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Old 05-31-2017, 09:53 PM   #1
69k20elky
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7.3 stroker vs. 5.9 cummins

This is my first time posting on here so I apologize if this thread is in the wrong place or anything, but I'll get right to it I suppose, I have a 69 k20 that I've been planning on doing a diesel swap in for quite a while now, but I'm really stuck on which engine to choose as the title indicates I'm thinking​ about a 7.3 or a 12 valve Cummins, I'd prefer the 7.3 but it seems to have been pretty well avoided for swaps in these trucks and I'm really wondering if anyone knows why or has attempted this swap and could share some information as to whether it's worth it or if the Cummins is the best way to go between the two, thanks in advance!
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:45 PM   #2
Dieselwrencher
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Re: 7.3 stroker vs. 5.9 cummins

What year 7.3 are you wanting? A powerstroke or an older IDI? The main reason everyone chooses a 12 valve is for several reasons. Very reliable, easy to fit into a variety of vehicles, cheaper to mod, and great fuel mileage. You can do a 7.3 but dollar for dollar a 12 valve will be the more economical choice.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:17 PM   #3
69k20elky
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Re: 7.3 stroker vs. 5.9 cummins

I'd like to do a powerstroke, I know that 12 valves are pretty much the best for making big power and getting the best mpg, I'd just like something a little different and my goal isn't really to get crazy power and I only get about 3 mpg with is as is so either will get me a pretty decent increase, my main concern really is how much work will need to be done to the firewall to make a powerstroke fit without a body lift
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:39 PM   #4
v30crewcab
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Re: 7.3 stroker vs. 5.9 cummins

powerstroke are not that fun to work on, have crazy oil fired injectors, and are very temperamental about what oil is run in them. they don't sound good either. but its your truck, do what makes you happy. It won't be anymore difficult than any other swap, other than nobody makes swap parts so you'll have to fab it all yourself.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:44 PM   #5
Dieselwrencher
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Re: 7.3 stroker vs. 5.9 cummins

I put a 6.9 in my 76 many years ago. The truck had a body lift already so that helped with the fit. There is a guy in NW Iowa that put a 7.3 PSD in a 83 or so K20. It looked like he didn't modify the fire wall but he could have. Buy a complete truck to strip everything out of. If you don't it will get expensive. I swapped a couple of F350s from gas or IDI to a powerstroke. It was a lot of work for that little PSD noise.
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Tired of spark plugs? Check this out.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:34 PM   #6
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Re: 7.3 stroker vs. 5.9 cummins

If you do a 95 to 97 powerstoke it is more "self Contained" in that it does not need an external fuel pump of a charge air cooler. They are super reliable and are capable of a lot of easy power with a tune. I had a 12 valve gmc project at one point, and in retrospect the 7.3l powerstroke would have been a cool unique set up.
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