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Old 06-14-2004, 09:09 PM   #1
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ford diesel vs chevy d/a

I own a 2001 Chevy crew cab duramax with an alison transmission. I purchased it used last year. I must say it is the nicest truck I've ever owned. It has pulled/hauled whatever I have needed. I now no longer need a pickup truck, so I am thinking of trading it for a 3/4 ton panel truck, that being either a suburban 6.0/3.73 rear end or a Ford Excursion 6.0 or 7.3 diesel. I know very little about the Fords. How do the Ford transmissions compare to the Alison? Is there an advantage between the 7.3 and 6.0 Ford diesels?

I will be pulling a 31' sovereign along with a wife, two kids, a 50# dog and 2000# of cargo distrbuted between the truck and trailer.

I am not soliciting Ford or Chevy bashing, simply an honest education.



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Old 06-14-2004, 09:26 PM   #2
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There is no comparison to the Allison transmission. Period.

By reputation, and that is really all any of us have to go on, the 7.3 is easier on fuel than the 6.0. The new 6.0 is one pullin' piece of iron, but is leaving some owners unhappy with the fuel consumption. This does not seem to be universal, by the way, as I have heard some owners report that their fuel usage was about the same with both engines in similar trucks.

I'd be awfully tempted by an Excusion diesel if looking at Suburbans and that sort of thing, so long as I didn't have to buy new. GM is offering some really strong incentives on 'Burbs right now, which would make the price premium of a diesel Excursion pretty hard for me to take.

But why take the trade in hit? Need the third seat?? Actually, I guess that's none of my business.


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Old 06-14-2004, 11:32 PM   #3
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The Suburban drives and handles better than the Excursion as it has a more refined suspension design, especially 4x4. Not Ford bashing (I drive one), just based on personal comparisons. The Sub is almost car-like, the Excursion feels more truck-like. Which can be a good thing if needed.

If I were going to pull 10,000lbs or more I would get the Excursion diesel, if I were pulling less than that and/or not full time I would go with a 3/4 ton Sub - they are really nice to drive.
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Old 06-15-2004, 05:29 AM   #4
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The Ex also weighs (last time I did a spec comparison) nearly a thousand pounds more than the Sub. Not good for gas mileage; good for towing tho... I get 11 mpg towing the 34' with our V10 Ex and 13-15 mpg in general driving. The mileage computer has shown an average mpg as high as 19.2 over a hundred miles of freeway driving at 65, but that was with a strong tailwind on the flatlands. Realistically expect to average about 15.5 to 16 mpg freeway unladen.

Another consideration is that the Ex is substantially taller and longer; I had to bring mine home to see if it would fit into the garage before we bought it. There are garages that it won't fit in.

The ride can be stiff in the Ex over bad roads, but it's generally a very pleasant and civilized ride. One thing I noticed in test-driving a 2WD 7.3 diesel is that the steering seemed to be much heavier than in my V10 4WD. A 6.0 diesel 4WD that I test-drove felt very similar to mine which has light and responsive steering. I don't have enough experience with them to know if there was something wrong with the 7.3's suspension/steering, or it's a function of the 7.3's weight in the 2WD chassis.

Both the Sub 3/4 and the Ex are pullers. Either one would do an excellent job for you, but if you want diesel the Ex is currently your only choice.

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Old 06-15-2004, 06:50 AM   #5
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Ford diesel vs.Chevy

When comparing note that the 6L Ford diesel has a 5 speed trans and the 7.3 has a 4 speed. I have the 7.3 and it does a great job. It does have a chip.I get 20mpg + around town, 22 to 24 on highway w/o many stops and 13 to 14 pulling 25' classic. Driving speeds are not conservative. Excursion handles and rides like a car and only difference seems to be getting in small parking places. Also like the standard 44 gal tank. If you are looking at a GM you might consider additional fuel storage.
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:09 AM   #6
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The Duramax/Allision combo is this highest rated combo on the rock right now. It's unfortunate that GM does not build the duramax/allision to the Suburban. If I were to buy today, I'd get the 2500HD(not just cause I'm a GM fan).
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:25 AM   #7
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my 2001 7.3 PSD e-350 rides down the highway like im sittin at home in my gets around 16 mpg(solo)...but i only had it in a couple weeks ago for its 30,000 mile check up.....maybe its not broken in yet.....
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Old 06-15-2004, 01:56 PM   #8
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I love my 2001 2500 HD D/A. It is the best truck I have owned and have had no problems with it. If you must get something else, I would go with a 2500 suburban with the 8.1 and 4:10's. That would give plenty of power and torque to tow your just won't get the mileage you currently get with your 6.6 diesel and 3:73's. Too bad Suburban doesn't put the D/A combo in there. The tranny is too big for the frame there.

This is the last year for the Diesel would be a nice rig too...only bad thing is the 4 speed Ford Tranny, and the solid front axle. They are really big and have plenty of room, but i.m.o, don't drive as well as the Chevrolet or ride as well either. If you can get the new Ford 6.0 diesel and their torqshift, it would be a nice one. I think they still put the 7.3 power stroke in there along with their old 4 spd. auto though. I may be wrong on that though???
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Old 06-15-2004, 02:54 PM   #9
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I test drove both GM and Ford several times before making my purchase last December. For me, the difference between the two was subtle.

The GM had a bit better ride, the Ford pulled stronger ... and I preferred Ford's tow mirrors. The GM had more of a car feel interior .. the Ford more truck like and felt a bit roomier. The Ford exterior appealed to me a bit more than the GM ...(the Chevy just looked plain ugly).

So it boiled down to price ... I had an X-plan PIN from Ford .. which enabled me to purchase the truck well below dealer invoice without all the hassle. The fleet manager at the Ford dealership was very sharp and worked with me on ordering a truck from Louisville to my specs. The guys at the GM dealership were a bunch of bufoons.

Bottom line ... they are both great trucks. I love my diesel (8,500 miles so far) ... pulls my 34 with ease .. and the TorqShift is marvelous on the downhill grades. I'm sure if I had bought the GM ... I would feel the same way.
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Old 06-15-2004, 05:48 PM   #10
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Getting close to 18,000 on my Duramax, and so far not one problem. Fuel mileage is great, best tank was 22.7 MPG, worst pulling a gooseneck horsetrailer (12,000 #)through Southern Ohio/WVA was 12.8 MPG. It averages 18 MPG country driving.
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:06 PM   #11
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I bought a used 2003 Chevy 2500 HD Duramax diesel/Allison last November. First American vehicle I've purchased in over 20 years. I LOVE IT. It's sooooo comfortable and powerful. I've driven it about 10,000 miles now and I've gotten as high as 21.5 mpg on the highway, 18 mpg average under all conditions. I live in the west so I do a fair amount of mountain driving. I get 14 mpg towing a 25' Sovereign (estimated at 7,000 lbs) across mountain passes.
And that transmission! Whodathunk it'd be so smart. It just seems to know when it's the right time to downshift when going downhill.
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:28 PM   #12
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I can't say enough about my GMC D/A. Every time I drive it I get this big ear to ear grin on my face! 12,500 miles so far and virtually problem free. 18 mpg solo and 13.5 towing. A solid performer - and as others have mentioned, the Allison thinks for itsell. My only complaint is that my load is too light for the rear suspension. I'm thinking about switching the 3500 springs for the 2500.

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Old 06-15-2004, 07:38 PM   #13
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Our Ford 7.3 diesel pulls the AS great. Sunday was hot outside and after 270 miles started driving over a steep mountain pass when the transmission over-heated. Only would do 28 MPH when normaly would do 47 MPH, engine was running cool but no matter what gear I selected it didn't make any differance. Once over the summit the tranny cooled and now works fine. This is not uncommon for a Ford tranmission when the ambient temp is 95 and above when pulling a heavy load up a grade. Called Ford and they really had no answers. Flushed the tranny fluid and checked all the connections. Taking the AS out this weekend hope it works normanly.
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:01 PM   #14
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Bought our 2003 GMC 2500HD D/A May 31, 2003. Now have 39000+ miles. Wonderful combination. Glad we got the top end interior - Denali package. Wonderful to drive, comfortable, and pulls easily through all mountains. Mileage 10-12 with trailer. Right length for the 30' Classic. Compared GMC, Chevy, and Ford. Can highly recommend GMC.


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