Short term maintenance on new (used) truck and long term project ideas

Hey there, I just recently bought a 1985 Chevy k10 4wd with a 6.2L diesel and wondering what you guys thought I should do to her. Short term, I’m thinking I’ll replace all the fluids (oil, tranny fluid, t-case fluid, front and rear differential oil, and flush the radiator). Anything else I should be doing as a kind of maintenance check? I thought I’d also look for ideas on long term projects for the truck… so far my couple ideas are EFI (idk how complicated this would be, but really cool if I could work it out), and changing one of the fuel tanks to run on WVO. Anyway, what do you guys think? open to all suggestions… I plan on using the truck both as a daily driver, and then some longer trips into the mountains (400 miles total) and cross country a couple times


It’s going to be impossible to convert a GM 6.2 diesel V8 to EFI

The only practical way to do this is to dump the diesel engine in favor of a gas engine

Now I see that you want the engine to also run on WVO . . . that’s only possible with a diesel engine. And it’s a bad idea, in my opinion

A lot of people converted their diesel engines to run on WVO . . . and many of them had severe problems down the road

change all the fluids, as you planned to do

But run the engine on diesel only, not WVO

As far as maintenance goes, you should also flush the brake fluid and think about replacing the thermostat. It’s probably stuck open by now, due to age

I’d be taking a good look at all your u-joints, before turning this truck into a daily driver

Funny you mention the U-joints. Had to replace both joints on the rear driveshaft today as one blew out yesterday driving home. I’ll take a look at the joints on the front shaft when I stop the t-case (i have to replace the seal in between the t-case and tranny). Hoping they don’t need to be replaced too… Good to know about EFI… Hmmm, so maybe not the best idea? what kind of problems?

  1. Your Diesel truck is already fuel injected. That’s how Diesels work. You may need to read up on Diesel basics if you’re going to work on and even modify this truck.

WVO is also a hard fuel to use. To use straight WVO, you still need Diesel for starting and purging. WVO needs to be heated to flow right, otherwise it gums up the pump, fuel distributor and injectors. The truck MUST be started on Diesel and run until engine coolant heats up the WVO. Then, you can switch to WVO, but you must remember to switch back to Diesel before turning it off to purge out WVO before you park it, so the cooler WVO will not gel in the lines.

I have to agree with the others here. Perform your regular maintenance and forget the WVO idea. Consider yourself lucky that you have a 30 year old K-10 Diesel 4WD that still runs and drives. The majority of them don’t.


If you’ve already had to replace 2 u-joints, I’d go ahead and replace all of them. Your truck is about 30 years old, and they must have some wear by now

A former colleague once bought an older small rear wheel drive car, and he wasn’t very good about maintaining it

On the freeway, one of the u-joints let go, and the driveshaft bit into the pavement, causing the car to flip. I believe it flipped, because the car was a small lightweight coupe. I don’t think that’s even possible on your truck

Needless to say, that was the end of the car, but he was fine

Your truck is better than fuel injected… it’s “direct injected”. the fuel is sprayed right into the cylinder.
So are Peterbuilts. And Caterpillars. So are diesel farm tractors.

I think the suggestion to spend some time reading up on and studying how diesels work before turning any bolts under the hood. Your local bookstore should have some good reading materials. Meanwhile, just be sure everything is up to date maintenance-wise. Get a repair and maintenance manual for your vehicle and begin reading. And use ONLY the recommended fluids.


Are you sure this truck has direct diesel injection?

After all, it’s a 1985 . . . !

As far as I know, I thought most diesels used a pre-combustion chamber back in those days

When I was working in the US Army depot in the 1990s, I was working right next to the engine shop, which overhauled the GM 6.2 Liter V8 diesel. I used to visit those guys, and don’t seem to recall that this engine had direct injection.

My memory may be a little fuzzy . . .

Db, you might be right. While I have a solid fundamental understanding of diesels, I’m not a diesel guy, and I’m certain that there’s lots of knowledge about them that I lack. That truth only serves to emphasize how important it is for the OP to do some studying before turning any bolts.


I’m not sure how it is elsewhere, but in southern california, any GM truck with one of those 6.2 liter V8 diesels sells for a high price, even if the truck itself is tired and needs a lot of work

Personally, I don’t understand why somebody would pay top dollar for a tired old truck that needs thousands of dollars of work, just because it has that engine

Unless you’re pulling a massive trailer, I don’t see the point. A big block gas engine would meet the needs of most, I would think

Perhaps diesels are considered cool and/or manly, and guys are willing to sell their soul to have one . . .

as far as u joints, I ve foung that in my old ford supercab, with the split drive shaft, if you replace one, replace them all or you ll be back under it in a month doing another

How many miles on this truck?? Does it run decently now?

Modern common rail diesels have electronic fuel injection:

In addition to flushing (by bleeding) the brake fluid, I’d go over the brakes very carefully, make sure the pads, shoes, discs, and drums are good, and that the brake (and fuel) lines are corroded or leaking.


This particular truck is not modern

It definitely doesn’t have common rail

It has a stanadyne distributor type fuel injection pump

Old school all the way

Do all the normal maintenance as recommended here. Then STOP, and familiarize yourself with how diesels work and buy a Manual on your model of truck.

These were not great diesels and the first serious repair will set you back enough that you may want to dump it.

“It definitely doesn’t have common rail”

Where did I say it did??

I was simply showing that OP’s statement: “so far my couple ideas are EFI (idk how complicated this would be, but really cool if I could work it out)” does not mean he doesn’t know how diesels work, as BustedKnuckles implied.

Truck seems to run great (I mean, how can you really tell). Other than the u-joint blowing out, I made it 130 miles right off the bat in 90 degrees, temp never went above 200… has about 155,000 miles. Seems like a good idea about maintenance than reading into diesels… definitely leaking fluid in a few places (not a lot except between transfer case and transmission). Disc brakes in the front, drum in the back. The rotor on the disc brakes is started to get warped (little ridges) so that’s on my list, but for now I’m just gonna replace break pads often and bring them back under warranty…


Respectfully . . . why did you say modern trucks have common rail injection?

This thread is about OP’s 30 year old truck

I felt your response meant something to the effect that OP’s truck was modern, and that it might have common rail

Apparently, I misunderstood your meaning, and I apologize

let’s just let it go, please

@Yams - those ridges on the rotors are not from them being warped, they’re from them being worn. Next time you need new pads, get new rotors, they’re not that expensive.