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88-98 Chevy Turbo Diesel ?

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 158

March 3rd, 2008, 3:12 PM   #1  
88-98 Chevy Turbo Diesel ?

I've heard so many good and bad things about the Chevrolet Turbo Diesel that I really don't know whats true. I know they are a Detroit Diesel, and I have always heard good about that company. Does anybody really know how powerful and reliable those motors are? How long can you expect them to last? And also the 4L80E, how good of a tranny is that?

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4

March 31st, 2008, 12:30 PM   #2  
RE: 88-98 Chevy Turbo Diesel ?

I would not recommend one. although a 6.5 is better then a 6.2. I have a 963500H.D 5 speedwith a flatbed and a septic pumper on it. the tank is a steel 500 gallon and weighs about 3000 pounds and you can really tell it is back there. it got a new motor put in at 80,000 miles. it runs ok but it just does not have any power. if i had to do it over again iwould have gotten a gasoline. that truck only gets about 10 miles a gallon also. and with $4 diesel it is pretty expensive to drive.

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,424

March 31st, 2008, 5:24 PM   #3  
RE: 88-98 Chevy Turbo Diesel ?

The older 6.5L turbo diesel (L65) s a decent engine, it lacks the power and economy of the modern diesels though, the most common problem with the 6.5L was with the Teledyne injection pump.
The engine also does not fair well if driven like a gas engine, it produces max pulling power at about 1,800 rpm's and if held to high (3,000 rpm+) while climbing a grade the engine runs hot which has a detrimental effect on efficiency and life-span.
The later design 6.5L had a twin-thermostat housing which virtually eliminated the over-temp problems.

The people that had the best luck with the L65 were those that had a 5-speed manual and drove the truck with a light foot and short shifted it, those with a heavy foot were much better suited for the 7.4L (454ci) gas engine.

The 4L80E is basically the old Turbo Hydramatic 400 but updated with an overdrive and electronic controls, it is an excellent piece of equipment.

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 158

April 2nd, 2008, 3:33 PM   #4  
RE: 88-98 Chevy Turbo Diesel ?

I knew a guy whoowned an 86 c30 with the diesel motor and said he got 650,000 miles out of it it hardly had problems. I've also heard the opposite so I just wasn't sure. ZX, the teledyne pump your talking about, is that also called the lifter pump or injector pump? Cause i've heard it's a poorly designed piece of crap. The reason I asked about the 4L80E is cause i've got one behind my 454 and was wandering how durable they really are. The fluid is red but it smells sorta burnt, didn't know if thats normal, cause in my experience it's not normal.

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 8

April 3rd, 2008, 6:35 PM   #5  
RE: 88-98 Chevy Turbo Diesel ?

Did you mean the L56? That is what is in my 94 Silver K2500 with the 4L80E. I love it, after 14 years I have 142,000 miles on it and the only problem I had was a broken fuel filter. I get 18mpg in the city, never had it on the road so don't know what kind of mileage it would get on the HWY. Of course I am an old codger and never exceed the speed limit. LOL
I have just about finished the repainting. Turned out right nice for my first time. Used the original colors.






Join Date: Aug 2006
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April 3rd, 2008, 7:21 PM   #6  
RE: 88-98 Chevy Turbo Diesel ?

My bad the injection pump is a Stanadyne (not Teledyne).
The Stanadyne DB2 injection (or injector) pump mounts to the engine and distributes metered fuel to each cylinder at the right instant, the electric fuel (or lift) pump supplies fule pressure to the injection pump.

The early design pump had a couple of problems and I would say that it was "a piece of crap", the later design pumps were reliable though.

The L56 is the non-turbo version 6.5L diesel
The L65 is the Turbocharged version, both decent mills the L65 just has a power edge.

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 8

April 4th, 2008, 11:57 AM   #7  
RE: 88-98 Chevy Turbo Diesel ?

The only reason I questioned, was that I have the original printout for my truck and it shows my engine as "L56 Engine Diesel, 8 CYL, 6.5L, TURBO" Next line, "MT1 Transmission Auto, 4 SPD, THM 4L80-E"
I know that it is a Turbo, cannot figure why it was Listed incorrectly.

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Join Date: Jan 2012
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January 17th, 2012, 9:16 AM   #8  
Some RPO Codes for Diesel Engine(s) (Ussually found in the Glovebox - Can help you discern what your truck was originally equipped with/for)

LF9 5.7L Diesel ("D" on Block one variant, "DX" on Block is slightly "Heavier Duty" variant)

LH6 - 6.2L Diesel with EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculator)
LL4 - 6.2L Diesel "J" Series Diesel

L56 6.5L TURBO w/EGR & Emissions Control(s)
L57 6.5L NON-TURBO (HO/Heavy Duty - compared to the L49)
L65 6.5L TURBO (No EGR) (This one has the highest output from the factory)
LQM 175 HP Model
LQN 190 HP Model

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