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Old 12-07-2008, 08:49 AM   #43
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I had a 1984 Chev Caprice Classic V8 station wagon and found out it had the same brakes rear axle and even wheels as a half ton Chev pickup van or suburban. I believe the front suspension had a lot in common too. Such as ball joints, steering parts etc.

This was completely different from the Caprice sedan which was built much lighter.

If this is also the case on the newer models of Chev and Buick full size rear drive wagons they should be better tow vehicles than a Chev half ton pickup or Suburban. Since they share the same engine, trans, suspension, brakes, and wheels but are built lower to the ground.
Thanks, I'm going to see a 95 chevy wagon today. Its supposed to have a very clean body and interior and all the hd options.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:10 PM   #44
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I bought the chebby. It has a really clean body and interior. It needs tires and shocks and a brake device and the tt plug receptical. It has a nice frame mount hitch.

I am enjoying it so far. Any prodding of the gas pedal results in great leaping lunges of acceleration (and dipping gas guage I suppose). It drives smaller than it looks.

Its sortof anthracite gray with overtones of purple when the light strikes it right. Light grey cloth interior with third seat. It seems like everything works so far.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:27 PM   #45
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Of course, we're going to need pictures!
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:52 PM   #46
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Of course, we're going to need pictures!
I have a link to the ad in Cars.com but don't know how to link it here. If I can find the Mrs. camera I can shoot some and post them, but don't hold your breath!
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:11 AM   #47
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I finally got all the things up to snuff on the wagon so I could do a full blown towing test. I took it out night before last and tried it out. I drove 60 miles combined on I-65 and on US 52. I didn't have the anti sway bar hooked up yet though. I did have the weight distributing bars though.

The chebby is very softly sprung and any swaying created by a semi running by was a bit too exciting without the anti sway devices but otherwise the rig was very stable. The chebby will tow the award trailer in od in fact with the 293 diff. It will pull out at any upgrade (that is running with the cruise on). The temp never came off the mark it sits on when the car is running solo.

I filled at the beginning and end to see if there is any gross defects in the way the engine is running. I got right at 10 (I know 60 miles is not a definitive test) running between 65 and 71 indicated which I believe to be actually a bit faster as I am running one size over, 235/75r15 lt tires.

The car seemed to miss a little at idle and since we are heading out to florida today I have decided not to use the wagon until I have had a chance to make some closer forays with it.

We'll be taking the trusty Dodge this time just to be on the safe side.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:14 AM   #48
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The chebby will tow the award trailer in od in fact with the 293 diff. I am running one size over, 235/75r15 lt tires.
Back in the 60's, for towing, my Dad would make the same upgrade by going one size bigger in the tire size (to increase load capacity) but it actually decreased the rear end ratio.

If the stock tire was 225/75r15 and you went up to a 235/75r/15 then the difference in circumference of the tires is 2.9%. This means that "in effect" the rear end gears are now 2.84's.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:06 PM   #49
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Back in the 60's, for towing, my Dad would make the same upgrade by going one size bigger in the tire size (to increase load capacity) but it actually decreased the rear end ratio.

If the stock tire was 225/75r15 and you went up to a 235/75r/15 then the difference in circumference of the tires is 2.9%. This means that "in effect" the rear end gears are now 2.84's.
Yes, I knew that but did not do the math. Thanks very much for doing if for me!

It appeared that I am about 3-4% pessemistic now by the mile markers on the interstate.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:34 PM   #50
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A good set of heavy duty shocks will calm the sway.

For best towing you should be using SMALLER tires than stock. Or at least lower profile. If your OEM tires were 225 75 R15 try 225 60 R15. This will further reduce sway and have the same effect as changing your rear axle gears to the next lower gear set.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:36 AM   #51
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A good set of heavy duty shocks will calm the sway.

For best towing you should be using SMALLER tires than stock. Or at least lower profile. If your OEM tires were 225 75 R15 try 225 60 R15. This will further reduce sway and have the same effect as changing your rear axle gears to the next lower gear set.
Well, good idea but I just invested a lot of money in these tires so I won't be changing them anytime soon!

I just put on a set of Monroe sensatrax on the front. The rears seem to be unavailable.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:48 AM   #52
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A good set of heavy duty shocks will calm the sway.

For best towing you should be using SMALLER tires than stock. Or at least lower profile.
The grippy lower profile tires really work well. We are using stock Ultra high performance P215X55X17's.

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:16 PM   #53
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If my estate wagon came with 225/75/15 tires and they have been replaced with 255/70/15 what has effectively been done to the rearend gear ratios? Thanks for playing.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:47 PM   #54
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If my estate wagon came with 225/75/15 tires and they have been replaced with 255/70/15 what has effectively been done to the rearend gear ratios? Thanks for playing.
A rough calculation shows the new 255 tires are a pinch larger in dia. (5% larger). Multiply your rear end ratio by .95 and that should give you the new ratio.

Example: If your actual rear end gear ratio is 3:30 to 1 then the 255 tires have "in respects" changed it to 3:13

If you would have gone to 255X65X15" tires the rear end ratio would have stayed almost the same. In most cases folks that are into towing try to reduce the tire diameter to improve the rear end ratio.

Tire Size Information

I believe the info I posted is reasonably accurate but welcome other opinions
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:00 AM   #55
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I convert it all to millimeters. 15"d / .75 x 19 = 380. 225 x .75 x 2 = 337.5 + 380 = 717.5 d.

255 x .7 = 178.5 x 2 =357 + 380 = 737 737 / 717.5 = 1.027 or .27% error...at 65 mph indicated (if your speedo is accurate) that would mean you are traveling 66.7 mph. The odo will be off the same percentage, again if it is accurate to begin with.

When ever I buy a new vehicle I check the odo against the mile markers for about 10 miles to see how accurate the odo is. These days most are pretty accurate.

Back in the sixties it was not uncommon for them to be off 15 or 20%. (The warranty ran out a lot faster that way).
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:25 AM   #56
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In their day we set up a lot of these wagons for towing. Usually we used 215/75R x 15" LT Load Range C tires. These dramatically improved handling. If we wanted something that filled the wheel wells more we would use a 16*8" wheel with 225/60HR x 16" Tires. Today I might look at a 17 x 7.5" rim with a 235/55R x 17" tire. Not that this would work much better it would just look good and 16" rims are getting harder to find.

The problem with a 255 tire on the stock 7" wide rim is that there is a lot of sidewall roll in the tire and rim combination as well a 7" rim does not do a very good job of keeping the tread of a 255 tire planted on the road.

I hope this helps.

Andy
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