diesel in 93 Ford gas

My '93 Ford F350 dump truck needs TLC. "Plan "A" was to get a new one, cost
was $50K. So, I'm on to plan "B"
If the old girl got a new engine, new tires, new toolbox, new bumper,
sandblast dump box, and new paint job; I think I could get another ten
years. "The Kid" says I should get a diesel for it cause the gas mileage is
so horrible (7.5- 9.0). He's agreed to do the work if I buy all the parts.
Anybody done this? What engine should I look for? Hidden gotchas?

Reply to
Karl Townsend
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Check your local Caterpillar dealer
Reply to
E. Walter Le Roy
"The Kid" says I should get a diesel for it cause the gas mileage is
My son took out the 460 Ford V8 and had a Cummins diesel from a '93 Dodge put in his 1994 F350 4wd. Also swapped the c-6 auto tranny for a 6 speed manual. HELL of a lot of work. Complete new fuel system. Complete new custom exhaust. Everything from engine mounts to radiator hoses may need to be fabricated. And a lot of other problems.
For starters, the inline 6 Cummins is too long. It sets in there and there is maybe 1/2" of clearance in the back between the engine and the firewall, and the radiator had to be moved forward some. So much so that the hood didn't fit anymore and everything in the front of the truck had to be custom made. Some of the Ford accessories need vacuum (like brakes) and the Cummins doesn't have it. Had to put in a hydro boost system for brakes.
Bottom line is that if you are thinking about a diesel, having seen what my son had to go through and as much as I like the Cummins I think you should tell the kid "Maybe next time." At least for a Cummins. Makes for a helluva truck though. 18+mpg empty and power up the wazoo. I'm sure you wouldn't have NEARLY as much difficulty installing a PowerStroke.
On the plus side, the Cummins is pretty much self contained. If you get a complete engine with the computer you can put it in anything that has enough room.
Reply to
NoOne N Particular
I haven't done it Karl, but I can give you some things to ponder. My diesel P/U is an old Chevy...
You would need an extra battery box and connecting cables (my truck uses two big batteries). If nothing else a much bigger battery.
It uses two fuel filters, one mounted to the firewall and another on the engine.
It has a special kapok float in the fuel tank that the fuel pick-up rides on. A drain line that leads to the bottom of the fuel tank with a petcock. A water sensor in the fuel tank. They (GM) took water in the fuel as being a serious problem and it is. Possible a fuel return line going back to the fuel tank from the injector pump.
You may need some sort of sensor change coming from the transmission, especially if it is an automatic to make the computer happy.
Your high end/top speed may drop. Most diesels don't rev as high as gas motors.
Reply to
Leon Fisk
Unless you need a lot of power (yeah, it's a one-ton dump truck - still, how many hills, how fast do you need to get up them on the occasions when you have a full load) I'd be inclined to drop the relatively bulletproof Ford 6 (4.9L - gas) in there as a lower hassle way to get the fuel milage up.
Reply to
I'm not brave enough to mix and match car companies. First choice at this point is the 7.3 turbo powerstroke. I'm thinking buy the whole damn truck. Then I know I'll have all the parts. Key question at this point, does the powerstroke 7.3 have the same bell housing bolt pattern as the 460 gas?
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Probably a match, since auto companies like to have everything mix-and-match in the parts bins, but I dunno. Ask your local wrecking yard, they have the Englander Manuals that say what swaps where.
The "buy a complete donor vehicle with all the pieces you will need" route is the only way to go, because almost every stupid system in a diesel car is different. And don't buy the donor unless it's a pretty close match - a F-350 in the same or newer model year of the same body-style version (so you can swap body harnesses and instrument clusters), and a similar GVWR.
Brakes are hydroboost not vacuum, fuel tanks and fuel piping system has several significant differences, exhaust is all different, body electrical is all different, etc.
Find out what you need to do from the state before you do the swap regarding registration and tags. If you swap the odometer you need to file a statement of incorrect mileage, and the engine size and type records will need to be changed on the title. If you don't correct the title and a cop pulls you over, and the title says Gas and the truck is Diesel the first thing he's going to think is "Stolen Vehicle - Swapped VINs" until you prove differently.
And even with all the pieces you need readily at hand, figure this is still going to be an "All-Winter" project - you will hit snags where you have to fab a bracket from scratch, or figure out the part number and buy it at the dealer, and work will creep along. Clear out a bunch of space in the back of the barn, you don't want to block anything important in with a truck that can't move.
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
If there's nothing wrong with the engine, I wonder if a rear axle swap would help? If this thing screams at highway speed, it may have way too much gear reduction. One possible drawback to such a mod could be overheating, but usually big trucks have a decent radiator and cowling.
Reply to
Jon Elson
...and I recall, from some research I did via signing up at one of the online diesel-truck forums and asking dumb questions before I almost bought one, the "same era" diesels from Ford have some "known issues", at least to beware of. Not so bad as some...
It is, in short, a chore much bigger than swapping gas engines. or rebuilding the one you have. Probably cost you more than you'd ever hope to save on fuel, even as the price of fuel spirals up.
Having thought about doing something similar, I concluded that selling the gas truck and buying a diesel truck (non-wrecked) was the only way that made and sense to do the gas/diesel swap. My brother has done the diesel/gas swap with some of the notoriously unreliable early Chevy diesels, (which years? go to kelly blue book's site, and see where having a diesel lowers the value...;-) and it's at least as much of a bear. The people he was working for at the time were idiots, and wanted it done, seeing "good truck bad engine" but failing to see the money they were wasting on the extensive work.
Reply to
Yea, this diesel engine swap sounds like too much work. I think I'll just price out a new 460 long block and live with the horrible mileage. I know I can swap blocks out over a weekend.
I gave up on used. I need 4x4, standard cab, extended frame, dually,diesel, cherry shape, low mileage. They just ain't out there.
Reply to
Karl Townsend

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