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Looking at Tow vehicles

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Old 07-29-2012, 02:54 PM
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Sadly, Thursday, I lost my 5 year old F-150 KR 4 x 4 that I loved...but it saved my life. A kid texting ran a red light in an old Lincoln and T-Boned me on the passenger side. I'm OK but I'm afraid the verdict on the Ford is going to be a bent frame...Total Loss.

Now I'm looking. I think for the time being that I'm going to get a used Ford or GMC Diesel 3/4 ton 4 x 4. I've narrowed it down to a few 2004~2006 candidates and am looking for opinions based on personal experience.

So here it is in a nut shell...is the GMC Duramax a better package than the Ford 6.0 Power Stroke Diesel from that era? I have heard horror stories about blown head gaskets on the Fords but not sure which years are the bad ones. I have heard nothing but good things about the GMC Duramax especially with the Allison 5 speed transmission. All of the trucks I am looking at have similar equipment and towing package.

I have owned Chevy, GMC and Ford trucks over the years but have no personal experience with the diesels. I am towing a '79 Formula 255 on an Aluminum Dual Torsion axle trailer...GTW will be around 7500#.

Last edited by sprink58; 07-29-2012 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:05 PM
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Check with www.bulletproofdiesel.com. They deal with the 6.0 exclusively.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:12 PM
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john,,the newer the 6.0 is the better they got,,06 and i think thats the only year they were good..as for the gmc or chevy 05 and up had the better injectors and if you are looking for anything older make sure you ask about the 200k warranty for the injector problems and make sure you get it in writing...

me?? chevy or dodge,,cant beat the cummins and no body on will ever knock that engine,as for the truck,i work on them all the time..mainly the front ujoints and the gear box support to stop the truck from doing the death wobble,,the trans issues you see are usually the cry baby's that dont change their transmission fluids and they usually have a snowplow hanging off the front and expect the truck to last forever with out doing any maintance...i have several customers that have had no issues since i take care of them and they always do what i suggest..i have them on a maintance routine once a year,,one is a 04 dodge with 179k on it with the oe transmission,,the key to the dodge transmission is to use the fluids that the trans calls for like the atf+4,,jiffy lube puts a mercon fluid in with a additive and this is when the problems start with the transmission issues that you see al the cry babys out their complane about dodge's trans problem..drive one with the cummins and tow your boat with each of them and see what you like the best..
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:59 PM
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I tow my "little" Baja with a 2002 GMC 1500HD, its never missed a beat, some people have claimed problems with "piston slap" as they started to get "miled up" but, so, far I am good, the one common problem is apparantly a "clunking' in the rear end, at first this worried me, then a fellow OSO member suggested I go to a deserted parking lot and make a series of "figure 8's" in both directions, and beleive it or not, it worked! Apparantly, it has something to do with the clutches or plates or something in the rear end shifting to one side, dont quite remember what the exact reason was, but, I do it about once every 6 months and so far no issues!

As for the Diesels, My Father has owned a couple of Chevy's with the Duramax and the Allison trans, they where bulletproof, he tows a 34ft fifth wheel trailer almost exclusively with the truck [its just too damn big to plow around town] and has never had a problem.

Personally, I really like the Ford 550 and 650's, but, thats just a personal preference and they are WAY too big for the boat I tow. I have heard good things about the powerstroke too. Face it the old "Chevy vs Ford vs Dodge" arguement will probably NEVER go away, so, I have to agree with Mr Fixall, try them all and see which one YOU like best, good luck!

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Old 07-29-2012, 04:01 PM
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OH YA!

Glad you weren't hurt in the accident, forget to mention thats probably the MOST important thing [-:
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:04 PM
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Sprink, I have an '08 silverado 2500 HD with Dmax and Alli trans. Awesome tow vehicle. 57k miles and never missed a beat. Just drove Indy to LOTO and averaged 14 mpg towing my 292.

I don't think you'd go wrong with Chevy or Gmc badging.

Dave
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:02 PM
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Hire a Good Attorney, then go shopping for the International CSX..(or something) Kodiak, or F550 Brother! Don't forget your Neck Brace and Shoeless Children for the Courtroom..oh..and Hire a Prego Woman to sit through the trial with ya! ;-)
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:37 PM
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I did a little research and learned that 2006 is the BIG change year for the GMC...the '06 LBZ is 360 hp, and 650 tq. vs the '05 and earlier LLY's are 310 hp, and 590 or 605 tq.

I remember riding in a '06 Duramax Allison 6 speed 3/4 ton and was amazed at how quick it was.

I am getting anxious to get something...this 2012 5.3 Silvarado doesn't hold a candle to my 5.4 F-150 ..RIP.

Last edited by sprink58; 07-29-2012 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n20michael View Post
OH YA!

Glad you weren't hurt in the accident, forget to mention thats probably the MOST important thing [-:
Thanks for that...I'm a bit sore still from the impact. I have quite a few "Dog Bite" lawyers chasing me...hmmmm maybe this is the way to finance that "Top Gun'" dream.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:46 PM
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Sorry to hear your truck ended with an accident but glad to hear your ok.

I have been a career auto/truck/equip tech and never liked diesel. The smokin chokin leakin smelly "road oilers", as we called the diesels, were a turn off for personal use in any capacity for me.
HOWEVER...
Since the advent of technology to control diesel injection with the accuracy of gas ignition or injection I am in love with my Dmax! It is quiet, someone tried to tell me that in 2004 but I wouldn't listen then, quick, strong and problem free. I have towed with this truck and it is much quieter and more efficient than any gasser I have ever owned.

That said, the diesel fuel has been the target of govt mandates now. The 2006 Dmax has an EGR that was a pest but not a real problem like the rest of the exhaust emissions the govt brought to trucks. In the second half of 2007 the Dmax got the DPF and in 2011/12 the Urea came. If you want to avoid additional fuel expense with emission junk the Dmax up to early 07 is free of this hindrance. After that emission equipment will burn your fuel out of the tank.

The LBZ engine is the high output version of the Dmax and the VIN will show a "D" in the eighth character position with this engine. I have this LBZ and love it to death.

Good luck
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