Have the opportunity to pick up a 1996 6.5 detroit
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    johnH123's Avatar
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    Have the opportunity to pick up a 1996 6.5 detroit

    So, my plan for a while now has been to get my current truck fixed up good, and trade/sell it for a diesel.


    I have found a 1996 Chevrolet 2500 Cheyenne with a single cab, long bed, 4 speed auto trans, 4x4, and a 6.5L turbo diesel for a great price at a used car dealer not far from me. It has a good, relatively new towing package with brake controller, AND a gooseneck hitch to boot (which I don't really need- yet), and decent tires. The truck has 220K miles and very, very little rust. The thing is, I could most likely trade my current truck for this one with only minimal payment out of pocket.

    I need something thats more of a daily driver, and to use for occasional towing (as in, every few weeks or so). I don't have to pull anything immensely heavy, just a 16' livestock trailer. I'm not to worried about mileage, but as long as I get the same or above what I get with my current truck, i'll be happy. I have always wanted a diesel, and this truck would be perfect for me.

    Should I keep pursuing this truck? it has had 9 owners in Indiana and Ohio, but has either been repainted or very well taken care of. It does have a couple of small dents, but nothing that bad. The biggest hang-ups I have are the miles, and the low price. What are your thoughts on these in general, and what would you do in this situation?
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    - 2002 John Deere 4510 TLB PR,
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    -Allis Chalmers sickle mower,
    -RED windrow rake,
    -titan 48" 3000 pound forks/bale spear
    - Farm Star rear bale spear

    Yamaha Rhino 700, Yamaha Rhino 660,
    Murray 624 mower/38" deck

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    firemachine69's Avatar
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    That diesel never really had a great reputation. 300K'ish is what you should expect.
    JD 2520 MCUT (SOLD)

    Looking for a 3xx or 4xx restoration project (at a good price)

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    Fozsey's Avatar
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    I had a 94 gmc with a 6.5 turbo and other than the dumbass pmd (pump mounted driver) and the fact it didn't like cold weather, I loved it. It pulled great for that era and managed 17mpg while not towing. I've heard the stories but I liked it.
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    BigJim55's Avatar
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    go kick the tires again today--and take a pic of it--and show us then. heck if ya really want a diesel-then by gosh here it is.

    good luck on deciding about it.
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    jim

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    johnH123's Avatar
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    title info from the dealer...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screenshot (2).png  
    - 2002 John Deere 4510 TLB PR,
    -Woods BB60X 60" rotary cutter
    -Countyline box blade,
    -Allis Chalmers sickle mower,
    -RED windrow rake,
    -titan 48" 3000 pound forks/bale spear
    - Farm Star rear bale spear

    Yamaha Rhino 700, Yamaha Rhino 660,
    Murray 624 mower/38" deck

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    johnH123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fozsey View Post
    I had a 94 gmc with a 6.5 turbo and other than the dumbass pmd (pump mounted driver) and the fact it didn't like cold weather, I loved it. It pulled great for that era and managed 17mpg while not towing. I've heard the stories but I liked it.
    I've read about that. If I do get it i'll be relocating that first thing. i'll probably put in a block heater to supplement the glow plugs, too.
    - 2002 John Deere 4510 TLB PR,
    -Woods BB60X 60" rotary cutter
    -Countyline box blade,
    -Allis Chalmers sickle mower,
    -RED windrow rake,
    -titan 48" 3000 pound forks/bale spear
    - Farm Star rear bale spear

    Yamaha Rhino 700, Yamaha Rhino 660,
    Murray 624 mower/38" deck

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    Block heaters came standard from the factory, but the cord may be tied up somewhere under the hood or missing completely. IIRC the heater is in the 2nd to last hole on the passenger side, just ahead of the starter.

    Speaking of the starter, crawl underneath and check to see if the front starter brace is there. It should have a gear reduction 28MT starter. Torque starter bolts every oil change, and only use the knurled OEM bolts.

    The 96 ("599") block might be the best one of all, it's thicker in the main webs to help eliminate cracking through the outer main bolt holes (which were reduced from 12mm to 10mm for more metal around the holes) and it doesn't have the piston cooler jets of the 97-up "506" block that ended up developing cracks in the bores the jets were pressed into. Install the 97-up 130gpm water pump and dual thermostat system (and maybe even a Duramax fan conversion from Kennedy Diesel) and assuming the radiator is good you'll never worry about the cooling system.

    I'd recommend using a Wix 51794 oil filter, it's twice the size of the standard filter and gives you an extra quart of oil. The 6.5l only has a 7qt capacity with filter, so a 14% increase is a pretty big deal.

    The 6.2l/6.5l are definitely the weakest of the light truck diesels, but if used within their capacities they're very capable. They're more car-like to drive than the others. A lot of their design features will have you scratching your head - injector pump UNDER the intake manifold, glow plugs below the injectors and hard to get at, injectors at the bottom rather than the top of the heads so you have to pull intake, IP, and injector lines to change valve cover gaskets, all things that the other IDIs (Navistar 6.9l & 7.3l) got right, but for the right price they're a good buy. The best website for them is still probably http://www.thedieselpage.com.
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    Fozsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH2112 View Post
    Block heaters came standard from the factory, but the cord may be tied up somewhere under the hood or missing completely. IIRC the heater is in the 2nd to last hole on the passenger side, just ahead of the starter.

    Speaking of the starter, crawl underneath and check to see if the front starter brace is there. It should have a gear reduction 28MT starter. Torque starter bolts every oil change, and only use the knurled OEM bolts.

    The 96 ("599") block might be the best one of all, it's thicker in the main webs to help eliminate cracking through the outer main bolt holes (which were reduced from 12mm to 10mm for more metal around the holes) and it doesn't have the piston cooler jets of the 97-up "506" block that ended up developing cracks in the bores the jets were pressed into. Install the 97-up 130gpm water pump and dual thermostat system (and maybe even a Duramax fan conversion from Kennedy Diesel) and assuming the radiator is good you'll never worry about the cooling system.

    I'd recommend using a Wix 51794 oil filter, it's twice the size of the standard filter and gives you an extra quart of oil. The 6.5l only has a 7qt capacity with filter, so a 14% increase is a pretty big deal.

    The 6.2l/6.5l are definitely the weakest of the light truck diesels, but if used within their capacities they're very capable. They're more car-like to drive than the others. A lot of their design features will have you scratching your head - injector pump UNDER the intake manifold, glow plugs below the injectors and hard to get at, injectors at the bottom rather than the top of the heads so you have to pull intake, IP, and injector lines to change valve cover gaskets, all things that the other IDIs (Navistar 6.9l & 7.3l) got right, but for the right price they're a good buy. The best website for them is still probably http://www.thedieselpage.com.
    As I recall, there's 2 glowplugs on the pass side back that are a nightmare to change and if they pop, they won't come out without breaking.
    I've sucked a few broken ones out through the injector holes with a shop vac. It definitely had a few design flaws. It was a bored out 6.2 that they threw a turbo on. Mine had 180,000 miles on it when I got rid of it. It slobbered oil but was dead nuts reliable. Everyone I talked to told me they were the pooch of the diesel world but I was truly impressed with the power. Maybe I was just lucky.

    X2 on the starter. I broke starter bolts occasionally and mine had the bracket on the back.I only used GM bolts. My dad and I cut wood and I routinely pulled a 20 ft gooseneck loaded to the gills with 40 inch ash rounds. Neer had an issue pulling anything I put behind it.
    Last edited by Fozsey; 09-21-2018 at 08:33 PM.
    johnH123 likes this.


    ~Brian~

    1998 425/54 Deck/650 hours | 1998 455/60 Deck/54 Blade/1300 hours | 2003 GX345 48 Deck/47 Blade/Electric Pivot/900 hours (sold)


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    I’ve had 2 6.2l trucks, and after blowing one of them pretty spectacularly at around 300K I swapped in a built 6.5TD (275/500.) It was in a light 85 C1500 w/4-speed & 2.73s, and that thing SCREAMED even with half the stock exhaust. The 2 glow plugs under the turbo were very hard to reach, but having turned wrenches for quite some time I was pretty good at putting sockets on stuff I couldn’t even see.
    The AC60G glow plugs don’t burn out or swell, I’ve left them hooked up to a battery charger for hours to test them and they were good as new afterward. I was checking to see if they’d be usable in Navistar 6.9l/7.3l diesels since they use the same thread pitch and are very close in most dimensions (the shoulder wasn’t long enough to seat so I decided not to try.) The Navistar/Ford plugs burned out after 3-4 minutes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 58562432-1991-4C55-88EC-331CE981F5DD.jpeg   39CA2510-FDD5-4DC4-BD03-C12C17CAE3CE.jpeg   4EA760B3-264C-46E1-997B-424DF4261402.jpeg   7D6F0DD6-C6FE-4CF3-9384-323AB0543F19.jpeg   308E4CF4-AEBA-4A1D-B7BF-6A737EE85861.jpeg  

    A6C8C1BF-C771-4348-9679-61034D1768C9.jpeg   CC30A1ED-3C5C-4F1E-BE34-75D60D6FF020.jpeg   4688051E-3539-4F62-8F19-3ABD39636CEA.jpeg  
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    ejb69's Avatar
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    I can’t believe anyone would even consider using a 1996 anything as a daily driver, much less tow anywith it. A beater plow truck or a woods / hunting truck is about all I’d use a 20 year old truck for. If it’s in nice shape maybe a parade or show truck.

    In Wisconsin we can put hobbyists or collector plates on any vehicle over 20 years old and only have to pay a one time fee for the plates.

    Personally I wouldn’t buy a used truck that was more than 8 years old ,because I have an 05 Chevy Colorado that has rust holes in the frame. It probably shouldn’t be on the road. But , I’m going to try to get another winter out of it.
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    Eric

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