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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 63 C20 has a straight six that is pretty tired; thinking about getting a V8, but I was wondering if a diesel would be worthwhile. I don't know much about diesels in relation to cars and what specific diesels to look for in a swap like this. Seems like the diesel has a lot less going on in relation to ignition and computers. Would an older diesel be better or something new?

I currently have a T5 5-speed from an S10 pickup; not looking for a major horsepower setup, just something that can pull its weight and cruise down the road and up some hills easily.

Hoping there are some experts here that could maybe give me some suggestions and pros/cons to doing this.
 

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Current attack on diesel fuel is not going away. It will come to to to choices .
1 can you find diesel
2 can you afford it
Current plan is price it out of the market.
 

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The issue you’d face is finding an adapter plate to mount XYZ diesel to your T5 then fabricating a mount assembly to bolt the engine to your crossmember. One of the major players is Advanced Adapters.
 

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Lots of PITA issues involved , like anything else it can be done , but the money would be kinda spendy .. If you could find a first gen 5.9L 12 valve inline six Cummins that was used in the Rams in the 89-98 model years .. IIRC the 94-98 is the better choice because of the Bosch fuel pump ..

It can be done , but I C you're in Commiefornia , thats a big strike against you for starters ..

JtB
 

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ah...you're making me miss my 65 C20. I had a 350 with the stock 4spd. First gear was so low I really never used it.

For my 2p - I think the 6cyl with the 5 speed is a really cool and somewhat unique setup. I would rebuild the 6cyl and see if you can get the "cruiser" level of power out of that.

Not that my opinion matters - but, I like creative and unique
 

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2010 FLTRX, 96 No Mo, Plain Jane
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Don't do diesel you'll regret it, and if you're going to put any kind of power behind it, that five speed will not last long, 350s are a dime a dozen, and it doesn't take a lot to throw some horsepower to a 350, some 305 heads of good intake, cam, carburetor, and you're in business, you can even buy stroker kits that will drop right in. If you like the big block there is no replacement for displacement, but they are much more expensive to build. I would put the r700 4 for transmission because they can hold up to the pounding.
And with all this said you would have a nice daily driver, you also need to check out the gears in the back axle on what ratio they are, the c20's came with either a 373 or 411 , which is a killer on gas mileage , that might be the last thing you might want to mess with 3:42's give you the best of both world and are easy to swap out...... you can have a pretty nice motor for under $3,500, if you buy the motor from the junkyard, the 305 heads from the junkyard, scour the junkyard for intakes they're there plenty of those too, HEI distributor is a must!!!! I used to scour the junk yards all the time when I was racing Roundy round.....
This coming from an ex racer, who happens to be a Chevy guy,

Side note:
If the heads are coming from a junkyard take them to a machine shop make sure that they're true, I like the five angle grind, and I also like to check for warpage while they're there so they can shave the decks if needed and they can also check out to see if there's any cracks in them as well, the 305 closed chambered heads are the best on the market as far as not having to do anything with them!!!

The best part about this whole setup is you would have a reliable truck, that you could take anywhere, that to me means a whole lot
 

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If you could find a front V8 motor mount cradle and a bell housing, an original style small block chevy would be a bolt in.

Anything other than that is going to take some fabing and welding. Speedway sells the V8 front cradle and there are several bell housing sources out there. And there are lots of T-5 to Muncy/Saginaw bell housing adapters. If you swapped that T5 for an old 4 speed, you could probably avoid having to rework that two piece drive shaft and it would be a bolt on to the bell housing.

As for a diesel swap, then I think you might have issues with finding the right power in a package that your front end can carry. Power wise, a Dodge Cummings would be right there. But that front end won't carry the weight very well. So that drops you back to the smaller Asian diesels, and they are going to be soft power wise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you could find a front V8 motor mount cradle and a bell housing, an original style small block chevy would be a bolt in.

Anything other than that is going to take some fabing and welding. Speedway sells the V8 front cradle and there are several bell housing sources out there. And there are lots of T-5 to Muncy/Saginaw bell housing adapters. If you swapped that T5 for an old 4 speed, you could probably avoid having to rework that two piece drive shaft and it would be a bolt on to the bell housing.

As for a diesel swap, then I think you might have issues with finding the right power in a package that your front end can carry. Power wise, a Dodge Cummings would be right there. But that front end won't carry the weight very well. So that drops you back to the smaller Asian diesels, and they are going to be soft power wise.
The entire front crossmember in my truck is from a 74 C20, and I still have the cradles for the V8. So, I should be good to go; just not easy finding a 283, 327 or 350. Everybody wants a fortune for these motors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It would be nice if I could get this thing running better. It's a 292 with a 1bbl carb.

Going up a hill it just slows down and can't keep going, have to keep downshifting. And, it gets pretty hot when the weather is warm, can't really drive it very far. New radiator too.
Tried messing with timing, advancing it, etc, it's just terrible, does not have any guts. Starts up every time and idles fine though.
 

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Does the 63 still have the steel beam front end? And leaf springs up front?
My 53 had the steel beam going across the front. I took a 1978 Camaro, drop the front clip out of it, cut the front end off the 53, and the front Clip slid in between the I beams giving you a good solid foundation to weld too. Now I had power steering, and power brakes, do not and I repeat do not be afraid to go to junkyard to find what you need, to keep this low budget, or money savings don't be afraid car swaps truck shows, I found most of the parts I needed for my 53, either in a junkyard or at a car swap but I was able to successfully put the truck together on a budget!!!
Here is a brand new rebuilt Chevy 350 short block ready to go, for under $1,000
Font Rectangle Screenshot Parallel Number

And this is a really good deal for a short block 350, I have dealt with Precision Motors on multiple occasions, with success every time. By going this route you're guaranteed to have a new rebuilt engine, the one thing I forgot to ask are you mechanically inclined?
Do have the tools to do what is necessary?
One thing for sure going this route guarantees you a new Fresh motor to start with not something out of the junkyard although I still suggest that you get your heads from the junkyard, and then have them taken to a machine shop. 202 heads are thing of the past also known as double hump fuellies those were good back in the 60s but present day, 305 close chamber heads are the only way to go. You will yield a higher horsepower gain by using the 305 heads, I would have to look up the casting numbers for you, so you would at least know what to look for. Intake is cheap, carburetor is cheap, matter of fact Edelbrock makes a complete kit that's very reasonable, I think it comes with the cam,Intake, carburetor and headers. But if you are try to keep all GM, let me know..
But if you go the rought of the 350, make sure to switch over to hei, of good quality,
Such as msd....
Show us some pictures of the truck, I love trucks from 49 to 72, 85 model, in any of the 95 to 2000 trucks,
I just recently gave my 77 short wheelbase Chevrolet to my son, I did all of the drivetrain for the truck before I gave it to him, I installed a 383 stroker engine, wich I built from scratch, vortec heads,( the reason I told you to stay with 305 heads and not go with the vortec heads, the vortec heads require a different intake, different valve covers, an a different distributor, it's just easier to stay with the 305's)
I also picked up a rebuilt r700 4 transmission, and switched to the 3:42's on a 14 holt.
So the drive train ready to go for a hundred thousand miles
Font Rectangle Screenshot Parallel Number
Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Grille Vehicle
Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Motor vehicle
 

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I put a L59 in my 64 C10, its a 5.3L out of a 2004 Tahoe.

Still need to install bed floor, doors and have a reman transmission installed before I can actually drive it. But it seems like it is going to be a blast, engine runs well.

Your 5 speed would bolt up to a 5.3L pretty easy as well.

Or a summit/jeggs crate 350 would be the easiest for more power on the cheap.

Sent from my moto g power (2021) using Tapatalk
 

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Does the 63 still have the steel beam front end? And leaf springs up front?
My 53 had the steel beam going across the front. I took a 1978 Camaro, drop the front clip out of it, cut the front end off the 53, and the front Clip slid in between the I beams giving you a good solid foundation to weld too. Now I had power steering, and power brakes, do not and I repeat do not be afraid to go to junkyard to find what you need, to keep this low budget, or money savings don't be afraid car swaps truck shows, I found most of the parts I needed for my 53, either in a junkyard or at a car swap but I was able to successfully put the truck together on a budget!!!
Here is a brand new rebuilt Chevy 350 short block ready to go, for under $1,000
View attachment 451760
And this is a really good deal for a short block 350, I have dealt with Precision Motors on multiple occasions, with success every time. By going this route you're guaranteed to have a new rebuilt engine, the one thing I forgot to ask are you mechanically inclined?
Do have the tools to do what is necessary?
One thing for sure going this route guarantees you a new Fresh motor to start with not something out of the junkyard although I still suggest that you get your heads from the junkyard, and then have them taken to a machine shop. 202 heads are thing of the past also known as double hump fuellies those were good back in the 60s but present day, 305 close chamber heads are the only way to go. You will yield a higher horsepower gain by using the 305 heads, I would have to look up the casting numbers for you, so you would at least know what to look for. Intake is cheap, carburetor is cheap, matter of fact Edelbrock makes a complete kit that's very reasonable, I think it comes with the cam,Intake, carburetor and headers. But if you are try to keep all GM, let me know..
But if you go the rought of the 350, make sure to switch over to hei, of good quality,
Such as msd....
Show us some pictures of the truck, I love trucks from 49 to 72, 85 model, in any of the 95 to 2000 trucks,
I just recently gave my 77 short wheelbase Chevrolet to my son, I did all of the drivetrain for the truck before I gave it to him, I installed a 383 stroker engine, wich I built from scratch, vortec heads,( the reason I told you to stay with 305 heads and not go with the vortec heads, the vortec heads require a different intake, different valve covers, an a different distributor, it's just easier to stay with the 305's)
I also picked up a rebuilt r700 4 transmission, and switched to the 3:42's on a 14 holt.
So the drive train ready to go for a hundred thousand miles
View attachment 451760 View attachment 451761 View attachment 451762
I haven’t had good luck with MSD My Spark Disappeared for a while now. Old stuff was quality. A good old point style with a pertonix electronic drop in kit was served me well
 

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2010 FLTRX, 96 No Mo, Plain Jane
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I wasn't talking about an msd 6, I was talking about the MSD HEI that still has the core on top of the cap and doesn't run to a relay box. In all reality any HEI distributor will work just fine. And the reason I am so hardcore focused on the HEI is for multiple reasons, but the main reason one wire hookup. Easy access to a tachometer, the the MSD distributor gives a boost to the top end allowing you to take it to higher RPMs, it also is just that simple drop it in and it works. This is the distributor I was talking about...
 

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The entire front crossmember in my truck is from a 74 C20, and I still have the cradles for the V8. So, I should be good to go; just not easy finding a 283, 327 or 350. Everybody wants a fortune for these motors.
OK, so it's a square body 3/4 ton out front. It's been more than a minute, but I see to recall that the 292/6 used V8 mounts and bell pattern.

Now being a 74, that's about the lowest output 292 they built. Distributer, cam timing, and carb are all epa strangled. So ya, its prolly really soft 40 some years later. But it do have possibilities, if you want something that's not your run of the mill LS swap.

Those 292's will make tones of torque with just a cam, manifold, carb, header and distributer recurve. And if you do the head and bump the compression, they will make 350/350. And prolly cost less than an LS set up to make the same power.

If I was looking to be different, I would take an aluminum intake and do some tig work on it so I could run port fuel injection. Maybe even a turbo, plenty of room for it under the hood. Only thing I can think of that would stand out more would be to find a 348/409 for it.

The budget basement fix to get some more power would be to rework the distributor and rejet the carb. Weights, springs and a jet would be less than $100.
 

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If you put the money into the 292, you can have something super unique and with PLENTY of power. Power nation has a build show on this engine...here is a screen shot of their dyno pull after putting the turbo on. Now, putting on a turbo is a lot of work - but, in the end - you likely won't spend more than doing an engine swap.

Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive tire Gauge Auto part
 

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Edit - I laughed at myself noting the 292 is unique, when it was likely the most common engine produced during these years - but, as hot rods go....most people do a swap. The path less traveled could be super cool here.
 
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