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Towing compacity of 1/2 vs 3/4 ton

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MuddNutz, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. MuddNutz

    MuddNutz Registered Member

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    I am looking for a 80's model 4x4 and I want a 3/4 or 1 ton so that I can pull a heavy trailer every once in a while but they are hard to come by. I have been looking at 3/4 tons with 350 engines and th400 transmissions, and I was wondering if I got a 1/2 ton with a 350 and th350 or th400 and swapped in 3/4 ton axles into it then beefed up the rear suspension would it tow as well as the 3/4 ton? What else is different between the 1/2 and 3/4 tons?
     
  2. DesertDueler

    DesertDueler 1/2 ton status

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    1/2 and 3/4 tons use the same frame, so beef up the suspension, put a th400 in an go.

    Dan
     
  3. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    IIRC, 3/4 tons have different frames than a 1/2 ton.

    You could swap in all the 3/4 parts into a 1/2 but since you are looking for a truck wouldn't it be easier and probably cheaper just to buy a 3/4? /forums/images/graemlins/screwy.gif
     
  4. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    As long as it's a longbox I don't see it as a problem.
     
  5. DesertDueler

    DesertDueler 1/2 ton status

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    1 tons are the only ones that have different frames. My 78 3/4 ton even uses 52" springs. The frame is identicle to my buddies 1/2 longbed.

    Dan
     
  6. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    my 83 k10 longbed and 83 k20 longbed have exactly the same frame.
     
  7. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    my 83 k10 longbed and 83 k20 longbed have exactly the same frame.

    [/ QUOTE ]I guess I stand corrected
     
  8. woody9

    woody9 1/2 ton status

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    not sure if it holds true on pickups or not, /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gifbut on the suburbans (with no such thing as a 1 ton).. the frames APPEAR the same, but there ARE some differences. /forums/images/graemlins/shame.gif Thickness & metal strengths being the 'hidden' ones you normally don't catch with the naked (or clothed?) eye! /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif (Confirmed in gm literature)
     
  9. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    main things that affect towing are wheelbase (longer is better), suspension, gears, motor, and tranny. With the proper hitch it is quite reasonable to tow 8k lbs or more with a half ton 350sbc, sm465/th400, 1/2 ton axles with 4.10 gears. Be sure to run a tranny cooler if it's auto. And use a weight dist hitch.
     
  10. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I have towed and ridden in many 1/2 ton GM trucks,I think the towing capacity isnt that much of an issue,if you have a 12 bolt instead of a 10 bolt its better,as long as you have beefy springs and good tires(6,8,or 10 ply 16's are much better than 15" for heavy loads)and a weight distributing hitch they tow just fine--we towed many fullsize trucks and race cars all over with few problems--the biggest one is stopping in a hurry--I would not tow a trailer that doesnt have brakes,or not have them working correctly--more than once in a panic stop situation,we ended up being pushed sideways by the trailer,nearly jack knifed across the road--not that a 3/4 or one ton wont do the same,but the extra weight sure helps keep the rear axle on the ground!.A half ton truck is too light in the rear sometimes,we used to make sure we put the load on the trailer as far foreward as possible for more tounge weight to help keep it planted on the road.A bigger truck is always better for towing,but if you are careful,you can haul a lot with a half ton--its the sudden stops,and the fact that if an axle breaks your wheels fall off are the main drawbacks.I see a local contractor hauling 2 bobcats around town with a C10 diesel pickup quite often,and those things are heavy!. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  11. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    not sure if it holds true on pickups or not, /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gifbut on the suburbans (with no such thing as a 1 ton).. the frames APPEAR the same, but there ARE some differences. /forums/images/graemlins/shame.gif Thickness & metal strengths being the 'hidden' ones you normally don't catch with the naked (or clothed?) eye! /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif (Confirmed in gm literature)

    [/ QUOTE ]Thats what I was thinking....3/4 frames were slightly thicker than 1/2's and 1 tons were thicker along with being 3" taller. /forums/images/graemlins/screwy.gif
     
  12. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I think GMC's had thicker frames than most chevy trucks--My 74 GMC K20 is actually on a 77 GMC 1/2 ton K10 frame,comparing that frame to my 79 C10 2wd,the C10 looks much thinner gauge than the 77 4x4 one,although dimensionwise they are identical--maybe the 4x4's are thicker as a rule than a 2wd??.At any rate,I hav had many tons over the rated GVW on my truck,even with all the rust and rot,still had no problems--GM trucks have pretty beefy frames,even on K5's and 1/2 tons. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  13. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    not sure if it holds true on pickups or not, /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gifbut on the suburbans (with no such thing as a 1 ton).. the frames APPEAR the same, but there ARE some differences. /forums/images/graemlins/shame.gif Thickness & metal strengths being the 'hidden' ones you normally don't catch with the naked (or clothed?) eye! /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif (Confirmed in gm literature)

    [/ QUOTE ]

    They're the same.

    [ QUOTE ]
    GM trucks have pretty beefy frames,even on K5's and 1/2 tons

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Bend one and then come back and tell me that.

    Honestly I think the crappy frames are one of the biggest shortcomings on these trucks.
     
  14. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I havent bent mine yet,not that I havent tried!--of course I dont do any off-roading to speak of,and perhaps the flatbed made of 4 inch channel iron helps "bridge"the frame and make it stonger,but I cant really say the GM frames are weak--not when I look at 90's ford 4x4's on my friends lift at his shop,and see how badly rotted they are already--and they have huge holes hole sawed in them,right where the cab and bed meet(the part that bends the most)--its beyond me how they live at all!.I think the newer GM trucks (88-up) have much wimpier frames than the old rigs--at least they dont look as rugged,maybe they are different steel,but the thickness and how rusty they already are doesnt impress me much--. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  15. chevy_muscle

    chevy_muscle 1/2 ton status

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    I don't know the answer, but...

    Do the 3/4 tons have bigger brakes than the 1/2 tons?
     
  16. jwduke

    jwduke 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I don't know the answer, but...

    Do the 3/4 tons have bigger brakes than the 1/2 tons?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes they have larger brakes. The calipers in the front are the same, but the rotors are bigger. The rear drums are much larger and wider.
     
  17. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    I don't know the answer, but...

    Do the 3/4 tons have bigger brakes than the 1/2 tons?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes they have larger brakes. The calipers in the front are the same, but the rotors are bigger. The rear drums are much larger and wider.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The calipers are not the same. Trucks with 13" rear brakes get bigger calipers even on a 10 bolt or Dana 44 front axle. The piston is mildly larger. As you stated, the rotors are larger as well, and the brakes on a 3/4 ton rear are bigger than a 1/2 ton but not as big as the 1 ton.
     
  18. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I don't know the answer, but...

    Do the 3/4 tons have bigger brakes than the 1/2 tons?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Yes, and you will notice a big difference in brake performance if you swap in a 3/4 14BFF with 2.5" drums. Mine work excellent and slow down me and my trailer loaded considerably quicker than when I was still 1/2.
     
  19. jwduke

    jwduke 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    I don't know the answer, but...

    Do the 3/4 tons have bigger brakes than the 1/2 tons?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes they have larger brakes. The calipers in the front are the same, but the rotors are bigger. The rear drums are much larger and wider.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The calipers are not the same. Trucks with 13" rear brakes get bigger calipers even on a 10 bolt or Dana 44 front axle. The piston is mildly larger. As you stated, the rotors are larger as well, and the brakes on a 3/4 ton rear are bigger than a 1/2 ton but not as big as the 1 ton.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Wrong again Tim, they use the same part numbers. The difference is the D44 calipers & the 10 bolt calipers. The D44 calipers have a slightly larger piston.

    And as far as the rear drums, the 13" drums were offered on 3/4 tons with 10,000 + GVW., so some 3/4 tons do have 1 ton brakes (Rear)
     
  20. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Wrong again Tim, they use the same part numbers. The difference is the D44 calipers & the 10 bolt calipers. The D44 calipers have a slightly larger piston.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Open up a brake book if you do not believe me.

    There are FOUR different part numbers for front calipers on these trucks. Two for D44s, and two for 10 bolts. There are two differently sized pistons for both axle.

    Check your information before you run your mouth. You're pretty out of line trying to tell me something about auto parts unless it was blatently incorrect.

    Brake system detirmines which calipers you get. The bigger calipers also use different brake pads.
     

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