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1980 chevy gas to diesel conversion Amanda 4-10-05  
We have a 1980 chevy 350/Thomas body bus (home conversion in progress) with an Allison 545 3-speed tranny. any recommendations on what kind of diesel to drop in instead? our engine is solid but we really can't afford to keep travelling with the price of gas and our atrocious mpg (4-7 depending on terrain.) i have been told you can use a 6.2L without any changes to the tranny. suggestions? advice? help?!?
Re: 1980 chevy gas to diesel conversion Phil Feinstein 4-12-05  
The Allison tranny is industry standard for most diesel engines. You should be able to use any Detroit Deisel engine from 6L to 8.2L with no mods beyond buying the correct bellhousing for the transmission.

Ford and GM use Detroit Diesel in their full-size trucks, and so do Navistar and International (and they make busses as well). Ford uses their own tranny, but GM has started to use Allison. Check your local used car part emporiums and ask about deisel motors out of full-size Fords and Chevys (Trucks and Vans). 1980 gives you a lot of flexibility for emissions, so you have your pick of years to pull from. EFI started in deisels in 1994, so unless you want to wire up an EFI system, stay with mechanical injection (pre 1992 is a safe bet)

Hope that helps!
Re: 1980 chevy gas to diesel conversion Phil Feinstein 4-12-05  
Just as an aside: have you ever thought of installing an overdrive or changing the gears in the rear diff?

An overdrive is much easier to do than changing from gas to deisel and will improve your milage. The only mod is getting your driveshaft shortened and dependin on what overdrive unit you use, you may not even have to do that.
Re: 1980 chevy gas to diesel conversion Mike Beckham 4-28-05  
I agree with Phil on this one. An aftermarket overdrive is available from at least one source I know of, I think the website is Aside for this option, do all the regular stuff to keep your gas mileage as high as possible. ( keep tires properly inflated, engine tuned, switch to a synthetic oil in the engine, and consider a carb change,try something in the 500-600 CFM range. You may also try adding something to the bottom of your front bumper to cut down on aerodynamic drag of air going under the bus. Watch your driving techniques, coast when you can! Good luck! Mike
Re: 1980 chevy gas to diesel conversion james 7-7-05  
One thing to consider also,on the gas to diesel conversion, the diesel weighs a bit more and the front suspension might need to be upgraded to carry the extra weight.Along with the brakes too.
Re: 1980 Fordgas to diesel conversion Mike 7-27-05  
I have a 1980 Ford F-700 currently has a 370 gas. motor is bad I am considering deisel what do you recommend? The truck is a flatbed used for hauling lumber.
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