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I went from a truck that makes yours look "new", to an XLT myself. My old truck was a '74 Powerwagon. Even this XLT has way more doo-dads than I probably would have ordered (I bought it off the lot new). It was kind of a "culture shock" for me. Lol.
I've pulled 8K with mine so far. 6.2 with 3.73 gears. It pulls fine. Seat of the pants is misleading, but it "feels" like it pulls better than my old 440 big block and 4.10 gears. I think my old engine had it on hp, but about even on torque. Mine was not stock, I rebuilt it with serious performance upgrades, compression ratio, cam, intake, carb and headers 3" dual exhaust.
I think the single biggest drive train improvement over my old one is the 6 speed auto trans. Man that thing is nice.
My SD gets more than double the MPG all the time, in all conditions, and it is nice and quiet. Plus, no matter how cold it is outside, I can just walk out and start up the truck. No stalling, puking, or sputtering due to the big cam/carb and high compression.
Some days I do miss the old truck, mostly for the nostalgia and memories, but I really love my SD.
So I took it out for a drive today towing. I couldn't get my brothers 7500 lb camper, but I was able to borrow my other brothers 5,000 lb gooseneck flatbed trailer.
The truck did ok. I took it up into mountains a bit, up a canyon highway. I started at 4,000 feet, and ended at 6,700 feet. According to the computer, I got 10 mpg. I worked the truck fairly hard, seeing 4100 rpms climbing hills quite a bit.
If I towed alot, and towed heavy, I wouldn't like this engine. But, I think it will do me just fine.
If I do order one, I will be getting the 4.30's, but with the slightly taller 275/70 R18 All Terrain tires, so the gearing is still sorter but not too much shorter (-10%).
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