Looking to buy Diesel turck what kind???

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Feb 24, 2005
eastern NewMexico
Wasn't sure where to ask but thought you guys would know. I was looking at 2 groups of chevy diesel trucks. First is the lower cost mid 80's 6.2L diesel, I don't think there turbo charged. I have herd these are bad engines and that they have no power. That they break down a lot. Now that dosen't sound right when people still have trucks where the engins have 200,000miles and run good. The second group are mid 90's and up chevy 6.5L turbo engines. I have herd these are much better then the mid 80's engins. I have herd that the 6.2 is junk when compaird to the newer 6.5L turbo. I would like to to get the newer one but if a real good deal comes along I would take an older one if there worth it. I do not know much about these chevy engines, I work on detroit diesels and Cummins. When I have contact with these engines there usaly driving generators. I get to do a little with cummins 5.9L in older Dodge trucks.
Had a friend with a GMC diesel in his van,swore by it towed all over north america never missed a beat.The local emission tester blew the head gasket when he floored it to the limit,must of had a million kliks on it by then
GM's 6.2 almost, single-handedly, destroyed the reputation of diesel engines in passenger vehicles & pick-ups. They made a diesel engine out of a 350 block & it DIDN'T WORK!!! I heard that a lot of people had the diesel pulled out & exchanged for a gasoline 350. I have a friend who purchased a new Cadillac with the 6.2 & it was so bad that he tried to trade it in on a new gasoline powered Cadillac & none of the dealers would give him anything for the 6.2. They said they didn't want it on their lot. Too hard to resell. My understanding is that the 6.5 is an improvement over the 6.2. More of a true diesel design. However, I've heard they are quite underpowered in comparison with what the competition offers. I get the impression from your post that you are looking for an inexpensive diesel pick-up. If that's true, I'd be looking for an earlier Dodge/Cummins or a Ford 7.3 Powerstroke. Personally, I like the 12 valve Cummins engines with the P-7100, inline, fuel injection pump (bullet-proof)found in the '94-'98.5 Dodges. That was an exceptionally good, simply designed engine. It's capable of getting over one million miles on it without an engine rebuild. The 5.9 Cummins was originally designed to be a medium-duty industrial engine & that is what it was used for. The Ford 7.3 seems to have been a good diesel with a loyal following. Not as durable as the Cummins, though, in my opinion. The turbo's make a huge difference on diesel engines. On the early '80's Mercedes/Benz 300-D diesel engines, the turbocharged version got 47% more power with better fuel mileage. You, definately, want a turbocharged diesel engine. Good luck with your choice. Joe Fihn
Ditto with Joe. To expand a little. The 350 block used to convert to diesel in the 70's was an Oldsmobile block, the strongest GM had at the time. Still not up to the task of diesel service. Most people today think of a 350 block as a Chevy which it definately was not! The later GM 6.2, 6.5 were better, but offered only marginal economy advantage over the gas version with more cost and less power. Really not much if any of a durability advantage either. This is why they were not popular. The Dodge Cummins is king of the hill, no competition and the '94 to '98.5 without the electronics is the best of the lot. The Powerstroke 7.3 is a good engine, just not on par with Cummins. Go to a Ford dealer, ask for an F550 with a Cummins and it is an extra cost option over the Powerstroke. Not available in an F250 or 350 due to the Cummins contract with Dodge. Run don't walk away from the latest Powerstroke 6.0. Ford has numerous Lemon law suits and has even bought back a few. The later ones are better and the new 6.4 for '07 is supposed to cure the numerous electronics problems associated with the 6.0. IMHO the jury is still out on the Duramax 6.6. I want to see how they live in real service of over 300K. I do know the owners of medium duty trucks with the engine are not happy. Fuel economy is poor and they have had problems. I would absolutely take it over a Ford 6.0 but not the 7.3 or Dodge Cummins. [Cheers!]
I was looking to build a Diesel fleet. Well just a suburan or GMC with a diesel to haul people and kids around in. Also a pick up to move and tow stuff for me. The only diesel SUV's I see most of the time for less then $10,000 are the mid 90's Suburans. That is what I would like to buy if there any good. For a truck I would like to get an older Dodge cummins. I would go with a cummins or detroit diesel if I had the pick.
Consider a new Jeep Liberty CRD. It isn't as big as a Suburban but it can haul 5,000 lbs and some report as much as 30 mpg on the highway after 18k of breakin. We are averaging about 23 mpg in ours but its only 3 weeks old.
I think the best approach is to talk with Chev, Ford and Dodge diesel truck owners when your out and about. Most will give you the bottom line on their ownership experience. I have a 2002 Ford F350 4x4 with the 7.3 diesel and really like the truck. Good looks, plenty of room,and power. For a 1 ton truck drives nice. Just so you know the diesels in the Ford pick up trucks are made by International. Dodge gets the Cummins, Chev GMC is a joint venture with GM/Isuzu. I was never fond of the Chev/GMC diesel trucks but had to choose between the Ford and Dodge. Tough choice. I went with the Ford after test driving both. Just take your time , do some research and enjoy the truck you choose. Ruby
If you want to spend $10K and don't need 4WD, I personally would check out a Ford diesel Club Wagon. They are frequently on ebay and should be much more dependable than a 6.2 or 6.5 GM. Ruby has it right though, find a forum or some owners and check out the pros and cons.
My perfect truck would be a Ford with the Cummins diesel. I own a Dodge/Cummins presently, and can understand why they're still number 3, quality is a lacking factor for them. I've owned Ford's, both gas and diesel, and GM, and hands down, this Dodge has been the most unreliable vehicle I've ever owned! I can honestly say I wouldn't recommend this vehicle to my worst enemy. I know the Navistar/Ford 6.0L diesel has had it's problems, but still, last year 96% of the ambulances built in the USA were on Ford chassis with that powerplant. If something were terribly wrong with that engine, it certainly wouldn't have commanded that figure in severe duty service. That's a reputation hard to beat.
Reb, ALL vehicles have their problems, but the Ford 6.0's are legendary. Check the link below if you want to see an amazing set of service bulletins and recalls. [Duh!] http://www.intellidog.com/dieselmann/60bulletin.htm I've had a few problems with my Dodge/Cummins, but nothing to compare to the problems listed in the link above. In my experience the Fuel systems are a weak link on the Dodge, especially the VP-44 equipped 24V engines. If you know what they are ahead of time and how to resolve them you will have minimal problems. Automatics have been an issue too, but no worse than GM or Ford. I still vote for a Club Wagon with 7.3 for Mr. oil pan! [Cheers!]
Ok, one think has to be made clear. The 6.2L diesel is not a converted gas engine. You guys are getting it confused with the 5.7L diesel produced from 78-85. The 6.2L was produced from 82-93. It's a solid engine. It may be a little low on power in stock form, but with a few tweaks it will be comparable to a small block. 6.5L was a bored out 6.2L. It came out in 1992. In 1994 they replaced the mechanical fuel pump with an electronically controlled unit. There were a lot of problems with this pump when it first came out, but by 1996 they had most of the bugs worked out. As far as reliability, the 6.2L seems to outlast the truck. There are lots of 6.2L diesels still on the road up here. As long as they are maintained they will run along time. They are a simple engine to work on and parts are cheap when compared to todays diesels. I can change all eight of my injectors on my 6.2L for less then the price of one injector, on my 04 Cummins. The 6.5L with the turbo wasn't as reliable, but once again it is a relatively simple engine to work on and parts are cheap when compared to today’s diesels. The 6.2L/6.5L are popular up here since they came in a half-ton. Not everyone needs a 3/4 ton, but since diesel has traditionally been a lot cheaper up here (purple or not) a lot of these trucks were sold, and still sell for a good price used. Carl
I found a goverment gasmilage site last night. The difference between gas and diesel trucks is so much. I would not have belived it unless I saw it my self. Most older V6 Gas trucks got around 12 to 15 MPG The older Diesel trucks got form 18 to as high as 21mpg. An old 6.2 suburan got the best out of them all. That sealed the deal now I have to get one. Every thing else on the site was inline with what my Z28 gets and what a few other cars I had and people I know have.
Cak446, I believe you are correct in "mistaking the 6.2 for the 5.7". I stand corrected!!! However, that first diesel attempt left a lot to be desired, as I recall. Reb, I wonder if Ford gets the ambulance contracts not because of the engine but, because they are the only ones that have a 450/550 chassis. I don't believe the competitors have as heavy a chassis. Joe Fihn
GM does offer their 4500 series chassis with the 6.6L Duramax diesel for ambulance conversion. Interestingly, Ford is actually loosing a little ground, in 1999 for example, 98% of ambulances manufactured were on their chassis. But still, they've been at that dominating figure for the past 26 years.
"The older Diesel trucks got form 18 to as high as 21mpg. An old 6.2 suburan got the best out of them all." At one point the 2wd Blazers with the 6.2 were rated at 30 mpg. My 6.2s have all lasted excellently, even the '82. It was still running strong at 250k until my EX drove it down the interstate at 85 mph for 120 miles. 4.56s and no overdrive aren't compatable
you are wrong about the 6.2 diesel. the old 350 diesel was a gas motor converted over. but the 6.2 and 6.5 were designed by detroit diesel as diesel motors. i have a 6.5 with 130,000 miles. gets good mileage at 16-18. has plenty of power to pull stuff. parts are easy to find. my personal favorite is the 92-93 6.5's. they got the mechanical pump instead of the electrical. easier to play with and less headaches. there are some 6.2 and 6.5 suburbans out there. check on ebay. gettin harder to find though. sure everybody can say a 7.3 powerstroke or cummins has more power in the stock form. i will totally agree with them. but lets compare. the cummins and stroker both have higher fuel rates, bigger turbos, intercoolers and larger displacement per cylinder. hard to compare them in the stock form.
Steiner, Not sure what you mean about "fuel rates" or why the individual cylinder displacement matters, but the Ford and Dodge are medium duty truck motors in light duty trucks. GM 6.2 and 6.5 are light duty from the get-go. It was GM's diesel in comparable trucks, so I think it's fair to compare. I don't think 16-18 is very good fuel economy for a diesel, even if you have a Suburban. My present Cummins in a one ton club cab dually gets 23 highway solo and 17.5 towing an 8000 lb (loaded) car trailer. Mine is a '97 and newer ones can't do that (due to electronics required for emissions), but newer Fords and Chevies can't either. I also think 250K for life expectancy is a pretty low standard for a diesel. A Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla can easily top 300K with proper maintainence. Many Cummins on Dodge forums have over 500K towing heavy loads and are still going strong. One fellow has 1,180,000(I'm sure the truck is in pretty sad shape, but the engine is still running fine). None of this does Oil Pan any good. Unless he buys a school bus, he's not going to find a Cummins for his needs. I just think that potential mileage is only one aspect of the total cost of ownership. It takes a lot of fuel savings to pay for the $4,000~$5,000 it takes to replace an engine. [Cheers!]
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