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Duramax and Allison Transmission

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by CCLC, Feb 1, 2001.

  1. CCLC

    CCLC Member
    Messages: 91

    I have heard a lot of positive things about GM's new duramax diesel and allison transmission combo. I went to the dealer to check one out yesterday and WOW. $4800.00 for the engine upgrade and $1200.00 for the transmission. I didn't realize the upfront cost of these engines. Has anyone purchased one?
  2. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    They are out of their minds.
  3. earth works inc.

    earth works inc. Member
    Messages: 37

    i have looked at them, but they are a little pricey. the allison transmission is suppose to be tough as nails and you have a hookup for a pto if you need it.

    my dealer qouted around $38,000 for a cab and chassis. he did mention that the 4x4's where not coming with a snow plow prep. i asked him if a plow was put on then would the warranty be voided and he replied yes.

    seem crazy to me to build a truck like that and not have set up for a commercial plower.
  4. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    From sifting thru the postings here, it seems nobody has actually bought one, but are just aping the rhetoric spewed forth by Madison Ave types.

    Think about those sprite commercials, image is everything (?)

    My wimpy Dodge 3/4 ton gas 5.9 has a PTO port, came with the plow package.
  5. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    Your Dodge has a PTO plate on the automatic transmission?

    Everything about the new HD/Duramax/Allison series look good except for two things....1) PRICE!!! and 2) Reverse gear is too low! I'm still saving my pennies for a 2002 though!
  6. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    You can get a plow prep, and it wont void your warranty. Many times with the diesel package you get all the plow prep items with it. HD front springs, all the coolers, dual batts, and hd rear springs. The allison must have the pto option from the factory, so not all allisons trannies will have that feature. You have to talk to a commercial sale person, the floor guys dont have a clue. and the allison is a 2200.00 option not 1200.00. the d max option is about the same as a cummins option tho, and alot less than a HO cummins option.
    As far as the low reverse goes, remember that the d max, only has the 3.73 gears available, so if you are used to 4.10 rear gears, then the rpms in reverse will be about the same.
    that 38K seems high, I demoed a fully loaded 3500 x cab pick up, will all the goodies except leather for 38K, so a cab and chassis should be less. I also looked at the same truck in dodge packaging,with the HO cummins and 6 sp, and it was the same money.
    Its been mentioned that the Gm frame still isnt all that strong, but one has to remember that they use a new forming process, that allows them to use a smaller box frame, that is stronger than c channel frames. Its called hydro forming, and it uses water under high pressure to form the rails. They also have added more cross beams, that stiffens the frame. I went to the power launch tour, and all three brands were side by side, and the gm frame had the least amount of frame flex when going over whoops, yet still had the best traction from the ifs. In fact with all three having limited slip rear diffs, the gm was the only truck to go through the whoops without 4wd. They really do make a great rear locker.
    Now the ford and dodge people will poo poo this, but I dont care. That is why they make 3 brands. You can have yours, and I will have mine.
  7. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    You may not realize this but an awful lot of the concrete mixers on the road run Allison transmissions.

    Happy Plowing
  8. CCLC

    CCLC Member
    Messages: 91

    Actually I looked at another GM truck today. If your spend $4800 for the Duramax the Allison Tranny is $1200. If you opt for the 8100 gas enging the same Allison Tranny is $2300. Go figure...
  9. Plowboy

    Plowboy Member
    Messages: 34

    I want one really really bad, but due to the power of the $ I will get another ford. the other issue is all local dealers say 8-10 months on all orders, and then no guarantees that you will get it then.
  10. CCLC

    CCLC Member
    Messages: 91

    I have only been able to find 1 duramax on a dealers lot (though I have looked too much). But it was an undesirable type truck. 3/4 ton, 2wheel drive, 4 door, long box.
  11. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Same deal here in Canada.Most sitting on the lots are 2WD 34's or cube vans.Haven't seen a 4WD yet,and dealer will not guarantee one for next season.
  12. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176


    I've been dying to see a duramax but haven't found one in anyones lots yet. I saw a few 8.1's, but they did not have an allison. As for price, I can only imagine so far what they are selling them for. Saw a nice looking 3500HD, regular cab, 8.1, dually, basically stripped except for AC for around 33000 (sticker) with the old type tranny (at least the stick didn't say allison), but no alison to be found on the entire lot. I'm confused because I now they will only sell the duramax with either the allison or the 6 spd manual, but are they selling the 8.1 with the old automatic still, as I heard it was the same way with them too?

    One thing I heard (wish I heard it earlier as I bought a 2500HD with 6.0) is that guys with the 8.1 and 3.73 gears are getting close to the same mileage as guys with the 6.0 and 4.10. Like a .15 difference on the highway, and not far off on the local either. Heard guys say there getting 22+ on the highway with duramax and up to 16 pulling some heavy trailers.

    Just want to hear one of those duramax's. Our 6.5's at work almost give you a hearing impairment when you start them up in the morning. Want to see how 'quiet' these trucks really are.

    Have heard a few problems with allisons' so far though. Some guys are reporting they aren't going into gear, others saying they can't figure out the downshift system, and others (of course) complaining about the slow reverse. One thing I don't like is the allison seems very 'computerized', which too me seems to lead to problems, especially in the first year.


    [Edited by steveair on 02-01-2001 at 09:00 PM]
  13. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    I know you guys are making all the Big Bucks.
    Don't forget most of the cabovers (18000gvw)have allison's.Heck of a lot cheaper and you get more bang for your buck!
    Well just had to put in my 2 cents :D
  14. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    "Your Dodge has a PTO plate on the automatic transmission?"

    Actually its in the transfer case.

    The Allison in the new GM isnt the same one in the heavy trucks ie Oshkosh ready-mix trucks. Those trucks have a monster trans with a coffe can sized spin-on filter. The GM application is special to light-duty trucks. Its torque capacity is not much more than the corporate trans it replaces; rather its shining star is the wider gear ratios (and one more) and it automatically engages the clutches when decelerating, where on GM/Chryco/Ford you must manually shift to 2 or 1.

    Dino, how do you like your new Duramax/Allison truck? I assume you own one, what with all the glowing things you have to say about it ;)
  15. DaveO

    DaveO PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Ma.
    Messages: 299


    "Heard guys say there getting 22+ on the highway with duramax and up to 16 pulling some heavy trailers."

    What is so surprising about that mileage? Iv'e been getting that out of my Cummins for almost a year now. 70 mph highway is 22mpg, towin is 12-16 depending on speed. Average combined is 17-18mpg.

  16. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176


    what is surprising is look at HP and torque compared to your cummins and then compare.

  17. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    The 8.1 and auto will get you the allison. They are not putting the 4L80E behind the new 8.1.
    No I dont own one, but have read everything there is to read about them, and have seen the side by side un biased comparison. But even with all that it wont make a difference to some, and thats ok. We are all entitled to like different things.
    What gets me, is when someone bashes a product they have never seen or driven. But some will say the product is unproven, and that is true to a limited extent. the package has been in testing for 3 yrs already.But the PS was new in 94, and the new ram was untested in 94 as well.
    The next gen of ram will be new in 2003, and untested. So the best we can do is hope that the trucks performs to the best of it ability for what you use it for.
    As for availability, there are three trucks with the d max and allison at my local dealer in town. 2 with the 8.1, and about 20 with the 6.0.
    I dont think the d max is avaiable in vans yet, so any cube vans with diesels are the old 6.5 td.
    If it was time to replace my truck, I would not hesitate to buy that combo of a truck, what I am hoping is that when I do replace my in the next 2 yrs, that they have a 450/550 equal that i can look at.
  18. tjg

    tjg Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    They are everything the are suppose to be. I have driven one, and got one on order, should be here in about 6 to 8 weeks. I am a good friend of the dealer and have been doing all there lawn care for 6 years(that all helps alot) I'm getting it for about $4,000 off sticker or about $1000 over sticker which I don't mind because I make more than that off them a month during mowing. I will let everyone know the fact and not fib about it when it gets here. The truck I drove was not at this dealer was in a bigger city and I was playing w/ the salewomen.
  19. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Friend of mine drove a duramax the other day. Said the power is unbelievable. He gunned it and it damn near put him through the back of the seat.

    As far as noise, he said it is very Quiet from inside the cab, he almost couldn't tell the engine was running. From outside the cab, you can tell its a diesel, but the only real noise is when you open the hood with the engine running.

    Sounds like GM has finally learned how to insulate a engine bay.

  20. DaveO

    DaveO PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Ma.
    Messages: 299



    You wouldn't want to compare the hp/torque curves of the new Duramax to MY Cummins. The Dmax wouldn't compare, trust me on this one. Same with Dockboys stroke.

    Not knockin the Dmax, I think it's great that GM has raised the bar. I just don't believe all the hype until it has been proven. If I was lookin for a new truck it would be a consideration.

    I'm just waitin for Dino to get one so we can "test" em!..LOL