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Just bought this vehicle and am really not what I'd call a mechanic, merely mechanically inclined; with the right directions. manuals etc, I can get a fair amount of stuff done but this is all new. Is there something equivalent to a Chilton's for the GM 6.2 diesel? If I could find 411 on service, oil and filter changes, routine stuff I'd be happy, I'm not intereted in mainline overhaul projects.

I read some of the FAQ's since I am not actually experiencing any issues should I still go buy an OBD reader? The local Harbor Freight has several available but I have no idea if any they offer are appropriate.

Of one thing I am certain it needs new starter batteries, the ones in it are mismatched and not up to spec I am sure. How many cranking amps do I need for this baby?
 

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Haynes makes a very good diesel manual. It covers gm diesels as well as for 6.9 and 7.3.

Put in batteries with the most cold cranking amps that you can find. Make sure your cables are very clean and clean the grounds also.;) Most information for 6.2's in pickups will apply to your van except for getting to the parts.
 

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Yep, the Haynes manual is excellent. Lots of information there. It is entitled the Haynes Diesel Engine Repair Manual... I used to know the number, but I don't remember it now.

There shouldn't be any need for a code reader. These engines are pretty much all mechanically controlled. As I recall most of the OBD-type stuff in the FAQs are for the 6.5, which was partially electronically controlled. There was a computer/check engine light setup on a few late model ('91-'93) 6.2s, but it was only installed on 1/2 ton or light 3/4 ton pickups with EGR-equipped engines and was only there to control the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system. In any case, the codes (if it is OBD1 equipped, which is the system something of that year would have if it has any OBD stuff at all) can be read using a clip lead or a paperclip.

The original stock batteries were 800 CCA each. When I buy new batteries I usually buy 1100 CCA batteries, which aren't that much more expensive. Basically, buy the highest rated battery that will fit in the battery box... It needs all the help it can get on a cold start, especially if you live in a cold area (like I do - 13 degrees this morning). Of course, I see that you live in CA, so it probably isn't that much of an issue for you... ):h

Hope this helps! :)
 

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OilItRight;1528690; said:
Is there something equivalent to a Chilton's for the GM 6.2 diesel? If I could find 411 on service, oil and filter changes, routine stuff I'd be happy, I'm not intereted in mainline overhaul projects.
The Haynes book is pretty good for just the engines. It won't cover a few items your's has - e.g. the electronic RPM sensor that is oil-pump driven to send a shift-signal to your 4l80E trans. The book is easily found used in the $3 - $4 range. Go to www.abebooks.com and punch in the ISBN # - in their search engine - 156392188X Last I checked there were over forty for sale used. Great place to buy books.

OilItRight;1528690; said:
Of one thing I am certain it needs new starter batteries, the ones in it are mismatched and not up to spec I am sure. How many cranking amps do I need for this baby?
OEM called for 570 real cold cranking amps on each battery. Obviously, more is good - but watch out for deceptive battery claims. There is a lot marketing BS with batteries. To my knowledge, without modification to fit a physically bigger battery, nobody makes one to fit your vehicle bigger than 800 genuine cold cranking amps. It calls for a BCI group 75 or 78. But . . . what many companies do - is post -in big numbers and letters - deceptive ratings e.g. HCA, or CA instead of CCA. So, a battery that is rated at 800 cold cranking amps can also be listed as 1000 CCA or 1100-1300 HCA. Read carefully.
I've experimented a lot with batteries since I own over forty diesel cars, trucks, tractors, dozers, backhoes, etc. At the moment, I don't think you're going to find a better buy than the batteries Walmart sells and are made by Johnson Controls/Optima. Of course, that could change over night. I've had very poor performance from Exide and Delco - few ever last as long as their prorated warrantees. In fact, Sears and NAPA sued Exide since their failed batteries were given them a bad name - especially the Die-Hards that Exide made for awhile.
 

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Personally, I use tractor batteries that you can buy from many farm supply stores. They are rated at 1100 CCA and they just barely fit in the battery box. The only problem I have with them is that they don't seem to last all that long... 2-3 years seems to be all they last. Then again, batteries have a rough life in my truck... It gets started up and shut down a lot and I jump start stuff off of it all the time.
 

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High Sierra 2500;1531761; said:
Personally, I use tractor batteries that you can buy from many farm supply stores. They are rated at 1100 CCA and they just barely fit in the battery box. The only problem I have with them is that they don't seem to last all that long... 2-3 years seems to be all they last. Then again, batteries have a rough life in my truck... It gets started up and shut down a lot and I jump start stuff off of it all the time.
We kind of went that route from the opposite direction when I worked for a John Deere industrial and forestry dealer. The OEM batteries were not lasting very long so we started trying out automotive batteries. The ratings for all can be deceptive and I've gottten to a point that I judge most batteries by weight and nothing else. If one is rated at 1000 CCAs and weighs 40 lbs. and another is rated at 700 CCAs and weighs 60 lbs. - the heavier usually winds up being the better battery in the long-run. Many companies custom-tailor their batteries to put out more CCA the first 5 seconds and then drop like a rock, while other's post lower CCAs that will crank more power over 20 seconds. It's mostly about marketing and gets hard to figure out.
I once took home a huge 12 volt battery from a log skidder and put it into my 1964 Chevelle SS. I had to make a new battery mount to cram it in. Ended up breaking starter drives, over and over. Came up with a problem I hadn't thought was possible - too high cranking voltage. Standard 12 volt system is designed to crank at 9 - 10.5 volts. By putting in the hugely oversized battery, my cranking voltage was up to 11 plus volts - even on a cold winter morning. It did crank REALLY well, but the starter drive slammed in and the initial spin had too much torque.
I don't think you could fit enough battery into a Chevy diesel to cause the same problem since the OEM starter at full lockup can draw over 1000 amps - which keeps cranking voltage fairly low.
 
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