I would like to put a 7.3 idi into a 1978 Loadstar and need some input.
First I'll explain why because I know there will be a group that insist that the 345 that is in it needs to be repaired and kept in service. I appreciate this point of view, however I do not want to do that, and would really like some input on going forward with the swap.
I have a 1978 Loadstar that has the original 345 and 5 speed trans in it. The truck only has 22,000 miles on it. When I bought it about 9 years ago, it had been sitting for many years and required quite a bit of work to get it somewhat reliable. "Somewhat" is key. I have had a hard time keeping it running. I decided it is allergic to carbs. I rebuilt the original Holley 2210 on it twice, then put a 2300 on it with no success, before I put a 4 barrel intake and Edelbrock 1406 on it. It's never run smoothly since then. Last year, the rear seal let go and I gave up and parked it.
I have always wanted to put a diesel in it, and have looked for a bus to get the drive train from, but never found the right deal.
My daily driver for the last few years has been a 1988 Ford F250 7.3idi. Last Sunday, I wrecked the Ford. The engine only has 140k on it and runs great. The cab is garbage and I'm going to sell the flatbed on it. Now is my chance to put a diesel in the Loadstar.
I understand that the 6.9-7.3 are descendants of the 404 and 446, that were put in Loadstars. I am wondering if that is true and if I might get a bell housing from one of these and bolt up the 7.3 to the tranny in the Loadstar? If so, I would only need to fab some from motor mounts.
Can anyone speak from experience on this topic?
Again, I know that repairing the 345 would be nice, and I actually have a spare 345 and a 304 sitting around, but I'd really like to put the 7.3 in there and get the old man back on the road.