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My wife would like a tahoe or suburban and I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of a 350 or a 5.3L in a newer one vs an older Burb with a 6.5L. I have a line on one that is a '97 with a full load leather 4x4 etc. What kind of milege can I expect vs the gassers and also what are the operating costs of a 6.5L like. Like my dmax needs a fuel filter every 20K at 40 bucks. At how many miles should I forget about a used 6.5L or are they worth refurbishing. I wouldn't be doing the work ourselves. Any information on this would be great. :)
 

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Be sure you read through the "before you buy a diesel" thread within the FAQ's on this forum. Very valuable. Most everybody in this forum would tell you to go diesel. The MPG might be a bit higher, but so will the cost of the fuel, at least for the time being. Driving the diesel will definitely be more fun, and towing anything or even hauling a heavy load will be marketedly more fun in the diesel.

If you are going to do work on it yourself, I think the diesel wins hands down, especially using the knowledge of the folks on this site.

Not to mention, but a diesel can be run on biodiesel or Waste Vegetable Oil with the right modifications, for a truly clean and low cost transportation solution.

Good luck, as I said, go diesel. Good running diesel Suburbans are getting harder to find and they really all need good homes.
 

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My wife would like a tahoe or suburban and I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of a 350 or a 5.3L in a newer one vs an older Burb with a 6.5L. I have a line on one that is a '97 with a full load leather 4x4 etc. What kind of milege can I expect vs the gassers and also what are the operating costs of a 6.5L like. Like my dmax needs a fuel filter every 20K at 40 bucks. At how many miles should I forget about a used 6.5L or are they worth refurbishing. I wouldn't be doing the work ourselves. Any information on this would be great. :)
nothing to do with the truck, really, but consider driving habits, too. If she's always running late, then maybe a diesel isn't the right thing. If she needs the ability to jump in and just GO, then you may want to stay with a gasser. Not saying that all women are like this, but I've known of a few that can tend to be late on occasion (or every day).:)

SnowDrift
 

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a gasser will be more quiet inside. you can get anywhere from 13-18 mpg combined with the diesel (depends on the truck).

If you're going to pay a mechanic to do the work for you, make sure that he's familiar with the 6.5, or you'll be paying for his time to educate himself while working on your truck.
 

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What kind of milege can I expect vs the gassers and also what are the operating costs of a 6.5L like.
In general diesels get about 30% better fuel economy than a gasser with similar torque output. Since the 6.5 TD's torque is around 400 ft. lbs., the comparable gasser is a 454. Most 454's get about 10-12 MPG's in a 4x4 Suburban. I average 15 MPG by comparison, and 17-18MPG on the highway. If I didn't have 4.10's, I could probably get about 20MPG on the highway. Also, with towing, or heavy loads, diesels don't lose as much fuel efficiency as a gasser does. The difference in MPG's between a gasser 454 towing a 7,000 lb. trailer and a 6.5 diesel towing the same trailer will be significant.

As for operating costs, I haven't owned mine long enough to tell if its cheaper or more expensive to maintain versus a gas engine. It definitely seems to last longer and hold up better than a gasser. It's nice not having an ignition system to repair and maintain, but there is plenty of computer, electronic, and vacuum crap to go wrong with these engines, so its probably a wash.

I will say that the parts for the 6.5L are relatively cheap - much cheaper than your Dmax, or most other diesels for that matter. You won't be spending anywhere near $40 for a fuel filter. You can buy a whole set of injectors for a 6.5L for the price of just two Dmax injectors.

At how many miles should I forget about a used 6.5L or are they worth refurbishing.
Assuming its not abused and hasn't been used for a lot of heavy towing, you can expect to get 300k out of a stock 6.5L with a little luck. Far less than that if it's been abused, heavily modified, or used for heavy towing.

Most 6.5's die from block and head cracking, and to a lesser extent, crankshaft failure and piston cracking.

The good news is replacement 6.5's are relatively inexpensive too ($5k-$10k), so if you really love the truck, and your 6.5 gives up the ghost, its not an unreasonable option to replace it with a good rebuild or new crate 6.5, and you'll be good for at least another 150k+. A junkyard motor would cost you far less than that, and is also an option.
 

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fuel economy is better, torque is better, but the cost of owning a diesel is more. the 5.3 would be my choice, for one you can get in and go, and in a tahoe you should see about 14 mpg (give or take) secondly, they offer more torque and horsepower than a 350 vortec, or a tbi for that matter. its all personal preference really, happy hunting
 

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The 6.5 is not as reliable as a 5.7

MHO ,it is also more expensive and harder to maintain.
It will also " die" at the most inopertune time.

If your wife is VERY forgiving when it dies while she is driving, buy the 6.5.

But, I DO NOT let my wife drive the truck with the Camper loaded. She is not strong enough to steer and brake
when the engine is at ZERO Rpm.

READ READ READ before you buy....

My 93 5.7 ( 232K miles ) was much more reliable,
and cheaper to run, If you are not going to tow
IMO, it is not worth the headaches and expense to buy a 6.5l


AND, The emporer has no cloths.....
 

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If she's always running late, then maybe a diesel isn't the right thing. If she needs the ability to jump in and just GO, then you may want to stay with a gasser. Not saying that all women are like this, but I've known of a few that can tend to be late on occasion (or every day).:)

SnowDrift
Sir,

Are you suggesting that some women, having no mechanical skills, think they're vehicle is a time machine?:D
 

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I went to ENID once, Flt Eng c130, many years ago.

My wife has great mechanical skills , she can DESTORY anything,
come to think of , she did like to race the
tractor/trailers , maybe thats why I don'e let her drive....
 

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Sir,

Are you suggesting that some women, having no mechanical skills, think they're vehicle is a time machine?:D
I'm not exactly sure why it is this way, but some just believe that it only takes "five minutes" to do ANYTHING. She can take a shower, shave her legs, dry her hair, get dressed, put on make-up (when she's already beautiful), grab her purse and be ready to go in "five minutes." Translated into true time at hand, this takes upwards of 30-45 minutes. I'm not sure if the hands don't move on their clocks or what it is.

Learning to speak "woman" is more difficult than learning English. No bashing, here - just stating some differences;)

Didn't mean to hijack the thread - I really was hoping the originator would seriously consider this. Imagine your wife going out on a 0 deg. F day, starting up the ice cold oil burner, pulling out the driveway and ramping it right up to 2000 RPM because she's got a "five minute" drive to a workplace that's 15 minutes away...
 

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Imagine your wife going out on a 0 deg. F day, starting up the ice cold oil burner, pulling out the driveway and ramping it right up to 2000 RPM because she's got a "five minute" drive to a workplace that's 15 minutes away...
It makes me cringe.:eek: That's why I typically don't let the wife drive my burb without me along. Plain and simple. We got a minivan and a old grand prix she can drive however she wants.
 

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Here's why I like a diesel:1)the diesel sound, 2)the smoke at startup and takeoff, 3)the slight turbo-lag then torque when the turbo spools up. Here's why my wife doesn't care for the diesel:1)the diesel sound, 2)the smoke at startup and takeoff, 3)the slight turbo-lag.......
Plus my wife thinks that if she can hear any engine noise at all, then the truck sounds horrible....she wants to hear the radio and the voices in her head and nothing else (engine, sirens, other motorists cussin her out). Also, she likes to start it up no matter the temp and take off "freeway style" even if it is on our small country road with no regard to letting it warm up for a couple of miles.
For me, diesel is the way to go, but for her, she is in love with her Trailblazer and I like it like that. I have noticed that most women that I talk to tend to have the same feelings about a diesel as my wife does, just more work and thought involved with operating one than they care to have cause they just want to turn the key and GOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the input guys - I agree with all of it especially the vehicle being a time machine. A diesel is probably not the best choice for her - if I didn't need the space I would look at a TDI however.

Cheers
 

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Definitly go with the gas engine for your application. They are simply better for this application. Also think what your wife would say to you the first time (and second and third and so on) she spilled some diesel on herself (clothes) fueling up the Burb. it wouldn't be pretty.
 

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The 6.5 is not as reliable as a 5.7.
I can't say I agree with that line. WE've had nothing but dependability. Wife & kids love thier diesels.
 

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The cost of owning a newer one with the 5.3 will be greater than owning and maintaining the older 6.5 or 5.7 burban. A remanufactured 6.5 can be had for 3500.00 with 100,000 mile warranty on it. A remanufactured 5.7 comes in around 2000.00 if needed.
 

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I own a 1995 diesel Tahoe and a 2002 5.3 gas Tahoe and I used to own a 1997 Vortec 350 gas Tahoe. The diesel is by far the best power plant of the three. The '97 had good low end torque for a small block 330ft/lb's @2800rpm the 5.3 gas is the weakest excuse for a V8 I've ever owned with horrible fuel economy and 325ft/lb's of torque @4000rpm(boring). Compared to the stock(which mine is far from) 6.5 TD 430ft/lbs's @2000rpm. From a performance standpoint I have been a die hard Chevy up until my 2002 Tahoe. Now that the new body style (2007)will carry over the weak 5.3 I can't wait for Dodge to make a full size SUV with a HEMI. GM's gut-less revolution is going to have it racing into bankruptcy.
 

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Now that the new body style (2007)will carry over the weak 5.3 I can't wait for Dodge to make a full size SUV with a HEMI. GM's gut-less revolution is going to have it racing into bankruptcy.
I would hardly call 320hp and 340 lbs. of torque "weak." HEMI is nothing more than clever marketing. Look at the power output for the size of the HEMI engines, and there's nothing special about them. The GM small blocks put out more power for their size than the HEMI's.

Don't forget the 2007 Yukon can be had with a 6.0L 355hp, the Denali has a 6.2L 380hp/415ft. lbs., and the Escalade has a 6.2L 403hp. Weak?

What they really need to do is put the DMax in the Tahoe/Yukon/Suburban. Even a watered-down version paired with the 6L80E would be a great setup. If they don't put a diesel in these SUV's, they're making a HUGE mistake. Because their competition will, and that is now including Nissan, Toyota, BMW, and Mercedes. I would prefer to drive a diesel BMW X5 or a diesel Mercedes ML than a gas Tahoe. But I would prefer a diesel Tahoe or Suburban over an X5 or ML.
 

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...What they really need to do is put the DMax in the Tahoe/Yukon/Suburban. Even a watered-down version paired with the 6L80E would be a great setup. If they don't put a diesel in these SUV's, they're making a HUGE mistake...
Amen to that, brother! My Wife, the checkbook, and I all sit waiting in anticipation of this day! As soon as they (ever) make the announcement, I will be at the dealership the NEXT DAY!!!!:D
 
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