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Thread: `06 LBZ improvement, MPG and power

  1. #21
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    Dec 2009
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    OK guys, here's a question. I didn't take Mark's advice about waiting to buy a tuner. I was not happy with the way the truck ran, this is my 3rd Duramax after owning a 7.3 Ford. This has the least miles on it of any, and has never towed anything heavy, brake control pig tail not yet installed. This truck has about the same power as my LLY had when it was stock, after I installed the Edge EZ on the LLY it ran like a raped ape, on level 1 it was wild, on level 2 I was afraid it would hurt something, never tried level 3. I thought this LBZ would have more power and better fuel mileage stock over the LLY, it did not. I was even thinking of selling the truck, was just at a dealer, had a complete turbo replacement done under warranty for a poor performance claim. There is nothing wrong with it now, just seems to lack the power that the LLY had.
    I bought (2) units, a Superchips Flashpaq, and Bullydog Powerpup. I checked them both for any available updates online, installed the Superchips unit on the lowest Tow power level, WOW!. Was very impressed with the total increase in driveability with a LOT more power thru-out the entire rpm range, not just when your foots in it.
    Here's my question, the truck sounds totally different, is louder at idle, has a LOT more crackle, has immediate throttle response, this is supposed to be only 44 HP and 80 lbs. torque, is this too much for this engine ?, this has quite a bit more power than my LLY had even on level 2, I really enjoy driving it, but don't want to damage the engine, especially when i start towing the race car trailer in a few months. This really waked this motor up, just hope its not too much, I put my LLY into "limp" mode once, don't want to do it to this one, so why is it louder ?, timing?
    I will try the Powerpup after a few tanks of fuel,and then decide which one I will keep, so far this one has a ton of power, and according to the DIC, is getting a lot better fuel mileage, about 2+ just in city, have not run it on the thruway, but when I got up to 55 for about a 4 mile stretch, it got over 19, well, what do you think ?????????????.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
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    Maplesville, AL - Home Base
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    Mine always gets 19+ on the highway and has plenty of power for me even when towing. If I have any engine/trans problems between now and 100,000 miles I don't have to worry about paying for it.

    Bone stock and staying that way.
    Ed
    KM4STL

    '06 Sierra LBZ 4x4 Crew SB, Titan 52 gallon fuel tank, TTT/Schefenacker Mirrors
    '98 Suburban, 245,000 - sold 7-4-06

  3. #23
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    Dec 2009
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    Your trans is only covered 3 years /36,000, only the diesel is good to 100K. Mine is still covered, and the program will NOT void a warranty claim.
    I have heard of guys only getting 12 with an LBZ, I was getting 16+ in city and 17 on the highway, stock, with winter fuel, in 10 degree temps, definitely not the perfect fuel mileage conditions. I am sure with this program installed it will get 20 on the highway with no load even with winter fuel.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    Loyal WI US
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete m View Post
    This really waked this motor up, just hope its not too much, I put my LLY into "limp" mode once, don't want to do it to this one, so why is it louder ?, timing?
    I will try the Powerpup after a few tanks of fuel,and then decide which one I will keep, so far this one has a ton of power, and according to the DIC, is getting a lot better fuel mileage, about 2+ just in city, have not run it on the thruway, but when I got up to 55 for about a 4 mile stretch, it got over 19, well, what do you think ?????????????.
    Teh sound is likely timing. I have not tried that one yet so I cannot comment on safe or not, but will say the LBZ pistons cannot take a lot.

    As for the MPG, the first table that these off the shelf tuners go to is the injection pulse. By altering these tables you are slipping fuel into the engine without the knowledge of the ECM. This will result in a skewed DIC calibration. Gallons vs miles is the only way to calculate MPG with one of these tuners.


    As for warranty, ANY evidence of ANY tuner will give the dealer grounds to dismiss warranty claims. I'm not saying that this is right or that it will definitely happen, but it's just the way it is.
    Kennedy Diesel-owner
    More than just a salesman-I use and test the products that I sell on a daily basis!
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    2002 Chev K2500HD D/A CC Long LT 11.77@ 124mph at 7700# fuel only-e.t. needs help
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    2012 GMC K3500SRW D/A CC Long LTZ Happy Birthday to me! Built 1 working day after my birthday and delivered 7 days later.
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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    CA
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    Nothing you do to your truck will "void" your warranty. Nothing. If you modify your truck, and that modification can be determined, or believed, by the dealer to be a contributing factor to a warranty claim, they will deny the claim. If your dealer is OK with electronic power mods, and will honor engine warranty claims, knowing or believing a power mod has been used, you have a unique dealer. How they are putting this over on GM is curious, as their policy clearly states otherwise. You can't hide it from any competent dealer tech. A replacement PCM, perhaps, but even then not 100%.

    If you are using a plugin module and relying on DIC mileage calculations, you may be in for a bit of a surprise, and not a good one. The modules "lie" to the PCM to give you extra power (fuel). Part of that "lie" requires the PCM to "lie" to you about your fuel economy. The modules you are using are not an exception. Driving habits generally determine the degree of variance with the mileage, and will usually be a full swing in the opposite direction of what the DIC indicates. In the end, hand calculation over several (dozens) tankfuls is the only reliable method of economy calculation. However, a completely stock vehicle will be generally accurate. More refined uploader programmers and PCM updates can, and usually do, retain the PCM fuel map accuracy.

    2006 began the 100K mile powertrain warranty (actually 2007, retroactive to some 2006 models). Depending on build date, a 2006 build truck may, in fact, be covered by the 100K mile powertrain warranty. The tranny, last I checked, was part of the powertrain. GM has always, since 1978, warrantied Diesel engines for 100K miles. Nothing new there.
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    I bought my truck from a big GM dealer in Indy, he ran the vin, and told me there is warranty left on the LBZ engine to 100K, and that the rest of the truck ran out at 36K, thats why I posted that.
    With the truck stock, I was within 1/2 a MPG difference over a 500 mile range on every tank between the DIC and real calc. I have only driven 150 miles with this program installed, so have not had a chance to hand calc. the mileage, with the extra power it seems to have, I would expect it to be higher due to the fact that my foot is not into the throttle as much.
    I am not looking for huge power from my truck to race it, as i stated earlier, I have (2) drag cars I race, all I use the truck for is daily driving and to tow a 10,000 lb. trailer, so I wanted more bottom end power for daily driving, and better fuel mileage if possible, since i was getting much better with my LLY trucks, had (2) of them. This timing issue worries me, since I can't back this tuner down any more, its on the lowest level they offer. I have not tried to tow anything yet either stock or otherwise with this truck yet.

  7. #27
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    Apr 2001
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    Less foot-feed does not equate to less fuel with the electronic mods. Like said above, they lie to the PCM. The accelerator pedal is electronic, and has NO direct correlation to actual throttle position or fueling. This is why you had the experience with the 1/2 throttle take-off. Earlier fuel is earlier boost, resulting in earlier power. You should never have any significant amount of black smoke with any of the available power mods at low settings. If you do, something is wrong (like an overdue air filter or poorly positioned or dirty MAF). Most of them produce very little smoke, even at moderate to higher levels. More power is more fuel. There's no way around that fact. If you are using more power, you are using more fuel. The key is using (and not using) that extra fuel at the right time. Also, spending money on the mods to get better fuel economy will rarely ever return your investment. We should always consider any economy improvement a bonus to the extra power. If you get it, great. If not, then it's just "normal".
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  8. #28
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    Dec 2009
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    I understand what you are saying about throttle position, and I did not like the way the other truck took off at 1/2 throttle with the Edge EZ, thats why I got rid of it. I thought going to the LBZ would have the same or more power with no mods, and get better fuel economy. The EZ had a LOT of smoke at even less than 1/2 throttle when towing, used to cover the front of the trailer with black soot.
    As I said, I have not towed yet with this truck, there is almost no smoke with it stock, even at 3/4 throttle, after the Superchips was installed there still is almost no smoke, I just got home from driving it, and was running up a thruway ramp to merge into traffic and I had it at about 1/2 throttle and there was only a little smoke, no where near where the Edge would have done, and the power increase was very smooth and controlled, not an instant burst of power, even up to 70 mph.
    As far a fooling the DIC, unless it also makes my fuel gauge read wrong, it is running pretty close from what I can tell, before install, if it said I used 30 gal., when I filled it up it would be within .2 of a gallon everytime, right now its saying i used 15.5 gals. and is about a needle or more above 1/2 a tank. I will have to fill up when it gets lower and hand calc. to know for sure, so far this unit seems very easy to drive, will run a few tanks of fuel thru to get some numbers and then try the Bullydog and compare.
    Still would like to know why this does not get the mileage some say they get, although, I have also seen some post they only get 12, I would guess the truth lies somewhere in between.
    When I start racing I will try towing stock and then with both on the tow setting and compare.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by DmaxMaverick View Post
    >>>You should never have any significant amount of black smoke with any of the available power mods at low settings. If you do, something is wrong (like an overdue air filter or poorly positioned or dirty MAF). >>>
    Edge tunes are the 'smokiest' when compared to other aftermarket tunes, in my experience - even on low settings. Injection timing in relation to fuel rates, variable vane turbo settings, etc. all play into the characterisitics of how a tune drives and performs.

    One thing that is nice about the Edge Monitor is the ability to monitor up to four engine parameters at once, digitally on your dash. My suggestion is to monitor these four, then test as many LBZ tunes (including stock) as you can.
    • EGT
    • IAT (...best early indicator when turbo is overheating and heat soak beginnning)
    • Timing
    • Boost
    Also trans temps and water temps...with stock gauges.

    Too bad there isn't a OIL TEMP gauge or monitor readily available...or a light that says 'YOU ARE SMOKING YOUR TORQUE CONVERTER, PAL..."
    2011 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3L daily driver
    • Previous owner of two 1994 6.5L K3500s, '01, '02, and '05 6.6L K2500s, '04 C4500, '06 K3500 dually, '06 K3500 SRW, '09 K3500HD SRW, '05 Denali
    • Total GM diesel miles to date : ~950K

  10. #30
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    Dec 2009
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    Hi again Mark, you have any experience with either of the tuners I bought?, I am currently running the Superchips, so far seems really smooth and driveable, just do not like the engine sounding louder at idle, especially when i first start it when its cold and it ramps up to 1200 with the "elevated idle" setting, other than that seems nice, and has almost no smoke at all even when you stand on it a little.

  11. #31

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    No experience with either of the units you have.
    2011 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3L daily driver
    • Previous owner of two 1994 6.5L K3500s, '01, '02, and '05 6.6L K2500s, '04 C4500, '06 K3500 dually, '06 K3500 SRW, '09 K3500HD SRW, '05 Denali
    • Total GM diesel miles to date : ~950K

  12. #32
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    Dec 2009
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    Just got done running 2 full tanks of fuel thru with the Superchips set on the lowest tow level, over 1000 miles total, all with winter blend fuel. First tank was all city, 35 to 55 mph in traffic driving, took 2 weeks to run the tank out. The DIC said 17 mpg, actual was 16. Filled up and took a thruway trip over the weekend, all thruway averaging 70 mph, all empty driving, 476 miles on this tank, not a full tank run thru, was just over 3/4 gone, DIC said 18, actual was 18.33. So, with this tuner set on the level its at, it is very close the what the DIC predicts, and the power is awesome, can't wait to see how it tows. Checked twice by plugging in the unit to make sure there were no codes present, which there were not. I was hoping for better mileage, but maybe that will improve with summer blend fuel. The power at this setting is exactly what I was hoping for, very smooth and controlled as you ease into the throttle, and very noticeable over stock. They say 44 HP and 79 ft. lbs torque at this setting.
    As a side note, I will not be able to compare the Bullydog unit, I attempted to install it and make sure it worked properly, and found out it was not able to load because it was "locked" due to the program being currently on another truck, so I returned the unit. I may just stick with this unit, so far I am very pleased.
    If anyone has any experience with the Bullydog powerpup on an LBZ, post your results here for all to see and compare.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
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    foxboro,ma.
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    I havent been around the site from months maybe even a year , I have a 2006 LBZ that I have been running a Kennedy tuned ECM refash. I have been running it every day for 3 ~4 years basicly since the truck was new , I now have 96,000 on it now. It pull really hard in the hills , when I first installed it I noted about 1/2 to 1 MPG better . The truck is a 4x4 crew cab with a cap on the bed with roughtly 800 lbs in the bed plus the cap weight every day. It very rarely gets less then 15 mpg average end in the winter , some long runs without towing it will just touch 19 mpg . I am sure other can claim more but they will be lighter trucks or driving slower , most of the time I run 70~75 mph. The performance /tow tune is about as much hp and TQ you can throw at a stock allison and expect to keep it in good running order for years. I did install a shift improver kit in the valve body and change over to syn oil in the trans , the oil is still clean and almost zero clutch dust in the pan when i had it down at 75K. I will never go back to add on perfromance adder like EDGE or anything like that , i just had my fill of driveablity issue with EDGE products . I have two ecm's one with Kennedy tune and the OEM 2006 tune that has never been touched , I carry both in the truck just in case. JK has a in house chassi dyno and does all of his own tuneing on trucks he owns and drives. strait up my 2006 LBZ is the best running deisel truck I have owned ( 310,000 miles since 2001 on duramax trucks and I have owned 6.5td truck since 1993 )
    93 c-2500 6.5td,96 6.5td x cab,01 GMC lb7 Xcab ,2004 lly crew cab ,2006 lbz crew cab,honda CBR1100xx,2003 polaris prox 700 , 2001 31' holiday rambler 10K lbs house on wheels!

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Hey Pete,, are you in IN?? As far as tuners go,, I used to hate on Bully Dog pretty hard but just within the past year I've messed with their products more and perfer some of their stuff over the more traditionally popular tuners available.
    Also, I offer EFI Live tuning as well.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Southern Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennedy View Post
    Teh sound is likely timing. I have not tried that one yet so I cannot comment on safe or not, but will say the LBZ pistons cannot take a lot.
    Not that I disagree,, but we have a truck that has been running 11.7s and around 650rwhp-675rwhp for over a year now on the stock bottom end/ stock single cp3 w/o any issues what so ever. although i'm sure i've just jinxed it now hahaha!! It's not the first stock bottom end to survive well into the 11s or over 650 for an extended period of time either. I have heard of and witnessed piston failures at much less hp levels as well though. It seems tuning has a lot to do with it.

  16. #36
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    Dec 2009
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    Matt, I am in NY, I bought this truck when I was in Indy in Jan.
    I do NOT race this truck, I have a dragster with almost 1000HP plus a NOS kit and a Monza Super Gas car that I race. I only added the SC tuner to get a little better bottom end power for city driving, and maybe help mileage, and also have a little more power when towing. With both cars inside the trailer the total weight is just under 10,000 lbs. I do not intend on towing with this set any higher than the lowest setting, so far its everything I wanted, just don't want to do any damage to the engine.
    Do you guys feel the ECM swap is a better thing for the way I am using this truck as far as engine safety and getting a little boost?, or is the Superchips tuner enough, I don't feel i will ever see huge mileage numbers, although with the Edge on my LLYdually I was seeing 15.4 towing this trailer, hand calc'ed, and had the DIC display from 14.5 to 16.

    Matt, what is EFI live tuning ?
    Last edited by pete m; 02-22-2010 at 19:13. Reason: extend post

  17. #37
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    Jan 2005
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    Southern Indiana
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    checkout www.efilive.com and/or www.duramaxtuner.com
    I don't think a ecm swap is nessacary,, but i feel something like an Edge CS or Bully Dog GT with an egt probe installed is a more user and truck friendly choice being that you can set defuels and safeguards and have gauges to monitor vitals. As far as efi live. I recently tuned a very similar truck and with a tow tune he gained 3 mpg with his 1 ton slip in camper in the bed. results vary though.

  18. #38
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    Dec 2009
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    Just wanted to add an update. I finally got to tow my trailer this weekend on a small trip, loaded it was 8000 lbs, is a `28' tag trailer. I had the Superchips set to the lowest setting, the "tow" mode. I cleared the DIC for ecomomy AFTER running 3/4 of a tank of fuel thru it while towing, filled up again, had plenty of power to get up to highway speed and pass a few as necessary. Went 525 miles total, truck had almost no smoke at all, even at 1/2 throttle or a little more, it only spewed a small amount of smoke, and only for a few seconds. DIC showed 13.2, actual was 12.86, not too bad. This setting only adds 44 HP and 80 ft. lbs torque, maybe because its so mild of a tune, it does not alter the DIC that much. My previous LLY truck that had an Edge tuner set on #2 was off over 2 MPG.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Scottsbluff, NE. USA
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    Pete,
    I just sold my 2007 GMC LMM duramax with 28 K and bought a 2006 GMC CC Duramax LLY/LBZ with 214K. I really have appreciated this thread. Thanks for all the good questions. I will use my truck for towing 15 - 18 K trailer weight, so I should be 22 - 25 K Gross.
    I have spoken to Kennedy about an ECM upgrade. I picked my truck up in Dallas last week and drove it back north to Nebraska and averaged 21.9 over 965 miles, hand calc'd. I did, however, have a tailwind through TX and OK, but not in KS and NE.
    So far I am impressed with the LBZ. I owned a 2002 CC Duramax/Allison GMC and put 135K on it before I traded in. I loved that truck. I had a very early Edge tune and it improved power and economy and I never had smoke. I also upgraded air in and air out. My wife said the 02 ran like a 7000 lb corvette.
    I feel like this LBZ/LLY runs like my chipped LB7 with no mods or upgrades. The throttle has not seen the floor yet.
    I have considered a 4" exhaust and WAS considering a air intake until this thread.
    I am still not sure if I am going to do a Kennedy ECM. I will decide when I see how she does with my Bobcat/tree spade/tree loaded on my 26 foot tiltbed. Last night I delivered a tractor to a farmer 230 miles away. 7K tractor going 65mph and avg 12 mpg loaded going down and 15 on the return with just my trailer.
    Again, thanks for the thread. Just my .02
    Mark
    2007.5 GMC SLE 2500 HD LMM **SOLD**
    Owned 2006 GMC Sierra CC LLY/LBZ *2 not a D in SN* 214K Purchased 3/2010
    CC/SB/4x4 Summit White
    Owned a 2002 GMC CC LB7 CC sold with 135K
    Now 2015 GMC Crew Cab Duramax/Allison
    Custom Tool box

  20. #40
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    Dec 2009
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    Hi Mark, from what I see you have an `06 truck with the LLY motor right?, I, as mentioned got better mileage with my (2) LLY trucks than this LBZ, but can feel the extra power this engine has. I think you have the ability to get even better mileage with yours than I did because my LLY trucks were `05's that had the 5 speed, yours should have the 6 speed which should/could get better mileage due to turning less RPM's, I did notice mine running below 1800 rpm at 69 MPH while towing. I thought with this turning less rpm it would get better highway mileage running empty, but still could not touch either LLY, and the last one was a CC 4X4 dually that weighed a LOT more than my current 2500 HD does. Only thing I have done to my truck is the K&N air filter element, and the Superchips tuner, otherwise its stock.

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