Author Topic: Alternative motor for D19  (Read 192 times)

Offline GirlandWinne

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  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1974
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave D19
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Alternative motor for D19
« on: September 17, 2019, 07:47 PM »
Has anyone swapped out the 318 for a diesel motor in the D19.  Trying to figure out if there are any diesel motors that would fit #1 and then also what rear end upgrade would be appropriate. 


Or has anyone put an LS motor in? And did it fit without modifications to the cab/engine surround? Same question for the rear end upgrade. 


I'm finding that the space limitation is really narrowing down my options on motors that will work.  Any guidance is appreciated!!!

Offline LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
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  • Year: 1975
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  • Model: D21
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  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2019, 05:27 AM »
Somewhere on hear a chap did the swap and did a great job posting his swap. Maybe Dave or Rick will no the link. If my memory serves me correct  I don't think the conversion and money involved made it feasible.  Hm?
 

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Engine: 454
Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2019, 08:25 AM »
Considering what you have to work with (basically a clean slate) you could do anything you wanted with a torch, hammers and a welder. But a Cummins 12 valve diesel with the 46RE overdrive transmission would be a very good option. You would have to fabricate your own motor mounts and transmission crossmember  and have a driveshaft made. BUT, If you found a 1997 or earlier Dodge 2500 or 3500 pickup with the diesel in it in a junkyard then you would have everything you needed. You could also go with a 24 valve diesel but they are computer controlled so you would need the electronics to go with it. You could put an LS in it, it has been done. There are videos of a turbo LS power old Winnie running around but it is far from practical. And HUGE money!!!!! The diesel would be a much more practical option. As far as the rear the one that is in there would work fine but you might need to go with higher gearing if you go with a diesel.

Offline wvallen

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Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2019, 09:37 AM »
There is a guy who put a cummins diesel in his '73 D20 and documented it on youtube and instagram. His channel is called "Lambson Auto" and here is a link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUB_TPkfVGBVHNOCGtwwYDQ.  He's done a top quality job- quite impressive.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2019, 04:10 PM »
I can't even imagine living in a place that is so secure that the garage has no walls and all his tools are right there. Around here that stuff would be gone in the middle of the day while I was working and had my back turned!!!


So there you go guys, that should answer all your questions about the conversion.

Offline tmsnyder

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Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2019, 06:57 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqGXBcA1kXQ


Not only can you fit an LS in one, you can fit a Twin Turbo LS in a Winnie!!

Offline tmsnyder

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Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2019, 07:16 AM »
An LS conversion would probably the cheapest and easiest swap.   Those motors are everywhere in junkyards.   You'd get the engine, OD tranny and computer to control both, I bet for less than $1000.  If this has a gas generator, you wouldn't be dealing with finding a diesel generator or switching to propane.   It's not hard, just one more thing to deal with if switching to diesel.


And an LS is going to be closest in size and weight to the original 318.   


A Cummins is going to be long and very heavy, and any auto transmission that gets bolted to it is going to have to be beefed up.  A person could spend $2500 on a hd tranny rebuilt for a 6bt and still end up destroying it with torque. Lots of modification to get it to fit, and with the weight, beefier front springs.   Then, what does that do to the handling with the extra weight on the front tires?


If it were me, I like simple, so I'd probably look into the cheapest new crate motor from GM, the L31.  It's got the good vortec heads, roller cam, 350 ci, and it's around $2200 for a brand new motor.  Add an intake, carb, headers, HEI ignition and you're up and running with just one power wire.  For a tranny, either a TH400 or a junkyard 4L80E overdrive with an aftermarket tranny controller, they aren't much $ any more and it would handle all the shifting.   But for the 1 or 2 mpg improvement, maybe just run a TH400 or even a stout TH350.


If you're married to diesel, you could also consider a 6.5L from a later model short school bus.  Buy one at auction.  They weigh a lot less than a cummins, and come with a better tranny (4L80E), and they are cheap b/c they have a bad reputation.   But the ones from 1997 on, which they put into school buses into the 2000's iirc, had almost all the problems corrected.  And the only remaining issues are well known and easy to avoid.   Basically, you mount the PMD somewhere with good air flow and a heat sink, and you put on a good harmonic balancer.   That's pretty much it and it will go at least to 250k miles.  Mine is at 337k in my suburban.




Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2019, 09:00 AM »
I guess it kind of depends on what you are looking to do with it. The 6.5 in my opinion is a very bad idea. They were very underpowered both in horsepower and in torque. And they are NOT light. 1100 lbs. for a 6.5. If you are going diesel then the Cummins is the only way to go and they weigh in around 1250 lbs. but your assessment of the transmissions is a bit off. The 46RH non electronic or next in line 47RE electronic are both very strong transmissions. They are basically the 727 with an added overdrive. If you want to beef them up you just rebuild them with the red clutches and a decent aftermarket torque converter. The converter is where the money is spent. I paid 1200.00 for the one in my 98 Dodge Dually. It is the lockup clutches and vanes in the converters that go bad but they only do it under extreme conditions and 95% of the time it is also with added power from chips or programmers. If you keep the transmission below 220 degrees it will live a long life.


The engine weight is something you will have to factor into the total build if you decide to go that route since the front axle is only designed to hold so much weight.

Offline tmsnyder

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Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2019, 09:54 AM »
The hate for the 6.5L is strong  :D :D


I actually like that motor after owning one and working on it for about 10 years.  Take a look at the cost of replacement injectors for both.   Cost of a new or rebuilt IP.  Starters, alternators, belts, etc. everything is inexpensive on the 6.5L.  Not so on the Cummins, they are very proud of their parts.


6bt: 200hp and 440 ft-lb, 1100lb weight
6.5L: 190hp and 400 ft-lb, 750lb weight


Look at the cost of getting ahold of a 6bt.  I was looking at an old dodge with the p-pump in an auction and it went for $3500, that's the going price for running donor vehicles.  While a newer GMC short bus with the 6.5L are going for $800 - 1200.  Grab the motor/tranny/computer and scrap the rest and you'll have $500 in for the swap.


They had issues at the time they went from 6.2L to 6.5L and turbocharged them, addressed them and then killed the motor. 


Actually, what about a Duramax?   A bit heavier than the 318, but similar size package, great tranny, and in retired short buses; cheap.


6.6L duramax: 360hp and 650 ft/lb, 850lb

Offline tmsnyder

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Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2019, 09:57 AM »
318 is 230hp, 300 ft-lb, 525lb weight

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2019, 06:11 PM »
The two red binders are both military manuals on the 6.2 and 6.5 diesels used in their vehicles. The smaller binder is full of my personal notes on modifications for power, racing and general longevity and garage repairs. Things like the modifications to the glow plug relay timer for quicker cold starts. I also have buried somewhere around here my GM training manuals from when I went to GM training classes on the GM diesels. I am rather well versed in the GM diesels. That even includes the 350 diesel they put in the cars for a couple years. There was a reason it was only a couple years! :)rotflmao  So I am rather well versed on the 6.2 and 6.5 engines. They were alright in a blazer or a pickup truck, as long as that vehicle was not doing hard work. They turbocharged them and they got better but still nowhere near the power of the other brands. And really nowhere near the power of the gas engines. I never saw 400 ft/lbs. on a dyno even though it was claimed. Not even close and I am talking gross power at the crank. I have gotten that much out of them with modifications but that seriously degrades engine life. These engines are famous for breaking the crankshaft right at #1 rod. When you increase to power it throws the harmonics off and the nose of the crank breaks off. Sometimes they manage to stay running somehow. Creates a lot of carnage. I may even still have one of those cranks around here somewhere. The best power was made by the Gale banks turbo kit he made specifically for the 6.2. The 6.2 has 23:1 compression which was dropped to 18 :1 with the 6.5 and 16:1 on the last of the turbo 6.5's.
The engine I am running in my Military Chevy CUCV pickup is an early 6.4 turbo motor without the turbo but with a marine injection pump, with marine injectors and the timing bumped up two degrees. The whole rotating assembly has been balanced and the crank has been magnafluxed. I was going to turbo it but never came across a marine turbo which I would need since there is too much fuel and air for the stock setup. Been together for 10 years and counting. The problem with doing that to get power for a motorhome is that you would burn holes in the pistons on the first long hill. D:oH!


Offline tmsnyder

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Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2019, 10:47 PM »
Sounds like you had to deal with all the problem years of the engine, it was mostly straightened out from 1997 on.   


Offline Rickf1985

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  • Engine: 454
Re: Alternative motor for D19
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2019, 08:51 AM »
Not saying they are a bad engine and even the older ones the problems were not as big of a deal as the problems on the newer diesels but all of the V8 line of the 6.2 and 6.5 diesels were far behind in power compared to the others. And another thing to consider is product support, you will find support for the Cummins anywhere you go but the 6.5 is 20 some years old since it was made and since it was not real popular then it is even less popular now with the aftermarket. 


ANYWAY, We have strayed from the original content and turned this into a personal engine comparison. Let them decide which way they want to go.

 

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