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diesel for a 454
#22784 Sun Dec 02 2001 08:26 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6
mmmmeat Offline OP
I am looking to replace the big ol' 454 as I don't have the space to rebuild it I am thinking maybe I ought to replace it with something other than another 454.
Given my needs a diesel would be nice, maybe a newer diesel, better power delivery, streetable, maybe a little more fun (turbo), etc.
Anyone ever done this?
I know there is some electrical work to be done with it, and a different tranny?
Thanks ahead of time

Re: diesel for a 454
#22785 Sun Dec 02 2001 06:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6
mmmmeat Offline OP
While we're on the subject, what about a 350?
I have a th-400 tranny, a 'friend' of mine said I would need a new yoke to the tune of $500 and a th-350?
I admit that I am just getting started in the truck enthusiast arena but that seems a little . . . well it is a concern that he might have a different agenda.
Help is greatly appreciated.

Re: diesel for a 454
#22786 Mon Dec 03 2001 12:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 247
Probably the best thing to do is get a complete vehicle that has a 6.5 chevy diesel turbo in it. Don't go with a naturally aspirated diesel, you WON'T be happy. As far as the transmission goes, you'll need the torque convertor at least (diesels have a way of blowing up gas convertors). There is a website for hopping up 6.2/6.5 diesels, it's part of the turbodiesel register:

Re: diesel for a 454
#22787 Mon Dec 03 2001 05:09 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 589
Shop Shark
I don't vote for the Diesel. I had an 82 with one and an OD auto trans. It ran OK, started when cold, But noisy, and doggy. You would need HD parts all around for change. Probably your big block already had the 6-bolt torque convertor, so should use same trans OK. Deisel needs diff fuel line set-up, more like FI with two lines if you go with later engines. If you get the old ones with mechanical pumps, should be OK. Will need to keep the Hydro-vac p/steering pump and booster that should still be on your truck. If you go to the 350 (far easier by the way) you will need a diff hydro pump off of small block to use with old system. If you can't afford a rebuild on what you have...You Can't afford to change to a deisel either. frown

G.L. Grumpy's
Old Iron Ranch
Huntington, IN 46750

MM R tractor, Speedex
and Power King tractors
Re: diesel for a 454
#22788 Mon Dec 03 2001 05:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3
Junior Member
not sure if its the same where you are,but there are plenty of racers here who would trade a good 350 for a worn out 454....454 cores getting scarce her in rural texas....

Re: diesel for a 454
#22789 Sat Dec 08 2001 01:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 45
I agree with GL Perry, Don't go with a Chevy diesel, unless its a duramax:-) They were oil burning pieces of garbage, in my opinion. Very doggy. I had one in a suburban, very poor. Theres always a powerstroke, which was ahead of its time until the duramax came out, but your probably gonna wanna stick with chevy.


1955 Chevrolet 210 2 door Sedan
a 30,000 mile UNMOLESTED original, now my daily driver! Original 6 cylinder with a rebuilt '66-'69 Saginaw 3-speed Overdrive. Synchro low! Otherwise, everything original down to the spare tire. Interior is like new. Needs paint, but absolutely zero rust.
Re: diesel for a 454
#22790 Sun Dec 09 2001 06:04 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 4
Here is a scenario for you to think about before you go and swap a diesel in for a gas engine. A normal truck with a 4.11 rear gears and a diesel engine is going down the rolling hill two lane highway behind a camper at about 55 or 60. You being the king of the road, you want to pass the camper. You check the oncoming lane and it is clear, So you signal and turn out into the other lane. You punch it and put the engine at the governor stop. About halfway around the camper you notice that there is an oncoming car, and you know that it is going to be close. You cant downshift because youll overspeed the engine, and you cant punch it because it is already at the max. Therefore you have to slam on the brakes and let the camper stay in front of you blocking that open road feeling. This happened to us on a trip to the lake and we had to stay behind that camper for about 40 miles. It was a chevy suburban with the 6.2 turbo diesel. I guess it all depends on what you want to do. I work on diesels all day, but I would prefer a good ole gasser in an older vehicle. Now if you were going to go out and purchase a new truck, I would leave that up in the air. Just my thoughts. smile

Everybody was born crying, most of us get over it.
Re: diesel for a 454
#22791 Sun Dec 09 2001 07:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 6
Shop Shark
I have a 82 chevy diesel that runs fine .It has enough power for my present purposes(towing a small boat). I bought this with the idea that when the diesel gives up I can put what ever motor I like in it and get around the calif smog laws . The cab of the diesels I belive are better sound insulated . With the windows up it is fairly quiet .

Re: diesel for a 454
#22792 Mon Dec 10 2001 10:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 21
Diesels are great depending on the one you get, but are very expensive if you want a newer one, older ones are cheap, but not as good as the newer ones. My dad has a 93 GMC Turbo Ext/Cab/LB, and that truck hauls. You can punch it and it goes like a "car" no slouching or anything. There's around 200,000 miles on it with no major problems to the engine, it's been great, just the tranny and the electronics were screwing up, that's your major downfall if you want a new diesel, the computer has to be correct and that mean every single thing on that truck, and if it's not the first time, then you'll probably spend a fews years figuring out what is wrong, that's what happened to my dad's truck. 2 years later and $0, 3 brand new trannys, and it works again. I hate new vehicals just for that reason - electronics. All they do are cause problems! But getting back to the diesel, I thought about that swap into a 50 Chevy, but then determined that a "real" diesel was too much so my dad told me to look for an old Isuzu or...Nissan, Range Rover, older diesels that wouldn't be so hard to transplant, but I said forget about it, and go with the six. Enuf of me now, just make sure you know what you want before you do anything drastic (ie- buy a diesel engine for $4G's) Good luck.

Nate grin

If you're clean, then you're not a 'Man' If your truck is clean, then your truck is a 'Queen'.

50 3/4T Chevy until it is traded or sold
48-55 1/2T Chevy parts until they're all gone

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