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Chevy Pickup Repowered with Detroit Diesel Engine
"It gets more than 20 mpg and has so much power it hardly needs a transmission," says Joe Vickaryous, Watrous, Sask., who installed a 6-cylinder, 216 hp Detroit diesel engine in his 1983 Chevrolet K-301-ton 4-WD pickup.
"I wanted better fuel economy and I also wanted to see just how efficient a pickup I could come up with," says Watrous, who installed the 6V53 engine five years ago. "The original gas engine had 130 hp and got only about 12 mpg. My new pickup has much more power. I use it to haul machinery on my flat deck tandem axle trailer as well as to do many other jobs. I was told the new engine wouldn't fit my pickup, but it did. I bought it from a salvage yard and rebuilt it. I used stock Chevrolet truck parts to install the engine so repairs will be easier in the future. The converted truck now has more than 50,000 miles on it and still works great.
Vickaryous built his own adaptor bell housing. It allowed him to connect the standard 4-speed transmission and 205 transfer case to the new engine through a 13-in. Borg and Beck clutch designed for a medium duty GM pickup. "The key to the conversion was that l used a transmission crossmember designed for 1967 to 1972 model GM pickups," says Vickaryous. "It fits right into the frame. I just drilled some holes and bolted it in. The crossmember keeps the clutch and transmission in their exact factory position so I was able to use all of the original drive shafts and clutch linkages."
Vickaryous cut a small notch in the fire wall to accommodate the fuel pump in the lower right hand corner of the engine compartment. The starter solenoid drew a too much current for the key switch so he installed a magnetic starter switch on the firewall to engage the starter. The starter's electrical relay has an automatic lockout circuit equipped with a fuel pressure switch to prevent accidental engagement of the starter when running. He built his own brackets for the alternator and air conditioner pump. He enlarged the outlets on a 6.2-liter diesel engine radiator (with coolers removed) to accommodate the bigger hoses of the new engine. He mounted the exhaust pipes inside the pickup's frame rails to prevent them from being damaged by flying gravel on rural roads.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joe Vickaryous, Box 582, Watrous, Sask., Canada WOK 4T4 (ph 306 946-2381).


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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #4