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1 ton w/ a v6!?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Workhorse2500, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. Workhorse2500

    Workhorse2500 Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Looking through a truck trader I found a 1985 chevy k30. Heres what it says about it exactly

    "1 ton, flat bed, 6 cylinder stick, unlocking hubs, with factory 4.56 gears, plow and PTO unit, dually"

    thats all it says, it looks like a true workhorse, but i couldnt believe it has a 6 in it. Im guessing that its the 4.3 litre but have no idea. Would this truck be under powered or does the high gearing help out? Would a 1 ton, 4x4, flatbed dually, w/ plow be underpowered w/ a six??
  2. Rick Loncosky

    Rick Loncosky Senior Member
    from 17557
    Messages: 102

    I remember Way Back in high school a GMC trash truck having a V6 in it and we motored right along even loaded.
  3. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    It was probably the in line 6, they used to put them in the trucks, although this is the first I've heard of it in a 4 x 4 version. I know they had a 250 CID unit, can't remember if they had a bigger one.
  4. 73K20

    73K20 Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 3

    I think GMC made a 292 inliner. I have a 48 Dodge one ton with a 245 flathead inline that get somthing like 82 horsepower and that moves along fine. Not much top end speed though.
  5. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    The inline sixes were in many trucks over the years. What they lacked in power, they made up for in gearing. Generally speaking, it is / was tough to kill the common inline sixes from the big 3. Ford's 300 was a strong motor, as was Dodge's slant six, and GM's 250. Though GM also made a 192 that was common in 62 - 66 trucks, and the 292 as well. The 250 was the most common in the 70's. Jeep's 258 inline six is a strong, long lasting motor too, and it is still used today, with fuel injection.

    With 4.56's and a manual trans, I don't think power would be that much of a problem.

    In 85 and 86, the 262 V - 6 (RPO Code LB1) was used. It had 155 HP, and 230 ft. lbs. of torque. The 292 I - 6 (RPO code L25) was also used, but it only put out 120 HP, and 215 ft. lbs. or torque.

    A 6 was used in the base stripped down 10 and 20 models, which this K30 sounds like.

    The 292 I-6 was used in 30 series trucks with 4.56 gears, and a 4 speed manual trans. So it is an inline 6, and not a V.

  6. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Chuck, you're into Chevies, have you ever heard of the I-6 in a K-30 before? I've seen them in the C-30s, but I thought the smallblock came in 4x4 models.
  7. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Don't forget Chevy still uses an inline six in the Trailblazer. Very smooth running engine. Also Toyota copied the Chevy inline six for there own that went into Landcruisers at the start and later into Supras. This was before Toyota could make a V-8. The Landcruiser I-6 is so close to a Chevy that many parts can interchange in a pinch. The Jeep I-6 is also still very popular. Besides trucks, many cars ran I-6s before front wheel drive and the oil shortages.

    The GM I-6 is widely available with lots of parts, smooth with a lot of torque and easy to maintain.
  8. Ohiosnow

    Ohiosnow Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 415

    I have a friend that had a C-30 service body truck he bought from East Ohio Gas Co. (a natural gas Co.) It had a I-6 that ran on natural gas & he tried to convert it to run on gasoline but it never ran worth a *****. So he went back to natural gas & sold it :( as there aren't very many natural gas stations around here. With the natural gas it ran very good, even with over 250,000 miles on it.
  9. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    It does seem real strange having an I-6 in a K30. I have never heard about any before, but I know GM did weird things, and sold combinations of drivetrains and options not listed in books for particular years (ie; an option not listed for say 1982, sold in a 1982 truck).

    When I was 17 I worked in the shop at an ambulance company, and the whole fleet was propane powered Dodge vans, with 318's in them. My main deal was changing oil, and at 3,000 miles it came out golden, just like the fresh oil. The owner of the company's son ran the shop, and he had an 83 4wd GMC step side that he converted to propane and drove daily.

    Almost the entire fleet had over 250,000 miles on them, and ran great. They had a governor on all the vans to keep the drivers from beating on them too badly. I was told the propane could produce more power than gasoline if you didn't govern the motors.

  10. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I believe the opposite is true on this one, Chuck. I spend a lot of time surfing the Northern Tool catalogs and on the small engine and generator sections, the output (both hp and watts) is less with propane or natural gas than with gasoline given the same engine according to their charts.
  11. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Propane has more power

    Propane has a higher BTU content per volume than gasoline.It is very high in octane,and burns much hotter,but slower.

    A properly built propane motor will outperform an equal gas motor by about 10-15%.The motor must run very high compression,and lots of timing advance,to take advantage of the extra octane.

    Most propane motors are built to run on gas,and then converted to propane,or dual fuel.Dual fuel setups run like crap,as they are optimized for gas,and the propane (or natural gas) is an afterthought.Dodge made quite a few factory propane vans,which ran very well,because they were designed as a propane motor.I used to have one,and you couldn't kill it,and it ran like a scalded rat.

    Pelican - the gensets,and other small engines do run at a reduced output with propane due to the same reason,they weren't designed for it.Raise the compression,and taylor the advance curve,and it will wake them right up.

    Propane burns so clean,that the oil never gets dirty.It still breaks down,so it must still be changed at similar intervals,Due to the cleanliness the engines do tend to last much longer.

    You also need to sometimes beef up the valves\seats,and use a good head gasket,etc as they need to be able to deal with the extra heat of a propane motor.
  12. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I had a feeling that special tuning was required, I recall reading about some exotic turbocharged engines that ran on propane that would scream. I wasn't aware that Dodge had an internal program developed, all the propane powered vehicles I've seen have been conversions and ran at lesser power levels.

    Sorry I doubted you, Chuck!:eek:
  13. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Pelican, once I read your reply, I was going to say I have a feeling it has to do with the low compression of small engines, but once again, Chris has given us all the details :)

    Speaking of top ends, that is the only thing I remember doing often on those motors, was changing heads. This was after 250,000+ miles though. The mechanic there swore by STP Oil Treatment. In went in every van, with every oil change. I don't know how much difference it really made, because as Chris said, the propane burned so clean, it was hard to tell what condition the oil was in. I do know we changed it because it still broke down, like Chris said.

    They had pulling motors from those vans down pat. We would drop the trans, and pull the motor out the side door of the van from the inside. They learned it was much easier than pulling the grille and radiator support.

    Most of the vans started out as gas motors, converted. Once the engines had to be replaced, they got a propane built motor.

    Although it was called an ambulance company, they only had one, all the rest were medical transport vans, for bringing people in wheelchairs, etc. shopping, to the doctors, etc. We even did conversions for other transport companies in the tri state area.

    Back on the topic, when I was 17, I had a Chevy LUV. It went in the shop for a head gasket (I was scared of the overhead cam). I drove my Uncle's 70 F-150, with a 300 and a 3 on the tree. That thing pulled like hell on the hills around here in second gear. It had an big AC unit under the dash, and it said 'Rocket' on the front of it. My friends dubbed the truck "The Rocket" because of how it pulled the hills.

  14. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Look at all the UPS package cars powered by the Ford 300 I-6. Every time I hear one of them it's screaming at high rpm, yet they seem to last forever. They are on a chassis that's heavier than a 1 ton and take a lot of abuse.

    I ran deliveries for an auto parts store years ago in a C-30 with the 250and a 4 speed. Lots of grunt like everyone has mentioned, but not much top end. It was geared real low to compensate for the motor.

    To go back to Workhorse's question, the six cylinder will get you where you're going, as long as your not in a hurry.
  15. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Ford used a lot of the 4.9L inline sixes in one ton vans and trucks.They do seem to last a long time,and only had a three speed behind them.Came in a lot of 4X4's too.I'd take one over a V8 for general use.

    I have seen a few I6's in 3/4 and one ton GM's,but come to think of it,never one in a 4X4.I'm curious to see if they ever made that combo.
  16. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    From all my info, all I can gather is that the only way you could get an I-6 in a K30 is if you got 4.56 gears. All other axle ratios list V-8 power only. This is for 1981 - 87 model years. From 1973 - 87 the only way to get an I-6 in a K20, is if you chose 4.10 or 4.56 gears. Higer ratios were V-8 all the way.

    Drifting back off topic, a friend had a 66 Chevy with a home made flat bed when I was about 15, and it only had a 192 in it. It had split rims, and a top speed of about 50 (screaming). We used to overload it all the time, and it pulled good for such a small motor.
    It had a 3 speed manual trans in it.

  17. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I seem to remember that a 1/2 ton 4x4 could have the I-6 and 3/4 and one ton 4x2s, but the bigger trucks moved up to the 350 in 4x4. This truck may have had an engine change.

    Chris, I've been thinking about your post about the propane, it makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that propane hasn't been further developed as a replacement for gasoline. I would think that the greater demand of propane power would lower the production costs, and given what you've said, a smaller engine could be used and longevity of the engine would be increased. Add to that next to 0 emissions, everybody wins.

    Wonder what the holdup is?
  18. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    I think one of the hold ups is that anyone can pump gas. In NJ, you need a license to transfer compressed gas. The other drawback is the weight of the propane tank on the vehicle. Forklifts can use the aluminum beer keg type lightweight tank. Those ambulances I worked on had a HEAVY steel tank, and lots of brackets that were just as heavy.

    The overwhelming trend in cars has been less steel = less weight. I read somewhere a few years ago that cars had 60% more plastic than they did 20 years earlier.

  19. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Chuck pretty much nailed it,it's all about storage.

    Propane is extremely dangerous,and hard to transfer and store.Propane tanks are big,expensive,and heavy.The cost of the tanks is extremely high too,and they must be recertified every XX number of years.

    I was looking at converting all the gas trucks to propane,but the cost of the tanks,and replacement every 10 years was the biggest drawback.
  20. staley52

    staley52 Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 98

    if it is a 292 it would be an awesome plow truck all the 292s I have been around have perfect torque curves for plowing and farm work(slow and strenuous) these pull like diesels but they
    are not the best if you do alot of heavy trailers on the highway in town they do great