New Truck


Junior Member
I'm considering buying a 2002 GMC 2500 vs 2500hd. Both have plow packages and heavy duty trailering equipment. The 2500 seems to ride better and this will be my every day vehicle as well as occasional commercial plowing in SE PA. The 2500 is 8600gvw
the 2500hd is 9200lbs.gvw. Do I need to go with the HD or not?
Also, the HD has electronic shift transfer case. What is that? Thanks. Paul


Senior Member
Moline, IL
If 2500 is all you need, go for it. A lot of people opt for the HD just because it looks better or they wanted the crew cab etc.

Electronic shift transfer case has buttons to shift to 4x4 electronically (push the button, and your ready to go) versus the floor lever. Here's a pic of what it is:



Senior Member
I agree in thoery with last post, however...

I had the bracket that switches the truck into 4X4 break off from corrosion, so either can fail. At least the electronics are not likely to be exposed to the elements. (Just playing Devil's advocate) It seems a good case could be made for either style, although I definitely understand the line of thinking that it is just one more part prone to failure.

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
I was on my way to work the other day in our 2000 Ford Ranger, with "push button" 4wd. The 4wd light started blinking. I looked in the owner's manual to see if there was a code, and there was.... it said if the light starts blinking, take it to the dealer. A rusty bracket I can make or fix to get into 4wd, a blinking light well.....



Junior Member
2500 vs 2500hd

thanks everybody fpr the input. I didnt get much feedback on the 2500 vs the 2500hd. turns out both do have elec shift transfer, was just not listed on the sheet. OryanO told me what i wanted to hear but still not sure. where is the xtra weight on the hd? bigger brakes, springs,? thanks again for the responses,, any more??
I don't have a Chevy catalog in front of me. But I would assume yes, larger brakes, maybe extra spring. I know 2500 hd are 9200 gvw, same as old 3500 single rear wheel chevys. Standard 2500 is 8600 gvw, same as old (old body)2500hd. Catalog will tell difference. I know the old style ones had different transfer cases also. Hope this helps.


2000 Club Member
I don't know if it still holds true, but the difference used to be in the rear axle, the HD model had a floating rear vs. non floating in the standard model. For some reason I think the floating axle is only available in the 3500 now, but I'm not 100% sure. I'd opt for the HD if that axle is still available.

Electronic vs. manual tranfer case: I always pick the manual stuff, in hubs too. I had the tranfer case lever break off on one truck too, but I was able to crawl under the truck and put it in gear with a bar to get the truck home. Could you do this if the solenoid or something else failed in the elerctronic version?
GUYS....The 2500 ld or hd you can get either a floor
shift or push button. On the 2500 LD you can get
the auto-trac pushbutton 4 wd but not on HD.
It really does not make a difference between the
floor shift or push button anyway. The front hubs
engage by electric /vaccuum anyway. All the shift
on the floor does is engage the transfer case
anyway. I have had them all autotrac, push button,
and floor shift. Only 1 failure on my 90 GMC with
floor shift. The elec/vac. unit that engages the front
hubs died.
Just make sure you get snow plow prep pkg. !

ORYANO: You have the auto trac like i do !
Great feature in so-so weather !

BTW: I just bought a new 2002 Deville ! Nice car !
My 96 Caddy was gonna need some repairs at 90 K
So it had to go..................
Last edited:

Lawn Lad

Senior Member
Not much else to mention here other than what has been said. I just bought a 2500HD (2002). I have two other 2500's (a '91 and '97). Granted their older - but GVW are both 8600.

Trying to disassociate the fact that it's a new vehicle versus the older ones, the HD rides stiffer and is jumpy. It feels like it's just jumping to get moving. Accelerating over bump terrain bounces the back end a little. I did get the 8.1L engine and Allison Trans upgrade.

Overall I'm very happy with the truck (1700 miles so far). Haven't plowed with it obviously - but looking forward to it. I intend to buy another one next year for myself (the current one is for the crew). If I had my choice I'd go with the HD. Not sure, but the breaks I think are larger as well. As said already, get the snow plow prep package - comes with the transmission temp gauge.

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