’06-’07 Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado 2500 HD

Price Range: $14,000 to $23,000 Mileage Range: 70,000 to 180,000 miles

Four Wheeler - - Feature -

There is a lot to like about the clas­sic–body style Chevy HDS. For starters, they boast pow­er­ful V-8s in the form of the 6.6L Du­ra­max diesel or the op­tional 8.1L big-block gasser—both of which pack 300 hp or bet­ter. Back­ing up these po­tent en­gines, you have a choice be­tween the Al­li­son 1000 trans­mis­sion— plucked right out of the medium-duty seg­ment—or the trusty ZF-6 man­ual. In ad­di­tion to that, you get the largest axle ever of­fered on a sin­gle-rear­wheel pickup, the AAM 1150, and the plush­est ride of any 3⁄4-ton truck thanks to the in­de­pen­dent front sus­pen­sion.

Sav­ing the best for last, the fi­nal two years of pro­duc­tion rep­re­sent GM’S finest hour with the GMT800 plat­form. By the time the ’06 model HDS came along, the fuel sys­tem and over­heat­ing quirks found in the Du­ra­max-pow­ered ’01-’05 trucks had been solved and the lat­est diesel en­gine, the LBZ, em­bod­ied the most tried-and-true ver­sion of the 6.6L ever as­sem­bled. On top of its class-lead­ing 360 hp, the LBZ turned out 650 lb-ft of torque at just 1,600 rpm. Add in the fact that the Al­li­son 1000 gained dou­ble over­drive in the form of a 0.61:1 ra­tio sixth gear, and you had a pow­er­train that was vir­tu­ally in­ca­pable of break­ing a sweat with a trailer in tow—and a truck that could achieve 18-21 mpg empty.

-> As we stated, the AAM 1150 is the largest axle ever em­ployed in a North Amer­i­can sin­gle-rear-wheel pickup—and it’s pretty darn tough. It fea­tures an 11.5-inch-di­am­e­ter ring gear (hence 1150), 1.5-inch­di­am­e­ter axle­shafts, full-float­ing wheel hubs, and a 14-bolt dif­fer­en­tial cover. Its one Achilles’ heel is the fac­tory Gov-loc lim­ited slip that’s prone to fail­ure when added horse­power and/or larger wheels and tires are com­bined with ag­gres­sive off-road driv­ing.

<- At a time when Ford had yet to re­lease the Torqshift au­to­matic and Dodge’s Torqueflite A727based four-speeds were drop­ping like flies, GM dug into the medium-duty parts bin and pulled out a ma­jor trump card in 2001: the Al­li­son LCT 1000. The heavy-duty slush­box gained a sixth gear (dou­ble over­drive) for the ’06 model year, and thanks to GM’S in­clu­sion of a Tap­shifter along the shift col­umn, cus­tomers had full con­trol over its shift points.

<- Learn­ing from the in­jec­tor fail­ures and over­heat­ing is­sues associated with the LB7 (’01-’04) and LLY (’04.5-’05) en­gines, GM’S LBZ Du­ra­max fea­tures a host of im­prove­ments over its pre­de­ces­sors. A less re­stric­tive in­take path to the turbo is em­ployed, a larger ra­di­a­tor is used, and the Bosch com­mon-rail in­jec­tion sys­tem’s peak pres­sure checks in at 26,000 psi (ver­sus 23,000 psi on ear­lier en­gines). As a re­sult, the ’06-’07 HDS are more re­li­able and make sub­stan­tially more power than their fore­fa­thers did.

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