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IH Diesel replaces gas engine in Chevy Pickup
"It gets 20 mpg and the engine will last three times as long as the rest of the pickup," says Dean Duke, Chrysler, Ontario, who replaced the 120 hp V-8 gas engine in his 1978 Chevrolet 4-WD 3/4-ton pickup with a new 135 hp IH 6-cylinder diesel engine.
Duke bought the 350 cu. in. engine for $3,500 and sold the old 414 cu. in, engine. He uses his repowered pickup to tow farm implements from an International dealership, where he works as a mechanic, to customers' farms.
"The dealer had been towing farm implements with small 1/2-ton Chevrolet pickups equipped with 350 cu. in. gas engines, but they were underpowered and got only 6 to 7 mpg," says Duke. "My repowered pickup has much more power and gets 20 mpg without a load and will cruise down the highway at 75 mph. The dealer was so impressed he hired me to tow implements for him. The same engine is found in the International 915 combine and International 1086 tractor. I installed new fenders, doors, and rocker panels on the pickup and repainted it to look brand new."
Duke fitted the pickup with a clutch and 5-speed transmission with overdrive from a
1980 5-ton Chevrolet truck and made a new bell housing and transfer case for it. The pickup's original clutch and transmission couldn't handle the extra horsepower. To boost highway speed he replaced the 7.00 by 16 tires with big 8.25 by 20 tires and remade the wheels. He used a torch to cut out a circle of 1/2-in, thick steel plate and lashed it perfectly round with smooth edges, then cut a disc out of the center of the rim and tack welded the steel plate to the rim. He raised the cab 2 in. to make room for the bigger tires and for the engine's turbocharger by installing blocks under the rubber mounts between frame and cab.
To make room for the longer engine, the transfer case had to be moved back so Duke lengthened the front portion of the driveshaft by 10 in. and shortened the rear portion by the same amount. He cut through the firewall and made a small "doghouse" for the rear part of the engine, and also raised the floor a little to make room for the new transmission.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dean Duke, Box 247, Morewood, Ontario, Canada KOA 2R0 (ph 613 448-3816).


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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #6