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6.5 Diesel Specs

    • General Motors introduced the 6.5-liter diesel in 1992 as a fuel saving alternative to large V8s. It didn't last in the civilian world, but open the hood of a military vehicle and there might be a GM, 6.5-liter engine installed inside.

    The Basics

    • The V-8 diesel engine displaces 395-cubic inches or 6.5 liters and produces 215 horsepower at 3,200 rpm and 440 foot-pounds of torque at 1,800 rpm. The bore and stroke measure 4.06 and 3.82 inches. The combustion chamber works with a compression ratio of from 18.1:1 to 21.3:1, depending on the year. The engines receives the fuel/air mixture from turbocharger. Some versions of the engine are naturally aspirated and produce lower horsepower.


    • GM designed the engine for fuel economy more than power. In commercial applications, such as delivery trucks, the 6.5-liter engine turned for economy delivers the gas mileage of a four-cylinder engine.

    Rocky Start

    • GM put the engine in the Yukon, Suburban, Blazer, Jimmy, marine vehicles, motor homes and vans. Initially the engine received acceptance; however, that did not last. According to the Automotix web site, the GM 6.5-liter diesel did not hold up as well as expected. Automotix said that owners reported problems in oil contamination, oil pressure problems, hard starting, loss of power, cracked cylinder heads, coolant in the oil, main bearing web cracks, cracked blocks and broken cranks. GM fixed the problems over time, making the engine durable enough to power the military Humvee today. GM stopped selling the engine in it's line of civilian vehicles in 2000.

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