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Old 03-17-2004, 09:38 AM   #1
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2004 GM tow ratings

The 2004 I/2 ton Chevys have 6400 lbs. tow rating, which
is 1400 lbs more than previous years. Is the only difference
the 5 litre is now a 5.3 litre, and the new engines are supposed to be better. I am wondering how much of this
is " creative " or " arbetrary ". Or have they also beefed up
suspension and brakes and such? Dave

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Old 03-17-2004, 10:06 AM   #2
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You know, I am unsure that the engines are any better really. I think that they corrected the piston slap issue, but mostly that might be the most major change.

I have heard and mind you this is not first hand, that the 6.0L engine is the one to have.

Now my pops has a 5.3L 2500 with 3.73s and all the bells and whistles. Man can that thing tow!

But folks seem to think the 6.0L is the one to have and from a typical American where bigger is better, I'd have to agree, but have no info to support it myself other than my caveman instincts!

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Old 03-17-2004, 10:11 AM   #3
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5 litre ???

Chevy has not had a 5 litre option for a few years. They have had 4.8 and 5.3s. If you go to the Trailer Life website they have the listings for some of the past years. I have printed back to 1999. I went with "04 1/2 ton 4x4 ECSB with the 5.3. It has a listed capacity of 7800# which is a similar rating it has had the last couple of years.
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:22 AM   #4
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I have a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado brochure in front of me, and according to it you can configure a new 1500 ("1/2 ton") to tow a trailer up to 9200 lbs. This would be for a regular cab, 4X4 with the 5.3 automatic and 4.10 rear end.

The 6.0 appears to be available only in the all wheel drive "SS" model, and that as a special high output version; this according to the brochure - but see below.

Of course, what you really need is the GCWR, which appears to be available only in the owner's manual - perhaps it is expected that you buy the truck before this can be revealed. The greatest GCWR in the 1500 series is 16,000 lbs., which requires the 6.0(!). So, is it available or not?

The trailering capacity is probably calculated by taking the empty weight of a base model (4,100 to 5,200 lbs. plus options, depending upon the configuration) plus a driver and subtracting that from GCWR.

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Old 03-17-2004, 12:01 PM   #5
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My Denali has the Vortec 6.0 with 4:10 gears and a GCCWR of 16000#. And it is loaded with HD towing eqiupment- very beefy brakes, tranny, suspension,etc.

I love this engine. I think the 6.0 is only available in the Denali and SS in the 1500 series.
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Old 03-18-2004, 06:51 PM   #6
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Vortec 6.0

I recently bought a 2004 Dodge 2500 HD/hemi/3:73 - price was a lot better (thousands) than the Chevy. As I recall, the 2500 Chevy PU - Extended cab, 6.0 L Vortec and 4:10 rear end was rated to tow 10,000 lbs (700 more than the Dodge). The 4:10 rear end was the only ratio available.

The above 'could' be in error
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Old 03-18-2004, 07:22 PM   #7
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ask the man who owns one!

the 6.0 is the standard engine for the 2500 HD models since '99. 3.73's are optional.

i have a '00 extended cab 2500 with 8 foot bed.

best tow rig i've ever had. the 4.10 gears are the key. the 4L80 tranny that comes with it allows towing in overdrive.

sure beats towing in 3rd gear with the engine at 3000 rpm.

while the 1/2 tons i used were good, the 3/4 ton is much better!


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