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97 Trek Safari RV 6.5 TD Auto, 98,000 miles VIN # 1GBKP 37FX V330 5645
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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for GM scanner to check IP timing, OB2 port needed.

I’ve got a ’97 Trek Safari motorhome with a Chev 6.5 TD, (use K3500?) 98,000 miles. Main complaint is lack of power.

We recently got back from an 8-month trip down to the states towing a Honda Element. Of course, we hit mountains again once getting back to West Coast but it seems to really labor more than when we started out, even when not towing. Have replaced air filter, injectors, glow plugs and new plug harness. Also got a trans flush and filters to rule out slippage.

Sometimes long run-up to get highway speed. It’s seems to hold well at highway speeds, just down to 40-60 km on the hills. Even on the flat parts I used to feel a surge when depressing accelerator, but now it just kicks down a gear and I seem to be spending way more time in lower gears than I used to. It seems to run well and quiet when hot. No black smoke, only a little white for a couple of seconds when starting.

It has been pointed out a couple of times that there is a noticeable amount of blow-by coming out the tube, so I will be looking at a compression test. After a little research I started looking at rebuild, replace used, or replace new. Was getting ahead of myself so I want to take a little more methodical approach. We do live full time in the unit, so I want to have confidence to take on any trip.

The other sign is a black grime inside the exhaust pipe indicating too much fuel. Before replacing anything, my friend with essentially the same unit suggested scanning the IP timing. He suggested finding a GM scanner that can fit a OB2 port. (not totally sure of the lingo). As I understand, it has something to do with TDC offset, and that should be checked to see if that is cause of lack of power. He did warn that a Snap-on scanner may have difficulty reading with the 6.5. and to use GM.

I have talked to a couple of mechanics here, but I am getting sometimes an indifferent attitude, or conflicting advice. I thought I’d post and see if there is anyone near Victoria, BC that has a scanner and know-how to diagnose what I am looking for? Any where on Vancouver Island is also good. Heck, if I have to take a ferry to the mainland, that not the worst thing in the world either. I’d appreciate any help offered.

Nelson Zado
 

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Welcome to DieselPlace

Finding a scanner that is compatible is the key.
IF you can find a TechII, great!. If not, OBDII systems will use the AutoEnginuity, CarCode, Autel MAxiDas software and an appropriate cable to connect to the vehicle.
All three will work with your 6.5L and give you the correct timing values.
As your friend mentioned the Snap-On Scanners will not give you the correct timing values.
I would locate a scanner and determine if there are any stored codes in the system first.
Perform a lift pump test ( listed in the 6.5L FAQ)
Go through all of your grounds.( Listed in the 6.5L FAQ)

(y)
 

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97 Trek Safari RV 6.5 TD Auto, 98,000 miles VIN # 1GBKP 37FX V330 5645
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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to DieselPlace

Finding a scanner that is compatible is the key.
IF you can find a TechII, great!. If not, OBDII systems will use the AutoEnginuity, CarCode, Autel MAxiDas software and an appropriate cable to connect to the vehicle.
All three will work with your 6.5L and give you the correct timing values.
As your friend mentioned the Snap-On Scanners will not give you the correct timing values.
I would locate a scanner and determine if there are any stored codes in the system first.
Perform a lift pump test ( listed in the 6.5L FAQ)
Go through all of your grounds.( Listed in the 6.5L FAQ)

(y)
Thanks for the tips OK.
I'll check out the articles. Diesel place is an excellent reseource. Spending so much more time here that my wife is getting jealous.
 

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For the injectors, where did you buy it from?
Did the problem start before you replace injectors?

I agree with OK to check the basic components before throwing parts at it.
You don't need a code reader that can do timing for just reading the DTC.
A lot of part store will help you read DTC for free.
Make sure you take notes on the DTC since their interpretation of the DTC may not be the same for this truck.
 
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97 Trek Safari RV 6.5 TD Auto, 98,000 miles VIN # 1GBKP 37FX V330 5645
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Discussion Starter #5
The problem was there before replacing injectors. Mechanic got the injectors at Napa.

The code reader is for the injector pump timing. I think that you start at TDC, but then adjust timing from whatever info the reader comes up with. It's more than just finding TDC.
 

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The problem was there before replacing injectors. Mechanic got the injectors at Napa.

The code reader is for the injector pump timing. I think that you start at TDC, but then adjust timing from whatever info the reader comes up with. It's more than just finding TDC.
As OK suggested, you need to read the DTC first.
He calls it STORED DTC.
If an IP is out of timing, it should have STORED DTC.
Timing an IP just for the sake of timing is actually more dangerous than you think.
It can render your truck with more problem.
At any rate, you can do whatever you want, though.
 
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If the timing is in spec leave it alone...A whole bunch of trucks have been rendered almost useless when tampering with the timing. NOT for the novice... Can be extremely hard to get back in time... Suggest doing the regular stuff first. Fuel pressure, tank sock, Exhaust drive pressure leaks, cross over pipe, etc.
 
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Front engine or pusher?
Do you have the mechanical injection pump or the DS4 electronic IP?
 
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Is this a turbocharged or naturally aspirated? Also contrary to OK the Snap-On Scanner will work perfectly fine on an electronic engine after 1996. I know because I work with them all the time. You just have to do the key on throttle pedal down sequence to reset tdc offset. If no codes check the actual timing and desired timing. This should be close to the same. On a worn injector pump the actual will be less. If this is a turbo rig is the turbo boosting?
 

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97 Trek Safari RV 6.5 TD Auto, 98,000 miles VIN # 1GBKP 37FX V330 5645
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Discussion Starter #10
It is turbo. Funny thing was that the turbo was not working on our trip, (the rod to the waste gate was unhooked).
Not until I was almost home that we found a vacuum line break. Mechanic had it apart to get to something, so it has been put back together by a professional. I can sort of hear it, but not getting a big jump in power. Not really used to how it should work/sound normally as this is my first diesel.
 

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Glad to hear you found the problem. With a non working turbo the computer will not sense boost so it won’t send all the fuel and you end up with a double whammy in the power department
 

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97 Trek Safari RV 6.5 TD Auto, 98,000 miles VIN # 1GBKP 37FX V330 5645
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Discussion Starter #12
Haven't found the problem. Even with the turbo working now, it's still gutless on the hills. I was just mentioning that I went probably the whole trip without turbo, and had it fixed just before we got back. Can't tell a difference really.

When we left a year ago, there was a "check engine soon" light on the dash that would intermittently come on and off. Didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason. I'm sure if I can get it scanned, it will have stored a code for the incident. Maybe the warning had to do with the turbo not working?
 

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97 Trek Safari RV 6.5 TD Auto, 98,000 miles VIN # 1GBKP 37FX V330 5645
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Discussion Starter #13
Finally got a scan at the local Chev dealer. He suggested scanning before doing a compression test. The mechanic shut each cylinder off by itself and says the drop was pretty even, suggesting that it is not one set of rings or cylinder. He says everything pretty much reads as it should.

I'm going to leave it alone and see how it performs on our next haul. Some consensus anyways was that the 6.5 is not a powerhouse and just take your time driving, especially on hills.

Could it be that it was in my head all the time...?

Thanks for all the responses.
N.
 

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Being this is a motor home, is it sitting a lot? Stale fuel? Gummy injectors from bio fuel?
 

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Finally got a scan at the local Chev dealer. He suggested scanning before doing a compression test. The mechanic shut each cylinder off by itself and says the drop was pretty even, suggesting that it is not one set of rings or cylinder. He says everything pretty much reads as it should.

I'm going to leave it alone and see how it performs on our next haul. Some consensus anyways was that the 6.5 is not a powerhouse and just take your time driving, especially on hills.

Could it be that it was in my head all the time...?

Thanks for all the responses.
N.
Air intake and exhaust mods can help wake up the motor some
 
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