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6.2L And 6.5L GM Diesel Power Recipes

For $1,500, $4,000, $9,000, And $20,000 Budgets

Text By Jason Thompson

We began our Power Recipes series back in August of 2009 with the 7.3L Power Stroke. We showed you how to make reliable power while still staying inside a budget. Then we moved on to the Ford 6.0L and 6.4L.

In the last few months we did the same thing for four generations of Cummins' engines. In this issue we are going to cover the GM 6.2L and 6.5L. Many diesel enthusiasts stick their nose up at this engine and wonder: Why would anyone want to mess with high-compression indirect injection? These people might have had a bad experience or know someone with an IDI horror story and only focus on the engine's many shortfalls instead of its good points. A few benefits include:

1. These engines are literally cheaper than scrap iron.
2. They are readily available in your own backyard nearly anywhere in the world.
3. They have cheap and easy to get replacement and performance parts.
4. They can be swapped in the place of a gasoline small-block Chevy.
5. The early (non-electronic versions) are self-contained and need no electricity to run.

Just think of how many GM 6.2L and 6.5L diesel engines there are in existence. Applications include a nearly two-decade run in GM pickups, SUVs, vans, military Hummers and boats around the world. The fact is, many people are able to get a ton of work done with these engines-either by carefully reworking them or just experiencing good luck. The 6.2L and 6.5L Power Recipes use a modified format, since these engines require more initial groundwork to make reliable. Therefore, the $4,000 recipe includes the cost of the modifications recommended in the $1,500 recipe, and the $20,000 buildup includes the cost of the parts added to the $1,500, $4,000, and $9,000 recipes.

By Jason Thompson
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The only thing I don't like about this is how focused it is on HP. For me personally I would like to know the neighborhood of torque that these numbers are pushing you to. Torque are what these trucks are made for. If horsepower was all you wanted. Go to a gas engine with a big block and twin turbos.