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why SHOULDN'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

Discussion in '1982-Present GM Diesel' started by KRAZIE87K5, Sep 21, 2002.

  1. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    I'm looking for ALL the cons of using a diesel as a daily driver/tow rig. I've found lots of trucks with the 6.2... like a 91 3500 crewcab dually. I need mileage, the best possible. Figure this truck can give me that. The only downside I know of is the cost of the oil changes is higher that that of gasoline. Why is that anywho? What do I look for in a 6.2 with over 150k on the ticker? There is still plenty life left in the motor if maintained well, correct?

    Forgive me for all the ignorant questions, but I know nothing of diesel. YET... /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

    Thanks all,
    -Dan
     
  2. jeffro

    jeffro 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    They hold more oil. A properly maintained diesel should get at least 1/4 million miles. Diesels get generally better mileage than a gasser loaded. I know guys that say that they get 16 mpg loaded or not with a cummins. Compare to a 454 with 14 empty and 8 loaded. In My Humble Opinion.
     
  3. Tybee

    Tybee 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    Oil changes for the 6.2 cost the same as gassers 7 qts of oil. Power stroke and cummins hold more then that.
     
  4. 4x4dreamer

    4x4dreamer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    My dad gets 18 on a good day with his Cummins unloaded...I think 12-15 loaded ( 30 Ft 5th wheel)..I get 20+ with my 6.2, but he'd also blow me away if we ran side by side...and I won't be pulling any 5th wheels.
     
  5. OFFRDK5

    OFFRDK5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    1 negative....you have to explain to people why you bought the Diesel. And even that turns to a positive becuase you get to love your Diesel more!! Did I say love...oh gawd...I have flipped out!!
     
  6. BlueBlazer

    BlueBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    I wouldnt recommend a 6.2 for a tow vehicle mainly because of the low power. It gets pretty dangerous when youre pulling 8000 lbs or so of Blazer and trailer plus a 7000 lb truck trying to merge onto the interstate. Hell, even my Blazer has trouble getting up to speed. And before anybody butts in and says all he has to do is add a turbo, remember that this engines wasnt designed for a turbo so it really takes away from the longevity of the engine, and they are way too expensive. Id suggest a Dodge Ram from 89-93 with a Cummins, or a newer model if you can afford it. Dana 70 or 80 rear, dana 60 front, 205 transfer case, pretty much the same drivetrain as a Chevy. Or you could do like Im doing and put a Cummins in a Chevy (as soon as I get money for a transmission and the truck itself). Anyway, if you got any more questions, you know how to get a hold of me. Later
     
  7. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    DO you think a 350 powered burb would tow better than the 6.2? Even if it did, the mileage would BLOW compared to the diesel... /forums/images/icons/frown.gif What about the 6.5TD engines? How are they? Maybe I just have to find a 6.5?

    -Dan
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    Don't think the 350 would be any better with 15,000lbs gross. My 355 built with a good low end cam is a slug at 11,000lbs gross. Add another 4000 lbs and it would also be 'dangerously' slow...if it didn't throw a rod or break the crank first. I get about 7-8 mpg towing our 21 foot trailer...

    Yeah a Cummins or Duramax or powerstroke would be better than a 6.2...but I still think a 6.2 is a better tow rig motor than a 350.

    Rene
     
  9. kickinasphalt383

    kickinasphalt383 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    i would do the 6.2 and then build a turbo system with old 6.5TD parts or a used banks system off ebay or somewhere. I like my 6.2 alot more than a 350 of the same era (reliability, simplicity, and fuel consumption). from what i have seen a 6.2TD will out tow a normal 350 no problem.

    and hey if you get that 3500 crew cab with the 6.2 (or any truck) and the engine doesn't work out for you in the future, just swap in a cummins 12v and be done with it... best of both worlds= chevy truck and powered by a cummins diesel. Can't argue with that BlueBlazer62, right?
     
  10. jeffro

    jeffro 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    I heard that a turbo will blow out a rope type rear seal.
     
  11. kickinasphalt383

    kickinasphalt383 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    yes it can... solution replace with a 2-piece seal. not too hard to do
     
  12. arveetek

    arveetek 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    I agree with what tRustyK5 said...a 6.2L will tow better than a small-block gasser, but not as well as a Cummins or Powerstroke or Duramax, but the 6.2L is a heckava lot cheaper though!

    I tow a 29' fifth-wheel RV with my '81. The trailer weighs around 8000 lbs. I've towed this rig all over the place, even on a 2500 mile round trip to Florida and back. Not a single problem. I don't have a turbo on it either! Not yet anyway, have one laying in the shop, just waiting for time to install it.

    It all depends on what you want to do with the truck. That '91 you're talking about probably has a TH400 or SM465 tranny, which won't deliver as good of mileage as the same truck with overdrive.

    I love my '81, it's my daily driver. I installed a TH700R4 tranny into it, and installed 4.10 gears in the rear. It averages 18.5 mpg empty, sometimes better, and 13 mpg towing my trailer. I've gotten as bad as 10 mpg on long grades, but not often. A small or big block motor won't even see that kind of mileage on a good day. Plus, the 6.2L loves to be worked...the harder it's worked, the better and smoother it runs, unlike the gasser engines.

    The 6.2L only holds two more quarts of oil than a small-block, and it uses the same oil filters, so the maintenance costs are virtually the same. The Cummins and Powerstroke do cost quite a bit more, because of their very large capacity oil pans and high-dollar oil filters.

    Why shouldn't you buy a diesel tow rig? I can't think of a single reason why!!! I love mine!

    Casey
     
  13. AzzKicker

    AzzKicker 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    I find it hilarious and dumb at the same time that people on this forum still compare a 6.2L motor which was built in the 80's to motors built in the 90's and 00's like the dmax and cummins!! I mean your comparing a race between a 100lb track runner to a 400lb sumo wrestler.
     
  14. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    Just a small note...

    In 91 the General ditched the TH400 in favor of the 4L80E. Presumably, this is why the 91 model year saw the *only* np205 with an electronic speedo. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif
     
  15. arveetek

    arveetek 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    I couldn't remember when the 4L80E came out. I thought it was '92. My bad.

    Casey
     
  16. AzzKicker

    AzzKicker 1/2 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    I thought it was in 92 too since in 91 they still had olderstyle K5's and 1ton 4 doors.
     
  17. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    I will tell you that I have tried the 6.2 and it gets great mileage (on My van it gets 24MPG empty and 21MPG loaded towing a b21 foot boat).
    The torque is there but the high end power is not available so you slow down a lot when you are towing to get down to the high torque range. With a banks turbo you would get great power but since this engine wasn't made for a turbo, it has higher compression ratio and it will deteriorate a little faster.
    If it were me I would put that $2500 (cost of the banks turbo kit) towards a newer rig with the 6.5TD.
    It is much stronger and you can always add the propane injection for better fuel economy and power when towing.
    As for other posts comparing enigines: I have a 76 K5 with a perkins 354 TD six.
    It's much smoother than any other diesel, it gets me 20MPG all around, but it takes 20 qts of oil and 2 oil filters.
    It has the power to tow the Van with 3.08 gears 35" tires and going up to 70 MPH on the highway, and it idles in second gear/low range on all obstacles on the trails.
    I wouldn't trade my diesels for anything, great for towing and all around driving, just get used to looking for stations that have diesel, they don't all have it, but you can go further on a tank so you can afford to look for hem.
    Hope that helps you decide.
    IceMan
     
  18. azblazor

    azblazor 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    How about some details on that K5 with a diesel?
     
  19. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    Well what do you want to know about it?
    I didn't do the conversion, I bought that way but I have owned for a little more than a year, I have been on some parts of the Rubicon with it, broke the frame and so forth... /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
    I have been maintaining it and yesterday I got a visitor from australia who is a diesel mechanic and he specializes in Perkins, so I am picking his brain.
    The setup is very simple, it's an inline six 354CI TD mated to an SM465 and an NP205 by a heavy duty roller clutch, mechanical linkage, (that I intend to replace by hydraulic because on the twisting trails it sometimes can't engage)
    The adaptor looks like it's been custom made, unless GM had that engine as an option at some point in time.
    The axles are stock 3.08 12bolt rear, D44 front.
    35"Xterrain Pro comps, that I love.
    At one time I might go with a doubler and go up to 38" or 40" or even bigger.
    The only thing I didn't like about the way they put the engine in is the way they butcherd the frame, removed the cross member.
    I am very pleased with the performance, and I would recommend it, but if someone is interested contact me and I will give you pointers on what not to do /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
    IceMan
     
  20. azblazor

    azblazor 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: why SHOULDN\'T I buy a diesel tow rig?

    Yeah - thats a good description. Thanks
     

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