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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everyone, I am new to this site and really need some objective help. After much research, and thought, I bought a 2500HD D-max 4WD Ext. Cab. Before I purchased, my choices were the Z71 and the D-max. My criteria were: 1) good off-road ability, 2) good daily driver, and 3) respectable fuel economy. I spoke with GM product specialists (5 or 6 times) about ground clearance, curb weight, tires, tire options, fuel economy, etc., and every time GM told me the D-max had better clearance. Granted, it weighs more than the Z71, but with 50% more torque, they (GM) told me not to worry about off-road ability, especially if I went to a bigger, more aggressive tread. I then went to my dealer and we configured both trucks on their system. Again, the dealer's computers agreed with GM about the clearance (the system said 10.6" of minimum clearance). The dealer had the two trucks, but the 2500HD on their lot was a 6.0L (gas burner) with the MT1 trans. It sure looked a lot higher than the Z71 and GM (again) told me the D-max had the same specs. as the 6.0. Well, when I took delivery of the vehicle, it looked fine so I drove it to my tire guy the next Saturday. You can imagine how stunned I was to learn that not only did my new truck not have better clearance (actual 7.4", not the 10.6" I was repeatedly told), but I couldn't modify the tires. If I did, I would void several warranties. Man, I was hot. I called my dealer back the next Monday, and told them the facts. They re-configured the 2500HD D-max on their system and it still claimed my truck had the highest clearance. (By the way, the dealer has been great to me. The sales manager printed out the specs., signed and dated it, and put it in my file as evidence.) Obviously, I don't drive in 4WD every day, but when I need one, I need a good one. I duck and goose hunt in Arkansas and West Tenn. where mud and ruts are the main obstacle. I know the truck's torque will sled me along, but I'm not crazy about rubbing the belly of the frame and differential all the time.

Now, my question: Have any of you (or anyone you know) taken a D-max off-road? If so, please tell me where and how it performed. What can be done (within reason) to the truck (i.e., tires, turn the torsion bars, etc.) to get better clearance? I have begun the process to have GM buy my truck back based on misleading statements by them. After all, my buying decision was based on the info. GM gave me. If I do have GM buy it back, where do I go from here? I need a full sized truck and would like to stay with a diesel. I've thought of getting a Ford F250 PSD (I know, I know) since it has solid axles and much better clearance. (Between the axles anyway.) I have not driven my truck since I bought it (April 25, '01) and won't until I get some answers from GM. Any help/advice you can give would be appreciated.

Feel free to ask me questions. Thanks.

Greg Lees

 

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Personally, I would rather have the 2500HD anyday before a 1500Z71 just for the simple fact that the drive train is 2x's stronger than the 1/tons and weather it has the Dmax or the 8.1L. Now as far as the gound clearance goes...Of course the 3/4ton HD's are going to have less Diff clearance than the 1/tons because they have the 14BoltFF that is a huge axle compared to the little 10Bolt on the 1500's. As for ride height of the trucks...The HD's are almost 2" higher than the 1500's because they had to make room for the big Allison trany.

Now to me that 2" less clearance is well worth the added sheer power and torque of the diesel and also when the warantee is up you could slap on some huge meats onto that truck without any problems. Im not sure how the warantee is that you have but I know when I had my 99Z71 I was alowed to upgrade 2 tire sizes with out voiding the warantee so I went with a 285/75R16's and they never said I thing other than "Damn, those tires look great on that truck!!!!"

Good luck with the truck...I would keep it!!!

RYan

93 GMC Yukon
Chevy SuperStock 4x4 Truck Puller
Great Lakes Truck & Tractor Pulling Association
http://www.greatlakespull.com
 

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correct me if I am wrong but, simply adding larger tires will not necessarily void the warranty. (Not entirely that is) for example if your water pump went out the dealer cant say "those tires caused it, so your warranty is void". If the dealer were to say such a thing you could then take it up with a factory rep. The only thing that would be voided are those parts that are directly affected by the addition of the modifications. (like ball joints, alignment, etc.)

For example, I once had a Jeep Wrangler with 4" lift and 31" mudders, while wheelin, the trans decided it no longer wanted to live. I had it towed nearly 100 miles to the dealer. They saw the mud all over it and tried to deny the warranty stating that because the jeep was used off-road that it would not be covered. I contacted a factory rep, and stated to him that I had bought the Jeep mainly because of its heavily advertised off-road prowess, and now when I use it off-road and it breaks you are not going to stand by it? It took awhile but they ultimately covered it and even paid the tow fee!

1995 K1500 3"Suspension 3" Body Lifts 35x12.5x15's pro comp MT's on 15x8 5.7L
 

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I heard a story similar to that...them not wanting to cover a truck used off road...the guy just pointed to the Z71 Off-Road sticker and they covered...I realize a 2500HD isn't a Z71 though.

90K5
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ryan, thanks for your reply. My truck is actually only about 1/2 inch lower than the Z71 (except the rear diff.), due to the Z71 having larger stock tires. If I went to a 255/R85/16 (33.05" vs. 30.5" now), how much could I turn the torsion bars and how much total increase could I expect? (The height under the front skid plate is about 8.8 inches.) Any other tire options? Just don't want to get too wide for fear of rubbing and throwing mud all over the truck.

 

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Ok, Im sort of wondering here about this all because I know guys and was just looking at brand new 2001 HDs last weekend and every single one of them were at least 2" higher than the Z71's or other 1/2tons. 2" hight I mean that instead of it being 36" from the ground to the top of the fender it was 38". If I were you I would leave the T-bars alone, touching them could actually lead to some warrante problems dealing with the susp and alighment. As for tires, go with some 285/75R16's. The best ones out there are the BFG MT's or the AT's and either will give you truck a great stance.

Here is the best web-site on the net that deals with the HD's and the Dmax and is pretty much just like Off-road.com here and there are alot of really cool pics of some of the members new HD's and Dmax's.http://www.62-65-dieselpage.com/2001.htm

Again...goodluck. Ryan

93 GMC Yukon
Chevy SuperStock 4x4 Truck Puller
Great Lakes Truck & Tractor Pulling Association
http://www.greatlakespull.com
 

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as a safe bet 1" adjusment on the T-bars. some get away with 1.5" and enver have problems, but i and many others say that one inch is allowable.
---PEacock

If it hasn't broken, let your girlfriend drive it...it'll break real quick
 

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yeah, so do I...USUALLY!!!!! This is a brand new truck with almost 0 miles on it and it really isn't great to start playing with moving parts from a warantee view. Larger tires are with in reason and won't be a problem if you go with 285's. Most trucks come stock with 265's anyway and the 285's are only one size bigger.

All I can say is if you start messing with stuff thats when you start getting problems from GM. Adding a set of tires though won't hurt anything (within reasong) if you add some 36" Swampers then yeah...your in trouble/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif

Ryan

93 GMC Yukon
Chevy SuperStock 4x4 Truck Puller
Great Lakes Truck & Tractor Pulling Association
http://www.greatlakespull.com
 

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I forget what the law is, but there is a law that says no modifications if properly installed will void a warranty.
The way that was explained to me is that if the modification is installed by someone who knows what they are doing, I would say a shop is a safe bet, you warranty can not be voided simply because the aftermarket part is there. Now, if the aftermarket part is the specific cause of something breaking, then don't expect the warranty to cover it. I think you should find this law and throw it into your dealer's face. I know lots of people with trucks that are brand new and still VERY under warranty that have 6" lifts and 35" tires on them. Dealers do warranty work all the time.

My advice would be to fit some 285/75R16 (33x11.25R16) tires to the stock rims. They fit without any rubbing to the best of my knowledge. No one has told me otherwise so far. My personal favorites are the Cooper Discovorer STT mud tires. Will last just as long as the BFG's, cost less, and do you really need the 3 ply sidewalls that BFG charges you so much for? I don't. You could crank the torsion bars up an inch, but like u4ia4 said, I wouldn't go any higher. Also, like RyanB said, you probably wouldn't need to since the tires will already fit and it would be one more thing to argue with your dealer over.

Can you talk to another dealer about this? If I'm not mistaken, your warranty is good at any other GMC (Chevy, I forget which you said) dealer. Your warranty is with GM, not that specific dealer. Heck, you can even get the work done at other GM brand dealers, but they will complain some.

1992 Blazer Sport, 350 TBI, 3" Flowmaster 40 DF, 4L60, K&N, Rancho 2.5" lift, 285/75R16's on 16x8 Bajas /wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Warrenties are a funny thing.The dealer can not legally refuse to do warrenty work that was not related to the modified item.Just like above.If something wears out that is not linked in one form or another to the tires,then they have to do the work.They can however refuse to do work on things like brakes,rearend,tranny,And any operating system that would be affected by the change in tire size.If you keep the factory size this shouldn't void a dam thing.A friend of mine simply removed the factery wheels and tires and put on new ones.whenever he takes the truck in he puts the originals back on.

www.Kansasfourwheeling.8m.com
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ryan, et. al., thanks for the advice. If I understand correctly, here's what I can do. If I go to a 33" tire (255 or 285), I have to compare the radius of the stock tire and rim to the radius of the new tire and stock rim. So, going to the taller tire, I'll get about 1.25" of lift. If I leave the torsion bars alone, I'll have about 10" of clearance under the oil pan, around 10.7" under the transfer case skid plate, and about 8.7" of clearance under the rear axle. If I turn the torsion bars 1", I'll have about 11" of clearance in front, around 11.5" at the transfer case, and no change at the rear axle. My question remains: is that enough height betterment to keep the truck's belly out of the mud? As I mentioned in my original post, GM assured me I had 10.6" of clearance stock, so any tire change or torsion turning would certainly keep me in the clear. Now, I'm not so sure... Am I missing something?? Ugh!

 

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Well that whouldn't give you enough clearance too go though a 4 foor mud pit/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif, But 1 inch can be the diffenance between calling for a pull or making it though on your own.

A Man a Dog and a Pickup it's a wondurful thing(sometimes)/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif
 

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Yeah, 1" isn't going to give you much more clearence but like said above sometimes that 1" is all thats needed. But like I said above I would just leave the T-bars alone becausee those tires will fit great anyway. As far as the BFG vs's the Coopers...Sure the Coopers wear just as long as the BFG's but the extra side wall strenght is well worth it on your 3/4ton that is going to probably be used hard and carry some heavy loads.

Ryan

93 GMC Yukon
Chevy SuperStock 4x4 Truck Puller
Great Lakes Truck & Tractor Pulling Association
http://www.greatlakespull.com
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
the only thing ive heard is ya there great off road but alittle stiff quote turn your inside to jelly but outperformed most vehicals a buddy of mine ordered one not suppose to get here till june 2500hd 6.6 6speed ext cab so im sure it will gwt tested 4wheeloffroad has an article on there web site about the duramax artical is 2001 truck of the year contest might shed some light keep us informed on how its doeing .
73 k5 blazer 350 th350 33's
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
AJM- My little brother just bought a k&n for his ford today and I was reading the box and something caught my eye! It talks about warrantys./wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif Here is what it says:

Vehicle Warranty

K&N Filtercharger will not void your factory warranty. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act passed in 1982 makes it illegal for a manufacturer to void a new vehicle warranty if the consumer uses non-OEM filters unless that manufacturer provides the filters free of charge. If the manufacturer does not provide air filters free of charge they cannot void the vehicle's warranty simply because you have installed an aftermarket air filter.

Your were right about the law/act. The wording on the box just talks filters though. I think I'm gonna check into this and see if it affects all aftermarket products. Heck, now that I think about it the ford dealership told my brother that he could add aftermarket stuff to a leased vehicle. He was thinking of leasing a super duty and asked them that like two weeks ago. they said that's no problem. Man all this really makes me wonder. Sure the dealer would say fine on a leased one cause they might get it back with it all if you don't take the option to buy or can take the stuff off. I'm gonna try an check this out.

Scott

 

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why don't you stop all this nonsense and get a FORD? I would buy a new set of good looking wheels and have some 33x12.5 or equivalent mounted on them. When you DO break something (it IS a chevy) then just put your factory wheels and tires back on and haul it to the dealership. Unless they can PROVE that you had the 33's on there then they couldn't refuse service. I'm not sure about chevy but you can put 33's under the new superduties without any lift, and 35's with very minimal lift. Have you considered getting a winch? I have found that momentum and a winch go a LONG way in arkansas, though I opted for 35's instead of a winch, and I have yet to get stuck (knock on wood).


It's a multi-purpose passenger vehicle and it eats SUVs for breakfast...get it straight!

Muddybronco
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i know its kinda OT but i had to share about the warranties: i know a kid in the next town over that got a brand new toyota trd and brought it out to what we call the "power line trail" and its NASTY mud with huge holes throughout. anyways - he tore into it and ended up blowing his motor and destroying the front suspension. he brings it back to the dealer on a flatbed and wants warranty work done. they said no way and his dad (a lawyer) pulls out a mag add of a yota jumping a huge muddy hill and threatened all kinds of crap about false advertising and they ended up giving him a brand new truck no extra charges!! i thought that was funny

Mike ~
* Earnhardt Forever *

89 Chevy K1500 - 350TBI/700R4/NP241 - 3" lift - 33's
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
All the power in world won't get you through ruts and mud if the frame and axles are dragging the ground. If you were mostly worried about off-road performance is a basically stock truck, I would have recommended a 1500 series truck (not necessarily a Z-71 as this package alone adds little to none actual off-road ability). The reason would be lighter weight and more ground clearance (assuming the same size tires). The big heavy duty axles are great for strength, but they are like boat anchors off-road if you have less than 35" tires.
But still, you are going to have to put slightly larger, more aggresive tires on any stock vehicle to get respectable performance in the mud.
Concerning the Ford, even though the body sits up much higher the axles are still just as low, and they will be what will get hung up first in the ruts.

6.2Blazer
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
6.2 Blazer, I actually ordered a Z71 before I began to rethink the whole process. As I mentioned at the beginning of my orignial post, I consulted GM extensively, and it was GM that gave me all of the specs. regarding ground clearance, tires, and off-road ability. I changed my order on the recommendations of GM and the dealer's computer system, only to learn later of their (GM's) gross errors. I met with the dealership yesterday to inquire about a buy back. They could not believe my story and are working very hard to make this right. I'll post again once I get an answer.

 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, got the news from my dealer. GM told me to go jump in the lake. No big surprise. I got the same response from the "Product Specialists" @ GM I talked to as well as the Customer Service (mutually exclusive words, I'm sure) department. It stuns me that I research my purchase to the extent I did, use GM's data, configure the trucks at the dealer, even have it in writing, and they basically say, "OK we gave you bad information, sue us, we're GM." The general manager of the dealership talked with me and said she reminded GM that I used its data and talked on recorded lines to them, and GM said it was not their problem. Amazing. Well, anybody want to buy a nice street truck? I hear it really hugs the road....



 
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