Chevy K20 6.2 L Glow plug system ... Hard cold start

I have a 1983 Chevy K-20 with the 6.2 L Diesel, Does anyone know if this is a bad motor >? its very hard starting in the cold is this normal ? I changed the Glow plugs now it seem to start worse than with the old plugs ... any help would be apprectiated ! :)

Also what would it take for me to pull that 6.2 and drop a 454 or a 350 into it..

Thanks Brandon


I'm not a mechanical expert here..but i'd like to suggest something. My dad had an '86 K20 with a 6.2 Diesel 4spd up until 1996 as a company truck. The 6.2 was a decent engine later on in its life span ('82-'93). Earlier models had trouble with the head gaskets blowing. Dad's '86 was a good reliable didn't have a whole lot of power, but in 4wheel low and in bulldog low it would climb a tree. The only problem it had when he turned it in..were leaky injectors..but something like that is to be expected when the truck is 10 years old.
His was hard to start when it was cold also. On cold nights, he would run an extention cord outside to the hood of the truck and plug it into the engine block heater. When he did this..the truck didn't need to glow plugs to start. He'd turn the key to the on position..and the Glow Plug light would go out immediately. One particular morning he did was -12 Degrees F. Dad also used fuel conditioner when he filled the tank up with diesel..this was to keep the fuel from jelling in cold weather.
As far as swaping out the 6.2 to a 454..i think that would be kind of costly. If i'm not mistaken..the entire fuel system..tank and all has to be swapped out for the gas engine. This is about as far as i can take you..some of the other knowledgeable guys can take you the rest of the way.

Best of Luck,


Junior Member
You might consider joining the Chevy diesel page. I just bought an '83 G20 van with a NA6.2 and have found the list and forums to be extremely helpful! The list is about $14 /yr to join, but I recouped it almost immediately (advise saved me HUNDREDS on a repair job!).

John DiMartino Veteran
Before you swap that 6.2 out,you could get the motor running tip top and put a Banks Turbo kit on it for less money than swapping in a 454.You would have the same or more power and double the fuel economy.You can put a HD timer on the extension cord when you use the block heater-if you get up for work at 600 am-set it to come on at 3,so itll have 3 hrs to get up to temp.Most block heaters draw around 650-900 watts-so dont leave it plugged in all the time-unless youve got stock in the electric company,thats why i put mine on a timer.

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