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Old 04-01-2003, 08:32 PM   #1
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Looking to purchase a 2003 Silverado 1500HD

Looking for some opinions on the Chevrolet Silverado 1500HD 4 x 4 as a tow vehicle.

Had a Ford Excursion which towed our Airstream like a dream. The 9 or so mpg we were getting for our everyday driving is draining our wallet, so we are looking towards something a bit more economical.

We own a 1955 Overlander and I am very serious about making the purchase of a new Silverado. The vehicle I am looking at is equiped as follows.

Motor - Gas - VORTEC 6000 V8
360 lb-ft. of torque
8200 - Max. Trailer Weight

I really need the 4 x 4 for use on the property we own as well as working those boat ramps as the tide changes and the ramps get very slippery.

I know the 2500HD would probably be the better choice, yet I would really like to save a little $$$ for other things.

Let me know what your thoughts are.

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 04-01-2003, 08:37 PM   #2
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It is not at all clear to me why the 2500HD would be a better choice for you. The 1500 sounds like a perfectly reasonable choice.

I do like extended cabs, though. Particularly when towing the trailer. It gives us a place to put our stuff - jackets, snacks, you know, stuff - while traveling.

Mark
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Old 04-01-2003, 08:44 PM   #3
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Mark,

I failed to add that the truck I would be going with is the 4 door -Crew Cab model. We have two children and they seemed to like the room in the back seat of this model.

As for my thoughts on the 1500, I guess I am just comparing it to the vehicle I intend to trade. (Ford Excursion w/V-10)

Thanks for your input.

Tim
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Old 04-01-2003, 10:55 PM   #4
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we have a saying here
friends dont let friends drive fords. soo go for it. lol
al
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Old 04-01-2003, 11:22 PM   #5
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Have you considered the Excursion Diesel? You might get a better trade in Ford for Ford.
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Old 04-02-2003, 02:01 AM   #6
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Silverado

We just bought the new '03 Dodge Ram with the big Hemi V-8, and we really like it. The price was a lot better than comparable models by Chevy and Ford, even though our trade was a '99 Ford Expedition.

The interior is especially nice, which is rare for a truck. Other than the rough ride, which is typical of a 4x4, we love it.

Cheryl & Carl Jackson
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Old 04-02-2003, 05:45 AM   #7
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you will like it!

tim

i have a '00 2500HD 4x4 extended cab long box silverado.

it is the early model HD, with the 8600 lb. gvw.

it is essentially the same truck you are looking at, the 1500 HD has the same running gear.

it is without a doubt the best tow vehicle i have ever had.

the 6.0 liter engine has plenty of power for towing.

if you are going to order one may i suggest in addition to the towing package you get the 4.10 gears and the snow plow prep package.

the gears i believe is what makes my truck so good for towing.

the snow plow prep package gets you a second battery, heavier springs up front and a aux. lighting circuit. (i posted how to use the second battery to power only the trailer, and not drain the starting battery. when boondocking you will wake up knowing your truck will start!)

john
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Old 04-02-2003, 07:53 AM   #8
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Price

I hope you are not ruling out a 2500 on the basis of price. Cruise the local GM dealer lots, and you will find MANY 2500 and even some 2500HD's that are priced lower than 1500's. Our local dealer had a 1500 shortbed 4X4 priced higher than several 2500HD's setting on his lot!

Oops! Just re-read your post and saw 1500HD. I take it that you mean the Crew Cab? I believe that is the only way you can get that model is Crew Cab. In that case you really are getting a 3/4 ton. I do not believe there is a 2500 crew cab available, just 1500HD and 3500 series have that option. Clear as mud?
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Old 04-02-2003, 08:00 AM   #9
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The 4WD with 3.73:1 has a 7900 lb tow rating. It's the 2WD that gets 8200. I agree with getting 4.10:1 for towing, which with 4WD has a 9900 lb tow rating, especially with a high-rpm engine that gets its peak torque at 4,000 rpm, 400 below its peak hp rpm.

You can get light truck (LT) tires, but they're skinny 245/75... if you get the 265/75, they're P series and should be replaced with LT series.

Personally, I'd make a trip to the scales part of the test drive so you can figure how much the truck is ACTUALLY going to weigh when you have it loaded as you will tow.
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Old 04-02-2003, 08:46 AM   #10
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As long as the HD gets the Corp 14 bolt (count the bolts holding the diff cover on) I would say it's a good choice.
The 10 bolt 8.5 ring gear axle is not that good. It's prone to failure.
There is 2 versions of the 14. Ois a Semi floater (still has a "C") clip retaining the axle shafts. It's the 3/4 ton axle. It comes in both a 6 lug version and a 8 lug. This is probably the axle that will be under that truck.
There is a Full Floater 14. This is the beast axle. The axle shaft does not suport weight like a semi floater. You could remove the axle shaft with the tire still on the ground. Always a 8 lug. Large hub will stick through the wheel with 6-8 bolts holding the axle shaft in. That's a 1 ton axle even though it sometimes came in 3/4 ton trucks. The rest of the truck got it the 3/4 designation.

Watch the weights and make sure that the tow rating is for the 4 door and not a standard 2 door.

Might also concider the Duramax deisel and the Allison transmission. Jump in price but gets good MPG and very hard working combo.
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Old 04-02-2003, 09:36 AM   #11
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RoadKingMoe is correct on the 7900#'s for the 4x4 model with the 3.73 rear end. Had to dig into the Chevy website to check that out.
Tires are - 245 75 R16's Load Rating E

I'm clueless on the 14 bolt rear end.

The prusuit of buying sure is fun!

Thanks again for everyones input.
Tim
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Old 04-02-2003, 12:11 PM   #12
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Just remember that 7900 tow rating is gonna be a LOT less when you consider options on the truck, a tank of gas, and a load of family, generators, firewood, patio rug, etc.

I agree with John HD on this one... I wouldn't even consider a 1500HD without the 4.10:1 and HD towing package. Start with 9900 lbs so there's plenty left after loading it up.
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Old 04-02-2003, 01:35 PM   #13
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I wanna get my hands on a 2500HD ext cab short box with an 8.1L and the Allison trans. Of course, 4:10s and a bunch of other stuff too.

I wouldn't mind getting the 8.1L in a Tahoe, but the only choices are pickup or Suburban. Anyone know why?

Eric
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
I wanna get my hands on a 2500HD ext cab short box with an 8.1L and the Allison trans. Of course, 4:10s and a bunch of other stuff too.

I wouldn't mind getting the 8.1L in a Tahoe, but the only choices are pickup or Suburban. Anyone know why?

Eric
GM does weird stuff like that. You might not even be able to get the 8.1 in 4wd Sub. I know that through 91 you could only get a 454 2wd Burb. Don't know if that has changed or not.

The only thing I can think of on the older trucks is the 1/2 ton front 4wd axle might not be able to handle the torque. The 3/4 through 91 gets the same main axle housing and shafts as a 1/2 except it has 8 lug and a bigger disc. It's identical otherwise. Tahoe's are only 1/2 ton so it's not on the list of optional parts to get the 14 bolt rear axle even though a 14 from a Burb would bolt in. The 10bolt would not take the punishment from the 8.1.

Now I had a cutomer that brought by a 1500 Silverado SS crew last week with the 6.0. SWEET truck. It comes with the police version 4L60e with a 2200 RPM stall converter. Mucho hussle! It's Chevy's answer to the Harley F150's with the lighning motor ford has out.
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