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Old 08-15-2003, 08:13 AM   #1
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GM/Dodge advice needed

My 1992 B350 is going to retire from towing soon, and resume it's life as a beach transporter for the 7 grandkids.
Specs: 3.90:1 gearing, 5.9l V8 4 speed auto w/overdrive.
So I have been looking at 1/2 ton Suburbans for towing. My questions:
1993-1995 recommendation, power, torque specs
1996-1998 recommendations, power, torque specs
Does anybody know the specs of the TBI 5.9 Dodge engine?
Judging from the test drives I have taken so far, it seems to pull much harder than the 5.7l 3:73 equipped Suburban. Any thoughts??
My aim is to buy a nice 1995 or 1996 Suburban with tow package.
They can be had for under $ 10K which I can pay cash for and don't have to finance.
I would very much appreciate input from all you Suburban owners.
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Old 08-15-2003, 09:01 AM   #2
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What happened with the MB?

Uwe, I from some of your last posts, I thought you were leaning towards the MB M class. What happened to change your mind? I'm always keeping tow data in the back of my mind for future reference.
thanks!
Marc
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Old 08-15-2003, 09:18 AM   #3
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You know, 59Toaster (Eric) is a real wealth of Tahoe (older Blazer) and Suburuban info. He really knows his stuff. He went through the whole process of the Suburban before he just got his used 454 burban. I'd get in touch with him since I would consider his knowledge on the subject very worthwhie.

Eric
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Old 08-15-2003, 10:17 AM   #4
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Marc,
It's mostly price. I don't want to spend more than $10k, out the door and in my warehouse. ( i don't take the trucks home anymore).
I'd rather drive a passenger car every day, and use the truck when it's needed.
I think the ML tows great, handles very well, and did quite an impressive job with my 25ft. Tradewind. ( 5800lb GVWR) It was by far the most secure feeling tow vehicle i have tried so far, both solo and hitched up. But I would want the ML430 or ML500 for the extra engine power. And those are out of my budget for a tow rig, and not my first choice for a every day driver.
My Dodge is approaching 230000 miles, and it has not been all that reliable, even when it was new. It's expensive to run, overweight fir it's capacities, and I am just plain sick and tired of looking at it, even though it's in very nice condition.
Unfortunately, I have very little expertise ( although some experience) in trucks and vans, hence all my prior questions.
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Old 08-15-2003, 10:44 AM   #5
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Uwe,
I currently have a 2003 Dodge 3500 dually, Cummins HO, six speed, 4x4, quad cab, 8' bed. I tow my 34 Excella and it is fantastic---excellent stopping power, good in the mountains, good fuel mileage, comfortable, very dependable, excellent controll on the highway, and good in soft ground in wet campgrounds.
Prior to my current mount I had a 97 Dodge 2500 Cummins that was slightly bombed. Even though I think my current truck is vastly superior I would put the 95-02 Dodge as my second choice. I never had any reliability problems and the 2500 extended cab towed great. You can't go wrong if you choose this model Dodge Cummins.
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Old 08-15-2003, 10:51 AM   #6
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The only minus to the Cummings is that it is the loudest engine on the planet. It is one one of the strongest in it's defense.....

In a very rustic campground over the 4th we could hear the Cummings startup and run from across the campground. You always knew when a Cummings was in the area.

Duramax is one of the most quite ones I've heard, followed by the Ford, but by all means, go check each one out. I am sure you'll find similar results.


BTW, in another post, UWE I think said he wasn't interested in diesel plus he was looking at a Suburban which new is not in the price range. There was a 6.5L diesel or so engine in I believe the year Suburban he's looking at, but it had many pitfalls as it did/does plusses.

Eric
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Old 08-15-2003, 10:57 AM   #7
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Eric,
You are soooo right--the Generation 1 and 2 Cummins were louder than the Cheby and Ferd diesels. The 2003 Cummins is as quite if not quiter.
Ron
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Old 08-15-2003, 11:12 AM   #8
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Sorry, no pickups for me. No Diesels yet, either.
I am still looking for technical data on the Suburban 5.7l, and the Dodge 5.9l with TBI for 1992
Mostly i am looking for torque/hp figures pre-and post Vortech 5.7l
Shoud I try to get a 95 or a 96?
I don't think I want or need a 3/4 or 1 ton again, to tow a 1971 Tradewind.
Can anyone steer me to a website with info on these?
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Old 08-15-2003, 11:19 AM   #9
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Ron,
I agree. The Cummins definitely has an audible presence like few other engines. Which is ok in my book. My friends use them to shlep their toy trailers through the desert, and are very pleased with them. I have driven Cummins powered trucks before, and inside they are surprisingly quiet and smooth. Not what I had expected after hearing the commotion they make on the outside.
As far as noise on the campground goes, there I find the trendy flowmaster mods with huge pipes on V8 gas powered trucks just as annoying in the early AM as a healthy Diesel. Trouble with the Diesel is that it is especially loud when first started.
Still, anyone sassy with Dodge and/or mid 90's GM engine specs??
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Old 08-15-2003, 01:26 PM   #10
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Well the 5.7 and 3.73 gear on a 2wd burb is not a bad compination. My big beef with GM half ton trucks is the 10 bolt axle. It's a 8.5 ring gear and they tend no to take a lit oof abuse. The G80 Gov lock for those axles is also a little week. I have blown one of those axles out on a 95 GMC Vandura in 50k.

Now that said that sububan may have the 14bolt Semi Floater 3/4 ton rear axle since it has the tow package. Quick way to tell is count the bolts holding on the cover. The SF 14 is a pretty solid axle and the G80 limited slip is larger and more robust.

The Vortec heads do flow better. The bottom end of the engine is pretty well the same. That better flow really comes int oplay at higher RPM's.

http://www.edmunds.com/ If you drill down to the pricing on the left is specs for the vehicle.
Here is for the 95. The engine is 200hp and 310lbft of torque. Says 6500lb towing capacity and I would assume that's with a 3.42 gear. I pulled up the 2500 with the same motor and it lists as 10k and I bet that's a 4.10 gear.


They really don't show what the Tow package 1500 is. My bet is the tow package 1500 with the 3.73 is 7500-8k range on towing capacity.

Now make sure that's a TRUE towpackage. Some idiot sales people think a trailer hitch is a tow package. Tow package on a GM includes AUX transmission cooler, Oil cooler (Oil coller may be built into the radiator like the standard transmission cooler), Revised shift points in the transmission and may include the SF14.

The 1500's come with the 4l60 over drive transmission. It's an improved 700R4 that seems to be much more reliable. I was pretty rough on the one in that work van and the two guys that got it after me were even more rough and it's still going strong at 150k. The 2500 would get the 4L80 HD transmission.
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Old 08-15-2003, 01:37 PM   #11
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Ohh for got the 96 power spec. The Vortech in 96 was 250 hp (50 hp increase) and 335 lb ft of torque. Now understand that 50 HP comes on at higher RPMS Getting on the hwy you will notice it steady crusie probably not.
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Old 08-15-2003, 02:05 PM   #12
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59 toaster,

Thanks for all the info. That was exactly what I was looking for.
I found the specs for my Dodge on the Edmunds site as well. The GM product seems favorable by comparing the specs.
Now i just need to go find a nice one.
Is there much difference between the Chevrolet and the GMC?
Are there any number sequences that would identify the factory tow package for 1996 to 1998??
Thanks again for all the info.
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Old 08-15-2003, 03:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by uwe
59 toaster,

Thanks for all the info. That was exactly what I was looking for.
I found the specs for my Dodge on the Edmunds site as well. The GM product seems favorable by comparing the specs.
Now i just need to go find a nice one.
Is there much difference between the Chevrolet and the GMC?
Are there any number sequences that would identify the factory tow package for 1996 to 1998??
Thanks again for all the info.
GMC and Chevy.
Just the badge and sometimes cosmetic items. Mecahnicals are identical and in many plants they come off the same assembly line. 72 down, GMC and Chevy's did have different front sheetmetal.


Ford say they build more truck then Chevy...yep they do but they don't build more trucks then GM.
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Old 08-15-2003, 04:20 PM   #14
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Thanks again. I'll be out looking this weekend.
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