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Old 01-13-2011, 05:19 PM   #15
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2003 3500 GMC Crew cab, 4wd, with long bed and loaded. Injectors replaced around 50,000 under warranty. Currently about 85,000 miles on the odometer. I love the beast and it makes every trip enjoyable - towing or solo. Mostly highway miles and garaged between trips. It still looks and smells new!!!
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:48 PM   #16
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We towed our Airstream with our '09 Silverado from Oklahomo City to Austin in a fierce 40-MPH crosswind last spring. The next week, we returned to Oklahoma City in a torrential rain. My wife's take on the two 350-mile trips: "I don't think we could've been any more comfortable." My neighbor, riding with me as I towed the Airstream back to storage, said, "Do you wish you'd bought the Duramax with the Allison?" "I did," I said.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:08 PM   #17
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I just purchased a 2006 used a couple of months ago. Duramax with the Allison tranny - 4X4 loaded - dually - Crew cab. Our Company used it for towing a fifth wheel show trailer. Now has 166,000 on it and runs great. Had the injectors done right at 100K a couple of years ago. I've only put 3,000 on it so far, but looking forward to towing with it. If this is anything like your trucks... You guys have a lot of good miles ahead of you before you have anything to worry about! Have it in the body shop to have it detailed.

Have a very good buddy of mine with a new 2011 F250 Crew with the new Ford diesel. Gotta admit... if I had the dough, i would be very tempted. That has to be the nicest truck I have ever seen. Just can't stomach the thought of $50K into a truck right now... It is amazing though...

Any of you guys remember when a vehicle with 60,000 meant having a valve job - or not getting it started in the winter?

Wow, vehicles have sure improved over the years! Fun to read about all of these trucks pulling all of these amazing rigs all of those miles... Had a blast in Jackson Center a couple of years ago looking at the old trailers. Nothing like what we all enjoy today! We are all very blessed to be enjoying vehicles and rigs of this caliber!

Looking forward to a great summer of traveling and camping this year!!! Can't wait!
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:09 PM   #18
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Ours is a 2007 Sierra Classic (2006 Body style and LBZ engine). It's the WT model with vinyl floor and cloth seats, no power door locks and crank up windows. The dealer threw in cruise control (took off the turn signal arm and put on one that had cruise control on it and plugged it in to the steering column computer port). My wife was "honking" about the radio not having a CD player, so I replaced it recently with one I bought at a junk yard that came from a GMC Colorado that fit right into the receptacle on the dash and cannot be told from new.

The truck cost $31,000 brand new after an end of the year $5000 discount. This was the most I have ever paid for a vehicle, but it also is the best vehicle we have ever owned. It just keeps pulling, cruise control on and generally doesn't down shift out of 6th gear unless it is a really steep grade. We pull a 1988 25ft A/S TT with it that really seemed big and heavy on grades when we towed it with our 1999 Suburban 1500 with 3.73 rear end. With the Duramax we just throw in pretty much what ever we feel like. We have pulled our trailer with a generator, motorcycle, extra water, all camping supplies in the bed and loaded with antique furniture in the backseat of the cab. Duamax just kept pulling it up one hill and down the next.

It's powerful, but quiet, low enough to get into parking garages, have gotten 48,000 miles so far on the original tires.

My two cents, Pat
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:33 PM   #19
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We have a 2006 Silverado shortbed crewcab with the LBZ motor and LT3 package; sunroof, leather, heated seats, etc. It is my first diesel and replaced a 2007 F150 small V8 that I thought was marginal for our AS. I love this truck. It rides a little stiffer than the 1/2 ton Ford but it was exactly what I was looking for. After doing the research I decided specifically on the Duramax/Allison combo. Didn't really need the leather, etc but couldn't pass it up when I found the truck and now am really glad it has all the extras as I intend to keep this one for a long time. Definitely a "cowboy cadillac". Doesn't have factory extended mirrors (added the slip on type that look pretty good and work OK) or roof lights. Wish it had a larger fuel tank. Can't put a tank in the bed as it has a Pace JackRabbit rollup tonneau cover. Anybody have any experience with the larger replacement tanks from Titan or Transfer Flow? Would love to have a 40+ gal tank. Had the front differential resealed because of small leak, trans cooling lines were also replaced under warranty for same reason. Dealer had "certified" the vehicle so got an additional 1 yr/12000 miles on the warranty. Currently has about 69,000 miles. Looking forward to a trip to Nashville in the spring; our first long trip with the AS. Also, the DieselPlace website is a great place for doing research on these vehicles. You can give them the VIN # of a truck you are looking at and they will get you the build sheet with specs and options the truck came with, service records, etc. I think I knew more about the truck than the salesman did (to my advantage!) when I went to check it out in person at the dealership. Great website/resource if you are shopping for a Duramax.
Rich
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:58 PM   #20
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Bought an '03 in June 2009, absolutely love it. Got it with the LT, and the 6.6L Isuzu diesel has the Bully Dog chipset with 4 1/2" aftermarket exhaust. 130,000 miles and running strong. 14-15 mpg pulling our 30' AS at 60 mph, 22-25 without. Plenty of power, and yes, the heater seats are terrific. Wish I'd known about this truck years ago--like it better than our Lexus LS430.

Would buy another one--used, of course. Found mine 300+ miles away at Brell Auto Sales in Rogersville, MO. Bill Brell is a great guy with great trucks.

Here's the best part: This truck is actually worth $1,000 more in both retail and trade-in than it was last year. That says something!
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:01 PM   #21
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I got my 02 late in 02 (new, 10 miles on the OD). It's been a good friend and like good friends, I hope to keep it around for a very, very long time. Issues: darn injectors, got the bad ones but problems did not show up until about 2 years ago (blue smoke), and would you believe it, about 170K miles, just made it in under recall...FREE. Other than that, those darn brake pads just wont wear out. Still at about 3/8" thick, not even close to the wear indicator, no vibration upon stopping. Now at 197K miles, darn thing just won't wear out.
Put in a second alternator to charge the AS batteries. You can see my posting on that. The system worked well but took it out and use the second alternator just to keep the batteries toped in these cold Colorado days.

Ok, the brakes are a testament to the Allison. This truck has seen most of it's life in the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico. Use the Tow/Haul mode over the Million Dollar Highway (don't know how many miles on that road but I know every pothole, even those that have been filled) and I hardly have to touch the brakes. Looking to get 300k out of them. Yea, bought replacement pads back at 100K thinking I needed to replace them then without looking...bad investment.

Done all of the PM myself since new. Oil every, Every, EVERY 5000 miles, new filter then too. Check the Odometer, if it's divisible by 5000...change the oil. Don't wait for the indicator light.

Fuel filter every 25000...not too religious there though.

Transmission fluid change every 25,000 miles with new filter. Has never smelled burned or discolored.

Don't use a K&N Air Ftr....Fouls the sensors...screws up the milage...now back to 21 hwy, 18-19 town, 14-15 towing the 7K pounds. Just use a paper...don't fall for the gimmick.

Wouldn't trade her, wont by a new one... due to DEF....Waste of money, additional maintenance, crappy alternative over a catalytic converter. D### government regs on vehicles that don't contribute that much to the overall problem. Put a DEF bag on a cow, they are the real polluters...Oh wait, that's where it(def)comes from, another subsidy for the industry. Ok, off that rant.

The truck is CC SB and is on it's second cap. Both Leers and the dogs love them, put a fantastic fan on the new cap to keep them a little more comfortable in the summer driving months, they like the AC blowing back through the access windows that we keep sealed with a doughnut (not the edible kind). The fan helps pull the air through. Never gets above 80 when it's 104 outside. Yes, I do monitor the temps, the pups are really important.

Love it, won't trade it, looking forward to rolling the big 200K, then 300, then 400.

Oh, and traded a Landcruiser for it, miss the ride, but love the truck.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:04 PM   #22
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Wellllll....


I',m the a "new guy"' I guess. I have a 2009 LMM. 2500HD 4X4 crew cab. Nothing special. Just over 35K on the clock as I write this.

Likes --

All the torque I would ever want, whenever I want it.

Tows my 27FB for miles and miles and miles with absolutely no drama. 70 MPH (or 75 MPH) on the interstate is no problem.

Relatively comfortable. Better or equal to any other HD truck I have been in.

Overall good fit and finish.

Roomy enough for a fat boy like myself.

Dislikes --

Two distinct "buzzes" at idle. One occurs pretty much all the time, one when the weather gets cold. They are coming from different places. I need to take it to the dealer before the warranty runs out. Hopefully they can figure it out and fix it.... If they can't fix it or I can't figure it out, I might go insane.

The fuel tank on the 2009 at least is WAY too small. I know there are after-market tanks, but 23 gallons is really not enough. Bad decision GM. The 2011 has a larger tank. Enough said....

The bed sides are too darned tall. I know it is a styling "thing" but a guy that is 5' 10" should be able to reach over the side to the floor of the bed if you have factory wheels, tires and suspension parts. I can't do it though...

In the end though, I absolutely LOVE my truck!

Wayne
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:39 AM   #23
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Just converted to GMC

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Originally Posted by pmclemore View Post
I've got 140,000 on my '04. Probably 110k of that is towing, including a 13k round trip to Alaska in 06.

Mine is the crew cab, dressed up LT. I reliably get 13mpg towing and 19 otherwise. I believe a couple of mpg is due to the Bully Dog tuner, which I recommend to you. If I were going to add anything, it would be an exhaust brake.

Pat
Hi Pat,

It has been a bit of time since our last meeting. Good to see your "Red" truck is still chugging along.

I just joined the GM crowd with a 2011 GMC Denali 2500HD 4X4 with the Duramax/Allison combo. So I have gone from Ford diesel to Dodge Hemi to GM diesel. Glad to be back in a diesel, although the Hemi was sure a fun driver. The new GMC/Chevy HD's are awesome, no worries buying one after years of listening to satisfied owners on this and other forums.

John
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:38 AM   #24
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Hi John! Long time no see and glad to hear from you. I still picture you and Kat in canary yellow; we'll have to meet up so I can change my mental image. Your new rig is very handsome (better looking if it was red, though).

We may be attending a wedding in SF in Oct; maybe we can connect camping somewhere. We're going to be making a real journey out of this; no out-and-back for us!

Pat
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:06 PM   #25
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mileage...now back to 21 hwy, 18-19 town, 14-15 towing the 7K pounds.

Is it the LLY motor (and what model years) that gets the best mpg?
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:49 PM   #26
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mileage...now back to 21 hwy, 18-19 town, 14-15 towing the 7K pounds.

Is it the LLY motor (and what model years) that gets the best mpg?
Don't know an LLY from a Lily. All I know is that fuel in versus milage driven and I get what I get. No fancy computer. Just facts. Been tracking milage since new...breakin was about 10k or so but took it easy during those months and a little lower then. Many can't get the milage but they have chipped, drive too fast then have to stop too quick. Keep it easy, do the PM and most all of these trucks(gmc, Ford, Dodge, diesels in general) will give back good milage and longevity. The gassers I have not so much luck with. The LC we gave up never got much more than 15.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:03 PM   #27
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Smile Fuel mileage

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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
mileage...now back to 21 hwy, 18-19 town, 14-15 towing the 7K pounds.

Is it the LLY motor (and what model years) that gets the best mpg?
Btw. Fuel mileage is a personal thing. No one drives the same and those with really great claims drive downhill and downwind all the time. Some keep it slow and I have a "slowing" ticket from th AZ trooper to prove it.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:32 PM   #28
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No, fuel mileage can be duplicated fairly well given similarities of climate, topography, etc, to a point where a given configuration truck is the same across a number of drivers. Commercial fleets depend on this sort of analysis. The driver is still the largest impediment. I haven't found it hard to find others with whom to compare numbers, solo or towing the same trailer type. Among pickup drivers there are those for whom low fuel cost is priority number one.

I've averaged 22.50 mpg for all miles the past 22,000 miles. The around town portion of that is above 20 this past calendar year. There are guys doing better than me. It's about incentive: I wanted a low operating cost truck, and for the trailer to be of a similar cast.

The question had to do with some model years of Duramax -- with a particular engine configuration -- as having the best mpg, overall. I assume they are pre-2007.

I've heard/read that some Duramax trucks were pretty decent on mpg (despite other problems), and wanted to nail down year/model/engine desiignation.


.
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