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Old 01-04-2013, 03:29 PM   #1
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Question can you convert to diesel in an '89 winnebago?

I am new at all this so forgive me if my green shows. I am looking to buy a winnebago between 1982-1990. Found a great one that is a 1989 Winnie Warrior. It is a gas engine. Eventually anything I own I want to be a diesel. Is it possible to convert the 1989 Winnebago Warrior to Diesel. Ive looked all over the interent and can't find anything to support either a yes or a no. Hoping someone with some knowledge here mgiht shed some light on it.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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It is possible, but very difficult, to swap engine types. The whole fuel system needs to be changed, along with modifications to the electrical system. I am a master auto technician with 45 years of experience, and I wouldn't even think about trying it myself.

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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It's possible, but not cost effective. If you're doing it yourself, it would make more sense. I don't live in California, but I believe the state would make the conversion even more difficult with their emission requirements. In addition to changing the engine, the transmission and probably the differential would also have to be changed because of the different RPM/torque requirements of a diesel. Starting with a diesel pusher is probably cheaper and way less headaches.

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:52 PM   #4
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Been done many times, but you prolly wont find many RV's. I do recall one, I think, on here awhile back. Might be easier to look for pick-up conversions and adapt the techniques to your needs...
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:45 PM   #5
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Here's a conversion in the works right now.

Dodge 440 to 5.9 Cummins Diesel conversion
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:13 PM   #6
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Anything can be done, if you have the skill and/or enough money. My experience is 'Greenies' usually have the money, but not the skill. It would only require buying the engine of your choice along with a tranny that matches up. After that you would need to fabricate the proper engine mounts for the chassis, then the cross-member and mount for the tranny. Fuel conversion is easy, just get rid of the stupid gas vapor system in the tank and put in a high volume fuel pump. You would have to repurpose the ignition switch over to activating the fuel valve and shutting down the valve in the off position, as well as activating the start-up engine heaters on turn on. Oh, one more thing, when your wonderful government decided to remove the sulfer from diesel fuel, they not only took out 25% of the BTU's, but that also removed the lubrication from the internal parts. This means that any diesel engine that used the fuel to lubricate the parts like the fuel injectors and pumps would go bad after 20 to 30 thousand miles, so keep that in mind, because this covers about 80% of the older diesels out there. Also diesels lost about 20 to 30% of their milage, so that coupled with the higher cost of fuel compared to regular gas, it might actually cost a lot more to run them. The only advantage to them is torque. A gas engine just can't match up to them for power. There is also a certain feel to a diesel engine that only a 'motorhead' can understand.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:22 PM   #7
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Best way to do this is to buy a wrecker chassis w/intact running gear you want. Then swap it out for the OEM stuff.
You will likely run into issues w/fit you will need to work out. Might need a new doghouse, doghouse cutout. You'll have to deal w/the fuel delivery methods right down to gas pedal. You'll have to work out the cooling for the diesel which is much more needy if its a turbo engine.

Its a pretty sizable project, not a drop-in solution. Gunna take guts, perseverence & a lotta know how.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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Yikes! How much time and money do you have?

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Old 01-05-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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What engine is in your winnie? If it is a 454 hevy, the GM6.2L diesel willprobably replace it. That was done in the marine industry several years ago. You eoud still have to handle, fuel, cooling, etc. etc. issues.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:29 PM   #10
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Yawn...sure, anyone with basic skills can do it if the Warrior you are looking at is a Class C with the Ford E350 or Chevy 3500 frontend.

But, you MUST start with a donor vehicle with the same or later model year and that has the factory Diesel engine and tranny...then you MUST convince the California DMV that the swap complies with all their SMOG regulation.

These basics will allow you to license the beast.

Ummmm.....maybe its easier to get an RV with the Diesel to start.

Best of luck and safe travels
Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:20 PM   #11
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The easiest way to convert a gas engine motorhome to a diesel is to trade the gas motorhome in on a diesel. Better yet, just buy a diesel in the first place.

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