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How can I make it into a goot tow rig?

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by BurbLover, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    Okay, I've got a very nice 89 1500 4x4 Burb that has the conversion package. I'd like to get a tow rig, but I just can't handle the payment for at least 2-3 years. If I could come up with about $3000 (maybe a little more), what could I do to make my Burb into a decent tow rig?

    I'd like to go diesel, but I figure a diesel conversion would far exceed the 3K area.

    My initial thoughts were BBC, 4L80E, 14BFF, 8-lug 10B front axle. Any thoughts? What do you think I should do to make a decent tow rig?

    I figure I'll be towing a 18' trailer with my K5 on it. I can just use the Burb as my camper on trips, especially since it's just me & my three dogs:grin:

    TIA for any inputs!!
     
  2. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    My thoughts are if you want to buy a new tow rig in a couple years, then why spend $3k on this rig? You will never get that money back out of it if you sell it, and the $3k would go a long ways toward a new/different truck. If you were planning on keeping the Sub as a tow vehicle for quite awhile, I would say go for it.

    But anyway, back to the original question.

    You could probably make a decent handling rig by swapping in a 14FF rear with a lower ratio, 8-lugs and gears on the front just so it matches, and heavier springs and shocks. A big cooler and temp guage, along with keeping it out of OD, will probably keep the 700r4 alive for awhile.

    A few years ago we setup an '89 or '90 1/2 ton 2wd Sub to pull a really big tri-axle camper trailer.........yea, yea, I know it was not the best plan, but there were reasons behind it and it wasn't my decision, so........ Hooking the stock and well-worn Sub up to the camper showed it was pretty scary to drive as the camper would whip the Sub all over the road. New 3/4 ton springs all around, rear air shocks (again, not my idea!!!), heavier tires, and a weight distributing/sway control hitch made it handle pretty good on the road.
     
  3. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    3/4 ton springs all around, 3/4 ton axles and a 6.2L diesel could all be put in your truck for under $500 if you shop around like I did... My axles were basically free in a trade, 8 lug wheels were free in a trade, 285/75R16 tires were free in a trade, 6.2L will most likely be free by the time I am done trading for it, then I put in new gaskets, a new clutch and a few misc items like hydroboost p/s lines for around $500. But even if you paid for everything I still don't see going over $1500 ($300 3/4 ton axles, free 3/4 ton springs, $500 6.2L donor truck, $250-500 wheels and tires)...

    If your interested in a 4L80E I know a guy selling one in Seattle from this board for cheap. It needs a new output shaft and a rebuild though.
     
  4. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    So good comments. If I put the $3000 into the Burb, I most likely won't get rid of it in 3 years for somethign else. Alll depends on how happy I am with it. I would like to go diesel, but not with a 6.2. From my experience, not a very strong motor. I'd rather go BBC that 6.2. If I could somehow go cummins, I'd prefer that.

    Going with 3/4 ton axles & springs/shocks does make alot of sense to me. As for the tranny, I would eithet go 4L80E of TH400. Since I've actually got a TH400/208 combo in the garage, I'd probably go that route.



    Keep the comments coming, please!!
     
  5. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    A good 350, 4.56 gears, and decent D/E rated tires on 3/4 or 1 ton axles will pull anything that it's safe for you to back up to, and won't cost $3,000 either.

    I've been real happy with my 1 ton tow rig other than the TH 400 which has crapped twice now, so I ordered a new truck.

    The payment sure is going to suck though, if I had a K20/K30 around here, I would have just done that!
     

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