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Old 02-19-2010, 08:49 PM   #1
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Upgrading 8cyl Tahoe - Better TV?

Currently own a 2002 4X4 Chevy Tahoe, 5.3L with the standard gear ratio (3.something). Pulling an 86 SOV. About 6000lbs. So its basically near its 80% tow capacity. Does pretty well under normal highway conditions and around town, but I have some concerns with BRAKING, and with STEEPER GRADES. Considering buying a 3/4 TON diesel powered vehicle just for recreation/towing. That being a significant expense, was wondering if the forum had any recommendations on potential upgrades for my Tahoe that would:

1. Increase overall horsepower and hill climbing performance
2. Improve braking performance

Would be willing to spend $2-3k on improvements as this is significantly less expensive that spending $15k on a used Diesel TV.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:02 PM   #2
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Does your Tahoe have P or LT tires? What size? Stock or over sized?

Look into Hawk performance brake pads. I use them and really like them.

Hawk... Hawk Performance HPS Brake Pads
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:11 PM   #3
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I had a Suburban and invested in lots of perfomance mods. The single best investment I made was to install headers for power and a cold air intake. For Braking unless you want to spend big bucks for BAER or Brembos? I used slotted rotors and a good performance pad like the previous poster recommended.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:44 PM   #4
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We went, four years ago, with 3/4 ton gas-powered towvee for the robustness of the truck and $7k lower cost than diesel. Then Katrina hit and we were rewarded when gas and diesel prices went upside down.

Then we learned how much more dieselers (maybe not all, but the ones we know) spend on routine maintenance than we do. Let's see, and the diesel does what that our gas engine doesn't? And how much do we need whatever advantage it would mean, for towing our 6,500 pound trailer? Nah, gas is good.

Even the better fuel economy of the diesel, towing or empty, isn't enough to overcome the price differences in initial cost, fuel cost, and maintenance costs. Last time we checked, payback under very best miles per gallon delta was around 120k to 140k miles. That's breakeven. So every mile after 120k we would finally be economizing with a diesel.

Folks like Rick Davis will hit 120k about four times earlier than us -- he has some ridiculous miles on his Dodge 2500 diesel, like between 300 or 400k. We'll probably never see 200k on our truck -- at 9-12k miles per year the truck would be eighteen years old, at least. Emperor Obama will have required we replace it before then. Our plan otherwise is to keep it to approx 150k miles, around another nine years from now.

Biggest advantage I found towing with a diesel F250, pulling cross-country with a friend's diesel and rig Fall of 2008, was getting into and out of fuel stops. It was just great with the diesel. Cruise into the big boys side of the fuel stops, slide right up to a pump. Use the fast-flow nozzles, fill all the way up because big trucks don't have $75 cutoffs (duh), and have straight big clear path to exit the fuel stop and back to the access road. Pretty sweet, although noisier by far on the highway.

Meanwhile, my DW is in our gas-powered rig pulling our trailer. She has to carefully thread her path into the designed-for-small-SUVs pump stations. She contends with smart alecks on DUIcycles who jump to the pump from in front of her as she is pulling forward for her turn. Then she gets to negotiate a hairpin exit from the pumps, dodging the parked cars at the storefront and finally gets to the access road.

Otherwise, I wouldn't have the diesel. Not for anything we've towed in US and Canada in past five years. No grade too great for our gas-powered rig. We think we're saving money first price and every mile. No gas price too low (lol), and it really is quieter on the highway and around town, too.

I agree with your idea, keep what you have as long as it is working and spend equivalent of less than a year of car payments to upgrade it for safer braking and handling.
Jim
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_john View Post
... I have some concerns with BRAKING, and with STEEPER GRADES. Considering buying a 3/4 TON diesel powered vehicle just for recreation/towing. That being a significant expense, was wondering if the forum had any recommendations on potential upgrades...
it's possible to spend a LOT of money on the gasser...

for NOT much performance gain.

as 4 upgrading the disc brakes, GREAT IDEA...

spend the money on a disc upgrade for the TRAILER.

this will improve significantly the braking performance WHILE towing...

and will work with the NEXT tow vehicle.

then use the gasser for a while longer, but don't waste money on performance parts...

unless you buy the big dog ford...
__________

i DO think the diesel excursion is a great idea.

they aren't real expensive now, there are plenty of parts available and because it's a TURBO diesel...

money spent on PERFORMANCE upgrades produces tangible gains...

the same goes for brake updates or suspension updates which some feel are VERY helpful.

IF u do buy the excursion, these threads will help (note UPgrades by bambi_bandit)...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ers-17785.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...sag-18559.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ion-36898.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ion-43261.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ges-43444.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-se-43702.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...way-43862.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ers-27801.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...sel-18534.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...vise-8976.html

(i could have put these links in your other thread but they should help regardless)

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:27 AM   #6
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Another link

If considering a diesel Excursion, is this thread helpful?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ht=powerstroke

Pat
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Old 02-20-2010, 02:35 PM   #7
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That post is precicely why I am ONLY considering a 7.3L PSD from FORD. Arguable the best diesel FORD has ever seen...
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:16 PM   #8
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Best FORD has ever seen, fer sher.

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Old 02-24-2010, 09:19 PM   #9
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Best FORD has ever seen, fer sher.

Pat
. . and only because the rest of their engines have been so poor in reliability. The 7.3 is loud, slow and thirsty . . would have been forgotten otherwise.
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