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2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Pros, cons, life expectancy

Re: 2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Postby Nkd_Nick » Jan 24 2019, 3:56pm

If you do go with the 6.0 and are towing that much I would make sure it has the 4.10 gears vs. the 3.73. The towing ratings and power feel will be significant.
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Re: 2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Postby i82much » Jan 24 2019, 4:11pm

6.0 has changed very little. Biggest change was i believe 2007 when they went to rectangular heads and added vvt. But those changes do not appear to have hurt reliability. All iron block 6.0 engines in the HD trucks are rock solid.
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Re: 2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Postby hatzie » Jan 24 2019, 4:49pm

Some perspective here...
Fuel is not the big ticket cost in vehicle ownership.

I towed with 350 & 454 pickup trucks in the 80's & 90's
My 1982 K30 had an LE8 454 with 230hp and 360ft-lb of torque. I could count on 8-9mpg towing and 11-12mpg empty on the highway. TH400, 4.10 gears and 32" tires.
My 1979 K20 had an LS9 350 with 175hp and 275ft-lb of torque. I could count on 10-11mpg towing and 13-14mpg empty on the highway... TH700R4, 4.10 gears and 32" tires.

The 6.0L LQ4 in my 2005 2500HD 4x4 has more HP and about even torque with that old 454... 300hp and 360ft-lb. I get 13.5mpg empty on the highway... towing is unknown right now but I'd hazard a guess at 10-11mpg. 4.10 gears and 32" tires.
The 6.0L LY6 is 364hp and 383ft-lb. GM used these in the GMT900 trucks. The 6L90 and 8L90 six and eight speed transmissions bump up the fuel mileage in comparison to the four speed 4L80 in my GMT800.

Both of the iron block 6.0L truck motors have a reputation for long term reliable operation that's better than the old 350 smallblock.

Gasoline engines are easier to service and the service parts are easier on the wallet than the diesels.

IMHO a diesel isn't worth the much higher initial price or the much larger cash outlay for maintenance. The higher torque and higher fuel mileage don't offset the maintenance and initial cash outlay... The LLY has 300hp just like the LQ4.
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Re: 2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Postby 1994Vmax » Jan 24 2019, 6:08pm

All I run is 6 liters... duramaxes just cost more in every single way for utterly zero benefit to me. I tow a few times a year and now use my 2017 HD to do it. I plopped in 4.56 gears as opposed to the stupid 3.73s it had and have a tune and a muffler. The truck is fun to drive and I have no issues with that. I don't find it stressed while towing and on the steeper shorter grades with about 6500 lbs behind had no issues keeping it at around 3000 rpm. Its not slow.. impresses a few people oddly enough. But it's still "slow" when you have a 700 whp car to compare it too... just like your Duramax is.

Sure a diesel is better on fuel but the cost difference of the truck buys a lifetime of economy difference. I have been in the duramaxes, drove a few and they are still a slow boring truck... so if your goal is a race car buy a race car.

My part of the world is a diesel stigma.. have to have one mentality. The shops like it because the junk is a fortune to keep running so it works in a lot of peoples favors.

If you used your truck heavy and ran a hot shot or something the diesel is there for a reason. But for Joe Blow.. well it's up to whatever you want to put up with.
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Re: 2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Postby i82much » Jan 24 2019, 6:59pm

The problem I see with the diesels is that the new ones are extraordinarily expensive to repair and somewhat failure-prone. As a consequence, the older diesels have exorbitantly high resale. So to me, it is a no-win situation and I would only buy a diesel if I were towing so heavy that I really had no choice.
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Re: 2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Postby Thomkadl1989 [OP] » Jan 25 2019, 4:50am

Now when you guys are talking about initial cost your talking new?

I'm trying to stay around 10k, and looking at 03 or newer for gas and 04.5 or newer for diesel. Trying to stay away from the lb7. Plus I like the cat eye front end. Not a huge fan of 07 and newer front end, probably my thrid favorite. Second being anything pre 1990. Anything 1990-2003 I don't really care for, but hey if the price is right what the heck.
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Re: 2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Postby hatzie » Jan 25 2019, 4:59am

Thomkadl1989 wrote:Now when you guys are talking about initial cost your talking new?

I'm trying to stay around 10k, and looking at 03 or newer for gas and 04.5 or newer for diesel. Trying to stay away from the lb7. Plus I like the cat eye front end. Not a huge fan of 07 and newer front end, probably my thrid favorite. Second being anything pre 1990. Anything 1990-2003 I don't really care for, but hey if the price is right what the heck.


A Used Duramax is noticeably more than a 6.0l
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Re: 2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Postby Copperhead » Jan 25 2019, 5:31am

timjrudy10 wrote:If $$ is not an issue, go with the Duramax.


Yeah, because with the emissions stuff related to the Dmax, you might need to be in a position where you can throw lots of cash around.

But seriously, it is really all about what you are trying to do. The mpg thing is not a good measuring stick. While Dmax mpg numbers might be good, the actual cost per mile of fuel quite possibly is worse. My 2500 6.0 has been living on E85 which I am getting now at $1.12 a gallon. The mpg is lousy, at 10 mpg average for all miles, but that equates to about 11 cents a mile. At current pricing of $2.80 in my area for diesel fuel, a Dmax 2500 would have to average 25 mpg for all miles. Not going to happen. It might get that on a highway only run, but then, I took a 2000 mile road trip last year (including high country of Wyoming) with my 2500 and used only E85 and got an average 13.8 mpg for the trip. A similar Dmax would have to get over 30 mpg just to break even on the 8 cent per mile fuel cost. Anyone thinks a Dmax 2500 will average 30 mpg on a road trip is not breathing oxygen.

And while the Dmax may (subjective) have a longer life cycle, I can drop in two completely new crate 6.0 engines in mine before even coming close to the total cost that I would have to drop out of the gate for a Dmax 2500. So in terms of longevity, it is a wash. Remember, the body, frame, etc is the same with both engine options.

Sure, higher RPM's with the 6.0 when working it, but hey, some folks prefer sport bikes and their higher RPM's than they do Harley's with their bucket piston thuds. Yeah, I like my Triumph Bonneville better than a HD. So I guess the higher RPM of the 6.0 is not a problem. I drive an average 2500 miles a week in a semi truck running at about 1400 RPM cruising down the road, the 2000-3000 RPM that my 2500 6.0 runs is actually a welcome change from the monotony. Especially with the deep throaty sound of the Magnaflo muffler which gives a sound reminiscent of muscle car days gone by.

And my 2500 6.0 did a real stellar job of snow removal on my property for the last two snows we got. 900 foot of driveway and several paths around various out buildings. Barely was working. And the payload in my 2500 is greater than a similarly spec'd Dmax version of the same year. And for me, payload is more critical than trying to tow a summer home around the country. I know, it seems rather quaint that someone might actually use a pickup primarily for hauling instead of towing. GM might think it is something that some of us do or they wouldn't put a box on the frame. And I have never felt underpowered with the 6.0 when hauling well over a ton of stuff in the back. Barely noticed it.
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Re: 2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Postby Thomkadl1989 [OP] » Jan 25 2019, 6:10am

First off THANK YOU ALL for all this info.. Lots of good points...
Is there really any difference between 03-06 to 07 - up, other than looks? Basically would I be better off buying an 05 or 08, same everything mileage, engine, transmission, gear ratio, ect...??

Better to buy an 05 that still had factory stock engine, transmission, diff. Or an 05 that has had any one of those or all 3 rebuilt? Around the 200k mile mark, same price, same everything, rebuilt with oem parts?
What about a few upgrades during rebuild vs just or?

Anything specific I should be looking for or looking to avoid? Such as rebuilds (by a reputable shop of course), common problems, mods, ect...??

Say a rebuild was done 60,000 miles ago and isn't showing any issues, would it be safe to assume that mechanical failure is low for the life of the part (as long as it has everything it needs to operate)? Transmission/engine/diff.
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Re: 2500hd 6.0l V8 vs. 2500hd Duramax

Postby i82much » Jan 25 2019, 6:28am

I think you are overthinking it. Pick a truck that suits your needs. Drive it, check the oil pressure, take it up a few steep hills and give it full throttle. See how the temp guage and transmission react. If it seems alright, make an offer. Alternatively, if you really want to be careful, ask the seller to let you take it to a mechanic for a more thorough inspection, like maybe a leakdown test. I doubt most sellers will let you do an oil sample analysis since they will be looking to move the truck, but it can't hurt to ask.
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