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Old 03-10-2004, 06:54 PM   #15
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My Mopar is an oldie a 92 with 118k miles on it. Its the old 12 valve model 4x4 5 speed. Stock it did great on flat ground pulling by 34', it had its hands full going up long 6% grades, mostly because some engineer at Dodge put too much space between 3rd and 4th gears that and a 3.54 rearend. I bought everything that Gale Banks makes for this engine and it has made a trememdous difference. My wife even commented on it. I would love to have one of the 2004 1/2's with the 325 hp 600 ft/lbs of torque, but the cost is a factor. I love the economy 19-22 solo 12-13 towing. The truck looks great and is doing what is susposed to do and I am not embarassed when pulling with a caravan. What else is it susposed to do? But I would really love to have a 6 speed. Does anyone have one laying around?
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Old 03-10-2004, 07:19 PM   #16
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Tarheel,

How long have you been towing the 34' with your 1/2 ton Dodge? I am pulling my 30' Classic with a 1/2 tonner GMC against some member's advice but I have not had any problems. And I do have the Denali with the 325 hp engine and 4:10 gears. Also, everything on the truck is heavy duty- tranny w/ cooler, disk brakes, axles, 17 inch wheels and a Hensley hitch. As I am under the CGVWR by 10%, I am convinced that will be a good tow vehicle.

I am wondering if you feel good on the freeway with the Semi's rolling past? Any sucking? How do you feel about the braking distances with all that trailer weight behind you? That's is the only concren with my rig- how well will it stop downhill?
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Old 03-10-2004, 08:17 PM   #17
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My first real pull with anything was with my 92 Dodge 250 Cummins in the spring of 2000. It was stock at the time 158 hp x 395 ft/lbs torque taken at rear wheels. Since then I have added everything that Gale Banks makes for my engine and have up it to 225 hp x 610 ft/lbs torque again measured at rear wheels.
Semis are not too much of a problem specially if you see them coming. I feel them the most when they are about 10' aft and alongside. They give a gentle pull to them. Not all of the big trucks do this it seems like the better the airflow is on the semi the less effect it has on me. Box vans, flatbeds, and car carriers seem to be the worse and the faster they over take you the more pronounced the pull. I use the 2 second rule mulitplied by 3. I try to keep a minimum of 6 seconds between me and the rig ahead of me be it a 4 wheeler or an 18. I look in the 18's left side mirror and when I can see his face I flash my lights so that he will know that he is clear and that I am aware that he is coming over. Most of the drivers appreciate the thoughtfulness others just take your front fender. You have a gas engine so you may not have experienced trying to slow down a diesel. When you let off the gas the engine gives you some breaking, a diesel does not. I had a pac brake installed along with heavier exhaust valve springs, just a butterfly in the exhaust line, this helps me control downhill breaking. I can desend a 6% grade without touching the brakes as long as I downshift to 4th and hold the speed to 55-65 mph. It gets a little tricky when coming down Black Mountain just outside of Asheville NC its a long 9% grade and a posted 45 mph for trucks and rv's. I use 4th and hit the brakes when i reach about 47 which is too close to redline for my comfort level (I go on the governor at 2500) 47 mph in 4th is right there. I only pulled my 31' on two trips both close to home for a total of less than 250 miles. I personally think that the 3 axel tralier pulls truer than the 2 axel. I also have a sway brace that I use with it. I have forgotten to tighten it after I moved out of a tight campground and really haven't seem much difference, but I still use it. We all talk about how well our rigs do pulling hills but going down is much scarier. Going up hill all you have to do is take your foot off the gas and you stop, it aint the same coming down. Brake fade and failure has only happened too me once and that was in 1962 and I still remeber it well.
My rig is on the right with the tandom bike on it. Im the old goat walking towards it. The reason for the stop was the 454 chevy's brakes were overheating, I hadn't used mine, just the exhaust brake.
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Old 03-10-2004, 08:52 PM   #18
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Big Dee,

Assuming that you are, in fact, within all weight limits - rear axle, gvwr, cgwr, etc., there is nothing about your truck that will make it tow in any way inferior to a 3/4 ton. Wheelbase on all GM full size trucks is the same, varying only by cab and bed choice. Track is the same. All the larger engines are the same - 325 hp is the same 325 in the 1/2 and 3/4 ton. There is nothing that you will "feel". I think the disks are larger (maybe in the back, but don't quote me), but you would notice that only if the coach brakes failed.

The issues that will arise, if at all, will be more rapid wear in the differential, wheel bearings, suspension components, and possibly transmission (don't know if current GM transmissions are beefier for the 3/4 and one ton - they have been in the past).

Obviously, these items are de minimus if you are towing little. If you tow lots, they start to be noticable.

There is sometimes a false perception that a 3/4 ton will somehow "pull" better. That is obviously a function of hp and torque, which can be had in a 1/2 ton as easily as a 3/4 ton.

If it is going to be close, and it is time for a new truck, there is little reason today not to go with the larger capacity. Prices are not all that mcuh greater, truck for truck, engine for engine. The ride quality on the new 3/4 tons from the big three is really excellent, and isn't bad at all in the one tons. And the exterior dimensions are all the same across manufacturer lines.

On the other hand, if you've done the math, and the loads are within limits, I sure can't see staying up late nights worrying about what somebody on some forum said.

Mark
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Old 03-10-2004, 10:00 PM   #19
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I saw a recent article where people bought the diesels because of the long lifespan. According to the article the average first owner traded it in after 60 k miles. I bought mine second hand and it liked to have beat me to death before I put decent tires and shocks on it. The new 3/4-1 tons ride great, mine runs and I think thats great, but its paid for and thats a big plus for me.
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Old 03-10-2004, 10:19 PM   #20
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All the cost calculations were done when fuel was cheap.
I think getting a Diesel truck now will save you a lot in a short while from now.
Fuel will hit $ 3.00 sooner or later. A fresh Diesel will allow you to continue driving your truck affordably, due to the excellent mileage. You won't lose money trading in your gas guzzler for it, and they really do last a very long time with just reasonable care. Diesel repairs are definitely more expensive, but reliability is way up, especially with the Cummins. Just more stuff for you to ponder.
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Old 03-10-2004, 10:36 PM   #21
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As pretty as the new ones are, and boy I would love to have a nice big 4 door model, I hope to drive mine until I have 300k on it. At 20k a year I have 8 to 10 years left on it and by that time it will be an antique and I will have to keep it.
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Old 03-10-2004, 10:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by uwe
All the cost calculations were done when fuel was cheap.
I think getting a Diesel truck now will save you a lot in a short while from now.
Fuel will hit $ 3.00 sooner or later. A fresh Diesel will allow you to continue driving your truck affordably, due to the excellent mileage. You won't lose money trading in your gas guzzler for it, and they really do last a very long time with just reasonable care. Diesel repairs are definitely more expensive, but reliability is way up, especially with the Cummins. Just more stuff for you to ponder.
Thanks to a lot of the comments on this thread as well as others, I went ahead and bought a 2004.5 Dodge/Cummins combo. You can read about my first impressions of the rig here: http://www.airforums.com/forum...&threadid=9919

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Old 03-11-2004, 12:30 PM   #23
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Wow! Thanks for the reply Tarheel and Mark.

I am under the limits on axles, total, and hitch but it is around 90%. But I absolutely will not give up Quadrasteer so I am waiting for QS to be offered on the 2500HD Crew Cab with the Vortec 8100 or Duramax and Allison tranny. That is my dream truck so for a few years, the Denali will do. With that in mind, I am not worried too much about the long term wear on the the tranny, knock on wood. The brake disks are the same as 2500HD. This also motivates me to go slower and be safer than towing my old 25'. Tarheel, thanks for all the advice about driving. I will defintely keep that cushion ahead.
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Old 03-11-2004, 03:34 PM   #24
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I don't think you will have any problems, just take your time and realize that sometimes big hills slow us down. Just pick a lower gear and keep on truckin'. Try to drive reasonable distances, give yourself time to stop and see some of the sites along the way. Pushing as hard as you can to get as far as you can gets old in a hurry.
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