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Discussion Starter #1
hi guys,

i imagine this swap has been talked to death. please point me in the right direction.

my 1999 c2500 suburban (turbo 6.5l) was in an accident on 27may20 (other driver at fault) and her insurance company is totaling the vehicle. i'm thinking about keeping it because i also have a 1986 c20 suburban (na 6.2l) that i actually prefer and would like to replace the 6.2l+trans with the 6.5l+trans. what problems would i likely run into in a swap like that?

on the other hand, if feasable, i could just repair it and continue using it. from above ground it looks like mostly sheet metal damage. i guess i need to get under it to see if there is any obvious damage underneath. thanks,

peyton

ps: it has original engine/transmission w/138k miles, new a/c compressor, straight no-rust body and gm (i think) aluminum wheels.
 

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Are you keeping the DB2 injection pump and putting it on the 6.5? or going to transfer the complete package over?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Are you keeping the DB2 injection pump and putting it on the 6.5? or going to transfer the complete package over?
really can't answer that question yet. i just got the insurance offer on it today but without any knowledge on it at all, i just assumed that it would be best to transfer over the complete package. at this point i'm trying to gather info. thanks,

peyton
 

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really can't answer that question yet. i just got the insurance offer on it today but without any knowledge on it at all, i just assumed that it would be best to transfer over the complete package. at this point i'm trying to gather info. thanks,

peyton
If you transfer the complete package I believe you would need all of the electronics, ECM, engine/trans harness and cluster transferred over.
Swapping over the DB2 Injection pump would probably make the transition a little easier
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you transfer the complete package I believe you would need all of the electronics, ECM, engine/trans harness and cluster transferred over.
Swapping over the DB2 Injection pump would probably make the transition a little easier
thanks, that is the kind of info i am after ... all things being equal i am definitely in favor of easier ... so much to learn. thanks,

peyton
 

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Isn't there a clearance issue with the stock 6.5 turbo setup and the AC box in the square bodies? If its an AC truck don't you need a Banks setup?

How does one deal with the speedometer? I assume an 86 is still mechanical. Is there a electronic and mechanical combo available for the 80e? You will need the electronic to keep the computers happy. Or if he is going to a mechanical IP then what do the stand alone trans controllers need for signals? I would imagine there is a way to do it but if you have to search for rare or buy new modules the costs can really start to add up.
 
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I am not an expert but from what I have read, it is not impossible but it is not as easy as people think.

The engine block is interchangeable but then all the peripherals will require some detail works.
I am sure, you realize that the truck comes from different generation.
So, there are big differences between the truck in terms of technology.
Unless you can DIY with the proper knowledge, I suspect the whole job will not be cheap.

At this time, all of the 6.5L truck will be totaled if they are damaged.
I am even afraid to claim insurance for hail damage because the insurance will just total it.

Fixing the body damage is a lot easier if the damage is not in the engine.

JMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
hi guys,

your responses makes me realize that the swap is much more difficult than i had hoped ... thanks for helping protect me from myself. i have accepted the insurance offer and taken possession of the vehicle. it looks like the best road is to either repair, part-out or sell-to-salvage. i am currently having a preliminary estimate made by a local body shop and we will see how that goes. otherwise it will go to my sons shop and we will determine if it is feasible for us to repair it.

for those interested, the suburban has 138K easy miles, good engine and transmission, straight rust-free body, new ac (last year), aluminum rims and pretty good tires. the offer was roughly $5000 less buy back of $500 which i thought was reasonable. the insurance company repair estimate, made from photos, came to $3500 of which was $1300 was paint.

peyton
 

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I know you can't go easily replace that truck for $5k but from a real world prospective I too would have taken that offer. To most especially an insurance company you just had a 20 year old truck there.

The good thing is at least the body parts are not special to the diesel or even a 2500 so it should not be too difficult to find the parts or even a whole donor rig.
 

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Post up some photos of the carnage.
What part of the country are you in?
 

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for those interested, the suburban has 138K easy miles, good engine and transmission, straight rust-free body, new ac (last year), aluminum rims and pretty good tires. the offer was roughly $5000 less buy back of $500 which i thought was reasonable. the insurance company repair estimate, made from photos, came to $3500 of which was $1300 was paint.
That is a very reasonable estimate to fix it and reasonable settlement by insurance co.

I can almost certain that you cannot do an engine swap at that price.

My suburban was painted 6 years ago and it costed me $3500.
That is with fixing a lot of body damage like holes for emergency strobe light (former fire truck), etc.
That is a very low mileage for a diesel engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks everybody,

i have now officially given up on the idea of swapping it and am now planning to repair it and it is now in my possession. i'll address your comments/questions individually:

I know you can't go easily replace that truck for $5k but from a real world prospective I too would have taken that offer. To most especially an insurance company you just had a 20 year old truck there.
The good thing is at least the body parts are not special to the diesel or even a 2500 so it should not be too difficult to find the parts or even a whole donor rig.
i agree it was a fair offer. and my next question was going to be about commonality of body parts. i knew the bumper was special but it's good to know the hood, fenders, doors, etc are common.

Post up some photos of the carnage.
What part of the country are you in?
i'll try to get some pics tomorrow. i'm in houston.

That is a very reasonable estimate to fix it and reasonable settlement by insurance co.
I am almost certain that you cannot do an engine swap at that price.
My suburban was painted 6 years ago and it costed me $3500.
That is with fixing a lot of body damage like holes for emergency strobe light (former fire truck), etc.
That is a very low mileage for a diesel engine.
it is the original engine/transmission and runs, knock on wood, very well. tomorrow i plan to remove a few damaged parts to see what it looks like underneath and hopefully get some decent pics. thanks for the encouraging responses,

peyton
 

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The JY have a lot of these type of suburban in their stock.
You should be able to find body parts for cheap.
Unless, there are some structural issue.
 

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If you do the swap and want to lose the computers and some wiring you could use a stand alone trans controller. We used one on a tbi to carburetor motor swap and it tells you speed also.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you do the swap and want to lose the computers and some wiring you could use a stand alone trans controller. We used one on a tbi to carburetor motor swap and it tells you speed also.
thanks for the info. i have pretty much decided against a swap. as it happens, i also had some ideas that a turbo 6.5 would go well into a 1967 riviera. i figured it should get over 30mpg easily.

here are the carnage pics i promised. i really don't think it is nearly so bad as the insurance guys imagined
 

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Discussion Starter #16
adding to the previous reply and pics:

the left front tire was destroyed when the bumper was pressed into it
underneath the grill, no sign of damage to any of the 4 radiators
the bumper bracket on the frame is bent ... duh
misc small things

all in all, it looks pretty straightforward to me: replace fender, bumper, grill, lights, misc-presently-unknown-things, paint and voila! what am i missing here? thanks,

peyton
 

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adding to the previous reply and pics:

the left front tire was destroyed when the bumper was pressed into it
underneath the grill, no sign of damage to any of the 4 radiators
the bumper bracket on the frame is bent ... duh
misc small things

all in all, it looks pretty straightforward to me: replace fender, bumper, grill, lights, misc-presently-unknown-things, paint and voila! what am i missing here? thanks,

peyton
If the bumper support is bent you'll need to inspect the frame where it mounts. It may be bent slightly or some torn/cracked metal, etc.
A BFH ( Big F** hammer) can correct slight bends:geek::p
Check tie rods for bends/cracks, Idler arm, Pitman, etc
Check oil cooler and lines carefully. If they are OEM then you can upgrade to Stainless braided during the repairs.
Check Harmonic balancer and pulley
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If the bumper support is bent you'll need to inspect the frame where it mounts. It may be bent slightly or some torn/cracked metal, etc.
A BFH ( Big F** hammer) can correct slight bends:geek::p
Check tie rods for bends/cracks, Idler arm, Pitman, etc
Check oil cooler and lines carefully. If they are OEM then you can upgrade to Stainless braided during the repairs.
Check Harmonic balancer and pulley
missing a lot i see ... thanks for the list. at least i have a BFH i can use
 

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Discussion Starter #19
after getting the grill and bumper off, i was able to get more pics of the damage. the only difficult problem i see is the bending of the front frame end by the core support mount. hopefully the port-a-power and BFH might take care of that. any comments? otherwise it looks like just replacing whats bent/broken. darn! forgot to check the harmonic balancer. once again, am i missing something else?

the hoses on the 2 small coolers look ok. were you suggesting replacing them anyway while i'm in there?

peyton

pic1 5829b everything looks straight on passenger side.

in comparison, the next 2 pics show damage on drivers side.
pic2 5830b bumper brackets and the core support mount
pic3 5832b better view of core support mount and frame

the next 3 pics are views of the front suspension and steering. no obvious damage or bending
pic4 5835b drivers side front suspension
pic5 5836b passenger side front suspenion
pic6 5839b steering mechanism
 

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No power steering fluid cooler?
 
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