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In the shop with my Vette
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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone using one of these trucks with the 8.1 big block? Are they worth a shit as a driver and pulling an open trailer. Do they make any power, and what kind of milage are you getting with teh 4x4 versions? Been looking at trucks, considering all the options before make a decision and have no knowledge of these things. Thanks
 

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Tellin' it like it is
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Google it up, those motors have a few issues you should know about before you buy one.
 

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I have a friend that has a 2wd that pulls a 30 ft camper trailer that weighs around 7-8000 lbs. He said it has plenty of tq pulling it compared to his cousins 3/4 ton with a 6.0 motor.Pulling is right around 8 mpg flatland,and not pulling is 13-14 hwy. He purchased it becase it is his daily driver,and he did not want a desiel. He has a 5 min commute.
 

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i had an 01 2500 hd silverado with the 8.1....i put 173,000 miles on it before trading it , i pulled my 24ft boat and my car and trailer with out any issues, but it only got 12mpg , funny thing is mileage didnt differ much from when i was pulling or driving back and forth to work, at about 160,000 miles i had to replace the crankshaft posisition sensor, but thats all , i wish i still had the truck,ive heard alot of people bitch about them but it was by far the best truck that ive ever owned....maybe i just got lucky
 

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if i were to do it over again-since all i do is pull a open trailer and drive truck daily-i would get a 1500 with the 5.3 again.i had a 2005 1500 w 5.3 and it pulled 3 snowmobiles in enclosed aluminum trailer like it was not there- got 17-18 mpg in 10* weather pullin that, truck would get 21-23 not towing. when i started messin with my car i bought a 2500 with 6.0,gets 14-15 pullin my chevelle and open steel trailer,gets 14-15 not pulling anything-if i were to get it again i think the 5.3 would have plenty of power pullin open trailer and the trade off for gas mileage once a week i dont htink its worth have the 2500-unless your lookin to pull heavier then i would look at 2500 6.0-i think the 8.1 is overkill unless your pullin 3 cars
 

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I forgot what to do next!
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I pull a 24 foot enclosed with my 07 1500 5.3 with my 3500 lb blazer it doesnt have any problems.
 

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I had a 2001 2500hd crew cab shortbed 4x4. 8.1 and allison with 4.10 gears. Only issue i had with mine was used a quart of oil between oil changes from day 1. 10 miles to the gallon towing or not. Now at 38000 miles put 6" lift and 35s on it. 8 mpg towing or not. Towed a skid steer trailer with 6 lifted quads with mud tires to west virginia. Still got 8. Plenty of power for anything i needed.
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I have a 2004 GMC 2500HD 4x4 with the 8.1 Allison combo with 3.73 gears and I am very happy with it. I went to Sturgis pulling a 5x10 enclosed trailer and I averaged 12.1 mpg @ 65 mph. It only gets 14 plus emty @ 65 mph, but I am really glad that I bought it. I use 10w30 Mobil 1 oil and I get 1800 miles to a quart of oil. The 2005 and earlier Allisons are a 5 speed and the 2006 and up Allison has a 6th gear that reduces cruise rpm by about 350 rpm. Some earlier years had oil consumption issues and some other problems. I test drove a 2001 8.1 with 4.10 gears and I am happy that mine came with the 3.73 ratio. A friend of mine pulls a heavy stock trailer with his and he is pleased with the power and service he has received from it with over 200,000 miles on it.
 

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In the shop with my Vette
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Discussion Starter #10
I googled and read up on them, I was just wondering what people said about them. Considering all options, 5.3, 6.0, even looking at a few diesel trucks. I live in the high plains of Kansas, so its pretty flat here. But from time to time, will pull in the Topeka and Kansas City area. And its all hill up there, so I just wonderedn if I needed the extra power. Eventually, I will upgrade to a enclosed trailer. So that being said, how will a 5.3 handle it, with the towing package? As far as miles, in three years I have ony put 12000 miles on my personal car now. So I wont wear a truck out very easy, or go through piles of cash in fuel either.
 

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I would think once you upgrade to the "box" and all the added crap you can stuff in it (that are must have's now you have the room :D) you'll want the added suspension of a 2500HD. I run a 2004 extra cab long box 2500HD with the 6L and with an open trailer/3300# car/everything but the kitchen sink it has bags of power hauling through the Rockies. More than I need really.
 

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I've got a 4x2 2003 GMC 2500HD with an 8.1 and an Allison that I love. I have had zero issues with it and it has plenty of power. I pull my 3500lb Nova on a 16' open trailer and it tows it as fast as you want to go. I've also got a 3000# slide in camper and 19' bass boat and I have no problems pulling out and passing going up mountain passes. It does use a quart of oil between oil changes and only get 12-14MPG but I didn't buy it for mileage. It does not have diesel power but it didn't have diesel price either...
 
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