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About Wintersun

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  • Location
    Monterey CA
  • Drives
    Silverado 2500HD Duramax

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  1. With older pickups the vortex at the rear of the bed added drag and reduced fuel economy. Leaving the tailgate down or taking it off the truck fixed the problem. A shell reduces this turbulence but it also adds weight and if it sticks up past the cab it will also create more drag. For me the gain it usable space in the bed that is protected from the weather and from thieves is far more important that saving a few pennies in fuel costs. Newer trucks have cabs designed to improve airflow and the new Ram 1500 has an air foil design for the rear tailgate on their trucks. Some new trucks have taller sides for the beds to also make them more aerodynamic. But putting on heavier tires or ones with more scrubbing action or that stick out past the fenders or raising the truck will negate all these improvements. So will driving faster than necessary as air drag increases exponentially. Drive 2x faster and air drag is 4x greater. My new Traverse gets 34 mpg at 55 mph and 28 mpg at 62 mph and 24 mpg at 70 mph on the highway. So I have to decide whether the conditions warrant the speed at which I am driving.
  2. 2019 ground clearance?

    There is an additional air dam on the new trucks to reduce their drag coefficient and increase fuel economy. Possibly this could be removed and stored until you decide to sell the truck. http://gmauthority.com/blog/2018/07/2019-silverado-aero-enhancing-air-curtains-feature-spotlight/ Approach angle is more of a consideration than the clearance under the center of the truck in most situations I encounter, and this is where the air dam would be a concern.
  3. Dealers tend to order only base level work trucks and highly packed high end trucks and SUV's. Best option is to make a deal on a special order truck and get as little bling as possible. They used to sell a $4,000 package to get a $400 navigation unit and now they sucker people into spending $4,000 for an "entertainment system". Instead of selling a $500 undercoating treatment they are now selling a spray on bed liner coating for $750. But when most people are making 1980 level wages then they can afford 2019 truck prices with all the money they don't earn. What does not show in the numbers are the much longer period of years that people are holding onto their current vehicle to avoid paying the prices for the new ones. Sales are quite soft now with the internet sales people offering to sell me a 2019 truck at $6,000 below MSRP before I step onto the lot.
  4. That is silly. The payload goes in the bed and sits over the rear axle. 90% of the weight of the bed is handled by the rear axle and its wheel bearings and springs and tires. If an engine weighs 200 lbs more than another one this only reduces payload capacity at the rear wheels 40 lbs. It is usually the factory wheels and tires that determine payload along with the passenger seating provided (why regular cab trucks have the highest factory payload ratings). When I looked at identical GM trucks on dealers' lots I was struck by how the Z71 trucks with the 20" rims and tires did not even have a payload sticker in the glove box but instead had a notice that the truck was not suited for carrying a camper. Two identical trucks but different rims and tires and a difference in the payload rating between them of more than 2000 lb. The AAM axle and wheel bearings on my truck are rated for 11,000 lbs and from that value I subtract the weight on the rear axle measured at a CAT scale - which was 3200 lbs for my truck. Then I go to the next weakest link which is always going to be the wheels and tires put on at the factory. This is why from the truck manufacturers' perspective it is easiest to add two more tires at the rear axle to increase payload capacity with a DRW truck. No need to stock different tires. I added Supersprings to my truck as its factory springs were meant for a payload rating of 2895 lbs, and so I gained 1400 lbs of spring load capacity. I changed out the factory tires rated for 3195 lbs for ones rated at 3750 lbs, and increased this aspect of the payload capacity by 1110 lbs. The new tires support up to 7500 lbs and minus the 3200 lb weight of the truck leaves about 4,000 lbs of payload capacity for the bed. If I wanted to maximize the load capacity I would switch to 19.5 wheels and tires ([email protected] PSI) but at a cost of over $3,000 to do this and being limited to highway tread tires, I stuck with the 18" wheels and tires. The 19.5 wheels are what is found on trucks like the F-450 to handle the expected loads.
  5. GM Financing - Early refinance

    Nearly always it is better to check with the local banks and see who is promoting auto loans and then negotiate a cash price with the dealer. The bank can pre-approve a dollar amount and then cut you the check for the dealer in a day's time. Dealers get a kick back on any financing (or extended warranty) they sell customers. But sometimes a manufacturer will provide very low financing or even zero interest if they have two many days inventory already produced and sitting on the lots.
  6. Power tail gate removable?

    Be careful with the plastic connectors used by GM at the tailgate wiring. The male connector broke after multiple removals of the tailgate so I lost the rear camera that is mounted on the tailgate. GM charges $200 for the new plug ends and then add in the cost of an hour of shop time having them attached and two visits to the dealer. GM uses the same clips as are found in the engine compartment or behind the dash with no thought given to unclipping them multiple times as when removing the tailgate. Folks at GM are clueless about things like this as they do not actually use their trucks. If they did then they would be using Nelson or similar connectors at the tailgate. I would have installed a backup camera by the license plate to avoid re-connecting the camera in the tailgate but GM wants $700 for the wiring harness I would need (as compared to less than $100 with the Ford pickup). I did use contact cleaner on the camera plugs and after they were connected I wrapped the assembly with duct tape to keep water and road grit out of the plugs.
  7. Z71 vs Max towing package

    Odd that with a "tow package" one gets 3.42 gearing. With the Toyota Tundra the tow package provides 4.30 gears. Towing with a gas engine or going off road I would want 4.10 or lower gearing to keep the engine inside its peak power band. Of course General Motors only worries about their CAFE numbers.
  8. If you add all the light and medium duty pickup trucks sold in the United States, Ram sells more units each year than Ford, Chevy, GM, and Toyota combined and this has been the case for quite a few years. Not all that surprising as Ram has been the most customer oriented with its ever improving truck designs. Chevy/GM are the least progressive and Ford falls somewhere in the middle. Toyota is not even in the running with their 11 year old Tundra truck. If you look at reliability and repairs frequency and dealer satisfaction then it is reversed with Toyota coming out on top, followed by Chevy/GM and trailing by Ford and Ram in terms of 1500 class trucks. For me it is a matter of trying to decide between the old Toyota with great reliability and the far less reliable but more modern Ram. The Silverado 1500 with its very small gas tank is not in the running.
  9. If you are actually taking the truck off the pavement the bigger and heavier engine is a drawback and not an asset. But I would bet that 99% of the Trail Boss trucks never leave the pavement, as with all the Hummers.
  10. 2019 Adjustable Foot Pedals

    Lots of complaints by Ford and Ram owners with the pedals going down while they are driving which is a big safety problem.
  11. 2019 was the GM refresh of the Silverado and Sierra 1500 trucks. Not likely to see anything major for several years. GM is also again producing medium duty trucks and that has to take away resources from its light duty trucks.
  12. Fuel tank size?

    Want a large gas tank you need to go with Toyota where it is stock or with Ram or Ford where it is an option on their 1500 class pickups. GM does not consider their 1500 trucks to be suitable for towing and so does not bother to provide a large fuel tanks as an option. When it comes time to replace my Chevy 2500HD pickup it will be most likely with a Toyota Tundra and definitely not a truck from GM.
  13. Gelling is quite common with biodiesel and only starting in 2011 did GM consider it OK to use as they added a heater for the fuel. There may be an aftermarket additive and if I lived where biodiesel was the only option I would be looking for it.
  14. Lets talk 4WD lifts! (6 inch and up)

    It boggles my mind that anyone would pay the money and take the time to make a truck less able to function on and off the road just because they think it looks cool and will be a chick magnet - if only it was that easy. There seems to be a correlation with the higher the truck height the lower the IQ of its owner. But then again, IQ may be greatly overrated when a complete idiot is in power in the White House.
  15. Changing based on mileage is simple but it is also the worst way to go. The simple reason why is that engine oil life is a function of engine hours and not auto miles. Compare two identical vehicles and one that is driven in stop and go situations and averages 30 mph over 5,000 miles. The oil has been in use for 167 hours. The second vehicle has been used mostly on the highway at an average speed of 60 mph and so in 5000 miles the engine oil as been in use for 83 hours. Would you expect the oil to be in the same condition with both vehicles? My diesel truck has an engine hours reading and that is what I use to change the oil. This is also a trend in the trucking industry as they are switching over from miles driven to hours of use. The more often they change the oil the more it costs them with the truck out of service and this is there primary concern. The DIC should in theory be evaluating the type of use and hours of use and aspects like cold driving with short trips that add to soot buildup, but I use it as a guide only.

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