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Old 12-15-2004, 05:32 PM   #57
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Yea, regular feedings. Diesels are the way to go, but that up front cost can be a killer. I think with Ford it's an extra 5 k for the 6.0l. If your buying new you just factor it in. If your buying used the Suburban with the 8.1 is a better deal. At least for me it is. As for the long grades , PA isn't the Rockies but they have some steep grades and the Suburban took them with no hesitation.When I bought the Sovereign I towed it back from MI and I had to check to make sure it was behind me.
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Old 12-15-2004, 05:43 PM   #58
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Nice thing about diesels is that after two years, the higher value of a diesel vs gas is much more than the original cost diference of diesel vs gas. I saw some numbers on a 2500HD that said that after 2 years, the diesel was worth close to $9000 more than the gas. At the worst, I figure that after 2 years, my diesel is free and I have enjoyed the performance and fuel cost savings for that period.
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Old 12-15-2004, 08:40 PM   #59
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Numbers can be adjusted to fit almost any point of view.

The basics:

Diesel gets better MPG
Diesel is a stronger engine
Diesels last easily 300k miles

Diesel is currently and has been more expensive than regular gas in most parts for over 4 months now.

Cost up front of diesel packages are about $5000 depending on what deals can be had.

Even if the diesel holds it's value as best as it can, with the given rebates, there is no way anyone is gonna pay a $9k premium for a used somewhat stock diesel truck compared to a similar equip gas truck. If you find someone like that.....sell them the truck! Though it is true there is a bit more value in a diesel than a gasser... it's mostly cause it costed more in the first place.

Unless you drive tens of thousands of miles per year, on average, the consumer diesel owner will not get payback for the $5k investment for at least 5 years...maybe more. Add the fact that diesel fuel is more expensive and that 5 years goes even longer. It takes a whole lot of 4-5mpg better than gas to make up for the $5k and keep in mind while your trying to break even on the up front cost, your truck is deprec in value each mile.

You can buy a LOT of regular gas for $5k.

You can get similar performance with a 8.1L engine which is about a $900 upgrade.

A good gasser that is well maintained can also get 300k, but frankly, in most (not all) cases the bodies are pretty well shot unless your puttin on 30k to 40k per year in mileage.

Don't get me wrong. I love diesels. I also love a good gasser. I've kicked around the diesel vs. the gasser for almost half of a year. If most folks drive say 15k per year and the rebates keep coming on the new ones, it's not a winning battle. It's just a more expensive battle as with most cars/trucks the consumer will lose...it's a sunk cost as the bean counters say. How sunk depends on several factors.
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Old 12-15-2004, 10:39 PM   #60
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There is no "right" answer to the question of what engine choice to make. Miles driven, driving habits, towing miles vs. deadhead miles, and the time between trade-in itch all factor into the decision. This is, of course, what option lists are for. But, some thoughts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Diesel is currently and has been more expensive than regular gas in most parts for over 4 months now.
I've been driving diesel cars and trucks for over a decade now, and prices go up, and down. At the first of the year diesel was as much as $.30 less than regular gas. Certainly over the years I've been buying it has been considerably less overall. For the future...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Cost up front of diesel packages are about $5000 depending on what deals can be had.
When I bought my Duramax back in March the Duramax/Allison combination was $4,000 over the base drivetrain due to some sort of option incentive. This changes from time to time just like gas prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Even if the diesel holds it's value as best as it can, with the given rebates, there is no way anyone is gonna pay a $9k premium for a used somewhat stock diesel truck compared to a similar equip gas truck.
Probably depends on where you are. I tried hard, really hard to buy a late model used diesel pickup. The premium was quite likely in the $8 - 9 thousand range. I mean, $28,000 for an '02 (insert you choice of brand here) with 100,000 miles? And if the local classifieds are anything to go by, people are still asking these prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
If you find someone like that.....sell them the truck! Though it is true there is a bit more value in a diesel than a gasser... it's mostly cause it costed more in the first place.
No, at least here in S.W. Missouri there is a perceived greater inherent value in a used diesel truck than a used gas engine one. My own opinion is that this perception is overrated, but people with checkbooks in hand outvote me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
It takes a whole lot of 4-5mpg better than gas to make up for the $5k .
Again, it depends. Empty, at highway speeds, the difference between 15 mpg and 20 mpg will take a while. When towing, the difference between 10 mpg and 15 mpg for a diesel adds up very quickly. (Let me hasten to add here that my actual Airstream towing experience is more like 14.5 mpg.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
You can get similar performance with a 8.1L engine which is about a $900 upgrade.
Britteny Spears and Barbra Steisand are similar -both female singers. But there is a difference. And just as it may be worth $$ to buy the big iron gas engine, it may well be worth it to many buyers to have the additional performance of the diesel. That, the operating economy, and the resale combined to make the decision for me.

And your point about the price premium for an 8.1 engine is important. If you need the performance of the big block gas or diesel, the key number is the price difference beween those two choices, not the price between base and desiel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
A good gasser that is well maintained can also get 300k, but frankly, in most (not all) cases the bodies are pretty well shot unless your puttin on 30k to 40k per year in mileage.
This may be so up in the rust belt, but down here rust has not been a problem in a well maintained car for 20 years. None of my trucks have been garaged since the mid 80's, and I have yet to have rust develop. I also EXPECT my vehicles to go 300,000 miles - gas or otherwise. My '87 Astro van was stolen and burned with 287,000 miles - at which time the rust-free body contained the original drive train burning less than a quart of oil per change (3,000 mi.). There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that a like - maintained diesel will run 500,000 mi.

To recap: I agree that miles driven per year is a major factor, but I would want to include miles driven TOWING per year. I agree that the price differential is important, but suggest you actually look the the total out-the-door price for the the truck you actually plan to buy, recognizing that prices and incentives change from time to time. I would contend that for much of the country, the body and chassis can, in fact, last long enough to turn the extra up front cost into an investment - IF you are willing to hold on to a truck four to six years.

Mark
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Old 12-15-2004, 11:26 PM   #61
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Greetings Mark!

I might add three other considerations that weighed heavily in my decision to stick with the 7400 VORTEC when I ordered my '99 Suburban rather than the turbo diesel:

(1) My regular dealer doesn't sell a significant number of diesel vehicles of any kind so does not have a full-time diesel specialist in his service department - - since I depend on my dealer for all regular service as well as repairs this was a significant consideration. At that time, the closest GM dealer with a full-time diesel specialist was nearly an hours drive away - - something that I had tired of dealing with when I drove imported cars. My current GM dealer is less than 3/4 mile from my home.

(2) Diesel fuel isn't available at the nearby stations - - the nearest station that sells a significant amount of diesel is more than 12 miles away, and not in a direction that I tavel with any great frequency.

(3) Personal preference - - I simply have never been a fan of the smell, noise, or operational characteristics of a diesel. I understand the operational peculiarities of my big-block gasoline engines, and am comfortable with the idea that there is an additional fuel cost to the smooth power and operational characteristics that I desire.

I too expect at least 10, and more likely 20 years from each of my vehicles with the anticipation that each will go at least 300,000 miles. Three of my current vehicles were Z-Tech/Tidy Car (Ziebart) treated when they were new and have since been maintained according to the warranty. One is a 1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible - - absolutely no rust and appears new (nearing 90,000 miles) - - purchased used and transferred Ziebart warranty. 1985 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham Luxury Sedan (nearing 100,000 miles) - - purchased new by special order with Ziebarting 48 hours after delivery - - absolutely no rust and still appears new. 1999 GMC Suburban (approaching 140,000 miles) - - purchased new by special order with Ziebarting 48 hours after delivery - - absolutely no rust and still appears new. The Suburban rarely sees the garage while the Oldsmobile and Cadillac have been babied with near continual garaging.

Kevin
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Old 12-15-2004, 11:53 PM   #62
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Well each situation is different. Sellers can ask what they want, but what they actually get can be another story. Autotrader and others have used Duramax/Allision similar in equip options and miles ranging from $3k to $9k "asking" difference between the a used gasser. Without question there will be some extra dollars floating for a used diesel compared to a gasser, how much depends on how good of a neg you are.

In my situation, the diesel would have cost $5k (non year end closeout). If I tow or not, I'd have gotten about 5-8mpg more with a diesel on average, but for time, let's say I would have had 8mpg more. Taking the diesel fuel cost out of the equation totally, it would have taken me a bit over 7 years in better MPG to break even to the cost of the diesel upgrade. Put the fuel cost in...price goes up...payback takes even longer. Price difference between diesel is less, time goes down, but not much unless the .30+ difference comes back. I drive about 9k-10k a year, sometimes a bit more, sometimes less. We can't really say for sure what a diesel Duramax will be worth in 7 years yet. Odds are if the rebates contine to fly, resale will continue to take a hit.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-diesel. Heck our fam has driven Mercedes diesels since about 1980, so I have a unique understanding of how good diesels are....but times are different then they were in the good 'ol days of dieseling when you got a gas station book with every car that pointed out where you could buy diesel.

As has been said, there is no wrong choice. It's a call each person must make. I'll tell you one thing, if the engine/trans combos weren't so darn expensive, most of my main issue darn near evaporates...cause then even at a higher fuel cost, the MPG would pay for itself each ride. Hopefully that day will come sooner than later...and even better if they put the diesel back into the Suburban.

BTW, for the record, I have a 25 year young Olds Delta 88 and 2 Impalas that are currently 8 years young. The one Impala SS that I baby, I got an offer for $1500 less than what I paid for it new.
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:42 PM   #63
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[QUOTE=wheel interested]May I ask why did you get rid of your 04 Burb for an 05? Or do you get one every year?




Carol,
Our 04 had a tech issue with the Quadrasteer. Chevy replaced the 04 with an 05.
The only change I made was to go from a 4.10 rear gear to a 3.73. Our 1976 27' Overlander did not need the 4.10 rear.
As for the Quadrasteer issue it turned out that the problem was only occuring because I was turning the wheel at start up. I was the first owner that this was happining to and after 4 tries to fix the issue Chevy replaced the Suburban. Since this started back in April, the tech people at Chevy found out why this was happining. No one knew that it was happining at start up. It seems that I was part of the solution. It occured only on the Burbs and not on the trucks. Since Chevy ionly produced less than 400 in 04 they had not seen this problem.
My Suburban has a sharper turning radius that my wife's Nissan Altima...
Under 40mph the wheels turn opposite and over 40 they turn in the same direction.

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