Chevy V8 diesels - whoooaaaa!!

Submitted: Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 11:34
ThreadID: 31834 Views:11607 Replies:22 FollowUps:16
This Thread has been Archived
Well, in the search for a replacemnt for the stolen 'Cruiser, I had a drive down to Brunswick Diesels (about an hour'n a bit from me) to have a look at those Chevy V8 diesels. I was impressed, very impressed.

My latest option for replacing "The stolen one" is to buy a GU ST Nissan Patrol with a wrecked motor or with a 2.8 turbo diesel (same thing isn't it?) and put a V8 Chevy diesel in it. I had a look around the workshop and as an-ex mechanic, I was again impressed. These guys are mechanics and not just parts fitters.

Had a look at a couple of installed motors and some being readied to be fitted. Then - the biggy,,,,,,,,,,I took 2 trucks for a drive. These were both Nissan Patrol coil sprung ute's. One had a normlly aspirated Chevy V8 the other a turbo V8.

I took the turbo version first. This had a higher 3.7 ratio diff. It was an experience. I used to own the same type of truck, but with 4.2 TD in it. But this was different, very different! This Brunswick truck was the closest thing you'll get to the best Japanese 4WD engine produced so far (IMO) - the Toyota HDT-FE that was in my old 'Cruiser. Even the owner of Brunswick reckoned I'd been spoiled by driving that GXL turbo diesel and I had to agree with him. But the Brunwsick comes very close and it's a lot less complex an engine than the GXL engine - no fancy electronic ECUs to fail in the bush. If the Brunswick packed it when in the bush, I could get it going - unless the it was a catastrophic failure.

The turbo V8 doesn't have that V8 "burble' that instantly identifies a V8. The turbo takes out the exhaust pulses and produce a slight whine instead. The acceleration was very acceptable with the high ratio diff in it, easily comparable with the 'Cruiser, and better than all standard 4WDs - until the turbo kicked in. Then it was off like an arsehot greyhound! It was at 110 kmh in no time. But it was progressive and not a neck snapping excercise. At 100 kmh it accelerated quickly without pause to 130 kmh (naughty, naughty) in 5th gear with out any delay or waiting. Not bad for a diesel. I was very taken with it. I wanted one there and then. I was beginning to think that I hoped my stolen GXL was never found!!

Then Greg, the owner of Brunswick offered me the non-turbo V8. Again, it was in a tray back Nissan ute.This one had the normal (lower) diff ratio in it at 4.3. When it started, the feel and sound was immediately different. It felt like V8, it sounded like a V8. I think I became sexually excited at this point! But this was no time for distraction! Off we went. I couldn't help it, as much I tried, spinning the wheels in the red gravel out Brunswick's. I took off slow, as the truck was a stranger to me but it still kicked up dirt. Out on the main South West Highway, I gave it a big bootful and whoooaaaaaa! It accelerated quicker than the turbo V8, which would be expected with this normal shorter diff in it. It was up to 110kmh in rag time and was easily willing to go more. I had to back off.

My mate, who was watching from the roadside, reckoned the truck front was pointing skywards at ever gear change except 4th to 5th!

We stopped turned around and I gave it some more "vindaloo" the way back. It was as good as GXL turbo anyday. It cruised at 110 kmh easily at 2200 rpm whilst the turbo version did this at 2100 rpm - higher geaing in the diff.

After listening to the noise level of a Chevy V8 that thad been fitted in oldwreck of Troopy, these were quieter. Two reasons - one the Troopy was old and had next to no carpeting in it. The other reason was that the V8 in the troopy was an older Chevy V8 that didn't have oil cooled piston crowns. This leads to the need for fitting looser spec pistons and hence more "diesel rattle". The newer versions of the Chev have oil cooled pistons and have tighter spec on the pistons. This keeps the "rattle" down. Even in a Nissan tray back ute with thin PVC carpeting and thin sound insulation, I could hold conversation with Greg at 100 kmh. It wasn't "GXL quiet" but it was OK. With some more sound insulation it would match the GXL.

We did discuss prices. The conversion of an Nissan GU to a Chevy V8 with new 12 inch clutch, upgrade to recon GQ gearbox, recon GQ diffs - all the good bullet proof Nissan stuff, would cost me around $20,000. But, if you want one, you best discuss this with Brunswick as it could be slightly different depending on what truck you want to convert. For $26,000.00 you can have a brand spanking new V8!!

The fit of the V8 into a Nissan looks neat, tidy, clean and looks like it belongs there. I could live with it easily.

If the "stolen one" is never returned then I'll be buying a cheap Nissan GU, probaly an ST, and sticking this monster in it. I'd have a truck that went as good as the GXL, was stronger and had more offroad ability. I'd uprate the Nissan rear coil springs to stop the Nissan "saggy bottom" when towing and a few other non-expensive bits and it should be an OK prospecting truck. The new truck would be accepted in "civilised company" around town, would ride better than a Troopy and would be quieter than a Troopy. It would also have a stronger driveline. My wife could still go shopping in it. And the whole project would be only 2/3 rds the price of a replacement GXL.

What d'ya reckon guys. Shall I do it??

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 11:51

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 11:51
Careful - sounds like a plan!

AnswerID: 161119

Reply By: Member - greg S (QLD) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:00

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:00
A V8 in a Patrol ute, what a combo!! Sounds like it's going to be better in the bush than your old GXL, cheaper to buy, better serviceability than the toyo, and probably cheaper to run. Slightly dearer rego I would imagine, but who cares, it's a V8.
I'm jealous ;))
If all is good and it makes you happy, then go for it.
(like to see some piccies when you get it)

Greg S
AnswerID: 161120

Reply By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:02

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:02

Sounds like you're verrrrry happy with it. Go for it. Waiting around here for responses is only going to get you totally confused. :)))))
AnswerID: 161122

Reply By: Member - Coyote (SA) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:08

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:08
Hey Bilbo.. didn't want to put it on the forum for fear of being shouted down for 'advertsing' but as you aren't amemebr I can't member MSG yo so here 'tis..
I have a 2.8 for sale if youare interested in going ahead.. although for fearof beeing shoted down.. .it;'s really not that bad a motor. It's done 180000k's and it is quicker off the mark and around town etc than my new 4.2TD.. Obviously one I load it up it tends to slow down.. but it;s got quite a few extra on it and might be the great 'base' for whic to do your conversion.. have a look at my add in the trader section. Cheers and whatever you decide have funa nd keep us posted on how it turns out.. sounds like fun..
AnswerID: 161123

Follow Up By: Member - Les L (WA) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 23:30

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 23:30

I'm now a member of this asylum. I activated my account this morning, I should have done it before now - but I'm sorta busy driving a Honda Accord V6 and checking out V8 Chevys and searchin' for well equiped Landcruiser!

Gee - it'd be nice to have a 4Wd decked out like a Honda Accord - buttons fer this, knobs fer that. Nice car to drive.

You would be "Damien"? If so, I saw your ad and I am interested. However, I have a few options here in Perth. See rest of thread below.

If they don't pan out I'll be in touch and thanks for the offer.

Take care,


FollowupID: 416015

Reply By: Atropos - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:20

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:20

Hobbits that do "wheelies" get labeled "disturbers of the peace"

You can only have it if you promise to behave yourself in future. (grin)

AnswerID: 161125

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:33

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:33
Well....what can I've got me all barred-up!!!! This is exactly what i want to do to my Patrol, but can't justify it at the moment cos the 4.2 is just running toooo sweetly.
There is presently a 6.5L n/a motor in a shorty MK Patrol for sale on ebay which I've been tempted to buy. Now you've got me thinking again!!!!
AnswerID: 161128

Reply By: Member - bushfix - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:42

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:42
(wiping the drool) G'day Bilbo, just out of interest, did you learn anything about the construction of the turbo they use? Are these fuel injected V8s?
AnswerID: 161131

Follow Up By: Bilbo - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 13:30

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 13:30

These Brunswick engines are diesel engines, mate. It's pretty difficult to have a diesel engine without fuel injection!!

FollowupID: 415875

Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 14:17

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 14:17
dah yeah realised what i'd typed after i hit the send button....

what about the turbo, bearing type?
FollowupID: 415884

Follow Up By: Member - Les L (WA) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 23:36

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 23:36
I don't know or care. Could be sleeve or rollers. They seem to have no failures, Besides, I'll prolly go with the non-turbo iwth a normal low ratio diff - but fit a turbo spec motor, for starters. If I still want more grunt, I'll retro fit a turbo.


FollowupID: 416017

Reply By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:48

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:48
Hi Bilbo,

I am putting a chevvy V8 is my LC dual cab ute and then....I"m selling it !! if you're interested in a v8 dual cab, let me know...


AnswerID: 161133

Reply By: Member - Bware (Tweed Valley) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:56

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 12:56
Sounds freakin' fantastic! Just do it, mate. You don't want to be wondering later on what it would have been like to have a truck like that; life's too short.
AnswerID: 161134

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 13:05

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 13:05
WOW I like the got me thinking now :)
AnswerID: 161138

Reply By: Gerhardp1 - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 14:25

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 14:25
Why wait Bilbo - go for it ASAP!!!!

Since you'll be putting some General gear into a Nissan to make it perfect, why not go a bit further and put the Nissan into one of these and then put the Chevvy in.

I'm told you can buy rusted out patrols in the Cairns region for small bucks....

I wish I had the garage space and the expertise to have a go at a project like that!!

AnswerID: 161151

Follow Up By: Member - Les L (WA) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 23:50

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 23:50

Thanks fer the link, but I want a prospecting truck not a "show pony". I think $20,000 is enough fer now! I have a SMBO to convince about all of this. But I reckon I've sold her on it. Now all I gotta do is sell her o the latest development - see below.


FollowupID: 416019

Reply By: Gossy - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 14:46

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 14:46
Hate to be a party pooper with all the good news and encouragement going on in the forum but I guess it's worth asking yourself what you will be using it for. My concern would be the extra fuel consumption. What is it's touring range on dirt roads etc etc. Does a much bigger fuel tank come with it? Obviously I don't know how you use your vehicle but it could happen that your touring range could be cut quite dramatically which makes trips like the Simpson etc etc much harder to plan.
AnswerID: 161153

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 14:54

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 14:54

My understanding of these donks is that if you can bring yourself to NOT stomp the go pedal too much, they aren't much thirstier than my 4.2 Patrol T/D. I use about 15 to 16 litres/100klm and I believe the 6.5 uses about 17L/100 if driven sensibly (ie: no squeeling the wheels etc)
FollowupID: 415886

Follow Up By: Topcat (WA) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 18:14

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 18:14
Hi Roachie, I have clocked up over 90,000km in my troopie which has a 6.5 normally aspirated chevy under the bonnet & average around 14.7litres/100km on trips provided I keep the revs at or below the 2 grand mark which gives me a cruising speed of 100km/hr (3.7:1 high speed diffs). Economy wise this is better then what I was getting out of my old 1HZ!!! Cheers
FollowupID: 415925

Follow Up By: Member - Les L (WA) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 23:57

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 23:57
Topcat and others,

Your about on the money there mate. I used to get 17litres/100 km towing an 18 foot van with "the stolen one". From what I've heard, the Chevy's are about the same fuel consumption as the Toyota HDT-Fe.

I'm not a "boot it' driver, but I do like it to be there when I need it.

FollowupID: 416021

Reply By: cokeaddict - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 16:44

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 16:44
Absolutely dare you !!!

Ya mug lair..and at your age...sheesh.

Mate go for it.... Ive thought of same for my GQ, but reality is, I cant justify the cost. But i dont get away as much as most of you guys do.

Tell me, was the diff ratio change a request by the owner or does it have to be done? Personally id wouldnt like to change mine at all as i think its perfect for what i do.
Did they tell you what it would cost to have the engine supplied and fitted without any of the other stuff they seggested like gearbox overhauls and stuff, I know mine are fine so i wouldnt need it done. If anything went wrong i could repair it myself.

Very interesting report by the way..well done.
AnswerID: 161168

Follow Up By: Member - Les L (WA) - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 00:11

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 00:11
The diff ratio change would be a customer order. The one i drove belonged to Greg, the owner of Brunswick Diesels.

I would suspect that the swap would be about $3K to $4k cheaper if you had good trans and diffs etc. I wouldn't consider swapping to Chevy without having the drivelines that are fitted in Nissan GQs and GU0 excluding, of course, the 2.8 diesel.

Diff ratios depend a lot on where the power & torque comes in at what RPM and at what pint you want it come in. But a normal Nissan ratio would do the job without losing too much economy. A higher diff ratio would be better for ecomony or long trips on bitumen.


FollowupID: 416023

Reply By: big red car - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 17:33

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 17:33
hi bilbo,

we put a 6.5 in our 62 series cruiser 3 years ago. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!. the 3in system sounds great, the only thing that can be a bit of a bother is when we get stoped by guys wanting to ask a million and one questions. if you do go ahead , spend the extra bucks and get the motor balanced, it's worth the cost.

AnswerID: 161182

Reply By: Exploder - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 18:56

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 18:56
I want one, I want one, I Want one, I want one, I want on, I Want One
AnswerID: 161200

Reply By: dieselup - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 19:23

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 19:23
He who hesitates is lost Bilbo
AnswerID: 161207

Reply By: Member - Pud & Barb R (NSW) - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 20:09

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 20:09
Hi Bilbo,
We were thinking of doing that too when our 3ltre blew. After reading this, it's on the menu again. Because we only had to pay for labour when ours was rebuilt, we figure going for the V8 would be cheaper than purchasing a 4.2 as we want to offload it. Some prices I got earlier was $15,000.00 drive in, drive out from Albury, NSW, or Perth, start up kit, includes everything to fit to our auto GU Patrol was $13,000.00.
Now that our 3 litre is going, we figure we can sell the rebuilt engine and make the V8 dream a little bit closer to happening. But then, we may have to pay someone to cart the heap of sh**t away, who want's a 3 litre.
You've definately started something in this household Bilbo, again. WE WANT ONE, NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!
AnswerID: 161219

Reply By: Kiwi B - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 22:02

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 22:02
New poster but been peekin' off"n"on fer a while.
Blimey fullah, ya surely know how to set the cat amongst the pigeons. I'd already decided to make do with me 2.8 Pufftrol and ya go and post things like this. Man this could almost cause a divorce. Not allowed to get more enjoyment from vehicle than............ Better stop now. Seems like our conundrums are taking very similar paths.
Much head-scratching to follow,
Bruce H.

Minor points (as suggested) :- Soft suspension
Only 125ish litres fuel.
Dusty/leaky tail door.
AnswerID: 161246

Follow Up By: Member - Les L (WA) - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 00:16

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 00:16

You Kiwi lurker you!! Put a Chev in that sewing machine of yours and LIVE!!

Get some jerry cans,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

The back doors can be welded shut!!

But if you're coming to Meeka with me, I ain't stopping and making a brew while I wait for you every hour on the hour!

FollowupID: 416025

Reply By: Turbo - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 23:24

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 23:24
AnswerID: 161264

Follow Up By: Member - Les L (WA) - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 00:35

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 00:35

I'm not sure. I don't know of anyone that's tried. Brunswick specialise in Chevys only as far as I know. But what a truck that would be. I'd buy a dozen tomorrow!

The biggest probs would the clutch. These Chevys have to have an adaptor plate on the flywheel to take the Nissan spigot and the 12 inch clutch. There's a lot of time and money in getting that right on it's own. Plus, you'd have to match up the dashboard electrics with HDT- FE engine, That's not too bad but it''s messy to do from the start unless someone else has done it before. Engine mounts can be an issue but it's not major.

Greg at Brunswicks started this Chevy V8 thing 20 years ago and he's had time to figure out how to do the "fiddly bits". So they get done quicker rather than messing around in yer shed for 6 months trying this and trying that.

But it's an idea and look whats been started with "just an idea" over history,,,,,,,,,,,

World War 2

The atomic bomb


Cane toads

Junk food

Warm beer (poms!)

Kiwis allowed into "Oz" without a passport (sorry Bruce!)

Political Correctness

Home rule for Dubbo!

John Howard - he musta been someones idea at one time ;)

All good stuff mate ;)


FollowupID: 416029

Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 00:35

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 00:35
There's a problem all right - the Nissan rejects it outright - how dare you suggest a toyo over a General donc !!!!

Now if you put a Nissan donc into a toyo, the diffs break even faster......
FollowupID: 416030

Follow Up By: Member - Les L (WA) - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 01:04

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 01:04

Have you ever driven a car with an Toyota HDT-FE motor in it?

Mate, if ya did, you'd never want sex again!!

Believe me, the HDT-FE is better than a Chevy V8 but only by a gnat's pubic hair! Plus HDT-FEs aren't that common. Chevy V8s are common all over the world and "one size fits all".


FollowupID: 416035

Reply By: Member - Les L (WA) - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 00:55

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 00:55
I had a look at 2.8 GU ST wagon with a blown motor this morning. It looks the ideal conversion truck. Plus I can get it real cheap. Only 2 probs,,,,,,,,

One, the insurance company won't pay up fer a few weeks yet and the guy wants the money NOW.

Second, it's the one colour of car that I always said I would never buy - Metallic Red duco! Can't stop it from fading! It's a PIA. Why anyone insists on buying red cars in high UV areas like "Oz" is beyond me.

There is a 3rd problem,,,,,,,,,,,I wanna get this project moving now. I can afford to to buy the wrecker GU and get it down to Brunswick for a new motor before the insurance company calls it quits and pays out. I wanna get out and get some gold before summer is again upon the land of "Oz", before the shadows get shorter and the drinks get longer.

BUT, if I buy this GU and put a V8 in it, you can bet yer ginger freckle that "The Stolen One" will turn up!! That would really impress my SWMBO!! She would go into "orbital release" and that's not a sight for a grown man to observe. Knicker elastic becomes too tight, veins pop, froth appears and WATCH OUT!!!

"TWO 4WDs!!! what do we want with TWO 4WD's??!!?? Hmmm???? We could buy 2 houses with what you paid for TWO 4WDs!!"

There is also a fourth problem that I forgot to mention. If I do get this GU wagon and if I do put a V8 Chevy in it and if do think it's the dog's boll***ks and if "The Stolen One" is finally found,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,which one do I throw to the wolves??? (Sophies Choice eh!)

I'm working on it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I got a permanent headache, I can't sleep but I'm working on it.

AnswerID: 161272

Follow Up By: awill4x4 - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 20:08

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 20:08
Les, out of curiosity. Just how much does it cost for a 2.8 GU with a blown motor? You'll probably have to change the diff ratio's as the 2.8's use a 4.6 ratio but here's the good bit, all the competition guys will fall over themselves to take them off your hands.
Regards Andrew.
FollowupID: 416127

Follow Up By: Bilbo - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 20:37

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 20:37

The next part of the saga will be in another thread. This oens' getting a bit long and dated.

So, I've bought the blown GU ST today,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it was a steal!

Thanks for the tip on the diifs. That's another part I can sell ;)

See next instalment, coming soon,,,,,,,,,

FollowupID: 416132

Reply By: Member-Neil & Margie-Cairns - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 14:55

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 14:55
Wonder will one fit in the Paj ,, somehow i dought it ,, bugger !!

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 161343

Reply By: dieselup - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 21:31

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 21:31
Talked to a bloke today about it Bilbo ,he's abit of a Nissan nut ,he reckons the big petrols are the go for conversions they've alreadygot the heavy box etc
Might be worth a look
AnswerID: 161405

Follow Up By: Bilbo - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 22:32

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 22:32

Too late mate, I'm afraid. See my new thread on the subject.

I've now got 1999 2.8 turbo diesel Nissan with a blown big and and only paid $12,000.00 for it. This will be the conversion truck. The big petrols are much dearer than that and on balance, I'd be paying more overall by paying for a big petrol Nissan even though they have the stronger driveline in 'em.

But thanks for the suggestion.

Bilbo (Les)
FollowupID: 416155

Sponsored Links