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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mods: I'm not sure where to put this - please move if needed.

A friend asked me to help him locate a used 2500HD D/A, 4x4 extended or crew cab, short box. The truck will be used as a daily driver, a personal plow truck (plus a few friends' driveways) and towing a 7500# travel trailer during the summer months.

What issues should we look for when we go to see the trucks? Remember: I'm asking for people's opinions - so please be nice.

1 - LB7, LLY, LBZ? Is one more/less "upgradeable" (aftermarket tuners, etc) then the other? Is one better, or more reliable, than the other? Why?

2 - Is the chassis/suspension/steering the same from 2001 to 2006? Again, I haven't had any issues on my 2002 yet, but I seem to remember something about some steering, or tie rod issues.

3 - Electrical issues that I should worry about?

4 - From the people that have, or have had, tuners in their trucks. Would you buy a "tuned" truck from someone that you didn't know?

Did I miss anything?

Thanks for your help.
 

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1. I am not thrilled with LB7' s right now because I have 2 trucks down and GM ran out of injectors. LBZ most advanced but we had some software issues when it was new, LBZ may be hard to find. LLY the middle choice seems to be the one I see less of, lots of people traded for the new LBZ so there may be some good LLY's out there. They make more than enough mods for all 3.

2.For basic chassis stuff all 2001 to 2006 HD stuff is pretty much the same. Remember you do get the 6speed Allison behind the LBZ, 5 gears with the others. Inner tie rods go and steering shafts make noise....keep em greased....no big deal.

3.LBZ had a rough start with some software, ok now... we dont see a whole lot of electrical issues.

4. Tuners on a used truck from someone I didn't know may scare me, maybe its better to know the tuner is in vs someone who removed it....still in my area good used GM Dmaxs are hard to find.

Main thing to look out for in NY and all of New England is rust...rust ....rust....almost worth a little drive south or west to find one that has not been plowed with or seen high salt.....just my opinion.
 

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Biggest thing is to look for signs of how the truck was previously used/abused. Does it have a gooseneck or 5'er hitch? Can you spot anywhere a trailer brake was mounted on/under the dash? What's the condition of the transmission fluid? Test drive, test drive, test drive, (see if they'll let you take it for the day or something) and drive it hard -- any weird shifts or torque converter lockup problems, vibrations, hesitations? Is it prepped for the plow package already? Although these trucks are designed to work and do it well, you're always better to find one that's had an easy life so far.

My opinion would be that it's much better to try and find one that did not have a performance tuning device on it. Look for a pyro probe in the exhaust manifold (pass. side), spots on the driver's side a-pillar where the paint might have been worn off from a set of gauges being mounted there, that kind of thing. Many of these devices are not easily detectable once they're removed, so you just have to do the best you can.
 

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I would agree with everything stated previously but some difference of opinions on some. The lb7's seem to be ok besides the injector issue. I have over 85k on mine with now injector problems. The other thing I wouldn't necessarly agree with is looking for one that hasn't worked. I would much rather have one that pulled a 5er of goose part time. It seems to me that the engine needs to work a little to stay in shape rather than just being used as a run around truck. Its nice to get them good and warmed up and make them work a little as compared to running easy all the time. I am sure there are a ton of trucks out there that have been used by older people just running their rv around the country trying to avoid the weather and spending most of their time doing pm and cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice - please keep it coming.

Sihpon - I didn't think about looking for witness marks from gauges, egt probe, etc. Really good idea to look specifically at those types of things.

I tend to agree with Winter200's assessment of the LB7. Mainly because I haven't had any issues yet (I'm at 60k miles on the 2002 LB7).

Thanks again,
 
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