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I am just wondering how good this truck is. I have found a 2003 8.1 dually 4x4 with 140k miles on it with manual tranny on it. Excellent condition for just under $15k. I was wondering if this is a good deal for what it is? I love my 2002 duramax but diesel prices suck down here and I need a back up. I pull trailers and heavy loads (8k-12k) 3-4 times a week. Just wanted some feedback on this type of truck. Thanks!
 

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Won't pull as well as a Dmax, but is the best gas burner puller there is out there. I have had both, and for what I do, I prefer the 8.1. However, I don't pull heavy trailers on a regular basis. Mine is a weekend runner. I like the quickness for the gas, but for all out pulling the diesel is still better. Like I said I have had both, and they have pulled the exact same trailers, so I have a pretty good idea. I am sure it would work for a backup. Remember, you will probably only get 10 to 12 empty, and about 7 to 8 mpg pulling. Have to figure that in the mix. Your diesel should be doing better than that, so you have to figure in the difference in MPG vs Price.
Good Luck.
 

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I would say that as Duromax04 said 10/12 empty would be best case. My 05 sig truck gets 8.6mpg, and got 10mpg before lift and tires. All of that was while driving reasonable.

While the green stuff might be 35c more than gas, you should get 50-100% better milage.
 

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Had an '02 Ex Cab Dooley 4X4 with 4.10 gears and ZF-6 transmission. Easily got 13-14 at 70 mph unloaded and 8-9 pulling our 10-12k 5er in the mountains. Great truck. But 140k for a big block gasser is getting up there. The new DMax pulls better, but not by much. I make the same hills with the same 5er at about 5 mph better than the 8.1 — foot on the floor. On the other hand, the 8.1 always ran cool and the ZF never overheated or limped!
 

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The 8.1L has been a great pulling machine for me (I drag 20k+) but mine's not a handshaker. This truck has cost me the least down time of any vehicle I've ever owned and has made me more $ than the D-max did with the lack of repairs and maintenance. I've seen a couple that pulled heavy all their lives with over 200k so the mileage wouldn't scare me that much. It's been a great truck.
 

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I think it's a good deal. The miles are getting up there, but from what I have learned about the 8.1 is that it is a strong engine. And if it is anything like my 7.4, I think that it has a lot of life left in it.
 
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