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Just got my first diesel looking for some help from the experts. Its an 02 chevy express 3500 with the chevy 6.5 I was told. Its a 14ft box van conversion into a mobile race shop for my motorcycle business not that it matters but just so you know what were working with. Just drove it from NY to MI getting about 10mpg. Don't know much about diesels but have always heard you can throw a few parts at it and get some better performance and most importantly mpgs. Anybody have experience with this one or know what are the best options to go with? Trying to keep the cost down but open to ideas because i will be putting a lot of miles on it. Thanks!
 

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The diesels respond very well to programmers, but I've never checked to see if one is made for a '02 Express van. I'll check to see if I can find one and will post. Also welcome to the club.

---------- Post added at 04:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:50 PM ----------

I couldn't find any programmers for a Express van. I would call Bankspower.com tech line and talk with them. They may have a tuner for a truck that will work on your van.
 

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I've always gained great performance and MPG by adding a larger turbo, larger exhaust, and propane injection.
I've never felt the need to mess with programmers after doing these mods, although the newer trucks do respond even better to a programmer.
 

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The diesels respond very well to programmers, but I've never checked to see if one is made for a '02 Express van. I'll check to see if I can find one and will post. Also welcome to the club.

---------- Post added at 04:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:50 PM ----------

I couldn't find any programmers for a Express van. I would call Bankspower.com tech line and talk with them. They may have a tuner for a truck that will work on your van.
Thanks for checking into that I will give them a call. What about an intake the stock intake seems very restricted? What type of mpg gains should I expect I'm at 10 now?

---------- Post added at 07:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:37 PM ----------

I've always gained great performance and MPG by adding a larger turbo, larger exhaust, and propane injection.
I've never felt the need to mess with programmers after doing these mods, although the newer trucks do respond even better to a programmer.
I know this will depend on what products you use when do all this but whats an estimate on cost for each of these? Also any good recommendations on what products to use if i went that route?
 

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Being you have a van which isnt as popular as trucks I truthfully dont know if parts from the trucks are interchangeable to your platform I couldnt give you an accurate estimate or availability on the larger Turbo and Exhaust. Check with Banks or some of the other aftermarket parts manufacturers, from my experience Banks is usually always ready to do R&R on new platforms if they dont have the answers.
Propane injection systems start around $600, as a stand alone system (without exhaust and intake changes) they can make awesume performance and MPG increases, about a 20% increase.
I have no recommendations on propane or water injection systems, I've used a few different ones and they've all been pretty much the same none of them stood out as a must buy item. Search the internet and you should find a lot of options.
Something to watch when using propane (or increasing intake or exhaust size) is EGT, always install an exhaust pyrometer to monitor EGT's with any of these mods so you dont burn up the engine.
A great addition to propane injection is water injection it cool things down and increases compression, most water injection systems can be purchased for under $200.
Again when making these mods you can really fine tune things with a programmer.
 

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Appreciate the info, thats a lot cheaper than I thought on the propane injection. I did some research about the 6.5 and found a lot of info on what to watch out for to avoid problems. Lucky the guy I got it from took extremely good care of it, could get scary.. Along with the research i found that going with a 4" exhaust from the turbo back was the way to go. I'm going to start with that and eliminating the stock intake, my buddy is a diesel tech so were going to make one since it's a van and not too many parts out there. Also have to look into it a little more but might end up putting hummer headers on.. So thats where I'm going to start, see where that gets me in the mpg department. If I'm not happy then I go on from there. There's no programmers available and I'm not sure I like the concept behind the chips, so the only other option is having the ECM programmed for $600.
 

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You sure it's the 6.5 in that and not the 6.6 Duramax? I know they switched to the D-max sometime around there in the vans... Just not sure exactly when... What's the 8th digit of you VIN? That should tell what engine it has... If it's a "1" it should be a D-max...
 

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I have a 1993 gmc 2500 with a blown 6.5 in it (after 268k miles..not bad) and i got another 6.5 to put in it but just learned that its a computerized engine and the truck is non computerized. is there anything i can do?...
 

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I have a 1993 gmc 2500 with a blown 6.5 in it (after 268k miles..not bad) and i got another 6.5 to put in it but just learned that its a computerized engine and the truck is non computerized. is there anything i can do?...
That's easy.... You just swap your non-computer IP onto the new motor and it'll be just like your old one then....
 

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If swapping in an engine from '97 or later, you may have to reuse your original crossover/thermostat housing, or fabricate the throttle cable bracket to work with it. If you can do this, use the later style, it improves cooling. Otherwise install a lower temp thermostat and a high output water pump (should have HO in the casting at the top). One of the biggest problems they had with the early 6.5L was poor cooling flow through the cylinder heads which often resulted in blown gaskets or cracked heads. You never want to run one of these over 210*.

Check the condition of the harmonic balancer and pulley on the new engine; if either has over 100k or shows any sign of the rubber cracking replace them! A bad balancer will cause the crankshaft to break.
 
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