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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know this *can* be done - because coachbuilders convert Suburbans and Yukons (as well as other vehicles) into limos every day.

Here's my issue: I would REALLY like a Duramax powered GMT900 3/4 ton Suburban. The problem is: I live in MA. MA has adopted CA emissions standards - and I've already been pursuing whether doing a Duraburb conversion was something I could do - and get registered and inspected here.

It appears with the latest information I've gotten - that the answer to that question is no - the engine swap from gas to diesel is a no-go.

So now I'm wondering if it's a crazy idea to think of taking a 2500 or 3500 series Duramax powered crew cab pickup (4 full doors) - and grafting the rear end of a Suburban onto it to make a Duramax powered Suburban.

Any ideas?
 

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ok, this is something I catch myself thinking of/scheming about more then I really should, I've though about the older avalanches with the fold down back, ive thought of the Mexican dodge truck suv looking things, basically a topper welded on and a extra row in the back, the interior and the heating/cooling would be interesting but im sure it could be done.
 

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It isn't crazy if you have the fab skills.

I know Merchant is building a "duraburb" of sorts, except it started as a Yukon, turned into a "MaBourban". Its getting a Duramax dropped in, and a Escalade interior as I under stand it.

Personally I'd rather swap engine/trans/wiring into a Yukon/Suburban rather than try and fab stuff, but I also can't draw a straight line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It isn't crazy if you have the fab skills.

I know Merchant is building a "duraburb" of sorts, except it started as a Yukon, turned into a "MaBourban". Its getting a Duramax dropped in, and a Escalade interior as I under stand it.

Personally I'd rather swap engine/trans/wiring into a Yukon/Suburban rather than try and fab stuff, but I also can't draw a straight line.
The engine drop-in route is closed to me in this state (MA) - because of the emissions regs.

I'll have to search out what Merchant is doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It isn't crazy if you have the fab skills.

I know Merchant is building a "duraburb" of sorts, except it started as a Yukon, turned into a "MaBourban". Its getting a Duramax dropped in, and a Escalade interior as I under stand it.

Personally I'd rather swap engine/trans/wiring into a Yukon/Suburban rather than try and fab stuff, but I also can't draw a straight line.
Is Merchant and the "MaBourban" here on this forum? Searching and I'm not getting any hits.........
 

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This is actually a common misunderstanding

You can in fact have Our DuraBurb Duramax SUV's in any US State (yes Ma as well)

The requirements are spelled out in this video for the Ca Compliant Duramax SUV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAaKY-inNYY

Unfortunately some of the inspectors are very "monkey push the button" and if you throw a curve ball at them they don't know what to do.

The actual definition of a "LEGAL" drive train conversion is

A)the drive train in question must be available in the GVWR class of the recipient vehicle,

B)it must be equal to or newer than the recipient vehicle

C)It must retain all emission controls applicable to the drive train as equipped from the manufacturer

These basic requirements are spelled out by EPA
there is some speculation that the GM 6.6 liter diesel was certified as a ULEV, and the 6-liter Suburban was certified as a LEV II SULEV but that is as STUPID of a statement as saying you cant put a Duramax in your 2500HD P/U that just popped its 6.0L as the 6.6 is ULEV and the 6.0 is LEV, the SULEV is for the hybrid which the SUV in question would not be, the Duramax version is therefore a lower emission drive train with a smaller hydrocarbon foot print

Yes believe it or not the Diesels to-day are greener than their gasoline counterparts, gota love technology :)

Some inspectors will use this as an argument to not mess with you however the bottom line is that the 6.6 Duramax was offered in the 8500-14,000 GVW class from GM and therefor can be used in any 8500-14000 GVW vehicle from GM
Since the 2500 SUV and Hummer H2 are rated at 8600 GVW they can in fact have Duramax drive trains and the inspection agency has no choice but to accept them.

About 20% of the SUV's we build go to Ca and they all pass no question, we also have 3 current clients in Ma (2007 LMM YukonXL / 2004 LBZ Yukon XL / 2005 LBZ Hummer H2) however we have seen people hassled by an inspection agency like calsdad is experiencing here, it just depends on how hard you are willing to push or if your willing to just go to a different inspection location.

As a side note we had one client in Nv (the emission gestapo of the US, Ya its not Ca) and he ended up suing his local DMV agency over this on his 2004 2500 Suburban with a compliant 2006 LBZ Duramax, in the end he was awarded registration and financial compensation for grief and aggravation
He wouldn't say how much he got but just that his build was almost free in the end so it must have been pretty good
His Sub is the one on the left of this video
incidentally the one to the right is also a compliant SUV in Wa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03XKkjGxPmk


Hey calsdad maybe you can get a free build out of it :D

As a side note, NO you can not swap a SUV body with a lower than 8500 GVWR onto a P/U frame with a greater GVWR and be compliant as in the end it all comes back to the SUV VIN not the running gear, but you can put a 2500 SUV on a Duramax frame but why go through all that work? After all it comes down to the SUV VIN.
 

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As for coach builders they re-designate the vehicle from privet to commercial so it gets a totally different inspection and ironically most states don't do emissions on commercial vehicles as they are commonly exempt (go figure).

Here is a H2 that is our L-Type for Limo conversion and no it doesn't run any emission controls and is operated in Manhattan Ny and registered in Queens where they do require emission compliance but as a commercial vehicle it is exempt.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G0bjnZTb5w
 
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