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Old 05-12-2004, 06:52 PM   #1
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Talking Anyone tow with a 454- 7.4?

Looking at a new tow vehicle -99 Chevy 2500 suburban , 7.4 engine , 4.10 gears , LT package , etc..... Anyone towing an A.S. with one of these & how do you like it? Mileage? This truck has only 30,000 miles

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Old 05-12-2004, 07:07 PM   #2
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It will pull a safari like it's not even there.
MPG...OD you might be getting 14-15 unloaded. 12-13 loaded no A/C.
Once you get out of OD expect about 10mpg.
My 454 Sub predates the Over drive but it get's 10mpg with 5600lb behind it on steady cruise of 2500 RPM.
These motors are happiest 2500 rpm. That make all their torque between 1400 and 2700.

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1988 R20 454 Suburban.
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Old 05-12-2004, 07:50 PM   #3
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I would expect that you could pick up one pretty cheap these days, gas prices and all. I fueled up one of our work models, a 98 2500 4x4 with the 7.4 liter, up with the cheapest unleaded I could find, almost $70 worth. They suck, and not just gas. Brakes are weak and the a/c is inadequate, look out for oil and coolant leaks. I would look at a diesel Ford Excursion myself but as I should have told you from the beginning, I am pretty much a Ford man.

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Old 05-12-2004, 08:37 PM   #4
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454 towing

FWIW, I have a 1995 Suburban 2500 w the 454 and tranny w the OD. Last weekend got 11.8 mpg towing a 6 metre Minuet. This was over three passes each way, here in Colorado. Total miles was just less than 700.

Towed our 25' Sovereign to Glacier NP and there abouts and over 3500 miles got 10.8 mpg. The Sov weighs twice what the Minuet weighs and is wider and has the drag of the AC on top.

I have always had good luck w the brakes. Would agree about price w gas so high you should get a good price on a new vehicle.
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Old 05-12-2004, 09:58 PM   #5
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big block TV behaves like the unit is not even there... but very thirsty. single digits in city driving empty.
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Old 05-12-2004, 10:04 PM   #6
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When we were camping as kids as a family, we had a 1985 7.4l (454) 3/4 ton burban.....that was a totally awesome tow vehicle. If there was a hitch on our house, that darn truck would have towed it too.

The 454 is an extremely capible engine. Our only issue, beside the body rusting off the chassis, was that to fill the 40 gallon tank we had, in today's gas prices would take a home equity loan to fuel for trips. Even then it wasn't cheap to fill 40 gallons. It got on average 10mpg towing, but man, let me tell you, we could not feel our 6500lb SOB back how. Of course the new ones are more refined and have more emission controls...ours was the last year before they had to install converters....had factory stainless duals (that lasted the entire life of the vehicle until we dontated it about 3 years ago) with a MONSTER 4 barrel that should have had a sticker near it telling folks to keep kids away, as they would be ingested and combusted.

Guy that picked it up for the place we donated it to said he was going to buy it from the place and take the engine and place it into a Corvette.
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Old 05-12-2004, 10:15 PM   #7
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454 4.11 tranny w/OD

I tow a 34' with a 1992 suburban with the 454 4.11 4x4 AC on or off dosen't make much difference and get 10-11 mpg. It has 179K miles on the engine and it still runs great. No problem towing. The ride is great with out the trailer I get about 14mpg.
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Old 05-13-2004, 07:36 PM   #8
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Anyone tow with a 454- 7.4?

Greetings Chitown Airstreamers!

Originally Posted by Chitown AirStreamers
Looking at a new tow vehicle -99 Chevy 2500 suburban , 7.4 engine , 4.10 gears , LT package , etc..... Anyone towing an A.S. with one of these & how do you like it? Mileage? This truck has only 30,000 miles
The Suburban that you are considering is very similar to my Suburban that I ordered new and now have 127,000 miles on the odometer. This Suburban has been one of the best vehicles that I have onwed - - very few repairs other than regular maintenance, and surpassed in comfort only by my Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz - - the Suburban actually has a better driving position that provides for more secure city driving.

The only weak point on mine that was addressed by both the regular GM warranty and extended warranties was the electronic transfer case control module (mine is K2500 4 X 4). Evidently the early '99 model year 4 X 4 Suburbans with the automatic transfer case had a design flaw in the electronic control module in the transfer case that caused it to fail at about 12,000 mile intervals - - a revised and improved part was issued in 2002 that corrected the problem only after warranty replaced the module in my Suburban five times..

Beyond the 4 X 4 issue, the only repair expenses I have had were for a new set of brake pads with rotor turning at 85,000 miles, new rear brake shoes and drum turning at 107,000 miles, tune-up with fuel injector cleaning at 98,000 miles, new serpentine belt at 55,000 miles and at 105,000 miles, and new water pump at 88,000 miles.

My General Motors dealer has serviced my Suburban every 3,000 miles. Tires have been rotated every other oil change (current set of Michelin Radials have 83,000 miles). The transmission has been serviced every 30,000 miles. Thus far, my solo fuel economy stands at 15 MPG highway and 12 MPG city; my towing fuel economy with the Airstream runs 12 MPG highway and 10 MPG city (mountain driving lowers the figures another 1.5 to 2.0 MPG). When towing, I utilize overdrive (except on grades or when the transmission begins to hunt) and set my cruise control at a maximum of 55 MPH. When I am driving the Suburban solo, I generally have the cruise control set 3 MPH below the posted speed limit.

At 30,000 miles, the Suburban that you are considering is barely broken in. My rig didn't start delivering consistent fuel economy numbers until the odometer hit 45,000 miles. I am partial to the Suburban and large station wagons in general, and have been absolutely thrilled with the way that mine has held up through the miles.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:46 PM   #9
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This is a VERY old thread - that I forgot I posted years ago. I never bought this 454 but instead but a beautiful GMC 1500- 5.7 with a tow pkg. The time has come again and this time I'm looking at a 4x2 1999 C2500 Suburban with the 7.4. The 5.7 just works TOO MUCH towing my safari! So... opinions on the 454-4x2?
1966 Airstream SAFARI- FOR SALE in the classifieds
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:58 PM   #10
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I have a 'burb with the 8.1 and the 4.10 gears.

It tows very well. Very quiet with no hunting from gear to gear. 8 mpg towing as I mentioned in the other thread. Much nicer than the 5.7 I have in my 1997 K2500 pickup although that isn't bad.

The 8.1 reportedly doesn't perform much better than the 7.4 did.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:33 PM   #11
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We towed with the 7.4, it got 8mpg. It got 8 towing, 8 not towing, 8 in town, 8 on the road, 8 with the a/c on... Well, you get the idea.
We went back to towing with the 2500 Silverado with the 6.0 and 3.73 gears. It does adequately, and gets nearly 12 towing.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:50 PM   #12
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I just bought a 454 suburban with a banks power converter package. Does anyone know the kind of tow capacity I can get out of my suburban?

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Old 07-22-2014, 09:51 PM   #13
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Sorry, the year is a 92

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