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Potential duramax owner with questions for those with experience


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#1 tcfulmer

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:47 AM

I currently own a 2009 Silverado 1500 crew cab 4x4 with 5.3L, 6-speed and 3.42 rear end. This is my second Silverado. Both have been 5.3L gassers. I also own a 22' travel travel trailer with a 6500 lb gross weight and am looking to upgrade the trailer to a 32' with 8800 lb gross weight. I currently average 550 miles per month on my truck and that includes taking 400-1000 mile camping trips during the summer months. A new Silverado 2500 HD is what I'm looking for but not having experience with diesels I'm not sure if I should be looking at the 6.0L gas or a duramax. I would like to get opinions from those who know diesels.

This would be my commuter as well. My one way distance to work is 4.5 miles. I have been told that diesels need to be run longer distances than this on a consistent basis. Is this true? On most days my 5.3L just gets up to temperature before I get to work. I'm in the Seattle area so there isn' much in the way of extreme cold or heat. I want to be sure that if I went with a duramax that I'm not setting myself up for problems with the short running times. Is there anything else I should be concerned with because of this kind of usage?

#2 doverarjim

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:30 AM

I had a 6.0 in a 2500 before I got my Duramax, and yes it could tow all but one of the trailers that I have, but it was a chore for it some times. Got as low as 5 mpg pulling a load to NC on I40. But when I upgraded I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a DMax, I have not made any road trips pulling anything yet. But my around town milage has gone from and average with the 6.0 of 13.5 to 16.9 on my 20 mile a day comute. And what I have done with the DMax it just laughed at!!:jester:
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#3 Chevyboy86

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:35 PM

With the new diesels you don't have to worry about that stuff. They have come along way, I own a crew cab truck with 6 litre...trust me when I say your gonna get bad fuel mileage towing 10k pounds behind you LOL...the next truck I get will
Be a duramax.

All my buddies are running diesels now, I'm waitin for my truck to die. Then I'm purchasing a duramax as well...

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#4 r1byker

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:55 PM

I would definitely recommend the oil burner. I couldn't be happier with mine, especially for towing heavier trailers.

You are perceptive to ask about your short commute. You will need to make sure the diesel particulate filter goes through its regen process. This requires operating the vehicle at highway speeds for a while and must be done periodically. You might live in a location that doesn't require a dpf; I've read here on the forum about a "dpf delete" option. If I could've, I would've but, alas, I live in California and it's a requirement. It's good for the engine to run it at highway speeds once in a while, anyways, so you'll be accomplishing two things at once by taking it out for a good run.

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#5 markw8

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:30 PM

While the D-max seems to be more tolerant of shorter trips, at 41/2 miles those 10qts of oil in the crankcase won't be 100F on a 60F day. Your gassers water temp might be up but the oil temp lags way behind. I never knew how much untill I bought my Corvette with an oil temp guage.

That said, after going from a 6.0 to my current D-max, you won't be disappointed with the pulling power. And the Ally is the BEST tranny I've ever driven. On thought is to maybe later get a cheap work car if possible.

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#6 tcfulmer

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:21 AM

What are the oil change intervals for both standard and synthetic oils? Since I am using the oil life monitor and not going by the 3000 miles my dealer recommends, I'm only doing oil changes about every 10-11 months since I drive it so little. My estimation is that I'm going about 400 miles per month except for in the summer when we are camping.

I've heard of having to regen the dpf. How often does that need to happen?

#7 markw8

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:10 PM

I go by the oil life monitor, about 10k miles. I've used Rotella T both syn. and dino. I go by the monitor for both. If your going to be doing short commutes, you might want to change more often.

I've never had to do anything as far as a regen. I have a bit less than 30k in 2 1/2+ yrs. It doesn't get many short trips unloaded. Like I said before, the D-max seems to be the most user friendly for regens.

Mark

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#8 Shaners

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:08 AM

My Dmax is over 7 years old and only has 31K miles on it. I commute less than 2 miles to work and have never had a problem with my truck. I try and take it out and put about 10-20 miles on it once every week or two to get all the fluids up to temp. I change the oil once a year (whether it needs it or not) and the fuel filter gets changed every other year.

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#9 08 Black Max

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:54 PM

Dmax is your best bet for towing / work.
I would get the Dmax and as noted above find my a cheap used car to take to work that will get the most out of both.
You have to take the Dmax out once in a while for 30 plus min drive to get the engine hot enough to do a regen.
That is my idea get good truck and cheap beater car to take to work.
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#10 Silverado4x4

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:39 PM

Get the 2500 HD 6.0, A Diesel will cost you about another $8000 for the Diesel that can buy you a hell of alot of gas. For that little bit of towing and driving you would be doing you would be better off with the 2500HD 6.0 with the 4;10 gears.

Maintance upkeep is alot more then the gas and pray you dont get bad fuel and it happens. I had a 2004 D-Max and use to tow alot but after I stopped towing alot I couldnt justify keeping it.

Edited by Silverado4x4, 06 April 2012 - 10:42 PM.

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#11 ajmvret

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:29 AM

Towed a 7500# TT to Texas w/6.2 1500 and traded in for 2500 hd Dmax. Heading back to CA. 6.2 is a great motor, but there 's no comparison in towing capacity. The gear ratios in the Allison seem to be excellant for towing, on the rolling hills (which kill the mpg for the 6.2) it would downshift once about 300 rpm, where the 1500 would often drop to 4th at 500+ rpm each shift.
So far am averaging 12 mpg (winds both fore and aft) with a high of 13+. The exhaust brake is very good, limiting cruise control downhill, and super for rapid stops. Rides rougher than the 1500 but control is much better.

Sorry to be so windy, guess I'm still a little excited.

#12 mikerr24

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:01 PM

ive only had my dmax for about a week now so im no expert by any stretch, but i will say, ive kicked myself in the ass all week for not pulling the trigger on a dmax alot sooner. i came from a 5.3 gas jobber that struggled pulling my TT through the hills. not to mention how unsafe if felt pulling it. i just pulled that same TT last night with the dmax, i barely knew it was even back there. and on top of that the mpg's seem a little better with the diesel. my 5.3 would get 16mpg (90% interstate) no matter how easy i drove it. the new rig seems to be around the 20ish +/- mark so far. sure the maintenence costs are a little more but nothing too serious. major things can happen to gassers just as much as diesels.

#13 music

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:18 PM

The gear ratios in the Allison seem to be excellant for towing, on the rolling hills (which kill the mpg for the 6.2) it would downshift once about 300 rpm, where the 1500 would often drop to 4th at 500+ rpm each shift.


I don't think it's the gear ratios, so much, as the fact that diesel peaks (and therefore shifts) at much lower rpms... vs much higher rpm on a gas motor.

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#14 Diesail

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:36 PM

Given your towing miles vs non, I say pull the trigger on the Dmax. Fuel cost are a bit higher but the added mileage makes that a wash. The cost up front is higher and maintenance is a bit more, but the price of the smile while towing is priceless.

#15 Doodle

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:25 AM

I currently own a 2009 Silverado 1500 crew cab 4x4 with 5.3L, 6-speed and 3.42 rear end. This is my second Silverado. Both have been 5.3L gassers. I also own a 22' travel travel trailer with a 6500 lb gross weight and am looking to upgrade the trailer to a 32' with 8800 lb gross weight. I currently average 550 miles per month on my truck and that includes taking 400-1000 mile camping trips during the summer months. A new Silverado 2500 HD is what I'm looking for but not having experience with diesels I'm not sure if I should be looking at the 6.0L gas or a duramax. I would like to get opinions from those who know diesels.

This would be my commuter as well. My one way distance to work is 4.5 miles. I have been told that diesels need to be run longer distances than this on a consistent basis. Is this true? On most days my 5.3L just gets up to temperature before I get to work. I'm in the Seattle area so there isn' much in the way of extreme cold or heat. I want to be sure that if I went with a duramax that I'm not setting myself up for problems with the short running times. Is there anything else I should be concerned with because of this kind of usage?


If you were to stay with the smaller trailer I'd say keep the 1500. But going up to a 32' trailer I'd go with the 2500HD 6.0 unless money is no object and you just have to have the diesel. I went from a 05 2500HD 6.0 to a 08 LMM. I tow very heavy on occassion. Mainly hauling large hay bales on a 26' flatdeck and hauling 10-12 cows in a 24' stock trailer. Many times I'm north of 20,000 gross. The 6.0 could do it, but the LMM does it with MUCH less effort. Confidence level went thru the roof with the diesel. My main problem is setting the cruise at 70-75 and forgeting I have to stop that much weight. The 6.0 will handle 8K farily well. With the duramax you won't even know it's back there. If you live in the city and only drive 5 miles to work, you will like a 1500 over an HD. They just ride so much better. The HD's are meant to be put on the road towing and doing work. I know there are decked out LTZ's that are as nice as luxury cars, but it's still an 8000 lb pickup. DO NOT get caught up in the mileage thing. The stock duramax will net you about 14.5-16 ish mixed driving. A 6.0 will net about 11-12 mixed. These are my observations from owning several 6.0's, my current LMM, and many of my friends who have various late model duramaxes. The new LML is slightly better on mileage compared to my LMM. My father-in-law has had two already as well as several LLY's and LMM's. I have seen the DIC say 19-20 on flat highway going 65ish, but you have to remember these new diesels will go into regen about once a tank or so and you're mileage will drop. Plus any stop/go driving will really pull the mileage down. Just made a trip this morning to the sale barn with some cattle and got about 12.5 on a 170 mile trip. Gross trailer weight was about 8K. My 6.0 would get around 9.5-10 with that weight. For me, as long as I will tow heavy from time to time, it would be very hard to go back to a gasser unless of economics.




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