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6.5L Diesel Engine Discuss the 6.5 GM diesel engine & associated components. Automatic transmission questions & problems belong in the 4L80/85 - 4L60E - 6L90 Transmission Forum

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Old 12-27-2016, 10:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
VAKOS
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1998 k3500 4X4 AMBULANCE

Hello diesel place
I recently found this forum while searching the internet for info on my motor. Wish i had found this site sooner.
I bought this truck in September of this year. i found it on craigslist about 4 hours away from me and ended up paying a little under 6k. it had 101k miles and almost perfect cosmetically. I admitably didnt do much due diligence on the motor. I checked the fluids and gave it a good test drive. started fine, drove great, and the motor was really clean so i went for it, bought it and drove it four hours on the highway home.
a week later i started getting awful noise out of the radiator and then started stalling randomly. ive never owned a diesel before so i took it to a friend to check it out.. hes got a big shop and told me he'd help me out, tells me my PMD is bad and quotes me 800 bucks for labor and 500 for the pmd, tells me my vacuum pump is making the noise and another 300parts and 150labor. I ask about harmonic dampener and i was told its fine. i choose to do it myself for a total of 200 for the PMD and 150 for the vacuum pump. PMD had already been relocated (thankgod they didnt charge me to change the factory one) and the vacuum pump was super simple. stalling gone but rough running and noise are getting worse. take it back to friend. says i must have got a bad vacuum pump from autoparts store talks me into letting him put on AC delco so i can have warranty.450 bucks later NOISE STILL. why not change the AC compressor while were at it. 800 bucks later NOISE STILL. at this point im broke so i become driveway mechanic via youtube. HARMONIC DAMPENER BAD. CRANK PULLEY BAD. replaced both with cheap bullshit from auto parts store cause no money and need to work. NOISE GONE. FRIEND GONE. haha

Fast forward two months and Ive been driving it daily to and from work ~30 min each way. ive developed a little list of issues that are starting to add up and i got a slew of question if anyone is willing to answer any of them or link me to some information.
Ill start with glow plugs. fairly certain mine arent working properly. how do i test and change them and where should i get replacements from?

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1998 k3500 6.5T 4x4 ambulance
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
57diesel
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Its nice you got the truck body and not the van. Vans had a lot of odd stuff on them that was not easy to work on.

Glow plugs are not too hard to check. Typical check is with an ohm meter. Attach one wire of the meter to a good ground. Unplug the connector at the glow plug or the splice connector for 4&6 with the special high heat extensions on em. Touch the meter lead to the plug. You should get a reading of less than 10 ohms on a good plug. IF its higher plug is likely bad. Be sure to look at the display for a K. 1.2 K would be 1200 ohms so bad. Next move the lead to the wire. Flex it around a bit, reading should be steady and again very low ohms unless all the plugs are shot.

Recently a few people have experienced plugs that ohmed out good but were still bad. They had some internal failure in their 'thermostat' that cuts out too soon so they never really got hot. This seems to be a newer issue.

Which plugs to get? Good question. Until recently no question most liked the Bosch plugs. It seems like Bosch changed the part number and quality in the last couple years so they are not what they used to be so maybe AC 60G's is the way to go.

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98 Burb K25 4.10's 250K miles, new to me, pretty clean and stock.
95 Burb K25 4.10's 250K miles, looks to have been rebuilt at least once, stock, bad rust, DE exhaust w/walker muffler, 8' western plow.
81 Buick Riviera with the infamous Olds 5.7 diesel still going strong.
15 VW Golf wagon, TDI. Did the buyback on my 13 Jetta TDI wagon so it was basically a trade up.
96 Burb K25 3.42's SOLD at 340K miles, told it was all original, close race between engine wearing out or body completely rust out.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
OkDually
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Welcome to the forum.

First off stop going to that so called friend with a mechanic shop.

You are getting bent over pretty good on parts and labor..

Start by going through all of your grounds.
Grounds are essential in a 6.5L.
All your information needed ( including most part numbers)are listed in the FAQ section.

As for engine noise,try using a little fuel additive like some TC W3, two stroke oil from Walmart.
just 1 oz. per 2 gals of diesel fuel in the tank will help a lot.

The 6.5L engine was not designed for the Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuels that are sold today.

Change all your filters and stay on top of the preventative maintenance items and that engine will last you a long time.

Rock Auto is a good source for parts.
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1996 K3500 6.5L,( "F" Eng #141 cast block) 5 speed manual, crewcab, dually longbed: 208,000mi.
Diamond Eye 4" Turbo Back Exhaust w/2.5" Flo-Pro Crossover
AirDog II DF165 -XDP w/ tank sock delete
TD-Max boost controller - Kennedy Diesel
OPS extension hose - Leroy Diesel
Glowshift Maxtow EGT,Boost, Fuel gauges
PMD w/#9 resistor and Re-Location Kit, mounted to bumper - Leroy Diesel
GM-5 Turbocharger
4.10 gear ratio
OptiLube Summer + Formula

Proud member #1039 of The 3500 Dually Club


Last edited by OkDually; 12-27-2016 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
tugboat94
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Hi. You came to the right place. That thing is sweet. Are you in medical field or what is the idea behind the ambulance purchase? I would have a sweet camper made out of that thing in no time. The people here are an endless book of knowledge on these things keep the pictures of your rig coming :cheers
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EVERY THREAD!!!! Needs pics.
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Last edited by tugboat94; 12-27-2016 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 12-27-2016, 06:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
deejaaa
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very nice DD!
also, if you have the time: remove the GP's and run them straight off the battery. should glow on the tip red hot.
stay away from cheap ones. they can swell and break off when removed.
check the screen in the FFM. it gets clogged but can be cleaned up.
drain the FFM periodically to check for water in fuel. OEM filter is good for a little water but not the best. i use a Goldenrod with water block on the bed mounted tank feed line.
check LP pressure: install gauge, either permanently or temp in engine compartment. mount between FFM and IP. that will also give an indication of filter flow. can't remember what DS4 pressures are recommended.
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Black 93 1 ton crew cab, fuel/boost gauge, spin-on pre-FFM filter, 6.5 stock, 30 gal bed mounted tank w/ Goldenrod filter on feed, brought home 9/4/08, Turbo name that starts with A, OEM crossover, quad headlights, reskinned door cards/headliner, 2 power-ports on lower dash, hour-meter, 235/85R16LT tires, GV unit(1900 rpm at 70 mph), full manual 4L80(E), after-market stereo, OEM tank deleted.
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Last edited by deejaaa; 12-27-2016 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
VAKOS
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Hey! thanks for the responses. sorry for the delay but the holidays were crazy and I parked the truck for the last couple of weeks and am just now getting back to it. My main reason for parking it is my voltage began surging constantly. I'm assuming is the voltage regulator in one or both of my alternators. (dont worry, im going through my grounds and clean and retighten as well) This is my first diesel and am not familiar with a dual alternator system. can i replace just the one that is bad or should i replace both at the same time??
Also checked 5 of my glow plugs which were all bad. im going to just replace all 8. my haynes shop manual talks about replacing the glow plug controller at the same time.. any thoughts?? (on the manual or their advice). and any advice and tips tricks etc on how to safely remove the glow plugs throw em my way. ive read lots of posts on em and watched all the videos but someone always has little tips that make things go smoother. im just praying i dont snap one off in the cylinder.
when checking the glow plugs, im Ohmed
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
OkDually
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAKOS View Post
Hey! thanks for the responses. sorry for the delay but the holidays were crazy and I parked the truck for the last couple of weeks and am just now getting back to it. My main reason for parking it is my voltage began surging constantly. I'm assuming is the voltage regulator in one or both of my alternators. (dont worry, im going through my grounds and clean and retighten as well) This is my first diesel and am not familiar with a dual alternator system. can i replace just the one that is bad or should i replace both at the same time??
Also checked 5 of my glow plugs which were all bad. im going to just replace all 8. my haynes shop manual talks about replacing the glow plug controller at the same time.. any thoughts?? (on the manual or their advice). and any advice and tips tricks etc on how to safely remove the glow plugs throw em my way. ive read lots of posts on em and watched all the videos but someone always has little tips that make things go smoother. im just praying i dont snap one off in the cylinder.
when checking the glow plugs, im Ohmed
You should be ok replacing just the one alternator.. but have them both tested..

Be sure to purchase Either Bosch Duratherm or AC/Delco Glow plugs.
Also, soak the old plugs with a penetrant oil like PB Blaster for a couple of days prior to removing..

If you are unsure about the history Glow Plug Relay then go ahead and replace it for good measure as well.
Be sure to use only AC/Delco brand.
__________________
1996 K3500 6.5L,( "F" Eng #141 cast block) 5 speed manual, crewcab, dually longbed: 208,000mi.
Diamond Eye 4" Turbo Back Exhaust w/2.5" Flo-Pro Crossover
AirDog II DF165 -XDP w/ tank sock delete
TD-Max boost controller - Kennedy Diesel
OPS extension hose - Leroy Diesel
Glowshift Maxtow EGT,Boost, Fuel gauges
PMD w/#9 resistor and Re-Location Kit, mounted to bumper - Leroy Diesel
GM-5 Turbocharger
4.10 gear ratio
OptiLube Summer + Formula

Proud member #1039 of The 3500 Dually Club

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Old 01-09-2017, 10:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
VAKOS
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The good the bad the ugly...
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
VAKOS
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There's got to be at least a mile or wire on this thing
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
VAKOS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tugboat94 View Post
Hi. You came to the right place. That thing is sweet. Are you in medical field or what is the idea behind the ambulance purchase? I would have a sweet camper made out of that thing in no time. The people here are an endless book of knowledge on these things keep the pictures of your rig coming :cheers
the goal and the thought behind the purchase is a off grid livable camper/tiny home. i have big dreams but small pockets right now. if i can get the motor right its on. I have the option to work on the road for extended periods of time making real good money so the hope is to be able to bring my comfortable space with me and pocket my per diem. ive been doing it off and on for the past ten years and hotels get old real quick.

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