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Old 03-26-2008, 09:43 AM   #15
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Hi Steve

The 4:10 gears will slightly improve your fuel economy towing and they will fairly substantially improve performance. However you can get the same performance improvement easier just by changing the tire size.

Most new SUV's and trucks have tires that are very large on them. Not only do these tires make the gear ratio artificially tall they also have substantial rolling resistance and sidewall sway. We have change the tires on hundreds of trucks. What size does your truck have on it now?

Andy
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:01 AM   #16
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From GM owners manual;
If You Do Decide To Pull A Trailer
Notice: Pulling a fifth-wheel trailer with a vehicle
that is equipped with the SS trim package could
damage the vehicle. Do not pull a fifth-wheel trailer
with a vehicle equipped with the SS trim package.
If you do, here are some important points:
There are many different laws, including speed limit
restrictions, having to do with trailering. Make sure
your rig will be legal, not only where you live
but also where you’ll be driving. A good source for
this information can be state or provincial police.
Consider using a sway control. See “Hitches” later
in this section.
Don’t tow a trailer at all during the first 500 miles
(800 km) your new vehicle is driven. Your engine,
axle or other parts could be damaged.
Then, during the first 500 miles (800 km) that you
tow a trailer, don’t drive over 50 mph (80 km/h)
and don’t make starts at full throttle. This helps your
engine and other parts of your vehicle wear in at
the heavier loads.
If you have an automatic transmission, you can tow
in DRIVE (D). You may want to shift the
transmission to THIRD (3) or, if necessary, a lower
gear selection if the transmission shifts too often,
such as under heavy loads and/or hilly conditions. If
you have a manual transmission and you are
towing a trailer, it’s better not to use the highest
gear. See Tow/Haul Mode Light on page 3-49.
Three important considerations have to do with weight:
The weight of the trailer
The weight of the trailer tongue
The weight on your vehicle’s tires

If You Do Decide To Pull A Trailer
Notice: Pulling a fifth-wheel trailer with a vehicle
that is equipped with the SS trim package could
damage the vehicle. Do not pull a fifth-wheel trailer
with a vehicle equipped with the SS trim package.
If you do, here are some important points:
There are many different laws, including speed limit
restrictions, having to do with trailering. Make sure
your rig will be legal, not only where you live
but also where you’ll be driving. A good source for
this information can be state or provincial police.
Consider using a sway control. See “Hitches” later
in this section.
Don’t tow a trailer at all during the first 500 miles
(800 km) your new vehicle is driven. Your engine,
axle or other parts could be damaged.
Then, during the first 500 miles (800 km) that you
tow a trailer, don’t drive over 50 mph (80 km/h)
and don’t make starts at full throttle. This helps your
engine and other parts of your vehicle wear in at
the heavier loads.
If you have an automatic transmission, you can tow
in DRIVE (D). You may want to shift the
transmission to THIRD (3) or, if necessary, a lower
gear selection if the transmission shifts too often,
such as under heavy loads and/or hilly conditions. If
you have a manual transmission and you are
towing a trailer, it’s better not to use the highest
gear. See Tow/Haul Mode Light on page 3-49.
Three important considerations have to do with weight:
The weight of the trailer
The weight of the trailer tongue
The weight on your vehicle’s tires
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:22 PM   #17
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"What size does your truck have on it now?"

The tire/wheel size is 275/55R20. Yes, they are tall at 31", but I won't be changing them.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:15 PM   #18
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I have a 1997 F150 with 4.6 l engine. stock it had 3.55 gears. when I added 3 inch body lift and 35" tires I changed gears both front and rear to 4:56's.
Towing my 28' AS I am getting 9 or 10 mpg. The 4:56's with what I have are definitely worth it... However my next TV is definitely a Dodge Cummins or a Chevy Duramax. Even though these TT's were designed to be pulled by a car I find I limit my camping to mainly on mostly flat land or slight hills because of my current TV. next year game on as I will pick up teh Chevy or Dodge and go EVERYWHERE
I did all this to my truck BEFORE i had a TT and now wish I hadn't touched a thing. I did the lift and tires mostly for getting through the mud at the hunt club.
I am now waiting for teh car dealerships to get real on 3/4 ton diesel pricing before I buy the next TV
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69AmbassFl
You may notice an improvement on the hills but you will also notice fuel mileage decrease as you will be turning more rpms with the higher gear ratio.
This is not entirely true. I was on a caravan with my Suburban (4.10s) and a Suburban (3.73s), both filled up at the station, both towed similar weight Airstreams and both got nearly exact, if not exact MPG via the DIC and the fuel g.

In the end, moving to 4.10s will increase towability, but 3.73s are pretty darn good. You really, really, really don't want to mess with the rear end unless you have to. Most folks don't know what they are really doing and you can get wining, shuddering, etc. I would say that unless you plan many mountain tows regularly, stay with the 3.73s and if you want, upgrade your TV next time it's due and get 4.10s.

I have been pleased with my 4.10s, but having gone through the rear gear changes on my Impala from 3.08s to 3.73s, it's a lot of work. ABS reluctor, PCM re-programming, gears, seals, ABS sensors. It's not that easy with electronic cars in some ways, while in others it's easier.

**edit** I just saw you are towing a 23' vintage. I would NOT mess with it with that size and weight. You are more than fine with what you have, even if you tow in the mountains.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:23 PM   #20
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I got rambling there. The 4:10' swill not hurt your fuel economy much. Normally they recommend making a jump TWO gear ssizes as going from 3:73 to 4:10's will not feel that much power. and check around for pricing. I bought Yukon gears and checked out a bunch of local shops and I paid around $500 for gears and $1500 for install and haven't had any issues.
Pick a good shop as most dealers will not put in after market gears due to warranty
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:42 PM   #21
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4.10 Gears

Steve,

Except for the expense (of the gear swap) there is no downside to swapping 3.73 gears for 4.10s in a 5.3 powered GM truck. These engines like to be spun. I've owned two 5.3 powered Chevy trucks.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:17 PM   #22
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Thumbs up Might Want To Try This

Ya'all might want to try one of these, a lot of programing options as far

as transmission shift points for towing. Just got one for my 06 8.1 4:10 Burb.

Couldn't be happier with the results.

Superchips FlashPaq

Plus you can retrieve any stored fault codes if the SES light comes on
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:41 AM   #23
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Quote:
What size does your truck have on it now?"

The tire/wheel size is 275/55R20. Yes, they are tall at 31", but I won't be changing them
For those of us that have been around for a while we are used to the days when 1/2 tons all had 235/75R x 15" tires. The 20" are 10% larger so in effect you have a 3.42:1 axle. However on the 20" rims there is not a lot you can do with the tire size as it is already a pretty low profile. I have changed some to 255/55R x 20". These do improve handling and reduce rolling resistance somewhat. In effect it would change your axle to 3.83:1. I would agree that it is not worth changing them now but when the original tires wear out it is the size I would change to. The handling improves enough that I would change them if I did not tow.

Andy
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:02 AM   #24
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Lots of good info on this post, one huge issue is warranty on your 07. you may open up a real can of worms. The other is the expense and in the end will the job be done as well as your factory set up for reliability.

Our rigs are close in set up and I have towed a 28 over the biggest and bad ass hills this country has to offer. If you want, read some past postings I have made regarding towing in mountains. I truly believe most feel they are hurting the drive train by letting the engine rev at higher levels during extended extreme climbing, and I submit it does no harm at all. Modern gasoline engines can run all day at 3500 to 3900 rpm and they love it. This maybe 2nd gear on your vehicle. I am sure that will take your rig up any rockies pass at 60 mph or greater and down using brakes for corners only. Learn to use your gears, let her rev and watch the motorhomes and some semis in your mirror. I have a console shifter so it makes it seem easier, my suggestion is do nothing and put the money into your next trip.
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:52 PM   #25
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Hi Safari 28

I could not agree more, Every class "A" motorhome built in the 80's turned 3200 RPM at 70 MPH and plenty of people drove them that speed all day. That was a clunky old 454 with a 4000 RPM redline. The 5.3 has 5500 Red line so for it 35-3900 RPM is quite conservative.

We have hundreds of customers with small block GM's that tow the largest Airstreams all over North America. Generally the engine is the last thing to wear out.

Andy
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:29 PM   #26
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Just wanted to say I appreciate everyone's input. I've decided to not change it for the reasons of warranty, and cost. I do have an extended 100K warranty on the truck, and it only has 8k miles on it. I really have no complaints about it, but I was just wondering if it would be better. Think it probably would be a better tow vehicle with 4.11's, but it is adequate now, and I probably drive the truck five times as many miles not towing, than towing. Thanks again.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:52 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T
Every class "A" motorhome built in the 80's turned 3200 RPM
???
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:07 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T
We have hundreds of customers with small block GM's that tow the largest Airstreams all over North America. Generally the engine is the last thing to wear out.

Andy
I have owned GM smallblocks for about 20 years, personally. I fully agree, that the smallblocks are fairly bulletproof. I've put hundreds of thousands of miles on them, not a one burned oil, got into any mechanical issues, etc. An oil change and regular maint keep 'em happy for their entire useful lives.

However, I will say this, the small block being as great as it is (at least the GM small block engines) is only part of the equation. Getting the power to the ground requires a robust transmission, axles, driveshafts, etc, let alone a decent foundation to park all that gear on to two the largest of Airstreams or other types of trailers.

I towed a 19' Bambi and my current loaded 25' Safari with an LT1 smallblock. Engine was never an issue. Weight ratios, body flex and overall stability and the ability to control the load was the issue. The car at the start was rated to tow 5000lbs (3500 if it was the real Impala SS with dual electric fans instead of the mechanical primary and electric secondary found on non SS versions of the LT1).

I moved the gears up to 3.73, cargo coils in the back, Bilstein shocks, more robust rear and front lower control arms, larger diameter alum composite drive shaft (lowered weight, also more able to take the RPMs of spinning with the taller 3.73s), a second in line trans cooler, Eaton 800lb posi trac, police package 5/8" ball joints, police package brake air deflectors (for better channeled brake cooling), PCM reprogramming to hold the torque converter from locking too soon, and a slew of other odds and ends.

As you can tell, it towed the Bambi like no one else's business. The Safari however was a complete different story. In terms of movement of the weight, the LT1 was similar to my 6.0L found in my Suburban. What I mean by this is that I have HP and torque on tap and plenty in reserve with both the LT1 and the LS series smallblock found in the Burb. The 4L60e did a remarkable job at dealing with both the Bambi and the Safari, as does the better qualified 4L80e found in my Suburban. Where the Suburban outperforms my LT1 powered (and heavily modified) sedan is in overall stability. Now I am not saying one needs a Mack truck to tow a 25' or larger trailer, but I am saying, like with most things, having the right tool for the job is paramount. I got into 2 major wind storms towing the Safari with the Impala, it is wasn't fun at all. The trailer weighing far more than the Impala, and being such a big object for the wind to push, made keeping the Safari in the lane a tiring exp. To compare , similar or worse wind storms towing the same Safari with the Burb, almost effortless.

My point? Towing is much more IMHO than just an engine. Though important, it is but one voice in a chorus making the total package.

As I've said many times over, there is moving and there is towing.

In this particular thread, this member is in great shape as he is. Having done the mod route, going 4.10s would produce minimal additional benefit given the loads he's towing. His 5.3L is more than ample for his current situation IMHO, and the only real perk to going 4.10s would be that it's less stressful on the tranny, but at the weights I'm seeing here, there is little stress on the tranny at the get go and the 3.73s should keep it happy for a good long time.

Now if the thread starter indicate he's upgrading trailers size and weight, I might say something totally differnet based on what he would be upgrading to.
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