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 > Chevy 8.1 truck with low miles?

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blofgren

Surrey, B.C.

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Posted: 01/11/20 10:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Plus consider the options in the 15-20 year old HD gas pickup offerings.
The 8.1/Alli combo was the Best combo out there for power and transmission offering.
Can read the thread going on about the 4L80 to see why that one ain't the best.
The V10 ford was/is still a good option, but low on power compared to the 8.1 until 2005 and I think it was still saddled with the 4r100 trans in that era.
Rams options weren't preferreable either. A few 5.9/NV4500s which I'd take over any of the auto trans options or the maligned V10.

That leaves the 8.1/Alli truck as the clear top dog for that era. Worth it for the Allison alone, even if it didn't also have the most power.


Pretty good summary here! And there’s no doubt that new pickups outperform these older ones but there’s also a BIG difference in cost. Our 2001 GMC Yukon that we bought last year to pull our boat that does the job just fine has really opened up our eyes to this.


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babock

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Posted: 01/11/20 11:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

8.1 is an out of date engine with poor performance specs. Throw in the poor mileage, why would anyone want one. Gm got rid of it for a reason.

I like GM products and worked for GM but I can also say the 8.1 is a dog.

Grit dog

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Posted: 01/12/20 12:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^What are you smoking man?

Poor performance compared to what? A diesel?
How about last year's L96 engine? Yup the 8.1 gives up like 20 hp to it and annihilates it in torque. Bout 75ft lbs more if memory serves.
Even though it gives up 60+ hp to the newest iron out there, I believe it has more torque than any of them.

I've towed with enough older and new Chevy 6.0s to know that apples to apples, the antiquated 8.1/Alli combo will absolutely run with the new ones and far outpull the old ones.
I really did not think this would bring out the "sky isn't blue" crowd. Kinda thought it might be a good tip for someone looking for a reasonable priced low mile truck that basically still keeps up with today's gassers.
But this is RVnet....


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specta

utah

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Posted: 01/12/20 07:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

^What are you smoking man?


Some people miss the reason for this thread.

As I mentioned earlier the '07 8.1 I had preformed as good as the '09 6.4 diesel I'm using today. They even get the same fuel mileage towing a 13,000 load.

Yep the new is better than the old, again - not the reason for this thread.

If you're in the market for a used pickup to haul a camper or even tow a trailer the 8.1 is a great choice.

Not everybody can afford a brand new truck and I'd rather have an older truck with a gas engine that an older truck with a diesel.


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babock

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Posted: 01/12/20 10:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:


Poor performance compared to what? A diesel?
It has poorer performance than even the 3.5L Ford Ecoboost! There is a reason GM got rid of it! Poor performance and poor mileage.

They used to use it in boats too until the manufacturers decided that due to HP/Torque to weight ratios made it a poor choice their too.

* This post was edited 01/12/20 10:29am by babock *

BenK

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Posted: 01/12/20 10:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not apples to apples

There is a current reason why there are no tiny displacement ICE'S forced fed big block volumes of air in higher class trucks

It is not just HP for TV'S...especially towing heavy. There is a thing called duty cycle...


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Mike E.

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Posted: 01/12/20 12:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had an '01 Suburban 2500 8.1L with 4.10 gearing pulling my 7000lb loaded TT. It was amazing. Got right around 8MPG towing.

Recently had to give up a '14 Ram 3500 CTD and GD Reflection 5th wheel. It also towed amazingly well. LOVED the exhaust brake. Around 10.5MPG towing 10,000lbs.

When towing out West there are mountains everywhere. The Ram devoured climbs. The 'Burb was no slouch....found it's sweet spot at 3100RPM and cruised to the top.

On the flats, which let's face it is probably between 90-95% of travelling, both combo's chugged along effortlessly.

Those are my experiences, yours may vary. [emoticon]

Now, once we make it through to the other side of our 'life detour' I will be hoping to get back into towing.
Because funds are an issue I would have NO qualms about grabbing another 8.1L if it presented itself.

A 2500HD would be awesome, and there's even a Yukon XL in my area in the low $5KCAN range which keeps bouncing into my conscience...lol
Now, a 'modern' F150 3.5EB (which has been mentioned in this thread) seems to fall in the $20-30KCAN range here depending on year.

For me, it'd be a no-brainer. Grab an 8.1L, run it on synthetic oil (which seemed to illeviate the oil consumption on my 'Burb) and cruise on. [emoticon]

If money wasn't an issue, then my plan might be different, but it is, so that's that.

My thoughts,

Mike.....off to search CL for 8.1's......dang-it [emoticon]

Lantley

Ellicott City, Maryland

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Posted: 01/12/20 12:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BenK wrote:

Not apples to apples

There is a current reason why there are no tiny displacement ICE'S forced fed big block volumes of air in higher class trucks

It is not just HP for TV'S...especially towing heavy. There is a thing called duty cycle...

If you want the 8.1 to be a heavy duty cycle regular hauler it can be but in 2020 there are a lot of better options than a 8.1 if you are towing heavy everyday.
If you are an occasional user and don't tow heavy regularly than the Ecoboost models do come into play.
The 8.1 was a niche vehicle in its heyday that eventually got squeezed out by diesel power and gas prices.
While the 8.1 is still a beast of a motor, 15 years later these vehicles lack the payload and common features of modern vehicles to be a serious contender for most. Yes there are a few seldom heavy tow'ers that can use a bargain priced 8.1. For most the 8.1 is no longer a serious contender, it has simply aged out.
Many have fond memories of the 8.1 that reflect what a great motor it was once upon a time. However that time has passed.
This thread points out that finding a cherry 8.1 simply does not generate the excitement it once did.
Once you drop the fond memories the 8.1 just doesn't stand up to other options. Yes it may be the best bargain option, but when buying a truck for towing heavy there are lots of criteria to consider. Bargain price is not at the top of the list. Furthermore it is a bargain for a reason.....no one else wants it


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RoyJ

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Posted: 01/12/20 01:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We need to consider how OFTEN the truck is used. I bought a 1999 Ram 2500 V10 with camper pkg (dually springs), 100k miles, for around $3k US.

It gets 11 mpg, but has 3k lbs payload, and cost me barely anything in maintenance. I drive it 2000 miles a year at most, mostly in the bush while hauling a Bigfoot. Sits 9 months of the year. This is what the old big gassers are good for - occasional heavy hauling.

If you need the truck day in day out, or tow 10k+ lbs, then get a modern diesel or the 6.4Hemi/6.6 GM/7.3 Ford with 8/10 spd transmissions.

specta

utah

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Posted: 01/12/20 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

babock wrote:

There is a reason GM got rid of it!


Emissions was the big killer of the 8.1. It was a filthy

Large bore engines of that era were filthy as far as emissions went.
That's why Ford went to a V-10, smaller bore lower emissions.

Technology was not all that great back them compared to today.

In its day the 8.1 was a good truck engine.

Why didn't the 8.1L have more power and get better gas mileage? 9.1:1 compression.

But then once again, I don't think the intention of this thread was to compare to old against the new.

Just to reminisce the old 8.1.

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