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Old 09-14-2018, 10:10 AM   #11
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I also leave the exhaust brake engaged most of the time. On some models (especially VGT type turbochargers) you need to engage the engine brake frequently or the soot will bind it up over time (100,000miles). This was a common problem with the non-DEF Cummins. Wear and tear. Yes, the transmission is stressed more. On long downhills and heavily loaded I watch my trans temp (the torque converter generates a lot of heat). Only saw the temps rise once (10 miles of 6%).

Maintenance is more expensive with a diesel. Just look at how much oil they hold.

The cooldown part is important. The turbos get extremely hot when under load so you want to let it cool down a bit before shutting down (which stops oil flow to the turbo bearings). Turbos spin a very high RPM (up to 100,000 rpm) and need good oil flow. The owners manual will have a chart that shows cool down time for various conditions. When towing I usually do not shut the engine off unless I am stopping for more than 15 min. Yes, when fueling I leave the engine running. Stopping at a rest area we take turns and the engine runs.

I second the block heater for cold weather. Most wear takes place when starting (cold oil). Keeping it warmed is good insurance.

Tow/haul mode depends on the trailer/load. Our 7000lb trailer I never used it and rarely had to manually select gears. The 11,000lb trailer I engaged it all the time and on some hills would manually select the gear.

Have fun with the rig. Towing with the diesel is almost relaxing.

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Old 09-14-2018, 11:21 AM   #12
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Congrats on your purchase! You are probably already loving what a diesel brings to towing capability.

I have the truck in my sig. The only thing I will add is that I bought the truck new and now am at 150k miles. The truck is stock except for Firestone Ride Rite Air Bags. Routine maintenance as said is key. I follow the DIC recommendations for oil change and fuel filter changes. When they are at 25% of life remaining I do the changes. In my opinion anything sooner is a bit of overkill and expense. But then clean oil and filters never hurt anything. (Guess I put my faith in the Isuzu and Chevy engineers) The rest of the maintenance needs I follow the owners manual recommendations. All this and the engine does not burn any noticeable crankcase oil.

About every 2 years I take the shroud off of the cooling stack/fan and give the radiator, tranny cooler, etc. a very good cleaning. It's amazing how many bugs and debris can accumulate.

I have had to replace glow plugs. But they are like replacing spark plugs if you are Houdini-like and can get into obstructed places.

I would recommend you visit dieselplace.com as I have learned a lot from the Duramax forum there.

Best wishes and happy and safe travels!


'06 2500 Silverado 4X4, Duramax LBZ Diesel, Firestone air bags
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Seann45 View Post
Change your fuel filter every time you change your oil.. injectors are expensive to replace.
That's a bit extreme. Water is the killer for the fuel system more so than dirt. I change the fuel filter every other oil change. My current Dmax has a fuel filter life count and it works out to every 3rd oil change (I stick to every other)
'17 Chev 3500HD CC SB SRW DMax, '14 Jayco 361REQS
640w thru MPPT into 448ah AGM feeding 2kw PSW
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:37 PM   #14
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My son's 05 DMax is getting close to 600,000km. Think this is the 4th one he's had. We've done head gaskets on it, couple of injectors, wiring issues, etc. They're a solid drivetrain as long as you are nice to them. Going crazy with filter and fluid changes doesn't help anybody but the parts supplier. The DIC is good with the oil change info, as mentioned do it at 10-25% area if you want, my son has run his past on numerous occasions. Watch where you buy fuel, water in the fuel is the bane of diesels. The trans has 2 filters, one outside and one inside. The Alison is a good trans but if you abuse it you'll pay. Stock power won't hurt it. My son & I both use Edge monitors for PID display. I watch EGT's pretty close when towing. I used to use Torque Pro but it was too much trouble and I found that the OBDLink adapter I was using would mess with the truck if I started the app when moving (on my '11 F350). Have fun with the DMax.
'17 Chev 3500HD CC SB SRW DMax, '14 Jayco 361REQS
640w thru MPPT into 448ah AGM feeding 2kw PSW
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:09 PM   #15
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6.7 Powerstroke rules!! Diesel is the way to go for towing. Agreed as to the unnecessary overkill on fuel filter changes. My F250 let's me know when it's getting time. Use high quality filters, synthetic oil and parts, should run forever. When towing, even in rockies, I set my tow/haul mode and cruise control and let the brains of the unit do all the work. Only on occasion do I have to override with manual downshift.
2015 Pinnacle 38 FLSA
2012 F250 Lariet 2WD 6.7 diesel
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:30 PM   #16
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Have a Cummins so I donít know much about your set up but will give a word of caution concerning where to buy fuel on the road. I only buy fuel at reputable truck stops such as Loveíís and the other major stops. Reason #1: I know I can get in and out with my fifth wheel. Reason # 2 : although unfounded, I have been cautioned by career OTR driver friends to steer clear of the smaller stations. According to them the fuel quality isnít as good and you are much more likely to get some water in your fuel system.
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:37 PM   #17
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Hot Tip. If it is bone stock leave it that way. Don't change to a different air filter. Don't mess with success. I have a 2008 2500 HD Diesel Silverado (2nd owner) which I bought in 2010 with 32k miles on it. It had been used to tow a 5th Wheel and that is the primary use for me. Have 71k miles on it and have only had to change out the fuel lines as that yr model had a problem with the crimps. Went to a after market kit and had my dealer install for me.
No other problems. Fall in love with 'Tow Mode", it took me a while to do so but I think that is the way to go. Let the truck do what it was designed to do. Love my truck!!! Happy Trails!!!
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:20 AM   #18
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I have worked at a machine shop for over forty years and have become friends with many hot shot drivers. Probably 95% of them tell me the same thing. If you are towing anything use tow mode and exhaust brake. That being said I had the same questions. I took their advise. My wife and I just finished a 21 day 5885 mile trip from north of Houston to Seattle and back. We have a 09 Dodge Ram 3500 SRW pulling a Pinnacle 36 FBTS. We were loaded for 3 weeks close to 16K pounds. Going up mountains was a piece of cake and with tow mode and exhaust brake the big Dodge held me to 45 mph down several 6% plus downgrades 6 miles long. Made a true believer out of me!!
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:39 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by fdhealy4 View Post
I've never had a diesel engine vehicle before so I'm looking for cautions and suggestions reference the diesel engine. Also after reading the manual I'm not sure what and how the transmission brake works on the Allison. Is there something to do to engage it or is it automatically controlled.
Congrats on the new rig. If you have a later model duramax that has the engine brake then I would recommend using it often. It will save your brakes overtime and really helps out slowing down from highway speeds. If you don't have the engine brake and your referring to transmission downshifting during tow/haul mode- this is okay but nothing compared to the engine brake.

My experience with the diesel is more maintenance. The engine oil turns black within a couple hundred miles of being replaced. There are fuel filters/water separators that need changed.

I have noticed faster tire wear that I think is due to the extra weight on the front axle from the heavier engine. If it's a later model truck and requires DEF, I fill up at truck stops. Typically I put in about 2-3 gallons of DEF every 2-3 months. More frequently when towing heavy. Since the DEF has a shelf life, and depending on how many miles you drive it is feasible for the DEF to sit in that tank for months and months. I add a couple gallons at a time just to keep from sitting on old DEF.

I try to avoid short trips in town where the engine doesn't really get up to temp. If you have a short commute to work or activities frequently it may be better to use the gasser. I like it better when my driving takes me on the highway and the engine gets up to temp quickly and runs for a while.

Just my thoughts. Enjoy!

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