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Old 08-02-2004, 02:45 PM   #15
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Diesel, my sentiments exactly.
No more gasser here for towing. My wife is driving the Yukon gasser now, and is seriously mentioning she likes the power and acceleration of the diesel much better. I may have to buy a second Duramax diesel to keep her from wanting to drive mine!
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Old 08-02-2004, 03:21 PM   #16
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Never a gasser again

I've had my 2002 Duramax 1 ton for about a month and a half now, and love it. Pulls the 34' Limited with considerable ease, and I LOVE the Tow/Haul mode. Traded in a Cherokee and a Nissan Altima on the Duramax and a brand new Jetta TDI for the fiancee, shortly before I bought my Limited. Both vehicles are a blast to drive - I expect to have both of them for many many years. After which I'll go back and buy two more!
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Old 08-02-2004, 05:10 PM   #17
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I have a 2002 Chevy 2500HD Duramax that I purchased new at the end of 2001. As I have it equipped and full of fuel, it weighs in at 9000 pounds. Pulling my 30 foot Excella 1000 with a combined weight of 17,500 pounds I get between 16 and 16.5 mpg. I have about 40,000 mile on the truck.

I live in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon east of the Cascade Mountains. Temperatures are hot here in the summer usually between 90 and 100 degees. Everywhere I take the trailer is uphill from here, generally 5000 to 7000 feet.

I would suggest that those with a Duramax or any new diesel get supplemental fuel filtration. Dirty fuel causes most injector failures and current OEM fuel filtration is inadequate to do the job.

In addition to the great fuel milage I am getting, there is an added bonus with the Duramax, the Allison transmission with its Tow/Haul Mode. My annual Airstream bearing and brake maintenance routines have been very revealing. The grease and bearings look like they have hardly been used and the brakes look as they did the previous year. The 7 to 10 degree hills encountered do not take their normal toll on the Airstream's running gear with the Tow/Haul Mode engaged. Testing the hubs after a long down hill run reveals no heat build up at all. Coupled with the Centramatic Balancers, I would extend my maintenance routine to every two years, but I'm too paranoid to do that.

The only modifications to the engine / drive train is added filtration for both the oil and fuel and larger pans for the transmission and rearend.

My previous Chevy 3/4 ton truck with a heavy duty 350 engine pulling this and previous Airstreams only got 9 mpg and had nowhere near the power of the Duramax. But with proper maintenance, it is still with me after 25 years.

I drove a new 2004 shortbox Dodge Diesel recently and it only got between 14 and 15 mpg totally empty on level ground. I did not weight the Dodge. I woud be disapointed if it were my truck.
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Old 08-02-2004, 07:48 PM   #18
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fuel filters

Diesel, I have about 7600 miles on my 04 LB7 and I have adding a supplemental fuel filter near the top of my to do list (at the top is replacing the external Allison tranny filter per the scheduled maintenance guidelines). What do you recommend? I think John Irving once said he put on a Caterpillar pre filter.
Thanks,
Ken
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:01 PM   #19
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Was talking to a salesman a couple weeks ago and he said the new duramax will have 10 more hp for 2005.
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j54mark
There does seem to be an ongoing problem with injectors that is cropping up from time to time with all the diesels since they have gone to common rail systems. My seat-of-the-pants feeling is that Ford has had the most problems there.

Mark
We bought one of the last '03 Ford 7.3l psd specifically because I was wary of 'infancy' engineering problems with all of the newer EPA regulated diesels. This proven motor is doing fine: 28K mi approx. 10K towing, similar fuel mileage as posted. Added a 50 gal aux. tank & love the range.

Ford/International have had at least 2 (two) recalls on the 6.0 psd for replacement of their injectors (depending when it was bought). The International 6.0 (Ford) has had the most 'admitted' problems with the injectors on the common-rail system . Word 'on-the-street' is Ford has stopped International from further development on a 6 banger diesel for their 1/2 ton & SUV lines because of these problems.

The Duramax/Allison combo is proving itself to be 'sweet'. Haven't heard anything on the newer Cummins.
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Old 08-03-2004, 01:46 AM   #21
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Silverback,

I did considerable research before I selected the Cat prefilter. Part of that research consisted of talking to my brother who works for Catapillar. He explained Cat's research and filter development. The warrentee for their new engines is based on the use of that filter. All test that I have seen have put their filter at the top.

Changing the extenal Allison filter is good preventative maintenance procedure.

I would also suggest that you change the rearend fluid. If you have been pulling your trailer, your gears should be broken in by now. Time to remove all the final lapping debris and get new fluid in there.
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Old 08-03-2004, 09:21 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel
Silverback,

I did considerable research before I selected the Cat prefilter. Part of that research consisted of talking to my brother who works for Catapillar. He explained Cat's research and filter development. The warrentee for their new engines is based on the use of that filter. All test that I have seen have put their filter at the top.

Changing the extenal Allison filter is good preventative maintenance procedure.

I would also suggest that you change the rearend fluid. If you have been pulling your trailer, your gears should be broken in by now. Time to remove all the final lapping debris and get new fluid in there.

I have also researched the Cat pre-filter and it looks the best.
One note on filters, there has been much talk about brands of filters you can do the research on the web by looking for "Oil Filter Quality".
My suggestion is to look up Baldwin filters and there are some very good deals on filter kits. ie. air, oil, fuel, trans. filters in a package. Very inexpensive compared to buying them one at a time.
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Old 08-03-2004, 09:22 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy82301
Was talking to a salesman a couple weeks ago and he said the new duramax will have 10 more hp for 2005.
Acutally, the official GM press release said that the HP will stay the same at 310HP, torque however will go from 590ft/lbs to 610 ft/lbs. Now the question is all these engine updates and no trans update. The Allision, from what I understand was at the high limits at 590. Not sure how they got around that before upping the torque to 610.

Parts of the new release can be read on this website:

http://gm-trucks.com/home/content/view/109/1/1/2/

One last thing...when changing the Allision external filter, remember to save and reuse the magnet washer!
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:27 PM   #24
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Janet's Husband,

I buy my Baldwin air filters and my OEM Rancor fuel filters in balk from Air Filter Service in Portland, Oregon. They ship and have excellant prices. After the air filter study conducted by a member on The Diesel Place, I bought every Duramax air filter they had when I was in town last Friday. They only had three left. They said there was a recent surge in demand for that air filter. Wonder why?

Janet's Husband,

GM achieves 610 hp by detuning the engine in first and fifth gear. A marketing numbers game. If you want more usable hp, you have to upgrade the Allison and possibly the transmission cooling system if you operate in hot climates. The engine is more than capable of producing more than 610 hp.
Since I normally run at 9000 pounds vehicle weight in high temperatures at high altitudes, I am considering the transmission cooling upgrade being developed by Mike L. on The Diesel Place.
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Old 08-03-2004, 01:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel

GM achieves 610 hp by detuning the engine in first and fifth gear. A marketing numbers game. If you want more usable hp, you have to upgrade the Allison and possibly the transmission cooling system if you operate in hot climates. The engine is more than capable of producing more than 610 hp.
Since I normally run at 9000 pounds vehicle weight in high temperatures at high altitudes, I am considering the transmission cooling upgrade being developed by Mike L. on The Diesel Place.
I was reading that thread...looks like his goal is bolt on and to drop the temps 20 degrees.
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:08 PM   #26
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I just bought a 2500hd Duramax 6.6/Allison and love it. Seems to get good mileage, great pulling power - but then, I moved up from a Tahoe with the 5.7. And I think the Tow/Haul mode is magic on downhill exit ramps and on the Skyline Drive, where we took our shakedown cruise with the Safari.

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the Duramax 6.6 and the rpo LLY?

Thanks - Pat.
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:36 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore
I just bought a 2500hd Duramax 6.6/Allison and love it. Seems to get good mileage, great pulling power - but then, I moved up from a Tahoe with the 5.7. And I think the Tow/Haul mode is magic on downhill exit ramps and on the Skyline Drive, where we took our shakedown cruise with the Safari.

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the Duramax 6.6 and the rpo LLY?

Thanks - Pat.
Prior to the first quarter of 2004 GM had the Duramax engine, build code LB7. This engine I believe did not have a common fuel rail. Injectors on the LB7 engines seemed to have more issues than the LLY engines. GM has also extended the warranty on the injectors on LB7 powered vehicles due to the many issues that were happening.

First quarter(ish) 2004 GM made mods to the Duramax boosting torque (and possibly HP as well). They updated the injectors and also made it eaiser to replace the injectors and I think a common fuel rail was introduced, but don't quote me on that part.

The LLY also received and EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve, catalytic converter, head redesign (I think) and a variable vein turbo charger.

For 2005, the LLY has at the very least been given a torque increase (which was noted earlier). There could be other mods (particularly in the cooling areas, but nothing that has been confirmed yet).

Both engines however are 6.6L.

So far, most folks (not all) seem to feel that the LB7 engine (that was produced before 1st quarter 2004) got better fuel economy. It really depends on who you talk with about it. I do not own one (yet) as I am on the fence still. Here is a forum that gets more into the LB7 and LLY engines:

http://dieselplace.com/forum/

Happy reading.
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:57 PM   #28
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Actually both the LB7 and the LLY have the Bosh Common Rail Fuel System.

Go to the following web site to read the changes made to the Duramax engine now designated as the LLY:


http://www.thedieselpage.com/duramax/lly2004.htm
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