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Old 03-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #15
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Check the gearing prices. That's a permanent change that would, IMO, work better than a tire size change (given a choice between only those two). RANDY'S RING & PINION online has parts prices, plus some calculators to "see" how tire or gear changes "work". Labor is more a matter of experience, and a bit of talent. There will be at least one shop in your area recommended by other shops.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:40 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by phbarnhart View Post
Interesting idea. What are the downsides to switching tires to a smaller ones, other than the speedo no longer being accurate?
No downside, spedo may show 3mi faster which may save you a speeding ticket. Changing gears is too much money.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by r carl View Post
No downside, spedo may show 3mi faster which may save you a speeding ticket. Changing gears is too much money.
You can program the PCM to any tire height, so thats not a concern.

Had to do it on our 06 when we switched to the Michelin LTX's.

Bob
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:25 PM   #18
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1/2 ton and common sense

Over the years I have always used a under dog for a farm pu and tow wagon.. Most were 250 to 300 cu in in line 6cyls. Some with autos and some with 4 speeds and one 5..

Came time to update my ride last fall and saw that the difference between the GVW of the 3/4 ton and a HD 1/2 ton model was only 500 lbs.. The price difference was over $3000 more for the 2500 model for only 500 lbs more carry weight.. I could have tossed out the extra $7000 and got diesel Cummins,, but I'm not getting great reports with the newer diesel engines choked down with all the EPA goodies..

Once I researched and found out the frame was the same on both the 1/2 tons and the 3/4 I went with the 1500 with the HD tow package.. Full oil cooler for engine and transmission. I wanted to try a Hemi with the 18 to 20 mpg reports empty weight I got word from local folks. So what I ended up with is a Tradesman 1500 with the full towing package and a tow rating of 10,500 lbs with the 3.92 gearing. Same pu with 3.55 drops the trailer size down to 6500,, and with the 3.20 falls to 4500 lbs.. So with this you can see how important with the same pu and engine the tow rating drops off the charts as the axle numbers go down..


What it all boils down too is just a few basic rules.. A axle ratio around that 4 to 1 ratio can make a 120 hp 6 cyl pull like a tractor.. The axle carries the load and takes it off the transmission and engine..

Its hard for me to believe that to swap out the ring gear and pinion would cost $5000, We have 3 shops in our area that would be happy to do that job for $500 labor and all the new parts are less than $350 from Summit racing and other jobbers like that... And end up with better made ands stronger gears than OEM..

I run sync gear oil and trans oil and change oils every 20,000 miles at max.. Most of my farm pu's are sold or traded off with 350k to 400k miles and still run and drive like new.. Never had to repair any major drivetrain part in over 40 years of daily hard work abuse..

Second rule is if its an auto trans,, don't let it hunt for a gear,. If its shifting for every little hill,, every shift is just throwing heat into the unit and one less shift left in the life of the transmission.

I have a 6 speed in my new Dodge and when pulling our new 1972 Overlander home last week we were bucking a 50 mph head wind most of the 300 miles home.. Yes it could pull 6 gear but it was full peddle.. I just dropped it down to 4th gear ( direct) and ran it home at a nice 2800 rpm engine speed. Trans temp never got over 120f.. since no load was on it.. Power in ,,, power out with no gear reduction or gear over drive.

Same advice goes for manual transmissions. Generally 4th gear is direct and in basic terms,, the engine shaft going into the transmission is locked with the output shaft.. No heat, no pressure on bearings and letting the rear axle carry the load.. Its down in back ,, with a flood of fresh and cooler air and with clean oil loves to work all day long.

Sodbust.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:41 PM   #19
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I tow with a 3/4 ton Chevrolet Express Van. It has the 5.7L (350cid) engine and 4L80E transmission. The rear gears were 3.73. This worked OK for our trailer, but was a bit slow (and hot transmission temperatures) up the hills. I had the rear gears changed to 4.10 (cost was about $1,000). This made a big difference. I also added a (second) transmission cooler and put an electric fan on it. Then I added a transmission oil temperature gauge. Now I know when to slow down, shift down, or whatever.

For the speedometer, I used a Granitelli speedometer pulse resampler (as I recall, the transmission pickup is supposed to be 40,000 pulses per mile). It is programmable for tire size, rear gear ratio, etc.

Too much fun.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:29 PM   #20
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Suffice to say we acquired a 3/4 ton with tow pkg to replace our 1/2 ton for just the reasons given above. IMHO you are pushing the envelope by the time you fully load your EB (7300#) + suburban and head down the road... likely beyond design parameters for your sub. A supplemental trans cooloer is a step in the right direction; but, after we added the trans temp guage to our 1/2 T, we decided that the benefits of brakes and tow/haul trans and gearing ...plus heavier suspension justified the change to 3/4 ton TV. Damage due to towing your wonderful EB may not be covered under TV warranty and insurance adjusters are well versed in shifting financial responsibility in accidents / crashes.

PS: ...we love that EB edition, and ... Go Beavers!
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:28 AM   #21
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Thanks for the comments everyone.

@Sodbust: It's a 6-speed auto, any idea if 4th is still the direct drive?

@mefly2: I was in Montana in October pheasant hunting with a buddy from Helena. I brought the Airstream (obviously) and I noticed that the Suburban seemed a little winded at the elevations around there. MacDonald Pass was interesting.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phbarnhart View Post
Thanks for the comments everyone.

@Sodbust: It's a 6-speed auto, any idea if 4th is still the direct drive?

@mefly2: I was in Montana in October pheasant hunting with a buddy from Helena. I brought the Airstream (obviously) and I noticed that the Suburban seemed a little winded at the elevations around there. MacDonald Pass was interesting.
from GM tech...

"Even though the axle is a 3.42 ratio, the transmission provides a wide, 6.04:1 gear ratio that includes two overdrive gears. There isn’t a 1:1 ratio in the specs; the closest is fourth with a 1.15:1. Fifth gear is a 0.85 overdrive and sixth is a 0.66 ratio."

Running in fourth on hills not a concern.
Just put in that gear and run, don't let the PCM try to find it.


Bob
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:53 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phbarnhart View Post
Thanks for the comments everyone.

@Sodbust: It's a 6-speed auto, any idea if 4th is still the direct drive?

@mefly2: I was in Montana in October pheasant hunting with a buddy from Helena. I brought the Airstream (obviously) and I noticed that the Suburban seemed a little winded at the elevations around there. MacDonald Pass was interesting.
Yes, 4th is near direct drive. 5th and 6th are both overdrives. Also, as has been mentioned, 1st, 2nd and 3rd are lower gear ratios than the old 4 speeds, so there is greater flexibility and pleasability and capability than with the 4 speeds. Hoewver, you're still pushing it with the high rear end. Just try it and see. It's your truck and your satisfaction that counts.

Edit: I stand corrected:
Transmission General Specifications


Name



6L80



6L90



RPO Codes


MYC


MYD


Production Location


Ypsilanti, Michigan, Toledo, OH (USA), Silao, Mexico


Ypsilanti, Michigan, Toledo, OH (USA), Silao, Mexico


Transmission Drive


Rear Wheel Drive


Rear Wheel Drive


1st Gear Ratio


4.027


4.027


2nd Gear Ratio


2.364


2.364


3rd Gear Ratio


1.532


1.532


4th Gear Ratio


1.152


1.152


5th Gear Ratio


0.852


0.852


6th Gear Ratio


0.667


0.667


Reverse


3.064


3.064


Torque Converter Size– Diameter of Torque Converter Turbine


258/300 mm


300 mm


Pressure Taps


Line Pressure


Line Pressure


Transmission Fluid Type


DEXRON VI®


DEXRON VI®


Transmission Type: 6


Six Forward Gears


Six Forward Gears


Transmission Type: L


Longitude Mount


Longitude Mount


Transmission Type: 80/90


Product Series


Product Series


Position Quadrant


P, R, N, D, M


P, R, N, D, M, I


Case Material


Die Cast Aluminum


Die Cast Aluminum


Transmission Net Weight (Approximate)


100 kg (220 lb)


110 kg (243 lb)


Maximum Trailer Towing Capacity


Refer to applicable owner's manual Refer to applicable owner's manual

Sorry: I hate that charts don't copy well on this forum. Any advice, Moderators?
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:31 AM   #24
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That's great information on the transmission. I have called a couple of independent shops this morning and I'm getting bids to change the gearing.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:44 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by phbarnhart View Post
That's great information on the transmission. I have called a couple of independent shops this morning and I'm getting bids to change the gearing.
Is your 1500 4wd, locking rear diff ?

Bob
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:46 AM   #26
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That's great information on the transmission. I have called a couple of independent shops this morning and I'm getting bids to change the gearing.
If you are handy, a low tech fix is a pull-it scrap yard and a proper rearend from a frontal impact. Swap the entire rear end. Our local pull-a-part list the entire rearend for just over $100. I have done some of these swaps...much easier than rear gears
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:01 PM   #27
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You are pulling around 5200 lbs dry weight. That is a call I would not want to make. I would take it to a mom and pop trailer shop, and get their opinion. I have found that businesses who build, repair and sell trailers for hauling are pretty knowledgebale about what you can tow and cannot. I always take my airstream for towing, brakes or axels to those types of shops.

I am pulling 4500 Lbs dry weight airstream with a ram 1500 4.7L engine. It has a 3.55 rear end and a transmission cooler and worry sometimes myself. Especially when I am going up hills. I feel it in the truck. Gross weight I am right at my limit for towing.

Check the side of your door and maintenance book in you glove box and see what the towing capacity is. It should tell you.

Brian
Hello,
I noticed from the spec.sheet that your hitch height is higher than the flying cloud. I'm wondering if your tires are 16 " rather than 15". Some of the dealers feel 16" wheels are to big for the flying cloud. I'll need to check the wheel wells vs the two models but according to GYM chart the sixteens are e-rated vs d for fifthteens.Now fo ryour question. Overloading is a common practice in TV and trailers. Be judicious and take only what you need.Not always necessary to travel with full water tank. Upgrade your transmission maintenace routine to heavy duty and not necessary to drive 70-75 miles per hour. Enjoy.What do you carry in the back of yourTRAILER. DDIE BUE
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:22 PM   #28
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I totally agree with Red. A ring & pinion set from Randy's for that Suburban (3.42 or even 3.73) is about $265 + a few hours labor (double this if you have 4x4). That should be way less than 4 wheels + 4 LT tires. I don't know, but you may have trouble fitting a smaller wheel over the brake caliper also. Smaller wheels make the pot holes in the road bigger!
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