Three Common Heavy-Duty Engine Conversions Explained in Detail

Engine conversions on heavy-duty trucks can be complicated. There are three engine conversions that are considered the most common among heavy-duty truck owners: engine swap, engine conversion, and engine replacement. At Adrenaline Diesel in Edmonton, Alberta, our heavy-duty repair facility is well-equipped to handle all of your engine swap, conversion, and replacement needs. In this article, we take a closer look at some of the steps involved in each engine conversion type.

Take a look at some of the steps involved in each engine conversion below.

Engine Swap

An engine swap is when an engine is removed from one vehicle and placed into another. This is often seen with heavy-duty truck engine swaps as they tend to be larger than standard passenger car engines so people will purchase or snatch up used engines for this purpose. In order to complete the engine swap, all necessary parts including wiring harnesses and air intake must also be compatible with the new intended vehicle. Some engine swaps require that the engine is moved in with a crane while others allow for engine swaps to take place right in our shop.

Heavy-duty engine swaps are some of the most popular engine conversions on heavy-duty trucks. These engine swaps can benefit you in a variety of ways depending on your needs. Some people find engine swap benefits include added horsepower, torque, towing capacity, fuel economy, and more. One of the most common engine swaps happens when someone wants to upgrade from stock vehicle power but still has the ability to pull heavier loads at faster speeds.

Engine Conversion

An engine conversion is when an owner completely replaces their old engine with a new one. This type of engine swap typically happens when someone wants to upgrade from stock vehicle power, such as adding horsepower or torque. Because heavy-duty trucks use specialized engines, it can be hard to find replacement parts if your engine goes down so most people choose this route over an engine swap. At Adrenaline Diesel, we complete hundreds of these types of engine conversions each year so we are well equipped to handle any engine application. Some benefits or advantages of a heavy-duty engine conversion can include:

  • Added horsepower and torque: These engine conversions can improve a truck's overall towing capacity as well as fuel economy, depending on the engine type you choose.


  • Increased efficiency: Truck engine conversion is a great way to make your heavy-duty engine work better for you.


  • Extended life of your engine: While it might be expensive initially, an engine conversion will typically give your engine a longer life overall than if you had just gotten an engine replacement or swapped out parts instead of going through with a full engine conversion.

Engine Replacement

When engine replacement is referred to, this typically means simply swapping out engine parts but keeping the same engine in place. This could involve things like replacing pistons, valves, bearings, and anything else inside of your engine block or cylinder head. It can sometimes be referred to as a "top-end rebuild" because the engine isn't being completely switched out for a new engine. At Adrenaline Diesel we frequently complete engine replacements so our mechanics have years of experience with the repair process and will always perform a top-notch job on yours. Some of the benefits and advantages that can be experienced with a heavy-duty engine replacement can include:

  • Clean engine: The engine you send off to our facility will always come back clean and free of debris.


  • Affordable: At Adrenaline Diesel we're passionate about engine replacements because they are affordable options for most people.


  • Quicker service time: Even though engine replacement can be a long process the first time, once your engine is swapped out there are not as many steps involved in engine replacement each time thereafter.


  • Precision engine workmanship: We know that heavy-duty truck engines are essential business equipment for most people so precision is important with every step of the engine conversion or replacement process.

What are some common issues with heavy-duty engine conversions?

While engine conversions are helpful in many ways there are some potential downsides that may arise depending on your needs. One of the biggest issues with engine conversions is finding replacement parts for older engine types. If you're attempting to do an engine swap but can't find replacement parts, it can be a complete waste of time and money in the end. Another issue that frequently arises when performing engine conversions is something we call "engine corrosion." Because heavy-duty trucks use specialized engines or engine types, our mechanics at Adrenaline Diesel frequently find engine damage due to engine corrosion when they begin working on your engine conversion. This happens because when your engine sits unused for long periods of time (like when not driven in months), debris and moisture collect inside of your engine. Although engine corrosion won't happen to every engine conversion, it is something that may arise due to engine conversions being more involved than engine replacement alone.

What are some common issues with heavy-duty engine replacements?

As far as engine replacements go, there are a few problems that can come up with your vehicle's engine if you're not properly informed about the process. One of the most common mistakes that people make with engine replacements is having an incorrect part put into their engine block or cylinder head during the repair process. This mistake can lead to damage down the road so it's important to have all engine parts verified against your current engine type before letting anyone work on your truck. Another issue with heavy-duty engine replacements is poor craftsmanship. Sometimes engine mechanics don't take the time to perform engine replacement on your engine correctly or leave engine damage behind during engine conversion.

Why should you trust Adrenaline Diesel with engine conversions, swaps, and replacements?

At Adrenaline Diesel we're passionate about engine conversions and replacements because we know how important our customers' engines are for their businesses. Because of this, we put a high emphasis on engine workmanship so that all engine conversions and repairs will last as long as possible for years after they've been completed. We also stock heavy-duty truck engines so it's never been easier to find the right parts for your engine conversion at affordable prices. If you're looking for heavy-duty engine repairs, swaps, conversions, or replacements in Edmonton, Alberta, then be sure to get in touch with our team at Adrenaline Diesel today.

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