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Old October 31st, 2013, 04:02 PM   #1
michigan maniac
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Default better for towwing 6.5 diesel or 454

I'm weighing the options here for a tow rig... 1st option is keep my 6.5 turbo diesel, or second option is a vortec 454, I can pick up a nice truck with the vortec 454 in it, these are my only 2 options as of now, has anyone ever towed with the vortec big block ? I'm not sure what gears are in the gasser but my diesel has 4.10 and on steep hills goes in and out of drive and third
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Old October 31st, 2013, 04:03 PM   #2
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Nothing bets a diesel for towing!
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Old October 31st, 2013, 04:12 PM   #3
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Do you have a problem towing with your current 6.5? It would make sense to just run what you already have.
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Old October 31st, 2013, 04:19 PM   #4
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With my 2.5 ton Rockwell bogger on the trailer its a slow ride, prolly say 60 mph tops and hills are a hitch without rapping the 6.5 to its max, with my jeep on the trailer its fine
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Old October 31st, 2013, 04:20 PM   #5
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I've heard a lot better things towing with the 6.5 turbo; not real world experience on my part though.

From what i've read, the 454 is over-rated, for towing at least.
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Old October 31st, 2013, 04:43 PM   #6
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Nothing bets a diesel for towing!

Not in this case.

6.5's suck....that 454 will run circles around your current truck assuming it has 4.10's. Hell a vortec 350 would give that 6.5 a run for it's money.
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Old October 31st, 2013, 05:04 PM   #7
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Not in this case.

6.5's suck....that 454 will run circles around your current truck assuming it has 4.10's. Hell a vortec 350 would give that 6.5 a run for it's money.
That's kinda what I was thinking, I just haven't driven too many "vortec" 454, I've toed with the Chevy 6.0 before
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Old October 31st, 2013, 05:07 PM   #8
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I would go with the 454 gasser. cheaper gas too. cheaper to maintain. easier to find parts on road trips if needed
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Old October 31st, 2013, 05:07 PM   #9
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I rather have a 454 in this case, also agree on the 4.10 gears. They are good engines, we use to tow our enclosed sled trailer with a 1998 crew cab w/4.10s. Gas mileage will suck but at least its pretty consistant just like the LS 6.0

IMO the 6.5 were kinda gutless, expecally the non turbo verison
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Old October 31st, 2013, 05:40 PM   #10
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My 6.5 does pretty good as far a power goes when not towing, I'm just not very happy with it towing fully loaded, I'm leaning towards getting the 454. It's a nice clean truck already has rear air bag suspension and set up to pull, plus its an extended cab compared to my reg cab
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Old October 31st, 2013, 06:11 PM   #11
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im running into the same issue with my IDI ford right now. i actually prefered the 460 truck. hence y im swapping to a cummins :)
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Old November 1st, 2013, 11:40 AM   #12
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My experience is hit and miss with the 6.5s. A friends of mine had a Blazer with a 6.5 (from the factory) and it towed a jeep on a trailer and barely knew it was there. He then got a 1/2 ton Chevy, (again, had a 6.5 from the factory) and it struggled to hold 60 on the highway with the exact same jeep/trailer combo, and was in general gutless.
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Old November 2nd, 2013, 03:47 PM   #13
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I would go with the 454 gasser. cheaper gas too. cheaper to maintain. easier to find parts on road trips if needed
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Old November 3rd, 2013, 09:26 PM   #14
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If everything goes good tomorrow should have the 454 in the driveway
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Old November 4th, 2013, 07:46 AM   #15
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I have been towing with 454 for 3 years now. Do not have a problem with power. From what I have heard over the years. The 454 will out pull the 6.5 all day.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 08:05 AM   #16
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I would go with the 454 gasser. cheaper gas too. cheaper to maintain. easier to find parts on road trips if needed
are you actually considering economy here, or just the price per gallon?

I've heard very mixed stories about both, but one thing that seems pretty consistent is the economy, and it isn't in favor of the 454.

from people I know who've used both from towing, the 454 uses about 2x the amount of fuel compared to the 6.5 diesel on the same trip, and the power in 100% stock form was not much different either. I've heard this from several friends, including one who was very big on his big block gas motors, and talked bad about diesels till he bought a 'burb with the 6.5. He did say is was no speed demon, but it towed what he wanted and at half the fuel price for a trip, he was happy.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 08:07 AM   #17
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My experience is hit and miss with the 6.5s. A friends of mine had a Blazer with a 6.5 (from the factory) and it towed a jeep on a trailer and barely knew it was there. He then got a 1/2 ton Chevy, (again, had a 6.5 from the factory) and it struggled to hold 60 on the highway with the exact same jeep/trailer combo, and was in general gutless.
unless there was something wrong with the engine, I would bet the 2 had different gearing, and or tire sizes.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 09:10 AM   #18
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from people I know who've used both from towing, the 454 uses about 2x the amount of fuel compared to the 6.5 diesel on the same trip, and the power in 100% stock form was not much different either.
I really can't imagine the 454 getting less than 7-8 mpg towing unless it was a 4.56 dually trying to run 70mph with a 12K gooseneck. A 460 will manage 8-10 across the midwest with just a car hauler.

No way a 6.5 is getting 14-16mpg towing
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Old November 5th, 2013, 10:38 AM   #19
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Our old crew cab with 4.10's and a 454 got 7-10 mpg pretty constant across the board, pulling or not
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Old November 5th, 2013, 05:04 PM   #20
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unless there was something wrong with the engine, I would bet the 2 had different gearing, and or tire sizes.
They actually used the exact same tires/rims. When he got rid of the one, he put the rims and tires on the other. He had the truck checked out, and the mechanics all said is was just fine. Axle gearing was the same. That motor just didn't like to pull.
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