Started this post yesterday morning… got “GMC Motorhome” up and whooooooossssssshhhhhh, I was sucked out into the shop and it was over. One big thing was forced to happen yesterday though…. I got the Manny/ GM 6.5 turboiesel coach out for a ride. OK so f ths drive report means nothing tyou, skip over the blue print. Personally having a really “NEW” motor to fit ell like this in the coach … I feel this will add 10 years and a pile of new interest for driving a GMC and using it. Manny recognized this and had been working on a diesel alternative for some time. How bout that 4BT motor out of a bread truck he installed in his coach? Worked but had to t a turbo to get up Manny’s driveway plus having to cut and weld the block… it was cool he made that but he proved it was not realistic. Now Manny gets excited abut stuff like this and really ves in. Then Manny hooked up with AM General… you know, the folks who brought us the H-I Hummve… H-2 and then messed up with the H-3 but till…. Manny got with them and together they engineer an actual Hum V military application NEW crate motor to maintain the military fleet. Yes, yes, yes… a mechanically injected (no &^%$#$ computer), rock solid (built JAN spec. able to work after the EM blast from a Neutron bomb…. bad ass solid as the Army turbo-diesel motor yep… and it was fitted to our GMC Motorhome front wheel drive train.
Oops, forgot to go to blue….. so you other guys got a taste of what we’re talking about… here’s page 2….. So this is the first company installed GM 6.5 turbo-diesel let loose on the road. There were 5 so far put into our coach but they were from Manny and other folks proving up that it could be done. We pitched into the project to install the drive train and document processes and modification that needs to happen to put it in plus create a sort of labor guide to do the job. Already a really nice Explorer II restored coach from the middle 90’s.. this one is perfect to document what it takes to just do the diesel swap. The project was done of course on our lift but a great deal of studying before the fact was done . I’ve done many motor swaps over the years in cars as well as our GMC but this would be my first diesel. A really wanted to know what this is all about! I’m not going to go through all that here… maybe later but take it from me, it was a blast figuring and documenting all this. We have to invest our company “sweat equity” in this project. Anything done for the first time takes so much more than you can charge for… that’s our offering to the project. Mechanically speaking to get the lump in the hole is @ 50-70 hours. Then connecting and modifying all that to the coach begins. Another 20-30 hours of that… and our punch list is down to swapping the tach out for a non trigger diesel tach, the transmission sender took a dump and the original cruise control could not be made to pull the throttle well.
But the motor is in and she runs Now having diesel in the 2 original fuel tanks, the coach also sports a marine application diesel Kubota generator on a slide! That last weled upright was POR-15ed don’t worry…
So it finally happens….. after 3 days of sitting out there waiting, I forced time to go for a test drive. Willie and Nelson came along for the ride to pick up some laminate for Bill D. interior
On the way out I drove, Nelson took over going back to the shop…. My feeling is…….
With it’s huge compression ratio, you need to push the boost battery switch to get a smooth start. Turn on the key… count to at least 6 to let the glow plugs do their thing then fire that mother up! It jerks to a loud start right away and has the sound of… Lets go man…. There was little to no exhaust noise, it was all motor noise but as it warmed up that actually did go down just like they said it would. Throttle response was very smooth.. actually smoother torque transition than the 45. I mean I pushed the gas and it started moving right away but it wasn’t a head jerking G-force. It dug in and continued to dig after the gas motor would winp out. No, it wasn’t like the 2 GM Duramax/Allison drive train in that Workhorse chassis we did… no it wasn’t that… it was a better balanced, smooth power curve.
Gotta tell ya guys, if GM WAS still building these things it would have a diesel motor probably much like this one. Oh sure, you can have an OBD-II computer controlled electronic nightmare and have the Geek Squad follow you… I prefer this thing… a rock solid… military spec diesel that every diesel mechanic started school on this motor… no computer, proven rock solid mechanical injection. You can scratch the ground all day like a chicken boasting about the aluminum valve cover hey and that’s fine. I dig the Plexiglas engine cover with blue LED’s on Capt. Dave’s coach That’s Capt. Dave and Andy & Angela’s place. But if you just want to be done with it and have a grunt torque factory sort of drive train…. brother this is it All GM parts installed with some custom pieces… easy to work on, easy to find parts…. Oh and performance……. using the 273 Eldo diff gear, on moderate hills at 65mph…. they are telling me the numbers work out to 16mpg. A WANT TO SEE THAT! As you know though the calculators don’t lie. Some test driver might get this but if it will do that even close in the real world… I’m all in!
Hey, I love my roller cam 455 stump puller and it’s a fine performer but THIS really is a viable option.
Expensive… yes… when all the checks are done you are looking at a $30,000 full deal plus maybe a little more. I mean I gotta get a new tach now but lets just say if you are looking at out of pocket cash dump.. you can put an original 455 Olds plant in there for less and get great results! This though really makes the GMC Motorhome something for the future. A NEW motor, a NEW TURBO-DIESEL motor in your 40 year old motorhome, for many I will tell you this is their goal and now it’s possible! So Manny….. you Da Man!
And THIS is a bad ass coach Now the next bad ass diesel is now ready to be woken up. A number of months ago.. actually before we did the other coach we dropped this same diesel in Cedric’s coach now named “Ruby”. .. Ruby is a 1973 number 41 off the assembly line …. the project is to bring Ruby to state of the art in every way… including putting in one of Manny’s awesome diesels… we did that and here is his motor in the hole Still in the hands of my mechanics, we are now doing the wake up steps With both of these Ex-Marines on task… already getting the other motor to the road… AND working with these crate motors in the military man, Ruby is in good hands While it’s a beautiful day and the coach is out under the shadetrees, the paint guys went at their business on Ruby
Arthur is sanding the front hoods while Jose took off the entry door to get it fixed back there behind him… BTW yep, that’s Arthur DA sanding the back sides of the front hoods….
Like I said before our teams attack projects like ants on a cake… at least we’re tryin…
Tomorrow I’ll take you back inside for progress on Bill D. now concourse project. See ya then and thanks for the visit….