1983 28' Pace Arrow 6.2 diesel turbo upgrade

I bought a used 6.5 turbo setup on eBay. It had most of the parts, but the few that were missing made it much more challenging. Ill post the main steps to give anyone considering it a good idea of what they are in for. Its defiantly worth it in the end. I can now hang with traffic when getting on the expressway.

Step one- remove old intake and passenger side exhaust manifold. If you plan on using a manual waste gate control, go ahead and install it on the turbo. You will also most likely have to cut a hole in the floor. My first cut was enough to clear manifold then i test fit turbo to figure out the finale cut.

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Step two - Figure out how you will drain the turbo. YOU CAN NOT HOOK IT INLINE WITH THE COOLER!!. A few guys tried this and blew some seals. You also run the risk of a runaway in the right conditions. It is designed to be drained by gravity only. Option 1 is to modify the oil pan or the valve cover for the drain to flow to. Option 2 - Upgrade mechanical fuel lift pump to electric in order to install the piece for the oil drain from the turbo to connect to.If you dont get this piece with turbo , as was my case, you have to make one. I bought a chrome fuel pump delete plate for a 350 small block, drilled and tapped a 1/2 inch NPT hole, Used a 1/2 inch brass street elbow, and a brass 5/8 barbed fitting. I cut all but the last barb off to clear the drain tube. I suggest screwing the plate to a piece of wood for the drilling and tapping part. Also, tap a little, test fit pipe and repeat until the elbow screws in tight facing up. Cut a 2 inch piece of 5/8 heater hose and put it on the barbed fitting with a hose clamp and hit it with wd-40 to make it easier to insert drain tube. Install it on the engine. You will need 2 short bolts to replace the ones that held the fuel pump.

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Step three -If you are using a pyrometer go ahead an install the sensor port on the inside top of turbo exhaust manifold just below where the turbo bolts on. there is a perfect square spot on the oe manifolds. Install turbo oil drain tube, Install 6.5 turbo exhaust and intake manifolds. You have to use 2 exhaust gaskets to get enough clearance for the injectors, or you can replace them with the short injectors which requires new lines as well. check the injector return hoses for clearance. I had to shorten mine a little.

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Step four - If you have tight quarters, go ahead and install air filter on turbo. Test fit turbo and check for clearance. Make necessary adjustments then go ahead and bolt down the turbo and drain tube. You will need to make an oil line to feed it. I just used a T fitting on the sending unit. Its all 1/8 npt. I adapted up to a 3/8 flare fitting and used 3/8 copper tubing. I wouldn't suggest compression due to the excessive vibrations.

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Step five - This is the hardest part. Deal with crossover pipe. The drivers side manifold connects to the passenger side manifold. I had to rig one together using the old exhaust and a stainless steel flexible pipe. Cut about 3 feet off of the exhaust from the manifolds back. then you can turn them around and see what has to be cut and joined with the flex pipe. Install exhaust down pipe from turbo. I had to run mine outside of the frame which limited my right turn ability. This is just to get you to the exhaust guy. Ill post some more pics when it stops raining.
Heres a video of the first run with the exhaust fixed. From what ive read, 1100 degrees exh temp and 10 lbs of boost seems to be the safest numbers. However, alot of people claim to push it to 1200 degrees and 12 lbs of boost for short periods. I think ill play it safe :)

I still have to deal with the crankcase vent. I'm going to try modifying the CDR valve a little. I also need to make a turbo cover. I'm thinking plywood with a sheet metal heat shield screwed to the inside.
I used a three inch down pipe with a 3 inch to 2 1/4 inch y and tied it to the original dual exhaust. I paid a local shop to do it. Its the only labor i paid for and they have the worst welder in the world. I'm pretty disappointed in the welds. They are the worst I have ever seen. It doesn't seem to leak however.


Senior Member
Larold, nothing like a turbo to wake things up...lol

Thinking of going with an intercooler one of these days?
Relocating air cleaner to bring in cooler air?
I will on my next one. This one is 30 yrs old so I don't want to push it any harder. I feel safe where im at now. I plan on selling this one for what ive got in it (after a few uses) and looking for a 34' with a 460 gas motor. (Im a ford guy btw, this is my first diesel as well as my first GM) From what i've read its not to hard to convert to a 7.3 turbo diesel. I found a junkyard that will sell me one complete that needs rebuilding for 500. My machine shop guy will rebuild it and the turbo for 2000 plus parts. I can buy a rebuild kit that can handle 400hp which would require ALOT of boost, so in this case I would have to get an inter-cooler. Its not as beneficial if your only runnin 10 lbs or less of boost vs 20 to 30lbs. I need to custom build the engine to get it much over 350lbs of torque. my end goal would be 300 hp, 400 lbs of torque sustained, so I would build it like a marine diesel.
Its actually a gm-8 off of a 1995 6.5 but it looks just like a banks. Its what gm started making for the 6.5 to replace the dealer installed banks 6.2 setup. The banks boost gauge was the best I could find for running 10lbs of boost.
Isspro has a great track record from what ive read. Plus their diesel tach is the best because it comes with magnets for the main pulley and a crank position sensor which is perfect for all mechanical (no computer) diesels which I prefer. Im not sure how good the exhaust pressure gauge i,s but I have the tach and just from the weight alone you can tell its well made. Not to mention the glass face cover.
I went with auto meter EGT gauge based on what people that owned them said and the banks boost gauge was the only good one I could find for running only 10lbs of boost. Most boost gauges go up to 30-50lbs and also read vaccum which is useless on a diesel.