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I'm hoping for some opinions on fuel mileage and performance from members who have experienced the 6.0L Vortec in a late model dually. Soon, I hope to purchase a new GMC dually, double cab, 4x4, with SLT trim. Heavy! After several months of on-line research, I still cannot determine which engine will be most practical for me. I keep vehicles for a long time, and will be replacing my 1988 GMC K3500 SRW with the 454/TH400 that was purchased new and is still in excellent condition at 64,000 miles. I use this truck primarily to haul a 3,000 lb. slide-in camper during the summer months, with a few seven mile work commute trips thrown in. Rarely driven during the winter months. So the big question - will the higher revving 6.0L be annoying to live with in such a heavy truck - empty and loaded? I live in the Pacific NW, so lots of mountain passes and hilly terrain. I want to be able to keep up with traffic though, which the 454 does well with. A larger, 4,000 lb camper will be purchased in the near future. A trailer will not be considered. I want the added stability of the dually platform, which should reduce some of the white-knuckled driving situations in the current truck. The expensive Duramax just seems economically impractical for the relatively low annual use the new truck will get. The 454 with 4:10 gears and 3 sp. auto gets 10 MPG highway empty/8 MPG with camper. It would be nice to improve on those numbers after spending $50,000+ on a modern truck. Any thoughts? Should I just save up for the Duramax? Thanks!
 

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The 6.0L should do fine within what you describe. Fuel economy will not be very good, but maybe a slight up tick compared to the 454. Dmax, of course, would make it feel like nothing is being hauled, but you would never recover additional initial cost, and the emissions stuff and diesel are not well suited to sitting for extended lengths of time. The 6.0L actually has very close performance numbers to the old 454. I had a 1998 2500 with a 454, and my '15 2500 with a 6.0L is pretty close in performance. And the 6L90 is a very strong trans that is pretty nice with the extra 2 gears, and you have manual mode if you want to control shifts better.

There are strong arguments for the Dmax in that pickup, but for what you are using it for, and how often you are doing it, the 6.0L would take care of things. The L96 6.0L is a well proven, long lasting, very durable engine. Probably the most reliable engine that GM is putting out now. Many, many of them that are well beyond 300,000 miles and still running like they were new. This is why they still offer them in the HD pickups, which the primary buyers for are commercial owners. Those owner don't want fancy, they want something that can be abused every day of the week, all day, and still keep going at the lowest operating cost. The Silverado HD's with the 6.0L fits that need very well.
 

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^^^+1.

I wouldn't get a diesel for your application. Being driven only every so often and with only a 3k load, you'll do fine with the 6.0.

The 6.0 is a great motor. No AFM and built to last. Not a huge power house, but it definitely gets the job done.
 

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6.0 has plenty of power, regularly drove one that carried 2500lbs no problem in a 2500hd. Id say you could skip the dually as it makes life a bit harder with tires, wheels, width-but the camper probably needs the stability.
 

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I'd get a 6.0 in a newer dually for towing up to 14,000 lbs in most scenarios. So your scenario is a cake walk for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everybody for your advice. I was leaning towards the 6.0 but needed more convincing that it wouldn't be a mistake. I feel more confident now in my decision. It sounds like this engine would suit my needs well enough, and the great history for durability is icing on the cake. I think it's going to be tough finding one on a dealer lot that's not in work truck trim since my recent on-line searches for a 2016 in SLT (or even SLE trim) has come up empty. Might have to order a 2017 and wait a while, but that's fine. Now..........if GM would just get their 4.5 L Duramax in production, that could provide an ideal mix of torque/economy/purchase price for those who don't need to pull a 20,000 lb trailer!
 

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Mward88 said:
Thanks everybody for your advice. I was leaning towards the 6.0 but needed more convincing that it wouldn't be a mistake. I feel more confident now in my decision. It sounds like this engine would suit my needs well enough, and the great history for durability is icing on the cake. I think it's going to be tough finding one on a dealer lot that's not in work truck trim since my recent on-line searches for a 2016 in SLT (or even SLE trim) has come up empty. Might have to order a 2017 and wait a while, but that's fine. Now..........if GM would just get their 4.5 L Duramax in production, that could provide an ideal mix of torque/economy/purchase price for those who don't need to pull a 20,000 lb trailer!
Yes why are they not getting there crap together and getting the 4.5 diesel going that would be a good mix for sure and a good market for it. I would re thing the dually and maybe just the regular 2500 should be more than enough for your situation?
 

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I used to haul a slide in camper on a 2500 ram. It was way too heavy, but I felt like it was ok.
I personally feel like the 4.5 Dmax in anything other than a 1500 would be a financial loss.
 

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If I remember correctly, the dually gets the detuned version of the 6.0, with 322 hp at 4400 rpm. I don't know if it gets more torque at lower speeds, or if they just cut the fuel early, but either way it means that the engine won't "scream" when going up steep hills.
 

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Well, GM does have a 5.2L inline 4 diesel in their low cab forward medium duty truck offerings. 520 lb torque hooked up to a Allison 2500 trans. Not sure why it wouldn't be a good candidate for the 2500/3500 class of pickups as well. I really like inlines over V diesels for a wide variety of reasons. The 5.2 would fit a nice middle ground between the 6.0L and the 6.6L Dmax.

GM also offers a 3.0L inline 4 diesel for their fleet 3500HD cab forward models. The payload capacity on that one is 7400-7500 lb with a tow rating of 13,000 like the 6.0L L96. Again, not sure why it couldn't be offered in the pickups.
 

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I would have to say its because the bean counters don't believe it will make money. Yea sounds neat to you, but they market vehicles to what they believe is the majority. Obviously they don't think the majority is interested in a 2500HD with a small diesel in it.
 
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