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Old 04-28-2009, 07:27 PM   #1
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'99 2500 Burb 4x4 w/5.7Liter & 4.10:1 axles

My son will be using the Burb referenced in the thread title for a new business venture. The Burb also has the heavy duty trailer towing package with tranny cooler, etc. He will be towing an 18' long, 2-axle, 7,000 lb box trailer with brakes (---definitely not an Airstream!), coupled to the Burb with a Reese equalizer hitch and sway control. Per the Chevy manual, 7,000 lbs is the maximum towing capacity for the Burb (---7,500 lbs less 500 lbs for the 4x4 gear.) His trips will be very short in duration (---less than 50 miles) with relatively shallow grades. I personally like the 80% rule (---as to towing capacity) - but, with respect to the Burb, the same chassis will go up to 9,500 lbs with the only change being a 7.4 liter engine. This would imply that acceleration and hill-climbing abilities, would be the main negatives with the 5.7 liter engine. I would appreciate any comments with reference to this setup.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:40 PM   #2
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I use my 97 2500 with the 5.7 for much more then 7000 my seems to be great with as much as 9500 anything over 10,000 is get fishy in the rear I have had no problems the 5.7 just wont pull the mountains as easly (have to keep the RPM's up a lil higher on the hills)
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:21 AM   #3
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I use my 97 2500 with the 5.7 for much more then 7000 my seems to be great with as much as 9500 anything over 10,000 is get fishy in the rear I have had no problems the 5.7 just wont pull the mountains as easly (have to keep the RPM's up a lil higher on the hills)
Interesting! There's another box trailer (20' long) that, of course, has more floor space - but the weight gets up around 8,200 lbs (---with equipment installed.) Due to the Burb's stated capacity he was reluctant to consider it. Is the auto tranny used with the 5.7 liter the same as the tranny used with the 7.4 liter?
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:35 AM   #4
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Don't know about the 5.7's tranny. My 99 C2500, 7.4 engine has the 4L80E transmission.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:41 AM   #5
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I think he'll be fine....I doubt he'll get any land speed records particularly on the hills, but he'll be fine.

I yanked my 2004 Safari (6300lbs) with a 5.7L LT1 in a Chevy sedan and it had more than enough power to move the trailer, it just didn't have the wheelbase, etc that your Burb has. The thing with the 5.7L is that it has more than ample power (at least in my case), but I did notice an MPH hit on the hills, which IMHO is not a big deal at all.

Keep in mind that the 6.0L, which was the replacement for the 5.7L though a better engine, they have these rated to a bit over 9000lbs too and they are only .3L larger. You have the gears, wheelbase, proper chassis and all the towing goodies. I say be careful and go out and make some money!
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:57 AM   #6
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Interesting! Is the auto tranny used with the 5.7 liter the same as the tranny used with the 7.4 liter?
No, these two engines are totally different and therefore require a different trans. The 5.7 liter is the communist version of the venerable 350 c.i.d. and the 7.4 is the communist version of the wonderfully powerful 454 c.i.d.

The 350 is a "small block" and the 454 is a "big block". The small block engines originally used the Turbo-Hydramatic 350 (aka TH350) transmission behind them, but the big blocks were too powerful and had to have the TH400. Then when overdrive transmissions became a mpg necessity, the transmissions gained many weird and meaningless new letters and numbers.

The 350 c.i.d. engine is quite easy and inexpensive to modify for more horsepower if necessary. The 'Burb chassis is strong enough to handle the weight and the horsepower.

Oh, and metric = communism.

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:17 AM   #7
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That 2500 had options of the 4l60e and the 4l80e trans the 4l80e is much stonger and would also be the same in the 3500 (1ton)! I would say it would be fine with that trans! Just remember to have goooooood working brakes on your trailer! None of the OBS Chevys have great braking to begin with!
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:19 AM   #8
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(Woody) GM quite using the TH350 and TH400 Transmissions around 1987~! They may have been more durable but there not here anymore!
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:28 AM   #9
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Here is my take on transmissions FWIW (GM):

I have the Helm shop books...and before I state what the books stated, I will say that the TH400/4l80e is a far more robust trans than the TH350/4l60e.

However what the Helm shop books stated which totally caught me by surprise, were the weight ratings the transmissions were designed to handle. The overall weight ratings (GCWR) were well beyond what most of us would ever tow. I seem to recall the 4l80e rated at some number in the mid to high 20k range., where the 4l60e was the low 20k range. Figure the average light duty truck and 1/2 tonners weigh themselves anywhere between 6000 and 8000lbs wet, you can do the math what the trans might be able to deal with....of course I am not advocating towing more than is rated by the manufacturer's tow rating, but the GM trannies are fairly decent.
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:19 PM   #10
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I did a bit more research myself and what I came up with is that the '99 2500 series Burbs all used the 4180e trannys - whether equipped with the 5.7 or the 7.4. What also surprised me is that the 5.7 was rated 260 hp and the 7.4 was rated 290 hp. I thought that there would be a greater difference. It would be interesting to see a comparison of torque but I ran out of information.
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:18 PM   #11
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Cracker, I think it will be fine. HP ratings are important, but more important is torque ratings.

You might also consider checking and making sure you have a 12 bolt rear end. Anything but a 10 bolt. My last chevy had a 10 bolt. 3 rebuilds before 200,000 miles.

That 5.7 liter is used in many configurations. 1/2, 3/4 and even 1 ton trucks.
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Old 05-02-2009, 06:51 PM   #12
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(Woody) GM quite using the TH350 and TH400 Transmissions around 1987~! They may have been more durable but there not here anymore!
I was hoping to get a response to my metric system comment!

Woody
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:26 AM   #13
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All the comments are sincerely appreciated. Right now it looks like the referenced trailer will probably come in at, or below, the 7,000 lb mark. Floor space would be the only reason for exceeding that mark and, until the exact equipment weights are known, floor space/length may not be a factor. It won't tow like an Airstream but, with a good sway control system and equalizer hitch, it should be safe.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:22 PM   #14
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I was hoping to get a response to my metric system comment!

Woody
Hate to break it to you, Woody, but the metric system predates communism. US Congress adopted it as a system of measure way back in 1866! A chronology of the metric system

While I am conversant in both systems, I prefer and use imperial measure on a daily basis, and tradesmen widely use imperial measure in Canada (except on some government projects). I don't believe that the use of imperial measure has any real effect on economic competitiveness in global markets. (That was the reason given for the official move to metric measure in Canada in the 1970s. The US started down that path, but stopped.)

US volume measure is slightly different from imperial - US gallons are 3.78 litres, while imperial gallons are 4.55 litres.
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