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Replace a Vortec 6L with an 8.1L

5891 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  harrymurry
Hello all,

New here, I've searched the forms but couldn't find any answers so maybe I'm just crazy for asking this but here goes ...

I have a 2007 Chevy 2500HD Classic - Crew Cab, Long Bed gas with a 6.0L engine, only mods are a K&N CAI and Diablo Predator tune (towing). I use it to tow a 2008 Jayco 32BHDS weighing in at about 8700lbs loaded. I plan on keeping both around for a while and would like to get some better gains when towing without replacing the truck (towing capacity is 9700lbs). Not sure what else I could do but upgrade to a 8.1L engine which is a standard upgrade for this truck (from what I read). This would give me a towing capacity of 14,800 which puts me under the 80% mark. I typically tow in 3rd since it will just downshift on any little incline. I was hoping the bigger engine would give me better take off and help hold the truck at lower rpm's when highway towing (i.e. preventing downshift). I get about 7.8mpg when towing and 11.2 on a daily basis (only 5 miles from work) so increase in mpg would be nice but I know the 8.1 would be null if not less?

So after my long winded story my question is - has anyone ever replaced their 6.0 with a 8.1? I know a duramax 6.6 isn't possible due to the additional weight/suspension needed to support it, right?

What other options do I have?


---------- Post added at 09:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:29 PM ----------

Oh, and I forgot to mention my truck has 43K on it so I would hope I'd get a decent price for the swap ;)
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Bigger engine doesn't always mean more tow/haul capabilty, its better suspension, tires and gearing. My uncle hated his 8.1 for towing his bobcats and other small loaders, his claim was the 6.0 had better usuable power. You would be better off just doing some of the engine upgrades previously mentioned, also getting a shift kit at the least foe your tranny, letas also not forget the 8.1 won't net any better mpg then your 6.0. Also weight distribution of what your towing will come into play, along with the type of trailer you are pulling single or tandem axle, gooseneck/fifth wheel. Also your tongue weight.
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