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Old 09-21-2008, 10:57 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
mtbob's Avatar
1975 31' Sovereign
Billings , Montana
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 50
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Uprading Towing Unit

Now towing a 75 Soverign (7000 GVW) with a 89 Suburban. It's a 3/4 ton 2500 with a 454 and 4:10 rearend. Looking to upgrade to a 96 with a 6.0. Does the new 6.0 have enough grunt for the mountains of Montana and Colorado with a 3/4 ton 2500 Suburban and 4:10 rearend ? Your sage advice and experience will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:06 AM   #2
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,475
In terms of gas engines, I don't think GM came out with the 6.0L until the 1999 or maybe 2000 pickup model year....I think the Suburban followed shortly thereafter. I have an '04 with the 6.0L and 4.10s and find it to do the job just fine. If I were knowingly going into mountains regularly, I might seriously consider the 8.1L-- just for the added power.
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:21 PM   #3
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2005 30' Safari
Houston Texas , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 478

I just moved up from a 01 6.0/3.73 to a 03 8.1/4.10, and wow what a difference. My 01 did great on flat land in tow mode, yeilding about 11mpg, however on any grades it was working it a bit with my Safari 30. Nothing terrible, never got hot or seemed to over work it however. I found a very low mile 8.1 liter and it does not even work to tow the airstream. As a matter of fact the tow haul mode is almost gears me down too much, slowing shifts. I am still getting the same or just a little less mileage and I am really satisfied with the new drivetrain.

Truck alone mileage is not a big deal as it is only a tow vehicle. I did get 14 driving back from Florida to pick it up and my old 01 can get as high a 16 truck alone.

I think in 96 they had a 350 and a 454 (5.7 - 7.4 liters)
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:23 PM   #4
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1999 27' Safari
Kent , Ohio
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 806
Hello. I am towing with a 5.4 liter gas engine. 6speed automatic tranny and 4:10 gearing. What a dream.

Your 6 liter should have plenty of power. Make sure it has 3:73 gears or steeper. 3:55 may not be enough.

The bigger the engine owe ya it will tow better.

I tow a 31 foot soveriegn and a 12000 lbs race trailer. No problem with my set up ( not at the same time)
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:16 PM   #5
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1973 31' Sovereign
Maryville , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 50
Images: 6
I may be a little late on this post, but i just bought an 02 chevy 6.0 to tow my 73 Sovereign and it's a beast of an engine. The 8.1 is better i'm sure, but upgrading from a 350 95 model, i can't believe the power and smoothness of this truck while towing. Most have a FACTORY trans temp guage too, which i find quite nice to have. Something about a factory guage vs. aftermarket gives me more confidence, but i might be too picky.

enjoy your new truck!
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:55 AM   #6
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1972 Argosy 26
1973 Argosy 26
Fairmont , West Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 249
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I would also recommend the 8.1 in the newer chevys 6.0 is a good build too. 5.3 is weak 4.8 is out of the question. If you are looking at a 96 as your post says they only offered 5.7 350 and 7.4 454 till 99 when the 4.8 5.3 6.0 8.1 replaced the old tech....
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