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Old 10-21-2008, 12:23 PM   #15
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Maybe it's time for a new truck

Barry,

I think you'd better weigh the trailer with full fresh water tank and a full grey water tank plus full propane tanks and whatever you take with you for a trip. Sometimes you can't dump the grey water and you might even have a half full black water tank (mine never gets completely full). I think you'll find you are close to or over the 6,800 lb. limit for the truck. Many people on the Forum recommend not to go over 80% of manufacturer's recommendations to provide a good safety margin—for your truck that would be 5,440 lbs. Never believe a salesman—many lie about weight to sell a product. Some are honest, but they seem to be a minority.

Have you looked at payload for your truck? I expect you'll be surprised how close you are or over to the limit. If you have the tow package, you should have a weight distributing hitch receiver on the truck, but check to see all that stuff is welded to the frame and there are no cracks in the welds (some GM products have cracked). There are many threads on these issues and they are complicated and difficult to understand (they were for me), but after a while you'll be able to sort it out. Payload is especially confusing, but necessary to know.

If you're smelling something, it could be serious. Of course, it could have been the vehicle in front of you. The best way to check would be to pull over when it happens and crawl under the truck and try to find out where it's coming from when it's happening. It could be some oil or grease smoking on some part that has gotten too hot. Maybe because you were going slowly, the smell didn't blow away, but that doesn't mean it's not something to fix. Sometimes that oil or grease is leaking from somewhere, but under normal temps it doesn't smoke. Sometimes it just means someone spilled something. If it's something else, I'd sure want to know what it is—a heat shield could have become loose and moved. If it's the shield for the catalytic converter, it could be serious because that thing gets really hot normally. Were there any hot spots inside your truck? Not something you'd want, but it would tell you where to look. If your transmission temp spikes, that would make me wonder if the smell has something to do with the transmission.

I have no idea what it would cost to get a different rear end (mine is 4.10 in a 1/2 ton truck), but I don't think that is your only issue. How much your truck can tow is one thing, but payload and total combined weight are also important. I didn't want to buy a new truck when we bought our 25' Safari (similar weight to your International), but I did. There was nothing wrong with our '02 Tundra, but it just wasn't enough truck. Well, of course, I wanted to buy a new truck. I want to buy a new truck every year plus a sports car and a new SUV and a 1936 restored Auburn and a…. Can't always get what you want, but so far as safety goes plus wear and tear on your Chevy, you may have to upgrade. Then you can read all the threads on different tow vehicles. You will notice some emotion because we tend to fall in love with with our trucks. Of course, I am not emotional about my '07 Tundra, it's just much better than all the others.

And, welcome to the Forum and enjoy your International.

Gene
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:33 PM   #16
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GM 1/2 Ton Rear Gears

As a matter of fact, I just checked yesterday, and GM does not offer anything lower than 3.73:1 for the rearend housing that is used in the 1/2 ton truck in '07.

After market gears are available from several sources, but I was only interested in having the dealer change the ratio and reprogram the computer for warranty purposes.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:20 AM   #17
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You can find aftermarket gears that are much stronger and higher quality than stock for the same or less money. I used Ford Racing parts available from the dealer, or on the internet.

It has been debated endlessly, but putting new gears in will not void your warranty regardless of who installs them. In fact 4:10 gears will lessen the strain on your tranny when towing.

Some vehicles have the road speed sensor on the wheel side of the axle so that gear swaps do not affect the computer or speedometer.

You will be oh so happy with that upgrade for towing. After swapping out the 3:55s for 4:30s in my 1/2 ton, it was like driving a different truck. More usable power in all gears and increased fuel mileage when towing. And.... nice knowing I now have far stronger gears and limited slip running back there.

..............Scott
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
You can find aftermarket gears that are much stronger and higher quality than stock for the same or less money. I used Ford Racing gears available from the dealer, or on the internet.

It has been debated endlessly, but putting new gears in will not void your warranty regardless of who installs them. In fact 4:10 gears will lessen the strain on your tranny.
I understand aftermarket gears are available, and for less money. However, the dealer specifically told me if I installed, or had someone else install, or even if they installed aftermarket gears for me, it would indeed void the warrantee on the rear end.

And, having just 25,000 miles on the truck, and having purchased the extended warrantee on the entire truck to five years and 100,000 miles, I do not want to take the chance of loosing that warrantee.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:49 AM   #19
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However, the dealer specifically told me if I installed, or had someone else install, or even if they installed aftermarket gears for me, it would indeed void the warrantee on the rear end.

And, having just 25,000 miles on the truck, and having purchased the extended warrantee on the entire truck to five years and 100,000 miles, I do not want to take the chance of loosing that warrantee.
True they may not cover the gear itself but consider also.....

- Upgraded aftermarket gears and LSDs will greatly reduce the chance of failure - I'd rather put in the best parts and reduce chances of break down in the first place. My 3/4 ton Chevy diesel went through 2 OEM limited slip clutch packs towing. The Ford Racing part is still doing fine.

- From experience - good luck collecting extended warranty claim on a gear or LSD. Especially if you tow. They will claim the LSD is wear and tear. If the gears or other mechanical part goes they will claim abuse.

..............Scott
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:02 AM   #20
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Don't believe what the dealer says about purchasing after market parts and warranties—they're in the business of keeping you away from other garages. I'd agree with Scott about extended warranties and trying to collect. Studies on extended warranties show that you're lucky to break even and usually come up short (unless you buy a Kia) if you can collect from them. They work like health insurance companies.

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Old 10-22-2008, 10:11 AM   #21
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Steve , If you bought a factory extended warrenty it is the same as the original. The two dealerships I worked in for 14 years NEVER voided a warrenty for towing. Installing aftermarket or even stock but differant gear ratio gears will void your diff warrenty. The ratio change will affect the EPA figures for your fuel consuption and is a BIG no no for the dealer to do. John
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:16 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
I understand aftermarket gears are available, and for less money. However, the dealer specifically told me if I installed, or had someone else install, or even if they installed aftermarket gears for me, it would indeed void the warrantee on the rear end.

And, having just 25,000 miles on the truck, and having purchased the extended warrantee on the entire truck to five years and 100,000 miles, I do not want to take the chance of loosing that warrantee.
You have to make a choice. Rebuild the truck to do the job that you are using it for or run the risk of destroying the truck.

Replacing the rear gears by someone who knows what they are doing stand very little risk of effecting the life of the rear. However running the truck under excessive load runs the risk of damaging the engine and transmission 2 far greater cost than a rear.

An item that will fail in while towing your trailer with a 1/2 ton is the real axle bearings. The axles shafts will wear in the factory bearings. If you open the rear have them install after market extra long bearings.

If you think GM will be in business long enough to honor any warranty I would also look for a new dealer that is not as anal retentive.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:42 AM   #23
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Thank you everybody for responding to my question. I look forward to meeting you all at one time or another. In answer to some of the responses;
The truck has about 30k miles on it, and it does have the 3.43 rear end, at least that's what the invoice says. It always seems to have enough power, the only time I noticed the burning smell, was when I was following a large slow vehicle up a long incline several miles long, that I could not pass, and when I pulled over at a gas station to fuel up, that is when I noticed the smell. First time and only time. Otherwise, the truck seemed to handle quite well.
Hitch system is a dealer installed Reese dual cam high performance sway control #26002 with trunnion style weight distribution kit.
I mentioned that I need to remind myself at higher speeds that I am still towing something. It's very easy to be going 75 or 80 and then I look in the mirror and realize that I have a trailer following me. That's when I come back down to a resonable 65 - 70 mph. The truck drives smooth except for those few miles on I-10 in Louisianna where the bumps are amplified.
I will definetly look into changing the fluid to the high temp ATF.
Thanks again for all of your responses.
Barry
Just a little input to the thread. You mention slow moving truck/traffic? The smell was not the brake related smell? Just curious.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:35 PM   #24
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Sorry, but you guys are talking as if I'm towing a 34 footer with my truck. That is not the case. I'm towing a 25 footer that weighs 6000 pounds, and the truck is rated to tow 7800. I don't have a problem, just would like a little more power. Who doesn't?

The dealer I talked with, the one where I bought the truck, told me if GM offered the gear I wanted for the differential I have, they would be happy to do the job. They then called back and told me the 3.73 I have is the lowest gear ratio that GM builds for the size rear end I have.

They then told me I could go with aftermarket, but because it was not a GM part, they could not do the job, or warranty the rear end.

I have also talked with a friend here in San Antonio who's business is working exclusively on differentials. He has a set of 4.11's in stock that will fit my rear end, but he also told me he has installed them in two different other '07s and each of them had computer problems that could not be resolved, and they eventually went back to the stock gears as result. Besides the expected speedometer and odometer problems, the computer kept giving a ABS warning light, and other alarms. The dealer would not work on reprograming the computer because the rear end ratio was not one that GM offered for the diff, and therefore, they said the computer could not be reprogrammed for it.

Yes, changing the rear end gears is a pretty simple matter...I've even done it successfully on Ford type diffs, but the computer and warranty problems seem to be a show stopper from everything I've learned locally.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:54 PM   #25
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Studies on extended warranties show that you're lucky to break even and usually come up short (unless you buy a Kia) if you can collect from them. They work like health insurance companies.

Gene
MAN, Don't get me started in Health Insurance companies.... (wife's a doc.)

To deliver a baby, including visits most companies pay $4500 Medicaid pays $760 wonder way docs don't want government health care... Doesn't even cover the costs...
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