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I'm looking for a GM 1500 pick-up between years 2003 to 2010 to replace my '99 V8 Dakota. I'm on a budget so it will have some miles on it... I want it 4x4 V8. I wanted a 5.3L but there is a lot of HD's with the 6.0L within the same price range with the same amount of miles on them. I know bigger engine = more fuel consumption, but it will not be a daily driver so fuel economy is not my first concern.

My 3 questions are: 1) Is there an engine better than than the other in terms of reliability?
2) Is the extra HP and torque on the 6.0L worth it?
3) Is there a BIG difference in fuel consumption between the 2 engines?

In short if I have to choose for the same price, millage, general condition, between two trucks, one with the 5.3L and one with the 6.0L which one should I choose?

Thanks!
 

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I'm looking for a GM 1500 pick-up between years 2003 to 2010 to replace my '99 V8 Dakota. I'm on a budget so it will have some miles on it... I want it 4x4 V8. I wanted a 5.3L but there is a lot of HD's with the 6.0L within the same price range with the same amount of miles on them. I know bigger engine = more fuel consumption, but it will not be a daily driver so fuel economy is not my first concern.

My 3 questions are: 1) Is there an engine better than than the other in terms of reliability?
2) Is the extra HP and torque on the 6.0L worth it?
3) Is there a BIG difference in fuel consumption between the 2 engines?

In short if I have to choose for the same price, millage, general condition, between two trucks, one with the 5.3L and one with the 6.0L which one should I choose?

Thanks!

Big question. What are you going to use it for? If you are going to be towing or plowing, the HD would be a better choice. If it going to be used of occasional commuting or hauling lighter loads the 1/2 ton may be a better choice. I'm on my third1/2 ton 5.3 Sierra. Love them! They fit my needs as a home owner who needs a truck on occasion to tow my box trailer or pick up items to large or heavy for a car.

My brother has the 2500HD with the 6.0. In his case he does a lot of plowing and towing a dual axle dump trailer. For him the 2500HD fits the bill.. Fuel milage is much better with the 5.3. Be aware also that beginning in 2007 the 5.3 is equipped with A.F.M (active fuel management) It cuts the engine from 8 active cylinder to 4 cylinders under light traveling conditions for better fuel economy. Some folks like it, some folks don't.
 

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Have a later model 1500 GMC ('14)--with the 5.3....love mine also. If I do need "Bigger"--I'll borrow my son's 2500HD with the Duramax...

Can't help you with mileage comparisons--but gotta be more fuel used with heavier truck.
Good luck on ur search.
glenn
 

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You’ll get 33% better mileage with the 5.3 vs the 6.0. Loaded or empty.
I have an 04 2500, my dad bought an 07 1500. When he passed, my FIL bought it. Now my BIL has it. I still have my 04.
Best mpg with mine, 17 mpg.
Best for the 1500, 23 mpg. The 07 has the cylinder shut down computer, never had an issue with it.
Both have about 110,000 miles on them. Neither has ever been in the shop, although my blower fan motor makes weird noises in 1st gear. It has for last 12 years, I think it was set to do that at 36,000.1 miles from the factory.
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I like my '04 sierra 3500 w 6.0l engine/4l80e transmission. Engine has 280k km on it, uses maybe 1L between oil changes (every 7500km). I rebuilt the transmission at 220k km when I upgrade the truck to 4wd (original transmission was fine, just did it because the parts truck transmission had a lot more mileage on it and I wanted the transmission to last).

From the truck forums I follow, there's not a lot of issues with the engines failing, more parts/sensors on them that need fixing replacing (exhaust manifold bolts break off, intake manifold gaskets, knock sensors, O2 sensors, MAF sensor). 5.3L engine is similar. Over 200k miles, transmission and cat's start to fail.

I've seen more complaints with the newer GMT900 series 5.3L 1500's, where there are lifter failures due to AFM (cylinder deactivation stuff).
 

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Both of those LS engines are pretty decent as far as longevity ,the main thing I'd be concerned about on a GM pickup of that vintage is the FRAME--they rot away up here in less than 10 years BAD,even on trucks that were well maintained and washed periodically...they seem to rot from the inside out,being boxed in design..first the tubular cross members for the rear shocks rot away,then the rest of the frame --look very close at the steering box area,and all along the rails behind the cab..
There is at least 100 GM pickups on FB marketplace daily for "parts only" listed less than $1000 due to the frames rotting out..
 

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I have an ‘02 2500HD with about 250,000 miles. Engine is strong, trans is perfect. I drive it daily and a few times a year it pulls a 8,000 lb camper plus wife, kid, dog, and our gear. No problems with any of that. I get about 14 mpg average. 7 mpg pulling all that. Frame is getting iffy, hitch was replaced for rust issues and I just had to replace rockers, cab corners, and patch left extended cab door. LS engines will long outlive the body and frames.
 

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I think they're both pretty solid power plants. The 6.0l in particular had an issue with the exhaust manifold bolts breaking off and it's a costly repair. It will effect your MPG and performance some when that happens. The instrument clusters in this generation also had some issues with the lighting that would go out too.
 

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I'm following this as I'm considering trading my 14-year-old truck in for a year- or two-old GM pickup. Not considering many others as the step-in is way too high for my disabled wife. I tow a 7000# trailer and have less than the usual amount of stuff that I haul when camping (45 years doing so, gets you to understand being minimalist).
 
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