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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y’all I’m a bit of a beginner with wrenching so after doing a few minor fixes on trucks, diesels I decided the best way to learn was to do a frame up build complete with new bushings, frame coating and a body off paint job not to mention the engine swap. The reason I’m taking the 454 out (I know a lot of you will say “keep the 454”) well it’s not mine. I went halfers on the 97 c3500 hd with a friend who wanted the BBC/4l80e so all im left with is everything else (cab, frame, all the electronics are still in the truck) and the 6.5 is out of my 95 k1500 z71 that will eventually get a duramax so long story short I have an engine/trans, I have an empty shell of a truck and I’m spending most of my days thinking about how to get the necessary Electronics from the 6.5 to work in the c3500 might seem like a dumb question but like I said I just have a bit of experience with mechanical things and none with electronics yet so any help in learning would be awesome thanks in advance.
 

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Swapping gas to diesel is a lot of work.
Other than the Complete engine, and trans you need:
the complete fuel system, including the tank.
The complete 6.5 diesel wiring harness for engine, transmission, and under dash. Including the Diesel Gauge cluster..
Must have a proper PCM compatable to the engine, year, and trans, combo.
Cooling system hoses, lines. overflow, tank, radiator. Engine and trans oil Coolers and lines.
Complete hydro steer steering column assembly. So you will have power steering and brakes.
Complete diesel air intake system.
Diesel Exhaust system
This is just the short list off the top of my head.
 

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What do you mean by a ".. bit of beginner.." and ".. a bit of experience with mechanical things..."

Transplanting an engine with different type of fuel is not of "a bit" type of mechanics.
It is not even for an experienced mechanic working at Jiffy Lube.

There are other threads here and other forums that will give you a little "bit" of review on what it takes to do this.
This one is not exactly the same as your case but very similar:
 

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Sticking with gas by just switching the engine to another gas engine is ten times less work than swapping a gas to a diesel engine.
I will suggest finding a less used 350 or a crate engine and just go HEI ignition/timing (holley carb/injection etc)

If you really REALLY want a 6,5d, you have to be picky with the used engines. A good majority of them suffers from bad bottom ends like cracks in the spots that holds the crankshaft in place.
The market flourishes with used DB4 equipped injection pumps, I'm not personally a fan of those, but there are some that favours it, over the vastly superior DB2 injection pump. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Swapping gas to diesel is a lot of work.
Other than the Complete engine, and trans you need:
the complete fuel system, including the tank.
The complete 6.5 diesel wiring harness for engine, transmission, and under dash. Including the Diesel Gauge cluster..
Must have a proper PCM compatable to the engine, year, and trans, combo.
Cooling system hoses, lines. overflow, tank, radiator. Engine and trans oil Coolers and lines.
Complete hydro steer steering column assembly. So you will have power steering and brakes.
Complete diesel air intake system.
Diesel Exhaust system
This is just the short list off the top of my head.
I have the full 6.5 truck and everything it needed to run im stripping it because it’s getting a duramax down the line my main concern is basically just help with knowing what to solder from the 6.5 harness to whatever I may need to wire to the chassis harness. thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What do you mean by a ".. bit of beginner.." and ".. a bit of experience with mechanical things..."

Transplanting an engine with different type of fuel is not of "a bit" type of mechanics.
It is not even for an experienced mechanic working at Jiffy Lube.

There are other threads here and other forums that will give you a little "bit" of review on what it takes to do this.
This one is not exactly the same as your case but very similar:
I’ve worked on brakes replaced exhaust manifolds/systems, suspension components steering components, even some engine work (just not a full on engine build) ive worked on the running 6.5 for the last 2 years but when I started tearing it apart to clean heads and Intake (egr is clogging it up) I decided I may as well Prep the other truck to take the motor. as of right now the rear end is repainted has new bushings and shocks interior is stripped apart from the dash the whole front of the truck is naked (no fenders, grill) so next step is to pull the cooling stack set it aside to transfer the 6.5 cooling and start taking out the 454 I’ll redo the suspension when the motor is out since everything will be easily accessible and I’ll send the cab to paint. So I still have a while before I have to worry about the 6.5 to “new” truck wiring dilema but it’s the only thing I’m not confident on
 

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Are you going to keep the 6.5 electronic IP or use a mechanical IP?
 

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Then just need to do a lot of homework comparing electrical diagram of the 2 engines/trucks.
Electrical is actually the hardest one.
The mechanical parts just need tool and knowledge.
The electrical parts needs tool, knowledge and patience/time.
 

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Trying to modify a gasser harness to an electronic diesel would
be one step above building a new harness, I don’t recommend that.
Find a 96-up 6.5td under hood main harness. It will be OBD2.
It will be very close and the 97 will require minimal adjustments.
The dash harness on the 97 will work with minor adjustments.
The APP and VSSB will need to be added to the dash harness.
If you decide to do the 6.5 transplant just ask.
Lots of knowledgeable folks here.
I do the harnesses for these types of conversions.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Trying to modify a gasser harness to an electronic diesel would
be one step above building a new harness, I don’t recommend that.
Find a 96-up 6.5td under hood main harness. It will be OBD2.
It will be very close and the 97 will require minimal adjustments.
The dash harness on the 97 will work with minor adjustments.
The APP and VSSB will need to be added to the dash harness.
If you decide to do the 6.5 transplant just ask.
Lots of knowledgeable folks here.
I do the harnesses for these types of conversions.
This is the kind of info I’m looking for thanks I’ll try to see how difficult it would be to get ahold of one I don’t really want to but It might be good to learn how to tie in the harnesses if i can’t find one, thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Then just need to do a lot of homework comparing electrical diagram of the 2 engines/trucks.
Electrical is actually the hardest one.
The mechanical parts just need tool and knowledge.
The electrical parts needs tool, knowledge and patience/time.
That’s what I’m starting to figure out I’ve found a full diagram gonna try to write out a plan of what wires/colors need to get spliced where. that’s kind of what I meant about the “beginner” part the only thing I’ve never really touched was the electrical side but I know a good amount of the mechanical parts of the truck
 
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