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First, hello Duramax people (usually thought of as evil). I’m familiar with seach functions, but I’m at work and looking for advice quickly. The Air Force doesn’t want me surfing all day (researching my new truck).

I’m seriously considering going from a Power stroke to the Duramax. I’m on my second F350 PSD. My first was a 96 w/auto and the trans went out at 125,000 and now my 99 trans went out at 150,000. I really take care of my stuff and don’t tow anywhere near max capacity. I carry a heavy truck camper, 5,000 lbs, and tow a 4,000 lb boat. Although the 7.3 has been a good engine, I hate the glow plugs, serious NOISE, and piss poor transmissions. I figure it’s going to be about $4,000 to replace it. I’m thinking I’d rather dump it into the price of a newer truck. I’d like to go with the Dodge, but they have no where near the weight capacity I need AND they don’t make a long bed crew cab. You cannot get the mega with a long bed. Additionally, I cannot afford a new truck. I’m looking in the $25,000 range hopefully (2002-2003 years). I did see a 2007 DM CC, LB, DRW, 4x4 for $39,900 at the local GMC dealer. Very tempting, but don’t have the money with a truck camper and new boat payment already. I can’t get a 07 ford with their new engine and don’t think I want a 6.0L PDS either. I have a couple questions on the DM that I’d like honest opinions on. Please don’t inflate.
1) What kind of MPG can I expect empty at 75 mph? 75 is the limit here in Co. I get about 12 at those speeds in my PSD 4 speed auto w/4.10.
2) What kind of MPG do you get when towing, or more specifically, carry a truck camper? I get 12 at 55 mph which I hate drive that slow in a 75 zones.
3) How does the truck handle at max weight?
4) What years should I avoid and why?
5) What should I look for before I buy? I.e. are there problem areas to check for?
6) Although the DM comes with an Allison trans, I heard there have been problems. However, I think I only hear about problems when you start upping the horse power. How do they hold up when left stock?
7) What is the GVW for the various years? I saw my Grandfather’s 2002 DM DRW CC was 11,500, the same as my 99 PSD. As long as it’s equal to or greater than my current 11,500 it should be fine.
8) Has anyone gone from a PSD to DM? What are your thoughts?
9) Is the Allison really a decent trans?
10) What are the main differences between the years: 01-04.5 LB7 and 4.5-05 LLY and 06 LBZ? Is one to be avoided or have more problems?
11) I heard there are injector problems on some models? Which to avoid if needed?

I’m adding to this post as I find more. Thanks all. I’ll be buying in the next couple days and don’t have a tone of time to search and read everything.
 

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Well, I will comment on some of the questions that I can give feedback to. First off welcome to the forum.

1. Mileage....I hardly get to drive 75 up here in AK, but when I drive to Anchorage or Valdez I normally get about 17-19 mpg going about 70-75. I can't really keep that speed since the roads are 2 lanes, but I don't play around when passing people either. I normally try to keep it at or under 2000 rpms. (I have a LB7 engine)

2. Towing....most of my towing is done in the winter on winter blend, but I normally get 10-14 depending on where I am going. Most of my towing does not consist of highway with cruise on...I am normally climbing hills to go snowmobiling or to go fishing. I normally drive around 65 when I can. There will be more and better input on towing mileage from others on the forum.

3. can't comment too much on max weight. the most I have driven it was around 17000 lbs GCW (I was helping someone do a DITY move and had to weigh the truck on a scale with the trailer). It handled pretty good especially for the heavy toung weight.

4. Years to avoid....I would say to avoid the 01-02s because they had the most injector fails. I have read that guys with the 05s have had overheating problems....although, none of them I know personally first hand (kinda hard to overheat in Alaska).

5. Areas to look at.....I would look at the ball joints and idler/pitman arms and look at the transfer case to see if there are any evident leaks (pump has been known to rub holes in the case). I would also look to see if there were any tell-tale signs of a programmer on it (EGT guage and boost) not to say they are all bad, but they could be masking a tranny problem. Even though these guages may or may not be on the truck is no difinitive way to know for sure unless they tell you that they had one on it or they are giving one with it.

6. The Allison is an awesome tranny and you should have no problems with it if left stock as long as you remember to change the spin-on filter and do normal servicing. The Allison can safely handle about 85-100 hp in stock form in most cases....not all can handle that. A lot depends on driving habits too.

7. Check out edmunds or GMs site. I don't have that info readily available.

8. I haven't gone that way per-say, but I drive a 6.0 PSD at work and have driven my friend's 7.3 PSD. All I can say, there is no comparison....I like the smooth power combo of the D/A combo not to mention the DMAX is quite abit quieter.

9. Yes, as long as you don't add big HP tunes. I love the grade braking feature.

10. LB7- fixed vane turbo and injector design is different than the LLY and up. LLY- has a variable vane turbo and programming differences...Also has more emissions crap on it. LBZ- same as LLY except for some internals and programming...emissions crap too. I think the compression was dropped on the LBZ too. Ones to avoid...see #4.

11. See #4....the 01-03s injectors are covered for 7yrs/200,000 miles zero deductable. (in most cases) For the most part, the LB7s got the best mileage out of the bunch....some people are sorry they traded in their LB7s on the newer ones. There are a lot of different factors that can affect your fuel mileage....I always hand calculate mine so I know for sure what I am getting..

One thing to remember, GM recommends you change the fuel filter every 15,000 miles....in reality, you need to do it more like 10,000 or sooner...like every oil change...that's what I did until I put a racor pre-oem filter on mine.

Hope this helps out some, you will get more feedback on this. There are guys that have more knowledge than I respond to this. I am just telling you basically what I have learned by reading the forums and some first-hand info.
 

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Duramax is a good choice!!!

:drink Serpa4 if you get a chevy or a gmc you will forget they even make a dodge or a ford turbo diesel truck.Take my word for it i have spent 1000s of $ trying them all.
Lovin my 2007 LBZ
Fobie1
 

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you know, I like the dodges, especially the display of power with the butt dyno. But the interior is just plain to me. In my mind, theres no doubt the GMC/Chevy has the best interior and ride.

Although, i must say; with dodge coming out with the GPS option, that helps. It makes me want to go check one out.

but anyways... im still watching this thread. please continue, i didnt mean to interupt!
 

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The dodge regular 4 door cab has got a decent amount of room in it. Just not very comfortable!
 

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You know, thats the thing. I would be considering the mega cab, and believe me, there is some great leg room in there! But just by looking at all the pictures of these trucks, the seats look thin and hard. The GMC's look the most comfortable.

When the wife and I travel, we are in our vehicles 5-6 hours at a time. Plus, the didges dont look very nice inside either.
 

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I will be in possession of a '02 DM in the next week or so. Knowing the history of it since brand new, I can say that it has been flawless. No work has even been needed outside the normal maintenance. No injector problems...I think '01 and very early '02s were the ones with the most issues. They only odd thing that has happened was animal related. Some mice decided the sound deadening material under the hood was perfect for them. No harm to anything else though. I have taken this truck on many 5+ hour trips, with 3 other people tagging along (crew cab), and not once did anyone complain about comfort. The opposite actually. Some people expected it to be uncomfortable, and they were very surprised...and happy!! Otherwise it makes a 12 hour drive to Canada and back at least 3 times a year. Always pulling a trailer, and never getting under 15 MPG. I have actually towed 10 snowmobiles on an open car hauler, at 80-85 mph, and still managed to pull 15 MPG!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wonder how long break in is for better mpg. Wonder if a programer is in my future. I'd like to keep the trans stock for now and better mpg. I think I've read the trans is good for 100-120 hp with no mods. After that, your looking for trouble if left stock. Amazing you can get 290hp from a programer!!!
 

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I have been doing a lot of looking into increasing fuel mileage. Seems that a programmer would help...along with a better flowing exhaust. I am also told that a better flowing intake will also help. As for the programmer, Edge has dyno proven a 5% increase with the Edge w/Attitude box set on the 1st level. I have yet to see other companies back up claims...but I have just started to looking.
 

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1. u must do something if u tear tannys out at only 120,000 and 150,000 or u have bad luck
2 ford will have a new engine in 2008, 6.4 L intergrated turbos. so wait to get on of those
3 the mega cab does come in a long box
 

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Discussion Starter #12
1. u must do something if u tear tannys out at only 120,000 and 150,000 or u have bad luck
2 ford will have a new engine in 2008, 6.4 L intergrated turbos. so wait to get on of those
3 the mega cab does come in a long box
Not really.
Its a know fact that the ford trans are junk and bit the dust anywhere from 100,000 - 150,000 (pushing it if you get 150,000).
The new Ford will be expensive, less hp, less tq, dont want the first gen of any new engine, the 6.0 was junk when it came out, Ford doesn't know what good mpg means, don't want twin turbos (wasted complexity), Ford is noisy, and I don't like thier dually fender (2-piece).
Mega cab bed size: 76x51, smaller than a piece of plywood (96x48)
Quad cab bed size: 98.3x51. The quad cab is not a crew cab, smaller and not full size seats.
GMC: 97.6x50
Some people have had good luck with the Fords, I haven't.
Some people have had bad luck with the GMC, I'll find out how mine is.
Its just time for a change.
 
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