From '21 Duramax to '21 Tremor 7.3L

TIME

Tremor Buff
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2020
Messages
72
Reaction Points
130
Location
Montana
Current Ride
2022 7.3L F350 Tremor
Current Ride #2
97 Suburban, 2005 F350 6.0 Powerstroke, 2005 Expedition, 2012 Expedition
Hello all,

I have posted a few times on here but have mostly been browsing the threads and gaining knowledge from the many smart folks here. This will probably be a longer post, so I'll do my best to spare you whatever details I can. I actually thought about not posting at all, but reconsidered in case my experience helps someone else to make their own decision on whether to switch from a diesel to a 7.3 gas. I have owned several 7.3 & 6.0 Powerstrokes for the past decade and have never owned a gas truck as I have never been happy with the pulling capabilities. This thread isn't about whether a gas can pull or not, clearly they can, I've just never been happy doing so.

Anyway, a few months back I purchased a '21 Duramax 3500 LT, and quite honestly, I loved that truck. I've always been a Ford guy, but that Chevy had a lot of things I began to love. Many things about that truck are, IMHO, better than the '21 Lariat Tremor that I just traded in to. So why the switch?

I had actually ordered this 7.3 Tremor a couple of weeks before I bought the Duramax. The Ford dealer told me that if I didn't want the Tremor, they would sell it anyway and I could have my money back, no questions asked. After owning the Duramax for a couple of months, I was really going back and forth on the reliability of these newer diesels. I'm not here to bash, and I really don't think there is an "across the board" right answer. Each person has a different situation, and for me, I started thinking it would be nice to keep my new truck for the 10-year long haul and I wasn't convinced that the diesel was the right choice for this.

I then started thinking that it might still be worth looking at the Tremor, but my mind wasn't made up. I was greatly concerned with how the 7.3 gas would handle our 10k travel trailer. My wife and I have 4 little boys and we do a lot of camping in the Wyoming and Montana mountains. I was also concerned with the lack of range with a gas Tremor while hauling.

Well, about a month ago the Ford dealer let me know that my Tremor had shipped. I informed them that I had the Duramax, and that even though I still wanted a Tremor, I was hoping to wait for another 6+ months to see what the '22 options might look like (in my mind, I wanted to keep the Duramax and still get the Tremor). Anyway, the sales guy wasn't happy but said okay, no worries. He then called me back saying that they are going to lose 10-12 SuperDuty allocations if I didn't take the truck. Again, sparing you all the details, I ended up telling them that if I were to take the Tremor, they would have to give me enough on trade for the Duramax. In the end, we came to an agreement and I am now driving around in a '21 Lariat Tremor!

I know this post is getting long, so I'll wrap things up with this: After driving my Tremor home, I had about 5 days before I needed to leave for a trip with the family to go from northern WY down to NV. Before leaving for this trip, I was able to rack up 900 miles on my Tremor before hooking it up to our travel trailer. I was anxious, to say the least, to see how the Tremor did while going over some of the passes with our trailer. In a nutshell, I was happy to experience that it pulls extremely well! As others have said in the past, it's not a diesel, but I was prepared for that going in. But diesel or not, I was able to maintain speed without issue. I was able to cross every pass we hit without a problem. Yes, it will drop a few gears and a couple of times it was wound up to about 5k rpms, but even then it didn't give me the feeling that a piston was going to come flying out the top of the engine. When I wasn't climbing up a pass, the rpms would stay in the 2-3k range. I hand calculated the mileage, and for the 2,000 mile round trip, I averaged 6.9 mpg running on 91 gas. I was traveling at speeds of 73-80 mph. I don't drive like a grandma (sorry grandmas) so I'm sure the mpg's might have improved if I wasn't in such a rush everywhere I go.

A couple of potential negatives to keep in mind - The Tremor just isn't as stable while towing as the Duramax or my '05 F350 with the 6.0. I do not currently have airbags, or a helwig, etc., so maybe that would help. Just know that due to the Tremor being what it is (gas or diesel), I don't think it will be quite as stable as a regular non-Tremor (while towing). The only other real negative is the range between stops. Quite frankly, it was a constant chore trying to figure out the next place to stop for fuel. I really hope that someone comes out with a larger fuel tank. That said, if given the chance to do it all over again, I would still opt for my 7.3L Tremor.

I am super happy with my new truck and am glad that I switched. If I wasn't interested in going off-road with my boys and instead I was mostly towing long distances, I personally wouldn't opt for the Tremor, but that's not a gas vs diesel thing. For those of you that are on the fence about switching from diesel to gas, I think you'll be surprised at how well the 10spd transmission pairs with this engine (and the 4.30 gears of course).

0212211901a_HDR.jpg
 
Time to change your "Ride" status, TT2021. Looks good and makes sense your pic was taken at one of the many gas stops forced by the 'small' 34 gallon tanks!
 
Time to change your "Ride" status, TT2021. Looks good and makes sense your pic was taken at one of the many gas stops forced by the 'small' 34 gallon tanks!
Ha, thanks for the note. Ride status is now changed and as of a few minutes ago, I've now joined the supporting member club!
 
Hello all,

I have posted a few times on here but have mostly been browsing the threads and gaining knowledge from the many smart folks here. This will probably be a longer post, so I'll do my best to spare you whatever details I can. I actually thought about not posting at all, but reconsidered in case my experience helps someone else to make their own decision on whether to switch from a diesel to a 7.3 gas. I have owned several 7.3 & 6.0 Powerstrokes for the past decade and have never owned a gas truck as I have never been happy with the pulling capabilities. This thread isn't about whether a gas can pull or not, clearly they can, I've just never been happy doing so.

Anyway, a few months back I purchased a '21 Duramax 3500 LT, and quite honestly, I loved that truck. I've always been a Ford guy, but that Chevy had a lot of things I began to love. Many things about that truck are, IMHO, better than the '21 Lariat Tremor that I just traded in to. So why the switch?

I had actually ordered this 7.3 Tremor a couple of weeks before I bought the Duramax. The Ford dealer told me that if I didn't want the Tremor, they would sell it anyway and I could have my money back, no questions asked. After owning the Duramax for a couple of months, I was really going back and forth on the reliability of these newer diesels. I'm not here to bash, and I really don't think there is an "across the board" right answer. Each person has a different situation, and for me, I started thinking it would be nice to keep my new truck for the 10-year long haul and I wasn't convinced that the diesel was the right choice for this.

I then started thinking that it might still be worth looking at the Tremor, but my mind wasn't made up. I was greatly concerned with how the 7.3 gas would handle our 10k travel trailer. My wife and I have 4 little boys and we do a lot of camping in the Wyoming and Montana mountains. I was also concerned with the lack of range with a gas Tremor while hauling.

Well, about a month ago the Ford dealer let me know that my Tremor had shipped. I informed them that I had the Duramax, and that even though I still wanted a Tremor, I was hoping to wait for another 6+ months to see what the '22 options might look like (in my mind, I wanted to keep the Duramax and still get the Tremor). Anyway, the sales guy wasn't happy but said okay, no worries. He then called me back saying that they are going to lose 10-12 SuperDuty allocations if I didn't take the truck. Again, sparing you all the details, I ended up telling them that if I were to take the Tremor, they would have to give me enough on trade for the Duramax. In the end, we came to an agreement and I am now driving around in a '21 Lariat Tremor!

I know this post is getting long, so I'll wrap things up with this: After driving my Tremor home, I had about 5 days before I needed to leave for a trip with the family to go from northern WY down to NV. Before leaving for this trip, I was able to rack up 900 miles on my Tremor before hooking it up to our travel trailer. I was anxious, to say the least, to see how the Tremor did while going over some of the passes with our trailer. In a nutshell, I was happy to experience that it pulls extremely well! As others have said in the past, it's not a diesel, but I was prepared for that going in. But diesel or not, I was able to maintain speed without issue. I was able to cross every pass we hit without a problem. Yes, it will drop a few gears and a couple of times it was wound up to about 5k rpms, but even then it didn't give me the feeling that a piston was going to come flying out the top of the engine. When I wasn't climbing up a pass, the rpms would stay in the 2-3k range. I hand calculated the mileage, and for the 2,000 mile round trip, I averaged 6.9 mpg running on 91 gas. I was traveling at speeds of 73-80 mph. I don't drive like a grandma (sorry grandmas) so I'm sure the mpg's might have improved if I wasn't in such a rush everywhere I go.

A couple of potential negatives to keep in mind - The Tremor just isn't as stable while towing as the Duramax or my '05 F350 with the 6.0. I do not currently have airbags, or a helwig, etc., so maybe that would help. Just know that due to the Tremor being what it is (gas or diesel), I don't think it will be quite as stable as a regular non-Tremor (while towing). The only other real negative is the range between stops. Quite frankly, it was a constant chore trying to figure out the next place to stop for fuel. I really hope that someone comes out with a larger fuel tank. That said, if given the chance to do it all over again, I would still opt for my 7.3L Tremor.

I am super happy with my new truck and am glad that I switched. If I wasn't interested in going off-road with my boys and instead I was mostly towing long distances, I personally wouldn't opt for the Tremor, but that's not a gas vs diesel thing. For those of you that are on the fence about switching from diesel to gas, I think you'll be surprised at how well the 10spd transmission pairs with this engine (and the 4.30 gears of course).

View attachment 18524
A local guy just did the opposite of what you did. Traded his 7.3 Tremor for a diesel Denali. Not as stable pulling and the gas stops is what I have been.
 
Good to hear a legit comparison. Glad you like the new ride.

The simplicity of the 7.3 is what drew my interest. I spent 8 years in powertrain engineering developing these new low emission diesel engines (commercial truck and off highway markets) and if you don't need the performance, you are better off in a gasser for long term durability. If you need it, you need it, but you also accept higher repair bills and downtime when something eventually fails. Just my opinion.
 
My 2019 duramax was awful on fuel while towing. It didn’t matter if I was towing my 14 foot enclosed snowmobile trailer or my 40 foot toy hauler. It got in the 9s for mpg.
 
Wow, that's awesome! Congrats on the new Tremor!

How's the steering feel between the two trucks?

How's the ride compare with the Tremor's suspension?
 
My 2019 duramax was awful on fuel while towing. It didn’t matter if I was towing my 14 foot enclosed snowmobile trailer or my 40 foot toy hauler. It got in the 9s for mpg.

That is interesting, guy I know just got a 21 duramax and said it gets worse towing mpg than his 5.3 silverado 1500 towing his 8k camper. I was shocked.
 
That is interesting, guy I know just got a 21 duramax and said it gets worse towing mpg than his 5.3 silverado 1500 towing his 8k camper. I was shocked.
And he has the 10spd. I think it has to do with using tow haul mode. I swear it tells the computer to just drink as much fuel as possible.
even not towing i only got around ~17 mpg
I had a 13 duramax at it got upper teens towing and my 17 power stroke was great on fuel towing as well.
the L5P was awful for some reason
 
Wow, that's awesome! Congrats on the new Tremor!

How's the steering feel between the two trucks?

How's the ride compare with the Tremor's suspension?

My personal opinion, the steering was good in both trucks. At first, it felt like the Tremor was worse, but I think that was because the Duratracs hadn't broken in yet. I had never heard about tires needing to break in until reading on this forum. There was a part of me that said tires needing to break in is bogus. Turns out, after I have now put 3k miles on this truck it drives way better than when I picked it up at the dealership.

Also, since you asked about steering I feel like I should bring up braking. The brakes in the Duramax are, in a word, terrible. A buddy of mine retired last year and bought a 2020 Duramax dually and his brakes are the same way. Alternatively, the brakes in my Tremor are awesome.

Suspension is a tough one - Simply put, the Duramax had a better ride while on pavement. The Tremor is not bad by any means, the Duramax was just better. I had watched a YouTube video where a couple of guys were talking about the new Chevy trucks and how they weren't a better ride like in years past (when compared to trucks with a solid axle). I have to disagree with this.

The Duramax almost gave more of a sports car feeling in that I felt very connected to the road. Corning at high speeds was very secure with little to no roll (for a truck). Again, I don't feel insecure in the Tremor, but I also don't feel as connected to the road either.

Going off road is a whole different story. I didn't really take the Duramax off-road, and even though I haven't really taken the Tremor off-road either, I can tell already that the Tremor just wants to go places where the pavement trucks generally don't like to play.

Here's a picture of the Duramax before I had put running boards on it etc. Again, great truck, but the Tremor is where it's at for me and where I am in life at the moment.

1223202028_2.jpg
 
Good to hear a legit comparison. Glad you like the new ride.

The simplicity of the 7.3 is what drew my interest. I spent 8 years in powertrain engineering developing these new low emission diesel engines (commercial truck and off highway markets) and if you don't need the performance, you are better off in a gasser for long term durability. If you need it, you need it, but you also accept higher repair bills and downtime when something eventually fails. Just my opinion.

Couldn't agree with you more. It's not to say that I won't have problems with this truck, but when I do, I'll have a far better shot at fixing it myself, and if I choose not to, the repair bill will undoubtedly be cheaper than if the same thing happened in a diesel.

My 2019 duramax was awful on fuel while towing. It didn’t matter if I was towing my 14 foot enclosed snowmobile trailer or my 40 foot toy hauler. It got in the 9s for mpg.

That's frustrating for sure. I've always owned Fords up until this recent Duramax, so I can't speak for years past, but I guess in 2020 GM really changed a lot of stuff for the better (or at least that was the idea).

Ahhh, the Tremor in it's natural habitat. Lol
That's my biggest complaint pulling the trailer, 34 gal tank but think you'll really enjoy the new truck with the 7.3.

Thank you! I don't if you've seen the thread that was started about this, but I signed the petition asking Transfer Flow to come out with a larger fuel tank for these trucks.

That is interesting, guy I know just got a 21 duramax and said it gets worse towing mpg than his 5.3 silverado 1500 towing his 8k camper. I was shocked.

Yeah something sounds a little odd there. Towing my same 10k Outdoors RV travel trailer, I was getting about 10.5 MPG. Admittedly I was hoping for better, but given the speeds I drive and how tall our camper is. I didn't complain. I got about 7-8 MPG towing this same trailer with my '05 6.0 Powerstroke (with lots of add-ons like almost every 6.0 out there now).

And he has the 10spd. I think it has to do with using tow haul mode. I swear it tells the computer to just drink as much fuel as possible.
even not towing i only got around ~17 mpg
I had a 13 duramax at it got upper teens towing and my 17 power stroke was great on fuel towing as well.
the L5P was awful for some reason

I put a little over 4k on the Duramax before I traded it in and I was getting about 19 average. If I drove it around town it would go way down, but once I got out on the highways (70-75mph) I would easily be getting 20 and several times 21. Twice I drove from Cody, WY up to Bigfork, MT and while on the interstates I had the cruise on at 84. Driving these speeds I was only getting about 16MPG. For what it's worth I was using Amsoil diesel additive. I doubt that did much for the mileage, but it's still something to note.
 
I really hate these options when my Diesel Tremor is on a train headed my way. Hmmmm what to do? Mileage is the one reason for diesel For I will be driving a lot. I will not be towing anything real heavy but will be getting a slide in camper. My dealer offers a lifetime powertrain warrant for free (Medved Autoplex Castle Rock CO) so I wasn’t concerned with high repair cost. I know the gas would be fine but gas prices are climbing fast.... what to do?
 
Making a comment on a couple of observations in this thread.
First, seems to me folks overlook that the Tremor is a compromise truck. It gives up some on road manners and towing to make it competent off road. 35" Tires are going to have more sidewall flex, especially under load, than the standard tires you'll find on SD, Ram or GM. They are made for towing specifically, 35" Duratracs are not. This sidewall flex is what makes it more squirrelly. Again, especially under load.

If you want more stability towing, then the long bed is where you need to be as well. The Tremor is a big truck already. Big is not good for off road. Bigger is not better with the long bed off road.

Anyway, my only point is I see folks complaining about things about the Tremor that it wasn't meant for anyway and they probably would have been better served with a regular truck.
 
I really hate these options when my Diesel Tremor is on a train headed my way. Hmmmm what to do? Mileage is the one reason for diesel For I will be driving a lot. I will not be towing anything real heavy but will be getting a slide in camper. My dealer offers a lifetime powertrain warrant for free (Medved Autoplex Castle Rock CO) so I wasn’t concerned with high repair cost. I know the gas would be fine but gas prices are climbing fast.... what to do?
Like I stated before, I don't believe there is a right or wrong answer here. They each have their own pros and cons, and each person is going to have to figure out which engine is going to fit them better. I know some guys that don't need the diesel at all and they'll even admit it. But they go for the diesel because they like it. We still live in a mostly free country and that's the beauty of all this. You can do what you want whether or not it makes any sense to the guy standing next to you.

So long as you're not potentially putting yourself in a bad financial position with the risks of owning a diesel, then I say go for it! Whatever you do, enjoy your ride!
 
Like I stated before, I don't believe there is a right or wrong answer here. They each have their own pros and cons, and each person is going to have to figure out which engine is going to fit them better. I know some guys that don't need the diesel at all and they'll even admit it. But they go for the diesel because they like it. We still live in a mostly free country and that's the beauty of all this. You can do what you want whether or not it makes any sense to the guy standing next to you.

So long as you're not potentially putting yourself in a bad financial position with the risks of owning a diesel, then I say go for it! Whatever you do, enjoy your ride!
Sorry man, you have a great review. You just got me thinking. I’m nervous as hell on my 1st diesel truck.
 
I really hate these options when my Diesel Tremor is on a train headed my way. Hmmmm what to do? Mileage is the one reason for diesel For I will be driving a lot. I will not be towing anything real heavy but will be getting a slide in camper. My dealer offers a lifetime powertrain warrant for free (Medved Autoplex Castle Rock CO) so I wasn’t concerned with high repair cost. I know the gas would be fine but gas prices are climbing fast.... what to do?
I’m in same boat - have a 19 f-350 6.7 stock 4x4 xlt and can’t really afford the 6.7 tremor but can the 7.3. I tow 10-15 camping trips a year within a few hundred miles or less. Rest is town driving and forest service roads playing in the woods. My 2019 350 gets 14 unloaded and 9 towing so probably not far off from the 7.3 tremor.
 
I’m in same boat - have a 19 f-350 6.7 stock 4x4 xlt and can’t really afford the 6.7 tremor but can the 7.3. I tow 10-15 camping trips a year within a few hundred miles or less. Rest is town driving and forest service roads playing in the woods. My 2019 350 gets 14 unloaded and 9 towing so probably not far off from the 7.3 tremor.
2020/2021 are getting better mileag, I’ve read, don’t know if it’s true or not.
 
Making a comment on a couple of observations in this thread.
First, seems to me folks overlook that the Tremor is a compromise truck. It gives up some on road manners and towing to make it competent off road. 35" Tires are going to have more sidewall flex, especially under load, than the standard tires you'll find on SD, Ram or GM. They are made for towing specifically, 35" Duratracs are not. This sidewall flex is what makes it more squirrelly. Again, especially under load.

If you want more stability towing, then the long bed is where you need to be as well. The Tremor is a big truck already. Big is not good for off road. Bigger is not better with the long bed off road.

Anyway, my only point is I see folks complaining about things about the Tremor that it wasn't meant for anyway and they probably would have been better served with a regular truck.

Thank you for your input - I wholeheartedly agree with you and you've brought up an excellent point. My goal was not to complain about the Tremor's lack of stability vs a non-Tremor/pavement truck. I brought it up mostly because I think there are a lot of us that are looking for a "compromise truck" that doesn't actually compromise anything. We want sports car handling, great mileage, crazy power, simplicity, long term reliability, and off-road "overlanding" capabilities....oh, and we also want the thing to haul a 90,000lb trailer and also be able to park in the downtown parking garage :ROFLMAO:

Seriously though, I knew that there would be compromises, but when you haven't owned one of these things, naturally the question becomes "how much of a compromise?". My goal in starting this thread was to hopefully help someone else gather information from my experience so that they could then make a decision of their own and be confident about it.

Again, I am happy with my Tremor and given the chance to do it all over, I would stick with this truck.
 
I really hate these options when my Diesel Tremor is on a train headed my way. Hmmmm what to do? Mileage is the one reason for diesel For I will be driving a lot. I will not be towing anything real heavy but will be getting a slide in camper. My dealer offers a lifetime powertrain warrant for free (Medved Autoplex Castle Rock CO) so I wasn’t concerned with high repair cost. I know the gas would be fine but gas prices are climbing fast.... what to do?

The diesel is a beast and the range with it is incredible! It runs very smooth with the 10 speed. I see about 18-20 in mine while driving unloaded. @ 75mph.
 

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