Black Cat Eye Duramax Spec – After weighing the pros and cons of each Duramax, it’s time to pick your favorite – but it’s an easy decision. The truth is that each variant of the iconic 6.6L V8 diesel has its strong points. The LB7 was the simplest in terms of emissions controls, and the LLY came with the largest turbocharger ever offered. The LBZ featured several improvements, including significantly more power, while the LMM was almost a mirror image of it apart from using a diesel particulate filter. The LML brought higher fuel pressure, cleaner emissions and nearly 400hp into the equation, while the current L5P rose later and has 600rwhp capability in newer ’17 GM trucks.
To touch on what was covered in our Duramax History Lesson series, we’ll run through the ups and downs associated with each mill. Then we’ll reveal our favorite and why. While you may be partial to another Duramax RPO code, we don’t blame you. No matter the generation, you can’t go wrong with any version of this engine. Hard to some extent, they are very hard. When properly cared for, they can easily give you 300,000 miles worth, but they’re certainly capable of going 500,000 miles (or more) if you’re willing to keep one that long. The Duramax platform has made GM a viable contender in the diesel pickup game since the turn of the century and there’s no indication that will change in the future.
Black Cat Eye Duramax Spec
It doesn’t get any simpler than the original 6.6L: the LB7. Aside from the California models, the first Duramax was effectively free of any of the troublesome emissions control devices that would be introduced in the following years. There was no exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and certainly no diesel particulate filter (DPF) yet, just a catalytic converter. The LB7 also used a fixed geometry turbocharger – the only Duramax to do so – which meant there were no sticky turbo lumps or actuator issues.
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The path of common rail injection in the diesel truck segment did not come without its quirks for GM. Cracked and/or leaking injectors can fill the crankcase full of diesel fuel, produce excessive smoke from the tailpipe and cause irreversible engine damage if neglected long enough. . Today, the LB7 injector issue has almost been resolved (thanks to improved injector designs and materials), but if we were in the market for a pre-owned Chevrolet or GMC HD, we’d be quite unsure about buying low mileage. ’01-’04 model.
With the biggest version of the factory Garrett GT3788VA turbocharger attached to it, the LLY (found in 04.5-‘05.5 trucks) seems to have the most tuneful power output potential of any Duramax ever. produced between 2001 and 2016. Thanks to its 62.6mm inducer. compressor wheel and the highest turbine vane height (15mm) of any GT3788VA, there is enough intake and airflow to support 530rwhp in 2500 and 3500 model Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras. In addition, the LLY-spec’d GT3788VA sports a 360-degree throttle bearing for optimal turbo longevity.
Unfortunately for the LLY, it is notorious for overheating in towing situations. Mainly due to a combination of a restricted turbo mouth, an undersized radiator and a dirty cooling stack blocking air flow, it is not unusual to see a coolant temperature of 230 degrees when operating this engine. . Over time, and with many of the LLY-powered trucks being tuned most of their lives, buying a 200,000 mile version could mean you’re pulling heads for new gaskets soon. after that.
With a stronger block, meatier rods, higher main bearing caps, a revised higher pressure common rail injection system and 360hp straight out of the box, it’s hard not to like the LBZ, which is available in GM trucks during the ’06-’07 model years. While working to meet much stricter NOx and particulate matter emissions regulations set to take effect in 2007, GM made the necessary changes in ’06 that would allow the LBZ became the LMM (‘07.5-’10) with few changes. . As a result, the LBZ is essentially an LMM without the troublesome exhaust aftertreatment system (ie the DPF, and the mileage-and-lifetime-killing regeneration cycles).
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There’s little doubt that GM’s use of wrist pin presses (and thinner wall pin presses, to boot) weakened the LBZ pistons’ ability to handle excess cylinder pressure (ie torque), but some have been suspicious of the quality were thrown. years now. If you’re in the market for an LBZ, just know that the failure rate of the factory pistons gets higher the closer you get to 650rwhp. At near-stock power levels, we compare cracked piston conditions in an LBZ to deadly dowel pin knocking in a Cummins 5.9L. It could happen at any time unless you dig into the engine and eliminate the possibility – but it probably won’t.
To withstand up to 765 lb-ft of torque in stock form, GM further developed the strength of the Duramax block with the LML, offered in GM HDs from ’11-’16. Therefore, this crank is now used as the basis in many performance engines built in the aftermarket. But not only that, higher horsepower requires better oil flow—and an oil pump that flows 11 percent more than the ’01-’10 engines is used on the LML. To free up horsepower (it produced 397hp, stock), the LML also sports the lightest rotating assembly of any Duramax.
For emissions reasons, GM was forced to move away from the Bosch CP3 on the LML, which uses the Bosch CP4.2 instead. While the smaller pump churns out 29,000 to 30,000 psi and packs more easily, it is prone to catastrophic failure anytime there is a lack of lubrication or debris enters the high pressure fuel system. The pit-in-the-stomach twin is that when the CP4.2 twin-piston self-destructs, it often takes the injectors out with it. The first thing to do when picking up a used LML is to ditch the CP4.2 for a CP3 (if possible) or install a lift pump (for extra filtration and low pressure fuel supply) .
No other Duramax in history has offered what the L5P does. The Bosch CP4.2 has been phased out in favor of the Denso HP4, Denso’s modern solenoid style injectors replace the Bosch piezoelectric units used on the LML and for the first time a -never the injection pump is supported by a lift. pump. Completely different cast-aluminum heads flow slightly more air, the variable geometry turbocharger is made by BorgWarner (not Garrett), sports a 61mm billet compressor wheel and is both controlled and electronically activated. As a result, the latest and greatest Duramax on the market turns out 445hp and a mountain-moving 910 lb-ft of torque right off the showroom floor. Check out the table top torque curve!
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By far, the biggest drawback for the L5P is that it’s so new. Although we know that the new Denso injection system has good performance potential, we still don’t know how reliable it will be. The same can be said for the modern BorgWarner turbocharger that sits in the valley. Although everything looks good on paper, it remains to be proven that it can be reliable, day in and day out, as before. Only time will tell.
For its use of the tried and tested Bosch common rail system based on the CP3 exhaust system, stable pre-DPF and its purely tune performance capability, we are big fans of the LBZ Duramax. It improved on the LB7 and LLY platforms with a stronger block, stouter connecting rods, a higher pressure injection system (26,000 psi vs. 23,000 psi) and evolved to an automatic transmission -A stronger six-speed Allison transmission. With the LBZ ’06-’07 Chevy or GMC HD power you got overdrive, you saw an increase in fuel economy, you had great reliability and the classic lightweight (and arguably better) body style. Without turbo or fuel mods (other than tuning), you could get into the 12s in the quarter-mile with a 4×4 ¾-ton crew cab. Trust us, there’s a reason these 13-year-old gems are still fetching $20K in the used truck market. it from LB7. First, its injectors use a different design and are accessible from the outside (they are not located under the valve covers). Second, a higher flow and variable geometry turbocharger – the Garrett GT3788VA – is used to feed the engine. The revised common rail injectors eliminate what has proven to be the Achilles heel of the LB7 and the VVT turbo provides an improvement in drivability throughout the entire rpm range. However, as is the case with all Duramax generations, the LLY still has the marks. Primarily due to airflow restrictions (and the fact that the LLY comes with the smallest radiator of any Duramax-powered truck), the 04.5-’05 GMs are notorious for overheating.
But don’t be discouraged! Most of the LLY overheating issues can be solved fairly. Trust us, this engine can crank out as much horsepower as any other Duramax. In the power recipes below, we’ll show you how
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