Join Date: Sep 2003
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Re: Info on Duramax
Well, I can tell you I have searched all over central Michigan for a dealership that has an older D-Max in their used vehicles section, and I can't find anyone that does. I would have to say just from my own research that people that buy them are definately keeping them. They are overall very reliable, but (just like Ford and Dodge) there are some factory issues that haven't all been worked out yet. Its hard to base your purchase on reviews you have read online either... you have to remember, most people that are trying to find a place to review their vehicle are wanting to complain about something. A lot of satisfied customers dont think to get on and put up a good review because its just another vehicle to them.
The big 3's diesel lineup the last few years has been a very close race. The specs show the HP and torque ratings are getting very close to identical. I would put it to you this way, and dont you Chevy people bash me for this yet...
Ford has the best rounded out diesel in the lineup. Its torque is plenty to get a huge load moved, and at the same time when its empty, you can run against some of the small cars with V8's in a race.
Chevy built their diesel with higher RPM's in mind. Don't ask me why you would want to rev your diesel to over 3,000 all the time... but this did give them the speed advantage - at least without a load. I have watched many stock Ford vs. Chevy diesel truck races and the Chevy always wins. Who buys a diesel pickup to race though??
Dodge, well, you can ask Willys about that one. They have THE most powerful diesel engine out of all three hands down. Most people dont like the surrounding package that comes with it though (been a while since I have seen a good transmission come out of a Chrysler plant). Its the one vehicle I havent test driven yet. Its on my agenda however, as I want a well rounded opinion of all three before I buy one.
I suppose gas mileage is kind of a moot point here as you are obviously not buying a truck to rival a hybrid car. My buddy has a 2001 Ford F-350 7.3L SRW CC pickup. I picked him up a Hypertech programmer for it, about a year ago. His best registered gas mileage without a load has been 28 MPG. Which believe me is excellent for a big truck like that. He pulls a 40 foot enclosed trailer with it regularly and gets 19 at the worst.
About the odd problems with these trucks, I wouldn't worry a whole lot about it. As I said, word of mouth tends to carry bad things around much faster than the good. I worked at a GM Parts dealer, and I can assure you there aren't as many problems as you would think. I would consider a Duramax first on my list right now, but thats just me. Get in and drive a few and then make your decision based on what you have found. I wish you luck and sorry for such a long-winded post!