Free Book Until This Sunday!

The Kindle e-version of my book The Art of Diesel: Building an Efficient Family Hauler is free until this Sunday, the 12th of July 2015.

This book is primarily about why and how I put an Isuzu turbo diesel into a Suburban. The result is a large, capable, four-wheel-drive vehicle that is fun to drive and achieves 25+ mpg on the highway. Preppers might like that this vehicle has 1,000 miles of range and looks like any other 1999 Suburban on the road.

I manage to sneak a fair amount of libertarianism into the book, and I do my part to promote the concept of unfettered free markets. A couple readers complained about my politics, but the book still manages to get 4.7 stars out of 5 — so it stands on its own as a how-to/hobbyist/automotive book.


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Comments (2)

  1. JR

    Unfortunately, “unfettered free markets” are, as our central bankers wish–dead. The very concept of free markets is no longer considered rational (I disagree…but?). Our only “unfettered” process is a constant, leftward lurching collectivist government that has ventured deeply into fascism.
    Alas, very depressing to observe, but history dependably repeats!

    That said, and off of politik, I’ll state again that your conversion book was valuable, and offers a lot of excellent info that would require a #$@load of trial and error to sort out.

    My new 489 engine is built and running, but yet to be installed. Running on the original 7400 which is running great. Does use oil…but that’s normal. No leaks. Just want more HP and torque. Producing a lot more power and getting much better mileage with the manual? Not sure why that is? Might be an indication of impending auto trans failure?

    The manual 5 speed conversion works great. And, a ’97 454 Suburban will run, sans transmission and transfer case electronic signals, quite well, without ECM reprogramming. I’d read elsewhere that it would not run without the 4L80 input shaft data. Starts hot or cold instantly. The only issue of note is when restarted hot, it might noodle around a bit, but really not an issue. Never stalls, stabilizes in a 3-4 seconds. It will set a ton of DTCs…?! All other OBD II engine controls are intact. Cruise control, AC, and speedo works (surprise!) without issues. The cruise and starter are interlocked with the clutch.

    Have the front diff on a switch so that I can use 4-Lo for manuevering in tight areas with a trailer. The NP246 controller was removed and that left all sorts of useful wiring for front axle and manual TC shift indicators.

    I have one relatively $$ impairment. I went with a NV3500 for the ratios and single rail feel. Almost perfect! Like driving a 7000 lb Camaro. No problem so long as no trailer…!
    Cannot tow uphill in 5th gear. It’ll slip out of gear. That’s a butt-puckerer. Now I find that the 3500 was not designed to tow in 5th? The slip out has never occurred without my 6k trailer. To carry honesty to the extreme, a 3500 was never intended to be behind a big block…a factoid of which I was aware.
    No solution for 5th. Research indicates high torque loads tend to twist the cases to the point of misalignment. It tootles along without issue in 4th gear, but at 2800 RPM at 65 MPH. The 454 (7400 Vortec) will easily pull most east coast interstate hills at 70 MPH in 5th…at 2300 RPM, while pulling my 6k trailer. However; the transmission cannot handle the load. Bummer! The mileage does suffer a little when operating in 4th (1/1). Still no worse than the 4L80. And, soon adding another 100 lbs of torque.

    My truck is a K2500 Suburban, 1997, NV3500, NP241 TC, 410s, 265/16 tires.

    I’m trying to visualize an NV4500 in my budget! Looking at it positively, the 4500 is a direct bolt-in if one changes to a ram’s head throw out bearing, and adds a bell housing. Would want the later NV4500 ratios and synch 1st. Could be worse.

    I really enjoy the feel of an NV3500! The ratios and feel are perfect.. for a Camaro!

    Cheers, JR

    • Mark-A-Billy


      I’m completely with you on the central bankers. That’s the reason that unfettered free markets require promotion. I’m glad you see that, because many don’t. On the subjects of liberty and economics, I have another blog that I’ve just started up . Be sure to check it out!

      On your manual transmission, I’m not at all surprised that your fuel economy increased. Other than slipping the clutch a bit as you go into first gear, you aren’t turning nearly as much energy into heat as a torque converter does. You may also be making better use of any low-end torque that big engine has.

      Cool information on the NV3500. I probably wouldn’t want it behind a diesel.

      I should find out more about manually-controlling the NP246, but I simply chose to use the stock controller. I haven’t taken the time to figure out how to engage 4-low, but I’m sure I’ve jumpered it to think that the vehicle is in drive at all times. I suppose I could add a switch to tell it I’m in neutral.

      By the way, I need to put some posts on here. I bought an ’05 Passat wagon TDI with a bad transmission in it and converted it to a 5-speed manual. I was hoping for better fuel economy than I’m getting, though. I suppose I have an excuse for some more tuning/experimentation!

      Thanks for your post, and it’s good to hear from you again!

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