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Friday, July 18, 2008

Intro to Lubrication

Why have a section about lubrication in a magazine about GM Diesels?
Simply stated, there is a direct connection between lubrication and the health and life of your vehicles. GM has done its part by manufacturing these marvelous machines; each owner is solely responsible for their maintenance. As a Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS), certified by the Society of Tribologist and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), I cringe at the misleading advertising, misinformation and lack of lubrication education for both consumers and service professionals. In this continuing series, Lube Notes, I seek to provide factual information on lubrication to allow readers to rise above all the advertising hype and half-truths in order to make informed decisions when selecting lubricants – engine oil, transmission fluid, gear lube – for their vehicles. With this goal in mind, I intend to educate, not indoctrinate. In fact, the information in these columns will equip you to see through the attempts at indoctrination that surround us.

Duramax Oil Cooling, Part 1

The fish are in the freezer, and with that, it is time for my annual reel cleaning and vehicle servicing regimen; an oil change is always part of it. I am reminded of what that oil went through on all those fishing trips.
It all started with a realization that my thermo-viscous fan should not be such a common occurrence. I seemed to fly effortlessly up steep mountain grades with my big camper load, on a 103ºF Arizona day, in air conditioned comfort, and in complete complacent silence, dreaming of bass boils. Then I awoke, eyes wide and startled, to the sound of a 747 landing on top of me… THAT FAN!

Project 6.5 Diesel Suburban Renewal

When the 6.5s were built, there really was no horsepower race and 190 HP was, well, “not bad”. Compared to the Duramax, 190 HP doesn’t measure up and, as we all know, power really does matter. To make things worse, the 6.5 problems have not been limited to less-than-desirable power; they have also had reliability issues – as we experienced for ourselves in the course of this rebuild. Perhaps, in a quest for more power and reliability, you have searched some of the big name diesel upgrade companies only to conclude that there are not any products out there that will mollify the frustrations you have experienced with your 6.5. There are, however, solutions that will make these trucks perform like they should – at a price that can’t be beat.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Phoenix 6.2L Diesel Rebuild


My son Jens stays busy with an international transportation company, keeping their aging equipment between North Vancouver and Lillooet running: laying track, operating heavy machinery and generally making himself useful.
Ever since high school, Jens has participated in an annual silliness around here known as The Birken Ralley. The local off-road enthusiasts spend all their disposable income and sometimes more to build the toughest trucks. Then – here’s the silliness – they get together every Spring and drive out into the bush to get drunk and wreck their masterpieces. Early on in the madness, Jens recognized the superiority of the 1967 to 1972 Chevy/GMC body style. The high degree of GM part interchangeability, the simple, classic lines, the uncomplicated, before-pollution-control systems and the heavier-than-today sheet metal convinced him that the last of the line, the ‘72, represents the zenith in the development of the North American pickup truck. Over the years, he has built up quite a number of these vehicles and he has come to understand them down to the molecular level. In his work travels, he keeps his eye out and knows the location and condition of every one within a couple of hundred miles of home.