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GM/Detroit 6.2/6.5 Turbo Diesel Performance Toolbox

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#1 OFFLINE   Darkrider

 
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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:54 AM

This thread will contain common upgrades to the 6.5 powered trucks and eventually some setups to bump up the performance. 
 
Lets start with a bit of history of the engine itself
 
Quoted from Wikipedia 
 
6.2L
 
The original 6.2 L (379 cu in) Diesel V8 was introduced in 1982 for the Chevrolet/GMC C/K trucks and was produced until 1993. The 6.2L diesel emerged as a high-MPG alternative to the V8 gasoline engine lineup, and achieved better mileage than the General Motors 4.3L V6 gasoline engines of the 80s, at a time when the market was focused on mileage more than power.
[edit]Applications
1982–1993 Chevrolet/GMC C/K
1992 - 1993 AM General Hummer H1
198x - 1993 AM General HMMWV
GM version of the CUCV
1982-93 Chevrolet Van
[edit]Specifications
Engine RPO Codes: LH6 ('C' series, with EGR) and LL4 ('J' series)
Displacement: 6.2L / 379 cu in
Bore x Stroke: 3.98 in × 3.80 in (101 mm × 97 mm)
Block / Head: Cast iron / Cast iron
Aspiration: Natural
Valvetrain: OHV 2-V
Compression: 21.5:1
Injection: Indirect
Horsepower / Torque (at start): 130 hp (97 kW) @ 3,600 rpm / 240 lb·ft (325 N·m) @ 2,000 rpm
Horsepower / Torque (at final): 143 hp (107 kW) @ 3,600 rpm / 257 lb·ft (348 N·m) @ 2,000 rpm
Horsepower / Torque (army): 165 hp (123 kW) @ 3,600 rpm / 330 lb·ft (447 N·m) @ 2,100 rpm
Max RPMs: 3,600
Idle RPMs: 650 + or - 25
 
6.5L
 
The 6.5 L (395 cu in) version was introduced in 1992 to replace the 6.2. Most 6.5s are equipped with a turbo. This engine was never meant to be a power and torque competitor with Ford/International and Dodge/Cummins, but rather a simply designed workhorse engine that made credible power, achieved decent fuel economy and met emissions standards in half-ton trucks. The Duramax 6600 replaced the 6.5 in light trucks beginning in 2001 and the C3500HD medium duty cab and chassis (replaced by C4500 Kodiak/Topkick) and vans beginning in 2003, but the 6.5 (6500 Optimizer) is still produced by AM General for the HMMWV.
There are several GM 6.5 liter diesel engine production options. The Turbocharged L56, (VIN "S") was used in most light duty 3/4 ton (2500) Heavy duty 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks used the Turbocharged L65 (VIN "F") engine. The L56 is emissions controlled with EGR and catalytic converters. The L65 engine has no EGR, and has no catalytic converter. There is a soot trap on L65 engines that is often mistaken for a catalytic converter. The L49 (VIN "P") and L57 are both naturally aspirated engines. L57 is listed as HO or Heavy Duty. Additional RPO codes are LQM (175HP) and LQN (190HP).
Changes were made by GM to the 6.5 in their light trucks for emissions or reliability improvement. The 1992-1993 model years used a 6.5-specific Stanadyne DB-2 mechanical injection pump. GM replaced the DB-2 with the electronic throttle DS-4 in 1994-2000 vehicles. In mid-1996 GM implemented a redesigned engine cooling system incorporating twin non bypass-blocking thermostats and a 130 GPM water pump. This improved the flow through the block by 70-75% and flow to the radiator 7%.
[edit]Applications
1994 - 1999 Chevy Blazer/ 2-door Tahoe / GMC Yukon/Chevy K-2500,K-3500
1992 - 1999 Chevrolet Suburban / GMC Suburban
1992 - 1999 Chevrolet and GMC C/K
2000 Chevrolet and GMC C/K 2500 & 3500
2001 Chevrolet and GMC C/K 3500
1994 - 2004 AM General Hummer H1
1994–present AM General HMMWV
[edit]Specifications
Engine RPO Codes: L49, L56, L57, L65, LQM, and LQN.
Displacement: 6.5L / 397 cu in
Bore x Stroke: 4.06 x 3.82 (in.)
Block / Head: Cast iron / Cast iron
Aspiration: Turbocharged (Borg-Warner GM-X series) Also available naturally aspirated.
Valvetrain: OHV 2-V
Compression: GM Early 21.3:1, GM Late 20.3:1, AMG/GEP Marine 18:1
Injection: Indirect
Power / Torque (lowest): 180 hp (134 kW) @ 3,400 rpm / 360 lb·ft (488 N·m) @ 1,700 rpm
Power / Torque (highest): 215 hp (160 kW) @ 3,200 rpm / 440 lb·ft (597 N·m) @ 1,800 rpm
Max RPMs: 3,400
 
Fuel system
 
The fuel system is a very simple design. A mechanical or electric fuel lift pump feeds a Stanadyne Rotary Distributor Injection pump at low pressure. The distributor injection pump controls both timing, via an internal centrifugal governor, and high pressure fuel delivery to the fuel injectors via internal precision hydraulic pumps. Near the top of the compression stroke fuel is atomized at high pressure into a hemispherical Inconel prechamber in the cylinder heads using Bosch pintle and seat mechanical fuel injectors. This is called Indirect injection. GM used fully mechanical DB2 series injection pumps on all military HMMWVs and 1982-1993 6.2's and 6.5's. From 1994 till end of production GM used the electronically controlled Stanadyne DS4 series of injection pumps in their light trucks. A mechanical DB4 series injection pump can be found on some 6.5L marine engines.
[edit]Common Problems
 
Main Bearing Web Crack: In both 6.2L and 6.5L engines this is reportedly fixed with a combination of improved higher nickel cast iron alloy and lower block re-design including, but not limited to, a main bearing girdle. These features are in the new for 2007 AM General GEP P400 6500 Optimizer enhanced 6.5L diesel presently being sold to the US Government for the 6 ton armored HMMWV.[1]
Crank Failure: Related to age failures of the harmonic balancer, the vibration damped accessory drive pulley, or the dual mass flywheel.
Pump Mounted Driver: Relates to thermal failures. The PMD is screwed to the DS-4 injection pump on the 1994-2001 GM 6.5 diesel utilizing fuel flow to dissipate heat. The injection pump is mounted in the intake valley (a high heat area). The PMD contains two power transistors that should be cooled by proper contact with the injection pump body. If the pump is not precisely machined to make complete contact with the transistors via the silicone thermal gasket and paste, the PMD is improperly installed without the gasket or paste, the PMD is installed off center with the pump body, or corrosion develops on the mounting surface the PMD will overheat. Several companies manufacture an extension harness and heat-sink kits. These allow an owner or their mechanic to relocate the PMD away from the injection pump to a lower heat environment and/or a place that can get more air flow.
Cylinder Head Cracking: higher mileage 6.5 engines exhibit stress related fractures in the cylinder head bowl. Stronger cylinder heads remedy this problem.
 
Now that the History is out of the way on to the Upgrades for durability
 
PMD Relocation 
 
Here is the How to i created not long after i joined the GMT400 forum but i will also include the info of the whys and hows here. 
 
 
 
To start with the process of relocation and the pros/cons of each method.
 
1st method: Intake mounted heat sink
 
Initially when this weak point was discovered the aftermarket responded with various kits to move it from the pump to a heat sink bolted to the intake.
 
Pros:
 
Moves the pmd to a slightly cooler area
 
Cons:
 
Still inside the hot engine bay
 
2nd method: relocation to inside air box with a heat sink or fan.
 
Some owners have moved this lil black box to inside their flat panel style air cleaner housings with either a computer fan and/or a heat sink. 
 
Pros:
 
This works marganally better then method 1 in that it adds the air flow from the incoming air headed to the filter. As well as adding shielding. 
 
Cons: 
 
Same as method 1
 
3rd Method relocation outside of the bay to either the rad support or bumper.
 
This is the method I will be explaining in this thread. Like the original 2 methods it adds a heat sink plus moves the box into cooler air, however this is much much cooler air, It takes advantage of the cooling ducts in the Diesel bumper plus uses the bumper as a heat sink itself. 
 
Pros:
Finally moves the pmd out of the hot engine bay
Much better cooling then the airbox method
Takes advantage of another design feature of the diesel trucks.
 
Cons:
Possible exposure to moisture, Not a major risk as long as the seals on the weatherpak connectors are still good. and if you are going into deep water deep enough to affect it in this placement you prob should have it well siliconed or in the cab,
 
Now onto the pics and how to:
 
This is the pmd it arrived preinstalled on the heat sink, there would be a coiled harness here as well but by the time I took this pic I already had it installed on the truck.
 
 
To begin with you remove the right side signal light and you will see a hole in the rad support for the ac lines, thread the harness through this hole as you can see this has already been done.
 
 
Then you route the harness to a point it can be plugged into the original pmd plug once again already done. Note: routing will vary depending on if you are redoing a previous relocation or not. In this case the truck used had the air box method done so I had about a foot of extra wire to deal with.
 
 
Then route the other end through the cooling hole in the bumper long enough to plug in the new pmd then feed the entire unit through the hole and bolt it to the bumper using one of the license plate mount holes, depending on if you have the mount still or not you may need to use washers.
 
 
Reinstall the signal light and you are done, 
 
Enjoy having to not worry about having to access the pmd on a hot engine again and ease of replacement should the new unit ever fail.
 
A brief explaination as to why to relocate the pmd/fsd
 

I bet lol, and forgive me for sounding stupid but is a PDM like a PCM?

 
Kinda. It controls the Drive By Wire throttle in the truck. Basically if it over heats..no throttle, no fueling really. PMD stands for Pump Mounted Driver. Since when these trucks first came out all the way till the Dmax replaced the Detroit 6.5 The lil black box has been bolted directly to the Injector pump which is right in the center of the V of the engine. Roughly where your thermostat housing would be on a gas small block engine. But it was prone to overheating thus the problems mentioned above. The proper fix is to mount it on a heat sink and relocate it out of the engine bay. Which is what i will be doing once my new PMD and relocation kit arrive. Mounted in this configuration it is refered to as a Fuel Solenoid Driver or FSD for short.

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 01:07 PM

I'll add as of MAY 1999 the 6.5 td blocks in the GMT are NAVISTAR w/logo in lifter valley are enhanced thick cast w/thicker stepped mains and smaller oil jets for cooling pistons. Some people refer to these NAVISTAR blocks as the Optimizer 6500 however this block was out way before that phrase was even known.

 

I did the Fluid damper and installed gear drive for timing on my 6.5 td way back when.


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#3 OFFLINE   Darkrider

 
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Posted 28 August 2013 - 01:18 PM

I'll add as of MAY 1999 the 6.5 td blocks in the GMT are NAVISTAR w/logo in lifter valley are enhanced thick cast w/thicker stepped mains and smaller oil jets for cooling pistons. Some people refer to these NAVISTAR blocks as the Optimizer 6500 however this block was out way before that phrase was even known.

I did the Fluid damper and installed gear drive for timing on my 6.5 td way back when.


Thanks for the info! Been trying to find out when the navistar blocks came out for awhile.

Sent from the middle of nowhere


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#4 OFFLINE   AA1PR

 
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Posted 28 August 2013 - 02:20 PM

Not to sound rude but you have to be careful of wikipedia

 

anyone can add info there, whether its right or wrong to those that dont know


Edited by AA1PR, 28 August 2013 - 02:31 PM.

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#5 OFFLINE   Darkrider

 
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Posted 28 August 2013 - 02:29 PM

Not to sound rude but you have to be careful of wikipedia

anyone can add info there, whether tis right or wrong to those that dotn know


Fair point, had the same thought before quoting and double checked via other resources such as the truckstop forum.

Sent from the middle of nowhere


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Posted 28 August 2013 - 02:55 PM

Not to sound rude but you have to be careful of wikipedia

anyone can add info there, whether tis right or wrong to those that dotn know


Fair point, had the same thought before quoting and double checked via other resources such as the truckstop forum.

Sent from the middle of nowhere

I'll go through it!


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#7 OFFLINE   AA1PR

 
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Posted 28 August 2013 - 03:02 PM

maybe since I know nothing about desiels & if we can decide amongst our local experts it all looks valid this might be worthy of being pinned


Edited by AA1PR, 28 August 2013 - 03:03 PM.

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#8 OFFLINE   Darkrider

 
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Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:21 PM

 

Not to sound rude but you have to be careful of wikipedia

anyone can add info there, whether tis right or wrong to those that dotn know


Fair point, had the same thought before quoting and double checked via other resources such as the truckstop forum.

Sent from the middle of nowhere

I'll go through it!

 

 

Not to sound rude but you have to be careful of wikipedia

anyone can add info there, whether tis right or wrong to those that dotn know


Fair point, had the same thought before quoting and double checked via other resources such as the truckstop forum.

Sent from the middle of nowhere

I'll go through it!

Much appreciated Fellow! As far as i know its mostly correct but if there are errors please feel free to correct them! 


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Posted 29 August 2013 - 05:23 AM

The L56 "S" is not HO or HD and its an emissions hog with EGR and or AMM.

 

The L65 "F" is the HO or HD and was also used in medium and heavy duty truck applications, marine applications as well as heavy equipment applications.

 

AM General used the crack prone blocks up until the mid 2000's requiring a massive replacement of those 6.5 in the civilian H1 while GM had already eliminated the problem in MAY 1999 this is why post MAY 1999 6.5's are so sought after as replacements.

 

The GM enhanced blocks have the cap letter "H" folowed by two (2) numbers cast into the outside of block and the NAVISTAR LOGO in the lifter valley.... they take to performance mods rather well and don't suffer any of the cracking issues earlier blocks had. 

 

The Optimizer 6500 is somewhat a sketchy as to exactly when it came to be and who actually released it but I'm guessing it's another coined name for the NAVISTAR. Military take outs for re-power can be had on the surplus market $2.5k to $3.5k is common for 20k milage motor but the heads will not work in anything other than a van or the hummer H1 this is because the military used rear center mounted turbo.

 

The standard for the military is the P400 which has a block girdle w/inter-graded main caps and great for mods..

 

Considering I had a $55k cost new 1999 Suburban K2500 w/NAVISTAR and not one dealer not even the selling dealer had techs trained on the 6.5 td makes lots of things sketchy so I had no choice but to get hold of the factory tech training program for the 6.5 td power plant and learn it.


Edited by FellowTraveler, 29 August 2013 - 05:30 AM.

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 11:13 AM

NOTICE: This work in progress is an addition to this topic and meant to complement not replace the efforts of the original topic creator/poster.
 
Reliability and Volumetric Efficiency Enhancements for the indirect injected Detroit/GM 6.2 & 6.5 NA/TD and later NAVISTAR diesel is easy and fairly economical to do. 
Aftermarket parts can make the 6.2 & 6.5 NA/TD better more reliable and efficient diesels for a daily driver, work truck, expedition or recreational vehicle however, if it’s a hot rod you are looking for then look elsewhere.
 
6.2 & 6.5 NA/TD Military surplus engines are very reasonability priced at between $2.5k & $3.5k and normally have only 20k miles on them with NAVISTAR LOGO cast into lifter valley many are available because of change out program going to the newer P400 platform.
Knowing the pitfalls of design errors and correcting them is the key to reliability.
 
FUEL SYSTEM
 
The 6.2 NA runs a Standine DB2 mechanical diesel fuel injection pump and it is the limiting factor because of its overall fuel output when seeking better performance. Marine applications use the DB2 and the DB4 which is capable of feeding 400+ HP with few mods and high pressure water injection. 
 
The 6.5 turbo diesels run a Standine DS2 injection pump which is capable of delivering enough fuel for reliable 350+- HP marks with retune, #9 pump driver resistor and marine hi-pop injectors. However, the idle quality will suffer with this configurations hi-pop injectors and even sound like there is a miss at idle but goes away off idle. Higher HP/TQ would be available when high pressure water injection is applied to properly modified and tuned 6.5TD but again not for hot rodding.
 
Other 6.5 TD applications use the mechanical DB-2 or the DB-4 injection pump.
 
FUEL INJECTORS
 
Stock fuel injectors are common place with marine or high pop injectors being used for performance which can actually give better MPG’s if driven with a light foot.
 
The difference between the two injectors is the nozzle size, springs, spacers and fuel and pop pressure as measured with a pop tester. Marine injectors always have thicker nozzle spring spacers than a stock injector has.
 
Installing marine hi-pop injection nozzles with stock injection springs and spacers into an injector is a formula for disaster.
There is some debate about aftermarket nozzles having a short life and un-reliable performance I can assure you that is not true and when installed properly in a clean environment into your injectors they will perform as designed and for a long time too. 
 
The BIG killer of diesel injector nozzles is lack of lubrication in the diesel fuel causing excessive wear however “2 stroke oil @ 1 oz. to 1 gal. diesel fuel ratio” will make them last and last and last. Marine hi-pops injectors will give unstable idle and can even sound like a miss at idle however off idle its fine.
 
Diesel fuel injector pop testers can be had for as little as $300 on e-bay these days.
 
TURBO and/or BLOWER increases volumetric efficiency way past 100%
 
Banks Performance had a turbocharger application for the 6.2 NA & 6.5 NA back in the day and it gave some impressive increase in performance and extra MPG’s at easy throttle.
 
A roots type blower was also available for the 6.2 NA & 6.5 NA diesels it was costly and didn’t make an impression like the Banks turbo system did so it went to the dustbin of GM diesel history.
 
GM introduced turbo on the 6.5 diesel and it has limitations that must be considered when cranking the boost.  The BIG problem w/excessive boost on insufficient turbo is superheating the air-charge which in turn has a domino effect on the other components of the engine leading to cracked blocks, heads and broken cranks from excessive increase of compression ratio and melting pistons.
 
The GM-8 turbo is fair for most applications at its designed boost levels. However, when pressed beyond its design parameters there is a massive increase in exhaust back pressure before the small turbine outlet (cm 10) again leading to superheating air-charge and chocking the diesel at speed making IAT & EGT skyrocket to destructive levels! An after-cooler, charge air cooler aka: intercooler can keep IAT & EGT temps at controllable levels providing you are not pushing the GM-8 beyond its design parameters.
 
Aftermarket turbochargers for the 6.5 have in recent years made their debut well after the end of commercial production of the 6.5 TD ceased in GMT400 series. With bigger turbines and compressors a BIG increase in CFM flow at low boost over the GM-8 is staggering so much so that new fuel delivery tunes and modifications to injection pump and fuel filter housing to significantly increase fuel flow. 
 
Some of these newer turbochargers are designed after MITSU TD07/8 and G-Reddy turbochargers, other are Holset or knockoffs.
BIG Single turbochargers with larger turbine outlet “cm” area create what is called lag in vehicles which is not a concern in a marine application so a split turbine housing with a movable block off plate to one side or the other was developed to eliminate the lag at lower rpm’s as rpm’s rise boost is tapped to pressure to open the blocking plate to allow full CFM flow making for a more friendly drive. 
 
Compound turbocharging is another avenue and can produce more HP/TQ at lower boost levels than other turbo configurations because of the pressure ratio increase and ability to stuff more CFM through the engine, we are talking two, three times increase in volumetric efficiency here without much higher boost levels.
 
IMHO; Turbocharger turbines should be wrapped or ceramic coated inside and out to retain heat as the heat drives it at speed for best performance. In the rumor mill there are claims that wrapping shortens the turbines life mines been wrapped forever and the entire turbo/turbine I like the day it was built and installed in my Burb in 1999. I keep my EGT @ 1k deg f or below as measured before the turbine @ WOT always, if the measurement is after turbine it would be 200+- deg f less.
 
EXHAUST NEEDS TO BE BIG
 
When a turbo or blower are used on a diesel or gas engine the exhaust must be upgraded to reduce backpressure that is increased by stock exhaust design and restricted cross-over pipes, etc. so the bigger the better always and forget whatever you learned with a N/A performance gas motor and tuned exhaust because it don’t apply until you get to crazy stupid levels of HP & TQ output on a diesel. Train of thought is 3” to 3.5” is ok for mild mods and 4” or bigger for extensive mods. However a 4” exhaust is not an issue on a stock motor, if the vehicle is a keeper then buy a stainless exhaust.
 
Aftermarket exhaust no matter what diameter for GMT400 series only come with a 3” turbine down pipe this is because of the lack of clearance between the chassis and body which can be increased with a body lift and doing a body lift on a diesel powered GMT400 has its problems that’s why there is no aftermarket kit to do it, next way is no body lift and the custom fabrication of an round to oval to round down pipe that has more volume and can flow more CFM than a 4” round pipe. Some individuals claim to have hit the 350 HP window w/3” down pipes and again its best to wrap it or ceramic coat it inside and out.
 
You can get headers for the 6.5 turbo application.
 
6.5 TD ENGINE BLOCKS
 
While any good seasoned 6.2/6.5 block can be done up for reliability a block girdle is required for any pre-enhanced block if you are going to mod it for higher HP/TQ period.
 
The enhanced blocks NAVISTAR, Optimizer 6500 don’t need the girdle for say 400 HP+.
NOTE: AM GENERAL did not use the enhanced Optimizer 6500 until 2005 they used the older crack prone GM blocks from APR 1999 back this resulted to a massive and expensive change out of the older units while GM actually started using the enhanced NAVISTAR in MAY 1999.
 
The P400 is the ultimate block not only is it enhanced it has a girdle/main cap setup too, serious is best description here.
 
6.5 CRANK SHAFT
 
Slintered cast iron crank is most common with forged units in the P400 and available from aftermarket. 
The best dampening is Fluid Damper period.
 
TIMING SET
 
Factory timing set is chain driven and requires change out at +- 120k miles. As the chain stretches the timing must be adjusted accordingly.
 
Gear Drive timing-set is the only way to go it eliminates further timing-set PM and timing will not change once set. Of interest is that gear drive timing-sets for the 6.5 have a built in 2 degree advance.
 
While we are on the subject of timing, if the factory turbocharger boost control solenoid is removed from its circuit to the ECM/ECU you will never be able to set top dead center offset (TDCO) and while it may look like the setting took when you try then exit the device controller then view TDCO via the data logger you will see it is not set. With a device controller like a TECH2 or OBD2 Car-code you can force a TDCO you desire even if the static timing is slightly incorrect.
 
There are three special IP timing hand tools for DS2 vehicles that make life much easier.
When static timing is correct you do not need a device controller to set TDCO
 
 
POOR MAIN HARNESS LOCATION
 
I found that the GMT400 diesel applications has an issue with main harness placement trough the firewall at front passenger foot well in that when a passenger places their feet up and forward to stretch (THEY ALWAYS DO) they exert pressure on the harness which in turn pulls harness plug pins out of the ECM/ECU located over the glove box ever so slightly causing intermittent or total failure of a circuit effected. Even off road situations like a washboard surface can jar the pins too (been there done that) making for some excited what should we do moments for some individuals and thoughts of getting rid of the vehicle too.
 
The fix is panel type cover so feet can’t be extended up and into area and a harness clamp that can be bolted to firewall and removed for service so wash board roads will not jar the harness.
 
You can go all mechanical eliminating need for the electronic fuel injection harness and not worry, the 4L80 can be full mechanical shift too.
 
CYLINDER HEADS
 
Cylinder heads and the pre-combustion chamber cup outlet size selection lets you go from mild to wild. There is a difference between side turbo mount heads and center mount heads with the side mounted being most common in light and medium vehicles with center mounted type in vans, cab overs, heavy truck and H1, within the marine industry can be either/or.
 
Roller rockers are now available for the 6.5 TD.
 
A slightly wilder cam is available too.
 
Angle cut valves porting, polishing and match porting do apply.
 
Factory installed torque yielding head bolts on enhanced engines appear to be ok however on older engines or rebuilding the enhanced engine the torque yielding bolts should be replaced with good quality head bolts always.
 
COOLING SYSTEM
 
It’s Bill Heath of Heath Diesel Performance that has come up with what I believe to be the best cooling mods for the 6.5TD be it single or dual thermostat applications using the later high output water pumps, medium truck cooling system fan clutch and other goodies.
 

Thermostats must be the correct ones that are capable of allowing the coolant system flow without restricting it.



On an OBD2 electronic fuel injection system cooling system temperature must reach minimum 170 deg f in order for ECM/ECU to pull
the extra fuel delivered when cold, it’s also the minimum temperature required to be able to set the timing TDCO. Yes, some individuals run colder thermostats and the engine never reaches operating temperature and just wastes the extra fuel resulting in poor MPG’s then they wonder why?



There are two types of thermostats first is the single with a bypass disk that blocks the bypass to water pump when hot and similar to
the newer LS engine thermostats, second is the massive flow thermostats in the dual thermostat cooling systems they are designed to work with a rather large bypass hose to the water pump which loops the coolant trough the block and heater cores when cold and when the thermostats open up they can flow 130+ gallons per minute. The coolant bypass can be eliminated by blocking it and using Stewart hi-flow bypass thermostats.



I've seen too many times vendors sell as proper a thermostat with proper temperature rating and overall diameter but has much less flow capacity than even the single thermostat cooling system of the 6.2/6.5 diesel requires when it comes to the two thermostat system well choke the flow is the first thing that comes to mind. Stewart makes a great high flow thermostat and they can be had with the bypass feature which is three holes added to each bypass unit to allow bypass flow when cold when the bypass hoseto the water pump is eliminated.



I have taken it all one GIANT step forward and successfully converted to EVANS NPG+ waterless coolant with boiling point of 375 deg f @ 0 psi and I’m running “zero psi” non-pressure cap on the expansion tank so there is no pressure in the cooling system except from the pumping of the coolant which quickly falls off as it exits block on its way to the dual heater cores in my Burb and radiator.



It’s easy to see the BIG advantage of EVANS waterless coolant is that it has much higher boiling point at zero psi than a 50/50 mix
of ethylene glycol with water (EGW) which is 255 deg f @ 15 psi or water which is 212 deg f@ 0 psi or other cooling and organic acid mediums mixed with water period.



With the EVANS there is total elimination of steaming cavitation caused by EGW coolant mixtures boiling and steaming inside block* water galleys around cylinders and heads which is the number one cause of corrosion and destructive hot spots that can lead to failed head gaskets, cracked blocks and heads.



Steaming in the block* EGW mixture or other coolants mixed with water is an issue for the 6.5 TD and the LS series engines this steaming causes cavitation and extreme hot spots this is why both platforms have steam lines “and these steam lines are actually a patch as opposed to a fix” from the engine to the radiator and an expansion tank as opposed to a recovery tank, EVANS waterless coolant is the fix because there is no water to boil therefore no steam, cavitation or hot spots.



You can safely operate the 6.5 TD at a max 250 deg f which is the US military standard and higher w/o worries however the cooling
system needs to be able to reject the extra heat and there must be an external oil cooler to cool the engine oil to acceptable levels and use synthetic oil in the GMT400 series.



Rejection of all the heat pulled by the EVANS coolant from the 6.5 TD because of the elimination of steaming cavitation is critical and
doable. Yes, you can fork out $1k+ for higher capacity radiator but IMHO flow through the radiator and out the engine bay must be worked out in that the GMT400 series is not known for aerodynamic body design or best air flow through the radiator in modified engine applications so I began to consult with EVANS engineers and builders of medium and heavy trucks to get an idea of what to do to make the system work.

 
I already have the biggest radiator GM ever installed into the GMT400 which is capable of pulling the BTU’s from a 400 HP engine however I have a 305+- RWHP turbocharged diesel that also creates an increased load on the coolant and engine oil temperatures when the turbine is singing at 1k+- deg f. The later 6.5 diesel GMT400 vehicles are perhaps the most engine bay hogs over even the biggest big block application in the latter series GMT’s. Look at my 454 Burb then look at my 6.5TD Burb and you’ll see the 454 actually looks like a small block in earlier GMT series. 
 
Anyway, I came across information that GM designed the diesel cooling fan exhaust to favor the turbo side of engine bay so I start to examine hood scoops, hood vents and fender vents and considered a hood vent properly placed just after the radiator shroud which works great on sports cars and hot rods but I’m dealing with a 6.5TD that develops massive amounts of heat at the turbocharger turbine passenger side rear of engine bay, so fender vents are the choice and GM was kind enough to have cutouts already in the area of the upper inner fender which was IMHO a poor attempt to exhaust heat between the trailing edge of the fender and the leading edge of the front door only problem is that there needs to be a tab to create a vortices at the leading edge of opening for the entire length between the fender and door placed on the fender to work with any efficiency.  If you look at Land Rovers then have a heat issue too and solved it with the aforementioned design but with bigger openings.
 
I then cut holes into the upper exterior of the fenders on both sides of vehicle and placed tabs in front of them to create vortices pulling the hot engine bay heat out through the fender and away from vehicle. Because GM’s cooling fan exhaust favors the turbo side there is substantially more heat exiting passenger side fender vents than the driver’s side fender vents on vehicle.
 
Now we come to the charge air cooler (CAC) aka: intercooler on my Burb which is mounted at an angle behind the front bumper to front cross member and between the frame rails GM has installed a skid plate or baffle there to keep airflow from that area cancelling out and stalling air flow at speed through the radiator. I tackled this problem by adding an air dam across the trailing edge of CAC creating a vortices which pulls the air that goes through the CAC back out and down under the vehicle. 
 
Next are the rubber or plastic covers on the inner fenders down to control arms that need to be there because they not only help keep things cleaner in that area of engine bay it enhances airflow out of engine bay and under the vehicle too.
 
The hood was modified with gaskets running on outer edges from the radiator support to firewall. Usually only a gasket is at the upper firewall and hood to keep heat from entering the cabin ventilation system or creating a high pressure flow into the engine bay my mod went even further by eliminating flow to/from engine bay between the fenders and hood. I used good old door gaskets.
 
My grille has been cutout around the outer edge for additional area for coolers. While the Burb came with two auxiliary coolers one for transmission and one for engine oil they both were installed with fluid feeding from the bottom. In the near future I will install the two headlight front grille as it has almost one and one half feet wider grille area opening over the composite four headlight grille.
 
After measuring for fluid pressure drop across the coolers it was determined that the plate engine oil cooler would stay for a later change out to a fin/plate design but the factory plate cooler for the transmission had to go so a B&M Hi-Tek fin/plate cooler w/fan was installed bypassing the radiator this is borderline when pushing it so an additional GM fin/plate cooler from a 4L60e application is now in line with the B&M and keeping transmissions temps low where I like them. FACT: Per square inch a fin/plate cooler is the most efficient cooler design period.
 
As for cooling the p/s, hydro-boost fluid I have the factory coiled tube cooler inside the driver side chassis rail and a 9.8k BTU rejection rated fluid cooler placed in the air flow pathway from front air dam to radiator AMSOIL SYNTHETIC P/S FLUID HERE.
 
I am working installing aluminum duct panels between the grille and the radiator support to flow more air over aux coolers and into radiator. These panels will block all the air in the area behind the headlights from entering into cooler and radiator area and as another benefit preventing airflow through coolers and from air dam from making turns and flowing away from pathway to radiator.
 
Grille is expanded stainless with rather small openings great for bugs and the like I may go with larger openings but testing w/o this grill shows no change in overall operating temps.
 
AIR INTAKE
 
The GMT400 with the 6.5TD has a good high CFM flow design air pathway from radiator support through ducting up to air box inlet this is where things get tight after modifying the 6.5TD so this area should be enlarged so more air can enter air box or do as I did add a cowl hood scoop to the air box. Of issue is that the air box is right next to the turbine which can reach 1k+ deg f so the air box needs to be buffered from the turbine heat.
 
The Heath/S&B air box is perhaps the best of the best as air boxes go for the 6.5TD having the highest CFM air flow rate too, however I believe there is room for improvement when used in hot-tropic sub-tropic or desert environments on a very modified 6.5TD even a stock 6.5TD pulling a load up a hill in that if you leave the end cover off the air box for the additional CFM flow it is capable of extremely hot air in that area heated by the turbine which can reach 1k+ deg f pre turbine then pulled into the engine intake not good IMHO, wrapping and ceramic coatings help some to beat back the heat. My reverse scoop cowl induction eliminates the issue because the air box end cover remains in place so no hot air can be pulled into intake and the cool airflow from my reverse hood scoop goes directly into air box nice indeed, on the hottest of days after a hard run you can’t place your hand on the hood w/o some heat induced pain but you can place your hand on the scoop and intake screen as it’s very cool to the touch.
 
As I mentioned before I’m developing a massive as well as rugged CFM flow snorkel for the GMT400 diesel and big block applications it’s been stalled by other pressing issues and hopefully it will happen sooner than later.
To be continued……………………………..

Edited by FellowTraveler, 07 September 2013 - 07:13 AM.

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#11 OFFLINE   AA1PR

 
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Posted 30 August 2013 - 11:33 AM

lots of worthy info here PINNED

 

thanks to all of the contributions


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#12 OFFLINE   Darkrider

 
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Posted 30 August 2013 - 06:16 PM

lots of worthy info here PINNED

thanks to all of the contributions


I agree! Thanks for the added info fellowtraveller!

Sent from the middle of nowhere


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#13 OFFLINE   FellowTraveler

 
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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:26 AM

HOOD VENTS 1999 GMC Suburban k2500 6.5 td NAVISTAR 
 
I’ll start by stating the GMT400 is not known for aerodynamic design or ability to flow air over and through aux coolers then through the radiator at speed, yes its ok for the stock engine configuration but as you modify and enhance performance more heat is generated especially with a 6.5 td diesel.  
 
Under the hood is crowded especially since I had installed a charge air cooler (CAC) its intake pipe is on passenger side near the air box then the turbocharger turbine is in that area too so heat soak of air box and pipe from CAC to intake becomes an issue.
 
I’ve found with the counter clockwise rotation of the radiator fan that the air flow within engine bay favors the passenger side of the engine bay (bonnet) which is where the air box, CAC and turbine are with much less air flow to the drivers’ side. Aside from obvious difference in pressure exiting fender vents the drivers’ side of engine bay has much more heat buildup because of turbine.
 
My Burb has a real efficient cooling system however the under hood heat issue is directly linked to the turbines’ 1k+ deg f temps EGT at WOT and the constant 400/500 deg f temps EGT running under boost.
 
Another consideration is are my dual CS130D generators (aka: alternators) and properly cooling them as they have thermal limiters built in being that the air to cool them is actually pulled through the rear and out the front of the units I’d like the under hood temps cooler. Next are my AGM batteries and keeping the heat off them too.
 
Under hood heat at the turbine even though heat wrapped and shielded is IMHO too damn hot so I have begun to focus on hood venting after installing fender vents yep I cut into the hood for vents on both sides of hood center line and just beyond the radiator shroud.
 
After exhaustive research I had concluded the general consensus is that the best area for hood vents is just after the radiator shroud which allows more air to flow through the radiator at speed. Well this turns out to be only partially true on my GMT400 Burb in that the driver side hood vent does force out lots of hot air standing still and at speed with the passenger hood vent doing just the opposite pulling air into engine bay (bonnet) while standing and at speed.
 
FACT: any air forced into engine bay (bonnet) behind the radiator and not used for engine air intake can cause the air flow to slow and even stall through the radiator. The major cause of this flow on a GMT 400 is a missing skid plate/panel between the back of front bumper area to the bottom of the radiator support and filling the area between the chassis rails.
 
I now cover the passenger side hood vent after concluding it’s not in a good location and now focus on the passenger side fender vent and making it larger so it can flow much more CFM (hot air) at speed out from under hood. The factory inner fender vent is 6”x6” so it will need to enlarged to allow more flow of the already turbulent air flow to and out the outer fender vent.
 
I am considering increasing the size of the driver side hood vent to allow for more flow out from under hood on that side which in turn increases flow through the radiator at speed however I need to make rain shield for it too.

Edited by FellowTraveler, 07 September 2013 - 07:16 AM.

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#14 OFFLINE   FellowTraveler

 
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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:36 PM

UPDATE: I have eliminated the hood vents entirely mostly because the heat venting enters into the cowl vents then into passenger area making for a hotter than usual summer.

 

Passenger side fender vent will be enlarged some to help extract more of the radiant heat the turbine makes as it does its job.

 

I have also eliminated the duct work I had installed on the sides of the radiator because they blocked air flow to the intake air and to the batteries. I have added gaskets around the radiator support to the radiator this was a big improvement in flow through the radiator. I had totally looked past the gaps around the radiator that allowed air to seek path of least resistance and too flow through the gaps as opposed to going through the rad core, suggest everyone check theirs too.

 

I have added a duct to my charge air cooler CAC aka: inter-cooler which is 50% the size of the coolers core and airflow through the core has increased dropping IAT 20 deg f average. I will go to a larger aftermarket Dodge RAM Cummins inter-cooler for 94/98.5 era it will be installed w/o any need to cut or modify it by using the two (2) head light header panel.


Edited by FellowTraveler, 13 September 2013 - 12:37 PM.

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#15 OFFLINE   Darkrider

 
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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:52 PM

Am i understanding you correctly...you are adding a Cummins FMIC to a GMT400 via using a Work truck style grille??? i will say you have def perked my interest! 


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