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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First I'd like to apologize if any of my questions below are tired and beaten to death already. I performed a search and wasn't happy with what I was finding. Second, I'd like to thank everyone in advance for your help.

I'm in the process of truck shopping. Initially I was looking at just basic 2500HD 6.0L trucks, but I realized that my use would be too much for the truck. I was also given the advice that whatever I do I get an Allison transmission. This puts me in my current situation. Do I get the 6.6L Duramax or do I get the 8.1L Vortec?

I'm buying a Crew Cab Short Bed regardless of which engine I go with. Most likely I will be getting a 4x4, but I am buying used so I would jump on a good deal regardless of 4 or 2 wheel drive. I will be driving the truck everday to work, which is about 16 miles each way, 4 miles on 'city' streets and the rest on I-95. I live in New Jersey so we have warm summers and cold winters.

In addition to the daily commute, I'll be towing a camper with it. Currently I have a 30' 7500# travel trailer, however in the next 18 months or so we will be upgrading to a 5th wheel - the ones we are currently looking at are in the 12500# - 14000# range (gross). I have been told that the 8.1L is the way to go, but all the people we camp with are gas people and I hear nothing but negative about diesel, which is why I cam here - I'm hoping to hear from your side of the fence.

As I said, I am getting an Allison transmission regardless or gas / deisel. So I'm looking for any comparison information you may have to offer between the 6.6 and the 8.1. I've heard nightmares are maintenance on diesel trucks. I have absolutely no knowledge or experience of diesels at all so I don't know what to believe.

Are there any reliability issues with the diesel Vs. Gas. I know the 8.1 burns oil, do diesels burn a lot of oil? I know I will need more oil when performing changes, but does it also burn a lot between like the gasser? Also are the maintenance intervals the same, and am I really going to need 12qts of oil to perform an oil change?

I probably drive 10,000 miles per year, depending on where we go any where from 3500 - 6500 of that can be towing. I just don't want to buy a truck, and then find myself wishing I bought something different once I start with the 5th wheel - or after owning the truck for 4,5,or more years. How many miles can I expect to get out of a well maintained D/A setup? My best guess for an 8.1, based on my past 5.7 experience, is about 230k or so - will I get substantially more life from a well maintained Duramax?

I do apologize if any of these are dumb, or repeat questions. I also really appreciate any input you can offer. I always deal with the same dealer here, and he said he would be more then willing to find me anything I want - but I have to figure out gas or diesel so I can get him searching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the feedback so far. How can I find out for sure which ones have the 200k mile warranty, and does this just cover the engine or the whole drivetrain?

Also since I saw 'stock' mentioned. Would it be worth it to get a Bully Dog, or similar programmer? How do these 'reprograms' effect the reliability durability?

Also I saw injectors mentioned a few times, do these need to be cleaned regularly or was there just a problem with some of the injectors used during certain periods of build time?

As for the long bed, parking is a nightmare where I work and the long bed crew is just too much truck to take in and park everyday - I've struggled with this decision for a while.

In regard to fuel, I live in south jersey and diesel is about 2.25 right now, which is what super gasoline is running.

Going back to engines, I didn't realize there were different versions of the 6.6 Duramax, is the LB7 the most reliable?

Thanks again for all the info. I'm leaning towards the diesel, but not knowing anything about them I want to make sure I'm well aware of what I'm in for, and what I'll need to do to keep it running.

Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The problems with the injectors and over-heating, are these things being fixed under warranty coverage? Also are these showing up early in the engine's life span or do I risk running out of warranty?

I'm definitely leaning toward the diesel, and I figured I'd get pro-diesel advice here. I am getting the information I was looking for though such as the good and bad engines, and what to look for when shopping these trucks.

I really doubt I'll be able to pull off buying a new truck, unless I get a great deal on a left over 2006 - so I guess now I'm trying to figure out if I'm better off with an older duramax, or if any year (or build I guess) is ok. Is there any one engine code that is a sure bet to stay away from? And is there any one engine code that is the favored by majority? I'm still trying to get them straight, but I mean should I avoid an LLY and get and LB7 ? I know those might be the wrong codes, but thats kind of what I'm worried about at this point - buying a bad setup when a simple VIN# check could yield a much better vehicle.

Thanks again for your input and taking the time to read this. One other quick question, and please keep in mind I'm completely new to diesels - will I need to keep the engine block heater plugged in to start the truck each morning in the winter? Or will the truck start ok in the cold morning? I live in NJ so I know my cold might not be as cold as other people have it, but I'm just curious at what point I'll need that plugged in .....
 
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