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Old 01-19-2016, 06:23 PM   #1
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Time to buy a Diesel...help?

Decided to buy a used diesel tow vehicle under $25k. Never owned one before and need help dialing in a model year segment to shop within. My current truck is a 2010 GMC 5.3L Ext Cab 4WD standard bed gasser. I am looking for the same setup in a 2500HD diesel (GM product, Ext Cab, 4WD, standard bed). Hearing some discouraging things about the newer diesels and want to have a simpler, reliable one in the stable as a secondary vehicle. My current truck will remain the daily driver. I've heard some good things about the 2007 era trucks of this genre and would like some confirmation before seriously shopping. Current trailer is a 2016 WhiteHawk 27DSRL, and I expect to keep the truck long enough to graduate to a couple's 5th wheel in about 3 years. I jus't can't do a Ford or Dodge, but all other opinions are welcome.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:09 PM   #2
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I went from a 2010 1500 GMC Sierra 5.3 to a 2007 GMC Sierra Classic 2500 Duramax. The Duramax Allison is a great combo. Mine is the LBZ Duramax. No DEF or DPF. But I wouldn't shy away from a 2012 or newer one either. I believe the 2012 and newer got a stronger frame. It's been a great truck.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:35 PM   #3
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I picked up my 2015 Duramax Crewcab a year ago in June. This truck is an absolute powerhouse and is a pleasure to drive as my daily driver, tows my fiver without a problem and pushes snow like its a tank.

Just curious, what did you hear that was bad regarding the newer ones?
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:20 PM   #4
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If your looking for the occasional hauler and can find a 2006 or early 2007 with the LBZ engine, you should be able to stick to your budget. They're popular so don't hesitate to check it out. The negative stuff you hear on the newer DMax is a blend of folks resistant to change and some 1st year problems (2011). Some of us remember when unleaded fuel was mandated - "that crap will ruin your engine"

My 2011 has had sensors replaced under warranty and other than a code or three, been trouble free for 120k miles. It pulls stronger than my LBZ, gets better mileage, carries more and, light bulbs in the steering wheel controls haven't burnt out.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:34 PM   #5
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Picked up a 2010 2500 HD Duramax a couple years ago for $40k with 62000 miles. Great truck and good ride. It is also a crew cab.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:42 PM   #6
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Used are hard to find. I started by looking at used first but found very little available. I ended up getting a new 2015 2500HD Duramax last June and very happy with it. It's a great ride and pulled my Octane T26Y TT loaded through the Colorado Rockies last July like it wasn't even there. You would not believe that Allison transmission and the exhaust braking works great too.I have not seen much for negative comments on the new Duramax so I'll be listening.......
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:53 PM   #7
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I know you can not "do" a Dodge but if you want a tried and true diesel, does not get more reliable than a Cummins TD.

P.S. And this is coming from a dyed in the wool Chevy fan!
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:03 PM   #8
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Not sure how much research you have done, hopefully this is helpful.

In GM Duramax the engine RPO code is commonly how these trucks are referred to. Some still talk year, but RPO is more specific.

The first generation Duramax (01-04) was LB7, then LLY (04.5-05), next LBZ (06-07), LMM (07.5-10) and currently LML (11-current).

Why does this matter, because each generation of engine added more and more emission crap. The LBZ is generally considered the best. They are only available in the "classic body style" but are getting harder and harder find to find. The LBZ essentially only has an EGR, no DPF to get clogged or DEF (urea) to buy.

I have an LMM, this is the first generation to add the DPF but still no DEF required. I love mine and have had only one "sorta serious issue". My ECM (computer) failed which prevented any electrical. It cost $800 to get a new one, have it flashed and installed. I have had to replace two glow plugs too - $90 each if I recall correctly.

The newest DMAX adds DEF to the emission equipment. That is enough for me personally to stay away. But it also is the first with a grade brake -- my Allison will downshift and hold the lower gear in T/H mode very nicely, but it certainly isn't a true exhaust brake.

I think you should be able to find a decent LBZ or LMM in your budget. Either would make you an excellent tow vehicle and back up truck.
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:06 AM   #9
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Clubhouse has pretty much confirmed most of what I have already read and heard. The Duramax LBZ seems be be my target. The 06-07 model years should be at or near my budget which is very important to me as I have decided to pay cash for this purchase. There's $2k-$3k in wiggle room there if I find the "perfect" truck. Sorry about the Dodge-Ford thing, but I have been the loudmouth "GM rocks and everything else sucks guy" most of my life. While this opinion certainly doesn't hold true any more, my ego just isn't ready for the relentless harassment if I was to make the switch. For now, I can stay GM and satisfy my needs. Thanks to all for the help so far. I really do appreciate it.
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Old 01-20-2016, 06:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparkDr View Post
Decided to buy a used diesel tow vehicle under $25k. Never owned one before and need help dialing in a model year segment to shop within. My current truck is a 2010 GMC 5.3L Ext Cab 4WD standard bed gasser. I am looking for the same setup in a 2500HD diesel (GM product, Ext Cab, 4WD, standard bed). Hearing some discouraging things about the newer diesels and want to have a simpler, reliable one in the stable as a secondary vehicle. My current truck will remain the daily driver. I've heard some good things about the 2007 era trucks of this genre and would like some confirmation before seriously shopping. Current trailer is a 2016 WhiteHawk 27DSRL, and I expect to keep the truck long enough to graduate to a couple's 5th wheel in about 3 years. I jus't can't do a Ford or Dodge, but all other opinions are welcome.
Hi SparkDr,

I've had both a 2006 GMC 2500HD D/A Crew Cab 4x4 (LBZ engine) and now a 2014 GMC 3500HD D/A Crew Cab 4x4 (LML engine).

In both the GM Duramax Diesel was awesome. No problems.
There are features on the 2014 that were not on the 2006, like the exhaust brake that is very nice for towing. Also the 2014 Duramax has more torque and get's better millage then my 2006 got.
Not sure what year GM started to include the exhaust brake, but that's a very nice feature to have when towing.

When looking I would not rule out looking for a 3500HD also, if the price is right. Ride between the 2500HD and 3500HD is the same, just more payload with the 3500HD. Plus if planning to upgrade to a FW in the future, a 3500HD will give you more options on the FWs you can look at.

When we bought our FW I had to upgrade the truck from the 2500HD to a 3500HD because the FW we wanted overloaded the 2500HD.

Hope this helps.
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