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6.5 to duramax conversion

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by muddstopper, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I have been thinking about trying this for a while. Has anybody here put a duramax in the place of the 6.5 in a older model 4x4 chevy truck. I have a 95 dually that is getting a little worn and cant think of buying another new truck right now. Thought about buying a duramax/allison out of a wreck 4x4 and trying to fit it in the old truck. Just need a little imput from someone that has done it or knows someone that has done it. Im just not sure if I want the hassel with the electronics. I need to make sure I get everything from the doner truck that i need on the first trip to the salvage yard.
  2. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Messages: 1,022

    hey mudd,
    you might check on the www.thedieselplace.com they have guys there that could probably answer youur question. good luck with it.
  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Thanks for the link. I havent found the conversion info yet, but I did find out what was ailing my 6.5!!! The fix is a lot simpler than a conversion I am sure.
  4. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,445

    The 12 valve cummins conversion is probably best for your truck.
    You won't need to worry about swapping in a new cpu, and you can get similar power for alot less cash. Also, an nv4500 trans should be easy to find mounts for since gm used these in a lot of the 2500 and 3500 series trucks.
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I hadnt thought about a Cummings conversion, might check it out. I guess a quick trip to the salvage yard and just findout what is availabe is in order. My truck has the Nv4500 tranny already. Its about Junk, I go thru a clutch a year, syncronizers shot. Ford, Dodge and Chevy. all used this transmission in their trucks for a few years. Dodges had the lowest first gear, of the three manufacturers. 4wheelers loved getting their hands on the dodge trannys for rock climbing.

    I am really wanting to go with the later model Duramax/Allison combo. I already own a 4500Duramax truck and love it. I have to start and stop so much ( on steep roads under load) is the reason I go thru so many clutches. I think the Allison, even tho it might cost more at first, will save me money longterm. I usually end up spending around $1000 everytime I have a new clutch installed. A couple of years would pay for the Allison. I like my 95chevy truck. It aint beatup or rusty, interior is clean, I cant see spending $40,000 to replace it when a late model engine conversion will serve me well.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The cheapest option is a Cummins conversion if you want to replace a old 6.5 trying to drop in a duramax isn't worth it. Light trucks don't last forever we are lucky to get 10 years out of one. A 95 is getting pretty old I don't know if you really want to spend 10,000 dollars on a engine repower. To do a Cummins swap plan on 6000 dollars a duramax swap would be a easy 10,000.

    If the truck has 200,000 or more miles on it sell the 95 its not worth beating a dead horse. You NEVER save money constantly repairing a old truck a new truck may cost you 40,000 but it will last you 10 years. Spending 10 grand fixing up a 7000 dollar truck still makes it a 7000 dollar truck.

    Trust me I have seen people dump tons of money into old trucks that never gained they lost its cheaper to buy new.
  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    There are 3 rebuilt 5.9 12 valves on e-bay right now for under $5k.
  8. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,034

    I have been mulling over a similar issue. I would like to pick up a new GMC 2T with a duramax, and yet keep my old dumper.

    So with the numbers above, you have a $40k truck that will last you 10 years. At that it will still cost you $333.33333333333333333333333333333 per month for 10 years. Thats a chunk of change to count on every month for 10 years. It might be cheaper to drop a new engine in the old truck. Once the new engine is in, other repairs are going to be normal to any vehicle after a certain number of miles regardless as to whether it is new or not.

  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The Cummins is a good option for Chevy as the 6.5 is a turd engine definatly not one of Chevys finest. There are adaptors that you can get for the Chevy engine to bolt to what ever transmission you want. The only problem with Cummins is they are loud engines.
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Gravel, are you saying my old Chevy is worth $7000???? Sold, I will even take Canadian.LOL. All bull aside. I know what you mean about old trucks nickel and dimeing you to death. I put about 8-9000 miles a year on my trucks. My 2005 4500 only has 9000 miles on it and its a year and ahalf old. The problem with buying a new truck is where I take it. Always a dozer on standby to drag it in and out. Its hard to pony up $40 grand and watch it get beatup in the brush. Thats why I prefer just fixing my old truck. Someone mentioned the cummins on ebay for $5000. Well, that might get you the engine, but what about the radiator, alternators, electronics and anything else you might have to buy, including an adapter. We are getting close to the duramax conversion money wise if I buy a complete system from a wrecked truck. It will last me as long as a new truck for a fraction of the cost of new. And I wont have to kill the engine everytime i drive up to a drivethru to order a burger. I still dont know just how well the duramax will fit in my old truck, but I know i will have to do some modifications if I go with another engine, so no big difference there in difficulty of the install. Anyways, I am still weighing my options. I have found a couple of ford 7.3 trucks and just might buy one of them and sell my old truck. I know I will like the straight axel in the fords better than the aframe supension of the chevy. Still have the engine noise tho.

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