Home » The Heavy-Duty Version Of The Quirky Chevy Avalanche Came With An 8.1-Liter Big Block V8 That Could Tow A House: Holy Grails

The Heavy-Duty Version Of The Quirky Chevy Avalanche Came With An 8.1-Liter Big Block V8 That Could Tow A House: Holy Grails

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The Chevrolet Avalanche was one of those fun experiments of a General Motors of not too long ago. It’s an SUV and a truck in one, with some clever ways to make it all work. The Avalanche may be dead today, but some of its spirit lives on in the Silverado EV’s midgate. Early on in the GMC Hummer EV’s development, it also had an Avalanche-style midgate. The Avalanche itself could be considered a bit of a special truck but there’s a version of the Avalanche that’s a unicorn. Sold from 2001 to 2005, you could buy a Chevrolet Avalanche 2500. Under the hood is a massive 8.1-liter big block V8 making 340 HP and 455 lb-ft torque. Oh, and did I say it could tow 11,900 pounds?

Last time on Holy Grails, Thomas took the steering wheel and showed you the BMW 540d. Sold for not even a full year starting in February 2018, the mighty luxury sedan sported a B57 diesel inline six making 261 HP and 457 lb-ft torque. Yep, in the post-Diselgate world of 2018, you could buy a diesel luxury sedan! It even scored healthy fuel economy numbers, returning 26 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. While Thomas did not quote production numbers, this was a vehicle that sold for just seven months. A few months later, BMW would give up on diesel in America entirely. It’s safe to assume a BMW 540d is a rare find.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

This week’s grail is another staff pick.

Chevrolet Avalanche 2002 Wallpap

 

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I’ve been helping my parents out with their nearly 8,000-pound 37-foot travel trailer. Thus, I have towing on my mind. Many Americans will lash their trailer up to the back of a 150/1500 pickup truck or SUV and then take off on their travels. My tow vehicles are a pair of Volkswagen Touaregs. The Touareg VR6 in my fleet can tow 6,000 pounds (limited by the aftermarket hitch) while my V10 TDI can haul a whole 7,700 pounds. That’s awesome for a midsize SUV. To put that into perspective, my parents own a 2011 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. According to Chevrolet, its towing capacity maxes out at 8,000 pounds. That wasn’t even really enough to tow their huge camper.

For people who have something substantial to tow or something rather girthy to haul, they may find themselves upgrading to a 250/2500 truck or something even larger. I’ve written about a camper that requires a Ram 5500 or equivalent to safely haul! Some have said that we don’t talk enough about what big trucks can do and today, I will shine a light on a bigger capacity truck that has seemingly faded into the background.

The Autopian staff had a huddle this morning where another utilitarian vehicle from General Motors was brought up as a possible holy grail: The Chevrolet Avalanche. But wait, didn’t Chevrolet make something like 622,380 of those? Indeed, the Avalanche itself is hardly a grail on its own. However, it’s estimated that just 9,524 of those quirky trucks came in a super hauling, heavy-duty configuration.

A Different Kind Of Crossover

Pictures Chevrolet Avalanche 200

General Motors of the 2000s often gets a bad rap for hard plastic interiors and sketchy ignition switches, but look past its dark points and you’ll see a company flush with forward-thinking ideas. It was in the 2000s when Cadillac seriously started chasing the Germans and it was in the 2000s when Americans got to enjoy Aussie muscle with Pontiac badges. Automotive legend Bob Lutz fulfilled a dream of making a pair of affordable American roadsters, and Chevrolet even had some fun with the wicked SSR and the hilarious HHR SS.

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The 2000s were also a time when SUVs were in the middle of skyrocketing popularity. People snatched SUVs off of dealer lots and automakers even found space for luxury SUVs. In the early 2000s, Lincoln Navigators and Cadillac Escalades began popping up in music videos, often decked out in shiny chrome wheels and loaded down with custom interiors and sound systems. You know what, I’ll just show you Big Tymers’ Still Fly, a song I still listen to even two decades after it came out:

Look at those pimped-out SUVs!

Anyway, automaker experimentation was pretty hot in the early 2000s. Lincoln tried to combine the utility of a pickup with the comfort of a car with the Blackwood. Ford tried out a four-door midsize truck with the Explorer Sport Trac. Chevrolet? Well, it went even further than either Lincoln or Ford and combined an SUV and a full-size pickup into the same vehicle.

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The concept behind the Chevrolet Avalanche sounds silly, but it makes some sense when you consider America’s addiction to pickup trucks and SUVs. What if you could combine the best traits of an SUV with the best traits of a pickup truck? You’d get comfortable seating for you and your family plus a rugged utility vehicle that feels at home hauling home your latest Home Depot buys.

Chevrolet announced the 2002 Avalanche in February 2001. The first trucks rolled out in May 2001, reaching customers in California, Florida, and Texas. A national rollout followed that July. Those customers got a truck with a concept not really seen before and hadn’t been replicated much since.

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What did those customers get? Well, I’ll pass the mic to Chevrolet:

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Forget everything you’ve seen or heard. With its exclusive Midgate, the all-new Chevy Avalanche is the only vehicle that can go from a six passenger SUV to a three-passenger full-size pickup with an eight-foot protected cargo box in less than a minute, without tools.* Combine Chevy Avalanche’s tremendous adaptability with clever features like a covered, lighted cargo box and a lockable PRO-TEC tailgate, and it’s easy to see why we call Avalanche the Ultimate Utility Vehicle.

A Truck And An SUV

Photos Chevrolet Avalanche 2002

The original Avalanche rode on the GMT800 platform, sharing its guts with the Suburban. The centerpiece of the Avalanche is Chevrolet’s Convert-a-Cab concept, featuring the now famous 53-inch wide by 25-inch high Midgate. The Midgate is a core element of the Convert-a-Cab concept. It’s a foldable bulkhead separating the cab from the bed. When the Midgate is up and the rear seats are up, you can carry up to six people in an Avalanche. In this configuration, the truck has a 5-foot, 3-inch bed.

However, should you need to run to the hardware store and pick up some drywall or 4x8s, the Avalanche can deploy its party trick Fold the rear seats down, fold down the lower-hinged Midgate, and boom, your 5.3-foot bed is suddenly an 8.1-foot bed. Even better, thanks to the three-piece bed cover, that long bed can be covered, so the goods from the hardware store are protected from weather and prying eyes.

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If you have a large load or just want to enjoy some fresh air, you can open up the bed and remove the truck’s rear window, which stores safely in the Midgate! As Car and Driver noted in its review, the truck is quite versatile. You could remove the rear glass on its own, use the Midgate without removing the glass, or just open the whole rear of the truck up for something close to that open-air truck experience.

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The Avalanche offered more than just a flexible bed and cab. Since it was based on the Suburban, the truck enjoyed the Suburban’s fully boxed frame rails. It also offered greater comfort than a rear leaf-sprung Silverado thanks to the coil-spring suspension borrowed from the Suburban. Of course, lopping off a Suburban’s roof did present some structural challenges. Chevrolet engineers combated that with reinforcements like a C-ring structure around the rear of the cab and flying buttresses behind the cab. Something neat about those buttresses is that they aren’t just there for strength, but they also help divert air away from an open Avalanche cab for less buffeting.

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It doesn’t stop there, the Avalanche also had some neat storage solutions. The sides of the bed had locking storage boxes, the floor of the bed had a rubber liner, and the truck’s bumper even had a step to help you get into the bed. Also notable was the Avalanche’s Pro-Tec composite tailgate. The Avalanche had a ton of the features found on today’s trucks a whole two decades ago.

The clever convertible cab tech allowed the 18.5-foot Avalanche to shave two feet off of the longest Silverado at the time. The Avalanche didn’t have more utility than a Silverado (a bed extender gave a four-door Silverado the same bed length) but it did offer better comfort and about the same utility in a smaller package.

Extrafeats

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At launch, the Avalanche came with a 5.3-liter V8 making 285 HP and 325 lb-ft torque paired to a 4L60-E four-speed automatic. This was capable of punching the truck to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds. The truck was available with the Z71 package, which added off-road tires, a locking rear differential, and off-road suspension tuning. You could also get it with the Z66 package, which equipped the truck with more road-friendly tires and suspension tuning.

Some people weren’t so hot about the miles of cladding found on the Avalanche, so, starting in 2003, Chevy sold the truck with the WBH “Without Body Hardware” package, which deleted the cladding for a cleaner Avalanche that looked a bit closer to a Silverado.

Chevrolet Avalanche 2002 Images

The original Avalanche was such a novel truck that it won a North American SUV of the Year award and Motor Trend nominated the Avalanche as its Truck of the Year for 2002. It’s amusing that the Avalanche has won both SUV and truck awards. Yet, this isn’t the grail. According to the Black Diamond Avalanche coffee table book that Chevrolet gave to owners of the 2013 Chevrolet Black Diamond Avalanche, about 436,632 Avalanches were sold between 2001 and 2006. Of those, just 9,524 units qualify as today’s Grail.

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The Chevrolet Avalanche 2500

Chevrolet Avalanche 2002 Picture

 

Less known is the fact that Chevrolet sold a heavy-duty version of the Avalanche. Available from 2001 to 2005, the Avalanche was available in a version meant to be a bit of a super truck. In its best configurations, the regular half-ton Avalanche, also known as the Avalanche 1500, could tow 8,200 pounds and haul 1,363 pounds. That’s for the rear-wheel-drive configuration. Four-wheel-drive Avalanches towed 7,900 pounds and had a 1,349-pound payload.

If you wanted a little more beef with your truck, Chevrolet was willing to sell you the three-quarter-ton Avalanche 2500. Stepping up to the 2500 first got you access to the big-block Vortec 8100.

Gm 8.1 Vortec Engine Guide

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This 8.1-liter beast made 320 horsepower and 440 lb-ft torque. That was paired with a 4L85-E four-speed automatic. In addition to the heavy-duty drivetrain, the 2500 ditches the rear coils of its 1500 sibling and substitutes in heavy-duty leaf springs. These changes help pump payload up to 2,021 pounds and a tow rating up to 11,900 pounds.

Additional changes with the 2500 include harder-wearing carpet, rubber floor mats, a 37.5-gallon fuel tank (1500s get 31-gallon tanks), and extra instrumentation. The 2500s got their own transmission temperature gauges, their own transmission oil coolers, and skid plates. Chevrolet Avalanche 2500 wheels are also forged rather than cast. Sadly, the Z66 and Z71 packages weren’t available for the more hardcore Avalanches.

Wallpapers Chevrolet Avalanche 2

As I said before, it’s estimated that just 9,524 of these were sold. That’s 2.1 percent of all Avalanches sold from 2001 to 2005. The Avalanche did go on to get a second generation that ran from 2007 to 2013. If you count all 622,380 Avalanches ever built, the chunky big block accounts for just 1.5 percent of production. Sadly, I’ve found zero professional reviews of the Avalanche 2500. Considering the morsel of units sold, I’m not surprised. As a consolation prize, please watch this MotorWeek Retro Review of the regular Avalanche:

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Perhaps there is a good thing about this truck’s rarity. When I featured an Avalanche 2500 in a December Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness, it was just $8,800. It seems people do not know that these exist, or perhaps don’t want to pay to fuel it up. Amusingly, these 8,600-pound GVWR trucks are heavy enough to be excluded from EPA testing, but if user-submitted fuel economy on Fuelly is any indication, you can expect to get about 10 mpg.

Finding one of these for sale seems to be relatively easy. Without even trying too hard, I found this Avalanche 2500 for sale in Atlanta, Georgia with 148,000 miles for $10,000. They’re worth basically nothing in the rusty Midwest and out east.

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Facebook Seller

So, if you happen to be in the market for a slightly offbeat truck that has the chops to haul a big trailer around, watch out for one of the Avalanche 2500s. They’re a rare piece of early 2000s General Motors galaxy brain thinking.

Do you know of or own a car worthy of being called a ‘holy grail’? Send me an email at mercedes@theautopian.com or drop it down in the comments!

(Photos: GM, unless otherwise noted.)

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Slayazu
Slayazu
1 year ago

Lol weak numbers from such a huge engine. Similar year E55s make more horse power and same amount of torque. Also you can get them for the same price and have one of the greatest transmissions equipped to it. There’s a reason they didn’t sell many of these…

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Slayazu

How do E55s hold up towing 10,000 lb?

Ted Fort
Ted Fort
1 year ago
Reply to  Slayazu

If you think a 722.6 is one of the best transmissions ever made, I don’t want to live in your world.

MikuhlBrian
MikuhlBrian
1 year ago

Waaay back in 2002, my partner and I were out exploring some of the off-road trails in Anza Borrego Desert State Park (east of San Diego). Along one of the highways, we noticed a small sign (about the size of a typical political yard sign) that had just a red outline Chevrolet bowtie and an arrow pointing down a trail. Of course we followed it. We saw several more of the signs with directional arrows, but after a few miles and a few turns the signs just stopped appearing. Eventually we retraced our steps and made our way back to the highway.

A couple of months later, we saw this commerical on TV. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKoYPzI5VEg

Looks like we just missed the filming of it.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 year ago

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Avalanche. When I bought my ’06 Sierra crew cab brand new, I really wanted an Avalanche. I just couldn’t afford one. You can definitely put me in the category of those who agree the 2500 version is a Holy Grail, although I didn’t realize they made so few of them.

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
1 year ago

Great trucks indeed, still see 1500s daily, 2500s here and there. But HOLY GRAIL!? Getting a little loose with that Autopian! All good, I still love you guys.

ES
ES
1 year ago

Question: is that 10 mpg unloaded?, so with a 5 ton tow, you’d be gassing up at intervals below 200 miles? I’ve never towed more than three tons, only in diesel trucks with auxiliary tanks, and never more than 400 miles in a day, but that seems like a drag (necessary, but still it hadn’t occurred to me).

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  ES

I towed a car across the country with mine, and 10 mpg was about what I averaged.

I supposed if you really maxed out the capacity, you might see 8-9 mpg, but the big blocks really aren’t affected as much by towing as the smaller engines in today’s trucks.

JumboG
JumboG
1 year ago
Reply to  ES

I looked at getting one of these a few years ago, but it was eventually the terrible fuel mileage when unloaded that made me decide to get a Lincoln Navigator instead. I drove that a few years, but when I got an even bigger boat (I went from towing 3k to towing 7k) I got a Hemi Ram.

Jason Laptewicz
Jason Laptewicz
1 year ago
Reply to  ES

I get around 11mpg unloaded and about 8mpg pulling a 9000lb camper with the family loaded up. These are definitely a dinosaur and are not ideal for a daily, but as a secondary vehicle it’s hard to beat the capability and versatility, especially for the money.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
1 year ago

Interesting option! I just love how GM used to offer all their truck-based stuff in heavy-duty guise – Suburban, etc. Also, you really got me thinking about a regular avalanche as my next truck. I never cared for the styling (cat-eye chevys in general), but this thing is crazy versatile. I am looking to replace my beloved F150 regular cab long bed with something that has a back seat that my wife can drive in a pinch (other vehicle is a manual TSX). Since it is a third vehicle, I don’t want to lose a bunch of utility, so I counted crew cabs out. This could work, though. I wonder how these would look without the cladding and a back-dated front clip (‘99-02)?

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Boxing Pistons

the issue was they ended up having to go to rear IFS to appease the X5 and Cayenne crowds. this limits towing ability greatly and of course this avalanche did not sell in large numbers so the cash cow Duramax 2500HD was the way they went for tow pigs.

ProfPlum
ProfPlum
1 year ago

One way you can quickly tell a 2500 from a 1500 is that small piece of cladding on the top of the front wheel well (the first picture shows it.)

I had a 2002 Avalanche 1500 and it was a great truck. It was very versatile, rode nicely, and was completely reliable. I cleaned the plastic with 303, used Gummi Pflege on the seals, and never had problems with either. The 1500 got reasonable gas mileage as I recall (though I don’t have any of my old receipts available.) I never got to drive a 2500.

I remember a guy on one of the old Avalanche car boards that bought a 2500 new in Canada (to get the metric speedo), had it shipped to Australia and paid a lot of money to get it converted to RHD. What a project.

Last edited 1 year ago by ProfPlum
Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
1 year ago
Reply to  ProfPlum

GM sucks so hard at marketing their vehicles. All these “holy grails” are buried into obscurity by GM as some trim level.

Do what Chrysler does and call it the Avalanche Super Megaladon 2500 and do a commercial with it doing burnouts or whatever and it would have sold like crazy. GMC marketing right now is some guy clapping to some overplayed classic rock song or driving around a CGI cave.

Slack00
Slack00
1 year ago

I owned a loaded Escalade EXT (with motorized running boards!), with the 400hp 6.0L Vortec. It was the most versatile and awesome vehicle I’ve ever owned. I would go on dates with my wife in it and not look silly and then I’d go finish refurbing a townhome I owned–it could swallow full sheets of drywall with the tailgate closed (!!). Fantastic! Quiet, relatively quick, nice ride…though it seemed stuff was frequently breaking on it. I was really upset they stopped making it, but GM redeemed themselves with the Silverado EV, which has every trick truck feature GM has ever done: quadrasteer, 600+ HP, frunk, midgate, you name it. That’s why I have a reservation on one!

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 year ago

Had a coworker with one of these. Neat truck, funky design, horrible fuel mileage (single digits was common), and the midgate seal was a nightmare when it dried up once the truck got older. My coworker handed down his Avalanche to his son at about 225k miles, which is pretty common mileage for these things to attain, but by that point the cladding was all discolored and the midgate was sealed shut with caulking to keep it from flooding the interior with every snowfall.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
1 year ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

Aren’t the seals replaceable, like almost all other door seals?

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 year ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

I know they had the seal replaced once while it was still under warranty, so I presume they are replaceable and can’t speak to why my coworker didn’t replace them again. I just recall loading something into the back and seeing the caulking and then hearing the tale of the snow leaking in at the top (not bottom) of the midgate when as it melted.

Geoff Tuck
Geoff Tuck
1 year ago

I remember back in the day Fred Williams (formally of Dirt Every Day and Petersen’s 4Wheel and Offroad magazine) built up a 2500 Avalanche as a project vehicle known as “Ultimate Avalanche” for their annual Ultimate Adventure.

Seeing one of these first gen’ Avalanches on 42’s was incredible.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
1 year ago

I had an Chevy 8.1L, but mine was in a huge Class A RV. It also got about 10mpg combined.

This engine is from an era where once a motor got to a certain size, there was little to be done about efficiency other than making sure it was always hauling enough to be worth the shit fuel economy.

Is Travis
Is Travis
1 year ago

If I am not mistaken that Vortec 8100 V8 is sought after today for work truck applications. I remember my cousin rambling about them a bit, he has a fleet of work trucks and is devout Chevy.

Idiotking
Idiotking
1 year ago

Wow, the Avalanche with the WBH kit actually looks good. All that stupid plastic cladding for me was a complete turnoff—it made the truck look like a cheap tuner car.

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Idiotking

The plastic looked good on show cars or even the little hot wheels they gave me at SEMA back in the day, but like a lot of older rides the actual wheels and tires on dealers lots really made the things look goofy.

Deathspeed
Deathspeed
1 year ago

What is 8.1 liters in cubic inches, for those of us who grew up with big blocks? I can’t think in metric. 🙂

Andrew
Andrew
1 year ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

496?

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew

495.4, but close enough.

Timothy Swanson
Timothy Swanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

496

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
1 year ago

Since I’ve been thinking about Internationals today, has anyone mentioned how similar the Avalanche is to the old Travelette? This was a Travelall with a bed integral with the body for essentially an Avalanche without a mid gate and targeted primarily at trailer towing so a lot ended up paired with Airstreams in the 50s and 60s.
As for the 3/4 ton big block, they already made a 3/4 ton Suburban so engineering was minimal. The big blocks get worse mileage than a small block but they generally get the same mileage towing where a small block burns way more. My F150 gets 15mpg highway running light and 9 mpg with a 6000lb camper.

Idiotking
Idiotking
1 year ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

Yep. From what I’ve heard, the Travelette was a project the engineers at IH ran up the corporate ladder as a proposal to tow and use for fifth wheels. The problem was that a Travelall with 1/2 the roof cut off wasn’t as rigid a platform and the position of the fifth wheel hitch was in the wrong place in relation to the axle, so it towed poorly.

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

They look pretty different, and the Midgate is the entire reason for the Avalanche. They both got terrible gas mileage, but at least the 8100 did not heat soak and boil the fuel in the carb, and the avalanches were slightly better at avoiding rust over time….only slightly though

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

pretty sure the travelettes had a separate body from the bed though

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago

The 8.1 is awesome, but too bad they never offered the diesel on it 🙁

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

It would have needed to be detuned. The Allison didn’t fit so the Burb and Avalanche had the 4L85E behind the 8.1, which couldn’t handle the torque of the standard Duramax.

Also the frame is from the weirdo 1500HD/2500SD, not the 2500HD truck, hence the much lower tow ratings.

Ultimately the diesel would have been thousands of dollars more expensive for no more power or torque, and no more towing capacity. That might appeal to a fleet or commercial user, but that wasn’t the Avalanche market.

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I remember back when these came out, all the RV forums were buzzing about whether or not these would get the DMax. It was the truck everyone said they would buy – I think GM missed a market niche by not offering the DMax in these (and the 3/4T Suburbans).

The other thing I remember from the time was that the 8.1 had a reputation for piston slap.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

There was no good way to do it without putting the real 2500HD frame under it. That’s what Ford did in creating the Excursion, which had tradeoffs in ride quality and cost.

Given the prices of diesel Excursions to this day, it’s hard to argue with you, but I assume GM just figured the majority who towed heavy would be satisfied with a 5-6 seat crew cab truck.

Gubbin
Gubbin
1 year ago

Wow, sounds like a perfect rig for towing a big ol’ gooseneck trailer full of horses and/or toys.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

I owned one, and still would if rust hadn’t taken it.

The 8.1 was and is a great engine, and it’s too bad it’s not still around. Ford’s 7.3 is the closest but still not quite the same.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
1 year ago

I don’t know why the “mid-gate” hasn’t caught on. I’d love to see it on the Ford Maverick or Ridgeline. Haul longer stuff when you need it. When you don’t, close it back up. Make that short box more useful.

Avalanches I’ve seen listed for sale are either the last gen, well kept and exorbitantly priced….or the first gen and so beat up David Tracy would say it is too far gone.

Data
Data
1 year ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

DT bought the Jeep FC mouse colony. Something would have to be REALLY bad to beat that or Project Cactus.

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

Ridgeline almost had it actually. they went with big cooler at the last minute. I think the failure mode with the midgate it the exposure tot he outside when in use. Had they used a drop down sunroof type panel to seal against a foldup panel at the back of the seats, making it a truly front seat only truck when yo need 8 feet of bed then I think it would have done better.

CPL Rabbit
CPL Rabbit
1 year ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

Avalanches I’ve seen listed for sale are either the last gen, well kept and exorbitantly priced….or the first gen and so beat up David Tracy would say it is too far gone

Accurate. There is basically no transition between the two. It’s like the generations were built 20yrs apart. I looked for an Avalanche for a while. As a lover of Minivans for their versatility, the Avalanche is the truck version (MPG being the big detractor).

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 year ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

Agreed, every crew cab truck should have it.

Will Valleau
Will Valleau
1 year ago

My bestie had one prior to his untimely demise. 496 cubes. Leveling kit. Awesome truck. Definitely holy grail for me. Lmk if you find a nice one

Racer71
Racer71
1 year ago

We picked up a Z66 one back when they first came out that had wrecked and we fixed. Best fuel economy was 12mpg going downhill towards town, averaged 8 mpg

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Ugh. Just say no to truck bed sail panels.

Last edited 1 year ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
TurboCruiser
TurboCruiser
1 year ago
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  TurboCruiser

That’s even worse cause it’s not unibody and therefore completely unnecessary.

CPL Rabbit
CPL Rabbit
1 year ago

Other than discoloration, I think they’ve aged pretty well from a design standpoint..

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago

Back when these were sold new, I don’t know if it was just my area, but it seemed to me that Avalanche drivers were far more likely to be aggressive assholes than regular pickup truck drivers.

Anyone else noticed that phenomenon?

Data
Data
1 year ago

GM actively courted the assholes. Remember all the commercials that said if you buy an Avalanche, you can be a douche bro to? Like the one wear a guy asks for change for a dollar for the parking meter. Douche Bro changes the mid-gate then snatches the dollar and walks away with an “I’m an asshole” smirk. I seem to recall all the commercials were similarly themed.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Ghost noticed. At the time they came out they seemed to be the closest reality based vehicle you could get to a Canyonero.
And where driven accordingly.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
1 year ago

That Vortec 8100 (L18) was something. Basically they just added a little stroke to the vortec 7400 and called it a day. I remember the L18 was also available as a marine unit from mercruiser. I was on a boat with one and it was actually kinda terrible. Not because the engine wasn’t good, but because the boat wasn’t setup for it. It was a 24 foot wake boat that weighed about 5000 lbs dry and another ton in water ballast. The torque from the 8.1 was so immense that it would spin the prop at full load because the hull was prop size constrained, you had to be a little gentle on the throttle at launch. Of course at high elevations it was just right and I wish my copy of that same boat had that option instead of the 6.2. The 6.2 at 6000 feet just can’t cut it when loaded up. WOT and barely making surf speeds.

I also used to drive its “little” brother the Vortec 7400 and that was such a good motor. 4 cylinders today out HP that thing, but I loved the way it felt in the midrange.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
1 year ago

You haven’t seen the Dirt Everyday episodes with a 2500 8.1 avalanche?

JurassicComanche25
JurassicComanche25
1 year ago

4×4 swapped amc pacer. That’s all.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 year ago

You absolutely should change that. Dirt Everyday is my favorite Motor Trend show, and I don’t even go off roading. I was really upset when they canceled it. I almost canceled Motor Trend over it. I still might.

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