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Old 12-27-2003, 09:29 PM   #1
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454 Chip

I have recently bought 1999 2500 Suburban,454,4 wheel drive with 3:73 gears. A friend has suggested installing performance chip to improve towing and mileage.

Can anyone provide input to the "decision"?

Thanks in advnce,
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Old 12-28-2003, 11:18 AM   #2
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That new of truck I don't think uses a "Chip". The ECM is programable. You can adjust shift points, mixtures, converter lock up, timing advance and a several of other items including the speedometer calibration if you change tire size.

Several companies sell programers. http://www.turbocity.com/ I have heard good things about. I'll try to track down a buddy of mine. He's bata testing some gear on his 03 Silverado from one of the companies but I don't recall the name.
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Old 12-28-2003, 12:27 PM   #3
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454 Chip

Greetings George!

I believe that 59 Toaster is correct about the '99 7400 VORTEC's ECM being a programmable model. I had a local shop re-program the ECM in my '99 GMC Suburban to reflect that fact that I always use premium grade fuels. I now have 122,000 miles on the odometer, and have no complaints with the system - - do not, however, expect any significant changes in fuel economy. In my case the gain was less than 2 MPG under any circumstances. My Suburban does have 4.10 gearing and 10,000 pound trailer tow rating.

Currently, my solo MPG with the Suburban runs between 12 and 16 MPG depending upon travel conditions. Towing the '64 Overlander (6,000 pounds Gross Weight) the MPG varies between 10 and 12 depending upon travel conditions - - my max towing speed is 55 MPH). Towing the '78 Minuet (3,100 pounds Gross Weight) the MPG varies between 12 and 13 MPG. In either case, I have been very pleased with the towing performance of the Suburban - - even before re-programming it handled my trailer far better than its K1500 Z-71 pickup predecessor.

Kevin
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Old 12-28-2003, 03:26 PM   #4
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Finding Your '99 Burb

George,

Soon I will be in process of finding a Suburban similar to yours.

I have checked the net and found *very few* 2500's in the SE.

Did you have a chance to drive 3 or 4 before choosing one? I would like to hear of your experience. PM me if you choose. Any comments on what was important to you (ie max mileage, typical problems, 'take any color', previous towing, etc.) would greatly be appreciated.

Steve in Savannah
also with a 25'
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Old 12-28-2003, 05:26 PM   #5
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Kevin,

Mine has tow package and I will be towing 6900 GVW unit. Do you tow in 3 speed?

Thanks
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Old 12-28-2003, 06:56 PM   #6
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454 Chip

Greetings George!

I have an optional special order HD Overdrive automatic in the Suburban. I have never had to lock out overdrive when towing the Minuet (3,200 pounds gross weight), but do ocassionally lock out overdrive with the Overlander (6,000 pounds gross weight). I follow the rule suggested by my dealer - - if the transmission begins hunting between overdrive and direct drive, I lock it into direct drive until the highway flattens out. Traveling in the Rocky Mountains has been one of the few times that I had overdrive locked out for any significant amount of time. Of the 122,000 miles on my Suburban, approximately 70% has been with one of my two trailers. The transmission has been serviced at 30,000 mile intervals including a thorough flush of the fluid at each change.

Kevin
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Old 12-28-2003, 09:29 PM   #7
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Talking Power programmers

Check out www.performanceproducts.com for Hypertech programmers which allow programming for regular octane or premium octane fuel. They also carry Superchips Max Micro tuners. Check their home web sites for additional claims. Do additional research on www.pickuptruck.com for comments from the forum on both programmers. There is also a Canadian company called Wester's Garage and based on the comments made by the pickuptruck forum it is the best way to go although more than $100 more than the other programmers.
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Old 12-29-2003, 08:26 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the input. After reading the reference material, I think I will do some towing with the burb before I make any changes.

Again, thanks to all,
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:09 PM   #9
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George,
That is probably a wise move to tow for awhile and see how the present combination works. You may find that a reprogrammed PCM is not needed. From what I have gathered, the Wester's programmer has been good for 1-2 mpg increase and performance is greatly improved. I will wait until my warranty runs out this next August and make my decision then.
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