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When is GM Going To Offer A Serious Diesel?

coloradocowboycoloradocowboy Posts: 6
edited March 1 in Chevrolet
Folks, I own a 96 Chevy K1500 stepside and
absolutely love it. I own horses and pull a 2
horse trailer. My current truck is maxed out
pulling 6500 lbs. I will be in the market for a
new truck in the next 12 - 18 months. I love the
GM truck line, however, I want a diesel in a 1 ton
truck, primarily for its pulling power and fuel
economy. I have looked at the Ford F350 and Dodge
3500 Ram, both with impressive diesels, but I can't
bring myself to buy either of these trucks. Call
me a GM diehard or what??

Does anyone know if GM is going to get real and
offer a respectable diesel in the upcoming year or
two. If I felt there was the possibility of one
coming, I'd wait for it. I have heard rumors that
GM may be talking to Caterpiller and Isuzu about a
new diesel for their pickups. Any inside info
anyone has would be appreciated.

I would really hate to buy a Ford or Dodge, and
then regret it. But then again, I know if I bought
the current GM diesel, I'd really regret it!!

Thanks for any help or insight anyone can provide.


  • FETZFETZ Posts: 51
    I read in a press release somewhere that GM has in fact struck up a deal with Izuzu to supply their diesel engines. They are supposed to show up in GM trucks around 2001, if my memory serves me correctly.

    I'll see if I can find that article and give you more specifics.
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    Isuzu it will be, 300 hp, 550 ftlb torque are early reports, Allison Transmission.
  • FETZFETZ Posts: 51

    Do you know about when? I can't find the article.
  • Isuzu?? I know they make small diesels...have seen them in the small Isuzu delivery trucks, but do they make the larger ones? What is their reliability record? Would this be a brand new engine, or one that's already proven. Its pretty hard to top the Cummins in the Dodge for reliability. I like the sound of the horsepower and torque that cdean quotes. I also assume that it will be a turbo given the numbers cdean is quoting.

    Do you know if this new engine will coincide with the expansion of the Silverado line to the 2500 and 3500 series??

    If the Isuzu is a solid engine, it could be worth waiting for. I appreciate the info. I'll keep posted for more.

  • FETZFETZ Posts: 51
    I found an article about the GM/Isuzu deal at It's very general, no specifics. I too would like to find out more. I think the 2001 time frame was about right though, as the article states production will begin sometime in 2000.

    Here's a copy of it. Hope nobody sues me for any copyright infringement! Sorry it didn't paste in here very well.

    GM, Isuzu team up to build
    diesel engine in Ohio

    September 9, 1998

    Detroit Free Press Automotive Writer

    General Motors Corp. is forming a joint venture
    with Isuzu Motors Ltd. to build a diesel-engine plant
    near Dayton, Ohio.

    The factory will cost more than $100 million and
    employ 700 workers when it opens for production
    in 2000. It will supply 6.6-liter diesel engines for
    GM sport-utility vehicles, pickup trucks and
    commercial trucks.

    The 550 workers at GM's existing diesel-engine
    plant in Moraine, Ohio, are eligible for transfers to
    the nearby Isuzu plant when it opens. GM expects
    300 will transfer and the rest will have retired by the
    time the new plant is running.

    GM Chairman Jack Smith is to dedicate the new
    plant today in a ceremony with Isuzu Chairman
    Kazuhira Seki.

    GM, which owns 37.5 percent of Isuzu, has been
    giving the Japanese automaker more work in the
    diesel field. Last year, Isuzu took the reins in
    worldwide diesel-engine development for GM. That
    was part of GM's initiative to focus development in
    the hands of companies that have the most
    expertise. For example, GM's Adam Opel AG
    operation in Germany was given the lead in
    small-car development.

    For Isuzu, the new factory would give it the
    opportunity to become a major engine maker in the
    United States, especially if diesel engines come into
    wider acceptance among consumers.

    Diesels power about 22 percent of Europe's cars
    and a new generation of direct-injection diesels
    common in Europe is thought to be less harmful to
    the environment than gasoline engines. Some
    industry analysts predict diesels will become
    increasingly popular in the Untied States because of
    the environmental angle and their greater fuel
    economy .

    "In the long run, you're looking at increased demand
    for diesels, particularly in sport-utility vehicles," said
    auto analyst Jim Gillette of the research firm
    International Research Network Inc. in Grand

    The new plant will have the capacity to turn out
    about 100,000 6.6-liter, V8 engines a year,
    estimated industry analyst Michael Robinet of CSM
    Forecasting in Farmington Hills.

    Those engines will go into commercial trucks,
    replacing the current generation of 6.5-liter diesel
    made in Moraine. And they'll be available for
    passenger vehicles such as the full-size C/K pickup
    trucks and the Chevrolet Suburban sport-utility.
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    Isuzu makes large diesels for some delivery type trucks. I've had no experience with them, i've heard a good reliability report from one guy. i do know that Isuzu makes very large industrial diesel engines such as those that go in offshore liners, crewboats trains and such. so they have been building diesels for a while. i think the chevy engine will be a new design from the ground up.

    I heard the horsepower and torque #'s from 2 unrelated people: a dealer who is a good friend of mine, and 2) an tech that works at a diesel fuel pump repair shop; he has been to a seminar covering new automotive fuel pumps, and the engines they go on.
  • Sounds promising! Thanks for all the information. I think I will wait for this new engine to materialize. I like everything else about Chevy and GMC trucks so much, that I know that I would be disappointed if I went for the Ford or Dodge.

    The new Silverado is pretty nice. I haven't driven one yet, but I like the room in the extended cab. I expect that the 3500 series will be equally as good. I am waiting for the dually to arrive, sounds like 2001 possibly. If the new diesel is ready then, it could be real competition for Ford and Dodge. GM just can't afford to screw up another diesel though!!! Let's hope the Isuzu relationship works and GM doesn't ruin a good thing!

    Thanks again for all the info all!
  • I think the Ram 2500 with the 24 valve Cummins Turbo diesel is awesome. I especially love the spacious interior of the reg cab model with leather seating, something you can't get right now with the Silverado reg cab. Still, what I don't like is the live axle front suspension on the Ram 4x4 and F250 super duty. Having an independent front suspension is the largest reason why the Silverado 4x4 rides so much better. I was looking for a work that I could load an ATV in the back, and haul it to Utah from Colorado pulling my motorcycle trailer behind. That would be easy money for the Ram. But even though that 20-21 mpg of the diesel is great, when I factored in that diesel fuel in Colorado cost 23% (taxes I'm sure) more on average than unleaded regular, 20 mpg now becomes the equivalent of 15. So I ordered the Silverado 1500 reg cab 4x4 instead. It's not going to be as tough as the Ram or Super Duty, but with EPA 15/18 ratings it will end up more economical, unless I was going to keep it for 300,000 miles. For the diesel, that is appealing, but I had to take into consideration my own habits, that I have purchased and maintained every vehicle to drive it for 200,000 miles, yet end up finding something else far sooner because I get bored, or something else becomes a "must have." By the way, the Silverado with the Z85 suspension rides better, and is quieter than anything I have been in except a Lexus LS400.
  • RichRich Posts: 128
    I had always been a GM man. I got spoiled by my first Ford F-250, ('86) and never looked back. My '99 F-250 7.3L PSD rides almost as smooth as my son's '98 Explorer Sport. The '86 was great in quality, a '92 F-250 even better and this '99 is unbelievable! This is the first new vehicle that hasn't been back to the dealer for nit picking issues. Back in the late '70s and early '80s I wouldn't even rent Fords due to poor quality. But things have really changed. I think that if you got yourself a '99 PDS you wouldn't be disappointed.

    The only complaints that I have with my '99 SC F-250 PSD are no lights in the cup holders and the trailer towing blind spot mirrors don't allow for adjustment. (Their aiming ain't bad but just not perfect.) How's that for nit picking?

  • dodgeramdodgeram Posts: 202
    Has anybody seen dodges new powerwagon show truck.
    They say it will resemble the next ram trucks in the coming years, and the diesel engine, well its it CAT! 250hp, and 780LBS torque. Dodge must have something brewing with CAT and I hope it falls through. And I also hope that they keep the cummins as well. All I know is that dodges next truck is really really going to kill the competition!
  • dave40dave40 Posts: 582
    Dodge Dogs never will kill GM and Ford
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497

    Then you better check some sales figures. Ford and Dodge are #1 and #2 in diesel pickup sales. GM isn't even close. And Ford is ahead of Dodge strictly on volume. If Dodge and Cummins could raise production with more plants, they could easily be the number one diesel pickup. GM has always fallen flat on its face with diesel pickups - first the converted Olds 350 (what a joke in a truck), then the weak 6.2, then the problematic 6.5. I will give GM all the credit in the world for doing some things well (automatic transmissions for one), but diesels aren't one of those things.

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • dodgeramdodgeram Posts: 202
    Listen up Kcram. I own a 1994 chevrolet 1 tonne 6.5 turbo diesel. I am using it as a welding rig. It is carrying a weight of 15000 pounds, and on top of that it can tow a further 11000 pounds on top of that. I dare you to find another truck capable of that. This is not dodgeram talking. I was just visiting and was shown this site. Upon seeing your remarks about the gm 6.5 diesel, I had to reply.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    The load you're moving has nothing to do with the engine - weight is carried by the chassis and the suspension. There are plenty of trucks that can outrun your rig with the same load. A Ram/Cummins or a Ford/Powerstroke would be in the next county.

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    where did you find the diesel sales numbers KCram, i've been curious to see those?

    i've seen quite a few different 6.5's in use, and all in all, they've done the job. No, they definitely don't run like a PS, they don't have the mileage of the Cummins, but it is more powerful than most other motors. my father's work truck is a 3500-HD with the 6.5. the truck weighs 13000 empty. have pulled, on several occaisions, a 25 ft Load King, with Cat D-6 on back, comes out to over 20,000 #'s being pulled. the truck handled it easliy, and the engine pulled it flawlessly. slowly of course, but with overload like that, you don't try to go fast anyway. anyway, the engine will do the job. the 6.5's have had lots of random problems.
    they just haven't been reliable. the 6.5's i've seen that have avoided problems--have been damn good motors.

    My dad's truck has been a good one. he just recieved a new one, ordererd it for business reasons, and as soon as he took delivery of the new one (with a 454), the diesel blew a head gasket. they just haven't been reliable engines.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    I used to have the website bookmarked that showed the sales figures, but I have misplaxced it - gimme a few and I'll dig it up.

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    I owned an 86 Isuzu Trooper with their turbo diesel. Broke a rod and beat up the crank at 41,000. Had to fight Isuzu for any help.....

    My crappy 7.3L ford went 170,000 miles with very little problems.

    I would never buy anything that Isuzu made, sold or designed.

    Buy a cummins dodge. Or buy gas
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    interesting, actually i'm surprised a little by the numbers. i don't think GMs SUVs and vans sell many diesels, mainly cuz i've only seen one or two diesel suburbans over the past 4 years, and never have seen a van. I would say GM diesel truck sales are about 3 or 4k behind Dodge.

    i don't think the percentage means a whole lot, but lets please not get in a discussion about important meaningful statistics---that could be an oxymoron, :)
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497

    I only posted the percentages because it shows how many of the average truck buyer are interested in that company's diesel offering. If sales were equal, Dodge would clearly be the diesel leader. GM buyers on the other hand, buy all those pickups, but stay away from the 6.5

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    is that really the way it works? you're saying that people:

    1) pick out a brand of truck, then
    2) decide on an engine

    I'm saying that people

    1) pick out the engine they need , then
    2) pick out the brand of truck

    my way says the percentage is a meaningless number. divide actual one-tons up, you'll see dodge and chevy sell close to the same; then look at half tons, and you'll see chevy sells a crap load more half tons than dodge. but do all these half tons chevy's (which compromise the greater part of GM's sales number) compete with the diesel? No.

    that percentage compares people who buy a shortbed with v6 to people who buy one ton crewcab diesels. thats why i say its not a good measure. look at what you did, you made me talk stats... :)
This discussion has been closed.