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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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:munch: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.:good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #5


title info from the dealer...
 

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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.
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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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I daily drove 20-plus-year-old (88 & 91) 7.3l F350s and the only time I had to do anything more than belts, brakes, and normal wear & tear items was when the 88 needed a new oil pan & radiator. The 88 had around 475K when I got rid of it, the 91 was only around 200K I think (5-digit odometers.) Both still ran like a top at the time, started awesome in the cold, and had 400+psi compression. If I found another one today I’d drive it more than my Jeep because they’re more comfy for people & dogs and get better fuel economy.
 

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I daily drove 20-plus-year-old (88 & 91) 7.3l F350s and the only time I had to do anything more than belts, brakes, and normal wear & tear items was when the 88 needed a new oil pan & radiator. The 88 had around 475K when I got rid of it, the 91 was only around 200K I think (5-digit odometers.) Both still ran like a top at the time, started awesome in the cold, and had 400+psi compression. If I found another one today I’d drive it more than my Jeep because they’re more comfy for people & dogs and get better fuel economy.
I'd second this. I actually wouldn't mind having another 6.5T to mess with and drive. My FIL still drives a 93 Silverado every day. Not everyone has the bank roll to afford the initial purchase and maintenance of a $50k plus pickup. If I was younger and had more time I'd love to find something older (and more simplistic) to toy with.
 

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I'd second this. I actually wouldn't mind having another 6.5T to mess with and drive. My FIL still drives a 93 Silverado every day. Not everyone has the bank roll to afford the initial purchase and maintenance of a $50k plus pickup. If I was younger and had more time I'd love to find something older (and more simplistic) to toy with.
This. I would get a duramax, but piggybank lives matter:laugh:. I have no problem doing work on it if i have to. I have experience with the 4l80e trans that's in it, and I've been reading up on every possible engine related scenario that could pop up.

A lot of folks I know have older vehicles- (only the ford owners are having major issues, by the way). My one friend has a '94 VW TDI with over 400k and it keeps cranking along.
 

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Then there’s lower registration costs, lower insurance costs (I was paying $240/year for my 91 F350), and the fact that maintenance will surely cost less than a monthly payment. It really helps to be able to do your own work, especially on vehicles older than some of the mechanics who'll work on them. Ain’t no OBDII connector on this, sonny! You’re on your own!
 

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Go for it. 6.5 was/is a good reliable motor, with very good economy, as long as you aren't towing much or expecting a race car. :laugh:
Farmer I worked for had one and we averaged about 20 mpg with it.


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.
Some people
A) Can't afford new vehicles all the time
B) Enjoy working on/maintaining their vehicles
C) Prefer the simplicity, reliability, and dependability of vehicles before everything was electronic/computers.

My tow rig is an 01 w/192k, and I fully intend to pass that down to my son (currently 4) to drive. There are many older vehicles that I would trust more to daily drive than some of the newer ones!
 

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For the past year and a half I have been driving a 1996 Toyota 4runner with a 3.4 V6 and 5 speed manual. It has 271,000 miles and runs great. It was my daily driver until about a month ago when the master cylinder went out. When I get that replaced it will be back on the road. I bought it at 260k and put 10k on it in a year. All the accessories work on it too. I don't need to drive an old hoopty but I have no problems doing so. I keep the miles off my dually and it has lower operating costs compared to it as well. I need a cheap daily that I would not mind sacrificing (people drive like idiots around here) and can get me from A to B without burning too much gas since I have 35 mile one way commute. Now, down here in NC we do not have nearly the corrosion problems you see in the North Central US so I can see not getting 20+ years out of a vehicle up there simply due to corrosion. Toyota frames, much like GM truck beds/rocker panels are famous for rotting out.


As far as the old 6.5TD, I have always known them to be fairly reliable but do not mistake them for a Duramax because they do not and never will make as much power as one. If you want cheap entry into the diesel world, I say get it and relocate the PMD and then just drive it.
 

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Every one is entitled to their opinions. I sometimes forget that not every body lives in the rust belt. Like I have posted before I have an 05 Colorado that I bought new. Was always kept my heated shed, washed at least twice a month. It as 105k on it and the frame has major amounts of rust. My brother has a dodge that’s about the same age . The body on his dodge is very rusty. Both of these trucks are pretty much junk . Most vehicles around here begin to have signs of rust by the time there 10 years. Major rust can be expected by 15 years. A few make it to 20 years, but most don’t.

In 2016 I traded a rusty 99 dodge in for a f250. I don’t tow anything with the 2016 that I didn’t with the 1999. The 2016 easily runs at 80 mph pulling the same trailer that the 99 struggled to maintain the 70 mph speed limit. Both trucks are 3/4 tons. The 16 has traction control and anti lock brakes that the 99 didn’t have. It’s sure nice not to have one rear tire locking up when it’s icy out. The 2016 also has side air bags where the older trucks only had front air bags. Nobody plans on getting in an accident, but a newer truck could possibly save you life in a crash.

My F250 is my 6th truck . Still have the 05 Colorado. Got rid of the other 4 because major body rust, not because anything mechanical. The Colorado has actually lasted longer than any other vehicle a have owned.
 
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