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03 2500HD with 6.0

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by MIKE'S MIRAGE, Feb 9, 2009.


    MIKE'S MIRAGE Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 9

    Hello to all. I am looking at an 03 2500HD with the 6.0. The truck had approx. 70K on it. I'm just looking for input on the truck and engine. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks
  2. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    we have an 02HD 98K miles, decent to good overall, lots of annoying issues.

    bad window regulators, both sides have been replaced and are still acting up.
    cracked passenger exhaust manifold
    bad fuel pump just replaced
    had a funky electrical issue with the truck that kept occuring, was in the shop like 4 times, now its fine
    good turning radius even in 4x4 though i hate torsion bars
    have a few rust spots by the window seal, factory issue, pissed about this.
    we have the 4.10 gears and this thing sucks gas like no tomorrow
    engine has good power especially on the highway
    tows well enough, but likes to shift around a bunch
    leaking axle seal
    they had to rebuild the trans as reverse went out around 20K miles
    lots of rusted brake lines and trans lines, had to replace both.
    and some other stuff.
  3. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    I have an 02 2500hd with 6.0gas plowed it whole life
    160K on it with no major break downs but a few minor annoyances

    Both front wheel barings had to be replaced after 120K
    Tansfer case wore a hole through it at the pump (125K)
    needed new transfercase encoder motor after driving through puddles 2+ feet deep (about 135K)
    Exhaust manifold studs broken off one side had a cracked manifold (85K)
    Driver side window needed a new regulator (power windows)
    Baffle broke inside muffler, a new muffler is $650.00 (150K)
    Kept chewing up alternators ( dual batteries solved this) Probably due to 12-14+ hour plow trips with excessive movement of the V plow (takes more pumping then a straight plow)

    All in all, even with the repairs above which I don't think are excessive given the age milage and usage of the truck. I think its a great truck and would not hesitate to buy one again. I have timbrens in the front end to hold up the 8'6" ez V plow and other then that its bone stock. It has the 4.10 rear end(stock) so its not the worlds greatest on gas milage but I have never lacked the power to tow what I wanted to tow either maybe not as fast as I wanted climbing a steep grade but..... The gearing lets it operate in the power band on the highway so its minimal shifts when towing at least in my area of the country.

    I have plowed enough with the truck to more then pay for it and the plow and the repairs. So the truck definatly made me money over the years just on plowing and still runs and drives great. Tranny is strong as ever and the motor shows no signs of quitting any time soon. I plan on replacing the shocks(original) and maybe painting the frame this summer. I kinda want a new truck but this one runs to good to replace so I need to sell the wife on having two trucks.


    MIKE'S MIRAGE Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the reply guys. Greatly appreciate it.
  5. Clint S

    Clint S Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Check the manifolds they turn into a glob of rust. other than the annoying Steering clunks and driveshaft clunks (just annoying noises not a big problem) our 03 as been good to us
  6. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    My '02 has been great. Bought it the past summer. It's only needed U-Joints since I bought it. Plows great. Tons of power with a lot of get up and go. Doesn't do great on gas, but oh well, it's a truck. It has headers, so at one time the manifolds must have gone on it.

    BigLou80: Please tell me you did not spend $650 for a new muffler. Please!!!!
  7. ogdenflooring

    ogdenflooring Member
    Messages: 92

    Annoyances is the perfect word for the issues on an HD. Overall, A good truck, good for at least 200k w/ proper maint., good power, but gasoholics!! expect to replace manifold studs (multiple) if you do any towing. I miss my chevys, and dont like my ford!!!!

    I had the end cap on the power steering gearbox crack. Anybody heard of this? (on the HD)
    $450 part. This was the ONLY time it left me stranded. My next truck will have the Ally in it!
  8. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,220

    Expect what gm calls normal seepage from the front diff. 89 did it, 98 does it and now i see signs that my 4 month old 08 is doing it. Going to have to take it in to dealer and make them replace the seal.
  9. cocco78

    cocco78 Senior Member
    Messages: 158

    *getting my flame suit on!*

    This thread made me laugh. I've owned 2 gm trucks, a 99 2500 with the 6.0, sold that at 115k with many annoyances that needed fixing. The 6.0L is a motor that like to rev, nothing wrong with that, and decent mileage for a 3/4 ton as high as 15mpg! I currently a 99 1500 with the 5.3 which has 160k on it now, with a stack of recipts equalling more than I paid for the truck (only reason I bought it, I new it had all been fixed). And I have a 2000 2500 at work that I plow with, tow trailers, haul stuff. I have had all the same problems as the previous posters. Typical poor GM quality, but they do seem to have great motors, I would take a vortec V8 over ford or dodge gas V8's. And most all GM die hards who love their trucks call these annoyances, but on any other brand it would be a reason for bashing.
  10. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    My boss has that exact same truck that I plow with usually about 8-10 hours per storm and I love it. Rides Excellent much better than my 99. Has more power than I could ever use even when pushing a 9' plow through drifts. Just make sure you stop 100% before every shift and keep an eye on your trans temps and it should treat you well.
  11. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    I did, It took us less then ten minutes to install which was much better then cutting the old exhaust apart and trying to make some that was bound to fail or leak in the future work or having a whole new ehxaust system made.

    It's my daily driver that I take to clients homes year round and plow with at all hours in the winter. Most of my clients would not find a louder aftermarket exhaust cool

    I wanted it done and done right so I could stop scaring small children. The cost was a secondary consideration besides I feel that I got my moneys worth when I saw what GM had shipped me It almost didn't fit in the wifes mini van when I went to pick it up. The muffer is more like 75% of the exhaust system it includes one of the cats and all of the tail pipe

  12. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    I don't think GM has low quality at least not from the many GM vehicles I have owned, now my experiance with chrysler products is a bit different.

    My 6.0 does not like to rev under normal driving conditions, maybye this is why you have had such bad luck are you winding it out to 5 grand leaving a stop sign? I almost never break 3000RPM most of the time its under 2500 RPM even on the high way. The only time I go above 3K is towing large loads up steep inclines

    I think with the exception of the exhaust manifolds most of it is minor annoyances compared to Dodges inability to build a transmission for any of their vehicles or the turbos ford was putting in the new 6 litre diesel.

    NO TRUCK IS PERFECT, its more a matter of picking your potential problem and wieghing them in against the benefits of that brand of truck.
  13. The mayor

    The mayor Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    I just replaced one of my coil packs. I got a service engine light and it started running rough. As long as i was there i just replaced all the spark plugs.It has 65000 miles. First engine hick up. Hopefully my last. It is a great engine, alittle thirsty but that has to expected with the size of the engine and the 4:10 rear end.
  14. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    the 6.0L motor designated Lq4, is an iron block variant of the LS1 and LS2 motors. which is why they make their power closer to 4K rpms. when your on the highway, just throw the pedal to the floor and you'll be surprised at how well this thing picks up at 65mph.
  15. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    I have a 2000 6.0 ecsb. Works well, 118k on it and its a beast. 12mpg though, you've been warned...thats unloaded at 55 on the highway, around town stop and go traffic or plowing for me...for what its worth thoguh I don't plow commercially so my plowing fuel economy is irrelevant.

    I have very bad rusting on the rear corners of the cab on both sides...needs rockers. I've seen lots of similar vintage trucks (all extended cab trucks too...no reg cabs, no crews) with identical rusting...it starts from the inside by the way. Also my tailgate trunnions just rusted to nothing...easy fix, but hard to locate the parts locally.

    Mechanically I've got zero issues. Motor runs great, suspension, brakes, steering...its all been good to me.

    Just don't buy a 6.0 truck and expect decent economy out of it. Plan on 11-13mpg as your norm and be happy if you do better.
  16. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    That's pricey, but I understand where you are coming from. Having the cat with it too makes a big difference. I thought it was just $650 for a muffler.
  17. cocco78

    cocco78 Senior Member
    Messages: 158

    My normal driving condtions with my work truck with the 6.0L is towing, and that motor makes its power high up in the rpm band. Ask almost anyone who ones one and works it, if you do alot of towing your going to see higher rpm's no matter how you drive. In tow/haul the truck holds the gear till you hit 4 grand even on an easy freeway entrances, and just about any hill if you don't want to drop down to 45mph. When I'm not towing a trailer I see 15mpg pretty regularly, so that should give some insight how I drive.

    Now my personal truck I have right now is a half ton gmc with the 5.3L and it has the same characteristics while towing as the 6.0L.. And the local transmission shop in town here makes a good living rebuilding 700r4's and 4l60's so I don't think gm builds any better of a transmission. He doesn't see any more or less gm trans than ford or dodge. At least GM had the good sense to buy a trans to put behind the d-max!

    I do see that at least with gm and ford recently the quality has gone way up, I've always been a fan of dodge trucks though. Before I got my chevy 2500 at work, my previous truck was was a 2001 Dodge 2500, 360, 4x4, auto, and we got rid of it at 200k miles with the only major work done to it was a fuel pump, water, pump, and wheel bearings. Its still driving around on the original trans with well over 200k on it by now. That thing was a beast, could handle a plow, haul anything, didn't get hung up on stuff on job sites. but the 360 was a dog and I don't think I ever seen more than 12mpg, ever!! It is really a shame though how bad the rockers rust on the 99+ GM extended cab trucks, its really bad and I only see it on the extended cabs. My rockers and cab corners are gone, and not even a bubble of rust anywhere else on the truck! And my current truck spent many years in NC so it didn't see winter for about half its life!

    yeah, pick you poison...
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  18. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Mine is a 2000 2500 with the 6.0 It has the 4.10 gears in it and the push button 4x4 (which I hate). I got, before the tune and goodies, 12 mpg regularly and maybe 14 on the highway. Now since I have done some work to it, 16 city and best is 19 highway empty. The 6.0 has plenty of power, and lots more with what I did. GM has this stupid thing called torque management, which basically, retards the engine spark closer to the 5k range. I dont know why they did this, but they did. With the tune, most of that TM is gone and what a friggen difference it makes!!! It will easily peel the tires on the 1-2 shift. Not that I drive around doing it constantly, but had to try it out once the tune was in.

    My annoyances with it: rocker panels are getting the swiss cheese effect, and it is a regular cab. Nothing else is rusted out though. Power window regulators suck at best. The door hinges wear out, but they are rebuildable. Broken exhaust studs. The manifolds are still good, just the studs are junk. Otherwise it has been a great truck to me and I would buy another truck with the 6.0 in it. It has 134,000 on it right now and has lots of life left in it. I think the 03 HD has the 4L85E transmission in it. It is the same as the 4L80E, except it has 5 planetary gears in it versus the 80E's 4. That solved alot of the reliability issues with them. Just keep up on the maintenance and the truck will treat you well

    MIKE'S MIRAGE Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 9

    Guys I really appreciate the responses. This will be my first Chevy product I have personally owned. I deal with GM on a daily basis (in the marine field) and the power plants seem to be great. I have owned Dodge's and Ford's. I really won't be doing a lot of plowing or driving with this truck. The only plowing will be my own personal driveway. As for a daily driver...I just got rid of a Ford I had for a little over 2 years and only logged a little over 4000 miles since I bought it. Please keep the responses coming. It's amazing how thru this post, I already know where to look for potential problems and what to expect. Thanks again.
  20. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558


    Where did you get your enginer tune ? how much was it and how long have you had it ? my truck is long out of warranty and I am interested in buying one