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Dilemma on a tow rig... 6.6 Duramax or Vortec 8100?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by txbartman, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I am considering getting a tow rig for my jimmy and removing it from semi-daily driving. I would either tow it on a regular trailer or a goose neck, haven't decided. I have pretty well decided to get a GMC Sierra 3500 SLE 4WD. I can get one practically loaded (except no leather or bucket seats) with the Duramax Diesel and the Allison 5spd auto for right at $36,100. Thanks a big chunk o' change. If I stuck with the 8100 Vortec and the Allison, I can get it down to right around $32,900.

    If I go the Duramax route, I won't be getting it until next year (this prolonged lull in the stock market is killing me). If I go the 8100 route, I can get one as soon as the 2003s hit the road this Fall.

    I don't know a damn thing about towing this much weight. Never towed much more than a 5,000lb boat. I also don't know a damn thing about diesels.

    Is the Duramax worth the extra $3000+? Is that the right answer for this compared to the 8100? How much will towing a rig of this weight really impact the reported MPG numbers (11/13 for the 8100, 15/17 for the Duramax)?

    I don't want to hear about Fords or Dodges. That isn't the question. I don't want to hear about how bad the Duramax is compared to other diesels. That ain't it either. This is about the duramax vs the 8100.

    Thoughts? /forums/images/icons/confused.gif
     
  2. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    I don't speak from any experience, but it would come down to two things - mileage and towing power. Diesel wins both arguments hands down. Worth the extra few bucks, figure the difference in your payment, won't be much. /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif
     
  3. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    The deisel will get better MPG, Deisel fuel cost less. Engine will last longer, That truck will pobably make up the $3k in the first 16 months you own it in operating costs.
     
  4. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    I'm assuming the 8100 is the big block? /forums/images/icons/confused.gif

    I know someone with a new big block chevy and a 5 spd and my blazer gets better milage than it does /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif
    So, I'd go with the diesel if I were you.


    And you definatly want a gooseneck trailer. They pull so much better! And it's less stress on the truck
     
  5. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    ya a fella i work with has the 8100 and get 8-9mpg towing a 10,000 lbs 5th wheel /forums/images/icons/grin.gif . i was looking at a 2500HD duramax/alison 4x4 crewcab $43,000 $bling$ $bling$ /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif
     
  6. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I started looking at the same rig. Then I looked at the 3500s in the same configuration. Only about $1K difference in MSRP. Figured I would kick myself somewhere down the road if I didn't go with the 3500. And I think the duallie with the crew cab/long bed looks better than without like the 2500HDs. Too damn long and skinny!
     
  7. fulltopblazer

    fulltopblazer 1/2 ton status

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    I know this isn't much help but its my .02 cents. I have a 88 4 door dually with a 454 TBI and th400 and with my blazer behind it on a 18ft trailier I get about 7mpg and it doesn't pull that great. My dad has a 98 4dr dually with 6.5 turbo diesel and nvg 4500, loaded he gets about 15 mpg unloaded 17 mpg and it pulls a hell of alot better than mine. That should tell you what I would get. I want to buy a new 4 dr dually with the duramax as soon as I get the wifes suburban paid of.
     
  8. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave 1/2 ton status

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    When I worked in Wyoming last year the guy I worked for had a 2500HD Duramax/Allison and a 3500 8100. We took some horses down to Colorado and I drove the ton down loaded and the 2500 back loaded. The D-max rolled over the Million Dollar highway like it was rolling hills. Anyone thats drove it will testify it isnt. I was impressed. D-Max all the way.
     
  9. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    I would figure out how much it will cost to mantain that duramax vs. the MPG it gets. I don't know much about diesels either but I do know that if you want them to last long you have to do more mantainence than you would for a 8100. Then some would say that diesels last up in the 300k mile range but how much cash does all the extra crap for the diesel cost to get it that far vs. the cost of getting a new 496BB. Just some food for thought......
     
  10. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    I just bought my first diesel and I've put 1500 miles on it in a week. No, it's not a duramax, but it is a new diesel. I won't try to talk you into a cummins, because I believe the Dmax is a good motor, just a little pricey for me. I will say that I dont think i'll buy another gas daily driver/tow again unless it's a commuter. I get 18 mpg unloaded and 13 mpg pulling a 8K trailer with a 40mph crosswind. I love everything about the truck with the power to push me back into the seat, and the ability to haul anything I toss behind it. Get the diesel, you won't be sorry.

    Bryan
     
  11. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    If you're going to tow mostly near sea level, on relatively flat roads, then either one will do the job for ya. I did the math a while back and it takes around 100K miles to break even on the cost of the diesel vs. the cost of the gas engine. Back when diesel fuel was cheap, it was easier to make up the difference. Around here diesel fuel costs as much as mid-grade gasoline. Diesels also require much more frequent oil changes than gasoline engines.

    But if you plan to tow into higher elevations, then that turbocharger that is bolted onto the diesel makes more difference than you can believe! Going up a road like I-70 west of Denver, the 8100 will lose over 40% of it's power by the time you make it over the Continental Divide. The turbo-diesel will be passing everything in sight. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  12. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    Diesels also require much more frequent oil changes than gasoline engines.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hmmm...my owners manual with my cummins says every 3 to 5K depending on how hard I use it. I change my gas vehicles oil every 3K regardless. Although, the diesel does require a lot more oil...to the tune of 11 quarts /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif Maybe cost of oil changes is what you're referring to.

    And I hear you on the charts of where you break even. I did them myself. You also have to look at resale which is much higher for a properly maintained diesel. And most importantly, you need to look at your attitude. If you're pissed off all the time cause you get crappy mileage and get passed by all the ford and dodge diesels out there, you'll be wishin you got that duramax so you could hold your own on all counts! /forums/images/icons/blush.gif
     
  13. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    For most gas engines they recommend oil changes between 3,000 and 7,500 miles these days, depending on usage. Jiffy Lube recocomends every 3,000 miles, so they can sell more oil changes. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif Diesels have more blowby than gas engines, due to the tremendous combustion chamber pressures. Plus they create a lot of soot that gas engines don't produce. Diesels turn the oil totally black in just a few hundred miles.

    Big rig diesels can go longer between oil changes due to the huge amount of oil that they hold (many gallons!) and trick oil filtration systems. I've seen "specials" advertised for big rigs that have an oil and filter change for $100. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif
     
  14. mudrunner78

    mudrunner78 1/2 ton status

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    drive them both, not just around town hit the freeway, somepeoples driving style just don't go well with diesel's(even thou they all have a better powerband than diesel's of old) I personally am a diesel fan, owned a few loved them all but can't get a new vehicle with one until I get a little better off money wise. I have towed with both a duramax and a 8100, both trucks were idenical 3500 4x4 duallys and the trailer was the same a 42ft gooseneck horsetrailer. My uncle owns a horse farm and we constanly make runs to the east coast from KY. The duramax was a get behind the wheel and forget about it, the added weight from the engine also helps handeling in my opinion. The 8100 was alot me selective cound not maintain a constant rpm. The trailer weighted both time right around 17k and the mpg for the duramax was 15mpg going 5mph over, and the 8100 was 9mpg. To sum up this long answer go with the diesel. Jesse
     
  15. eldon519

    eldon519 1/2 ton status

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    I've got a Powerstroke Diesel and it's great. You only have to change the oil every 3k or so, but like they said, it holds alot more so it's a little more expensive. I've got a friend with the Superduty V-10 and he can't even chirp his tires. When I was first getting used to driving the Powerstroke, I'd chirp the tires in 3rd gear by accident if I didn't baby the clutch. The Duramax is a pretty beastly engine and i think you'd like it alot more than the 8100. The diesel option pays for itself alot quicker than most people think. It doesn't really matter how long it takes though cause I have a feeling you're gonna love the truck and keep it long enough to pay for itself twice over. Also, if for some reason you aren't satisfied with the lower horsepower numbers of the Duramax, you can grab an extra 50 horses for a diesel really easily. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  16. eldon519

    eldon519 1/2 ton status

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    Oh yeah, if cost is really an issue, you could just got with a manual tranny and I think that drops something like $1000-$2000 off the price. Then you'll get even better gas mileage and more rear wheel power. Just something to think about, you do have to shift pretty rapidly though cause of the small RPM band.
     
  17. MudNurI

    MudNurI 1/2 ton status

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    Okay I'll bite... Since I have driven BOTH the 8.1 and the Duramax... the D/A A LOT more since we own it, but the 8.1 is the brother in laws. Now to set some records straight.

    first off- the Duramax does NOT require more frequent oil changes. We change our oil every 7500 miles. It holds 10 Quarts so its more expensive. HOWEVER we also run full synthetic- which brings my oil change up to close to $200 a wack. 7500 miles- equals about 6-8 weeks of driving, so every other month we are changing our oil.

    MPG- brother in law- EMPTY is averaging 8.5 mpg. YES that's EMPTY... we are averaging 20.0 MPG, (been as high as 21.5) and as low as 17.5. but with 30,000 miles on the truck since October 30,2001, it's still a a baby.

    If you wait to get a duramax, wait until this fall when the '03's come out- get an '02 left over. THEY ARE ALL OVER the place on lots, don't believe a word you hear from dealers- that they can't get them blah blah- thats a crock of balogne! local dealer here has 15 Crew Cab's, 1/2 are 8.1's 1/2 are Duramax's.

    Cost is an issue, as has been discussed on this board numerous times. $45,000 is a lot to spend on a truck. but how long are you going to have it?

    one BIG recommendation is- the diesel page- they are loaded with 8.1 guys too!

    check it out- they have had numerous discussions on pulling stuff with the 8.1 versus the D/A combo.

    one thing- in regards to whoevver said get the 6 speed manual- if your pulling stuff- get the Allison- you WONT be sorry. that has got the be the king sh*t of transmissions. The things that transmission does is INCREDIBLE.

    BTW, I'm partial to the Duramax, so my opinions may be biased. One thing the 8.1 has going for it that we don't. With b-i-l's truck, you can hear the Allison whine, it's a very cool sound, with mine, you can't.

    good luck!

    Brandy
     
  18. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Dude your right around the corner from me. Do you shop at the Kroger at New chastain and 5? I have seen a lifted ford that looks close to your sig there a few times.
     
  19. eldon519

    eldon519 1/2 ton status

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    Naw, it's not me I don't think. If you ever see me you'll probably know it, I've got a Silver F-350 Regular cab long bed. You don't see too many regular cab Superdutys around here. I live more out in West Cobb, I'm around 41 and barrett alot though.
     
  20. Seventy4Blazer

    Seventy4Blazer 3/4 ton status

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    i would go with the duramax. you get better warrenties with the allison and the izuzu motor. i have driven two of them. NICE. if you wait till the 03's come out and buy an 02 youshould be able to get the duramax at about 33k.
    grant
     

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