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Old 12-11-2004, 01:49 PM   #15
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2004 30' Classic
San Jose , California
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I know some will say the 1/2 ton rated can do it and they are right, it can, but in the long run, you'll be better off with either a 1500HD (equiv to a 2500) or simply go with the 2500 (3/4 ton) mostly cause the hardware in some of the key areas (brakes, trans and rear end) have more stout gear installed in them.
Ahh Twink,

Is that really true about the brakes, trans, and rear end? Let's look at the difference a little more closely here and I think you will be surprised. Here's a qoute from a magazine article:

Brakes are almost identical the rear rotors on the 2500 HD are 1.1 inches thick as opposed to 1.4 inches thick on the 1500 HD, but otherwise they are the same. The frame on the 2500 HD is made with .197-inch thick steel as opposed to .157-inch on the 1500 HD (or .106-inch on a half-ton 1500). Any difference in frame flex is virtually impossible to detect, as the 1500 HD frame feels much stiffer than the frame of a 1998 one ton. The rear GAWR on the 2500 HD is 6,084 pounds as opposed to 6,000 on the 1500 HD. Subtract the empty weight and both trucks have approximately 3,400 pounds of load capacity available on their rear axles. Tires, wheel base, springs and shocks are all identical, so there is no safety advantage with the 2500 HD.

One interesting thing I did discover when researching this is that the rear axle of the 2500 HD has weight rating of 6,900 pounds but they keep the GAWR at 6,084 pounds, which is the limit of the tires. 265/75-16 tires have a load capacity of 6,830 pounds, so I would not be surprised to see GM increase the tire size and the rear axle capacity at some time, which would be nice for those towing heavier fifths that do not want dual wheels. We have actually done this on one truck where the customer was running almost at maximum load, just to give the tires some leeway in their load capacity.

The transmission in the 1500 HD is the MT1 four-speed automatic that GM introduced in 1992 and has refined considerably since. This transmission is capable of handling more power than the 6.0 litre can produce. It is one of the nicest and most reliable automatics available, and its shift points are well suited to towing. The first gear ratio is 2.48:1, which could be a little lower if you had to start out on a very steep hill, but it will always get you there. And with a four wheel drive truck, you always have low range for that very rare instance. The 248:1 ratio does allow you to climb very steep hills at a little higher speed.

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