Hi! and thanks for the hearty welcome in the newbies section. I introduced a question in the newbies section and someone suggested I post it elsewhere. Here is my situation
I want to buy an 80's van and put a diesel engine in it. My purpose of the diesel is for better fuel economy and the ability to put svo (in some ratio) straight into the fuel tank. I have seen in posts on other forums that bulk veggie oil is about $2 a gallon - I haven't found this out personally yet though.
I have seen a number of 80's van conversions for sale on the cheap. They almost all have V8 engines. Some have V6 or inline 6's
I am not sure how to begin this process. I don't know if I should find a van first and then get an engine that will fit in it or find the engine and then get a van it will fit in. I do know that right now all kinds of these older vans are available and pretty cheap, whether they have a v8, v6 or inline 6. I have not bought anything yet so I thought I would run this out to you all first. Here are my questions:
1. A fully dressed V8 engine weighs about 700 pounds. I am trying to minimize changes to the vehicle (suspension, cutting the firewall, etc). Can I find a V6 diesel that will be the same size (or smaller) and the same weight (or lighter) than the V8 gas engine? From what I have read so far I am guessing that the inline 6's and V6's are both going to be much larger and heavier than their gas counterparts. I have also seen some inline 4's advertised but I don't know if they would have enough power.
2. To those of you who have had vans of this vintage can you recommend a brand that you feel would be easier to work with, i.e. Ford, Chevy, etc? I know that the Ford van has the larger hood - almost car-like up front - so the conversion process itself might be easier. I am not really a Ford fan though
3. How much power am I going to need? Ever 2 years I will be touring the U.S., driving about 10-12,000 miles in six months. I will be driving across Colorado and up and over other mountains. I hope to be able to cruise at 70 on flat land and at least 55 up the hills. I may tow a trailer but more than likely it will be a tent trailer, less than 3 feet tall. It doesn't have to be a thunderbolt but I do need to merge into rush hour traffic. I would like to carry 30 or more gallons of fuel so that I can be a little choosy about where I stop or so that I can take the less traveled roads.
4. Do turbo's improve mileage?
5. I am thinking it would be better to do a complete heart transplant, i.e. engine and tranny together. I want to have a 4 speed or 5 speed stick - preferably with an overdrive.
6. I have heard of gas inline 6's getting 20 mpg. My dream of all dreams is to be able to get 25 mpg ( or better).
7. I am willing to do some mods on the vehicle to improve mileage also - maybe lowering the whole vehicle 1", etc. I am also willing to change the rear end.
How should I begin?