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plowing with 8.1 litre

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by butter, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. butter

    butter Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    I was just wondering if anybody on the forum plows with an 8.1 litre? My buddy, who plows as well, is looking at buying a new truck and was considering the 8.1. He currently has a 1995 350 gm and was wondering how it was on gas pushin the white gold. He is undecided on the big block or the diesel, as i have the dmax to compare too. Almost forgot, he will be putting on an a straight 8ft poly. Thanks for any input, as we haven't ran into anybody who has a big block around our neck of the woods.:waving:
  2. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    I run a 8.1 in my '01 2500. It is a hog on fuel pretty much anytime you drive it. Last summer I was able squezze 16MPG from it on the way to Lake Powell in Utah. Plowing this winter I have not gotten much over 10MPG. I run 265/75's in the winter, and 245/75's in the summer, so that may have a little to do with the extra poor mileage in the winter.

    On the plus side, the 8.1 can really get up and go. Taking off from a stop sign or stop light, it will throw you back into your seat if you put a heavy foot into it.

    I have only had two problems with the motor. Power steering pump went out a couple weeks back, then around the middle of Jan, the heli coil they use for the oil pan drain plug came out with the plug. All was covered by warranty.

    Take a look at the weight of that 8' Poly you plan on using. I recently started running an 8.5 meyer on my truck, and then took it to the scales. I am 27lbs from overloading the front axle. Poly plows are traditionally heavier than standard steel plows, so you might want to double check the weight of your plow first. I believe the weight of my plow is 763lbs. Just another thing to consider.

    Let me know if I can give you any more details.

  3. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    I have two 8.1 L with the Allison trans, both in 2002 2500 HD's, one Chevy on GMC. Both are gas hogs for sure, though I don't help that with my driving habits. While plowing I was getting 6 or 7 miles to the gallon, 4 wd. Haven't really taken it on long road trips (no cruise control), but when I did I got about 12 to 14 on a 4 hr drive. Have factory tires on them still. Plowing with a 9'2 boss V blades and a fair bit of ballast in the rear end.

    Decided it was worth the extra money over the 6.1 L since I was knew I was putting the v plows on. I don't need a diesel since my trucks get fewer than 10 K miles a year on them, so I can't say one way or another about diesel. If you're wondering about power though, there is plenty. I think the gas/diesel agrument comes down to economy and whether you'll recoup the additional cost from the diesel in fuel economy - which means you need to put some miles on the truck.

    Also - the diesel adds weight to the front end and may preclude you from putting a plow on certain trucks. My friend has a 2000 (I think) Dodge 3500 duelly Diesel, etc. Couldn't put a Boss on it - went with a Western. Don't know what other vehicles would be problematic, but just spec it out ahead of time in my opinion.
  4. butter

    butter Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Thanks for the replies.

    He currently runs that 8ft poly on his 1995 3/4GM. The front axle rating is higher on the hds if i remember than his truck, and his truck handles the poly no problem(814lbs). I'll tell him what you guys said, and i'm sure this is going to make his decision even harder. He ruled out the 6.0L as he tows quite a bit in the summer(construction) and wanted some more grunt. He is torn between the 8.1 and the dmax, but he's having a hard time with the extra diesel price:eek: . He definatly wants the allison. I can only share what i know first hand with me having the diesel, and don't want to persued him in spending the extra money and then realizing he didn't have to cut off that extra arm and leg to get it. I want to tell him if he goes to the diesel, he'll never go back to the gassers if he's impressed as i am(first time owner of a diesel, and wouldn't think of going back to gas) but to each there own. I'm sure i will buy another gas as the wife wants a suburban. Now if i can hold her off long enough for the dmax to come out(2004?) and maybe slip a plow harness underneath without her knowing :realmad: , i'd be set. :waving:
  5. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    He better thinks again. Do a search on Allison. Quite a few people have problems with them.
  6. butter

    butter Junior Member
    Messages: 25


    What bad things have you heard? I have the ally and have only had one problem. The NSBU swith went south and was replaced with a new and improved switch with a shield to prevent moisture from screwin it up. All the guys i have talked too that have the ally love it except some complain about it is slow in reverse. I agree, but if you want to go faster than the tranny lets you(25kms) IMHO you are going too fast and are just asking for problems(tranny, and accidents). I am on the diesel page forum about the duramax and allison and haven't heard of any major flaws or such. These guys over there know there stuff and some are medium to heavly modified, as myself and haven't had any major problems happen like any other brand of slushbox would have. :eek: Curious too what you have heard, as i'm not sure i'd believe it, knowing what i've heard and know as fact.:confused:
  7. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Butter i go on the diesel page once in a while,there are pages upon pages of tranny problems on there about allison problems.I personally think they are a good tranny,but when one does have something wrong the dealers arent able to repair it ,and do the job right the first time,this is a shame. They throw parts at them until they fix it,this could take several times.Of the problem trucks,most seem to have repeat failures.This is proof that the true problem isnt being fixed,they just keep putting new trannys in them,to get them thru warranty. Do not forget the duramax should be worth 2000-2500 more than an 8100 truck 3 yrs from now,so you do get some back in addition to the mileage gains.Power wise the 8100 has a slight edge empty and the dmax seems to have a slight edge towing.
  8. myo

    myo Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I would tell him to go with the diesel for the plowing and towing.