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Old 01-10-2011, 10:49 AM
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mowerbrad mowerbrad is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan
Posts: 6,273
I owned a '98 6.5 diesel in a 2500 truck. I bought it used in 2006 and for the first two years of me owning it, it was pretty good. Not too many huge repairs or anything. But then the 3rd and 4th year of ownership was more of a nightmare. I spent almost $5k in repairs one year and $3k in repairs the other. About every 3 months I had something go wrong on the truck. I sold the truck in August 2010.

The good thing about the 6.5 diesels is that they are relatively cheap to work on when you compare them to duramax, cummins or powerstroke engines.

It definately doesn't have tons of power. It is slow but does tow okay. Even with a fairly light load, maybe 5000#, I'd really have to get into the throttle to get up to speed. When I compare it to my new 6.0L gas truck, it is blown out of the water, the 6.0 vortec has way more power and tows better.

I didn't see the fuel economy that others have posted. I seemed to get 14 mpg pretty consistantly, and that was with a mix of city and highway driving. If I did all highway, I would maybe see 16, but that would be a stretch.

If you plan on doing any type of performance mods to this truck, I'd move on and get a different diesel. The 6.5's have a very limited selection of performance parts really. The best place to get performance parts is from Heath diesel, but it will cost a pretty penny to gain any amount of noticable power. Performance parts just aren't out there like they are for other diesels.

I had the PMD and injector pump problems, had both replaced in 2009. I had most of the typical problems that these trucks were known for. I ended up selling the truck when it had transmission problems. Mine had maybe 140k miles on it when I sold it.
'07 Chevy 2500HD
2010 John Deere Z925A 54" MOD
2011 John Deere Quik Trak 647A
John Deere walkbehind
81"x18' trailer
Stihl handhelds
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:06 PM
Evan528 Evan528 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Montgomery County, PA.
Posts: 2,144
I had a 93 3500 with the 6.5 that I bought it 03. This truck ran flawlessly for me for about 4 years. My guys towed with it daily. It was no race car but seemed to have the same ecceleration whether towing or not. In 08 when it started pouring out white smoke at start up... stalling at red lights and had weird electrical problems I quickly dumped it instead of pouring thousands into a 15 year old truck.

The guy I bought the truck from replaced the engine at 138,000 miles which is pretty pitiful for a diesel motor. This is a guy who preformed maintenance on it to a "T".

I see no advantage to the 6.5 diesel over a gasser.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:01 PM
Gravel Rat Gravel Rat is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 9,544
The trucks with 454 engines out lasted the 6.5 by a long shot.

The 6.5 engines the crank shaft is noted to break in half, then they have problems with their timing chains, injection pumps. The 6.5 was no improvement over the old 6.2 it replaced which was more reliable than the 6.5.

All in all the 6.5 was the worst POS created, the first time I drove one it was a 1 ton dually flatdeck. My old 351 Ford in my 1 ton dually flatdeck had more b*lls.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:28 PM
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Mowingman Mowingman is online now
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,596
I had a 1995, Chevy 3500HD with the 6.5 turbo diesel. It was originally owned by a towing company whose owner is a mechanic. I bought it with 170,000 on it. Put another 50,000 on it myself, and sold it to a guy who had a contract to tow and set up FEMA mobile homes after the New Orleans hurricane. Saw him at a fast food rest. the other day, and he still has the truck. It now has about 400,000 miles on it and he says it still runs good. I never had to do any repairs to it, and he said he has done nothing major either. So, go figure.
I know the original owner had to replace rthe troublesome fuel system components, but other than that, it seems to be a solid truck.
Oh, lousy fuel mileage compared to the 7.3 Powerstroke, and kind of gutless when towing a heavy trailer.
However, all in all, was a good truck for all 3 of it's owners so far.
Work Safe
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:20 AM
bigmackmiller bigmackmiller is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Kokomo, IN
Posts: 25
Better off going with something else...if a duramax is out of your price range I would look in to a 7.3 powerstroke or a cummins if you can find one that the rest of the truck hasn't fallen off of.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:36 AM
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Outdoors_Unlimited Outdoors_Unlimited is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oxford, Michigan
Posts: 450
I'm a Chevy guy, and will NEVER own one. We had one at a previous job. It was the "new" truck. It sat most of the time.
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