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Old 01-23-2014, 01:32 AM   #15
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Found out at work today that a co-worker was needing a truck and didn't want to spend much money and bought an '03 Chevy 2500 with the 8.1 and Allison off Craig's list for $4500.00. He said it runs pretty good for having over 400,000 miles on it!
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:08 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Lori, that's outdated info. GM has dropped the Suburban and Yukon XL 2500 models, and the biggest engine now available is 5.3L V8. So if you want a Yukon XL or Suburban that has a tow rating over 6,000 pounds, you're looking at used SUVs. (GMC Yukon XL and Chevy Suburban are identical except for badge engineering.)

That's not true, the Yukon denali and escalade get the larger 6.2L engine, which is a beast of a motor and probably exceeds the older 8.1L in power and torque output, and for certain in fuel economy.

But if i were looking at a towing vehicle of that type, the new Navigator gets the 3.5L ecoboost found in the F150, and the Ford Flex got the 3.5L Ecoboost last year. The 2015 Expedition also might have the ecoboost, and definitely offer the 5.0 coyote engine. Hasn't been announced yet.

The 2015 Nissan Titan and possibly Armada will get the new 5.0L Cummins Turbo Diesel. This will be the ultimate half-ton towing setup.
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:24 PM   #17
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The GMC Yukon XL is still available in 2500 with a 6.0l and a 4l80 transmission. As well has 2500 truck frame/drivetrain.

I have a 2006 1500 GMC Yukon XL with the 5.3l engine and a 4l65e automatic transmission. 3.42 gears. I pull a 2009 SV-291 Surveyor. I have 4 boys (and they bring a friend sometimes) so I need the seating capacity.

My personal advice is I don't recommend it. I'm a mechanic so I have no problem modifying my truck. I put headers, improved brakes, a shift kit, reprogrammed engine computer, big trans cooler, and I'm dropping in a 6.0l motor and rebuilding the transmission this spring. I did all these things because my truck is paid off and I can get away with doing my own labor.

Swaying isn't a problem (with a proper hitch setup). Power isn't too much of an issue on the east coast, the brakes are the problem. Even with the Hydroboost ('03-'06 trucks) system and a good brake controller the brakes overheat. I upgraded to some Hawk pads and cross drilled rotors. Managing the brakes is a task while going down hill. You really need have to work the lower gears in the transmission or you will lose your brakes.

You really need to step up to the 2500 series trucks to get the heavy duty brakes. You also get the 4l80 transmission and a 6.0l motor. That will be great for towing your 7klb trailer. If you really wanna go up to the 8.1 gasser you can, but you're not gaining much other than a bigger fuel bill.

Your other option (as I've studied this topic profusely) is getting an older Ford Excursion with the 7.3 Powerstroke. Stay far far far away from the 6.0 ford diesel excursion unless you know how to work on it and have deep pockets.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:25 PM   #18
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That's not true, the Yukon denali and escalade get the larger 6.2L engine, which is a beast of a motor and probably exceeds the older 8.1L in power and torque output, and for certain in fuel economy....
That's not true.

The 6.2 does not produce the torque or horsepower of an 8.1.

GM Vortec engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I have a K2500 Suburban with an 8.1 and a Yukon Denali with a 6.2. The 6.2 is quick and runs at high rpms. The 8.1 has much more power and torque.

Yes, the 6.2 gets better fuel economy.

I would MUCH rather tow with the 8.1 than the 6.2.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:40 AM   #19
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That's not true.

The 6.2 does not produce the torque or horsepower of an 8.1.

GM Vortec engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I have a K2500 Suburban with an 8.1 and a Yukon Denali with a 6.2. The 6.2 is quick and runs at high rpms. The 8.1 has much more power and torque.

Yes, the 6.2 gets better fuel economy.

I would MUCH rather tow with the 8.1 than the 6.2.
That's not true.

The new 6.2L makes 420hp and 460ft-lbs of torque.
GM 6.2L V8 claims most powerful light-duty truck engine title - Autoblog

The 8.1L made 340hp and 455ft-lbs of torque in the chevy trucks. But if you can find one in a motorhome, i believe those made more power and torque. It all depends on application.
The Specifications of an 8.1L Engine | eHow
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:01 AM   #20
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The 6.2 is still a small block. The 8.1 makes about 90% of it's 455 ft. lbs. torque at 2000 rpm and that is about what it runs at 60 mph. Most of the newer motors like the 6.2 make their power above what you would normally run at highway speeds. When that 6.2 downshifts to pull a hill because it isn't in it's power band, it's running at 3300 rpm or more and using as much air and fuel at the 8.1 running at 2000 rpm. GM should have kept the 8.1 and did more like cylinder deactivation or turbo and lived happily ever after It just takes so much gas and air to make power from any motor, there is no magic motor that makes power using less air and fuel. The diesel can vary the amount of fuel to the injectors to determine power output but the gas needs at least a 16 to 1 air to fuel ratio to run. I have a Crane Performance tuner for my 2000 Chevy 1 ton and stock air to fuel ratio is 14.8 to 1. I'm getting a little over 15 MPG with the 350 and automatic with 4.10 gears and 35 inch tires. The spedo is also calibrated for the tires and reads correct with a GPS.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:25 AM   #21
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Like I said, I own an 8.1 and a 6.2. The 6.2 is great, but real world observation is the 8.1 has more "guts" for towing. Probably because its power is in a lower RPM band.

Too bad they discontinued the 8.1. It was a big block beast of a motor.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:33 AM   #22
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I just did the math for cubic feet per minute of air required for each of the motors. The 8.1 takes in 287 cu. ft of air per minute at 2000 rpm and the 6.2 takes in 327 cu.ft. of air at 3000 rpm. At 2600 rpm the 6.2 uses 284 cu.ft. of air to compare with the 8.1 at 287. So unless the 6.2 can pull the same load at near the same rpm as the 8.1, fuel mileage won't be any different. The calculation I used was cubic inches of displacement / by 2 X rpm / by 1728 cu in in a cu ft. to get cu. ft. per minute.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:47 AM   #23
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I just did the math for cubic feet per minute of air required for each of the motors. The 8.1 takes in 287 cu. ft of air per minute at 2000 rpm and the 6.2 takes in 327 cu.ft. of air at 3000 rpm. At 2600 rpm the 6.2 uses 284 cu.ft. of air to compare with the 8.1 at 287. So unless the 6.2 can pull the same load at near the same rpm as the 8.1, fuel mileage won't be any different. The calculation I used was cubic inches of displacement / by 2 X rpm / by 1728 cu in in a cu ft. to get cu. ft. per minute.
You are completely ignoring the fact of newer engine technologies which aide in a more efficient combustion. For starters, Direct Injection which uses peizo injectors to pulse fuel at several thousand psi vs 60psi in normal fuel injection. This atomizes the fuel and creates a better more consistent mixture with the air.

The 6.2L makes more power and torque, and will out accelerate the 8.1L. It just needs to rev to do it, whereas the 8.1L will be able to hold gears better without downshifting to go up grades or passing etc... The 6.2L wins hands down when used as a daily driver. With direct injection, cylinder deactivation and variable valve timing, 20+mpg highway for an HD truck is pretty good.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:57 AM   #24
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According to the internet, the Yukon XL 8.1L has a max towing capacity of 12,000 lbs. according to Autotrader:

GMC also offers a rare heavy-duty Yukon XL 2500 that can pull a whopping 12,000 pounds thanks to an available 8.1-liter V8 with 447 lb-ft of torque.

Has anyone towed with this particular SUV? I would choose an SUV over a truck any day to tow our 7,000 lb. TT.
A Suburban or Yukon XL 2500 with 8.1 makes an awesome tow vehicle. We formerly had a Suburban 2500 w/ 7.4 power. Great vehicle and the 8.1 version is even better. Only 7,000 lbs is a cakewalk for those vehicles.

Note: New 2500 versions of the Suburban and Yukon XL 2500 are GONE and GM quit making new 8.1 powered vehicles also.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:51 PM   #25
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You are completely ignoring the fact of newer engine technologies which aide in a more efficient combustion. For starters, Direct Injection which uses peizo injectors to pulse fuel at several thousand psi vs 60psi in normal fuel injection. This atomizes the fuel and creates a better more consistent mixture with the air.

The 6.2L makes more power and torque, and will out accelerate the 8.1L. It just needs to rev to do it, whereas the 8.1L will be able to hold gears better without downshifting to go up grades or passing etc... The 6.2L wins hands down when used as a daily driver. With direct injection, cylinder deactivation and variable valve timing, 20+mpg highway for an HD truck is pretty good.

BUT, it won't tow any better or cheaper. Those same technological advancements could be incorporated someday to larger motors with longer strokes. The 8.1 has a 4.37 inch stroke as compared to the 3.62 inch stroke of the 6.2. Longer stroke means more torque. The 8.1 has the longest stroke of any GM gas motor and it is actually the same as the 572 cu in high performance crate motor from Chevy. Yes the 6.2 may be the best we can get if we have to buy a new gas truck but it won't pull any better or cheaper than what we had in the past. Let's see a 400 inch motor with the 4.37 inch stroke, incorporate all the high squeeze fuel injection and high flow ports and electronics and get more torque
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:55 PM   #26
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Like I said, I own an 8.1 and a 6.2. The 6.2 is great, but real world observation is the 8.1 has more "guts" for towing. Probably because its power is in a lower RPM band.

Too bad they discontinued the 8.1. It was a big block beast of a motor.
Are you sure you don't have a 6.0, not the new 6.2L?? I don't think they did in 2012. The 6.0 is a totally different engine, and outdated.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:03 PM   #27
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BUT, it won't tow any better or cheaper. Those same technological advancements could be incorporated someday to larger motors with longer strokes. The 8.1 has a 4.37 inch stroke as compared to the 3.62 inch stroke of the 6.2. Longer stroke means more torque. The 8.1 has the longest stroke of any GM gas motor and it is actually the same as the 572 cu in high performance crate motor from Chevy. Yes the 6.2 may be the best we can get if we have to buy a new gas truck but it won't pull any better or cheaper than what we had in the past. Let's see a 400 inch motor with the 4.37 inch stroke, incorporate all the high squeeze fuel injection and high flow ports and electronics and get more torque
Longer stroke means more torque, but less horsepower due to lower revs. (HP = torqueXrpm/5252).

America can't afford the 8.1L engine anymore because it gets lowsy fuel economy when unloaded. It may get somewhat comparable or slightly better while towing, but unloaded it's still bad. Heavy duty trucks don't always tow, and have a short duty cycle while towing, and people need to save money while unloaded.

The trend for engines is based on the duty cycle of the power output. It doesn't take much to keep a vehicle moving once it's in motion. So engine's will play to that strength by using smaller displacement engines and/or turbochargers to do well while accelerating, but use less fuel while cruising. In the case of the 6.2L, they use cylinder deactivation to essentially create a virtual smaller displacement engine. And for people that tow heavy loads constantly, they offer diesels for that. The new diesels are super quiet, offer the best fuel economy while towing, and have full torque below 2000rpm.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:11 PM   #28
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This brings me back to the fact that the diesel takes more barrels of crude oil to supply it with the fuel to do the job that a gasser can do using less barrels of crude oil. Sure it's our pocket books we're worried about but if everyone but semi trucks stopped using diesel, diesel cost would go down and we would be using fewer barrels of crude oil.
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