Thinking of the Baby Duramax

Mooseman

Moderator
Ever since our 3000km trip where I spent more on gas in the Avy than an airplane (6-8 MPG while towing), I've been looking at truck porn deciding on a diesel. Really tempted on getting a GMC Sierra 1500 Elevation with the 3.0L Duramax. So far I haven't seen anything negative about it except for these points:

- It's hard on DEF usage while towing
- You have to drop the tranny to replace the oil pump belt at 150k miles (240k km)
- It's a new engine so bugs may come out.
- Lots of tech to break

I spotted a used 2020 with 42k km (26k miles) in that beautiful blue. Love the Elevation's blackout effect. Not really interested in a Denali and I'm fine with cloth seats. These things can get almost triple the mileage I get now while towing and 30 MPG unloaded hwy. The tranny is supposedly buttery smooth.

Anybody have any experience or thoughts on this truck/engine?
 

gpking

Well-Known Member
*inhales* A friend of mine's girlfriend's dad has the 2.8 Dmax in a 2021 Colorado and he loves it. They go on a lot of road trips with it. His truck had a water leak at the C pillar that was fixed under warranty in January. That's the only problem they've mentioned to me.
Apples to oranges, but the Colorado isn't much smaller than a 1500 so I'd imagine the 3.0 will perform similarly.

From the fullsize perspective, my 6.6 Dmax tows circles (so to speak) around my dad's 6.0 Vortec. Same exact truck, different powertrain, world of difference with 10k lbs / 4500 kg behind it.
 

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
I am also very interested in the baby-max. An Inline 6.. I am all over that.

I like the Ecodiesel, but after diesel-gate, the power, to me, has fallen way off. The Dodge does look better than the GM in my opinion.

The GM offering, being a I6, means that once you take all the plastic off the engine, it should be a lot simpler to work on.

I want to drive a Baby, but none of the dealers has had one in for a VERY long time.

I almost ordered a BabyMax Yukon.. Than found my Esky.
 

northcreek

Well-Known Member
I did the Diesel math awhile ago and it really doesn't seem to even out. You're basically shelling out $$$$ to save $ over a long period of time,assuming that you keep it forever.
Just a matter of, do I want to feel shitty at the gas station or shittier at the bank... :twocents:
 
OP
Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
Except it's getting shittier and shittier at the pump. Compared to what I have now, I can't see how I can't win. And the Avy is proving to be less than stellar in reliability. Towing uphill with it is still dicey with heat and it's underpowered despite having a 6.0L and 4.10 gears.

I'm just tired of having to deal with old crap and the wife wants reliability.
 

BrianF

Well-Known Member
One thing to check out is the cooling capacity. I dont know enough about the engine and system but just some thoughts after looking at ram ecodiesels some years ago and checking their forums. The 2014 to 2019 rams had an absolutely undersized cooling capacity and it was easy to overheat towing miniscule loads. Just remember its a small light duty diesel and it will likely create some good heat once the turbo is lit.

Then there is the maintenance system costs. Again, I don't know the specifics but look at the price of that 0w20 dexos 2 oil (might be able to find a specced oil in or out of grade for cheaper). Then fuel filter costs per interval as well as CCV filter if it has one. Also look at any egr maintenance that may be required.

Its apples to oranges in some ways. In my case, the ISB6.7 I gots is marginally better fuel economy unloaded than a gas 1500. Would take a lot of miles to recoup that cost with the 180$ per 24,000km fuel filters, 100$ + CCV filter at 108,000km thats all before the AS69RC maintenance every 48k. Mind you the cost is mitigated when your yanking north of 20,000 pounds.

Now the light duty diesels such as the ecodiesel smoke the cummins and any gasser in unloaded fuel mileage by a wide margin and light towing on the flat terrain by a small margin. Thats where they shine. So in that respect you will fair out well.

I'm a big proponent of diesel, there is nothing that even compares. Sure, go have your ecoboost for taking the kids to soccer but the torque (the ecoboost is no slouch though), lack of shifting and great fuel economy make the diesel a winner.

Its just the hidden costs or elevated maintenance costs that can get you. Just buy good proper seasonal fuels, name brand OEM fuel filters and make sure you never have to change glow plugs.

Another thing to be aware of, well depends how picky ontariario is on emissions, is we can still get tunes or deletes up here. Even emissions in tact tuning to reduce egr or def usage can really help in the long haul. You have to talk with your dealers service department as you can void some or all of your warranty. This wasn't a big deal for me as mine is almost up anyway.
 

BrianF

Well-Known Member
I see it looks like it can use 5w30 with that Dexos 2 spec or 0w40, probably ck4 and hopefully not some European spec. If thats the case, you can get Petrocan Duron at a reasonable price or Rotella T6 when on sale.
 
OP
Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
One thing to check out is the cooling capacity.
I did see a video where a new Silvy was towing 7000# with a 6.2 DMax and the tranny overheated going uphill. It's the same 10 speed as in the 3.0 DMax. There is some concern that auxiliary coolers have been eliminated. Guess we can see why. If I get one of these trucks, I'll be keeping a close watch over the temps and either complain to the dealer or install an aux cooler myself.

I should be able to handle most of the maintenance. Watching a couple of videos on the filter change and it's pretty simple with a menu option of bleeding/flushing the system. And these engines use 0W20 Dexos D. Apparently, as of the 2020 video, only ACDelco and Amsoil are certified to that spec, and oddly enough, the Amsoil being cheaper. I would imagine that over time others will be certified.

Another thing to be aware of, well depends how picky ontariario is on emissions, is we can still get tunes or deletes up here.
Ontario has eliminated regular emissions testing a couple of years ago, however, apparently are subject to be pulled over by MTO if it looks like it's emitting more than it should. Probably cars and small trucks fly under their radar unless it's rolling coal or something.

On-road enforcement officers ensure compliance with these standards.

Would I do a delete on mine? Maybe but certainly not before the warranty expires, which is 5 years/100k km. But then the delete would be another expense unless it needs even more expensive parts replaced, like you.

And I also like that it's an I6, which would be an homage to the the Atlas I6 :biggrin:
 

BrianF

Well-Known Member
So I was digging a bit deeper into that Dexos D. Yes its a thin 20 weight but seems stout for what it is. Looked at some used oil analysis and nothing really to note, other than its thin at 100c. An oil like that is more than likely group 4 or 5 based.

I am sure it really is not bad priced and only 7 litres are needed. Looks like Mobil, Amsoil and ACDelco are the only ones right now. Mind you, I bet Mobil has the ACDelco contract. Once warranty is up I would probably grab some low SAPS Petrocan Duron UHP 5w30. But really I am an oil snob and its a really minimal cost.

It looks like the other change indexes such as driveline and fuel filter are quite good and nothing to really note. My only concern is that damn oil pump belt but as long as the rest of the engine, more notably the emissions systems are robust, its a doable compromise. I know most won't care as most dont keep vehicles long term. I recall you being able to rent space with a lift so really, you are mitigating the risk and cost by doing the work yourself.

I haven't looked at rhe fuel filter changes but I assume they are not bad if the truck has a lift pump. The old CP3 duramaxes had no lift pump and you had to manually prime the system. My 3500 needs a couple trips of the ignition to prime her up.

It looks like it has that thermal management system for the oil and possibly the transmission. So she is designed to run hot but can manage the heat inputs. I know the ecodiesels have similar but from what I see not a lot of failures, just no capacity.

I think its a cool prospect am sure it will fit you guys well. I guess one thing to be mindfully of is long idle times, short tripping and fuel dilution. It shouldn't be an issue with the shorter oil change indexes. I never had any issues in my ISB6.7 bit had done some tests to be sure.

Modern emmisons hate short trips, its best to run them up to operating temp in the colder months and using high idle if leaving it run for an extended period of time. When my engine was right fresh I got 2.47 or so percent fuel dilution with lots of short trips and cold weather idling. Prairie cold though. As my engine broke in, my dilution dropped, even though my winter driving habits got worse. But this is partially Rams DPF regen strategy. My truck uses in cylinder post combustion injections to send raw fuel to actively regen. GM had used a 9th injector post turbo so I assume they would use similar on the 3.0. This really mitigates fuel dilution.

I think you should get the damn thing. Join the diesel club. Hell I will send you a flat brimmed metal mulisha hat with that sticker on it, some pre ripped jeans, key lanyard, white spy sunglasses and some monster energy decals for the back glass. You can get a 10" lift semi wheels, a 7" exhaust tip and you can roll into oil patch country and talk about directional drilling, flush by's, power tongs and crap of that nature.
 
OP
Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
The fuel filter is actually quite easy. Any easier it would come with a trunk monkey to do it for you.

And he was at 13% filter life left at 20k miles (32k km) and he said he towed a lot so more fuel. According to him, the filter didn't even look that bad. According to RA, the filter is about $30 for the ACDelco.

Oil change by the same guy. He did his first early at 3700 miles (6000 km) at 50%. The PCM usually has an early first oil change. So if he was at 50%, the first oil change should have been done at 12k km, That's really good especially since the the next ones would be longer.

By the time the warranty is up, I'll probably switch to Rotella T6 if it's Dexos D compliant although that is just certification that oil makers pay GM. I'm sure the T6 would surpass that.

 

BrianF

Well-Known Member
That ain't bad for maintenance. 12,000km isn't bad for 7 litres. Mine is 11 litres and 24,000km.

The fuel filter index is really good and inexpensive. Thats absolutely miniscule over the long term cost of ownership.

I think you need to send us some pictures, it sounds like a decent wagon.
 
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Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
I had a look at the used one and it's just overpriced.


Now I may have found a new one exactly like I want.


Spoke with the salesperson and it's not yet on their lot. It was ordered 4 months ago but the guy is getting divorced so he cancelled but the truck was already built. However, because of the chip shortage, it has no PCM. Crazy! So I can't even test drive it and he doesn't even have another 3.0 for me to try. I put a deposit on it pending arrival, which he says should be by the end of this month. At least nobody else can scoop it from under me and I can back away if I want to.

Now there's just that colour. He said it's not silver, which I absolutely hate. This one is called "Satin steel metallic" and said it's darker than silver, kinda like a metallic grey. This could be a deal breaker if it's silver.

Oh, and I didn't look at all at the Chevys because I'm just not feeling the front end's look. The GMC still looks like a truck. And from what I heard, they're more expensive :confused:
 

BrianF

Well-Known Member
Those are really nice trucks. Your right, that used one is quite pricey. Not that 48k km is bad but for a bit more you get a new one.

That "grey" is not too bad. A friend has something similar on a Ford f150.

Regardless, thats still a pile of cash so it better be what you want.
 

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
Its not Silver.. Its almost like a ashy charcoal. I think its a beatiful color.
 

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
That used one is a Double cab, so a extended cab, with their own doors. Where as the new one is a true Crew Cab.
 
OP
Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
That used one is a Double cab, so a extended cab, with their own doors. Where as the new one is a true Crew Cab.
I didn't even notice that, even in person! Now it's really overpriced.
 

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
I think so..
 
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Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
I guess you couldn't see the build in the link I posted? It looks like this:



And what I like with my build is that it has the Multi-Pro tailgate. I hate the tailgate on the Avy, having to crawl in to grab stuff without that sliding box I made. And I also added running boards and hard tonneau cover. Absolutely love that on the Avy and great for traveling and sweeping the snow off.

Talked to the dealer again. They tried to pull a couple of fast ones with the useless security etching at $400 and a Carproof (Carfax) for $45 (on a new vehicle???). He gave me a $500 rebate for the etching, which is not the window etching type, and quietly removed the Carproof. He did say that the truck should be in by next week.

But it is a big chunk of change and on a fixed pension income, payments may prove to be difficult.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
The fact that you are up at One O'clock in the Morning pondering this vehicle is reason enough to study the whole thing in great detail. Man... THAT is a LOT of Bread... and as a fellow Police Pensioner... I can tell you that "Buyer's Remorse" is more likely to settle in sooner than later when that *Huge Truck Payment on the Huge Truck* vs. the *Fixed Income* reality comes around at the end of each month.

Some Automotive Videos on Youtube of an anecdotal nature should be taken with a Grain of Salt. But in THIS instance... the VOP (Video Original Poster) is a Truck Enthusiast who has one of the members of the actual GM Duramax Diesel Engine Development Team (The Lead Engineer) on this ZOOM Meeting and he pins him down on the Facts about the Duramax 3.0 L Motor.

His focus involved getting answers to all of "The Questions about the 150,000 Mile Variable Displacement Oil Pump Belt Change" and its other internal design features requiring this action. The Ending to this Story has the implication of "Do this VDOP Belt Change WITHOUT FAIL" ...or else. The other Comments made below this YTV are also contributory and the Duramax 3D Video shows more of what most of us have never seen before about this GM Duramax Diesel Engine Platform:

 
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NJTB

Silver Supporter
It's tough justifying that kind of money, unless you have a buisness or a farm that requires that type of vehicle.
My first house (1980) was $50,000, it's what I guage everything else off of. If the price comes near that number, I probably don't need it and will look for other options.
It's what's stopping me from buying a new Traverse, plus that dopey shutting off at stoplights.
 

BrianF

Well-Known Member
That is a lot of cash to spend on a half ton. Its easy for me to tell others how to spend their money.

I look back at my situation. I think the sticker for my 2017 3500 was 77k. After some haggling and a small trade in it might have been closer to 65k all in. Thats a big payment. I have buyers remorse 11 months out of the year as a gas half ton would do what we need. Now that one time we hauled in north of 110,000 pounds of hay it completely justified my purchase and the time and money it would have cost me to haul that in with a half ton would have been crazy.

You will gain fuel economy, hopefully reliability and possibly some towing capacity. Does that justify its purchase price?

Again, looking back at my situation. Before moving up to my 3500, I had looked at the "heavy" half tons. Nissan had the new Cummins powered Titan. Looked cool on paper but cost a pretty penny for a truck that had half ton performance at a one ton price. The ecodiesel had great fuel economy and drivability but a small tow rating. Less than 10,000 pounds and it had no cooling capacity. It too was pricey. This left me with the HD trucks.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Here is the same Truck Enthusiast VOP (Video Original Poster) giving a very decent in-depth breakdown about the 2020 GMC Sierra comparing the Diesel vs. Pump Gas Vehicles in different displacement arrangements AND the reality of towing with a 3.0L Diesel In-Line Engine and its limitations and fuel consumption comparisons:

 
OP
Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
Good morning :biggrin:

I've watched just about every YT video (aka: truck porn), including those, regarding the 3.0. The thing about the oil pump belt, I'm OK with that. When it does come up for replacement, the truck will be out of warranty at 240k km, I'll be an old man and will likely have it done by a shop. I would also likely have the tranny rebuilt at the same time depending on what others have been experiencing with failures and overall condition of the truck.

As far as the finances are concerned, apart from my pension, I do have backup in the form of my mom's properties I have inherited, including my childhood home she was renting out. I can tap into its equity if I have to and will be selling it in a couple of years regardless. I am not concerned about having to live in my truck because the payments are as high as a mortgage. Unlike my mom, I won't be sitting on a pile of cash when I go and have the taxman take half of it.

You will gain fuel economy, hopefully reliability and possibly some towing capacity. Does that justify its purchase price?
I will definitely save on the fuel but apart from traveling with the trailer, I don't drive a whole lot anymore. However that would change dramatically once my wife retires herself, hopefully in a couple of years. We were supposed to travel while she works out of the trailer however her dislocated shoulder has changed that since she is doing physiotherapy twice a week. We're hoping to do a couple more trips this summer and fall.

My only beef right now is because of the shortage of chips and trucks, I won't have any wiggle room at all to haggle on the price. The dealer knows full well that he can sell it at sticker or even higher. Supply and demand rears its ugly head. It's also the reason for the stupid high prices on used trucks as well and Americans coming up here to snatch them isn't helping.
 

BrianF

Well-Known Member
Well jeeze, here we are treating you like some sort of homeless despot rubbie dub, cruising to the soup kitchen in his 6.0 Caprice.

Anyways it was funny that I started getting vehicle adds popping up on Facebook. Found a nice Mormon white 1500 in Alberta. Somewhat cheaper, crew, that real rich tailgate but more poverty style wheel package.
 

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BrianF

Well-Known Member
Now the add says 8 speed but elsewhere is states 3L diesel and from my reading, 5he 10spd was the only option.
 

cornchip

Well-Known Member
What's up with 2021? North or South of the boarder....we are doing exactly the same things when it come to vehicles. I made my decision in January to buy new having looked at the alternatives with used vehicles (high prices and higher mileage). The math to buy new just made sense on a factory order and a decent percentage off MSRP that you only get with a dealer ordered vehicle. I have no remorse at this moment....so I couldn't be happier. The Trailblazer is still going to soldier on for a few more years taking me to work and back......so don't worry guys. Buy the truck Moose!

My new ride delivered 6 weeks ago. 2021 JLUR with a 3.6 automatic Etorque. Could have paid for a 3.0 diesel...but Jeeps don't have enough frontal area to cool the
Good morning :biggrin:

I've watched just about every YT video (aka: truck porn), including those, regarding the 3.0. The thing about the oil pump belt, I'm OK with that. When it does come up for replacement, the truck will be out of warranty at 240k km, I'll be an old man and will likely have it done by a shop. I would also likely have the tranny rebuilt at the same time depending on what others have been experiencing with failures and overall condition of the truck.

As far as the finances are concerned, apart from my pension, I do have backup in the form of my mom's properties I have inherited, including my childhood home she was renting out. I can tap into its equity if I have to and will be selling it in a couple of years regardless. I am not concerned about having to live in my truck because the payments are as high as a mortgage. Unlike my mom, I won't be sitting on a pile of cash when I go and have the taxman take half of it.


I will definitely save on the fuel but apart from traveling with the trailer, I don't drive a whole lot anymore. However that would change dramatically once my wife retires herself, hopefully in a couple of years. We were supposed to travel while she works out of the trailer however her dislocated shoulder has changed that since she is doing physiotherapy twice a week. We're hoping to do a couple more trips this summer and fall.

My only beef right now is because of the shortage of chips and trucks, I won't have any wiggle room at all to haggle on the price. The dealer knows full well that he can sell it at sticker or even higher. Supply and demand rears its ugly head. It's also the reason for the stupid high prices on used trucks as well and Americans coming up here to snatch them isn't helping.

Dealers are hungry right now for sales. With sales volume low, they will sign a standard deal that should be easy enough to get. That I would say should be around 12 to 14 percent off MSRP on a factory order. I did 14 in January just as the chip madness started. I wasn't offered enough on my trade to bother......just $750 for the Trailblazer. I'll continue to drive it to work for the 3 to 5 years....or more.



 
OP
Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
Sometimes ads and listings get mixed up between the standard equipment and what it's actually equipped with.

Nothing today except that I I decided to not buy the accessories with the truck. The tonneau cover and running boards I can get cheaper at another local dealer via their website and install them myself. That way I save on the price and labour and won't pay interest on them for 7 years. Same for the TPMS sensors for the trailer.

But seriously, you buy it yet??
It's still sitting without a PCM in a lot somewhere. I do have a deposit on it if that satisfies you. :biggrin: Or were you asking @cornchip ?

Don't worry, Once I do buy it (or not), I'll let you guys know.
 
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Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
Hey, I've got pen in hand but there's no truck here yet. Can't drive a build sheet. I'm pretty sure the salesman is eager to sell it too.

Anybody have any tactics I could possibly use to dicker with him? I was thinking of saying that I don't like the colour because it's close to being silver (although I actually like it) or say that I found a used one which comes to about $13k less.

Anyway, here's some porn for you guys in the meantime :biggrin:
 

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NJTB

Silver Supporter
It used to be, on cars, the bottom line cars cost the dealer about 17% of MSRP, mid line 23%, and top line 30%. If the dealer has a floor plan that goes out the window, as they're payng monthly on the vehicle. Sometimes you can get a better deal on something that sat on the lot for a while, as the dealer don't want to continue paying for it. That was in the 80's, don't know now.
Worked for Cadillac/Buick/Oldsmobile (as a mechanic) for many years and this was the rule of thumb.
Don't like haggling, now I do the math in my head, and just ask the salesman what's his best out the door price, (so I don't have to deal with the 'add ons'). If he's a few hundred dollars of the price I figured, it's a sale.
Today, I don't know the percentages, but pretty sure it's close.
 

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
Unfortunately, with todays market. haggling on the price gets you pretty much no where. I guarantee that dealer will have the truck sold in 2 days if @Mooseman doesnt buy it. Chip shortages, and a crazy market.

We just bought 5 2022 Volvo Semi Trucks. 4 of them were built, but not complete due to chip shortages. Since we have a company program set up, we were able to buy them at MSRP. Usually we get them for 15k below MSRP. Not this year...
 
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Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
It's definitely a seller's market for sure. And with GM idling their truck plants too, it ain't getting any better.
 
OP
Mooseman

Mooseman

Moderator
Nah. No telling what the chip shortage will be like and I would rather have it now, get rid of the Avy and go travelling. I just did the cculation and I used 950L of gas during our 3000km trip with the trailer. Average price for gas was $1.40/L. You do the math.
 

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