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97 Chev K1500 6.5l diesel - How should I set it up for plowing?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by laser_raiser, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. laser_raiser

    laser_raiser Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Hi Everyone,

    I have a 97 Chevy K1500 6.5 diesel (yes, half ton). I want to start setting it up to plow with next season. I don't have a plow, or any upgrades to the truck yet. How should I set it up?

    Suspension, Types of Plows or Mounts, and so on. Let me know

  2. 2006Sierra1500

    2006Sierra1500 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,758

    That might be a little tight on front end capacity there...even the extended cab 2500 diesel models are not recommended for plows. 7.5 foot max, and Timbrens..should be OK. Dealer support is key. The most Boss recommends, engine regardless is a 7.5 Sport Duty on an Extended Cab. I'm assuming your truck is an extended cab, never seen a half ton regular cab with the 6.5
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    You dont set it up.
  4. laser_raiser

    laser_raiser Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I don't know what the front capacity is. I'll try to find out. Truck is extended cab, turbo diesel 6.5 and I know it's sort of a "heavy duty" version of the usual 1500. 14 bolt non-floating rear end. I think I heard the frame may be the same as a 2500 non-HD?

    What about upgrades exactly? Shocks, and overloads?

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    Its a 1500 with the worst diesel engine ever made on the entire planet, enough said. There is NOTHING heavy duty about it.
  6. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,719

    Seems you know a lot about them. :dizzy:

    Sure they aren't a Duramax but there certainly is a lot worse motors out there. In the right hands a 6.5 is a perfectly fine motor.

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    Please don't feed him lies Mark, It's not nice.
  8. 2006Sierra1500

    2006Sierra1500 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,758

    The 6.5s are great motors, reliable and long lasting. Look at CORVAIRWILD, DieselSlug, etc. CW has one with 300k miles, original engine, rebuilt tranny. DieselSlugs has 240K, I think, with a rebuilt engine and tranny. He can probably chime in here...
  9. laser_raiser

    laser_raiser Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I've already decided that the 6.5 is actually a pretty good engine, otherwise I wouldn't consider it for plowing. It has its quirks, like most engines; you just have to know what to keep an eye on to keep it running good.

    From my understanding, this mainly means ... (the following do not show much for symptoms so if you neglect them or your engine like most people are used to, there are potentially serious consequences.)

    -Making sure harmonic dampener is good (It's 1 piece, and won't fail with your pulley like on other setups to prevent damage)
    -Always run fuel lubricant, as with any diesel (easier on injection pump)
    -Make sure lift pump is working so injection pump isn't overworking
    -Replace or upgrade bad oil cooler lines
    -Relocate PMD to prevent overheating
    -Pre 97 also had inferior cooling setup with 1 thermostat instead of 2 in 97+, and if unmaintained could cause a lot of overheating related repairs

    These are some of the major points that come to mind. If you check these things, and follow good maintenance then I think these engines are amazing workhorses with long life potential.

    It is a non-intercooled diesel, not intended as a performance engine, but as a work-horse. It still fares well to some of the other competition around the time despite this.

    92-99+ 6.5 TD
    Power / Torque (highest): 215 hp @ 3,200 rpm / 440 lb·ft (597 N·m) @ 1,800 rpm

    97-98 5.9 12v Cummins
    215 hp (manual), 180 hp (auto) 440 lb·ft (600 N·m) (manual), 420 lb·ft (570 N·m) (auto)

    93-94 Non-Powerstroke 7.3 IDI Turbo
    190 @ 3,300 RPM (7.3 L turbo) 388 @ 1,400 RPM (7.3 L turbo)