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Discussion Starter #1
I'm after fuel usage feedback (MPG or L per Kms) from anyone who has done an Optimiser 6.5 Chevy Diesel Auto conversion who pulls a similar load to our new 2.5 tonne OR Van.

Just after general advice on and how this setup travels wrt to low down grunt and then acceleration and finally touring at say 95-100kmh and impacts on slurping on the juice.

Anecdotally I have heard that this set up gives 14-15 not towing and 17-20 towing 2.5ish tonne.

We are considering upgrading our 4.8 Dual Fuel 03 Auto GU to a Brunswick Diesels Chev engine and new auto etc to improve torque and fuel efficiency/range on long distance travel (and we are ignoring the cost for the moment).

We have had dual fuel Patrols for 20+ years and happily put up with the inconvenience of low mpg and having to fill up many a time on say a trip pulling a 1t camper trailer from Melbourne to Lawn Hill or the Kimberley or taking 60 litres of petrol on board to cross the Tanami to Halls Creek.

Although the 4.8 pulls the new van easily it spends a lot of time changing up/down into third and on a current blacktop trip to Beechworth Vic it slurped 40l per 100 km - even with gas cheaper than petrol we'd never get anywhere up the Stuart without many pit stops even using petrol as well.

Anyways I'm just fishin' for info at this stage hoping someone has done this conversion.
 

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I'm after fuel usage feedback (MPG or L per Kms) from anyone who has done an Optimiser 6.5 Chevy Diesel Auto conversion who pulls a similar load to our new 2.5 tonne OR Van.

Just after general advice on and how this setup travels wrt to low down grunt and then acceleration and finally touring at say 95-100kmh and impacts on slurping on the juice.

Anecdotally I have heard that this set up gives 14-15 not towing and 17-20 towing 2.5ish tonne.

We are considering upgrading our 4.8 Dual Fuel 03 Auto GU to a Brunswick Diesels Chev engine and new auto etc to improve torque and fuel efficiency/range on long distance travel (and we are ignoring the cost for the moment).

We have had dual fuel Patrols for 20+ years and happily put up with the inconvenience of low mpg and having to fill up many a time on say a trip pulling a 1t camper trailer from Melbourne to Lawn Hill or the Kimberley or taking 60 litres of petrol on board to cross the Tanami to Halls Creek.

Although the 4.8 pulls the new van easily it spends a lot of time changing up/down into third and on a current blacktop trip to Beechworth Vic it slurped 40l per 100 km - even with gas cheaper than petrol we'd never get anywhere up the Stuart without many pit stops even using petrol as well.

Anyways I'm just fishin' for info at this stage hoping someone has done this conversion.
The figures you have heard are pretty realistic. Mine (manual) weighs 3020Kg empty with a quarter tank of fuel and gets a consistent 15.6 ltrs/100 week in week out.
That usage consists of 50% highway and 50% city and always on 35's.

When I drove mine back to Melb. from Perth it was stripped back to near stock, weight wise and had stock wheels (29's?). On that trip, I averaged 11.2. Probably could had got better but I was mostly driving with one hand on my dcik being the first time I could pass anything without a 10km run at it to get up enough speed.

My 2011 trip to Cape York towing 1.5 ton (gross 5t) I stayed in 5th and kept my speed up at 103 and 113 all the way to Cairns saw 20ltrs/100. On the way back, I stayed in 4th at 100 and used 17ltrs/100.

This year to Cape York then Darwin and back roughly 12000 k's (same weight) I mixed my speeds (80 --> 110) and usage of 4th and 5th and still averaged 17.

I don't know if 17 ltrs/100 is good or bad... Don't really care either.
The 4.2's and 3ltrs that cost a tenth probably use less, but when I pull out to pass something, it stays passed. :)
 

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GU ute, brunswick turbo/intercooled, manual, 35s, 3.9s, 200rwhp 400nm (ufi dyno) gets 17-20L/100kms whether it's towing or not.

if conversion cost isn't an issue why not go duramax. those guys are getting great fuel economy even when towing.

if you want a brunswick chev6.5 with a fresh rebuild and an conversion kit. i have one for sale $10G
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks metric and Patrolling for your replies - I guess I kinda sorta knew the answers to my questions before posting. I will have a look at Duramax - and money is an issue - but if I ignore it until I have pros and cons worked out it might help me make a clearer decision - right now I can't see the way to get a near new v8 diesel cruiser with all my current upgrades on it for anything near the price of a 6.x litre V8 Chev or similar ug and even if I could I'm not convinced I'd be any better off - and our current car is an Auto so I'll be ug the auto as well - the homework continues
 

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It's a hard one isn't it! I've just put a ls1 in my gu dual cab (ex zd30) while I don't think my fuel usage will be great, it would be a lot better than a 4.8, from what I can gather from 2 vehicles here in Esperance.
I honestly wouldn't go near a 6.5 diesel. Yes they may be reliable as far as electrics go, but they have there own inherent issues.
For the money it's going to cost for the Brunswick, you could have a brand new ls1 or 2. They fit beautiful and they weigh 40-60kg less than the zd! I know I had to check to see if my car was actually off the hoist! They don't run hot. Plus you can get spares anywhere, it's just a commodore engine after all.
Don't shoot me, just chucking it out there. It's a hard decision to make. But I def wouldn't be spending all that money to put something heavier, and less efficient in there.
Cheers
Karl
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks zappagu - my research tells me the engine weight of the 4.8 and 6.5 ain't that much difference - I'll keep reading up - but sure as s**t I ain't going from 1 petrol/gas slurper to anotheree
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also my research is that the new 6.5 Optimiser will never set a record over a qtr mile drag but tie our usage as a haul engine fir our 2.5ish ton van it would go to the moon n beyond and just churn n pull away at low revs forever
 

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Having driven and worked on several 6.5 litres in both patrols and chevs, honestly don't waste your money

They're a slow, rattly, unreliable pos to be honest.
They're known for overheating and cracking heads and they're gutless as anything

About the only good thing about them is the sound they make when you get into it

A well built td42 will be cheaper, more reliable, easier to get parts for, more powerful and more fuel efficient
Or if you stretch the budget a bit further go for the 6.6 litre duramax and have 300-400kw and still return 10-16 l/100 depending on what your doing (towing or not)
if going down that road though expect to be putting a h260 rear in, the small diffs don't last too long
 

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As above. me uncle has 2 of the brunswick v8 diesels, and for the size of the engine, I was dissapointed. maybe they would perform much better with a turbo? (both of his were N/A). He also borrowed our caravan (round 2 ton mark) and he was complaining of having to change back to 3rd up hills alot. a mate got one put in his ute a few years ago and it snapped the crankshaft in the first motor, second one threw the conrod and the third had some other dramas (cant remember) but it was sold soon after... his did tow alot better then my uncles one tho, was happy towing 2.5-3 ton all day. if i was to fork out that much coin, id steer towards the duramax 6.6
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks some_guy n reubgu04 - your comments are appreciated - I think it has all been summed up above - it's a hard decision and I am in analysis paralysis mode right now - if I go Chev optimiser apart from a crate new motor AND Intercooled TURBO I will need to change / ug the auto and diff to 4:1 ish for towing the van - I'm not interested in speed, just unrelenting boring hour after hour grunt & reasonable economy - i will look at the price of a Duramax but not keen on the electronics vs the the "dumb" old Chev donk - once again these are my impressions from reading posts all over the web - some bs and some informative and great to read - as my old man used to say opinions are like *bottoms* everyone has them - the trick is trying to find the right one to pat ;-) I have spoken to a guy who recently had a Chev installed + a new hd auto + new diff ratio etc etc and he has owned diesel patrols since the 80s and he is wrapt with the Brunswick conversion job on a new (not recod) engine to pull his bushmaster - He also has a 4.2 play machine
 

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Most of the horror stories you hear are from the really old engines and old conversions. The newer optimax are designed and built by Hummer. They are very different. Mines been converted for near 5 years. (Its not the optimax) Has Never Been hotter than 98deg. Engines built in the last 10 or so years haven't had the major issues of their early predecessors.

As for economy. Best I've got was 15.5 l/100. Near 5 T. Roof rack and camper. Gold coast to cairns. 95 odd km/hour. And across the simpson with camper in tow. I think I got sbout 21 or so.

Dont be scared off by rumours and horror stories. Go and find someone with one and drive it. Anyone is welcome to drive mine.

sent from a phone that's bigger and smarter than BIG RWIG!!!!!
 

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Most of the horror stories you hear are from the really old engines and old conversions. The newer optimax are designed and built by Hummer. They are very different. Mines been converted for near 5 years. (Its not the optimax) Has Never Been hotter than 98deg. Engines built in the last 10 or so years haven't had the major issues of their early predecessors.

Dont be scared off by rumours and horror stories. Go and find someone with one and drive it. Anyone is welcome to drive mine.

sent from a phone that's bigger and smarter than BIG RWIG!!!!!
yea, the ones I have seen were older then 5 years. prob be near 8 years ago that my uncle and mate got theirs. good to know your having a good run. Another mate has one in an old f150 and it always has trouble with getting hot, but that motor could be nearly 10 years old now
 

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Id personally be buying a 24 valve 5.9 Cummins 6BT, an Allison 1000 series auto, bellhousing adaptor to the alli, heath lawson's 1000 series to GU transfer adaptor and shoe horning the big yank 6 in.

6.5s are famous for all the wrong reasons and thankfully they are fading into history.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks all for your posts - off to see and drive a Brunswick 6.5 conversion to check it out
 

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I've got one that was done about 4 yrs ago by the owner before me.. has now done 75000 km and not missed a beat.
Its n/a and to be honest I think the turbo would make a big difference. My understanding is they Changed the radiator they use and that helped with a lot of cooling issues.
If I was getting the conversion done cost would be prohibative for me.. he paid 20k plus he provided the gearbox and diff centres, so given I only paid 15k for the 4wd was pretty happy, it has been well maintained and does not use any oil between changes. Almost done 20k since getting it.
Im rapt with mine but if I was going to spend all the money of a conversion would seriously look at tuning a 4.2...

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk 4
 

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Ooh and economy seems to be 16-17 l per 100km 33" tyres duel wheel carrier drawers, spares tools fridge drop slide and 4" lift. So would be over 3t I would say.

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk 4
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Things happen quickly in life sometime
- made redundant and cashed up late November
- ordered new crate motor Chev v8 Turbo Intercooled 6.5 Optimiser from Brunswick Diesels
- new 4L85E Auto - 4.1diff
- all looks factory fitted
- picked it up last week drove it back from BJ to Melbourne with 2 mates
- best move I've ever made - effortless driving
- we're after torque to pull our 17' Trakmaster van
- 16l per 100kms at 115kmh (no van no roof rack thus trip but 3 hefty male passengers)
- Greg, Scotty, Elody, Lisa and co at Brunswick Diesels great to deal with
- no piss farting around with tuning anything within an inch of its life
- just pure grunt
- will post pics later
 

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Ah good stuff glad your happy i have had no trouble with mine except the vaccuum pump & viscous fan actually the fan nearly went through the radiator.

Mines does use some oil & its turboed

Done about 60 k now & great to drive and especially great off road the torque is awesome in the real rough stuff.
 

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Congratulations and great to have another convert..
Mines non turbo which is the only draw back..
I'm sure you will be really happy. ..
 
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