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1997 6.5 Turbo Diesel Questions

 
Limited660
New User
Posts: 5
Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/10/08 01:34 PM

Hello, we may be getting a 1997 Chevy 3500 dually with a 6.5 Turbo Diesel and we have some questions.

What are the pros and cons of this motor??

What are the major problems with it??

What should we look for before be buy it??

If we do buy it, what are the first things we should buy to upgrade/fix it??

THANKS!!  

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Edward A. Sanchez
Administrator
Posts: 2112
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 04/10/08 02:23 PM

First of all, what do you plan on using the truck for? Do you plan on modifying the engine at all?

The 6.5 is a decent workhorse motor, but isn't tremendously powerful, and isn't easily "tuned" for more power. This site is a great resource for the 6.5.

If you've already decided you're going to get it, then there's no use telling you this, but if you're generally in the market for a used truck that you plan on using for towing or hauling, I'd recommend a 7.3 Ford Powerstroke (made from 1994-2002) or a Dodge Cummins (made from 1989-current).  

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Limited660
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Posts: 5
Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/10/08 02:55 PM

The truck will be used for hunting, hauling a 9k skidsteer and maybe a gooseneck now that we will be able to haul one, but maximum load would probably be around 15-20k at most.  

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Edward A. Sanchez
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Posts: 2112
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 04/10/08 03:08 PM

20k is a little on the heavy side. Main thing for something that heavy is make sure the cooling system (radiator, water pump, etc) is in excellent shape, make sure it's got good, heavy-duty trans & oil coolers.

I'd also install a pyrometer (also known as an EGT or exhaust gas temperature) gauge if it doesn't already have one. How many miles on it?  

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gunman41mag
Guru
Posts: 1182
Joined: 01/08
Posted: 04/10/08 03:11 PM

HI Limited660, The 6.5 aren't to realiable, and you will put a BIG strain trying to tow 15-20k, The 6.5 was made to get more MPG, than the gasser. You will notice how quick GM stop putting 6.5 diesel engines into the HUMMER!!!  
2008 F250 SUPER-CAB 6.4 PSD 2WD 1999 F250 super-cab 7.3 PSD 2WD(sold)
MEMBER- BLOWIN' SMOKE GANG Commerative Heart

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Limited660
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Posts: 5
Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/10/08 03:15 PM

Here is the ad for it

1997 CHEVROLET 4X4 1 TON DUALLY, EXT CAB, 6.5 TURBO DIESEL WITH 212000 MILES, AUTO TRANS, HIDE AWAY GOOSENECK HITCH IN BED,PW WINDOWS,PW LOCKS,AC,CRUISE, TILT,NEW HEAT SYNC AND PMD CONTROLLER FROM SS DIESEL SUPPLY, NEW GLOW PLUGS AND GLOW PLUG TIMER ALSO FROM SS DIESEL. 6 NEW TIRES. RUNS GREAT FOR THE MILEAGE!!

Here are some pictures of it, very nice condition for 4k

DSCN5407
Truck4
Truck3
Truck2  

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gunman41mag
Guru
Posts: 1182
Joined: 01/08
Posted: 04/10/08 03:24 PM

I think for the price, it's a good deal, BUT YOU KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE SPENDING SOME CASH FIXING IT UP FROM TIME-TO-TIME. You won't see to many DURAMAX make it to 212,000 miles!!!!  
2008 F250 SUPER-CAB 6.4 PSD 2WD 1999 F250 super-cab 7.3 PSD 2WD(sold)
MEMBER- BLOWIN' SMOKE GANG Commerative Heart

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Edward A. Sanchez
Administrator
Posts: 2112
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 04/10/08 03:29 PM

Hmm. 212k miles is kind of high for the 6.5. Looks very clean except for the tear on the driver's seat.

Personally, if you plan on routinely using it for towing, I'd get a Cummins or 7.3 Power Stroke, or get a newer Duramax.

I've seen quite a few guys swap Cummins into these trucks. Those engines will go 300-400k+ miles without an overhaul, no problem.  

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Limited660
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Posts: 5
Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/10/08 03:35 PM

Well the reason for getting this truck is the maximum he is gonna spend is 4k and you dont get a good diesel like the duramax or cummins around here for no less then 7k  

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Edward A. Sanchez
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Posts: 2112
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 04/10/08 03:53 PM

I would strongly consider paying the additional $3-4k for a Cummins if you're really looking for a work truck. I think in the long run, it will be money well-spent.

This would probably be fine for trips to Home Depot for backyard projects, or towing a show car or something like that, but I don't think it's cut out for towing 15-20,000 lbs. routinely.  

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Limited660
New User
Posts: 5
Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/10/08 04:01 PM

The reason for getting it is because the maximum we can spend on something now is 4k, trust me if he could get a cummins or duramax he would have it already  

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Edward A. Sanchez
Administrator
Posts: 2112
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 04/10/08 04:13 PM

Well, that being the case...like I said before:

1) Cooling system: Inspect, repair or replace if necessary. New Radiator, Water Pump probably wouldn't be a bad investment, esp. if it's never been done. Get the biggest & best oil & trans coolers you can get. It's cheap insurance.

2) Pyrometer/EGT Gauge: Again, cheap insurance. Make sure your EGTs stay below 12-1300. You'll probably hit them going up steep grades, but you don't want sustained high temps. MAKE SURE the temp probe is placed right after the turbo. Too far downstream, and you'll get inaccurate readings (too cool).

Take care of those two things, and you'll probably be able to get several years of reliable service out of the truck. As soon as you can afford it, I'd upgrade to a Cummins. Either an engine swap, or a whole truck.  

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keithpapa
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Posts: 133
Joined: 03/08
Posted: 04/14/08 01:48 PM

also seein how its got over 210K on it id check the rr diff gears cause the last thing you want to do is spend $2-$3K for new ring/pinion...ive seen alot of trucks up here w.the r/p torn to schit because of improper weight hauling and popping of clutches and just plain ol mashin of the go pedel to get the load moving.  
IT WASNT ME, IT WAS THE ONE ARMED MAN!

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Edward A. Sanchez
Administrator
Posts: 2112
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 04/14/08 02:05 PM

Good point, keithpapa. I was so fixated on the engine, I didn't even think about the rear end. That's especially important if you're towing/hauling.  

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keithpapa
User
Posts: 133
Joined: 03/08
Posted: 04/14/08 02:07 PM

also wouldnt be bad idea to beef the trans to handle the weight if he buys...dont want clutch packs going ttiitts up and make sure the fluid isnt or doesnt smell like schit.  
IT WASNT ME, IT WAS THE ONE ARMED MAN!

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