Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: The Motor City, Michigan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
There was a 2.3-liter turboDiesel factory option in the 1980s. If you can find the parts, this is the most straightforward swap as all the engineering & design has already been done for you.
A 4-cylinder, 4-stroke Diesel engine has a LOT of torque ripple - much more than a gas engine of the same net torque output. You can't casually swap a gas engine out and a Diesel engine in without re-engineering the clutch/flywheel/harmonic damper/torque converter/et al.
If you're going to go to the effort of swapping transmissions, why select a 3-speed non-lockup non-overdrive THM350 when 4-speed lockup overdrive transmissions exist?
With or without an overdrive, you'll need a different final drive ratio - you definitely don't want to be cruising at 3000 rev/min. You'll probably also want something beefier than the stock 7.5-inch axle.
A 4BT is heavy. You'll need to change the front springs, and then you'll need to change the front shocks.
Douglas Campbell, P.E.
1986 Isuzu P'up, 177,673.8 miles.
- Hella headlights (highly recommended)
- DOT C-2 back end (also recommended)
- R-12 air conditioner converted to R-406a. Saved ozone and money
- 4.1:1 final drive converted to 3.4:1. Quieter, better mileage but it's a good thing I live in the flat Midwest.
- 9/22/2007, age 21: Still running well when reluctantly sent away for reincarnation, due to body & frame rust.
- Never did get around to converting it to french-fry oil, which is why I originally stumbled upon this site.
Last edited by drcampbell; 10-18-2009 at 02:59 PM.