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6.2 vs. 6.5 in a motor home

Discussion in '1982-Present GM Diesel' started by 75-K5, May 13, 2005.

  1. 75-K5

    75-K5 3/4 ton status

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    I'm trying to decide which would be a more reasonable goal for an engine to swap into my motor home. It's a 21' American Clipper class C motor home on a 1978 Chevy G30 van chassis. I'm afraid a 6.2 just won't have the guts to push it down the road with decent speed and acceleration, but a 6.5 is going to be pricey and harder to swap in. I hope to find a donor van so that I can get all the special parts that might be different from a diesel in a pickup or K5. I would like to find a turbo version since van turbos are hard to find anyway. I also don't want to spend a lot of time or money building up the engine as I have my work cut out for me already in restoring the motor home itself. I'd rather have one that will perform well in stock form, and the 6.5TD is much more up to this task than the 6.2. I guess I'm just asking whether the time and effort required to swap in the 6.5TD above and beyond the effort to swap in a 6.2 would be worth it.

    I'm also concerned about RPM's. I'm not sure how I'm going to get them down. With the current setup I'd be turning that diesel at 3600 RPMs at 65mph, which is definitely not a good idea! It would cost a lot of money to regear the D70, but would cost nearly as much to install a Gear Vendors or other type of OD unit. An OD transmission is out of the question. This seems like a huge project but I'm sure I'll be extremely pleased with the results, plus the cool factor of tooling down the road in an "old school" motor home with a diesel. Only 5000 or so American Clippers were ever produced, and less than 1/4 of them were on Chevrolet chassis, and none were diesels, so mine will truly be unique. :cool1:
     
  2. steve_kibbe

    steve_kibbe 1/2 ton status

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    The regear would not cost $2k like a gv would.

    If you're going for the cool factor, I would invest the time and money to get a turbo diesel. If you find a donor van or truck, you could probabily use the auto overdrive thats behind it. Then you wouldn't have to regear. I have seen some 6.5TD trucks go for some descent prices, then you could part the rest out and recoup some of your investment.

    Just some thoughts

    Steve
     
  3. 75-K5

    75-K5 3/4 ton status

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    I'm just not sure how safe I'd feel with a 700r4 behind a diesel pushing a 10,000 pound rig through the mountains, and a 4l60e would be a pain in the butt to hook up I think. Or did 6.5's come with 4l80e? I'm hoping to find a wrecked '94 or '95 van with the drivetrain still intact for $1000-1500. I really wish I could put an nv4500 in there but that would be impossible to locate the shifter in a good spot and also to mount the pedals.

    Anybody know a good place to buy a van turbo if I can't find any on eBay and have to end up buying a 6.5 from a truck?
     
  4. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    I think 6.5's only came with 4L80E's behind them.
     
  5. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    I would go for a 6.5 TD if I could find one.
    I was looking for one to replace the 6.2 in my Van and found one shipped to my place for $2500 from a 96 van.
    I thought it was too much at the time, still think it is but starting to convince myself it is worth it.
    Anyway a 6.5 is what I would aim for now.
     
  6. 75-K5

    75-K5 3/4 ton status

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    Damn! There's a '95 G30 van for $800 with 6.5TD in Milwaukee! Sucks that I don't have the money or space to start this project yet and thus can't buy the donor vehicle right now. There's 2 days left on the bidding so it will probably go higher. How many miles is too many for a 6.5? I don't want to have to tear into the motor. This one I saw on eBay had 230K. That seems like a reasonable number but I want this to be a one-time deal and not have to rebuild the motor for several years after going through the pains of installing it.
     
  7. 75-K5

    75-K5 3/4 ton status

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    Well I found one :eek: and it's in Indy :eek: AND it only has 120k miles :eek: AND...... he only wants $500 for it :eek: :eek:

    haha

    Hopefully this deal goes through, if not I'm going over my Dad's head and taking a $500 personal loan. :p:
     
  8. 75-K5

    75-K5 3/4 ton status

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    Went and looked at the van yesterday. It's a hell of a deal for 500. The engine starts right up and runs GREAT. I'll also be able to use the 14bff in the rear once I swap some dually hubs on it. That will be better than the old D70 that's in it now, plus it's geared lower for the diesel. I'm so excited to get it! The motor home should be arriving in about 2 weeks, after I get a couple trucks cleared out we'll head over there and tow it home. :D
     
  9. steve_kibbe

    steve_kibbe 1/2 ton status

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    nice score, let us know how it all goes :thumb:
     
  10. 75-K5

    75-K5 3/4 ton status

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    Update if anyone cares: Put a down payment on the van. I'm possibly going to go pay the rest tomorrow afternoon, then probably bring it home within 2 weeks or so. I'm really stoked. I plan on doing a full write-up on the entire motor home restoration, including drivetrain swap. For the time being though I'm going to use the van to commute to school, that is if it proves to get better mileage than the pickup.

    Also, the van has a 4l80e so that will help keep the RPM's at a decent level if I swap in the lower-geared 14bff from it so hopefully the rpm issue is solved as well.
     

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