Ecoboost or 5.3 Vortec?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by joed, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,167

    Good points. I was reading yesterday that GM's 5.3L engine still only uses 2 valves per cylinder. Yet, its fuel economy matches the ecoboost engine and beats the 5.0L V8 from Ford which uses 4 valves per cylinder. Makes you wonder that if GM would wake up and even modify or play with the 5.3, they'd get fuel economy figures that surpass Ford's offerings.

    Sometimes I think I should just wait until GM brings out this new 1/2 ton in 2013 before making a purchase choice. I even looked at their new HD pickups. They're really nice but that 6.0L V8 really eats up gas.

    When you compare a V8 to a turbo V6, beyond the turbochargers, what other increased maintenance would need to be done?
  2. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    In terms of maintenance I'd bet that it'd be wise to clean the injectors more on a turbo,

    Even then don't forget that the difference in weight between a half ton and 3/4 ton is a good 1000-1200lbs for a gas engine, another 900+lbs on top of that for a diesel engine.

    I'd still get the GM 6.0 HD. Don't forget either that Dodge HEMI uses 2 spark plugs per cylinder, and they recommend changing them every 30K.... that's $240 or so every $30K! You can verify Ford's maintenance schedule with the EB, but last I checked the GM trucks can go close to 100K without worrying about tune up, etc. To me that's a big factor as well. During that 100K, you can easily spend $1K in additional maintenance on a Dodge...
  3. Deori

    Deori LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    I'm probably going to be looking for a new truck in the next year and was planning on looking at a GM. I've seen several people on this site say how they're so outdated though. Care to expand on that? The 5.3 is over 300HP and has held the best in class fuel economy the last 4-5 years. I'm driving a 2001 F150 now, but am looking to probably switch teams. I'm just curious as to how they're so outdated?

  4. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,167

    Thanks for the info. Wow, I didn't know that the Dodge requires so much maintenance.

    I got a quote for a 2011 Sierra HD 2500 from the dealer today. $44k on the road with a 6.0L gas engine, ext. cab, SLE, 4X4. That compares to the $34K on the road I got for the F150 and Sierra 1500. The duramax diesel is another $10K option. Do you know anything about fuel mileage for the duramax?
  5. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    For the new duramax engines in the 2011 trucks, GM had reported about 19mpg's on the highway, haven't heard from any users to confirm that number though.
  6. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    GM is 'reporting' 19mpg only because the EPA will soon decide if they should rate HD vehicles, or not. That 19mpg is knowingly in a reg cab long box diesel with only a driver. Real world fuel economy numbers will be much lower, as always.
  7. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,167

    So, unless you need a HD 2500 or 3500 for work, the 1500 equipped with the 5.3 gives better fuel economy.

    How much does that 6.0L gas consume?
  8. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Weight ultimately affects mileage. You can't tow 12K with a half ton, but you can with most 3/4 gas trucks when properly equipped. Towing similar weight of say 7K, a 3/4 will more than likely average (with mostly city driving) 10-11mpg, compared with a 5.3 half ton that will get 12-13. Highway is totally different in respect to mileage, so I won't even begin to speculate on that matter as there are many conditions that separate the 3/4 from the 1/2ton models.

    Either you need the added beef of the 3/4ton or you don't.
  9. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 514

    Car and Driver test,, from March 2009. The Chevy hasn't changed.

    Spark plugs are a cost issue? GM does a nice job with antiquated engine technology. That doesn't stop it from being antiquated. Dual OHC are necesary to get independent intake and exhaust valve timing. Engines with that get a very broad power curve and nearly flat torque curve.

    A diesel will pay for itself with highway driving and heavy loads. They have no throttle induced pumping losses (gas engines are at part throttle on the highway, squeezing the air past a small opening) and their torque curve favors low engine speeds which have lower friction losses. To get the rated power on those small gas V8s you need to spin them pretty fast.

    The supercharger on the Ford (and all current diesels) would be a big advantage at higher altitudes. It also lets a relatively small engine produce power with a broad power curve (the forced induction minimizes the effects of intake/exhaust tuning to prefer a specific rev range).

    The Dodge Hemi is way more sophisticated than the Chevy. It has a very elaborate valve train to get canted valves and a direct shot on the intake into the cylinders.

    If you get a pickup now there are lots of factory widgets to make life easy. Steps on the side and off the tailgate; barriers on the tailgate for long loads, bed liners, tool storage in the sides. The Dodge 1500 is seminal because it uses a coil spring rear suspension. For reference the 1938 Buicks were the first production sedans with a coil spring rear suspension; we have one in our garage.
  10. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,167

    I had an opportunity to take out an Ecoboost V6 Ford F150 today. The engine is very nice. No problems moving the truck quickly and getting up to full speed. Fuel economy was good. Over our 40 km test drive, the truck averaged about 15L/100 km in the city and 11.5L/100 km on the highway. I think that translates to about 15 mpg city and 21 on the highway. That matches the 5.3L Sierra. Only odd thing I noticed was that when we stepped out to look at the outside of the truck, the engine made a consistent ticking sound. It almost made the engine sound like a diesel. I'm not experienced with turbocharged gas engines, but is that normal?

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