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Dually questions---need advice

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Old 01-07-2003, 01:23 PM
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Default Dually questions---need advice

I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I'm too lazy to serach for it...

I've narrowed my search to a Chevy/GMC 3500 4 wheel drive extended cab...I don't want 4 doors and I feel that 4 wheel drive will be a necessity if I ever decide to use the boat (Cafe Racer) where I need to ramp it. Oh yeah...it has to be white...

So my question is what motor should I go with--- the turbo diesel or the 454?

I am looking at used trucks right now preferrably only a couple of years old with low mileage(I can't justify the 40K on a new one). Are there any years or models to stay away from? Does any one know what the fuel mileage is on the 454 compared with the turbo diesel?

Lastly, if any of you guys are dealers, let's talk...I'm looking to trade my 99 Grand Cherokee, but can sell it first if need be...
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Old 01-07-2003, 01:40 PM
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it's not the model I would stay away from ...but the make...we didn't have much luck with our Chev duallies...had both 454s and diesels.. our fisrt 96' was a 454 it never really gave us any problems....traded it for a new 99' 454 extra cab....got lemmoned lawed...various problems...got another new 99 diesel double cab...did pretty good till around 38k miles all axle seals leaking , rear main leaking ...extended warr. problems traded that in for a 2000 tahoe ...3 months later after more trouble ended up with Ford ....not to mention my work truck also a diesel threw a rod at 18 k miles...and has had countless electrical problems..now I am in a 3'4 ton ex cab, tranny problems and today the gas gauge quit working , ...anyhow...as far as mileage 454 ex. cab i believe 11 mpg , diesel pretty damn close to the same...if not exactly the same...the company I work for switched form ford to chev for thier fleet.....we have a record # of fleet related issues...be sure you look whatever you get over real carefully...I would look for something w/ some warr. left or an extended trans. one...for sure....good luck dude......
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Old 01-07-2003, 02:05 PM
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I am a GM guy, but I would also have to say, if you are looking at pre-Duramax available GMs, to steer clear. The TurboDiesel is not the best thing in the world. Some have had great luck, some have had awful. The 454 was not known for good gas mileage either.

Go ahead and look at a Ford Dually with the PSD.

Also, 'wmlove' from here on OSO has a 1994 GM Dually for sale, with very low mileage, and appears to be in great shape, for a great price.
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Old 01-07-2003, 02:14 PM
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Sean...I can't give you much info on Chevys, but I do drive a F350 PSD SRW every day. The diesel is a torque monster and gets 17-18 mpg highway. It tows the Nordic without much effort. I couldn't see a 454 pulling your Cig anywhere near as well as a diesel. If you just tow it around the east end, the 454 should be ok, but if you are going to travel with it, I'd go diesel for sure. The diesel can be a pain in the butt sometimes looking for a gas station that sells it, but you just have to pay a little more attention to filling up when you can and not letting the tank get too low. That way you aren't hunting for diesel with 3 gallons in the tank I'd get the diesel if I had it to do over again. One other thing...any reason you aren't going with a single wheel vehicle? I'm sure my 350 would pull that Cafe just fine, duallys can be a tight fit sometimes. Steve
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Old 01-07-2003, 02:21 PM
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I have a '93 Chevy 3500 CC 4x4, pre vortec 454, 4.10 gears. It has 103k on it. I've put about 25k of that on it. Only problem I've had is that the electric fuel pump in the tank went out.

Mileage is 8-9 around town, 10.5-12 on the highway, and 6.5-7 towing(75mph) 7000lbs.

I think the newer vortecs are a little better on mileage and power.
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Old 01-07-2003, 02:28 PM
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I have a 2000 k3500 ext. cab with the 454 - I bought it as a work truck, but also to trailer the boats. The gas mileage is lousy - 10-12 mpg. However, I carry alot of weight in tools and material all the time. Hell, the first thing I did when I brought it home was pull the back seat out so I had room for tools.
The only problem I've had was in the exhaust - I had a CAT collapse (there are two on this - one for each side of the motor). GM replaced the entire exhaust system under warranty. I've been considering getting rid of it because I don't need that much truck anymore.
BTW - It's White
e-mail me if you have anyother questions about the truck.
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Good luck in your search - maybe I'll sell ya mine.

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Old 01-07-2003, 02:34 PM
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If your main reason for buying the dually is to pull the Cafe you might be buying too much truck. I've used 3/4 ton Suburbans, 4x4, 454, for years to pull a Top Gun. No problems at all, and you have the versatility of the Suburban.
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Old 01-07-2003, 02:59 PM
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I have a 1994 K3500 Dually with the 6.5 turbodiesel. I have never had any big issues with it and the truck has 90,000 miles on it.

There are a couple of week areas on the truck. The front axle 4WD actuator was known to have problems. No big deal, I replaced mine in literally 5 minutes. About $60 part from Napa.

The 6.5 TD fuel pump has been known to have problems. I had mine replaced under warranty at 75,000 miles. Chevy has extended the warranty on this part to something like 10 years or 150,000 miles??? They know it was a problem and raised the warranty to cover it. Some people have never gone through a pump, others have gone through 5 or 6. Check the truck's fuel pump history.

I tow 18,000 pounds with mine. The performance is not quick, but I don't know how many trucks would be quick with that weight. It is extremely stable towing that weight.

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Old 01-07-2003, 03:08 PM
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Thanks for all the info so far...

This place is great...anyway, I've always wanted a dually, cause I think they're cool... I know...stupid reason, but I want something different...it will not be my daily driver...pretty much weekends and I'd like to tow the boat to Chicago and Florida in the winter...

I also don't think one can have "too much truck..."

The boat sits on a gooseneck trailer, so Suburban type vehicles are out...

I'm stuck on bowties, so Fords and Dodges are out...anyone got any more suggestion...any deals out there?

BTW, if the newer 454s and pre-DuraMax diesels get the same gas mileage, I think I'll opt for the 454...any thoughts???
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Old 01-07-2003, 03:26 PM
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I feel like I can consider myself an expert on this subject. First off, I currently own a F250 crew cab with a Powerstroke. I love this truck and consider it to be the best of all that I`ve owned, and I am a Chevy man! You said Fords are out, so OK, let me give you my opinions on the Chevys:
If you are going to buy a GM Diesel, go with the DuraMax. Please stay away from the 6.5 TurboDiesel. I know of a few guys that love them, but I`ve had nothing but heartache from them. I replaced my last one with a 454 and never regretted it. As far as 454`s are concerned, try to find a Vortec 454 (`96-up ). These have excellent power and you should see about 11-12 mpg running empty.
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