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Baby Duramax / Tahoe / Yukon


jjackkrash

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I'd be interested if I were in the market today.  But I would have to go with a Yukon.  Often, new designs grow on me, but I still really dislike the front end design of the current Chevy trucks.  That design is a hard pass for me, regardless of what is under the hood.

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Until Costco starts selling diesel, I think I'm going to stick with gassers.  My Costco fuel stop is right off the highway between my house and the lake, and the two pumps are spaced perfectly for one to go in the truck, one in the boat.  Seems trivial, but it's super convenient only stopping once, and often times, I'm in a hurry to get home to my office to start the work day on the way back from the lake.  Love the diesel concept though.

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I think it will be VERY interesting to see the take rate on this engine in the SUV.  Honestly, I was a little underwhelmed with the towing MPG.  The one time I used my Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel to tow my LSV any distance, the route on this test was part of my path (I went all the way out to Sterling, which is about 100 miles further east).  Going out, my GC returned 17 MPG hand calculated with a favorable wind.  Coming home was 14 MPG going into a slight head wind.

This year, at least around me, diesel has run about the same price as gasoline.  Most years, it seems to be at least $0.20/gallon more.  I'm not sure there is a huge savings in cost per mile of a diesel vs gasser in this application.  Add into that the fact that todays diesels don't always like "grocery getter duty" (like the short trips of a typical family hauler), the reliability here could be suspect.

To me, you almost have to be somewhat of an enthusiast to really want the diesel - someone who appreciates a flat torque curve, not a lot of shifting, low RPMs, to choose this engine over the standard offering.  Also wonder if GM's strategy of limiting this engine to the top trim levels is a wise one.

Time will tell.

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9 hours ago, RyanB said:

To me, you almost have to be somewhat of an enthusiast to really want the diesel - someone who appreciates a flat torque curve, not a lot of shifting, low RPMs, to choose this engine over the standard offering.  

Totally agree.  What's the advantage?  More expensive to buy, more expensive to fuel, more expensive to maintain.  The break-even on any mileage gain is WAY out there.

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Sam for us. Diesel just did not pay off. I will say I am not talking about the new vehicles. We looked very hard at A diesel truck when we were running the racing circuit. In the end we would have to put about 300,000 miles to return our overall cost. But we would also needed to use the vehicle for daily use also. We didn't want more vehicles for every day use. And living in Michigan and our salted roads the vehicle I don,t see getting that kind of miles before it would have been consumed from rust. I know new vehicles are much better all around but then do I want the same vehicle for the time to get some payback?  Just don't see a diesel in my life. Gas vehicles do the job for me.

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3 hours ago, shawndoggy said:

Totally agree.  What's the advantage?  More expensive to buy, more expensive to fuel, more expensive to maintain.  The break-even on any mileage gain is WAY out there.

The 3.0l diesel is a $995 upcharge over the 5.3l and $2k cheaper than the 6.2L.  The 6.2L takes premium.  My sister is getting over 30 mph running down the highway empty on her truck.   We get free oil changes for life at the dealership we use.  DEF is cheap. 

I personally don't worry all that much on how the engine pencils over time and just pick the best engine for the application.  If you ignore costs, I'd take the diesel over the 5.3l without blinking.  It is a closer call on the 6.2L, which has a lot of HP, but I'd still take the 3.0l over the 6.2l in a truck or SUV unless I wanted more of a hot rod than a hauler.  The 3.0l has piles of torque and is very smooth and quiet running down the road.  I'm one of those guys who thinks the diesel power curve is where it is at for trucks and haulers.  

Edited by jjackkrash
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We got the new Tahoe.  What a cleaner ride that feels so much more refined than the 2017 Yukon we came from.  I just post as we are really happy with it.  We don't tow.

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20 hours ago, UWSkier said:

Until Costco starts selling diesel, I think I'm going to stick with gassers.  My Costco fuel stop is right off the highway between my house and the lake, and the two pumps are spaced perfectly for one to go in the truck, one in the boat.  Seems trivial, but it's super convenient only stopping once, and often times, I'm in a hurry to get home to my office to start the work day on the way back from the lake.  Love the diesel concept though.

Yea, they sell diesel in select locations.  Top Tier Diesel, too.  

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11 hours ago, RyanB said:

 Honestly, I was a little underwhelmed with the towing MPG.  The one time I used my Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel to tow my LSV any distance, the route on this test was part of my path (I went all the way out to Sterling, which is about 100 miles further east).  

At least on the head-to-head with a Ram truck the Duramax got better milage on TFLT:

 

 

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2 hours ago, jjackkrash said:

It is a closer call on the 6.2L, which has a lot of HP, but I'd still take the 3.0l over the 6.2l in a truck or SUV unless I wanted more of a hot rod than a hauler.

The 6.2 would have a significant advantage towing - at least in regard to overall power.  The two are equal in torque, but the 6.2 has a HUGE advantage in HP.

The only advantage the 3.0 has is MPG (which at least solo will be significant, not convinced on the towing MPG), and possibly a flatter torque curve, but I haven't looked that closely into it.  The fact that the 6.2 needs premium will give the diesel the advantage in operating costs.  And as a long hauler, the 3.0 would be great - what, 700 miles between fill ups?

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2 hours ago, jjackkrash said:

At least on the head-to-head with a Ram truck the Duramax got better milage on TFLT:

 

 

Haven’t watched that one yet but will at some time. What did they say the difference was?

 

if you look at fuelly, over 300,000 plus miles, they are equal in MPG. 
 

The other huge disadvantage for the GM is the fact that they have a timing belt that is scheduled for replacement at 150,000 miles. And I’ve read that requires the motor to be pulled for service. May not matter to most as they don’t keep the truck that long. But it will have a negative effect on resale. 
 

 

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Edited by RyanB
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5 minutes ago, RyanB said:

The 6.2 would have a significant advantage towing - at least in regard to overall power.  The two are equal in torque, but the 6.2 has a HUGE advantage in HP.

The only advantage the 3.0 has is MPG (which at least solo will be significant, not convinced on the towing MPG), and possibly a flatter torque curve, but I haven't looked that closely into it.  The fact that the 6.2 needs premium will give the diesel the advantage in operating costs.  And as a long hauler, the 3.0 would be great - what, 700 miles between fill ups?

The 6.2l definitely has a lot more HP, and is rated to tow more, but the HP comes in the higher RPM range and the curve on the 3.0l is fantastic.  I just like the way the 3.0l drives better.  But the 6.2l is a great gas engine, no doubt.   

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3 minutes ago, RyanB said:

Haven’t watched that one yet but will at some time. What did they say the difference was?

About 1 MPG difference towing, approx. 11 versus 12.  

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/13/2020 at 1:06 PM, RyanB said:

The 6.2 would have a significant advantage towing - at least in regard to overall power.  The two are equal in torque, but the 6.2 has a HUGE advantage in HP.

The only advantage the 3.0 has is MPG (which at least solo will be significant, not convinced on the towing MPG), and possibly a flatter torque curve, but I haven't looked that closely into it.  The fact that the 6.2 needs premium will give the diesel the advantage in operating costs.  And as a long hauler, the 3.0 would be great - what, 700 miles between fill ups?

This is completely false. I towed last summer regularly with a 6.2 and a 3.0. My good friend owns a Chevy store and I am in the business as well. Hands down 100% the mini max wins in every aspect. Torque. MPG. Rpm required to maintain speed etc. I towed my Nautique 8000 miles this summer with a Suburban 6.2 and a 3.0 Silverado. Through the hills of WV and PA there’s no question. Towed my 23LSV from Michigan to PA in December with the 3.0. Added a pedal commander. I’m getting 2 MPG better as compared to the 6.2 towing. 

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  • 2 months later...

The big advantage of the Diesel is you can get it in the lower cost trim models.  The 6.2 is only available in the Tahoe High Country or Yukon Denali.  Same torque as the 6.2, torque is what moves the load. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just saw this thread (so I guess ignore my other one on the topic.) But would love and additional opnions for those who have some time behind the wheel of the Duramax. Everyday livability, and regrets, etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/24/2021 at 2:50 PM, gregtay said:

Just saw this thread (so I guess ignore my other one on the topic.) But would love and additional opnions for those who have some time behind the wheel of the Duramax. Everyday livability, and regrets, etc.

@jjackkrash I’ll tack onto Greg’s question here. Have you researched what the service requirements are compared to the gas engines? I’m dipping my toe into the market and the baby max is definitely intriguing. I drive all highway on me commute and don’t tow over high elevations. (Michigan)

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jjackkrash
7 hours ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

@jjackkrash I’ll tack onto Greg’s question here. Have you researched what the service requirements are compared to the gas engines? I’m dipping my toe into the market and the baby max is definitely intriguing. I drive all highway on me commute and don’t tow over high elevations. (Michigan)

No, not really.  I have had an HD diesel for my daily since 2012 and where I get my trucks I get oil changes for life from my dealer.  I flip them usually before 50k or three years ish.  I think they need fuel filters around 25k plus DEF every once in a while and those are the only extras I recall paying for as far as service.  Fuel filter change is a couple hundred at the dealer.  I doubt the 1/2 tons are much different.    Diesels do love highway miles, though.  As long as you bring them up to temp and then drive them for  bit so they can regen when needed I think you are good to go.  

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

@jjackkrash I’ll tack onto Greg’s question here. Have you researched what the service requirements are compared to the gas engines? I’m dipping my toe into the market and the baby max is definitely intriguing. I drive all highway on me commute and don’t tow over high elevations. (Michigan)

I can't speak to the Baby Dmax but I do have a 2017 3500HD Dmax and I do track maintenance very closely on this rig and do it myself.  Aside from DEF, Allison trans pan spin on filter & fuel filter it's no different than any other vehicle and probably comparable to the 3.0.

10 qts of oil - I buy Mobil Delvac Semi-synthetic in 2.5 gallon jugs with Mobil 1 filter from Wally World for $42 total.  Semi is rated for 7500 miles while full synthetic will yield 10K intervals.  

Allison trans spin on filter $14 and recommended every other oil change or 15k

Fuel Filter AC Delco OEM $34 and recommended every 22,500

DEF Fluid - I really track this closely and over the 1.5 years I've owned this truck I average right at 1 gal per 1K miles but I'm towing 80% of that time as this isn't my daily driver.  2.5 gallons of Supertech at Wally World is $7.

Hope this helps.

Edited by wedge88
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/14/2021 at 1:49 PM, wedge88 said:

I can't speak to the Baby Dmax but I do have a 2017 3500HD Dmax and I do track maintenance very closely on this rig and do it myself.  Aside from DEF, Allison trans pan spin on filter & fuel filter it's no different than any other vehicle and probably comparable to the 3.0.

10 qts of oil - I buy Mobil Delvac Semi-synthetic in 2.5 gallon jugs with Mobil 1 filter from Wally World for $42 total.  Semi is rated for 7500 miles while full synthetic will yield 10K intervals.  

Allison trans spin on filter $14 and recommended every other oil change or 15k

Fuel Filter AC Delco OEM $34 and recommended every 22,500

DEF Fluid - I really track this closely and over the 1.5 years I've owned this truck I average right at 1 gal per 1K miles but I'm towing 80% of that time as this isn't my daily driver.  2.5 gallons of Supertech at Wally World is $7.

Hope this helps.

Always wonder why people don’t use the full synthetic. I used to average between 80,000 to 100,000 rough, hard miles a year on my diesel trucks and currently average 50 to 60k a year and am not a brand loyalists but I use what gets the job done the best and longest problem free. I have had and currently have one of each of the big three in 3/4tons and also a 4500 Duramax. I have always used the mobile delvac1 synthetic 5w40 in all my diesels with the exception of the old 7.3 Power stroke. Didn’t matter which oil you ran in it, it would contaminated the oil at 5000 Miles and run bad as the oil charged injectors wouldn’t fire correctly as oil lost viscosity. Didn’t help the high pressure oil pump was beating the oil to death also.  Anyway. I get well over 300 to 500k Miles and usually sale the trucks with virtually no blow by changing the oil 15k to 20k Miles. 
Have since changed to delvac 5w30 synthetic. 
 

also run the mobile filters guaranteed for 20,000 Miles. And run them on all my gas burners as well and change those at 15k intervals. https://www.mobil.com/en/lubricants/for-businesses/heavy-duty-lubricants/products/mobil-delvac-1-advanced-synthetic-5w-30

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1 hour ago, spikew919 said:

Always wonder why people don’t use the full synthetic. I used to average between 80,000 to 100,000 rough, hard miles a year on my diesel trucks and currently average 50 to 60k a year and am not a brand loyalists but I use what gets the job done the best and longest problem free. I have had and currently have one of each of the big three in 3/4tons and also a 4500 Duramax. I have always used the mobile delvac1 synthetic 5w40 in all my diesels with the exception of the old 7.3 Power stroke. Didn’t matter which oil you ran in it, it would contaminated the oil at 5000 Miles and run bad as the oil charged injectors wouldn’t fire correctly as oil lost viscosity. Didn’t help the high pressure oil pump was beating the oil to death also.  Anyway. I get well over 300 to 500k Miles and usually sale the trucks with virtually no blow by changing the oil 15k to 20k Miles. 
Have since changed to delvac 5w30 synthetic. 
 

also run the mobile filters guaranteed for 20,000 Miles. And run them on all my gas burners as well and change those at 15k intervals. https://www.mobil.com/en/lubricants/for-businesses/heavy-duty-lubricants/products/mobil-delvac-1-advanced-synthetic-5w-30

For one, it's 3x the cost for an additional 2500 miles.  Second, it's what my manual calls for and Third, I have ran "semi's" in all my fleet and personal vehicles (20+) vehicles and all have seen 200k+ with a half dozen in the 300-400k range and never had an issue related to oil.    I don't disagree that synthetic might be better but why change what works just because...

The 7500 interval makes more sense because Allison filter is called to change at 15k and fuel filter is 22,500 so every other oil change, I change the spin on and every 3rd I change the fuel filter.   No doubt I could stretch all those intervals but I prefer to follow the manual and keep some money in my pocket.

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4 hours ago, wedge88 said:

For one, it's 3x the cost for an additional 2500 miles.  Second, it's what my manual calls for and Third, I have ran "semi's" in all my fleet and personal vehicles (20+) vehicles and all have seen 200k+ with a half dozen in the 300-400k range and never had an issue related to oil.    I don't disagree that synthetic might be better but why change what works just because...

The 7500 interval makes more sense because Allison filter is called to change at 15k and fuel filter is 22,500 so every other oil change, I change the spin on and every 3rd I change the fuel filter.   No doubt I could stretch all those intervals but I prefer to follow the manual and keep some money in my pocket.

So you change at 7500 and I go an additional 2500 mile to get to 15,000 to 20,000 before I change. Well that makes sense. 🤔 

 

something about that math doesn’t compute.  
 

but to each their own.  

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Edited by spikew919
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