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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1993 K1500 Suburban with a high mileage (220,000) 350V8. The old truck is in great condition for itsage, but I realistically expect to swap or rebuild this engine in a few years;nothing lasts forever, but with the 13mpg mileage I get now with the gas engine,I was considering installing/converting to a diesel engine instead. I know this will be more work and moreexpense to convert over, but was wondering if improved fuel economy would beworth the trouble? Any suggestions as towhat engine (and or transmission) I need to be on the look-out for to make theswap as pain free as possible when the time comes? Or should I just trade for a good used dieselpickup or SUV?
 

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EASIEST way to have a diesel truck is of course to buy one.... What do you mainly use the truck for? If you do a lot of towing/heavy hauling I'd definitely recommend swapping to a diesel truck.... Now the question is how much does your current truck mean to you? If it really has a lot of sentimental value then I'd say swap in a 6.5L turbo diesel..... If it's just a truck then I'd recommend trading for a Duramax diesel truck....

As for mileage with a diesel you can reasonably expect to get 16-18 or maybe better with a 6.5L TD running around empty and dropping to 13-14 when towing... Can most likely expect about the same buying a Duramax.... I personally got 13-15 mpg running around town with the CCSB 4x4 Duramax pickup I had and got 18-21 mpg when running empty down the interstate.... Some people claim better mpg numbers and others won't get as good... Every truck is different as well as every driver....

It's a personal choice... My choice is diesel over gas for trucks... Really the only person that can make the call over to convert your current truck or buy a different one is you.... My suggestion will almost always be for diesel though....
 

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buy a diesel on e-bay or so ..some are pretty cheap used..and then just stick it in ...its a direct fit and not hard to do !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do pull one of several trailers I own occasionally, but seldomneed the extra power of a diesel as my largest trailer is maxed out at 3200pounds and the small camper only occasionally gets pulled over the BlueridgeMountains. Mostly I was hoping for a significanteveryday gain in fuel mileage by switching over to diesel. However, if I can only expect to gain 3-5 MPGincrease from my current 13 MPG, it does not sound like as huge a savings as Ithought. I was hoping it would at leastdouble. I am not sentimental over theold truck, but here in NC it has the advantage of not having to go through emissionstesting anymore due to its age. I reallylike that. I just thought since I’llprobably have to rebuild or replace the engine in a few more years that withthe current gas prices, diesel would be an advantage to look into. I’ve rebuilt and/or swapped 4 engines beforeand have most of the tools I’d need to do another one. I just did some rough calculations taking inthe difference in price between diesel fuel and regular gas and came up withabout a $360 savings per 10,000 miles. Ithink I just talked myself out of a diesel engine change. I think it would be better to just get adiesel pickup or SUV some day when I get another vehicle. Thanks for all your info.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can the 350 gasoline V8 be rebuild into a 350 Diesel by replacing the heads, pistons and intake or does the block need to be different/stronger also to make a diesel engine?
 

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Can the 350 gasoline V8 be rebuild into a 350 Diesel by replacing the heads, pistons and intake or does the block need to be different/stronger also to make a diesel engine?
No, absolutely not. Diesel blocks are completely different.
 

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I would just install a GM crate motor part # 12568758. Has a 36month/100,000mile warranty. I'm sure your mpg's and power will improve because its a new motor and your used to a engine with over 220,000 miles on it. After break-in use synthetic oils, good exhaust and intake.
 

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Mitch, find a used 6.5 turbo diesel after 96 and you be fine !!!! easy swap and lots of power + way better gas milage !
 

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Dont convert a 350 to a diesel, they made a kit for it back in the 80s and so on and it was a terrable idea. People I have talked to said they were horrable and constantly broke down. plus the block and crank will be under more stress and probably wont last as long. If it was me i wouldnt convert it into a diesel.
 

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Mitch, find a used 6.5 turbo diesel after 96 and you be fine !!!! easy swap and lots of power + way better gas milage !
I assume you mean the diesel 6.5 that came from these generation Burbs, and not the newer motors? LBZ, etc. I can't remember the engine codes off the top of my head. I imagine the gas mileage of the newer Duramax trucks are a lot better.

My motor is fine, but I kind of had the same idea. It sounds like too much of a headache to swap over though.
 
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