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Truck question on Diesel conversion


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I was attending a farm sale yesterday that had a good number of older IH grain trucks. most were gas with really good beds and bodys but gas engines and were not bringing much.  It got me to thinking what if you were to swap out the old gas engines with a good Diesel?  Could you put a 5.9 cummins or 6.7 powerstroke in a mid 70's 1600 load star to replace the 345 gas??  That would make a good rig!!  

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Exactly where would the improvement be over the V345 engine. Only down side in the V345 is parts availability. I saw a 70's V304 powered grain truck recently, looked like a winner to me. My choice of grain truck would be a V366 powered Chevy 70 series with the correct gearing. It is not a better engine than a V345 IH but it was still produced until 2000 so parts are still available  I am not a big fan of light duty pickup diesels.  Many of  them break way to soon in my opinion.

 

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Saw a 345 and tranny for sale on fb today less than 200 iirc........

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345 was and still is a great engine. The Scout and light truck guys still use them, and the usual parts shouldn't be hard to find. There are enough trucks at dismantler yards with DT466 power plants that would be an easier swap.

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304/345/392 parts are not that hard to find. They were have through 1984 and a lot were made over the years. I have never struggled to find parts for sv engines, there are actually quite of few aftermarket parts available to if you know where to look. I also agree that you would not really get much of an improvement from a small diesel over the 345 that is already there. It’s best to think of a 345 as a gas powered diesel, their construction and torque curve are much closer to a diesel than a typical big 3 automotive V8’s.

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Gas downsides:   Poor performance on modern gasolines, points, plugs, etc.   I fought 2 70's trucks until I simply couldn't stand to climb in under the hood any more.    I do agree that a DT466 is a better replacement, but save the work & just buy a newer truck....move over the box & hoist if ya want.

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I much rather have a 304,345,404,446 V8 gas then a 7.3 or even a 3208 cat.I had all  in grain and dump trucks.Seems to me that 446 was 8 miles to gal loaded or empty.You had to use your transmission wouldn't just blow up hills.But I don't think you will find a quieter motor.They just sit there and purr.

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The Cummins 6 BT might not be a bad engine to transplant into an older medium duty, it was available in many brands,  but there's a boat load of diesel engines to avoid.  General Motors seems to have experimented the most, namely the GMC Toroflow, their converted gas big block V-6 to diesel, and then the 8.2L Fuel Pincher V8, yes it pinched fuel, and you needed standing monthly appointments at your dealer to keep it running on all 8. I won't mention the Detroit Diesel 2-strokes. The GM early light truck engines won't survive medium duty use, the 5.7L, 6.2L, a later Duramax might. The early IH diesels, the 6.9L IDI and 7.3L IDI could be easy to swap in, but really were not big power houses. The start of the PowerStroke engines in late 1994 had more electrical components that made them more difficult to transplant.

   The Gas 478 cid V-8 FLEETSTAR I drove from East Moline, Ill 175 miles to Des Moines, Iowa 5 nights a week and another 175 miles back to East Moline for a year was reliable enough, only took 100 gallons of gas and two quarts of oil a day. Plus one day a week, typically Friday I ran down river as far as Keokuk, Iowa pedaling freight. Always started at the touch of the key regardless of the temperature. One advantage that FleetStar had over a medium duty was it's air brakes. Drain the air tanks at least weekly and no problems. The F-700 Ford with the 8.2L Fuel Pincher got twice the MPG, 7 mpg, but the regular trips back to the dealer negated the savings. Was a nice truck to run when it was running right.

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I like my two loadstars with 345 and a c60 with 366. They give generally good service. I actually have less problems with the new gas than old. My plugs last forever it seems like and my gas doesn't go bad in the tank like the old gas. If I get the points set right the loadstar runs a long time between tune ups.  Engine parts are easy to find.

Hydraulic brakes are my biggest problem. Once you get them working good they last quite a while but it can be a bear getting them right. And hydraulic brake parts are tricky to find since the parts stores went to computers. Luckily my napa still has it's old parts books.

A 466 loadstar would be sweet. A 5.9 Cummins would be a nice conversion. My 97 f800 crane truck has one, not as powerful as you might think. You can keep most other small diesels.

Thx-Ace 

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I am going to go against the grain here...

If you are considering a truck with a gasser or the effort of swapping in a power stroke, don’t overlook the 2 stroke Detroits.  There are plenty of better/less annoying diesels out there, but a 20 ft tandem with a Detroit and air brakes will bring less at auction than a similar condition gas and half of what the same truck with a Cummins would sell at.

The Detroits are reliable.  You can count on them to run, roar, leak, smoke, but still run.  Still beats a gas any day for me.  We are all talking about short hauls here anyway.  Otherwise this discussion would be about hopper bottoms.

 

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I never owned a two stroke Detroit but have driven some. It's not my first choice but I wouldn't kick her out of my bed. Thx-Ace 

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I have to admit that I have a soft spot for the Detroit 2 strokes.  They were used on USN war ships I was a crew member on from 1963 to 1983, for small boats and emergency generators. There is nothing like the sound of a 6-71 at full throttle in a 26 foot Captains Gig (boat).  Or the sound of a twin 8V71 emergency gen-set (no it was not a 16V71 engine But 2 ea 8V-71's with a generator between them) as they scream along with a 325,000 watt generator load. I was in Operations department, the A-Gang in engineering kept the Detroits up and running.  The Deck Division crewed  the personnel boats, these are the boats that take to sailors to shore to visit Friendly natives.   They were basically used as transit  buses to move crew members to shore and back in most foreign places. In 20 years of being around Detroit's I was never aware of a single incidence where they failed to do the job that was expected of them. Not a single boat had to be towed home or did the emergency gen-set not startup when required. 

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The problem would all be in the length of the deal. V8's are short, thus so are all of the noses on any of them old gas powered trucks. I guess you could build a doghouse that goes back another couple feet and then it would be a cabover lol.

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Thanks for the story, Oleman! I always say that with a Detroit, if they will turn over, and get some fuel near them, they will run! I have a small collection of them. Someday I plan on putting a couple into something but for now I just like to start them up and hear them sing!

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I've seen a few loadstars with 6v71 Detroits? They were in single axle dump trucks.

I've also seen a few dt466 loadstars, all with twin screws. One was a tractor pulling a hopperbottom, one was a dump truck and another was a grain truck with a dump bed. I should be  bought that grain truck...

There used to be alot of fleetstar diesels. A friend had one with an 855 Cummins. I know where one is with a Detroit. All single axle tractors.

Thx-Ace 

Thx-Ace 

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42 minutes ago, acem said:

I've seen a few loadstars with 6v71 Detroits? They were in single axle dump trucks.

I've also seen a few dt466 loadstars, all with twin screws. One was a tractor pulling a hopperbottom, one was a dump truck and another was a grain truck with a dump bed. I should be  bought that grain truck...

There used to be alot of fleetstar diesels. A friend had one with an 855 Cummins. I know where one is with a Detroit. All single axle tractors.

Thx-Ace 

Thx-Ace 

Just so everyone understands... Don’t go out of your way to get the Detroit.  For the same money take the 466 or any 855 Cummins.  My personal experience is that the pair of trucks with 8v71s we got to replace the c65 with the 427 and the loadstar 1800 with the 446 was a winner.  Detroit diesels have no torque compared to other diesels, but will outlug a gasser anything.  The road ranger trannys need credit too.  There is always a gear that is low enough.  No more flooring it toward the road from the field then rolling back if there was a car coming.

 I would never advocate a Detroit for an all day, all week, all year sort of job, but for most of our harvests, you won’t be in the seat for more than a couple hours a day for a few weeks.

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1 hour ago, acem said:

I've seen a few loadstars with 6v71 Detroits? They were in single axle dump trucks.

I've also seen a few dt466 loadstars, all with twin screws. One was a tractor pulling a hopperbottom, one was a dump truck and another was a grain truck with a dump bed. I should be  bought that grain truck...

There used to be alot of fleetstar diesels. A friend had one with an 855 Cummins. I know where one is with a Detroit. All single axle tractors.

Thx-Ace 

Thx-Ace 

There is a thread on diesels for a loadstar on the truck board. It seems some came with a 6V53 Detroit. 

DWF

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