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  • Diesel to E85 conversion

    Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of someone converting a 6.2 over to E85 . Or even gas .
    I would thing the hardest part would be the distributor but the do make belt driven ones. I would the that with the high compression the E85 would have the best chance of not detonating. If you want a back story we'll say the engine is fine but the fuel pump flow plugs and a few other high dollar things needed replaced at the same time . Can spark plugs go into the same hole as the glow plugs ?
    Previously HoosierL98GTA

  • #2

    Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

    with a drill and a tap, you might be able to get a spark plug in there? But that's a hell of a lot of compression for even E85. I expect there's enough meat on the tops of the pistons to take some metal off and drop it down to 13, maybe?


    neat idea!
    My fabulous web page

    "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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    • #3

      Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

      You could run a thick head gasket, or even hog out the head the old fashioned way. But those are heavy, heavy pistons.... I'd wager it'd be a slug, and not worth the effort.

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      • #4

        Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

        seems like an expensive way to do something. Why do you need a distributor? MS, Holley, Haltech and a bunch of others easily fire coils based upon cam sensors.... heck, my 430 Buick isn't going to have a distributor....just a stub to plug the hole. With that said, the DZ block Olds 5.7 diesel gives you all you want.
        Last edited by SuperBuickGuy; December 2nd, 2018, 11:06 PM.
        Doing it all wrong since 1966

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        • #5

          Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

          Pistons would be the big issue.... not sure if the distributor style drive on vacuum pump cross references with any actual distributors . Then there's the question of intake manifold and cam specs.... dont know if the exhaust valve seats can take the abuse either....
          Last edited by silver_bullet; December 3rd, 2018, 06:25 AM.
          Patrick & Tammy
          - Long Haulin' 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014...Addicting isn't it...??

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          • #6

            Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

            seems like an expensive way to do something...... With that said, the DZ block Olds 5.7 diesel gives you all you want.
            I think what he wants, is to use a 6.2 engine that he can't afford to fix the diesel parts on.



            My fabulous web page

            "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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            • #7

              Re: Diesel to E85 conversion


              I think what he wants, is to use a 6.2 engine that he can't afford to fix the diesel parts on.


              anything's possible given a good machine shop, money and time. But if he can't afford to fix the 6.2, he certainly can't afford to make it E85. The first problem is the 19:1 compression ratio. The next problem is the underlying issue with hot rodding 6.2s.... with head studs, they can live to maybe 500 hp - after that, they start lifting heads. Pistons for a 6.2 or 6.5 cost about $600, head studs are almost $200.... I presume it runs now, so what's $800 plus $1000 in machine work and gaskets? a pump? those are $400. Even starters are cheap now with gear reduction drives.... and we're not even talking crack-proof heads - $1000 ....
              a distributor is the least of the issues.


              and of course.... if you use the glow plug holes for the spark, good luck getting it started - the glow plugs are in their own chamber.... so put a spark plug there and you'll have text book shrouding.
              Last edited by SuperBuickGuy; December 3rd, 2018, 07:50 AM.
              Doing it all wrong since 1966

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              • #8

                Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

                Did I mention that a SBC or BBC just bolts right in.... if you want the cheapest option, there it is. Of course, since everyone hates 6.2s, finding a cheap, running one isn't terribly difficult...
                Doing it all wrong since 1966

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                • #9

                  Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

                  there aren't many left.

                  This past week there was a CL ad for a GMC van based short bus, in a nearby town, 1989, 6.2, 41k miles. for two grand. Kind of tempting, until you realize that that 150 hp isn't going to go up hills very well. And getting more power out of it can be done, but parts are still kind of hard to find, because there aren't many of the engines left.

                  My fabulous web page

                  "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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                  • #10

                    Re: Diesel to E85 conversion


                    I think what he wants, is to use a 6.2 engine that he can't afford to fix the diesel parts on.


                    Just not really a diesel fan but like the idea of recycling and repurposing things . But it seems that if I were to be given a 6.2 or 6.5 it just isn't worth anything but as a diesel . Unlike the Olds . Which due to the advent of the LS series engine makes building anything else more expensive and really a waste of money . And that comes from a guy that really wants a BBC truck
                    .
                    Previously HoosierL98GTA

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                    • #11

                      Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

                      Even a 366 C50 . Been looking at them 67 - 72 . Expect questions on them forth coming .
                      Last edited by Dan Barlow; December 3rd, 2018, 09:10 AM.
                      Previously HoosierL98GTA

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                      • #12

                        Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

                        there aren't many left.

                        This past week there was a CL ad for a GMC van based short bus, in a nearby town, 1989, 6.2, 41k miles. for two grand. Kind of tempting, until you realize that that 150 hp isn't going to go up hills very well. And getting more power out of it can be done, but parts are still kind of hard to find, because there aren't many of the engines left.
                        where'd you get the high hp version? they're 130 hp 250 lb torque in their most anemic version... that said, a turbo and 250 hp 400 lb torque that is reliable for 400,000 miles... oh and 20 mpg.

                        they're still surplus and Navistar still builds them. While yeah, diesels are a minority, there are a lot of 6.2s/6.5s out there. The 'problem' is people finally are starting to realize that they're a pretty good motor. Just like the 4bt - when they were 'discovered' they were surplus and $200 netted you a runner - now $3000 might find you a runner. Several years ago, I bought 4 running 6.2 motors for $100. I sold each a couple years later for $500 each.

                        With that said, they're still being produced and the Navistar version (aka the marine version) is the one to own.

                        and yet, there will be no convincing some. I like cheap, it's what attracted me to them and it's why I own a couple.

                        Dan - if you decide to turbo, I can hook you up I have like 3 complete kits right now. The nice part about turbo-ing a 6.2 is you get a one-wire-to-run motor..... no computers. The other cool part is the turbo they're taking off the 12v Cummins is the 'upgrade' turbo for the 6.2.... means for $300 you get a brand new, decent quality chinese turbo....
                        Doing it all wrong since 1966

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                        • #13

                          Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

                          and van 6.2s ..... yeah, I wouldn't but who am I to tell anyone what to do.... watch and you'll see the downside
                          Doing it all wrong since 1966

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                          • #14

                            Re: Diesel to E85 conversion

                            Even a 366 C50 . Been looking at them 67 - 72 . Expect questions on them forth coming .
                            staying with the anchor theme?
                            Doing it all wrong since 1966

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                            • #15

                              Re: Diesel to E85 conversion


                              where'd you get the high hp version? they're 130 hp 250 lb torque in their most anemic version.
                              Over 8500 gvw rated 148, apparently (at least in the 1989 G series). the bus I saw the ad for was a 3500. dually
                              Last edited by squirrel; December 3rd, 2018, 02:46 PM.
                              My fabulous web page

                              "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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