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I found a unicorn at the dealership I trade with today. They had just gotten in a Chevy High-Country 1500 with the new 3.0L Duramax. I was lucky enough to be able to look it over & take it for a fairly nice test drive.

Here's my impressions of it for what it worth.

1. The engine is nicely packaged in the engine compartment with about one third of it under the firewall which is typical these days. There was probably as much room in the engine bay as there is on any of the new trucks. GM put a lot of thought to making sure there is enough heat shielding around all the hot components on the right side of the engine. I'm rather surprised at how small the exhaust emissions components looked on the right rear of the engine. The SCR & DPF are combined in one unit that physically is a pretty small package from what I could see of them. I would rate the engine bay at an 8 on the 1 to 10 scale.

2. Start-up, idle & drivability are outstanding to say the least. This engine is quiet & you can hardly tell it's running when standing outside with it idling. There is a slight engine noise on acceleration, but you really have to listen to hear it at all. The drivability is the biggie though. There's absolutely no hesitation, dead petal feel or turbo-lag from a dead stop or anywhere else while accelerating. This thing just plain get's up & goes. I'd be willing to bet that if someone got into it not knowing it was a diesel they would think it was a 5.3 gasser. Without a doubt this is the best driving diesel I've ever driven in a pick-up & that's including my '14 ecodiesel with a GDE tune. I'm a retired diesel mechanic with over 40 years of experience and I'm impressed after driving this one. Rating solid 10 !!

3. 10 speed automatic. I've never driven one of the new ten speeds until now. I'm not saying it's good or bad but it would take some getting used to with all those gears constantly shifting. No Rating!

4. MPG's: I was able to do a mix of some stop & go along with some interstate. The dealer I use is the same one the TFLTruck guy's use for their RAM & Jeep purchases, they are also a Chevy & GMC truck dealer as well. Because of this my test drive included a small portion of the mileage loop they use on TFLTruck. I reset the mileage program to zero when I entered I-76 & set the cruise at 75 once I was up to speed. I went about ten miles & turned around for a total of 20 hi-way miles & then had probably around six miles of stop & go getting to and from the dealership. The mileage lie-o-meter was saying 25.9 MPG average for the test drive. Based on this short drive I do believe that it will get the mileage that GM is rating them at with some exceptions for truck configuration. This particular truck was a brand new fully loaded crew cab 4x4 with only 22 miles on it, being driven at a mile high in elevation. Getting almost 26 MPG IMO is pretty impressive. Rating of a 10!!

5. One of the things I didn't like though was the automatic stop-start. When the engine shut down at the first stop light I almost crapped my pants thinking that it had broken down already. Then I got a grip and realized it was just doing what it's suppose to do. This thing shuts down almost immediately after you've come to a full stop, then starts immediately after you've taken your foot off of the brake petal. Even with the engine just starting after being at a full stop there was zero hesitation once you hit the go petal. I don't like the system but am impressed with how fast it starts & seamlessly drives. Talking to my salesman, he said the tech's in the shop have already found a work around to dis-able this feature without having to press the button on the dash each time you start it up. Rating 2

The truck itself:

Nice truck to say the least!!! I like the truck and can see why someone would be very happy with it. The ride & handling is great, I only have one negative in that I felt it had to much road noise in the cab when on the hi-way. GM is doing a nice job overall, but for me the RAM 1500's interior is still the leader of the pack. I'm probably going to order a 2020 Ram ED once they open the order books for them. I'm leaning toward the Ram for a few reasons 1. Their interiors are the best out there IMO. 2. I loved the air-ride suspension on my '14 and GM doesn't offer it. 3. I feel that when you're splitting hairs when it comes to drive trains, the features of the truck itself will make the decision of which one to buy, but I've got to admit that GM's new 3L mini-max is going to make it a tough decision. IMO; they have a winner with this engine and only time testing in the real world will show if it's good to go for the long haul.

My sales rep told me that his gut feeling is the ecodiesel is still about 30 days out for being able to order one. He thinks that FCA is trying to build up some inventory before they release them, knowing that all of the dealerships will want one ASAP once they are available.
 

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I assume they only have one final drive gear. Do you know what it is? I would like to compare their transmission gear set to ours also. Thanks for sharing your impressions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The $64,000 question is: What was the sticker price? Hopefully not $64,000 like the question. :eek:
$64,000.00 would be lite by about 4k for this one. The engine upgrade price on the sticker was slightly over $2400.00 which would be the same price as the 6.2 gas engine upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I assume they only have one final drive gear. Do you know what it is? I would like to compare their transmission gear set to ours also. Thanks for sharing your impressions.
I wish I could answer that question. I'll poke around some and see if I can find the answer.

One of the interesting things I have found out about the ten speeds in the GM & Ford is they can skip gears if needed. Lets say you are starting from a stop and the programming senses that it doesn't need high horsepower to get things rolling, it can skip a couple of gears & maybe go from 1st to 3rd or 4th & bypass 2nd & possibly 3rd. The same is true for down shifting let's say your in 10th & mash the petal to pass someone or climb a hill, it can go from say 10th gear to maybe 6th gear & bypass 7th & 8th if it senses the need to do so. Pretty sophisticated stuff, I just wonder about the longevity in a transmission like this.

I've found & added a couple of videos on the transmission gear selection features for both the Ford & GM.

Here's the Ford video on it.


The GM version does the gear sequencing as well.

 

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Thanks for posting your unbiased impressions on this new Duramax. I would also like to test drive one, but no new truck in the near future for me (no payments now). If this is a mini-max, what is the 2.8 in the Canyon/Colorado:) Micro-max??
I've heard them referred to as baby max.
 

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I test drove one about two yrs ago with the (6 speed?) as well...

I agree - its "very scrappy" - Lots of pep and much less turbo lag than ED.

Only downside for me was the mid size truck footprint was not something I wanted to do my towing with.

Which is why I ruled it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I test drove one about two yrs ago with the (6 speed?) as well...

I agree - its "very scrappy" - Lots of pep and much less turbo lag than ED.

Only downside for me was the mid size truck footprint was not something I wanted to do my towing with.

Which is why I ruled it out.
The engine & truck I drove is the new 3.0L inline 6 in the full sized 1/2ton Silverado. I'm just calling it the mini-max as a joke, personally I like the 6.6 as the mega-max, the 3.0 the mini-max & the small one in the Colorado the micro-max. Baby-max doesn't do it for me.
 

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Never been in a GM with the 10-speed, but have been in a ford. The programming between the two is suppose to be different. I don't feel like the 10 speed ford shifted poorly, but it was for lack of a better word different feeling than our 8-speed zf's. I feel like the ZF is smoother. Then again my ZF has 73,000 miles of stop and go hwy towing mixed use on it to break in and learn my driving habits and the ford 10 speed I rode in has about 5,000 miles.
 

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$68,000 for a "little" 1/2 ton??? Had to say that. It's a little thing with lots of interior glitz. The pricing is beyond the outrageous. With no discounts ( where's Ram's 20-30% off?) that is a humungous rip-off. Oh forgot - for me I get to add about $4,800 in county sales tax plus all attendant title fees. That would put it in the solid mid-70's.

Mind boggling expense for what you get.
 

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I wish I could answer that question. I'll poke around some and see if I can find the answer.

One of the interesting things I have found out about the ten speeds in the GM & Ford is they can skip gears if needed. Lets say you are starting from a stop and the programming senses that it doesn't need high horsepower to get things rolling, it can skip a couple of gears & maybe go from 1st to 3rd or 4th & bypass 2nd & possibly 3rd. The same is true for down shifting let's say your in 10th & mash the petal to pass someone or climb a hill, it can go from say 10th gear to maybe 6th gear & bypass 7th & 8th if it senses the need to do so. Pretty sophisticated stuff, I just wonder about the longevity in a transmission like this.

I've found & added a couple of videos on the transmission gear selection features for both the Ford & GM.

Here's the Ford video on it.


The GM version does the gear sequencing as well.

I think the Tundra 6 speed has this skip shift capability. It will skip from 1st to 4th under "no load" acceleration. My former employer had a couple tundras in the fleet and you really had to watch that first step
 

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I assume they only have one final drive gear. Do you know what it is? I would like to compare their transmission gear set to ours also. Thanks for sharing your impressions.
The overdrives in the 10 speed are basically the same. Theres still 2 od's. Difference is the 10 speed has 2 extra ratios and goes 1:1 in 8th where the 8 speed goes 1:1 in 6th. You can google the 10 speed and itll show you the ratios, same for the zf

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I found a unicorn at the dealership I trade with today. They had just gotten in a Chevy High-Country 1500 with the new 3.0L Duramax. I was lucky enough to be able to look it over & take it for a fairly nice test drive.

Here's my impressions of it for what it worth.

1. The engine is nicely packaged in the engine compartment with about one third of it under the firewall which is typical these days. There was probably as much room in the engine bay as there is on any of the new trucks. GM put a lot of thought to making sure there is enough heat shielding around all the hot components on the right side of the engine. I'm rather surprised at how small the exhaust emissions components looked on the right rear of the engine. The SCR & DPF are combined in one unit that physically is a pretty small package from what I could see of them. I would rate the engine bay at an 8 on the 1 to 10 scale.

2. Start-up, idle & drivability are outstanding to say the least. This engine is quiet & you can hardly tell it's running when standing outside with it idling. There is a slight engine noise on acceleration, but you really have to listen to hear it at all. The drivability is the biggie though. There's absolutely no hesitation, dead petal feel or turbo-lag from a dead stop or anywhere else while accelerating. This thing just plain get's up & goes. I'd be willing to bet that if someone got into it not knowing it was a diesel they would think it was a 5.3 gasser. Without a doubt this is the best driving diesel I've ever driven in a pick-up & that's including my '14 ecodiesel with a GDE tune. I'm a retired diesel mechanic with over 40 years of experience and I'm impressed after driving this one. Rating solid 10 !!

3. 10 speed automatic. I've never driven one of the new ten speeds until now. I'm not saying it's good or bad but it would take some getting used to with all those gears constantly shifting. No Rating!

4. MPG's: I was able to do a mix of some stop & go along with some interstate. The dealer I use is the same one the TFLTruck guy's use for their RAM & Jeep purchases, they are also a Chevy & GMC truck dealer as well. Because of this my test drive included a small portion of the mileage loop they use on TFLTruck. I reset the mileage program to zero when I entered I-76 & set the cruise at 75 once I was up to speed. I went about ten miles & turned around for a total of 20 hi-way miles & then had probably around six miles of stop & go getting to and from the dealership. The mileage lie-o-meter was saying 25.9 MPG average for the test drive. Based on this short drive I do believe that it will get the mileage that GM is rating them at with some exceptions for truck configuration. This particular truck was a brand new fully loaded crew cab 4x4 with only 22 miles on it, being driven at a mile high in elevation. Getting almost 26 MPG IMO is pretty impressive. Rating of a 10!!

5. One of the things I didn't like though was the automatic stop-start. When the engine shut down at the first stop light I almost crapped my pants thinking that it had broken down already. Then I got a grip and realized it was just doing what it's suppose to do. This thing shuts down almost immediately after you've come to a full stop, then starts immediately after you've taken your foot off of the brake petal. Even with the engine just starting after being at a full stop there was zero hesitation once you hit the go petal. I don't like the system but am impressed with how fast it starts & seamlessly drives. Talking to my salesman, he said the tech's in the shop have already found a work around to dis-able this feature without having to press the button on the dash each time you start it up. Rating 2

The truck itself:

Nice truck to say the least!!! I like the truck and can see why someone would be very happy with it. The ride & handling is great, I only have one negative in that I felt it had to much road noise in the cab when on the hi-way. GM is doing a nice job overall, but for me the RAM 1500's interior is still the leader of the pack. I'm probably going to order a 2020 Ram ED once they open the order books for them. I'm leaning toward the Ram for a few reasons 1. Their interiors are the best out there IMO. 2. I loved the air-ride suspension on my '14 and GM doesn't offer it. 3. I feel that when you're splitting hairs when it comes to drive trains, the features of the truck itself will make the decision of which one to buy, but I've got to admit that GM's new 3L mini-max is going to make it a tough decision. IMO; they have a winner with this engine and only time testing in the real world will show if it's good to go for the long haul.

My sales rep told me that his gut feeling is the ecodiesel is still about 30 days out for being able to order one. He thinks that FCA is trying to build up some inventory before they release them, knowing that all of the dealerships will want one ASAP once they are available.
Any idea what the rear gear ratio was?

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According to the TFL site the 3.0 Duramax comes with 3.21 rear end.

In the end we have seen that the gear ratios are not incredibly important with our 8-speeds, they will be even less so with a 10 speed.
 

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According to the TFL site the 3.0 Duramax comes with 3.21 rear end.

In the end we have seen that the gear ratios are not incredibly important with our 8-speeds, they will be even less so with a 10 speed.
They actually are very important. That's why so many complaints of not holding 8th gear. Theres not enough gear ratio to allow it to hold 8th. Every gear in the system is a torque multiplier, when you hit 8th gear and its .64 input revolution for 1 output, that's insanely high gearing. Gear ratios at that out put need to be closer to 4.10 or even lower (higher number). The 10 speed OD ratios are the same or very close to the 8 speed.

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I guess we agree to disagree.
Heres a pic of the ratios in the 8 and 10 speed along with a ford 4 speed. Only difference in the 8 and 10 speed is 2 extra gears that close a gap. First and the 2 ods are almost identical. The 4 speed has no go between when you only need a little more torque without raising rpms too much. My work van with 3.73 gearing with that 4 speed in 3rd at 65 you're at 3000 rpm.

If you're a numbers guy use 420ft lbs x the trans gear ratio x the rear end ratio. It's not a true torque number but it gives you an idea what the difference in rear gear ratio makes.

420 x 4.71 x 3.92 = 7754
420 x .67 x 3.92 = 1103

420 x 4.71 x 3.21 = 6350
420 x .67 x 3.21 = 903

My 2010 gmc sierra with the 5.3 and 6 speed had the 3.08. Anything over 60-65 mph and the mpg started going down because there was not enough power to overcome the wind resistance. My eco with 3.55 does the same, mpg in 7th vs 8th is negligible at around 70.

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