What Are The Best Years For The Duramax?


The Duramax engine from Chevy and Isuzu is one of the most dependable and efficient truck engines ever made, and depending on what you want them for, they can be rather expensive.


What Are The Best Model Years For The Duramax?

The Duramax’s best model years are 2006 and 2007. The output from these engines is fantastic, and they are also incredibly dependable. The only commonly reported issue with the Duramax 2006-2007 is that the pistons crack when the engine exceeds 600 horsepower.

Why Is The LBZ 2006-2007 The Best Duramax Engine

Before we go any further, it’s important to note that there are no bad years for the Duramax engine.

Since 2001, all Duramax engines have been great machines that are both powerful and reliable, which are the two most essential qualities of a truck engine.

However, several factors make the 2006-2007 Duramax particularly appealing.

First and foremost, it avoids the 2001 model’s injector issues as well as the 2004 model’s overheating issues.

Each of these issues was costly for consumers to resolve.

These issues have a negative impact on the engine’s reliability as well as its price.

Additionally, the emission controls of later models, which come with trade-offs, are absent from the Duramax engine from 2006–2007.

While this reduces the number of potential failure points on the engine, it makes the vehicle less environmentally friendly.

If engine reliability is your primary concern, this is a price worth paying.

Another major issue with the LBZ is that if its output exceeds 600 horsepower, the pistons tend to crack, which is bad.

Or it would be damaged if 600 horsepower wasn’t so far outside the LBZ’s normal operating range.

The only way to achieve that output level is to spend around $20,000 tweaking the engine.

In other words, only a few people will be affected by this issue.

The LMZ’s most significant disadvantage (for non-drag racers) is its price.

Its price reflects its reputation as the best engine of its kind.

Many people believe that its price is greater than the value it provides.

The 2006-2007 Duramax engine is getting old, but it is still significantly less expensive than purchasing a brand-new vehicle/engine.

Regardless of its age, the LMZ is still a good buy.

These engines are known to have few issues, but if we rate them based on the past fifteen years, they should last for another couple of decades.

Other Duramax Engines

LB7 2001-2003

This engine is getting old but still very powerful and reliable.

Because of its age, it is most likely the cheapest Duramax engine available.

The lower price is a result of its infamous injector problems.

Repairs for these issues can cost thousands of dollars.

Despite the cost of an injector replacement (which you may not have to pay because the previous owner may have installed it sometime in the last twenty years), a good quality LB7 should not cost more than $19,000.

This is a high price, but it is still comparable to a good-condition 2004 LLY, which may have more problems due to overheating issues.

These factors make the LB7 the best Duramax at a reasonable price, though the LLY is also an excellent option and fairly dependable.

LBB 2008-2010

The only significant difference between the LBB and the LBZ is that the engine now has emissions controls, which were never done before.

This is why the LBB is a better option environment-wise than the LBZ.

The LBB might also be less expensive than the LBZ because of its condition.

The LBB has a wide price range because it is only about 12 years old and can still command a reasonable price.

Overall, the 2008-2010 LBB is a fantastic model that receives less attention than its older model due to a slight drop in reliability for emissions controls.

It is a standout selection in the Duramax lineup.

LGH 2011-2016

This is an unusual engine developed exclusively for the Chevy Express.

It was discontinued in 2017, and its specifications were eerily similar to the LML from the same time period.

The only significant difference was the lower power rating for smaller vehicles.

The engine is not good enough to be installed in a new vehicle.

However, it works fine in a 2011-2016 Chevy Express.

L5P 2017-Present

The Duramax engine’s most recent version garners the best reviews.

It has an excellent output and appears to be a great engine.

Since it is brand new, I don’t have enough data to base my evaluation of the engine’s reliability on.

However, as of right now, there is no reason to think that it isn’t the best in its class. In the years to come, some previously unrecognized engineering issues could surface and show that this engine is inferior to its predecessors.


Duramax has one of the most efficient and reliable engines out there. This article summarized the best years model for the Duramax engine and discussed the other year models.