Buying a 2500HD/3500SRW...eventually...probably next month?

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by steved, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. steved

    steved Former Member

    Hi all.

    I'm in the market for a newer 2500HD/3500SRW to replace my 2004.5 2500 Dodge Cummins (its a standard cab, getting kinda cramped for the family). I'm a Dodge guy, always have been; but this 04.5 sorta disappointed me, and none of the new Dodge offerings give me any hope that they would fair any different than mine has over the years. I really don't like the styling of the Fords, so I'm pretty much set on finding a GM. If it wasn't for being a standard cab, I'd probably keep the Dodge because I've gotten the bugs worked out and its paid for...but life happens.

    I'm probably going to focus in on a 2500HD/3500SRW (whatever I happen on that fits the bill) crew cab (maybe a club cab, not sure), 4wd with a 6.0L / auto, probably hold out for 4.10s, likely an 8 foot bed...hopefully less than 3 years old. I know I'm probably going to regret not buying another oil burner; but its just not in the cards between the added up front cost, limited towing I do, limited mileage I put on now (my Dodge sits with 266k), and added maintenance (not to mention the problematic emissions they are being saddled with now).

    What should I be looking for as far as problem areas? I read they did a model change somewhere are 2009, and that netted some improvements? Is there any widget that I should look for that is handy or one I should avoid because its a problem? My current truck is an ST, basically I got AC and bells and whistles, but that might be nice this go around.

    I know this is a little premature since I don't even own one yet, but does anyone run Schaeffer oil in one? They want 5w30 in them right?

    What kind of mileage do the 6.0Ls get in the 2500/3500s? How do they handle trailers in the 10k pound range?

    How do they drive? I want something the wife can drive...with the steering and shifting quirks my Dodge has, I'm pretty much the only one I trust to drive it.

    Any thoughts? Things I'm overlooking? BTW, its a 3rd car; so its not a primary mode of transportation.
  2. steved

    steved Former Member

    No one has one?
  3. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Moderator

    Hang tight...I'm sure someone will be along soon who can help you out
  4. Sierraowner5.3

    Sierraowner5.3 New Member

    A lower mileage 05-07 classic body style (changed to the new one late 07) may fit the bill. I know you wanted newer, however a older one will be cheaper, and you may get more for your money. More bells and whistles so to speak. A 6.0 will do lower teens. 15 will be about the best. Almost all 6.0s in the 2500 and 3500s are 4.10s. One benefit of a newer one is the 09s and up have a auto/manual transmission. They have a toggle on the shifted that works in tow haul mode. I've test driven a few new ones. Seems to work well. The newer ones also have the 6 speed. The kinks have all been worked out now as well. Not jauviny pulled anything with a newer one, I couldn't tell you how they handle that. One other thing to look for, some new ones have integrated electric brake controllers. Kinda handy.

    Good luck.

    1 person likes this.
  5. paracutin

    paracutin New Member

    I have an 04 2500HD 4dr with the 6.0, auto trans, 4wd, 4:10 gears and the 6.5' box. LT2 trim package so it has most options.
    2007 was the year of the face lift. It was actually more than a face lift but not much new for the engine, trans and axles.

    My 04 drives really well. Independent front suspension makes it ride nice too. My wife and 15 year old daughter both drive it.
    I run Mobil 1 5W30 with GREAT results. Check out this thread for info.
    I have 265 75 16 Wild Country MTX mud tires and my mileage averages about 11-12 city and 14-15 highway. With the all seasons I had previously I got about 1mpg better mileage.
    I pull a 5000lb pontoon quite a bit. My mileage drops to 8 city and 12 highway. It's not heavy but it is VERY bulky. It's like pulling the side of a barn down the road. Lots of wind resistance.
    I have owned the truck for four years and all I have had to do was replace the battery. I have a few minor squeaks from some interior trim pieces that are loosening up and the intermediate steering shaft noise (redesigned and fixed for 2007 and newer models) but other than that it has been problem free.
    I absolutely LOVE my truck. I had an 04 F250 Lariat that was complete crap compared to the 2500HD.
    Hope this helps.
    1 person likes this.
  6. steved

    steved Former Member

    OK, been searching...I can find nicely equipped 2500HDs, new 2012s, for not much more money than a used one. Anyone have anything negative to say about a 2012? We found several used trucks, but most are hovering right about $30k, and for $35k to $38k; we can get a new one, with a complete warranty with pretty much the options I would want. Keep in mind, my current truck is an "ST" or low option model, not so minimal options will be an upgrade over my current list (or lack thereof).

    One question, for towing the occasional 10K trailer, would you choose 3.73 or 4.10s with these trucks? I'm torn as I might tow a trailer once or twice a month that might get to the 10k range. But we are probably going to buy an RV in the 7,500 to 10,000 pound range (again, once a month use). Thoughts? I'm thinking we should hold out for 4.10, but 3.73 would likely give better mileage when not towing, which would likely be the majority of the time...I got myself into this issue with my current truck, 4.10s gave me a fairly low cruising speed (diesel) that sucks and I rarely put those gears to good use; but a gasser cruises at a higher RPM so is it really the same?
  7. elkhornsun

    elkhornsun New Member

    With each new platform there are improvements to the suspension, frame, drivetrain, brakes, and other important components, as well as greater payload and towing capacity. The current platform was introduced with the 2011 trucks. Prior to that in mid 2007 (non Classic which use the 2001-2006 platform) to 2010 you get a better truck. With the 2006 and newer models you can find the 6 speed transmission that gives you two overdrive gears for better highway gas mileage.

    I was looking for a new truck last fall and also saw trucks with 55K miles and 2-3 years old selling for around $35,000. I decided to buy a new truck instead and paid $42K for a fully loaded (except for the nav system) 2500HD with the diesel engine.

    With diesel the only rear end is a 3.73. With gas the rear end provided is a 4.10 which is what is needed as the gas engine needs double the RPM's to reach maximum horsepower and torque as compared to the diesel engine.

    Trailers under 13K are not going to be a problem with either engine. The advantage with the diesel is the available heavier duty Allison transmission and the exhaust brake. Even without the exhaust brake engaged the downhill grade control of the diesel with the Allison transmission is amazing and does a fantastic job. You can set it (tow/haul mode) and forget it.

    Excellent test done by the people at with 2,000 miles of serious towing of a 19K trailer with 3 different 1-ton trucks.
  8. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member

    with the cramped family thing I would recommend the CC, it just gives you a bit more room and 4 independent doors to get in and out of. the wife can drive my truck with no problems. The mileage is not going to be great. I drive slow and average about 12 mpg and do mostly highway. I have the 4.10s with 35's and did that for economy purposes and I didnt have a drop in mileage after the lift and aggressive tires. If you have the option of the 4.10 and its not gonna really cost anything more I would say do that. at highway speeds you will only see a increase of a couple hundred rpms so probably wont see any/minimal change in economy. in the city it will be easier to get rolling and therefore may help economy some. Either way the economy wont be great. Obviously the newer trucks get a little better economy than my 04.

    One annoying thing on these trucks is the intermediate steering shaft (maybe they fixed it on new trucks) but it just clunks on bumps and stuff. there is a thread on an easy fix or borgeson makes a shaft to put in which is what I did and no more clunking.

    The GM's are more comfortable on long trips than the fords or dodges with a nicer interior seating.
  9. oldfarmer

    oldfarmer New Member

    I have a 2011 2500hd with 6.0, 6 speed transmission with 3.73 rear end gears. Driving on the hiway I get between 18 and 19 mpg and driving in the city about 14 to 15 mpg. About once a month I pull a 9800 lb 5th wheel camper with it. I have plenty of power, but the mileage is poor. About 8 to 9 depending on how many hills. In tow/haul mode the transmission will downshift when going down hills. I like this feature because it saves on braking.
  10. steved

    steved Former Member

    I went shopping around...there are not many 2500HDs on the lots, and even fewer (as in none) 3500s, and I visited no less than seven lots this weekend! I guess what we are looking at (in a new truck) is a 2500HD "WT", as they are the only ones the dealers seem to have ordered that have both the trailer tow package and the snow plow prep package...the few LTs I looked at only had one or the other, or neither one. One dealer had at least 50 1500s, and not a single 2500 or 3500 sitting on their lot...frustrating to the buyer to say the least. That's the only positive for a Dodge dealer right now...they seem to have a lot of the HD trucks on their lots (as seen from the road).

    Although its a short bed, we found a 2500HD that had both packages, was nicely equipped, and (surprise!) white. Not a bad looking truck, I got to get mine "stripped" so I can trade it...probably give them a call tomorrow, and see about buying this coming weekend.
  11. steved

    steved Former Member

    Well we sign for a 2012 2500HD later today. Its an upgraded WT, but its the nicest equipped one we found. Will post more later..
  12. ChevyBoy2009

    ChevyBoy2009 New Member

  13. Jimmeh

    Jimmeh New Member

    Congrats on the buy! Definite post up some pictures when you get a chance!

    I still kick myself for not getting a 2500 when I had the chance, but now that I don't haul much of anything, the 1500 is fairly nice.
  14. steved

    steved Former Member

    I couldn't live without a 2500 anymore...between the trailer I have and the ability to haul whatever, whenever; its necessity for me...


    ---------- Post added at 01:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:47 PM ----------

    We (mainly Wife) have put on over 500 miles since Thursday (trip to my folks and back). Netted 15.2 mpg (hand calc'd) going up (literally up, pull two mountains, and about 1000 feet in elevation overall). Had plenty of power, transmission actually doesn't shift enough (if that's hard to imagine) and we found in the hilly stuff, the Tow-Haul mode works very well. My folks were laying some pavers, so father and I ran to the local sand and gravel place for some sand (about 1,000 pounds) and it worked well (I didn't buy this truck to look at).

    The Wife loves it, and my daughter (2 year old) approves! So I guess that's all that matters? I'm not going to compare my old truck to this eight years, technology has improved and comparing a truck with 267k miles to a new on off the lot isn't really representative. But I do like the new truck, it rides nice, handles good. Figure I will run it to 1000 miles, change the oil; run it to 5k miles and change all the fluids...then I should be set for a while.

    The only thing I wish this truck had (and its nothing major) would have been towing mirrors and maybe fog lights...but I can live without them.
  15. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member

    truck looks great:great:. Fog lights and mirrors can be added.
  16. pmf608

    pmf608 New Member

    Looking for the snow plow prep can be a tough package to find... that is one of the limitations of the independent front suspension - they only put the snow plow prep on a very specific group of trucks because it will exceed the front GAWR on a lot of the crew cabs & such. Anyway, any truck newer than 2011 will be the most capable because 2011 was the frame/engine/drivetrain upgrade. The new-style 2007-2010 trucks didn't change much of the chassis & drivetrain from the 2001-2006 trucks, but in 2011 they went through and upgraded all of that - stronger frame, better axles, more gas engine power, etc.

    good luck with your truck shopping
  17. steved

    steved Former Member

    Two posts up, I already bought one...

    The snow plow prep package wasn't hard to find around here (Pennsylvania), nor was the towing package; finding them together on a truck that was anything but a basic white work truck was the difficult part! Out of the trucks I looked at, more lacked the towing package than the plow prep package!
  18. 08_rado_rocker

    08_rado_rocker New Member

    Congrats on the purchase bud! Blue granite metallic is by far my favorite color on these pickups. The mirrors and fog lights are all relatively easy and cheap to install as mentioned before. Glad you're liking your hd! I'm getting one myself soon, but a 2001.. and im only payin 800 for it hahahaha.

  19. pmf608

    pmf608 New Member

    Congrats on the new truck! For whatever reason, my computer didn't show that there were 2 pages to this thread when I posted earlier, so I was just going by what was on the first page.

    And, like others have said, adding tow mirrors is super easy and relatively cheap for a WT model. Factory fog lights would be a bit pricey on that truck because they would involve replacing the front bumper with the one that has the openings for them. Aftermarket ones would be inexpensive and relatively easy though, so it sounds like you got all of the features that are most important to you.
  20. Jim33

    Jim33 New Member

    I bought a 2012 2500HD diesel recently to replace my '97 K1500. It's a nice truck, except for the unnecessarily large size. It's too bad GM doesn't offer a truck like my '97, and another with a "mild lift". It has the new smog equipment (started in 2011, as far as I can tell) but the engine seems to run fine. I suggest you check out the rear view camera. It's hard to see smaller cars directly behind you. A somewhat lower cost option just beeps when you as you approach another car when backing up. After a few accidents, either one will pay for itself.

    If your wife is short or not too agile, the more expensive 6" oval running board works fine. My wife's foot slipped in the running board option that resembles a pipe but she is happy with the other one. It was worth the extra money to keep her happy.

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