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Old 09-02-2008, 10:27 PM   #15
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The older 7.3 liter say 1997 or so was a great engine its to bad they layed it to rest
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:13 AM   #16
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duramax/allision conversion

09-02-2008 07:47 PMtlavergneI agree about wishing they put the Duramax/Allison in Suburbans. That would be a sweet combo

We are pulling our '06 28' SO with a 1999 2500 Burb. It only has a sb in it and was OK with the '76, but with the additional weight of the SO, it is a bit power deprived. I am considering pulling it out and putting in a durmax/allision because we like the burb and don't really want to go to a pickup (2 dogs, etc.)
Does anyone have any experience or guidance on this conversion?
I have searched threads, but didn't find anything on this.
Thanks,
Victor
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:08 AM   #17
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Downshifting on hills

Just returned from a 3,000 mile trip to Maine and thought that I'd add my experience. My TV is a 2003 K2500HD with 6.6 diesel and 5 speed automatic. Total weight is around 13,500. If conditions permit, I can pull most hills at 60 mph , 1800 rpm locked up in 5th gear. However, on winding roads it will downshift at lower speeds even though I think that the engine has enough torque to handle the load.

My engine has peak torque at 1800 rpm, 520 ft lbs according to Gm. The newer engines from all manufacturers are more powerful, which is good. But, IMO, having peak torque at lower RPM is more important. ( I think that GM is about 650 ft lbs at 1600 and Dodge is more even lower; not sure about Ford but expect it is in the same ballpark.) The reason this is important is that when you are going up a hill the engine has more torque available as you slow down slightly. A typical gasoline engine has peak torque (and power) at much higher RPM which means a downshift to 2nd or 3rd gear and much more noise. But the big block gasoline engine will do the job.

Bottom line, I get about 15 or 16 mpg on flat to moderate hilly expressway at 58 mph, 14 or so on backroads in hilly Vermont. Hope this helps.

Whit Nash
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:11 AM   #18
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A "diesel suburban" search on Yahoo, turned up a few places that do that conversion. Their is an outfit in Co., that does this as a matter of course,with new/newer subs.
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:26 AM   #19
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Diesel vs. Gas... Diesel have more torque for the moment, but Gas engines are catching up, Thats what give them the power advantage.....The price of Diesel doesn't seem to be going down, and gas is, there goes your fuel advantage... I get 20 mpg on the highway with my new Sequoia 17-19 stop and go.... 10-12 towing... at 70-75 mph... I have 401 ft lbs and 382 bhp.

If I was just going to buy a TV I would get a diesel truck but we have a family and need more room and comfort... I have an old truck but not enough room for 2 kids and adults to ride with car seats...

I think it depends what you are going to use your TV for overall... If just towing then I think a diesle truck makes sense but if you are using it for other stuff you make have to compromise... It also makes a dif. how heavy your trail is!!!!!!!!! mines about probally 5500 full or a little more... I have enough power to go faster up any hill than I would feel safe...

If you have driven Vail pass in Colorado tops out just over 10,000 ft.... I can do 70 mph no problem...
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:49 AM   #20
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durmax/allison into burb

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangebowdrie View Post
A "diesel suburban" search on Yahoo, turned up a few places that do that conversion. Their is an outfit in Co., that does this as a matter of course,with new/newer subs.
Thanks rangebowdrie....I'll check into it.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:08 AM   #21
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The older 7.3 liter say 1997 or so was a great engine its to bad they layed it to rest
I just had to add a my two cents on the 97-model year. For Ford and the powerstroke, this had to be their best year for the F series. A simple no replacement for displacement power plant.
I've owned mine since new and my operating cost per mile has been respectable. Without posting all my figures, my previous other brand gasser cost substainally more per mile during ownership. With only 90,000 on the Ford, I'm due for my first set of brakes.
Ford ought to present me with an award for brake life!
Jeff
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:47 AM   #22
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For what it is worth, currently on a 4th cross country tour with a 28 safari and a 08 150 with a 5.4. I let her rev 3800rpm on long grades and tow out of overdrive. Most of my time at 65mph@2400 rpm. Never a problem and the damn thing just works. I have no neeed for diesel, and buy e85 when possible, average price for corn fuel these days is around 2.50/gallon. Yes indeed, the new gas generation trucks from ford are impressive.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:38 PM   #23
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As far as downshifting, my '06 Dodge TD is best described as downshifting at a speed, not a load. As long as I keep the MPH's above 48 it stays locked in hi gear unless I floor it. I can't think of a single time it's downshifted on the Interstate unless someone slowed in front of me, and I can't think of a time I couldn't hold 70 MPH towing if I wanted. On hilly 2 lane roads it lets me know if I've slowed below 50 by dropping a gear, as soon as I speed up it's right back into high for as long as I stay at speed.

Lack of shifting is one of my main likes about towing with a Diesel.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari 28 View Post
For what it is worth, currently on a 4th cross country tour with a 28 safari and a 08 150 with a 5.4. I let her rev 3800rpm on long grades and tow out of overdrive. Most of my time at 65mph@2400 rpm. Never a problem and the damn thing just works. I have no neeed for diesel, and buy e85 when possible, average price for corn fuel these days is around 2.50/gallon. Yes indeed, the new gas generation trucks from ford are impressive.
3800 rpm on long grades? How many miles are you hoping to get out of that engine? I've towed with an Avalanche and that's a high rev, noisy mess. Come home to the comfort of a diesel.

I like 1750 at 70mph uphill.

yakman
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:56 PM   #25
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If you aren't downshifting going up a hill, you have paid for more power than you need.

As to which is better for towing an Airstream, gas or diesel, the answer is...





yes.

The two are different, and how you intend to use one makes a lot of difference. For some, the ability to say on a forum or at a truckstop that they can go x mph up a y percent grade is worth however many thousands of dollars it takes. Not so for everyone.

If I was going to drive a LOT - like 15-20k miles a year towing, it'd be a no-brainer. As it is, we've been averaging 2000-2500 miles a year towing (and a total of around 5k on the TV the last couple of years), so this too is a no-brainer.

When the lighter duty stuff comes out that I've been hearing about on Autoblog, that'll be worth considering.

To be perfectly honest, though, the coolest setup I've seen is the Beemer X5/23' combination - and I don't particularly like BMW's (anything with that much baggage ought to have its own porter). Go figure.

I do have a feeling that in 5 years, a diesel/hybrid variant of the Chevy Traverse pulling a redesigned HiLo or 23-25' 4500lb A/S will be more the norm than a 1 ton pulling a fifth wheel or a class A. It might even get squeakier than that, but I'm not much of a psychic.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:53 PM   #26
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If you aren't downshifting going up a hill, you have paid for more power than you need.

Let the transmission do the work, not the engine. I agree.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:15 PM   #27
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3800 rpm on long grades? How many miles are you hoping to get out of that engine? I've towed with an Avalanche and that's a high rev, noisy mess. Come home to the comfort of a diesel.

I like 1750 at 70mph uphill.

yakman
I lease, but really 3800 is nothing for a gas engine. I run my 5.7 marine engine all day at 4000 and no issues and the engne is now 10 years old with no problems. Why are you concerned about reving a modern engine? My current has 20k miles and no oil consumption and runs perfect. The 3800 is usually for less than 30 minutes and I barely hear it. They benchtest these engines for days at full throttle.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:14 AM   #28
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Quote:
3800 rpm on long grades? How many miles are you hoping to get out of that engine? I've towed with an Avalanche and that's a high rev, noisy mess. Come home to the comfort of a diesel.
Quote:
I lease, but really 3800 is nothing for a gas engine.
Yep, I agree with "Safari 28". My truck has the 5.3 liter gas V8, (midsized GM) and 3.73:1 gears, and on our trip to Alaska and back this summer, we never drove on a hill that we could not easily maintain 50 MPH in second gear at 3000 RPM, and we went on virtually all the paved highways and mountain passes. And by "easily maintain", I mean with very light throttle...never floor boarding it. We ran 70-75 MPH on the American interstates and averaged 12.1 MPG on the entire 11,000+ mile trip. The gas engines are designed to turn the RPM, and must do so to get to the power band. Diesels on the other hand, cannot be forced to turn over about 2,200?

This truck is also my daily driver, I have no need for a 3/4 ton or the additional $11,000 +,- price.
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