we use our 8.1 as a runner truck and around the warehouse a ton! the thing really is great. ONLY problem out of it at 200k is the exahust manifold is leaking but you can only hear it when u start it! other than that the 8.1 is one of my favorite gasser engines!! not really that bad on fuel econ either!
i came from d-max to my current cummins... gotta say i am not looking back!
Mine was a dually with the 6 speed manual, 4.10's. On the highway empty, that 8.1 would get 14 MPG hand calculated.
My new cummins with a 6 speed manual and 3.42's only gets me 16.
I'm in the show horse business and it still amazes me that all these people wouldn't buy the big blocks over the years, because until you hit 100K, the gasser is a much better buy. And actually, with diesel being so expensive now, it might even be better up to 125K+.