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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought a 2004 Silverado 1500 4x4 Z71 ext cab with a 5.3 vortec and 3.73 gears 5 years ago. Have driven it loaded down across country 5 times and done LOTS of mountain driving! Its hauled 1500+lbs of camping and fishing stuff, kayaks, mountain bikes, heavy coolers, plus people and a big dog, through the Canadian Rockies, Sierra Nevadas, and about everywhere you can go in the backcountry. I never tow, but need plenty of payload. I drive some long heinous shuttles on STEEP, ROUGH dirt roads with big loads, sometimes with 6 or more people and kayaks, and loaded rafts too. The Silverado has been great, but did need some big repairs. The transfer case wore out at 60k miles when the encoder motor kept ghost shifting. And the tranny went out at 110k...burned up the 3-4 clutches. Replaced a water pump too. But overall, not bad for a truck that was truly used for real stuff that a 1/2 ton truck should be able to handle... in my opinion. Way better than those Tacomas and mini-vans that my friends use :no:. Anyhow- it does ok on gas too...16-17 loaded. Now at 126k miles, I'm shopping for my next baby.

I remember the 'heavy half ton' of yesteryear and wish I could get that. Or a 3/4 ton that isn't a HD. I'm looking at a 2010 Sierra 2500HD with the 6.0 vortec and 3.73. I know I don't want the 410 gear if I want better mileage, correct? And even though they're great, I can't see myself needing the diesel/allison combo either. Does anyone think its still too much truck? I'm just thinking since things broke on the 1500 I might need to go beefier. Thoughts on the vortec 6.0 or std 6spd tranny anyone?? I want my next truck to last a little better.

-K (lady in Red Silverado)
 

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not much hauling on this end, but bought a 2010 silverado 2500HD crew cab anyways with the 6.0/6sp combo. I have no complaints other than it feels like my intermediate steering shaft might be wearing out like my '02 did. The power is great, gas mileage not so much, but ill take it just because i love the truck so much.

I've heard complaints about the roof/rear window leaking, and rattles in different places but havent experienced any yet with 22k on so far.
 

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Welcome to the club. I think and the key word here is THINK I saw on Chevys website where the offer a 1500 Extra Heavy Duty tow package. It was simulair to the old 1500HD. Check it out.
 

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Without the need for towing heavy loads you can stay with the 1500 and include the HD trailering and HD cooling packages and should be able to keep decent fuel limeage and do everything you need. with the HD cooling you get external oil and trans coolers, hd radiator, 6 speed trans, and with the stabilizer from the hd towing and stiffer shocks, you should have no problems. These added features should help reduce wear on powertrain components. Only issue I see is that this all comes with the 3:42 gears. If you want the 3:73 you have to go with the MAx trailering package which has all the other stuff, but also comes with the 6.2 L engine. benefit is more power and torque, but the mileage will be more like that of the 2500 HD just in a 1500 package.
Either way you won't need the Duramax/Allison combo unless you have extra money burning a hole in your pocket and just don't want to ever need to replace your truck again. A great option is you have the $ and want to go diesel.
Only issue with airbags is that under extreme loads it puts a lot of pressure on your 1500 frame. If it's just to level the load on a within limits pulling situation they're great, but if you're talking payload I wouldn't do it. I have heard of people using them and experiencing bent of broken components because the frame wasn't rated for what they were loading them down with. In your situation they would be a bandaid (with risks) and not a solution.
 

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if your gonna go for a 2500 get the d-max and pick up some extra mpgs and few ponies to boot. no one has ever complained about having too good of a truck
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow thanks all! I did it... I got the 2500HD with 6.0 vortec, 6spd HD trans, and 3.73 gears. I just don't have the $ for the diesel. My new truck is a 2010, black with lotsa chrome. :D. Oh and for the record, my 1500 had the hd tow pkg with coolers and all. I almost cried letting her go. It was hard. Is that silly?

---------- Post added at 09:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:36 AM ----------

Will mileage get better with bigger tires? Again- talking 2500HD with 6.0 and 3.73 gears... Thoughts?
 

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If you put taller tires on, depending on size it ,the truck will act like it has 3.42 or 3.55 gears.
 

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Wow thanks all! I did it... I got the 2500HD with 6.0 vortec, 6spd HD trans, and 3.73 gears. I just don't have the $ for the diesel. My new truck is a 2010, black with lotsa chrome. :D. Oh and for the record, my 1500 had the hd tow pkg with coolers and all. I almost cried letting her go. It was hard. Is that silly?

---------- Post added at 09:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:36 AM ----------

Will mileage get better with bigger tires? Again- talking 2500HD with 6.0 and 3.73 gears... Thoughts?
If you put taller tires on, depending on size it ,the truck will act like it has 3.42 or 3.55 gears.
congrats on the new truck.
so as silveradotrailblazer said larger tires will act like the 3.42 or 3.55 gears which in theory will help highway mileage a little as long as its flat due to lower rpms. but larger tires add rolling resistance and in the city the truck will have to work harder to get moving. Also harder getting up and down hills on the highway. Unfortunately only so much you can do with that big of a truck with the 6.0. should get better mileage than my 6.0 though.
 

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let us know of any modifications you make or are considering.

I've only added:
18" stainless exhaust tip from Summit Racing.
Extang Velcro Rollup Tonneau
14" mudflaps w/stainless steel weights from ProFlaps.
window visors all around
stainless bug deflector
bed mat
 
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