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Old 09-17-2011, 09:32 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g
Suggestion for ya'll who want to change gearing and suspensions, and cooling systems etc. Find a good off road 4WD shop. Those guys are used to building wild stuff. Making a great Suburban tow vehicle out of one that was spec'd for non towing family hauling with reasonable mileage would be a walk in the park for that crowd.
Thanks! I've got the names of some really highly recommended shops in tow but I'm torn because I don't want to jeopardize the power train warranty.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:54 PM   #44
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First of all GM never "voids" a warranty (except for wrecked salvage titled vehicles or vehicles proven to be used for racing, for example). For example, if you changed from a 3.08 to a 3.73 gear and an issue arose in the rear axle, that particular claim may be denied, due to modification, depending on what the failure was, since the axle is no longer "manufacturer materials and workmanship". But changing a rear end has no effect on the engine per se. So the engine warranty would be in effect. There is some risk involved, but GM reviews any questionable claim for appropriateness of the issue and the corresponding coverage decision. If you were loading and towing significantly above GCWR or GVWR without the proper comparable modifications of an OE equipped truck, there could be questions. For example, if you tried to make a 3/4 ton out of a 1/2 ton, that would be an issue.
But if I understand your situation, all you are trying to do is make it into a 1/2 ton towing package truck. That's fine.

There are technical issues to address to get there, and it MAY be more cost effective to trade, but you won't know till you make a list of needed upgrades and get some estimates.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:49 PM   #45
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Phil, I trundle around the Rockies, based at 9450 ft. with my 1500 silverado 5.3 L 3.73 RR pu hauling our 24 AS nicely, yes I would prefer a beefier tow rig but am OK with overall safety and performance, just cannot set any speed records and keep a close eye on the tranny temp.

William
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:49 PM   #46
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Thanks guys, we're going for a little trip next weekend so I won't really have a good read on how the towing works as the vehicle is set up now. I already have the transmission cooler the only question is whether or not I'm going to change out the gears for a little larger size. It's got a 3.08 now, the factory towing package is 3.42 but I've gotten recommendations to go to 3.73 if I switch. The truck does have a 6speed transmission.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:28 PM   #47
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I'm torn on what to tell you on the rear end ratio. I've towed my 30' Classic with a 5.3l 2009, 4 speed Avalanche, with a 3.73. It was OK in the flat lands, but would've been anemic in anything more than rolling hills. But that's a 4 speed. The six speed is much better for towing. And i weigh in at 8500# loaded for travel. You should be quite a bit less.

I guess if you're not concerned with maybe .5 - 1 mpg lower with the 3.73, it would be more pleasing driving.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:02 AM   #48
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My thought is to see how it tows now. What I'm concerned about is that, even driving on the flats, I'm going to have to be all the way down in 4th to maintain 62-65mph. If it's a near thing then I may just go 3.42. After all, if what I really want is a towing monster then I'm going to need to upgrade to the 3/4 ton. Then again, if I'm going to all the trouble, why bother only going to the 3.42?

You're right, it's hard to know what to do.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #49
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I think what you'll find is with the 3.08, you will be in fourth a lot. With a 3.42, you will be in 5th most of the time and sixth some of the time, and fourth only on moderate inclines. With a 3.73, you would be in sixth more of the time, fifth a lot and fourth only on larger hills.

BUT, I live in the midwest. I think you'll be in bigger "hills" a lot more than me if you venture very far from home. If you decide to re-gear, probably a 3.73 is the way to go.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:35 PM   #50
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I do, indeed, live in an area with "real" mountains. Go south, east or west for very long and you'll hit at least some big hills and if I go east I run into the Cascades. North is pretty flat but eventually I may want to venture out another direction.

Lets hope that it's a moot point, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not going to be happy towing with the 3.08 gears. If only I had known that I was going to contract the aluminitus two years ago when I bought the truck.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:48 PM   #51
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Six speed autos change things. Deep gears for starting (from stop) are one thing -- not applicable here -- so you might wish to consult a gearing calculator with appropriate info.


Here is one to play with. I recommend finding all the numbers to plug in. Finding someone to help interpret is a bit harder. IMO, I'd stick with what factory recommends.

Get us that scale info!!

.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:03 PM   #52
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Factory tow kit is 3.42

I just got the kitchen loaded in last night (pots/pans, plates, cups, flatware, etc. I still have a little packing to do before I would consider it "loaded for camping." weighing will happen after its all loaded.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:57 PM   #53
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When looking for a used vehicle, like say a Suburban, is it easy to determine what axle is in it?
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:05 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redwoodguy
When looking for a used vehicle, like say a Suburban, is it easy to determine what axle is in it?
There is a sticker in the glovebox lid that lists all the specs on the Suburban in code. Each gearing has its own code. I don't have any more specifics.

You should try running a search of the forum. If that doesn't work, start a new thread in the Tow Vehicles forum so that more folks will see it. You may not get a lot of answers with your question asked here. Good luck!
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