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454 Tow Rig Gas Mileage

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Hossbaby50, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I am starting to look around for a DD and a tow rig. I have been looking at early to mid-90's 454 & 6.5L Suburbans and K2500-K3500's. What kind of gas mileage (ballpark) can I expect to get from a 454 from those kind of vehicles around tow and towing? What about a 6.5L?

    What kind of motor longevity can I expect from a 454 and a 4L80E behind a 454? 6.5L?

    Thanks
    Harley
     
  2. lugnut

    lugnut 1/2 ton status

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    Mine gets about 7 MPG with 7500lbs behind it. Crew cab dually 454 4.10 gear and a TH400 ( 2 wheel drive ). The Sub. was about the same. If I had the cash I'd be towing with a Power Stroke.
     
  3. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Forgot to mention that I am mainly looking at K2500-3500 single cabs and K2500 Suburbans. Thanks

    Harley
     
  4. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    You might want to PM Steve Fox & ktedesco. They both own late model 90's 3/4 ton Burbs w/ 454s.
     
  5. jac6695

    jac6695 1/2 ton status

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    Harley,

    My 6.5 gets about 15-16 solo hwy. (driving 75-80), and 8-11 towing my blazer (usually average 10 here in CO). My 4L80E is still going strong at 142,000 (I have owned it for 60,000 of those, at least 50% towing the Blazer or travel trailer). I know you seem to be concentrating on a 454, but you mentioned the 6.5 as an option. I think you would be OK with either, but for a DD, you might want to look for a 99-00 6.0 2500 truck. I am not sure what your budget is, but I would think you could pick up a regular cab 99 2500 for less then a mid to late 90's Burb. BTW, a 99-00 2500 NBS would have a 300 HP 6.0, 4L80E, and 9.5" 14 bolt with disks, and 8600 GVW. My Dad (99 ECSB 2500) got mid to high teens solo, and around 10 with it and his 29' Fifth Wheel.
     
  6. angrysnowplow

    angrysnowplow 1/2 ton status

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    My 1998 with a 454 and 4l80e gets 14 mpg empty, it's two (one) wheel drive though.

    I tell ya getting stuck in the mud with the trailer sucks, wish I had held out for a 4x4 like you're looking for.
     
  7. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    I just finished an 8000 miles road trip with my 1989 v3500 crewcab 454/th400 pulling 7000 pounds the whole way
    We encountered every type of terrain and weather and road conditions.... from open freeway and 75/// to mountain passes and 25... to bumper to bumper city stuff... from hot sun to cold rains
    Best tank fully loaded with momma 3 dogs a bird and all our gear and a loaded desert fox was .....10 mpg....tailwinds and downhills
    Worst was 5.9...killer headwind and 6k mountain passes crawling

    This is real mileage no BS... we kept careful records....
    trip average was 7.5

    truck gets 10 empty driving around easy

    and oh yea.... a month a disney fort widerness has me an expert on Walt...

    cam
     
  8. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    My budget isn't very big. I am looking to basically find a DD truck that will get a little better mileage (or alot is nicer) and can tow my K5. I can get into a 90's K2500-3500 or Sub for around $6000 with decent miles. If I am going to spend more then that I will just get a good used Cummins. Problem is that you can't touch a Cummins unless you are willing to spend $10-15K.

    I would like to get a 6.5L but they seem to be alot harder to find then the 454 trucks are. They are alot less common and usually more money.

    Harley
     
  9. mrhoes

    mrhoes 1/2 ton status

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    A few months ago I got a 1992 Chevy 1 ton reg cab with a 350 and a NV4500. Havent towed my Blazer with it yet, I know it gets better gas mileage than the Blazer did on 31s. The only think I dont like about the NV4500 is the way it shifts.
     
  10. tomseviltwin

    tomseviltwin 1/2 ton status

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    My 90 454 Burb(2wd) gets around 12mpg alone. Haven't towed much more than a small utility trailer (1500lbs?) and didn't notice a drop. It does take off like a mid 80's camaro though. :cool1:
     
  11. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    I think the concensus of a BBC is somewhere between 4-9, towing, and 8-12 not towing. the later 90's got a few mpg better overall. 4wd chews up at least 1mpg. Surprisingly, i dont think the BBC got substantial mpg gains from its carb days.. (though 1mpg is a 10% increase in economy at these numbers.. :confused: )

    6.5 NA's were rare. 6.5 TD's is probably what you would get. Early 90's might still have the 6.2 diesel. I bought a 92 k2500 ext cab with the NV4500 last year, with the 6.2. It towed 7k just fine, but you knew you were towing 7k right off the bat. (namely, you auctally got to use the first gear). On an empty run, my best was approximately 22mpg. Thats running at 65 with 4.10 gears and stock tires. Worst was 15mpg empty (80mph). towing at around 65 netted an average of about 14-15 mpg. Mileage for the 6.5 will be similiar, better in the hills, worse at sea level. (bigger displacement, but more efficient with turbo at higher altitude)
     
  12. Seventy4Blazer

    Seventy4Blazer 3/4 ton status

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    my 96 K3500 extended cab dually got 9 MPG empty if i was nice to it and 5 towing 8k behind it. it had 4.10's and was a 4l80e with a Vortec 454.
    Grant
     
  13. velocitiii

    velocitiii Registered Member

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    you can get a cummins for under 6000, but you will have to look for a while. It will most likely have over 200k on it, but that shouldn't be a problem at all. Just read up on the cummins forums about what to watch out for. I got mine for 3500 and will have about 6 in it when finished with new paint and flat bed. currently I could probly sell it for several K more than I have in it. It's all personal preferance, much better towing ability and better fuel milage, or a nicer/smoother ride and a little lower initial cost.

    One benifit of the 89-93 D***E 250 is the big dana front and rear, and a 205.
     
  14. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Hoss would be hard pressed to get into a 2nd gen Dodge cummins for much less than 8-9K. The older first gen trucks can be had in that lower range but personally I would take a late GM gasser over a 1st gen cummins. They are not near as nice as the 2nd gens or a mid 90's GM.

    My dad has a 1998 C3500 Ext. cab dually with a Vortec 454 and NV4500. He says he's getting around 14 or so on the highway. He doesn't know towing, mainly because he doesn't pull much. In town is probably around 10.
     
  15. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I would love a Cummins but the cheapest one I have found that is what I am looking for (94+, 4x4, Cummins) is $10000 with unknown miles. There are a couple low mile (120-160K) 94-96's extended cab that are around $15000. Depending on how life is treating me down the road and how much money I can get saved I might just have to bite the bullet and go in debt for a Cummins.

    If I can get into a Chevy gasser or 6.5L for a good price I will probably do that till I can get more money saved up and get what I want.

    Harley
     

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