forklift as a donor? haha I'm just not knowledgeable of the diesel world and what I could use that would be low maintenance and simple to repair when needed. I was looking at the 80s gm 6.2 diesel engine as well that came in these back then. I have never seen one in person or known anyone with one. Maybe the later model GM 6.5 or 6.6 from the 90s and 2000s?

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Old 12-23-2019, 03:10 PM   #2
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Re: Diesel engine swap

If what you want is a reliable tow machine get a 2500 HD parts truck with a 6.0L LQ4. 300 hp at 4400 RPM and 360 ft-lb at 4000 RPM and it comes with a 4L80E that'll fit under the transmission tunnel. My 2005 tows just fine. Yes it only gets 13mpg and 11 towing. That's noticeably better MPG, HP, and torque than a carbureted or TBI 454 and I'd have to run an awful lot of tanks of fuel through at 18mpg to pay for a dirtymax.


Diesels are trendy so the prices are outrageous.
Cummins engines cost a pretty penny.
The 6.2 & 6.5L Detroit AMG Diesel engines are a minimum of 20 years old now. The dirtymax is newer but any half decent dirtymax truck is going to be more coin than a decently running LQ4 equipped 2500HD.
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:24 PM   #3
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Re: Diesel engine swap

Hassle is an ambiguous term.

You didn't mention what trans. You will need an overdrive if you want any economy at all.

6.2/6.5 will bolt in...literally. But you have engine age, and the 6.5 turbo setup won't fit with factory heater box in the engine compartment. Parts are getting harder to find, but they are out there. Avoid the electronically controlled engines.

Duramax (6.6) you can find engine mounts now from several sources. You need to be good at wiring or spend $$$ on a stand-alone harness. Used engines are coming down in price, but you are still going to spend 4-5-6K on just an engine.

Cummins. Big, heavy, can find bolt-in mounts. Easy to wire. Need to adapt GM to Dodge for accessories, etc... Look in the diesel conversion sub forum and you will find several of these. This will probably take the most fabrication.

That being said, I stuffed a 6.5 turbo into my Jeep Grand Wagoneer and have it built into a 275hp/550tq piece. Backed by a 700R4 that was built on a K case and has every possible upgrade installed. If I had to do it again, it would get a 4bt because of what it just cost to build a new 6.5 for it.

And my 87 R30 (currently 454) is going to see a Cummins some day.

One thing you didn't tell us was how you intend to use the truck? Heavy duty tow rig, well then Cummins or Duramax or get really cool and use an International DT360. If you have a half ton that you want to cruise around with and do some light duty towing, then stuff in a Cummins 4bt.
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Old 12-23-2019, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: Diesel engine swap

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Originally Posted by hatzie View Post
If what you want is a reliable tow machine get a 2500 HD parts truck with a 6.0L LQ4. 300 hp at 4400 RPM and 360 ft-lb at 4000 RPM and it comes with a 4L80E that'll fit under the transmission tunnel. My 2005 tows just fine. Yes it only gets 13mpg and 11 towing. That's noticeably better MPG, HP, and torque than a carbureted or TBI 454 and I'd have to run an awful lot of tanks of fuel through at 18mpg to pay for a dirtymax.
I will search for this specifically and see what prices I come up with. Also a six speed automatic would be preferable so maybe a 6L80e if I can get it. Definitely do not want a tbi engine again! Mine was dependable but way too little power for a daily driver.

Diesels are trendy so the prices are outrageous. Agreed.
Cummins engines cost a pretty penny. Maybe the 4BT turbo? Would it be able to get 200 hp and 400 tq with mods? I like the idea of this because it's hundreds of pounds lighter than the 6bt and I'm not trying to have ridiculous power.
The 6.2 & 6.5L Detroit AMG Diesel engines are a minimum of 20 years old now. The dirtymax is newer but any half decent dirtymax truck is going to be more coin than a decently running LQ4 equipped 2500HD.
I just read some more information and I will have to study up on these. If they can be swapped in and the electronics can be simplified like my LS swaps then it could be a good option for me.

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Hassle is an ambiguous term. I try to avoid using these vague terms lol.

You didn't mention what trans. You will need an overdrive if you want any economy at all. I don't know enough about what transmissions are used behind diesel trucks but I do want an automatic so 4L60e or better level of power handling and towing capacity. I'm looking to have at least 175 hp or more and 350 lb ft or more.

6.2/6.5 will bolt in...literally. But you have engine age, and the 6.5 turbo setup won't fit with factory heater box in the engine compartment. Parts are getting harder to find, but they are out there. Avoid the electronically controlled engines. I agree about the electronics but I'm not afraid of it either if the price is right and I get everything I need out of a donor.

Duramax (6.6) you can find engine mounts now from several sources. You need to be good at wiring or spend $$$ on a stand-alone harness. Used engines are coming down in price, but you are still going to spend 4-5-6K on just an engine.I enjoy wiring quite a bit actually and I know that isn't normal lol. I would spend the money on a harness anyway though because I want fresh connectors and know that there is no corrosion or hidden gremlins in the harness to deal with.

Cummins. Big, heavy, can find bolt-in mounts. Easy to wire. Need to adapt GM to Dodge for accessories, etc... Look in the diesel conversion sub forum and you will find several of these. This will probably take the most fabrication.I'm thinking 4bt turbo if I go this route. I will be reading!

That being said, I stuffed a 6.5 turbo into my Jeep Grand Wagoneer and have it built into a 275hp/550tq piece. Backed by a 700R4 that was built on a K case and has every possible upgrade installed. If I had to do it again, it would get a 4bt because of what it just cost to build a new 6.5 for it.That sounds pretty cool!

And my 87 R30 (currently 454) is going to see a Cummins some day.

One thing you didn't tell us was how you intend to use the truck? Heavy duty tow rig, well then Cummins or Duramax or get really cool and use an International DT360. If you have a half ton that you want to cruise around with and do some light duty towing, then stuff in a Cummins 4bt. I just looked a 1993 DT360 and that looks really awesome and simple. I would really love that. Also found a 1993 Caterpillar 3208N that is 210 hp v8. $4k for that one. My suburban is a 1990 R1500 so it is the half ton squarebody and currently has a tbi 350 and a good 700r4 but I had to take some parts from it to rebuild my 87 truck a few years ago when it was stolen. So currently the suburban does not have exhaust, radiator, alternator, and other little odds and ends and I don't want to keep the tired drivetrain anyway. My intention is to use it for light to medium towing which in my bubble of life is anything from 2,000 to 10,000 lbs. I also need to build or buy a double axle trailer since I find myself needing more capacity to haul materials these days.

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Old 12-24-2019, 11:23 AM   #5
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Re: Diesel engine swap

The LQ4 is a bulletproof Gen III engine, 130,000 ish mile parts trucks with it in the engine bay are fairly inexpensive, and it makes a fair amount of power in stock dress. The 4L80E in these rigs is a known reliable quantity as well. That's why I suggested it.

The 6L80 sounds nice til you add in the fact that you're locked into a more expensive Gen IV engine with VVT and the fact that the 6L80 doesn't have a 30 year reliability track record like the 4L80E. The GMT900 and K2 parts trucks are going to cost significantly more than a GMT800 C or K 2500 or 3500 with the LQ4/4L80E.

AFM is a known problem child. VVT might, or might not, be a problem. More parts in the valve train generally isn't a recipe for longevity.

If you have a 4x4 the NP208C & NP241C will bolt up to the 4L80 or 6L80 with a clocking ring to re-set the drop. The NP205 or NP203 will be a bit more involved but not terrible...
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:34 PM   #6
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Re: Diesel engine swap

np205 and 6l90e or a 6l80e is pretty easy adapter isnt expensive. you do need to add vss signal pretty easy to do. the 4l80e will also requires a spacer and the vss mod. personally owning both id rather have the 6l90 over all of them. i loved the power and gearing of my 07 truck that had them. if the thing hadnt been thirsty and super prone to rust id still own it. 6.0 vvt with 6l90e is a super strong set up and really powerful. in a lighter truck than my 07 cc lb 4x4 it prob would get pretty good mpg. 6500k weight or more is alot to move around. it got 12 mpg still. now the 5.3 thats in front of a 6l80e is another story. the afm is the issue with them. delete that and its a excellent engine also. keep it you are asking for lifter issues. you want to keep the vvt its solid and really makes the truck wake up. as for diesel only engine id have is a cummins if i was going to do a swap. but in a half ton burban thats overkill imo. you arent going to be pulling 16k behind it.
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Old 12-26-2019, 11:51 AM   #7
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Re: Diesel engine swap

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Originally Posted by hatzie View Post
The LQ4 is a bulletproof Gen III engine, 130,000 ish mile parts trucks with it in the engine bay are fairly inexpensive, and it makes a fair amount of power in stock dress. The 4L80E in these rigs is a known reliable quantity as well. That's why I suggested it.

The 6L80 sounds nice til you add in the fact that you're locked into a more expensive Gen IV engine with VVT and the fact that the 6L80 doesn't have a 30 year reliability track record like the 4L80E. The GMT900 and K2 parts trucks are going to cost significantly more than a GMT800 C or K 2500 or 3500 with the LQ4/4L80E.I am thinking that I will use a trans controller and put this behind a non electric engine like the BT4.

AFM is a known problem child. VVT might, or might not, be a problem. More parts in the valve train generally isn't a recipe for longevity. I'm okay with VVT since I've worked on that before. I will delete AFM for sure. Probably the only way to go to get a low mileage engine.

If you have a 4x4 the NP208C & NP241C will bolt up to the 4L80 or 6L80 with a clocking ring to re-set the drop. The NP205 or NP203 will be a bit more involved but not terrible...
I wish I did have 4x4 but I don't
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Old 12-26-2019, 11:55 AM   #8
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Re: Diesel engine swap

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np205 and 6l90e or a 6l80e is pretty easy adapter isnt expensive. you do need to add vss signal pretty easy to do. the 4l80e will also requires a spacer and the vss mod. personally owning both id rather have the 6l90 over all of them. i loved the power and gearing of my 07 truck that had them. if the thing hadnt been thirsty and super prone to rust id still own it. 6.0 vvt with 6l90e is a super strong set up and really powerful. in a lighter truck than my 07 cc lb 4x4 it prob would get pretty good mpg. 6500k weight or more is alot to move around. it got 12 mpg still. now the 5.3 thats in front of a 6l80e is another story. the afm is the issue with them. delete that and its a excellent engine also. keep it you are asking for lifter issues. you want to keep the vvt its solid and really makes the truck wake up. as for diesel only engine id have is a cummins if i was going to do a swap. but in a half ton burban thats overkill imo. you arent going to be pulling 16k behind it.
Only the 5.3 has the AFM? I found a guy in canada that did the 4BT swap on his 04 tahoe and it looks super simple and he is getting awesome fuel mileage with it on long trips. It's a stock engine with a new turbo and he can get to 55mph in about 9 seconds so that is respectable. That is with the 4l60e behind it. I'm not sure what his rear gear ratio it's but probably 3.42. I have 2.73 in my 87 truck and I believe my 1990 suburban has the 3.08.
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Old 12-26-2019, 01:13 PM   #9
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Re: Diesel engine swap

Seriously, if you are looking for 350ft/lbs of torque, why are you looking at diesels? Those are stock 6.2 non-turbo numbers. The 3 liter diesel in my BMW makes well over 400. You are really looking at 4bt numbers, and you can back it with a 700R4, 4L60E/4L80E (if you want to deal with electronics), or any 5 speed manual.

6.0 gasser will easily surpass those HP/TQ numbers and be a fairly easy drivetrain swap. From having done a diesel swap myself, there are A LOT of little things that come with changing from gas to diesel. As much of a fan as I am of diesels, I agree with Hatzie on this one that you should take a serious look at the 6.0 gasser.

Towing 10K lbs on a 1/2 Burb chassis? You might want to rethink that. That 1/2 ton running gear also won't live long behind anything larger than a 4bt. A Dmax/6bt/DT360 will blow the ring and pinion out of that rear end the first time you nail the throttle. I had to upgrade my Jeep to a 14bolt for that reason.
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Old 12-26-2019, 02:27 PM   #10
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Re: Diesel engine swap

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Seriously, if you are looking for 350ft/lbs of torque, why are you looking at diesels? Those are stock 6.2 non-turbo numbers. The 3 liter diesel in my BMW makes well over 400. You are really looking at 4bt numbers, and you can back it with a 700R4, 4L60E/4L80E (if you want to deal with electronics), or any 5 speed manual.I want at least 350 ft/lbs so more would be nice. I have wanted a diesel for a long time now and the 4bt seems to be the right choice. If I come across a 6bt or any other higher hp/tq engines then I will definitely consider them but the 4bt is lighter which is good for my suburban suspension. I am also looking to upgrade the suspension to 3/4 ton.

6.0 gasser will easily surpass those HP/TQ numbers and be a fairly easy drivetrain swap. From having done a diesel swap myself, there are A LOT of little things that come with changing from gas to diesel. As much of a fan as I am of diesels, I agree with Hatzie on this one that you should take a serious look at the 6.0 gasser. I will. Another 5.3 would do as well.

Towing 10K lbs on a 1/2 Burb chassis? It is possible that I would tow that much but not very often at all and not very far. You might want to rethink that. That 1/2 ton running gear also won't live long behind anything larger than a 4bt. I agree. Used axle upgrades will be needed. A Dmax/6bt/DT360 will blow the ring and pinion out of that rear end the first time you nail the throttle. I had to upgrade my Jeep to a 14bolt for that reason.
They say the higher gear ring and pinion are actually stronger than the low gear since it has the larger pinion but I do see your point.
I have abused my trucks 2.73 axle and it has actually never given me any problems which is amazing when I think about it.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:15 PM   #11
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Re: Diesel engine swap

I'm not having much luck finding 5.3 or 6.0 gm engines so far. I see them for 5k and up and they are not decent pullouts. Accessories missing, clearly sitting outside for who knows how long, no wiring or computer, some shady looking. Might need to try and pick and pull myself to get a decent and complete setup.
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Old 12-28-2019, 09:58 AM   #12
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Re: Diesel engine swap

Funny how different parts of the country have different availability.

You need to look North in the snow and salt states. You can get some pretty decent running drivelines in completely rotted out body and chassis. I bet you only need to look a few hours North in Missouri or Iowa for similar complete Swiss cheese vehicles. You'll need to trailer em home but that's not a big deal for what you get.
I never buy engines I can't hear running and run tests on to evaluate the condition. You can run a pretty decent dynamic compression test with a scope. If the seller doesn't want you to plug in with a diag tool you walk away.
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:35 AM   #13
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Re: Diesel engine swap

Local late model junk yard had so many LSs and no turn around, they loaded up 2-3 40' dump trailer and scrapped them. Pissed a lot of people off. Could have sold them for couple hundred each to the public. But there is a pick a part right next door that has them as well, couple hundred for a complete motor. It's funny, people talk about gas mileage with these, and they don't get any better than the Vortec 454 I had, and wouldn't out pull it either....Me? Not sold on LS's.
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:13 AM   #14
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Re: Diesel engine swap

The fact that they wouldn't sell em to the public has more to do with Tioga, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Otsego, and Delaware county politics mixed with the NYC moonbat driven BS from the Assembly, Senate, and Governors office in Albany. Every time I see this BS I think how glad I am that I left the area 37 years ago.
Combine that with the bizarre Carnie mentality you see in flea market sellers and junk car outfits. They'll get pennies on the dollar or nothing at all by scrapping them or pitching them in a dumpster rather than sell them for less than they think they're worth.

The 6.0 has more HP and Torque than a stock carbureted 454. Around the same power numbers as a GMT400 with a 454 TBI... Significantly more HP and slightly lower torque to the 6.0L LQ4 compared to the 454 TBI. The 6.0L LQ4 definitely gets better fuel mileage than a square or GMT400 with the 454.
My best mileage in my 86 K20 with a 454 and 700R4 was 9.5mpg on the highway. I get right around 14 with the 6.0L K2500HD. The 2500HD is a heavier chassis with the same gearing as the old K20 squarebody.
My best in-town with that 454 K20 was 7mpg. The 6.0 gets just shy of 12mpg but as low as 11.

The numbers on the VVT version of the 6.0L truck motor in the GMT900 and newer rigs moves significantly in the favor of the 6.0L over the old inefficient 454.

The 325ci 5.3L has more power on tap than the 350 smallblock. The 4.8L LS V8 has better numbers as well. Even in the heavy GMT800 & GMT900 chassis they pull fairly well.

The electrical and mechanical engineers beat the bean counters on the LS.
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Last edited by hatzie; 12-28-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:56 AM   #15
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Re: Diesel engine swap

TBI maybe not Vortec. 290 horse 410 torque. Friend towed with both, 454 pulled better maybe same mileage not towing. But towing got better with the 454, and it pulled better, and not bouncing the tach off redline. Now this is with 4l80s. So it prolly be better with the 6 or 8l90.

That junkyard does some stupid stuff. Want top dollar for used parts. Can get new for couple bucks more. Prolly junked the motors so wouldn't have to deal with the public. Many guys are using the motor for test pigs for turbo's nitrous whatever. Now they just go next door and get a complete unit for less. Their loss. Other than late model parts, another reason I don't go there....
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:28 PM   #16
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Re: Diesel engine swap

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TBI maybe not Vortec. 290 horse 410 torque. Friend towed with both, 454 pulled better maybe same mileage not towing. But towing got better with the 454, and it pulled better, and not bouncing the tach off redline. Now this is with 4l80s. So it prolly be better with the 6 or 8l90.
The LY6 is 365HP and 383ft-lbs.
If you dump a cam in it you easily move it into the 440 hp and 460 torque range. This outstrips the 454 Vortec for a less money and you get the 6L80 with 6 gears or the 8L90 with 8 so the fuel mileage is far better.

The time of the old iron block smallblock and big block GM engines for daily drivers has come and gone for the most part.
They are antiques and worth restoring if that's what you want. If you want a reliable daily you want an LS.

Quote:
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That junkyard does some stupid stuff. Want top dollar for used parts. Can get new for couple bucks more. Prolly junked the motors so wouldn't have to deal with the public. Many guys are using the motor for test pigs for turbo's nitrous whatever. Now they just go next door and get a complete unit for less. Their loss. Other than late model parts, another reason I don't go there....
Really bizarre behaviour on the part of a business that's purporting to make money. It wouldn't be shocking to find out they're getting cash infusions from IBM (Italian Businessmen) in Philly, Jersey, Utica-Rome, Albany, or Brooklyn.
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1986 M1008 CUCV SOLD
2000 GMC C2500, TD6.5L, NV4500
2005 Chevy Silverado LS 2500HD 6.0L 4L80E/NP263
2009 Impala SS LS4 V8


RTFM... GM Parts Books, GM Schematics, GM service manuals, and GM training materials...Please include at least the year and model in your threads. It'll be easier to answer your questions.
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Old 12-28-2019, 01:02 PM   #17
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Re: Diesel engine swap

can do the same to the 454 and still get more out of it. Ever look at drag cars, pulling trucks, monster trucks whatever? They all have big blocks. I'm old school. I like big blocks, but since can't afford one right now, I'm going small block. But to each their own, build what you want. But IMO an LS is not the end all be all.

I should have stayed out of NY when I had the chance. But got tired of missing out on friends and family. Now pretty much stuck, G/F has a good job, and I have a good job with the state, ironic lol....
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Old 12-28-2019, 03:19 PM   #18
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Re: Diesel engine swap

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Originally Posted by hatzie View Post
The fact that they wouldn't sell em to the public has more to do with Tioga, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Otsego, and Delaware county politics mixed with the NYC moonbat driven BS from the Assembly, Senate, and Governors office in Albany. Every time I see this BS I think how glad I am that I left the area 37 years ago.
Combine that with the bizarre Carnie mentality you see in flea market sellers and junk car outfits. They'll get pennies on the dollar or nothing at all by scrapping them or pitching them in a dumpster rather than sell them for less than they think they're worth.

The 6.0 has more HP and Torque than a stock carbureted 454. Around the same power numbers as a GMT400 with a 454 TBI... Significantly more HP and slightly lower torque to the 6.0L LQ4 compared to the 454 TBI. The 6.0L LQ4 definitely gets better fuel mileage than a square or GMT400 with the 454.
My best mileage in my 86 K20 with a 454 and 700R4 was 9.5mpg on the highway. I get right around 14 with the 6.0L K2500HD. The 2500HD is a heavier chassis with the same gearing as the old K20 squarebody.
My best in-town with that 454 K20 was 7mpg. The 6.0 gets just shy of 12mpg but as low as 11.

The numbers on the VVT version of the 6.0L truck motor in the GMT900 and newer rigs moves significantly in the favor of the 6.0L over the old inefficient 454.

The 325ci 5.3L has more power on tap than the 350 smallblock. The 4.8L LS V8 has better numbers as well. Even in the heavy GMT800 & GMT900 chassis they pull fairly well.

The electrical and mechanical engineers beat the bean counters on the LS.
I agree with a lot of that. I have both, a GMT400 with a vortec 454 and a GMT900 with a 6.0(L96 w/VVT). Both trucks have 3.73 gears. The 99 weighs 6800 with me in it, the 2011 weighs 7500. They tow my 8,000 pound trailer about the same(only different). The 454 has more torque, and the torque starts at low rpm, and the curve is relatively flat. I put the shifter in 3 like the owner’s manual says. The 6.0 is a great motor, but not as good as the 454 in my opinion. The only thing that saves it is the 6 speed transmission. The first gear is so low it acts like a granny. It lets the 6.0 rev up where peak hp/tq are. The 454 gets 11 mpg, 9 when towing. The 6.0 gets 13, but it drops to 6.5 when towing. The 6.0 is a lot more refined. I can have a conversation with my passengers without yelling. I can’t say that about my 99. And to clarify, I am comparing a stock motor to a stock motor.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:55 PM   #19
DieselSJ
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Re: Diesel engine swap

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The LY6 is 365HP and 383ft-lbs.
If you dump a cam in it you easily move it into the 440 hp and 460 torque range. This outstrips the 454 Vortec for a less money and you get the 6L80 with 6 gears or the 8L90 with 8 so the fuel mileage is far better.

The time of the old iron block smallblock and big block GM engines for daily drivers has come and gone for the most part.
They are antiques and worth restoring if that's what you want. If you want a reliable daily you want an LS.



Really bizarre behaviour on the part of a business that's purporting to make money. It wouldn't be shocking to find out they're getting cash infusions from IBM (Italian Businessmen) in Philly, Jersey, Utica-Rome, Albany, or Brooklyn.
LOL I love the comparisons on non-stock LS's performing better than a stock 454. Take the money that you would spend on a LS swap and put a fraction of it into a 454 and it will outperform a built LS all day when towing. And you don't have to run the 454 at 4000rpm to make the power.

How do you get that a LS swap + cam is less money than just sticking a cam and a tune on a 454?
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:51 PM   #20
hatzie
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Re: Diesel engine swap

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Originally Posted by DieselSJ View Post
LOL I love the comparisons on non-stock LS's performing better than a stock 454. Take the money that you would spend on a LS swap and put a fraction of it into a 454 and it will outperform a built LS all day when towing. And you don't have to run the 454 at 4000rpm to make the power.

How do you get that a LS swap + cam is less money than just sticking a cam and a tune on a 454?
To push the 454 to those numbers takes more than a camshaft and tune.
Pistons, Carburetor, Intake, Headers, Exhaust, Ignition recurve.
Tweaking the EEPROM TBI 454 is more than a little bit involved. I used one of the original Ostrich flash tuners to refine EEPROM programs before burning them to a chip when I was playing with TPI... Not something I'd look forward to repeating now.
A well loved 454 with flash chips in the PCM will cost you a fair chunk of coin around here. It's almost cheaper to buy a Cummins from the salvage carnies.

You can reach those power numbers with an LQ4 using the GM LQ9 camshaft and tweaking the PCM. No exhaust, pistons, ... needed. You'll get more with an exhaust and other mods but a Cam and tune will put you comfortably in the mid 400's

As for the price of entry here in rust country... buy a rusted out donor truck so you don't get raped by the junk carnies.
I paid $350 for a good running 2003 2500HD rust bucket LQ4 4L80E NV263 donor chassis with 163,000 on the clock. The frame, bed, and cab were Swiss cheese. I drove it home from Vermont at a nice slow speed praying the entire trip.
I sold the interior, NV263, front axle, and various other parts for more than I paid for the whole truck. My brother installed the engine and transmission in his 1986 K20 and I cabbaged a few parts for my 2005. My kid brothers' engine donor made me money even tho he paid me nothing for it.
We're eyeballing the 10.5" AAM 14bolt with disc brakes to replace the 9.5" 14bolt in the same truck.
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And please let us know if and how your repairs were successful.

Last edited by hatzie; 12-30-2019 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:51 PM   #21
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Re: Diesel engine swap

A THROTTLE BODY yes, it were not talking about those. I had 2, and they ran pretty good. But knew the power was limited. I had an engine builder tell me you could stick a flower pot in a cylinder or a big block n still make power.
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:02 AM   #22
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Re: Diesel engine swap

Unless you are going with a carb, forget about trying to make decent power out of a 454 North of 350hp....the fuel injection (stock stuff) just cant support it. An 8.1 can make around 350-400hp and be tuned really easily (same as LS), but North of those numbers you are talking BIG $'s to swap out better internals in the engine.

As far as pulling comfort.... all of these big blocks in stock trim will pull about as well as a 6.0, but they won't be screaming in 2nd gear on every little hill.

Depending on how often you will be pulling heavy, I would lean towards the LS 5.3/6.0 if its only a few times per year. If you plan on every weekend, I would be hunting an 8.1 or Cummins.
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:33 AM   #23
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Re: Diesel engine swap

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Only the 5.3 has the AFM? I found a guy in canada that did the 4BT swap on his 04 tahoe and it looks super simple and he is getting awesome fuel mileage with it on long trips. It's a stock engine with a new turbo and he can get to 55mph in about 9 seconds so that is respectable. That is with the 4l60e behind it. I'm not sure what his rear gear ratio it's but probably 3.42. I have 2.73 in my 87 truck and I believe my 1990 suburban has the 3.08.
4bt is but i think you need a bread truck transmission adapter. still its slow and the mpg gain really doesnt help much on diesel with the added cost of fuel and upkeep an 4bt and new turbo is alot of money vs a ls engine. the 5.3 and the 6.2 has afm. the 6.0 and 4.8 did not ever have it. the 4.8 only had a 4l60e behind it ever and didnt have vvt. the 6.0 after or 07 in the newer body style had vvt and the 6l90e behind it. vvt really wakes them up. it gives the engine plenty of low end then the vvt adjust the timing to give it top end. its not like a honda setup it just adjust the cam profile and timing. you can delete afm on 5.3 pretty easy too. just requires a few hundred bucks and tuning. now this is the truck engines i think some cars that had 6.0s had afm never fooled with them. i know the police cars didnt but idk about gtos g6s etc...
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Old 01-01-2020, 02:20 AM   #24
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Re: Diesel engine swap

as for a 454 vs a 6.0 a ly6 makes alot more power in stock form and torque numbers is 30lbs less. ly6 with a cam gains 75 hp 75 tq just from a cam swap and still can been street mannered like its bone stock. thats a vortec one from 99. i dont see a carb one making that without a serious cam headwork intake and so forth. by the time you spend that kind of money you can stroke a ly6 to a 408 and cam it. 408 would not be touched by a 454 unless it was a full build talking aluminum heads cam intake all that. parts for a ls are cheap. we aint even talking about the fuel to feed this. ly6 isnt great on mpg but not terrible and get really no worse with a cam and tune but a 454 built like that is going to a be a very thirsty girl.
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Old 01-02-2020, 04:26 PM   #25
DieselSJ
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Re: Diesel engine swap

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Originally Posted by hatzie View Post
To push the 454 to those numbers takes more than a camshaft and tune.
Pistons, Carburetor, Intake, Headers, Exhaust, Ignition recurve.
Tweaking the EEPROM TBI 454 is more than a little bit involved. I used one of the original Ostrich flash tuners to refine EEPROM programs before burning them to a chip when I was playing with TPI... Not something I'd look forward to repeating now.
A well loved 454 with flash chips in the PCM will cost you a fair chunk of coin around here. It's almost cheaper to buy a Cummins from the salvage carnies.

You can reach those power numbers with an LQ4 using the GM LQ9 camshaft and tweaking the PCM. No exhaust, pistons, ... needed. You'll get more with an exhaust and other mods but a Cam and tune will put you comfortably in the mid 400's
DynamicEFI make the stock ECU laptop tunable with WB O2 support. A set of stock L29 heads, 214 degree cam, intake and my torque is over 500, and I'm over 450 as low as 2000rpm. 6.0 can't touch that for towing. I have way less into this combination than a LS swap.
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