OT question about trucks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    OT question about trucks

    Hello all,

    I've been trying to find some numbers on what kind of mileage to expect from a 3/4 ton truck with a 454 engine. Parents are looking for a new hauler for their boat and they are being offered a good deal. Just curious as to what to expect. I know its not pretty, that's for sure!

    Cheers,

    KavuRider
    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

  2. #2
    No Clue Crew
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    It would help to know the year of the truck (FI or carb) and the body style of the Chevy. Offhand, towing you'll probably get 8-10 mpg.
    d

  3. #3
    Baron of Gray Matter
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    My next door neighbor had a 4x4 with a 454 4-spd. Unloaded it got about 10 mpg. Pulling a trailer it got 7-8 mpg. But the 454 really didn't pull a trailer any better than a 350 with 3.73 gears. Big blocks are over rated for towing, if you want massive power, a diesel is the way to go. For casual towing, a truck with a 350 with 3.73 or 4.10 gears is much better. We (my dad and I) pulled 24-28 ft travel trailers on many vacations with a 72' chevy with a 350 and 3.73 gears and then a 94' Suburban with a 350 and 3.42 gears, not quite as good on hills, but it still did what we needed it to do. For a while we pulled with a 99' dodge with a 360, it was the worst trailer puller we have had. I hated driving that truck pulling a trailer, just didn't have enough power. I had a 97' dodge 4x4 with a 318 that felt more powerful than the 360. It's all about gearing.

    I've had people tell me the new chevy 5.4 liter is a good trailer puller, but I have no personal experience with that. Whatever you buy, try to get something with a trailer towing package, the extra engine cooling capacity is very nice when towing.
    "Oh Dear, I've been redorkulated."
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  4. #4
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    My last tow rig was a Chevy 2500HD with the 6.0. Towed my rockcrawler on a dual-axle 14-foot trailer -- total weight about 5,000 pounds -- very easily.
    d

  5. #5
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    Never thought I'd say these words, but I agree with Homer Simpson (d'oh!). If you're interested in towing, look at the diesels. 454s will get around 10-12 unloaded, 7 or less towing. I've got a Dodge with the Cummins diesel (quad cab, long bed, 4x4) and I get ~20-21 unloaded on the highway under 75. It drops off dramatically at 75 and up. Towing? I recently towed a 7500# car trailer and had another 1500# or so in my bed and 2 adults, 2 dogs and a cat in the cab and averaged a little over 13 MPG for 2500 miles. I calculated that out with current gas/diesel prices and figure I saved around $300 in gas on the trip.

    The downside is you'll pay a premium for the diesel engine up front. Payoff is longevity, reliability and better mileage all around. This is my second diesel pickup and I'm sold on them.

  6. #6
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    I'm a fan of diesels...

    Better overall in my opinion.

    More vehicle info, its a 1988 Chevy Suburban with the 7.4L 454 BB. I believe its a 2wd and it has an automatic.

    I've been estimating 10-12mpg, sound about right?

    Cheers,

    KavuRider
    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

  7. #7
    Baron of Gray Matter
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    That milage sounds about right. Probably about 10 mpg pulling a trailer. Given today's gas prices, that's a big OUCH at the pump.
    "Oh Dear, I've been redorkulated."
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  8. #8
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    Heck yeah

    Easily around $100 a fillup. Whew...gas is only going up too.

    Well, thanks all for the info!

    Cheers,

    KavuRider
    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Simpson
    That milage sounds about right. Probably about 10 mpg pulling a trailer. Given today's gas prices, that's a big OUCH at the pump.
    No... 10-12 MPG unloaded. Closer to 7-8 towing, depending on weight.

  10. #10
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    Actually, I think that motor MIGHT be carburated. If it's not FI, I wouldn't buy it.

    Diesels are, of course, great trucks and the easy choice for towing. However, they're not very convenient if it's your only truck. If it's a truck that going to be pulling all the time, yeah, diesel is the ticket. Otherwise, it's a bit of a pain in the arse if you have to actually daily-drive it.
    d

  11. #11
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    I believe that this engine is FI

    I'd have to check though. Engine was rebuilt at some point, for an '88, has 62,000 miles on it (on the odometer, not the rebuilt engine).

    Yeah, a diesel as a daily could be a chore. Finding a gas station in a pinch could be tough. Diesel is a heck of a lot more expensive too per gallon, but I guess that is made up with slightly better fuel economy. Also, don't you have to have glow plugs for the engine if you're in a cold environment? I know you have to let a diesel engine warm up before you drive it.

    Personally, I've always wanted to have a Suburban, but as a daily driver, I don't think so. Maybe if I had $500 a month to spend on gas I suppose I'd consider it.

    Cheers,

    KavuRider
    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KavuRider
    I'd have to check though. Engine was rebuilt at some point, for an '88, has 62,000 miles on it (on the odometer, not the rebuilt engine).

    Yeah, a diesel as a daily could be a chore. Finding a gas station in a pinch could be tough. Diesel is a heck of a lot more expensive too per gallon, but I guess that is made up with slightly better fuel economy. Also, don't you have to have glow plugs for the engine if you're in a cold environment? I know you have to let a diesel engine warm up before you drive it.

    Personally, I've always wanted to have a Suburban, but as a daily driver, I don't think so. Maybe if I had $500 a month to spend on gas I suppose I'd consider it.

    Cheers,

    KavuRider
    Mine's a daily driver. No hassle at all. I don't get very good mileage (15-16) in the winter with my short trip to work and on the coldest days, I have to plug it in at night or it won't warm up on the ride in. Plus in the winter up north, they put an anti-gel additive in the fuel that robs mileage. As for fuel stations, you gradually note all the stations and have a mental tally in your head of all the stations and their prices in your area. Traveling? I've never had a problem locating diesel fuel on or off highways.

    Typically (and we'll see if this holds true; so far this year it's not), diesel fuel is cheaper than gas in the summer and then more expensive in the winter. Makes sense if you think about it... #2 home heating oil and diesel fuel are the same thing. So, more demand = higher prices. Given our very cool spring, diesel prices didn't fall here, but now that summer seems to have arrived, I'm cautiously optimistic.

    Some diesels have glow plugs, some don't. Well, at least one. Those that need glow plugs obviously come with them as part of the engine; it's not something you have to get later. The Dodge/Cummins uses air intake manifold grid heaters rather than glow plugs. Both do the same thing and I can't say which is better personally. On the Dodge Diesel forum I read they say grid heaters give better heating and are more reliable. They come on when the outside temp is < 59* and the engine is cold. You get a light on the dash letting you know they're on. Once that light goes off, you can start up the engine. As for plugging in, I've started mine as cold as 15* without being plugged in with no problems. Takes quite a while to warm up, but it does. Some guys have said they've started as low as -10* while out hunting or camping. So no real problem there.

    You don't want to let a diesel idle excessively in the cold, either because fuel will wash down the cylinder walls. You let it idle a minute or two, drive off gently and after a few minutes (~5 or so) you can drive it normally.

    Oh yeah, and as for fueling, diesel pumps are nasty. I keep a box of latex gloves under the seat and use one each time I fill up. I've been going about a month on a tank back and forth to work mostly. That's about $75 a month here.

  13. #13
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    unless you really need that power I would say don't do it.....gas cost a lot
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

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