97/98 Chev p.u. diesel?

I am looking at purchasing a 97/98 model 1500 series 4x4. What do you guys think about the diesel for these years? Should I look for a diesel or stick
with a 5.7 litre 350?
Thanks,
Blair
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The 6.5L is not a bad motor if you can find it in a half ton, which i dont think you can. If its a diesel you want look for a 3/4. The 350 is a great motor in my opinion ive had 2 one I sold at 240k, and the new one has 176k, both run strong and reliable. If your looking for a half ton stick with the 350.
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Actually, you can find them in a half-ton (1500) - I owned a '95 C1500 extended cab with one, and saw several full-sized Blazers with them. It was the only 8-cylinder diesel available in a half-ton because it was lightweight and didn't need the heavier suspension of a 3/4 or one-ton chassis. It is a very good motor if you want to take the time to learn about them and what you need to do and look for. If all you are looking for is a "gas and go" motor that you won't have to think much about, then the 350 is for you. I owned both a 350 gasser and 6.5L turbo diesel and liked them both.
It was either in '97 or '98 that Chevy put a higher capacity water pump with dual thermostats and crossover on the 6.5, which all but eliminated the problem of head gasket burn-through in the back cylinders - a problem that was only a concern for folks who did a lot of towing or heavy hauling with this motor, but the fix went onto all motors regardless of use. The fuel injection pump had a problem with the fuel solenoid driver (FSD) generating too much heat, but that is fixed with a product called the FSD Cooler or something similar. You can search for "FSD Cooler" on the web and should get several good hits with explanations as to what the issue was with them.
Cheers - Jonathan

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