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Old 07-04-2014, 01:00 PM   #1
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Chevrolet C4500 with 8.1L

Hi everyone. Quick question. I see all the various diesels out there and the dmax in the MDT forum isn't popular. It seems they run hot and don't like the added weight of the MDT drive train plus the extra capacities associated with it. My question is? Any one with experience with 8.1L engine in this same chassis. This chassis in some aspects is the workhorse chassis or a variant in motorhomes. The 8.1L I realize wont be the best on fuel. But my guess is it will have lots of pulling power if geared right. Allison automatic of course for transmission. I believe the truck i am looking at has 4.56 rear gears. Would be happy to hear ideas or experience.

I will be pulling a 40' Newmar Kountry Aire.....2900 on the hitch weight and about 16,500 as it rolls right now.

My 3500 does the job okay....but braking is marginal...to me asking the 3500 to do is like asking a boy to do a mans job. LOL
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:46 PM   #2
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dynacopas,
I realize that some of the LLY duramaxes, that is he 04.5 to 05's have had some overheating issues, but most of those have occurred due to modifications to the motors to get more power. Even at that there is a relatively inexpensive fix for the problem. My trailer goes just shy or 16,500# and have no problem with a 3500 pulling it. I am over on my GCWR but within all the other ratings of the truck. I don't know how the truck will be out west, but on the east coast, I have no problems with the hills. I run a 65HP tow tune, and the only problem that I have had is overpowering the OD clutches in the transmission, and to overcome this is simple, drop it out of overdrive when it starts pulling hard, I do this with the gas pedal.
Frank
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:49 AM   #3
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Is there no one with this vehicle and engine combo hauling an RV?
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:10 PM   #4
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Lots of the C5500 with 8.1's hauling Super C's. Fuel mileage in the 7's.
Most complaints I hear from the Kodiak group on Diesel Place is that the ride is terrible when not towing.
BTW, MDT LLY's do not have cooling problems that pickup trucks have.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:31 PM   #5
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air ride seats or bilstein shocks can help that i would think.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynacopas View Post
Hi everyone. Quick question. I see all the various diesels out there and the dmax in the MDT forum isn't popular. It seems they run hot and don't like the added weight of the MDT drive train plus the extra capacities associated with it. My question is? Any one with experience with 8.1L engine in this same chassis. This chassis in some aspects is the workhorse chassis or a variant in motorhomes. The 8.1L I realize wont be the best on fuel. But my guess is it will have lots of pulling power if geared right. Allison automatic of course for transmission. I believe the truck i am looking at has 4.56 rear gears. Would be happy to hear ideas or experience.

I will be pulling a 40' Newmar Kountry Aire.....2900 on the hitch weight and about 16,500 as it rolls right now.

My 3500 does the job okay....but braking is marginal...to me asking the 3500 to do is like asking a boy to do a mans job. LOL

Are sure about the weights ?
My Newmar is 16,000+ and the pin is over 4000#, actual from a cat scale.
You will not see many towing with that truck ,most that do report unsatisfactory performance , a very heavy truck with a pick up engine - de rated at that.
Lurk around the escapees forum MDT/HDT ,generally disappointed owners that have moved on.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynacopas View Post
Hi everyone. Quick question. I see all the various diesels out there and the dmax in the MDT forum isn't popular. It seems they run hot and don't like the added weight of the MDT drive train plus the extra capacities associated with it. My question is? Any one with experience with 8.1L engine in this same chassis. This chassis in some aspects is the workhorse chassis or a variant in motorhomes. The 8.1L I realize wont be the best on fuel. But my guess is it will have lots of pulling power if geared right. Allison automatic of course for transmission. I believe the truck i am looking at has 4.56 rear gears. Would be happy to hear ideas or experience.

I will be pulling a 40' Newmar Kountry Aire.....2900 on the hitch weight and about 16,500 as it rolls right now.

My 3500 does the job okay....but braking is marginal...to me asking the 3500 to do is like asking a boy to do a mans job. LOL

you did not say what year you are looking at

the 8.1l is a good motor and low cost to fix .. that is why i work with it

if you had a 1ton 3500 then you would feel better with the 4500

if the 4500 is 2004 make sure the allison is the 2004.5 allison as you want the updates for that last 1.5 year run they did befor going to the 6 speed

if its newer and has the 6 speed in it for the 5 speed OS in the TCM you can update the TCM to the newer 6 speed OS and get better MPG

but there is a trade off to that update
if you drive alot with out towing .. as like move the RV 1 time over 6 months do the update

if your going to tow all the time do not do the update is the new 6 speed OS locks out 5 &6 speed when towing so in the long run MPG would go down

if you like the gas as you know how to work on it and the lower cost of fixing it then i woud stay with it

most motor homes with any high GVWR like the UFO are geared very low 6. for one year to 7. some thing like that the last year

there is a C7500 with a 8.l / allison with air brakes
so i think the 4500 well move what you want .. its just going to be down to how well can it stop it and all so what is the safe load wight that the park pall in the trans can take why parked on a hill

i am sure you are over what the 1ton can safely hold on a hill as i am guessing but you are pushing 24,000 on 4 tires and 1 park pall .. just some thing to think about
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:19 PM   #8
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its a 2007 Chevrolet 4500. GVW in the door is 19,500. It is the 8.1L and it is an automatic. I have not looked to see if it is the 6 speed or not. As for gears I believe its got 4.56 gears in it. I will be doing some tuning to the engine and possibly a better pan on the Allison automatic to make sure it stays cool.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:36 PM   #9
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Howdy dynacopas,
I have never owned a diesel, so I can't make the comparison there. But I now own a 2005 8.1/Allison and am LOVING it! I pull a 35' Jayco fiver (much lighter than your rig). My old tow vehicle was a 2000 3500 with the old 454 (7.4L). I found it within specs, but maxed out with my fiver. This new to me 8.1 pulls with plenty of power left over! I went with it instead of a Duramax for two reasons. 1- The diesels were more expensive to purchase and more expensive to have worked on. 2 - I recently moved from one state to another. The U-Haul truck I rented (the biggest one they have) had the 8.1 in it. Fully loaded, that thing still had plenty of power. I found out that U-Haul doesn't run diesels anymore. They use the 8.1 in their biggest rental trucks. For these reasons I hunted and hunted for an 8.1. Finally found one, and that wasn't easy in these parts. I hope to keep this one for a long, long time.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:32 PM   #10
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Very interesting and very welcome comments. I thought I was the only one who ran gas anymore. My thoughts were exact on the diesels being more are exact. And for the cost difference of the diesel I can buy lots of gas.
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