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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since I've finally decided that I'm tired of being cramped in my current rig (and I would like 4 seats anyway) I've decided to start planning for a new vehicle. It'll be a 4 seater (i.e. big heavy bastard) with a 4L80E, Atlas 4sp, Rockwells, and either 47's or 49's.

My question is what engine I should be looking for. I can't really decide between the 6.0L and the 8.1L. The 8.1 has a good bit more torque from the factory but doesn't seem to have a whole lot of aftermarket support for power upgrades. The 6.0 has less power from the factory but has a ton of aftermarket support.

Post up some pros and cons.
 

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You stated the biggest concern I would have about aftermaket parts. You might consider stock parts availability also. Im betting you willbe able to find something simple like a water pump much easier for the 6.0 that the 8.1 out in a small town on a week long wheeling trip...

besides I love the 6.0s that I have had!!!

Oh and what is the differance in weight? It sounds like that is not much of an issue for you but I think about it every time I (just cant quit make an obstical) "maybe if I was just 500 to 600 lbs lighter???"

Just my .02, JOSH
 

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I agree with weight comment. If you think your truggy will weigh quite a bit I would go with the 8.1L because it will pull you around without hesitation. I am sure with the right gearing 6.0L will be fine. I would make a cost comparison also on some basic replacement parts. Nobody likes to be surprised by a overly expensive part.
 

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Since I've finally decided that I'm tired of being cramped in my current rig (and I would like 4 seats anyway) I've decided to start planning for a new vehicle. It'll be a 4 seater (i.e. big heavy bastard) with a 4L80E, Atlas 4sp, Rockwells, and either 47's or 49's.

My question is what engine I should be looking for. I can't really decide between the 6.0L and the 8.1L. The 8.1 has a good bit more torque from the factory but doesn't seem to have a whole lot of aftermarket support for power upgrades. The 6.0 has less power from the factory but has a ton of aftermarket support.

Post up some pros and cons.


Either motor will work. With the heavy rig like that, the 8.1 will come in handy, but as mentioned with the right gearing the 6.0 would work. Also, as mentioned, the aftermarket is readily available for the 6.0, so can be brought up to more HP/TQ for some $$$$. Or, you can look at it like this, your rig will be heavy enough as it is, why add more weight with the 8.1? Or, you may not be concerned with an extra 75-100 LBS or so the motor will bring. I would not worry about a part failing and the local parts store having it.....if they have it for 6.0. they will have it for the 8.1. And, besides, when was the last time you actually had a part fail on the motor, and be near a parts store anyway:laughing: If you are like me, it happens when I am between towns OR after hours and they are closed:)
 

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In a tow rig/dd I would vote 8.1 for sure. ( I love mine, better mileage aroudn town then 6.0s I have had).

For a wheelin rig I have never been sold on the giant heavy motors. However I mainly do rocks. My 6500+lb truck runs an almost stock 5.9 (~250 hp/350 ft-lb torque) and has plenty of juice with the right gear (which you will have with a 4 spd T-case).

The 6.0 is more of a screamer which is nice. Stock 8.1s are done about 4500 rpm, but have some more if retuned.

If its a chugging through deep mud kind of a rig, the big block is probably happier. If its a rock crawler or even high speed rig, I think all the aftermarket parts would make the 6.0 a great choice. However I would do which ever one was a better deal.

I don't think parts availibilty should be too bad. Its not an exotic motor. (2001-2007 burbs, Avs and Pickups had them, as did most base model medium duty GMC trucks)
 

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i would choose the 6.0L b/c its a smaller package so it will be easier to fit.i have a heavy rockwelled buggy on 49"(5700lbs) but with a 3.0 atlas and LT-1 under the hood it turns the iroks with no troubles. i dont think a 6.0 would have any trouble either

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Forgot to put it in the original post:

This vehicle will be mostly for rock crawling (east coast stuff).

The engine will be left stock for awhile until the funds come around for the mods.

Weight isn't a big concern but I don't want an extra 200lbs for no reason.
 

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Well I am goin from a Supercharged LT1 to a 8.1l. There are plenty of after market parts out there for the 8.1. I have been around a couple of buggies with the 8.1 and they seem to work really well. Plus for some reason Big Blocks and Rockwells just go together.
 

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6.0 or 8.1???

Well what are some of the mods you all would do to the 6.0 or 8.1 and how would it help and how much does it cost to tune and beef up those new motors? What mods to you think are a must??
 

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Everybody has good opinions above, mine is always go for the power big block and build from there.
 

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Hands down the 8.1. Big blocks and rockwells are like ice cream and apple pie,they go great together. I'll take a 300 hp big block over a 400hp small block every time in this situation. The torque is what moves the vehicle. I've seen small blocks that were not that impressive but i can't remember the last unimpressive big block. My .02
 

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8.1

I was in the same situation you are in. Sold the 2 seat rig in order to build a 4 seater. My rig is heavy already and it's not even close to done. I chose the 8.1 just because. I've got rockwells, 52's, doubler, 4 seats, 142" wheelbase. The 8.1 just went with the rest of the rig. Weight should'nt be an issue to a certain point when building a rig like this. IMO:D
 

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When was the last time you heard someone wish they had less displacement?
 
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