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Old 10-30-2002, 12:03 PM   #1
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International Tow Vehicle

My wife and I anticipate purchasing a 2003 International 22' AS.Would the Chevy Tahoe with a 5.3L engine be adequate for this 5000 lb. max. trailer considering the mountains of the West? We live in the SF Bay Area but camp and travel back and forth between here and Colorado. The towing capacity of the Tahoe is around 7400 lbs.

Thank you for any replies in advance!




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Old 10-30-2002, 02:55 PM   #2
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That is a darn nice tow vehicle with lot of torque and power.
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Old 10-30-2002, 03:28 PM   #3
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Make sure you have at least the 3.73 rear and preferably the 4.10 rear end ratio.
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Old 10-30-2002, 03:36 PM   #4
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International AS

Craig:

I'm planning on a 2WD, which comes with 3.42 or 3.73 - our local dealer only orders the 3.73, so I'm ok. What advantage would you see with the 4.10 (which is an option on the 4WD models)?
Would I be better off getting the 4WD with the 4.10 over the 2WD with the 3.73? This is new stuff for me.
Thanks for your input.

Hubba
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Old 10-30-2002, 03:45 PM   #5
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I've got an '02 Tahoe with the 5.3 and 3.73 gear. Nice and peppy, very nice ride, 19 m.p.g on the freeway (empty) and I've pulled our 3000# trailer with no problem. That tow/haul mode on the transmission is nice, it holds the shift points to 2500 r.p.m. so it won't shift too soon and lug the engine or put too much strain on the tranny. I'm looking at 26'-31' A/S's and anticipating being able to pull them with no problem. We are very happy with the vehicle.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-30-2002, 04:17 PM   #6
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Hubba,
Stay away from the 3.42 rear whatever you do. I had a '92 Chevy 1500 Z71 4X4 with 5.7 litre engine and the 3.42 rear. It got great mileage with the 5 sp. manual transmission, 20 mpg, on the highway. In town was 14-16. I towed my '77 Excella 500 31' with a dry weight of 5880 lbs before options and probably around 5970 lbs for the trip from AZ. to TN. Level highway was fine but when I hit moderate hills I was shifting left and right. Steep hills were murder having to shift down into 2nd gear up the mountain. Going down the hill was no problem.

Now let's discuss some of the variables and differences between these two vehicles:
1. An auto transmission makes it easier for those mountains, less work for the driver.
2. The 5.3 is credited with more HP than the 5.7 it replaced but I remember that the stats showed less torque. General consensus from several forums I am on says the 5.3 tows stronger than previously owned 5.7's so what can I say.
3. Tire size on my Z71 was LT265-75-16. If the tire size is shorter on the Tahoe you selected such as LT265-70-16 or LT 245-75-16 then the 3.73 rear end is enhanced. If you plan on going to anything taller than the LT265-75-16 at a later date for higher approach and departure angles then I would forget the 3.73 and go with the 4X4 with 4.10 rear end ratio.
4. If you plan on spending much time in the mountains AND you think you may encounter snow or slick roads, the 4X4 with 4.10 would be the better ticket. If not, why pay the extra penalty.

These opinions are based on the previous experience with my '92 vehicle on dry roads through AZ., N.M., ARK., TX and TN. in Early May. I did experience snow flurries in the upper elevation of AZ. around Sho Lo but did not have to use 4X4. I am also biased in that I have owned 4 wheel drive vehicles since 1977 for several reasons. One is that my '70 Pontiac GTO did not do well off road, enough said. Two, with a '77 Jeep CJ7 sitting in the driveway in Nashville, TN. I chose to take my wife's AMC Javelin to the grocery store. After doing the grocery shopping, nice guy that I am, I stepped outside to see 2" of snow on the ground. It took me 4 tries to negotiate a steep hill with a 1/2 mile running start. I swore that I would never be without a 4X4 the rest of my life even when not deer hunting back in the woods. Eliminate the bias for the 4X4 and compare what you have left, the 3.73 rear because the 3.42 is a dog.

Last comment, if you only plan on tackling mountains every once in a while, go with 2 wheel drive and the 3.73. If #4 above sounds more like what you will be doing, go the 4X4 with 4.10.
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'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
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Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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Old 10-30-2002, 06:11 PM   #7
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Morning dew on grass has made me grateful for 4WD when there was a little incline. Wet grass is slicker 'n snot! So has loose gravel 'cause I could give it enough power to move the trailer without spinning the rear wheels and slinging gravel all over the trailer. I wouldn't be without 4WD (but then I commute with the truck in snow and ice also).
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Old 10-30-2002, 06:56 PM   #8
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Alternative

A very worthy alternative to 4WD would be limited slip diff, or an aftermarket locking differential for the rear axle. This is for the guys that have a good tow vehicle, but wish for better traction at times, like some of you have experienced. Because at the end, 4WD without the diff lockers is nothing more than 2WD over 2 axles.
You won't have the low gears, of course, but in a bind, differential lockers can be a huge blessing.
I had a 4x4 for a long time with hydr. diff locks front and rear, and found myself locking the rear axle quite a few times to get out of snow or sand, instead of going to 4WD and low etc. This thread just reminded me of this, and it's application to the towing world. Thought I'd share. I hope it's not too far off topic.
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Old 10-30-2002, 08:48 PM   #9
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Uwe,
Is that hydr. differential you spoke of in a Jeep Quadra- trac? Oscar
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Old 10-30-2002, 09:08 PM   #10
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uwe,
Good comment on the locking rear differential. My '92 K1500 Z71 4X4 did not have the rear G80 locker and it caused me to have to shift into 4 wheel High when I could have made the obstacle with a locker in the rear. I made allowances for this lack of foresight by the auto manufacturers. You would think all 4X4s would be outfitted with a limited slip or a locker but such is not the case. I used my G80 on the 2500HD traversing a 2 ft. ditch last week without 4X4 where the '92 would have been stuck in the middle spinning a tire.

People may not be aware that Eaton makes the G80 locker for Chevy and they now have available an E Locker. It engages with the use of 12 elec. current from a switch on the dashboard. While the ARB necessitates an onboard compressor, air hose and drilling into the rear dif to mount the line, the E Locker uses simple elec. wire. I imagine they are expensive but not as high as the ARB with hoses and compressor.
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Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
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Old 10-30-2002, 09:13 PM   #11
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David...

What is a G80 locker? Is it a clutch pack or true gear locker like a detroit? Oscar
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Old 10-30-2002, 09:19 PM   #12
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Lockers

This E-locker interests me. The air activated ones were sort of sluggish in activation and release, and as you stated, cumbersome in installation and on top of that, expensive.
I imagine if someone found a nice tow rig, perhaps wishing for a 4:something rear end ratio, then the new ring and pinion and the locker together would not be a bad investment.
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Old 10-30-2002, 09:35 PM   #13
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Go to www.traction.eaton.com and click on products. You can find the story on the different eaton traction devices including the e locker. It is an interesting site. Also discussed somewhere on the site is the Eaton supercharger, one darn good one!
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AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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Old 10-30-2002, 09:44 PM   #14
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Oscar,
It is a little different from limited slip units in that it has a speed governor that controls the lockup. If I remember correctly, if you try to power your way through an area at high speed, the unit may not lock up. It locks at a lower range much like a true Detroit Locker without the harsh clicking or engagement on turns. Many do not realize that you should not "get on the gas" while turning corners on asphault with the G80 because it places additional wear on the unit. If I stay on it around a corner, I can hear the chirping as one tire slips on the road. Go to the site mentioned and it should answer most of your questions better than I can. I have always been a proponent of the TruTrac gear driven limited slip for the front and rear difs. They are dynamite and do not have harsh characteristics of some true lockers.
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AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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