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99' 6.5L Diesel

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Brant'sLawnCare, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Are these engines any good? I'm looking at a truck with around 70k miles on it. I haven't really heard much about them, so I am mostly looking for insight here.
  2. JustinD

    JustinD Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Not sure which years, but injection pumps were a problem, they aren't a speed demon by any means but a well maintained 6.5 will be a good workhorse. They get great mileage too.
  3. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I've only driving two of them. Both were very hard to start in the winter mornings and gutless. A good deal is a good deal, but I wouldn't be searching for one.
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I kept having FSDs go out on my 6.5TD. Real bad deal.
  5. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    The 6.5 developed a bad reputation for injector pump problems, however in reality the injector pumps rarely failed. What fails is a small electronic controller that is mounted to the pump. It's called a pump mounted driver (PMD) or sometimes FSD (Fuel Solenoid Driver) and it can't withstand the heat in it's factory location. The design intention is for the fuel flowing through the pump behind the PMD to take away the excess heat, but the obvious problem is when you shut the truck off there is a few minutes of heat soak. That takes it's toll on the PMD and they fail prematurely. When the trucks were new and still under warranty (11 years or 110000miles on the IP) the dealer had a choice: replace the $425 PMD and be reimbursed by the manufacturer, or replace $2500 injector pump and be reimbursed by the manufacturer. Which do you think was more common? Not to mention misdiagnosis of the IP.

    I've had my truck 8 years, it's got 172k hard miles on it, I've moved the PMD to a remote cooling location on a heat sink. I replaced the injectors at around 140k (for about the cost of one Duramax injector), glow plugs once and oil changes every5k. I have a 4 inch exhaust, and just added a larger aftermarket turbo. One of the downfalls to the 6.5 was the tiny turbo they used and no intercooler. The big turbo solved both those problems. This motor is a strong, reliable motor once you do the research and learn about their quirks. Or you can just listen to the uninformed who repeat what they've heard, that they are unreliable dogs with bad IPs.
    There are some real good sources out there for 6.5 parts and info (pm for links). All told, a 6.5 is not going to compare to a chipped Duramax. All the aftermarket performance stuff will put you about equal to a stock D-max, at least an LB7 early D-max. So it's never going to be really fast, but it wasn't designed to be. And it's a lot faster than the old 12 valve Cummins in the Dodges, and people seemed to love those trucks. You also aren't spending the coin you would for a D-max, and thanks to their bad reputation 6.5s can actually be had very cheap.
    My truck has two brand new big batteries, recent glow plugs and it starts well down to about 10 degrees. But I try to plug in the block heater under about 15-20 degrees just to make it easier on it for starting. Plows like a tank, the 4l80e trans is really stout too.
    As you can see I'm a big fan, I went through all the negative stuff when I first got it, and wished I'd held out for a Duramax, but after all these years and miles, I've come to really love my truck. If you buy that low mileage truck, all you really need is to put the PMD on a remote cooler which are available online, add a free-flowing exhaust without a converter and you should be happy. If not, theres a computer HP upgrade and the ATT turbo to make it perform better.
    Let me know if you have any 6.5 related questions.
  6. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    tymusicHello Detroit Dan. Ive got 3 6.5 s. Interested in where I can get the turbo and computer upgrades.:nod: Tried through a local auto parts dealer to get a Bully Dog gizmo for the computer but it turned out to be for the Duramax.:help:
  7. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Not sure if it's okay to post links here. But I'll try anyway. The best computer upgrade available is through Bill Heath at Heath Diesel Power. www.heathdiesel.com
    Turbo is available through walkingj designs. walkingjdesigns.myshopify.com/products/6-5l-diesel-turbo-charger-a-team
    I have the turbo and it was worth every penny. And in reality, it's no more expensive than a stock replacement turbo, so it's not a bad deal. Right now I'm saving up for a Heath GL-4 computer. Try Diamondeye for exhaust, they have a nice 4 inch kit from the turbo back for about $300 bucks it will really let the motor breathe. Factory exhaust is terrible, not only does the soot trap (what people think is a cat converter) plug up solid and restrict flow, the factory designed turbo downpipe is crushed to make installation easier. A free flowing exhaust is the single most beneficial upgrade you can make, dollar for dollar in my opinion.
    Heath also sells a remote mount PMD kit with harness. I made mine myself a lot cheaper, but Heath has I think a 7 year warranty on it, so that proves that mounting it outside the engine compartment is worthwhile.
  8. Showmestaterida

    Showmestaterida Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    SSDiesel Supply, LLC, Great stuff.
  9. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190

    Are you looking at buying a P/U or a dump truck Brant?
  10. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Hey Joe,

    It's a flatbed dump.
  11. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    SSDiesel Supply has a horrible reputation in the 6.5 online community. Doesn't stand behind his stuff and half his stuff is crap. Stay away from him.
  12. Showmestaterida

    Showmestaterida Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    What problems have you had with him/parts?
  13. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    what kinda milage do you get with that 6.5 ?
  14. Showmestaterida

    Showmestaterida Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    dan, what problems have you had with him/parts?