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  1. #1
    Platinum Member RayCo's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    981
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    Chester County, PA
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    Kubota BX24

    Default 6.0L vs. 8.1L in a Chevy truck

    There are two trucks that I'm looking at, as I consider whether or not to buy a truck at all, and one has the 6.0 and the other has the 8.1L. Otherwise, the trucks are pretty much the same, one's a 2004 and the other's a 2005, both four doors with an 8' bed, and around the same mileage. The 8.1 does not have the Allison transmission. Both are 2500HDs. The prices are close enough to be negligible.

    The 6.0s are much more common, and I like to have things that are common, because of additional resources in knowledge, better parts availability, etc.

    So, all other things being equal, which would you buy? This truck would be my daily driver. It would not see any really heavy work, just towing my subcompact TLB (BX24) from time to time, perhaps towing a 3400 pound car on an appropriately sized trailer, and perhaps the occasional rental of a dump trailer for getting sand.

    I have heard people mention before that the 6.0 might be a bit too underpowered for a full-length truck like this, but most of that comes from the truck forums where people seem to be more about having their trucks than using their trucks, so I don't really think the opinions are impartial. This is also why I chose to ask here instead of there, since most people seem to select their trucks as tools that they need, not trophies.

    Thanks for any feedback.
    Ray
    BX24

  2. #2
    Super Member timswi's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    5,012
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    Beaver County Pa
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23 & RTV1100

    Default Re: 6.0L vs. 8.1L in a Chevy truck

    For the uses that you are describing, the 6.0 should be fine.

    I have never owned an 8.1, but I have heard that there are issues with them on rare occasions. A friend had one and beat it senseless and never had an issue with it, so who knows.

    Either one is gonna drink some gas though.
    BX23TLB & RTV1100 with 72" Power Angle Plow

  3. #3
    Elite Member Dmace's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    3,838
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    Wakefield, NH
    Tractor
    Kioti CK20 HST

    Default Re: 6.0L vs. 8.1L in a Chevy truck

    Quote Originally Posted by RayCo View Post
    This truck would be my daily driver. It would not see any really heavy work, just towing my subcompact TLB (BX24) from time to time, perhaps towing a 3400 pound car on an appropriately sized trailer, and perhaps the occasional rental of a dump trailer for getting sand.
    6.0l
    If you were to tow more weight and on a more regular basis, I would say the 8.1l but you really don't need that much engine or that poor fuel economy for such light towing. The 6.0l is certainly adequate for your needs and much cheaper to maintain and run.

    Do they both have the same rear axle ratio?
    Derek
    Kioti CK20HST
    KL120 FEL // KB2365 BH // 60" JRW 3ph snowblower // 48" HD Boxblade
    Sims-Cab Depot heated cab
    Quote Originally Posted by DiamondPilot
    Now it's time for Ford and GM to step up

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Ryan03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    650
    Location
    Chardon Ohio
    Tractor
    Farmtrac DTC270, Kubota G5200hydro, Honda recon 250, Suzuki King Quad 450 4x4, 2003 2500 DMax/Allison 4x4

    Default Re: 6.0L vs. 8.1L in a Chevy truck

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmace View Post
    6.0l
    If you were to tow more weight and on a more regular basis, I would say the 8.1l but you really don't need that much engine or that poor fuel economy for such light towing. The 6.0l is certainly adequate for your needs and much cheaper to maintain and run.
    X2

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    6,138
    Location
    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
    Tractor
    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: 6.0L vs. 8.1L in a Chevy truck

    Quote Originally Posted by RayCo View Post
    There are two trucks that I'm looking at, as I consider whether or not to buy a truck at all, and one has the 6.0 and the other has the 8.1L. Otherwise, the trucks are pretty much the same, one's a 2004 and the other's a 2005, both four doors with an 8' bed, and around the same mileage. The 8.1 does not have the Allison transmission. Both are 2500HDs. The prices are close enough to be negligible.

    The 6.0s are much more common, and I like to have things that are common, because of additional resources in knowledge, better parts availability, etc.

    So, all other things being equal, which would you buy? This truck would be my daily driver. It would not see any really heavy work, just towing my subcompact TLB (BX24) from time to time, perhaps towing a 3400 pound car on an appropriately sized trailer, and perhaps the occasional rental of a dump trailer for getting sand.

    I have heard people mention before that the 6.0 might be a bit too underpowered for a full-length truck like this, but most of that comes from the truck forums where people seem to be more about having their trucks than using their trucks, so I don't really think the opinions are impartial. This is also why I chose to ask here instead of there, since most people seem to select their trucks as tools that they need, not trophies.

    Thanks for any feedback.
    Curious as to how an 8.1L came without an Allison, unless you are saying it is a manual??
    I would think either truck, but the 8.1L is a fun truck to drive.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member RayCo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    981
    Location
    Chester County, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX24

    Default Re: 6.0L vs. 8.1L in a Chevy truck

    So far I'm hearing what I was hoping to hear. Thanks!

    Good question about the gears. I didn't think to factor that in. Given a choice between two different ratios, I'd probably go with the higher gearing since the truck will be used mostly as a commuter.

    Thanks y'all.
    Ray
    BX24

  7. #7
    Silver Member logdog's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    195
    Location
    The Thumb, Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3700SU & BX1860

    Default Re: 6.0L vs. 8.1L in a Chevy truck

    I have a 2006 2500HD 4x4 with a 6.0, manual transmission, extended cab and 8 foot bed. It gets 10-11 mpg. Doesnt really seem to matter if I am pulling the horses or the car trailer. The 6.0 does everything I need it to. For what you describe I think you will be happy with the 6.0.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member KB9UDE's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    1,023
    Location
    North of Tower Hill, IL
    Tractor
    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: 6.0L vs. 8.1L in a Chevy truck

    I like my 2500HD with 6.0L. I have not had a chance to do much towing with it but the truck has power that's for sure. A freind of mine is a masonry contractor with a 3500HD dually. He has the 8.1 with Allison. It is a pulling machine. I have seen him pull loaded trailers out of the mud that a newer PowerStroke couldnt budge. He has 4.10 gears. 8-9 mpg


    See this for link to my truck http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/t...-crew-cab.html
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -truck-jpg  
    John






    John Deere 3320 - 72D Auto Connect deck



    Acts 2:38

  9. #9
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    14,637
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    Daleville, IN
    Tractor
    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default Re: 6.0L vs. 8.1L in a Chevy truck

    I would go with the 6.0L for your needs. I have had a couple 8.1L's in boats and while they are a power house they uses oil and gas.

    As pulling a load there is no way any gas engine is going to out pull a modern diesel of any brand. It comes down to getting the power to pull the load. In a stuck situation a diesel has so much low end torque it can be a hindrance. I have 2 diesel trucks and have owned 4 and over a dozen gas trucks and I can tell you for a fact that my current gas truck is my preference for snow and mud situations versus my 2 diesels.

    In 04/05 the 6.0 was only available with 4.10 gears I believe. The 8.1L could be had with 4.10's or 3.73's

    Chris

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    360
    Location
    Boiling Springs, SC
    Tractor
    MF 2823

    Default Re: 6.0L vs. 8.1L in a Chevy truck

    Of the 2 engines you're looking at, I'd take the 6.0 for the marginally better fuel economy.

    Are you sure a 3/4 ton is really the best option for your uses? I'd think a late model half ton, say 05+ with a 5.0L+ V8 and proper gears would do everything you need to do at a much lower operating cost and make a better daily driver than a 3/4 ton. Aside from perhaps the occasional rental of a dump trailer for getting sand, I don't see anything you're planning to tow that should weigh much over 6K, if that. For the difference in operating costs I'm sure you could have your sand delivered and still come out $$$ ahead, or you'd have no problem with a dump trailer with a loaded wt. of 9.5-10K.

    A GM 5.3 V8 w/ 3.73 gears, Ford 5.4 V8 w/ 3.73 gears, Ram 5.7 V8 w/ 3.92 gears, Titan w/ 5.6 V8 & towing package, or Tundra w/ 5.7 V8 would all be more than capable of doing what you've mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by RayCo View Post
    So, all other things being equal, which would you buy? This truck would be my daily driver. It would not see any really heavy work, just towing my subcompact TLB (BX24) from time to time, perhaps towing a 3400 pound car on an appropriately sized trailer, and perhaps the occasional rental of a dump trailer for getting sand.

    Thanks for any feedback.
    Simplicity ZT4000
    Shindaiwa T195s, Redmax HB250
    Northern 48" core aerator, Rug'id 250# spreader

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