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Not Going to Lie...

95C1500

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I joined here simply because I got the sudden urge to 6.5 swap my 95 Silverado. Do I need a diesel? Nope. I tow light and rarely. Do I want a diesel? Yep. Why? Turba Whistle. I really have no need, other than I like the sound and why the hell not. A buddy of mine is 6.5 swapping his Escalade and it got me thinking. Seeing as there is an entire subsection of the forum devoted to the 6.5, I think I'll find some good info here. The 350 in it now is sitting at 147,000 miles and running decent. A 6.5 swap, if it ever happens, is a ways off, however, I'm a planner. I plan to dive into the swap with as much knowledge as possible for a hopefully straight forward, problem free swap.

One of my favorite threads to read was Great White's thread about his 6.5. Every mod he did was well thought out and innovative. Not something you see everyday. It's a shame he flipped his shit and deleted most of everything (at least on gmt400.com).

Looking forward to learning a lot.

 

Will L.

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Welcome.
Respect to great white for his skills, knowledge, etc. as well.
Many find it better replacing the truck with a diesel, but in my younger days, I would have swapped rather than replace also.
If you want the whisle- do you also want the same or better 0-60 then the small block you have now? If so, save nickles for a stronger build than just a drop in.
What turbo and so forth are you thinking?

Tell your buddy with the escalade to sign up too, I never seen a 6.5 escalade iirc.
 

WarWagon

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Put a turbo, or better yet, a blower on the 350. Run the high test, expensive, gasoline and it will still be cheaper than diesel. Great White had a lot of informative posts, gambled on a cross country move with an engine that had enough blowby to air up tires, and lost. (lost as in lost the engine on the trip.) At some point one decides they need a more reliable vehicle that isn't (a black hole for money) this old and/or requires constant repair. Diesel, especially a "light duty" throwaway engine like the 6.2/6.5, just adds more expense and repairs. (At one point they make or made a P400 that is a different class of engine. IMO it's rebuildable unlike the GM cast crackers.)

None of the turbos that I used on a 6.5/6.2 have any whistle. The ATT has a spool up sound like a jet engine given throttle, but, it's not real loud.

They literally already make whatever you can dream up for a 350. Seriously the cost of going diesel conversion can make a 350 even I wouldn't hook hitches with. Unless one skips the high stall torque converter... With a blower 350 I would be curious enough to hook it up and see who's transfer case blows up first.

Turba Whistle is out of style IMO. The antique "in thing" is a Garrett Ball Bearing Turbo Howl. Sounds like a fire truck siren at low boost, but, shuts up at higher throttle/boost. A constant whistle like a CAT Diesel in a box truck gets real old real quick on a long day after you unloaded said truck and are driving home. If that's what you want youtube a dashcam ride from one of those trucks, rip the audio, and play a CD in your truck... :woot:
 

95C1500

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There is no wrong reason for wanting a diesel... We want diesel because we want them.. and just cuz we can LOL
That's pretty much my reason to a T lol. I've always wanted one.

Welcome.
Respect to great white for his skills, knowledge, etc. as well.
Many find it better replacing the truck with a diesel, but in my younger days, I would have swapped rather than replace also.
If you want the whisle- do you also want the same or better 0-60 then the small block you have now? If so, save nickles for a stronger build than just a drop in.
What turbo and so forth are you thinking?

Tell your buddy with the escalade to sign up too, I never seen a 6.5 escalade iirc.
Replacing this truck won't happen... well, trading it in or selling it for something else won't happen. I inherited the truck from my grandfather when he passed away in 2012. I've more than doubled the mileage on it since then. It's a 2wd (always wanted a 4wd), it's tan (didn't love it at first but it's grown on me for the most part), it has the 4l60e (wish it had a 5-speed), and it can be a real POS sometimes but it will rot in my backyard before it goes any where.

Stronger build, as in a small block? Or are you talking about a 6.5?

As far as upgrades, I'm not to that point yet. Never been around diesels in the past so learning how they work is my step one lol.

I'll try but he's not much of a forum nut.

Put a turbo, or better yet, a blower on the 350. Run the high test, expensive, gasoline and it will still be cheaper than diesel. Great White had a lot of informative posts, gambled on a cross country move with an engine that had enough blowby to air up tires, and lost. (lost as in lost the engine on the trip.) At some point one decides they need a more reliable vehicle that isn't (a black hole for money) this old and/or requires constant repair. Diesel, especially a "light duty" throwaway engine like the 6.2/6.5, just adds more expense and repairs. (At one point they make or made a P400 that is a different class of engine. IMO it's rebuildable unlike the GM cast crackers.)

None of the turbos that I used on a 6.5/6.2 have any whistle. The ATT has a spool up sound like a jet engine given throttle, but, it's not real loud.

They literally already make whatever you can dream up for a 350. Seriously the cost of going diesel conversion can make a 350 even I wouldn't hook hitches with. Unless one skips the high stall torque converter... With a blower 350 I would be curious enough to hook it up and see who's transfer case blows up first.

Turba Whistle is out of style IMO. The antique "in thing" is a Garrett Ball Bearing Turbo Howl. Sounds like a fire truck siren at low boost, but, shuts up at higher throttle/boost. A constant whistle like a CAT Diesel in a box truck gets real old real quick on a long day after you unloaded said truck and are driving home. If that's what you want youtube a dashcam ride from one of those trucks, rip the audio, and play a CD in your truck... :woot:
You call it a throwaway engine? Why is that? I'm not being confrontational, genuinely curious. Maybe you know something about them I don't (very, very likely).

I'm not looking for the jet engine sound coming from the tailpipe of a 6.0 powerstroke at idle. Not in this truck anyways. Of the videos I've watched on youtube of the 6.5s, the spool up sound is pretty much what I'm after.

Your transfer case would blow out first. The factory seemed to have forgotten to install mine!

I'll have to check one of those videos out!

Welcome To the Truck Stop. Nice looking ride there.
Welcome to The Truck Stop, 95C1500.

Nice clean looking truck for the year model.
Welcome to the forum. That’s a nice truck
Thanks! It looks decent in pictures!

Welcome aboard 95.
Help with the conversion is here, just ask.
Thanks.

Before I do my usual 12 hour forum binge, off the top of your head, do you know of anyone who swapped a 6.5 into a 2wd 1500 specifically?
 

Jaryd

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Here’s a swap a member did in a 1500 but it was 4x4.

 

THEFERMANATOR

FRANKENBURBAN
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It's a pretty straight forward swap. The 6.5l engine is really not known as a strong engine, and many don't bother with them unless you have an optimizer or p400 sincep GM castings are so prone to cracking. And the 6.5l regardless of tirbo choice is not gonna have alot of turbo whistle to it. The idi design leaves alot to be desired compared to a modern direct injected engine. If you're after power and turbo whistle, I would do a 6.0l LS swap with a turbo, and have 600+hp on tap. Or 8f you want diesel, do a Mercedes om606 and get high 20's for mpg, and push 400+hp on a stock engine.
 

schiker

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Warwagon has a point. The GM 6.5 can be a money pit compared to a 350. Unless you are really patient and find a great deal on an optimizer with low miles the swap and mods are going to get expensive. If you are patient you could find a used 6.5 4x4 for not all that much more than you'll spend on swapping in a 6.5 and modding it like I think you want.

You'd be better off keeping that nice clean truck original. It would make a nice back up truck to a 6.5 truck (or any other truck) which will need parts.

Just as an example my 6.5 needs a water pump. It has 260K miles on it so lots of stuff needs redoing while I'm there. I should also do timing chain or gears, harmonic balancer, IP, injectors, which will get up towards $3,000 plus (using the recommended parts) and I'll still have a high milage rotating assembly. In comparison you can buy a new GM 350 for less (and for a little more get a nice new fun crate engine).
 

WarWagon

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I learned the hard way that a 6.5 is just a bored out 6.2 diesel. It's not a Duramax... No it was a step above the Olds 5.7 Hand Grenade Diesel. Designed to replace a 305 V8 and with the "Asthma Attack" GM turbo equals a 350 at 200HP with more torque.

I could have bought a lot of gasoline, still blown up a few gas engines, and be money ahead than the stuff that put me as a carnage thread winner several years in a row. Oh sure I blow up the Cummins Diesels too, but, that's not the point.

 

Will L.

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Dont get dedicated to any swap until you have driven a rig with that engine.

The 6.5 makes sense for certain uses. Other ways it could be a bad choice. Don’t let YouTube be your decision maker.

Diesels are an expense unless you have a reason they save you money. Then they become an investment.
 

1994ch

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I did a swap in a 96 tahoe for the following reasons
#1 Wanted to do it for the fun project that it would be and learning experience.
#2 Get better gas milage
#3 I like the 6.2 6.5 diesels.

With fuel mileage gains I calculate that I save at least $8 every 200 miles even though fuel is more expensive. (I was getting 10-11 MPG with the old 350, now I get at least 18 and have seen 23 on the interstate)

I would not discourage anyone from doing it, just know why you want to do it and make sure your expectations are reasonable.... i.e. trying to pinch pennies and get diesel truck for cheap is not in my opinion reasonable, but wanting to be able to drive something that you built and designed and keeping a vehicle that has lots of memories in it sounds like a winner.

Just make sure you know what a 6.5 6.2 diesel is like...... as said several times above, it is not a Cummins or a Duramax.
 

1994ch

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Here’s a swap a member did in a 1500 but it was 4x4.


That was my swap............. I however removed the 4X4, which involved some welding up a new front end support to replace the axle. With my build I was going for MPG so the 4X4 was dead weight and it did not fit the older style 6.2 oil pan that I had.

To do the swap the easiest way I found to make everything look and work like a stock truck was to buy a run down parts truck (I bought one for $600) from it I used:
wiring harness
transmission -- the tahoe had the 4l60e trans in it and I wanted the stronger 4l80e behind the diesel (I think you will have the same issue since your truck is a 1500 I bet it has the smaller trans.)
engine accessories
computer
dash
fueling port (you cant get the pump nozzle in a gas port)
probably many items that I am forgetting

You would probably want the use the fuel tank as well (diesel tanks are different than gas) I had to re-design and keep my gas tank because they did not make a diesel tank that would fit a 4 door tahoe............ but this is a weak link in my car right now because it tends to start sucking air when it gets close to 1/4 tank................ Still needs some work.
 

razur65

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You found the right place for 6.5 diesel info, as far as the swap plans go, these guys have a lot of knowledge from experience.
 

95C1500

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I've thought about the swap some over the last week or so and the more I look into it, the less convinced I am it's the route I want to go. Not that I wouldn't love to have a 6.5 in my truck, I just don't think it would be worth the time and effort required to make it look factory. Like as factory as humanly possible. A mess of wiring, cut corners, etc... is not the way I do things and I highly doubt I'll have th etime or resources to do the swap the way I want it. Then there's issues with emissions testing at annual inspections and the fact that some people seem to have trouble when the state finds out they have a diesel truck that was once a gas truck. Not worth the headache in my mind. All of this, finished off by the fact that the truck is my daily and I can't afford to have it down for the necessary amount of time.

So I considered just adding a turbo to my 350. Seemed somewhat simple in my mind. Yet again, the more I looked into it, the less possible it seemed. No one really had an answer to the best way to add a turbo on tbi technology. 90% of the turbo set ups I read about were on carbs or vortec and later motors. Every thread I found for tbi ended with no conclusion. I couldn't find a single finished and successful turbo on a stock tbi build. Everyone modified the engine/fuel management/whatever it took to make it work which is not something I wanted to do. It seemed hacked together, which again, is not going to fly with me. So, unfortunately (not really), I think I'm back to my original plan, but with a turbo.

Before ever making this thread, I always assumed I'd toss an LS in place of the 350 when it finally went. However, I love the idea of a turbo and I don;'t think I'd want to mess with a swap of any kind without throwing a turbo into the mix. One day, when the truck is no longer my daily, I think I'll drop a turbo LS in it.

And someone mentioned earlier that they wouldn't mess with the truck since it's pretty clean and original,and I agree. that's why the truck went from stock, to lifted, to lifted more, back to stock. The sentimental value keeps taking me back to stock and I seem to be happier here.

I'm not ruling anything out just yet, these are just my thoughts as of now after a little research.

I guess I'll be spending a little more time in the LS section though :D
 

JayTheCPA

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I have gone back-and-forth in vehicles with 4 and 6 speed slushboxes.

Simply put, if you want to wake-up the Silverado and make it much more enjoyable to drive, consider looking into a 6 speed swap.

Sure, the 4 speed 4L80E / 4L85E has a reputation good durability, but it simply holds-back the motor.
 
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