The GMC TopKick C4500/C5500 is a pickup by Monroe Truck Equipment, which was introduced for the 2005 model year. It’s an excellent vehicle for individuals who enjoy the head-turning characteristics of a specifically fitted medium-duty truck. On 4×4 vehicles, the model offers more torque, a higher-rated front axle, better shifts, and optional exhaust brakes. A Duramax 6600 V8 turbo diesel engine under the hood produces 520lbs-ft of torque or 605lb-ft of torque.
The Vortec 8100 8.1-liter V8 engine is standard on these vehicles, and it produces 325 horsepower and 450lb-ft of torque. The Allison 1000 5-speed automatic transmission is linked to both engines. In terms of ride and handling, as well as world-class braking capabilities, the 2006 model is the best-in-class. Let’s take a closer look at the GMC TopKick.
Review Of GMC TopKick
“The GMC TopKick C4500/C5500 pickup is ideal for anyone looking for a distinctive, capacious, and beautiful vehicle”. According to Ross Hendrix, GM’s director of commercial truck and van marketing, it’s the epitome of extravagant living.
While the GMC TopKick pickup is ideal for towing heavy objects like fifth-wheel campers, horse trailers, boats, and other recreational equipment, an increasing number of customers are purchasing the trucks to transport their friends and families or even themselves.
What Is The Concept Of A GMC Topkick?
Since 2005, GMC has been producing the GMC TopKick C4500, a huge heavy-duty truck. The chassis is the same as the Chevrolet Kodiak. The vehicle is also available in two-wheel drive, normal cab, or as a motor home. And commercial cutaway versions. And also to the mid-range four-wheel-drive crew cab variant. Three generations were developed as a derivative of the medium-duty C/K truck line.
Between 1980 and 2009, General Motors developed the GMC TopKick and its corporate twin, the Chevrolet Kodiak. The GMC TopKick was a medium-duty vehicle that was offered as a load carrier, dump truck, fire truck, and other such jobs. After three generations, the GMC TopKick was eventually terminated. The final version, a GMC TopKick 5500, exited the Flint Truck Assembly factory in July of 2009. That hasn’t prevented GM engineers from imagining a future model, though.
Specifications And Features Of The GMC TopKick
1. The Duramax 6600 Produces A Lot Of Torque
The name of the game in medium-duty trucks is power and torque, and GMC TopKick medium-duty trucks have enough of both. The available Duramax 6600 V-8 turbo-diesel produces 520 lb.-ft. or 605 lb.-ft. (705 or 820 Nm) torque at a low 1600 rpm. Torque is a critical indicator of vehicle performance, particularly in medium-duty vehicles.
Consumers will significantly appreciate the higher torque rating provided by the Duramax 6600, particularly when the cars are loaded. They’ll notice that having 605 lb.-ft. of torque at their disposal improves launch performance as well as performance on steep hills, as stated by GMC TopKick C4500 marketing manager Elliott Benson. The Vortec 8100 8.1L V-8 engine is standard on these vehicles. At 4000 rpm, it produces 325 horsepower (242 kilowatts) and 450 lb.-ft. (610 Nm) of torque at 2800 rpm.
The GMC TopKick C4500/C5500 pickup from Monroe Truck Equipment has electronic throttle control, which allows engine output to be tuned for various operating circumstances. It allows for optimal throttle progression, giving these medium-duty vehicles excellent throttle control for slow-speed parking lot maneuvers. It also provides a quick response when power is required under the most demanding on- and off-road circumstances.
Both engines are connected to an Allison 1000 five-speed automatic gearbox with Gen IV controls for better shifts in 2006.
2. Updated 4×4 Model
For 2006, all 4×4 C4500 and C5500 vehicles came standard with an 8,000-lb. front axle rating, which adds 1,000 pounds (454 kg) to the load-carrying capacity over the previous year’s basic axle. Owners of crew cabs and snowplow operators will profit most from the increased load-carrying capacity, as front axle loading can be higher.
For 2006, these 4×4 versions will also include an exhaust brake option, which will be very useful for customers operating medium-duty vehicles in mountainous areas. During long mountain descents, the exhaust brake provides deceleration or speed control without using the service brakes, reducing excessive brake wear or brake overheating.
The exhaust brake also adds control during deceleration and braking on level highways. The exhaust brake provides improved stopping and lower maintenance costs for medium-duty vehicles with GVWRs ranging from 17,500 to 19,500 pounds.
3. A Seat For Two People Is Available
In these customized TopKick pickup trucks, a two-person passenger seat is provided. The new two-person seat option for a center passenger gives more interior space. The seat comes with fixed seatbacks and is available in gray cloth or vinyl. The center console and cup holder have been removed to create space for the seat. The cigarette lighter option is also no longer available.
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For the 2006 model year, the current seat designs are still available, including single driver and passenger bucket seats, driver and passenger air suspension chairs with more legroom and an inboard armrest, and a two-person passenger seat with a fold-down center console for a driver’s workstation.
4. Large Pickup, Small Turning Diameter
The GMC TopKick pickup’s versatility is the first of many class-leading features. On 4×2 vehicles, the wider front track allows for a 53-degree wheel cut, resulting in a turning diameter as small as 38.4 feet. Furthermore, the TopKick’s slanted hood and big windshield provide excellent visibility for safety and a superior vision of the worksite.
As a result, TopKick has a 13-foot sight advantage over equivalent rivals, allowing it to see objects on the ground as near as 13.8 feet in front of the truck as measured from the front bumper. That’s significantly better than many compact pickup trucks’ front visibility measures.
A rear-view camera installed at the roofline above the pickup bed or above the Class 5 trailer hitch improves visibility even further in the Monroe-equipped GMC TopKick truck. When attaching a trailer or making difficult maneuvers in confined spaces, such as launching a boat, the camera comes in handy. The GMC TopKick pickup by Monroe Truck Equipment has the best-in-class ride and handling, as well as world-class braking capabilities.
The front axle has an 8,000-pound capacity, a 45-degree turn angle, and four-piston disc brakes with manual locking hubs. The rear axle has a capacity of 13,500 pounds and two-piston disc brakes. The entire vehicle is equipped with four-channel ABS. The truck comes standard with an Allison 1000 Series automatic transmission, with a six-speed automatic transmission with fourth-generation electronic controls available as an option.
A powerful Duramax diesel-powered 330-horsepower (hp), 6.6-liter V-8 engine with 520 feet-pounds (ft.-lbs.) of torque powers the Chevrolet Kodiak’s towing capabilities. While hauling cargo, the torque generated in the engine allows the truck to accelerate quickly. There’s also an optional 325-hp 8.1-liter diesel V-8 with 620 ft.-lbs. of torque.
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7. Towing Capacity
The two-wheel-drive GMC TopKick C4500, which weighs more than 10,000 pounds, is generally utilized for commercial purposes and public emergency operations such as firefighting. Its 330-hp V-8 engine can tow 16,000 pounds and carry another 5,500 pounds of cargo.
The 300-hp Kodiak C4500 can go from zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) in 12 seconds without a payload or trailer. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 HD pickup trucks are likewise powered by the Kodiak 300-hp diesel.
The Monroe conversion adds a pickup bed and nearly countless options like dual exhaust stacks, leather interior, rear-seat DVD, power-folding rear bench, adjustable rear air suspension, power-retractable truck bed cover, hitch camera, aluminum wheels, chrome grille to the four-wheel-drive crew-cab truck, which cost $52,171 from GMC.
Basic versions cost around $70,000, which is significantly less than a Hummer H1 and only slightly more than an H2. When confronted with these options, the TopKick appears almost sensible.
GMC TopKick – 3 Generations
1. Generation I (1980–1989)
General Motors launched the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC TopKick short-hood conventional vehicles in 1980. The hood was roughly 5 inches shorter than the Chevrolet Bruin/GMC Brigadier Class 8 conventionals, thanks to sharing the cab of the medium-duty C/K trucks; the BBC length was also reduced to 92 inches.
The model line was labeled as a Chevrolet C70/GMC C7000 within the C/K series. The Kodiak continued Chevrolet’s history of calling heavy conventional trucks with “frontier beast” names. At the same time, the TopKick was a military slang term in line with the GMC Brigadier and GMC General. The model line was available as a straight truck and a semi-tractor in single and tandem-axle variants.
The Caterpillar 3208 10.4L diesel V8 was used solely in the Kodiak and TopKick, which was shared with the Bruin/Brigadier. The C/K hood took on the boxer design of the 90-series Bruin/Brigadier to accommodate the larger engine, which shifted the cab upward several inches. The grille was expanded to improve engine ventilation by repositioning the headlights below the grille.
Following Chevrolet’s exit from the Class 8 truck category in 1980, the Kodiak became the division’s largest truck.
2. Generation II (1990–2002)
In 1990, the Chevrolet Kodiak/GMC TopKick received its second iteration. All GM medium-duty trucks were grouped under the Kodiak/TopKick name with C/K attributing to consumer-derived vehicles. Following the GM-Volvo joint venture in 1986, GMC stopped producing the General, Astro, and Brigadier, leaving the Class 6-7 TopKick as the company’s most comprehensive vehicle.
While the GMT530 trucks were created with their own heavier-duty chassis, the cab of the GMT530 trucks was adapted from the GMT400 C/K pickup (launched in 1988) to reduce production costs. Two-door and four-door variants were available as before, with a raised-roof cab becoming an option in the 1990s.
The GMT530 platform underwent little alterations over its thirteen-year manufacturing run; because airbags were not needed in medium-duty trucks at the time. The interior design from 1988 was kept throughout the run. The C4500-C8500 model designations replaced the Kodiak and TopKick badging for 1995, keeping the medium-duty trucks in line with the rest of the C/K naming system A lower-profile “aerodynamic” hood was included as an option.
GMT530 adopted the powertrain line of the medium-duty C/K trucks from 1973 to 1989, breaking away from the single-engine offering of the first generation Kodiak/TopKick. Gasoline engines were standard, with diesel engines available as an option.
The base gasoline engine was a 6.0L fuel-injected V8, with an optional carbureted 7.0L V8 which was replaced by a 7.4L V8 in 1991; the 7.4 L became the standard gasoline engine in the mid-1990s. The 8.1-liter Vortec V8 superseded the 7.4-liter V8 in 2002. The highest-displacement V8 ever built by Chevrolet.
In place of the Caterpillar 3208 V8 diesel used in the original generation Kodiak/TopKick vehicles, the Caterpillar 3116 inline-six with 165 horsepower was offered (123 kW). Beginning with the 1991 model year, this was improved to produce 170 horsepower (127 kW). In 1997, the Caterpillar 3126 inline-six diesel engine was added as an option.
After GM stopped producing the GMT530 for the US market in 2002, production in Toluca, Mexico, continued until 2008. The GMT530 was constructed in Brazil from 1995 to 2001, using components imported from Mexico and built to Mexican requirements. The Caterpillar 3116 diesel engine was used in all Brazil-market models.
3. Generation III (2003–2010)
The GMT560 design was used to build the third-generation Chevrolet Kodiak/GMC TopKick in 2003. The medium-duty truck range was introduced as part of the former TopKick nameplates, with Cx500 as a secondary part of the nomenclature, as GM felt the two names had more robust marketplace familiarity. As part of the revamp, the Kodiak/TopKick received a new design layout.
The GMT560 vehicles were converted to a vertically-oriented cab structure to stay competitive with the Freightliner Business Class and International DuraStar M2 medium-duty truck lines. This allowed for a lower cab floor, improved cab space, and better access and exit. The cab was offered in two-door and four-door variations and was derived from the Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana full-size van. The commercial vehicles were built without airbags because their GVWR was over 8500 pounds.
The GMT560 was made with few alterations during its production. Kodiaks and TopKicks are almost identical, with the exception of grilles; depending on grade, versions are available with two or four headlamps.
The GMT560 chassis, which was carried over from the previous generation, was available in Class 5-7 configurations, with models C4500, C5500, C6500, and C7500. A tandem-axle C8500 variant was introduced as a successor to the GMC Brigadier with up to a 46,000-lb GVWR.
The power plant configuration for the GMT560 Kodiak/TopKick was obtained from the vehicle specifications. The Caterpillar 3116 was replaced by a 6.6L Duramax V8 diesel on C4500/C5500s. Which retained the 8.1L V8 from the previous generation. On C6500s and higher, diesel engines were standard, with a 7.8L Duramax LG4 inline-6 standard and a 7.2L Caterpillar C7 (a rebuilt Caterpillar 3126) available as an option.
Four-Wheel Drive GMT560
Four-wheel drive became a factory-installed option on C4500/C5500 Kodiak/TopKicks in 2005. The models were given the C4500/5500 4×4 model line instead of the “K” name. Which was a departure from the GM truck naming tradition. The GMT560 4x4s employed a solid front axle suspension instead of the independent front suspension seen on the 3500-series pickup trucks.
In 2005-2006, the 4×4 was equipped with a 5-speed Allison 2000 series automatic (replaced by a 6-speed Allison 2350 automatic) and a new process 273 C transfer case, which was powered by a 6.6L Duramax V8. For 4×4 models, 5.13:1 was the only axle gear ratio available.
For 2007, GM added a 9000 lb spring and brake option package to the Dana 70HD front axle. While rear axles (Dana S14-110L) came in four sizes including 11,000 lb, 13,500 lb, 15,000 lb, and 19,000 lb. The latter two were available as options on two-wheel-drive models.
Isuzu introduced the H-Series, a conventional-cab truck, in 2003. The Isuzu H-Series was promoted as a competitor to the Hino 600 and Freightliner M2. It was primarily intended for vocational application.
The sole difference between the H-Series and the TopKick C6500/C7500 was the grille style; the H-Series shared the 7.8L Duramax inline-six with the C6500/7500 and the GMC T6500/7500. The H-Series is Isuzu’s first (and only) conventional-cab truck as of the 2018 model year.
GM stated in December 2007 that it would sell its medium-duty truck business, which included the Kodiak and TopKick, to Navistar International. Both GM and Navistar announced in August 2008 that their purchasing memorandum of understanding had expired and would not be renewed.
General Motors opted to wind down its medium-duty truck operations after four years of negotiations with numerous potential buyers, including a five-year arrangement with Isuzu Motors announced late in January 2009 to take over the production line in Flint. On July 31, 2009, the production of the Chevy Kodiak and GMC TopKick medium-duty trucks in Flint came to an end. On July 31, 2009, the Montreal factory closed as well.
GMC TopKick: Facts
- The GMC TopKick was a commercial truck made by General Motors (GM) from 1980 to 2009.
- It was GM’s version of the Chevy Kodiak and served as the basis for dump trucks, school buses, and ambulances.
- The pickup truck body was usually only available on C4500 and C5500 GMC TopKicks, but even these ‘base-level’ trucks were genuine workhorses.
- The TopKick could be ordered with either a 6.0-liter V8 or a 10.4-liter turbodiesel V8 and later versions scaled up from there.
- In 2005, customers could get a GMC TopKick with either a 325-hp 8.1-liter V8 or a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 with 300 hp and 520 lb-ft, and four-wheel drive became an option.
- The TopKick had a payload capacity of 5000 pounds and could tow up to 14,300 pounds, more than the highest-spec Tesla Cybertruck.
- It was surprisingly maneuverable and could fit in a normal parking space, but the ride wasn’t very good, and panic stops from 70 mph left the truck in limp-mode until the brakes had cooled.
- A new GMC TopKick C4500 would cost around $70,000-$90,000, while used models have retained their value rather well.
- Bring a Trailer has a 1997 GMC TopKick listed at just $2000, while sub-100k-mile newer models can go for as much as $52,000 on Autotrader.
- Companies made ‘conventional’ pickup truck bodies for the GMC TopKick and the Chevy Kodiak, and these super-trucks offered more than just sheer size.
GMC TopKick – FAQs
Here are some popular FAQs:
1. What Exactly Is A Kodiak Truck?
Ans: The Chevrolet Kodiak is a series of medium-duty trucks manufactured by General Motors. The Kodiak was commonly used as a platform for cargo haulers, work trucks, dump trucks, fire trucks, and other vehicles requiring medium-duty torque, GVWR, and towing capacity.
2. What Is The Size Of A GMC TopKick?
Ans: The 2009 medium-duty TopKick was 265 inches long, 95.9 inches wide, and 95.2 inches tall, with a 170- or 176-inch wheelbase. Depending on the model, the average curbside weight was 11,300 lbs.
3. Why Did GMC Discontinue Production Of The TopKick?
Ans: After years of dwindling market share, General Motors (together with Ford Motor Company) decided to stop producing heavy trucks. Kodiak and TopKick were discontinued in 2009 as the business struggled to form joint partnerships or transfer the rights to its product line.
4. What Is The Engine In The Chevy Kodiak?
Ans: A 325 horsepower Vortec 8.1L Gasoline engine with 450ft-lbs of torque is available in the Chevrolet Kodiak C4500 series. Optional engines include a Duramax 6.6 Turbo Diesel with 300 horsepower and 520 ft-lbs of torque, or a 6.6 Duramax with 330 horsepower and 620 ft-lbs of torque.
5. What Is The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) Of A GMC 4500?
Ans: Larger diameter 22.5-inch by 7.5-inch wheels are available on 4500 and 5500 4×4 Regular Cab models with GVWRs up to 8,845 kilograms (19,500 pounds) for applications requiring additional ground clearance.
6. What Is The Weight Of A GMC TopKick?
Ans: The GMC TopKick C4500 has an 11,300-pound curb weight with a four-door, five-passenger crew cab, and four-wheel drive. Daytime running lights, airbags, power outlets, power steering, steps beneath the cab doors, and bucket seats are all standard.
The GMC TopKick C4500 is a four-wheel-drive pickup with a crew cab and a sturdy chassis. It is powered by a 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine, with a V8, 8.1-liter engine capable of producing 325 horsepower as an option. It’s equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission that’s known for its rapid and smooth shifting.
This truck was built for power and hauling capacity rather than speed. So, while it can keep up with traffic. It takes 14.4 seconds to accelerate from zero to sixty. Its top speed is also only 75 mph, which may come as a surprise to some. But this limit was most likely put in order to save the tires while the car is fully loaded. It is around 11,300 pounds in weight.
The Chevrolet Silverado Medium Duty Trucks, which include the 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD, as well as different combinations, wheelbases, and GVWRs, were introduced by General Motors as a successor to the GMC TopKick and Chevrolet Kodiak. GM and Navistar collaborated on the new Silverado Medium Duty, which made its premiere at the 2018 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. However, there is no GMC TopKick equivalent at this time.