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Old 03-05-2004, 02:12 PM
racine racine is offline
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Question conversion of E350 centurion van to diesel

E350 conversion to diesel - HELP, HELP, HELP

I have two E350's, both with 460 gasoline V8's. The one I use the most for towing has a low-quality "no-name" rebuilt 460, and I would like to replace this engine with a diesel. This vehicle is a 1985 modified E350 sometimes called a "centurion" - it has a shortened (appx. 2/3 of it's original length) van body in place, an extended frame with a full sized pickup bed, and a dually axle package. I guess it really isn't a van anymore - it's just like a dually crew cab, except larger! We love the thing because it has a full bed for our kids to sleep while we drive, and it's much more stable at speed than our other van. However, it typically averages 6-8 mpg under best circumstances, and its fuel costs are becoming unbearable!! Our heaviest load that can be comfortably handled "as-is" is about 7,500 lbs.

This is used principally for towing a gooseneck horse trailer. The tows frequently go through the mountains of Pennsylvania from our Florida home, so the new engine package has to make some real power and also not be sensitive to overheating. If we are able to tow at 70 mph we will be pleased.

Present transmission is a 3 speed C6, apparently in good condition. Axle ratio is 4.11, but can of course be changed if necessary.

The goals: substantially improved fuel economy, adequate power to tow 12,000 lbs, and long-term reliability.

I'm an engineer and mechanic, but I have zero knowledge of ford truck diesels. I'm sure I can do the change without any great fuss, but I need to know what it is I'm looking for when it comes time to shop for the best engine package; and I need an engine that won't require any serious modifications of the existing van/truck to accept it.

Who out there can give me some advice (please be serious - my wife has already suggested a mental health clinic!) as to what driveline should give the best results, and what I should expect to run into as I do this job?

No foolin', your help and ideas/experiences are really appreciated!! We love our weird old Ford!!

racine
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Old 03-05-2004, 06:27 PM
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Matts72 Matts72 is offline
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see thread diesel swap into f150

the only difference is that your rear and tranny are tough enough, its a difficult fit, and spring upgrades are a must.
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Old 03-08-2004, 08:11 AM
racine racine is offline
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Hey mattsbox:

Thanx for your response. It looks like my best bet will be a late 80's - early 90's international 7.3. I saw one of these this weekend, a turbo 7.3, in a 1985 E350. The original diesel had died, and this newer engine was installed. This van had originally been a diesel from the factory, so I still don't know if the 460 gas engine mounts in my van will be the right type and in the right place for the 7.3 diesel. Do you have any idea about this? Am I going to be welding?

It's obvious with a 3600 +/- rev limit that my 4.11 axle has to go also. Seems to me what I will need is a complete donor vehicle, so I can get the entire driveline plus whatever electronics are needed for the engine. Either a wreck, or some goofy auction mutt that noone else wants.

Last question, if you have an opinion. For my trailer towing duties, what's the best of the 7.3's to look for? During those years of manufacture there were surely some changes from year to year - what should I look for? What should I stay away from?

Thanx for the guidance.

racine
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:09 PM
lkb217 lkb217 is offline
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1985 Ford E350 Cabriolet

Its good to know that there are some more of these fabulous vehicles out there. Myself, I have 3. A 1982 and 2 1985's and I am looking to purchase more. Is there anyone out there that has one for sale. I would prefer to buy one in the Deluxe model with a 3rd door on the passenger side, but will look at all. I have cash and I am ready to pick up another one. Please call or email me at 217-740-6151 or collectorcarsandparts@yahoo.com[...cars.fotki.com/1985FORDE350CABRIOLETDUALLYPICKUP/X[/IMG]

Larry
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:58 PM
matt stinnett matt stinnett is offline
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I have help for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by racine View Post
E350 conversion to diesel - HELP, HELP, HELP

I have two E350's, both with 460 gasoline V8's. The one I use the most for towing has a low-quality "no-name" rebuilt 460, and I would like to replace this engine with a diesel. This vehicle is a 1985 modified E350 sometimes called a "centurion" - it has a shortened (appx. 2/3 of it's original length) van body in place, an extended frame with a full sized pickup bed, and a dually axle package. I guess it really isn't a van anymore - it's just like a dually crew cab, except larger! We love the thing because it has a full bed for our kids to sleep while we drive, and it's much more stable at speed than our other van. However, it typically averages 6-8 mpg under best circumstances, and its fuel costs are becoming unbearable!! Our heaviest load that can be comfortably handled "as-is" is about 7,500 lbs.

This is used principally for towing a gooseneck horse trailer. The tows frequently go through the mountains of Pennsylvania from our Florida home, so the new engine package has to make some real power and also not be sensitive to overheating. If we are able to tow at 70 mph we will be pleased.

Present transmission is a 3 speed C6, apparently in good condition. Axle ratio is 4.11, but can of course be changed if necessary.

The goals: substantially improved fuel economy, adequate power to tow 12,000 lbs, and long-term reliability.

I'm an engineer and mechanic, but I have zero knowledge of ford truck diesels. I'm sure I can do the change without any great fuss, but I need to know what it is I'm looking for when it comes time to shop for the best engine package; and I need an engine that won't require any serious modifications of the existing van/truck to accept it.

Who out there can give me some advice (please be serious - my wife has already suggested a mental health clinic!) as to what driveline should give the best results, and what I should expect to run into as I do this job?

No foolin', your help and ideas/experiences are really appreciated!! We love our weird old Ford!!

racine
If you want to give me a call I can answer your question
Matt
(509)588-4925
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:12 PM
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Krewat Krewat is offline
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If you want to give me a call I can answer your question
Please, just answer it here

We'd all like to know the answers

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Old 05-19-2009, 10:32 PM
ZedZero ZedZero is offline
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Another centurion

Hi I have the same truck - an E350 Econoline with a 460 gas pig of an engine. Its a 1968 Ford Centurion. I'd love to pop in a 7.3 diesel.

How did your conversion go?

Anoyne with the same truck please give me a shout.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:34 PM
gfarmer gfarmer is offline
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Larry,
I am (or was) about to buy a 1992 E-350 Cabriolet from a friend until I saw the lousy fuel consumption quoted by the deisel conversion guy. It has a blown trans ($1800 quote), but only has 70k miles! If you are interested, let me know what its worth to you, and if I don't follow through, I'll let you know.
The van is in Gulfport, Ms., and my #is 228-697-4055. Call anytime.
Regards,
gary farmer
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:18 PM
gfarmer gfarmer is offline
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1992 e-350 cabriolet may be for sale. you can e-mail at glfcoastbiz@yahoo.com
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:48 PM
bobbyljohnson bobbyljohnson is offline
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I have a 1984 6.9 turbo

just got it and it seems to have the blue lights also but dont work. I also have a c6 trans with a cl over under drive. like I said I just got it so can tell you much about it but I am hoping it will be fare on fuel. Mine is a two door and was awned by a rv dealer The did not take care of it very good.

So far ever thing else seems to work but needs brakes it sat for a long time by the looks of it.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:08 PM
rayb1201 rayb1201 is offline
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centurion

Quote:
Originally Posted by racine View Post
E350 conversion to diesel - HELP, HELP, HELP

I have two E350's, both with 460 gasoline V8's. The one I use the most for towing has a low-quality "no-name" rebuilt 460, and I would like to replace this engine with a diesel. This vehicle is a 1985 modified E350 sometimes called a "centurion" - it has a shortened (appx. 2/3 of it's original length) van body in place, an extended frame with a full sized pickup bed, and a dually axle package. I guess it really isn't a van anymore - it's just like a dually crew cab, except larger! We love the thing because it has a full bed for our kids to sleep while we drive, and it's much more stable at speed than our other van. However, it typically averages 6-8 mpg under best circumstances, and its fuel costs are becoming unbearable!! Our heaviest load that can be comfortably handled "as-is" is about 7,500 lbs.

This is used principally for towing a gooseneck horse trailer. The tows frequently go through the mountains of Pennsylvania from our Florida home, so the new engine package has to make some real power and also not be sensitive to overheating. If we are able to tow at 70 mph we will be pleased.

Present transmission is a 3 speed C6, apparently in good condition. Axle ratio is 4.11, but can of course be changed if necessary.

The goals: substantially improved fuel economy, adequate power to tow 12,000 lbs, and long-term reliability.

I'm an engineer and mechanic, but I have zero knowledge of ford truck diesels. I'm sure I can do the change without any great fuss, but I need to know what it is I'm looking for when it comes time to shop for the best engine package; and I need an engine that won't require any serious modifications of the existing van/truck to accept it.

Who out there can give me some advice (please be serious - my wife has already suggested a mental health clinic!) as to what driveline should give the best results, and what I should expect to run into as I do this job?

No foolin', your help and ideas/experiences are really appreciated!! We love our weird old Ford!!

racine
hi mine is an 81 i kept the 460 added lower tranny gears for the c6 from tci a maximizer 13 in torque converter also from tci then a us gear overdrive this will split gears gives me 6 , i also have a telma retarder brake this helps for long down hill grades for the western mountans.
i hope this helps and gives outhers ideas.
I have found a stroker 502 rebuild kit for the 460 when rebuild time comes.
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:58 PM
uk-krewzer uk-krewzer is offline
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im doing an engine swap at the moment in my E350 cabriolet truck, its a 1989 with third door, ive taken the 460 out and im fitting a cummins 5.9 turbo with an allison auto box, its not a straight in and out swap by no means but for me it was the engine i wanted.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:03 PM
kb1jid kb1jid is offline
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Hi Iam doing a swap now as weather permits 1990 E250 coachmen van camper with a 5.8 gas engine that has been taken out and a 1991 E350 with a 7.3 diesel that I have just removed. So far taking out the 7.3 was a job from H*** and on the camper the 5.8 came out with no problem. And so far I have noticed that the core support is a little different no problem fixing that. But the fire wall opening is a little different that the diesel came out of. Looks like about 2+ inches wider on the opening Iam going to cut and rework mine in the camper van. Also the complete wiring harness has to be changed out swaped over. Iam have done with that. Iam going to regasket and new seals in diesel before it goes back in. As for the 460 mounts no idea but the 5.8 and diesel mounts are different Iam working on it as weather permits out side van camper is to tall to fit in garage Its a 4x4
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:47 AM
kb1jid kb1jid is offline
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You will need to use the oil cooler from a van 7.3 its different then the truck one.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:52 AM
kb1jid kb1jid is offline
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You will also need to use the drivers side Exhaust manifold and y pipe from a van its different than the truck one.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:52 AM
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