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1997,Chevrolet silverado 3500 6.5 turbo diesel
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Discussion Starter #1
1997 k3500 dually 4x4 6.5 turbo diesel 250,000 miles. F8 in vin
I bought a very clean was told military turbo diesel 6.5 engine. paid $300 it's a 506 cast. Was under the impression this was a better engine. Now when I got the engine my intention was to replace the current 6.5 in my truck. I had a guy quote me $1,500 for the install. He backed out. For garage space to rent I'm looking at $800 a month. If this is something I wanted to tackle myself. So I'm asking you all. Is this something I want to tackle myself? I noticed a rear mounted turbo, I've read the oil pan needs to be swapped, I would want to swap the injection pump for the computer to read, the sensors need to be swapped, the injectors, the glow plugs, the starter. Is there anything else I need to know? Thanks all.
 

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1997 k3500 dually 4x4 6.5 turbo diesel 250,000 miles. F8 in vin
I bought a very clean was told military turbo diesel 6.5 engine. paid $300 it's a 506 cast. Was under the impression this was a better engine. Now when I got the engine my intention was to replace the current 6.5 in my truck. I had a guy quote me $1,500 for the install. He backed out. For garage space to rent I'm looking at $800 a month. If this is something I wanted to tackle myself. So I'm asking you all. Is this something I want to tackle myself? I noticed a rear mounted turbo, I've read the oil pan needs to be swapped, I would want to swap the injection pump for the computer to read, the sensors need to be swapped, the injectors, the glow plugs, the starter. Is there anything else I need to know? Thanks all.
It's do-able..
Swap over the stuff you mentioned plus the intake, side mount turbo.
Inspect the timing chain for any slop.
Pop test Injectors before you install or Install fresh Injectors
Install fresh glows,and starter to put yourself ahead of the game
Go through every inch of your engine harness while you have good access to it.
Make sure there is no worn wire insulation, broken wires, corrosion, etc.
 
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1997,Chevrolet silverado 3500 6.5 turbo diesel
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It's do-able..
Swap over the stuff you mentioned plus the intake, side mount turbo.
Inspect the timing chain for any slop.
Pop test Injectors before you install or Install fresh Injectors
Install fresh glows,and starter to put yourself ahead of the game
Go through every inch of your engine harness while you have good access to it.
Make sure there is no worn wire insulation, broken wires, corrosion, etc.
Good advice
 

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Center mount turbo engine has the 60 deg. intake bolts.
Military had a lot of center mount turbos with mechanical DB2 IP's.
Heads will have to be swapped to use side mount turbo.
 

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1997,Chevrolet silverado 3500 6.5 turbo diesel
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Discussion Starter #5
Center mount turbo engine has the 60 deg. intake bolts.
Military had a lot of center mount turbos with mechanical DB2 IP's.
Heads will have to be swapped to use side mount turbo.
So would need to strip it down to a small block?
 

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Are you having issue with the current engine? If you are not it seems like a lot of risk to do this swap. If you were tearing down and doing a light rebuild/refresh and inspection of the used engine then sure but swapping running used for unknown used seems like a big gamble with not a lot of possible gains to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are you having issue with the current engine? If you are not it seems like a lot of risk to do this swap. If you were tearing down and doing a light rebuild/refresh and inspection of the used engine then sure but swapping running used for unknown used seems like a big gamble with not a lot of possible gains to me.
I respect your opinion. Seems like a lot of work to me aswell.
 

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There are plenty of us running these engines with 300k on them and they seem fine. Only real issue when the miles get high is they don't like starting as well when its well below freezing and they are going to be an oily mess due to blow by and general wear and tear but for the most part they will keep running. Make sure your oil lines and balancer are in good condition because those are the 2 items that instantly kill the vast majority of these motors no matter which version they were.

If you can afford to and have the space I would just sit on the spare engine and see how it goes and how you use the truck. IF you use it a lot and like it you can save up for and find some rebuilt side turbo heads and other upgrade bits then build the engine up into something that should be a true upgrade assuming you don't get into it and find cracks or serious abuse.
 
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited by Moderator)
There are plenty of us running these engines with 300k on them and they seem fine. Only real issue when the miles get high is they don't like starting as well when its well below freezing and they are going to be an oily mess due to blow by and general wear and tear but for the most part they will keep running. Make sure your oil lines and balancer are in good condition because those are the 2 items that instantly kill the vast majority of these motors no matter which version they were.

If you can afford to and have the space I would just sit on the spare engine and see how it goes and how you use the truck. IF you use it a lot and like it you can save up for and find some rebuilt side turbo heads and other upgrade bits then build the engine up into something that should be a true upgrade assuming you don't get into it and find cracks or serious abuse.
It's in need of a new injection pump at the very least
 

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It's in need of a new injection pump at the very least
If it was me, I would replace the IP, injectors, and glow plugs. Keep running your current rig and build up the spare engine to be top notch before you install it. That is my plan. I bought a parts truck so I have a 6.5 block to rebuild while my trucks are running. Always best to work on your time and not be under pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If it was me, I would replace the IP, injectors, and glow plugs. Keep running your current rig and build up the spare engine to be top notch before you install it. That is my plan. I bought a parts truck so I have a 6.5 block to rebuild while my trucks are running. Always best to work on your time and not be under pressure.
That's what I'll do.
 

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1997 k3500 dually 4x4 6.5 turbo diesel 250,000 miles. F8 in vin
I bought a very clean was told military turbo diesel 6.5 engine. paid $300 it's a 506 cast. Was under the impression this was a better engine. Now when I got the engine my intention was to replace the current 6.5 in my truck. I had a guy quote me $1,500 for the install. He backed out. For garage space to rent I'm looking at $800 a month. If this is something I wanted to tackle myself. So I'm asking you all. Is this something I want to tackle myself? I noticed a rear mounted turbo, I've read the oil pan needs to be swapped, I would want to swap the injection pump for the computer to read, the sensors need to be swapped, the injectors, the glow plugs, the starter. Is there anything else I need to know? Thanks all.
Center mounted turbocharged engines use different heads than the side mounted turbo.
 
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