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Old 01-17-2011, 04:30 PM   #43
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There’s an article about boosting the power output of a Duramax with a Banks “Big Hoss” system in the February ‘11 Trailer Life magazine. The article in an infomercial, since installation and testing were done by the manufacturer rather than disinterested engineers. And the writer didn’t ask General Motors engineers about the conversion, which would surely void any warranty in the known universe. The Banks conversion costs about $3,500, plus installation costs, and might yield another 140 horsepower and another 200 ft-lbs of torque, according to the article. Maybe ranchers towing enormously heavy livestock trailers or fifth-wheelers with 17,000-lb trailers might be interested in boosting a 2500HD Duramax. But this conversion doesn't address the truck’s GCWR, GVWR and maximum tow ratings, or consider braking, suspension and other safety issues. I'd say the Duramax sets an incredibly high standard for pulling power, no booster needed.
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:16 PM   #44
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Unless someone corrects me I'll assume that LB-7 equipped Duramax trucks from 2001-2004 are the best performers in re FE of 19+ highway, solo, from 55-65 mph. I see that GM has extended warranty coverage on injectors thru 200k which is a good sign for long-term ownership. Other insights appreciated.
Are they still holding to the 7 year time period for the injectors? My 2003 only has around 86,000 miles on the odometer.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:02 PM   #45
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Yes, they are holding the time limit....or they did at the dealer in Lubbock TX where I took mine at 186,000 and 7 yrs 10 months from the date the vehicle was originally sold.
They said...you are under miles and out of time by 7 months.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:09 AM   #46
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Just returned from a ski weekend (no towing or hauling); 5 people, ~1k # ski gear in the bed. Night time temps below zero deg F every night, day time temps single digits to 20 deg F. No issue at all starting, I do not use a block heater; I do not use fuel additives (there is winter blend in the pumps…no need to add anything…). Averaged 18 mpg for 807 miles, ~250 mile in 4wd. This also includes a lot of idle time warming up, sitting in traffic (several cars in the ditch, roads were a mess most of the weekend…) and time spent idling at the ski drop off outside the lodge. Of course, idling is equivalent to 0 mpg…so this can really impact your average. This covers every facet of the trip; from initial fill-up until we got back home last night.
I could never approach anything close to this with the many small block gassers we have owned. The efficiency of diesel is hard to beat.
And yes…the bun warmers are fantastic after a day on the slopes!

Hey Time Machine…good to see you around again. And very surprised to see you in a deezul after your 6.0 bad….
So now you have had them all; Furd, Dawge, and General…thanx for doing your part for the US economy!

Bill
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:16 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
Unless someone corrects me I'll assume that LB-7 equipped Duramax trucks from 2001-2004 are the best performers in re FE of 19+ highway, solo, from 55-65 mph. I see that GM has extended warranty coverage on injectors thru 200k which is a good sign for long-term ownership. Other insights appreciated.
I think one could safely argue that the 06 model year (LBZ HP/TQ 360/650);
o the first gen with increased tq/hp,
o the last gen prior to new exhaust regs
o the first gen with 6 spd tranny

is probably the best for performance and efficiency.

Having said that, it looks like the latest gen -2011-is really something; more tq/hp and the efficiency is back after a couple years hiatus due to the Mfrs figuring out the latest emmsions regs…
Bill
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:13 AM   #48
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My first truck was an '03 Chevy, extended cab, 3/4 ton, 4x4, with the 6L gasser. I owned Fords all my life as did everyone else in my family. I really did intend to buy a Ford 3/4 ton truck. We ended up buying the first Chevy in the family for several reasons. In order of importance:
  • The rear bench seat was wider giving more room for the dog.
  • The truck set at least 3 inches lower than the Ford making it easier for my wife to climb in.
  • The Ford was areally rough rider. It was still using leaf springs on the front axle.
  • The Ford offered 5.4L gas engine, and the Chevy more powerful 6L engine. I wanted more power. (Sometimes I wished I had gotten the 8.1L gasser.)

The '03 turned out to be a great choice. It's only problem was the steering column issue, which was finally resolved with a factory fix. I towed two SOB's all over the country and parts of Canada with absolutely zero problems. It just lacked the oomph I wanted climbing mountain passes and pushing headwinds.

The '03 was traded in on an '08 Chevy/Duramax. I never even considered a Ford, especially with the dependability issues they had with their diesels. I just can't say enough about how good this truck is. My only complaint is the cloth they use for the seats is a lint and dog hair trap. I should have chosen leather. The Duramax - Allison tranny combo just seem too look forward to climbing hills, and do it effortlessly. I like the manual mode when descending steep mountain roads, with the push button gear selection. This truck just does everything well and not one single problem in the first 50,000 miles and I hope it continues for the next 200,000.

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Old 01-18-2011, 12:45 PM   #49
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quote: "the first gen with 6 spd tranny"

My '04 duramax shifts six times, so I thought it was a six speed also. Do the six-speeders shift seven times, including OD?

At least it's not like my six-geared BMW K75RT, which has an extra neutral between 2nd and third.

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Old 01-18-2011, 12:52 PM   #50
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quote: "the first gen with 6 spd tranny"

My '04 duramax shifts six times, so I thought it was a six speed also. Do the six-speeders shift seven times, including OD?

Pat
Don't know if this is what you are experiencing, but may times the torque converter lockup event feels like a shift.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:54 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore View Post
quote: "the first gen with 6 spd tranny"

My '04 duramax shifts six times, so I thought it was a six speed also. Do the six-speeders shift seven times, including OD?

At least it's not like my six-geared BMW K75RT, which has an extra neutral between 2nd and third.

Pat
Alli's were 5 spd untill LBZ 06 generation.
They have been 6 speed since...

B
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:13 PM   #52
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(Thanks for the above, gentlemen).
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:16 AM   #53
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Nice to be back

Quote:
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[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]

Hey Time Machine…good to see you around again. And very surprised to see you in a deezul after your 6.0 bad….
So now you have had them all; Furd, Dawge, and General…thanx for doing your part for the US economy!

Bill
Hey Bill,
Thanks for the hat tip, it is good to be back chatting. And yes, I try my best to support American business. I am fortunate to have the chance to try all three domestic trucks. Boy do I love this new GMC, great to be back in a diesel, although I also enjoyed the grunt of the Dodge Power Wagon. Different trucks for different times.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:23 PM   #54
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Purchased a 2009 Chevy in the fall of 2009, and really only use it pulling the AS. Currently have only 11,000 miles on it but have to say that this truck has met and exceeded all my expectations.

Last summer we took a trip from Omaha out to San Diego then up the west coast to Washington, then to Glacier and Yellowstone before heading back home and this truck did a great job. I pulled the AS 5000 miles and averaged 12.8 mpg when towing, normally I travel about 65 to 68 mph pulling the trailer. The total trip was 7,000 miles and I averaged just under 14 mpg for the total trip.

I had a friend who told me not to pull the AS over the Rockies on I-70 west of Denver. He told me to take the south route. However I didn't have the time. I had to leave Denver Saturday AM and be in San Diego by 4 PM on Sunday so I couldn't afford the extra 300 miles of the south route. The Durmax pulled the AS over the mountains without any problems at all. I rolled up the mountains at 55 mph and could have gone faster if I wanted.

I love this truck.

However, like noted in previous posts I wish it had a larger fuel tank. Even if it only had 10 more gallons.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:00 PM   #55
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I have never heard of a single malfunction with the Allison and am curious if anyone else has ever heard of a reliable/documented issue with this tranny?
Neighbor at the park we're at now and I were talking yesterday, he has an 03 and I have an 04 Duramax. He said he's had the tranny replaced, blew a gear in the middle of an intersection when he wasn't towing. Said he thinks it was due to not using the tow/haul mode when he was towing before that, and now he uses it all the time.

Dunno if thats common or what, but I read in the manual previously that it should be used when towing heavy but no suggestions on what heavy actually means. He's got something that looks like an upper 20 foot TT, you know one of those box shaped ones.

I have also heard some other people having issues with the control module or valve body but not with the tranny itself.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:48 PM   #56
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Chevy/GMC Duramax

Hi:

Great article. We ordered a 2011 GMC Sierra Denali 3500HD Duramax SRW in December to replace our 51 K mile 2002 GMC Yukon XL 3/4 ton with 8.1 and 4:10 rear end to pull a 04 30 ft. Classic trailer. The Yukon was great but could not pass a gas station on the rough trips over the Sierra Mountains. Our last trip to Bridgeport for fishing from Sacramento area was 6.7 MPG. Best mileage hauling a load of antique radios to Berkeley was 15 MPG but normal towing up to Seattle or AZ. was never more than 9. Hoping for better mileage with the diesel. Went with one-ton as only a few hundred dollars more and gives 1,200 lbs more payload if we decide a full camper at a later date. Not sure I understand why they make 3/4 ton trucks if the cost difference is so small?

Sold our Yukon to a couple with a 25 ft. Safari in the bay area. They towed to Disneyland and got 12 MPG at 65-68 MPH so they are happy. 130 inch wheelbase a better match to a 25 ft trailer.

Looked around for best price on the new truck and tried a local auto broker we used when I worked at Hewlett-Packard. He gave me a much better price "at dealer invoice" plus $650. But checked out Sierra Motors in Jamestown, CA. They advertise $10,000 off MSRP on a Chevrolet, and I believe it. The discount on GMC is less but they still beat the auto broker by $3,100 including the sales tax differential. I just wanted a Denali with the heated and cooled seats from the Escalade and heated steering wheel. Turns out they sell at "Dealer Cost" plus they make profit on the number of vehicles they sell plus kickbacks. Ended up about $6,000 less than MSRP. Frank Rathburn is my sales guy, been there 16 years.

Heard truck will be built next week so we have the lowest mileage vehicle of everyone here! Should be delivered mid-February. Ordered an ARE shell and AMP Power Steps today. Why are these trucks so high off the ground? The new truck is 26 inches from ground to sill!

Looking forward to better mileage and all the neat features GM has added like Stibilitrack with trailer sway control, hill-start assist, exhaust braking immense HP/torque and better mileage.

Did look at the Ford just to be fair. But the thought of looking at "SUPER DUTY" for the next 10 years plastered on the tail gate plus windshield and the most obnoxious one on the passenger side turned me off. Plus I did not want to be Beta test group for yet another new, unproven engine. I also thought the interior was cheap looking with too many angles and square boxes. Sorry, but the Dodge was a non-starter.
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