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Old 07-27-2014, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Hank85713 View Post
I understand the want for a diesel, however if the 351 was in good shape I think I would have kept it over the 6.9. I had an 89 f250 with the 351, it would pull anything and when we pulled our TT we passed a lot of smokers (6.9) as they struggled up the hills. Forget the HP of 6.9 but it was only around 200 as I recall, the 351 was about 275-300 or something. I also had a 10 ft slide in camper in the back and it would haul it and aghain we passed a lot of smokers, but the mileage was nothing to write home about!

Anyhow as long as you understand that there is little support for the 6.9 as far as aftermarket you should be ok. The only turbo kits I think were Banks and you might want to look for one, but check with banks 1st to see if it would work in a van enviro.

For the best of the camper you can raise the 'trailer' you made, get a 4K generator, add a house ac (5-9K btu) some electric and then you will have it all good to go. Check for some used rv stuff on CL like small 3 way refrig's etc, dont waste time with sinks etc. Easier to have something out side with water supply (trailer?). Porta potty up to you. My brother had an a chebby van with the camper mod, had all the inside stuff not a lot of room. Had to make the table into the bed when needed (he was single so never had a table.

Have fun

The 351 was in excellent shape and scooted the van around very nicely, but the gas millage was just terrible.
That's interesting that you say you were passing smokers on your travels up hills. Although they are only about 200 HP, they are pushing out 338 ft lbs of torque on a stock setup. I will be fabricating a 4" exhaust system with no muffler, which should give me even slightly more than this. The torque of the 6.9 ( as well as any diesel motor for that matter) makes them very happy with regards to hills and pulling heavy loads which is why I can't imagine they were struggling too much. Perhaps they were trying to avoid over heating, or maybe they turned the fuel up and were avoiding visible emissions (which many states have laws against). I will be putting the biggest aluminum radiator I can possibly fit to keep everything nice and cool.
Regardless, like you said if it struggles I will add some turbo . Banks does make a kit for the IDI, but I doubt it would fit because of the doghouse. If it came to that, I would have to get creative with my fabrication skills to sneak a turbo (or 2) in there.

As far as the camper aspect of it, I want the van to be one compact, self sufficient unit (i.e. no trailer necessary). I am going to do a solar setup with plenty of battery and might carry a small portable generator and use as needed. Also I am going to install a propane system so that will run my fridge, heater, stove, and hot water. My camping style is far from luxury so really all I need electricity for is lighting, music, water pump (I do want a small sink and outdoor shower), the occasional small things (cell phone, GPS coffee grinder, etc), and maybe an AC unit. Although I've thought about it a lot, this stuff is far from completely planned out since that part of the project is a little ways down the road.

Thanks for the input!
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