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Old 01-06-2013, 08:36 AM   #15
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on one the cummins forum i was reading one gent was saying long as diesel and gas were only .50 cents apart the cost difference was a wash..

That was me. And it was with man trans / 2WD trucks in comparison, Hemi vs. CTD. " . . so long as diesel is no more than 50-cents higher than gasoline" for the otherwise very good mpg each of us had with our respective trucks. Truck spec, climate, terrain and truck use were all compared. We live in closely the same climate & terrain, and towing vs solo miles were very close.

The main difference is in engine life and work capability at/near 200k and beyond. Not all Cummins will make it to the expected MTBO of 350k (tuners added, etc). FORD and CHEV have an MTBO of 250k in this era. When diesel is more than 50-cents higher than gasoline the advantage falls to gasoline even with higher mpg pre-2008 diesels where a line-by-line analysis of truck spec and truck use is considered.

Since most do not keep trucks past [7] years or 200k miles, the gasoline trucks are both cheaper to buy and cheaper to have owned (all costs considered on otherwise similar trucks: purchase, finance, tax, depreciation, insurance, fuel, maintenance, repairs, etc). It's not a big difference, but it is there, nonetheless.

I keep the margin "better" by going to pains over fuel economy (number of cold starts, trip planning [errands], etc) and have averaged above 21-mpg the past 43k miles. All my other costs are low (and I do some of the maintenance/repairs myself). Cases will differ, but advantage goes to those who know and work the numbers when looking for service beyond 200k or 7-years.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:47 AM   #16
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I have a 2006 Silverado/Duramax. After reading all the forums (Ford,GM,Dodge), I chose the 2006 with the LBZ Duramax motor (late 2006-2007). They seemed to have an excellent reputation for durability and fewer problems than eariler LB7 and LLY motors. Also more hp and torque. Added bonus was 6-speed Allison trans and lack of later year LMM and LML engine emission add-ons. Bought it in 2010 with about 66k miles on it. Haven't been disappointed. 12.5-15.5 mpg towing, depending on conditions, and 16-18 around town. Great truck and no plans to trade up to newer. The GM engine codes are in the VIN; eighth digit/letter indicates which motor is in the truck. (LB7=1 2001-mid 2004) (LLY = 2 mid 2004-2006) (LBZ = D late 2006-2007) Don't remember the LMM (2007-2011) or LML codes. You'll find them in the diesel forums.

is that 6 speed a auto i am guessing..??

also on mileage. in reading on the cumming forums it seem the 2001-2005
engine are more getting 23-27 mpg non towing and 13-17 towing. (not sure amount of trailer weight so no a absolute figure)

how are other cumming owners doing along these lines..?? better oe worse mileage than 12-15 towing and 16-18 non/aroiund town..

my main desire is best fuel mileage first and lack of problems a tight second.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:05 PM   #17
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Cummins for sure

I owned a 2001 Dodge 2500 quad cab, diesel w/auto tranny. used it for towing almost exclusively. five winters in Arizona, over 120,000 miles towing and still going strong. I considered the tranny to be the weak link and when Dodge was hurting during the recent recession I took advantage of an excellent purchase opportunity and got a new 2009 same truck with new engine and auto tranny.

both would/could get 20 mpg not towing if I kept my foot out of it and stayed pretty much at the speed limit. both towing get about 14 mpg at speed limit.

I love the new engine transmission and consider them optimal for towing the passes of Western USA. I don't have to slow down for much and they haven't cost me a dime other than routine maintenance.

since my Dodge tows exclusively (about 20,000 mi/year) I maintain it for extreme duty. oil changes at 5,000 mi, al other fluids as prescribed. my dealer usually sends out coupons for $69 oil change servcices which I do.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #18
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is that 6 speed a auto i am guessing..??

also on mileage. in reading on the cumming forums it seem the 2001-2005
engine are more getting 23-27 mpg non towing and 13-17 towing. (not sure amount of trailer weight so no a absolute figure)

how are other cumming owners doing along these lines..?? better oe worse mileage than 12-15 towing and 16-18 non/aroiund town..

my main desire is best fuel mileage first and lack of problems a tight second.
The Allison is a 6-speed automatic trans and pretty bullet-proof. Works great with tow/haul and cruise control for those long 7% grades up and down! The Cummins is a great in-line 6 cyl engine, but the gripes on the forums were about trans and frame issues of the Dodge trucks. I liked the Fords but it was tough to know if you were going to get a good one, whether it was an earlier or later model. Duramax/Allison was it for me.

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Old 01-07-2013, 01:17 AM   #19
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also on mileage. in reading on the cumming forums it seem the 2001-2005
engine are more getting 23-27 mpg non towing and 13-17 towing. (not sure amount of trailer weight so no a absolute figure)


close enought to 2003-2007 DODGE with TT's of 28'-34' (9k-11k GVWR).

Consider both of them as highs
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:11 PM   #20
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Over on www.tdr1.com they just announced Cummins has produced over 2 million engines for Dodge trucks last December.

I think a lot of this is crunchy peanut butter vs. creamy. Diesels are born to pull loads. I own two 5.9L Cummins and no regrets. I take pride in trying to do as much to maintain the trucks as possible, part saving $$ and part I'm a tinkering tech of sorts. So one of my stories and to some degree this has changed, put a Dodge Cummins, D-Max and a 99- 7.3L or 6.0L or 6.4L or 6.7L Ford side by side. Open the hoods. Which one do you want to work on? I made my choice and I also helped a neighbor work on his 6.0L. It is a daunting sight and his 6.7L is even more so.

Take them for a test drive, make your choice. Enjoy the dilema of choice.

Gary
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:17 PM   #21
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I have one of the Dodge 2004.5 year Rams with the Cummins 305/555. I have the heavier duty (they offered the normal heavy duty and then the H.O. model) 4-speed automatic tranny. My truck is a 4x4, long bed, quad cab.

I pull a 1987 Avion 34X, which is actually 36' long if you measure bumper to ball, and it weighs 9600lbs loaded to the gills.

On flat ground, running 55-60, I have gotten as high as 15mpg with it. Running 75mph on I-95, I get just about 12mpg even.

The only modification I have made to my truck is a PML cast aluminum transmission pan with cooling fins, and it holds an extra gallon or so of fluid. I saw "Diesel Power" did a test on that a few years back and when they towed a heavy trailer up a long test hill, the transmission was running 100 degrees cooler with the PML pan over the stocker. Also, I like the PML because it has a drain plug. So when I change the transmission filter, I can do it now without taking a bath in transmission fluid.

I also change my own oil. I use the Valvoline "Cummins Blue" that was shown in the big picture a few posts up. I use it because that's what the Dodge dealer uses. I will probably switch to synthetic at some point.

I got seven years out of my first set of batteries. I may have eeked out another year, but it was getting sluggish to start, and I didn't want to get stranded. So I changed them out before they went totally kaput.

I bought this truck new, and have been very happy with it. It tows very nicely. Empty mileage used to be 21mpg+, but when they cut the sulfur in the fuel in 2007, I lost about 2mpg. You can get that back with additives.

At any rate, I'm very happy with my Ram. My dad's buddy is on his third one, and he bought one of the first ones in '88 or '89, put 300k on it and sold it still running great. Did that with the next one. And he's on his way to doing it again with his 2003. He pulls a 37' Carriage 5er with it. Dad has a '99 that he bought new and he's had no trouble at all with it either.

Now all this being said, my one friend bought a 2010 Duramax new in a GMC. I think it was rated at 397hp and 720 ft-lbs or something like that, and it has the six speed Allison. He said in top gear he turns about 2000rpm and he's cruising at 90mph. The thing is a monster! Biggest problem he had with it was avoiding speeding tickets It's a very nice truck, and quiet too.

Either would make you a nice one.

See you on the road,
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:11 AM   #22
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Around here the diesel cost is 20% more than gasoline. If we could get 20% better fuel economy ... mpg, THEN it would be a wash for us (excluding oil changes and other maintenance costs) ... BUUUT we only get about 12-14 mpg whether pulling or not.

So it is considerably more expensive to drive the diesel ... but the convenience and safety features are wonderful ... and the torque going up hills makes the load in the back disappear!
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:09 AM   #23
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Around here the diesel cost is 20% more than gasoline. If we could get 20% better fuel economy ... mpg, THEN it would be a wash for us (excluding oil changes and other maintenance costs) ... BUUUT we only get about 12-14 mpg whether pulling or not.

So it is considerably more expensive to drive the diesel ... but the convenience and safety features are wonderful ... and the torque going up hills makes the load in the back disappear!
Fuel cost comparisons always come up; gas vs diesel. Around here, diesel costs less per gallon than the premium gas that is called for in my wife's Mini Cooper and my Acura TL. A lot of newer vehicles call for the higher octane gasoline (more expensive) needed to run in the high compression motors these days.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:20 AM   #24
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speaking of fuel prices.. around here gas has moved from (R/UL) $3.25 down to $2.99 in some spots and now moving back up to around 3.17 or more.. that whole time diesel has stuck at 3.99 to 4.01 with NO movement for the most part. That is what is find quite interesting to say the least.

There are 19 gals of gas in a barrel or oil and only 9 gal of diesel.. seem like diesel should be moving around more??



PS for the record i like smooth PB....
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:51 AM   #25
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I have a 2008 Duramax. I get about 16mpg towing and over 20 on the interstate. I change the oil and fuel filter by myself when the dash indicator says it's time. i only use Rotella for oil. The Allison trans is superb and also easy to change with a spin on filter I do myself. The Fuel filter I use original GM part and that is easy to do also inside the right front tire wheel well. I also know that some people delete the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and use a chip to reprogram the engine computer for more power/torgue. Duramax forums has a lot of information for owners on all of these subjects and good places to buy parts.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:50 PM   #26
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I currently own 2 Dodge Cummins trucks, a '04.5 with the 48re auto and an early '07 5.9L with the G56 6-speed. Both trucks were purchased new and have been excellent, as were the '01 and '92 that I had before those. My '04.5 automatic has well over 300K on it now and it is used as a plow truck in the winter. It is still on the original trans without issue. When maintained with regular fluid changes and band adjustments, the 48re was/is a darn good trans when compared to the previous Dodge offerings. I don't own one, but the new ones are said to be even better.

If you end up with a Dodge in the '01 model year or earlier, look for the number "53" cast on the bottom front of the block under the injection pump. These 53 blocks had design flaw and some were prone to cracking. Not all will crack, but some do. Just be aware. You will see those blocks anywhere from 1998-mid 2001. I had an early build 2001 (build June 2000) and it had a 53 block. I never had an issue with it and as far as I know, the guy that owns it now hasn't either. Just be aware that this is a potential issue.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:25 PM   #27
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I have a 2008 Duramax. I get about 16mpg towing and over 20 on the interstate. I change the oil and fuel filter by myself when the dash indicator says it's time. i only use Rotella for oil. The Allison trans is superb and also easy to change with a spin on filter I do myself. The Fuel filter I use original GM part and that is easy to do also inside the right front tire wheel well. I also know that some people delete the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and use a chip to reprogram the engine computer for more power/torgue. Duramax forums has a lot of information for owners on all of these subjects and good places to buy parts.
Mike, I just traded an '08 Duramax, that somehow was missing the DPF, and had an "economy tune" installed, and that truck never got the fuel mileage you are getting. The absolute best it ever got towing was 15.5 MPG and that was with a 25 MPH tail wind all day long, and the absolute best it ever got solo on the road was 21 MPG.

You must have an exceptional one.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:23 PM   #28
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Mike, I just traded an '08 Duramax, that somehow was missing the DPF, and had an "economy tune" installed, and that truck never got the fuel mileage you are getting. The absolute best it ever got towing was 15.5 MPG and that was with a 25 MPH tail wind all day long, and the absolute best it ever got solo on the road was 21 MPG.

You must have an exceptional one.
Naaa, just average.
Real World LMM MPG - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
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