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Towing in OD w/4.10s

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by rick87K5, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. rick87K5

    rick87K5 Registered Member

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    Hello All,
    I'm curious to know if anyone here has ever towed anything in OD with 4.10 gears and 32" tires. The boat/trailer combo I may have to pull weighs in at about 2500 lbs. A mechanic at a reputable tranny shop said he's seen 700s do fine towing in OD w/4.10s (with that weight of a load). I doubt he's trying to drum up business by setting someone up to fry their 700 - but you never know I guess. Conventional wisdom says NEVER tow in OD, but I'm curious to know if anyone has gotten away with it. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Rick
     
  2. Blazr77400

    Blazr77400 1/2 ton status

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    As long as the Trans doesnt fight for gears then it should be okay.

    4 wheeling is like sex, when its good, its really, really good, when its bad its still pretty good.
     
  3. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    NEVER tow in OD with a 700R4 - even with 5.34 or lower. The heat will kick it's gluteus in nothing flat. I used to have an F350 with a ZF 5spd and 4.10's, and it recommended that you never tow in OD.

    Of the 5 toughest dogs in the neighborhood, my cat's ranked #3
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  4. riz

    riz 3/4 ton status

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    <font color=purple> O.k. ...... let me get this straight, If I have a 700R4 with 35" tires and 4:56 gears and will be towing a snowmobile trailer with 2 ATV's on it .......... Should I be in Drive or Overdrive ?

    L8r,
    . Riz . <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/rizmonkey>www.geocities.com/rizmonkey</a>

    <font color=purple> BOW CHICKA BOW WOW !
     
  5. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    According to the towing gurus, you should only run in drive. I don't have the owners' manual to the Blazer, so I don't know what GM recommends - Can anyone flip through and give us an idea of what it says?

    Of the 5 toughest dogs in the neighborhood, my cat's ranked #3
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  6. riz

    riz 3/4 ton status

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    <font color=purple> i just don't want to blow out my tranny next year when I start to finally use it for what I bought it for !

    L8r,
    . Riz . <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/rizmonkey>www.geocities.com/rizmonkey</a>

    <font color=purple> BOW CHICKA BOW WOW !
     
  7. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    I'd say try it both ways - put a tranny temp gauge on and play with it. If it starts looking like it's heating up, go back to drive. I really don't know what it would do on a relatively flat run - everything around here goes for pretty abrupt 1000'+ elevation changes.

    Of the 5 toughest dogs in the neighborhood, my cat's ranked #3
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  8. azblazor

    azblazor 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I tow cross-country with several thousand pounds on my trailer. I always leave it in OD, haven't had a problem in Oh...... about 180,000 miles. 93 454/4L80E 4x4 3/4t Suburban with 4:10's

    <font color=blue>azblazor</font color=blue>
    <font color=orange> 79 K5 454-FI / 4L80E, NP205, D60, FF14, 4" lift, 9K Warn </font color=orange><P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by azblazor on 10/17/01 11:42 PM.</FONT></P>
     
  9. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    4L80E is not a 700R-4...it's a TH400 with an overdrive. There is a huge diference in strength and longevity between the two tranny's.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  10. K5 NUTT

    K5 NUTT 1/2 ton status

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    The overdrive clutchpack has only 4 friction discs and three steels....so if you tow in OD with a 700R4 make sure you have some money in the bank.

    Azblazer

    1979 K5 350 TBI
    1976 K5 Chalet
    If it ain't got arizona pinstriping.....you ain't wheelin the pee outa her!
     
  11. Blazr77400

    Blazr77400 1/2 ton status

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    I believe the owners manual says to Tow in Overdrive. AS long as its doesnt keep shifting from Drive to Overdrive I should be OKAY.

    4 wheeling is like sex, when its good, its really, really good, when its bad its still pretty good.
     
  12. Blazr77400

    Blazr77400 1/2 ton status

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    In 1987 they started putting the updated stuff in the 700r4's. It was the first 4 or 5 years that gave it a bad name.
    If a 700r4 has been rebuilt by someone who does their homework they should hold up to what ever is put in front of them. Nothing too extreme like 7 or 8 hundred horse.
    Would GM Still be using the 700r4 still, if it is such a weak trans. (4L60E)

    4 wheeling is like sex, when its good, its really, really good, when its bad its still pretty good.
     
  13. azblazor

    azblazor 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Duh! Who said they were the same. The subject line does not mention 700R-4 or 4L60E.

    <font color=blue>azblazor</font color=blue>
    <font color=orange> 79 K5 454-FI / 4L80E, NP205, D60, FF14, 4" lift, 9K Warn </font color=orange>
     
  14. ChevyCaGal

    ChevyCaGal 3/4 ton status

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    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    A mechanic at a reputable tranny shop said he's seen <font color=red>700s</font color=red> do fine towing in OD w/4.10s (with that weight of a load). I doubt he's trying to drum up business by setting someone up to fry their <font color=red>700</font color=red> - but you never know I guess. Conventional wisdom says NEVER tow in OD, but I'm curious to know if anyone has gotten away with it. Any input would be appreciated.


    <hr></blockquote>

    The subject line may not say what tranny but the post talks about 700's. Why he said what he did in regards to your 4L60E because they aren't the same thing as a 700 and you can't compare them for towing....

    My 86 (which has a 700 in it) owners manual states... (I copied it right out...word for word)

    If your vehicle is equipped with an overdrive automatic transmission, when you are towing a trailer more then 1,800 kilograms (4,000 pounds), we recommend you shift to third gear range ("D") instead of Overdrive for normal towing. This is not intended to interfere with the practice of manually downshifting on uphill and downhill grades.

    Of course it doesn't mention the gearing... but I would think if your tires are bigger and your gears are lower to create the same set up as factory this would apply to you.... but that's just my 2 cents....


    &lt;&gt;&lt;<a target="_blank" href=http://www.chevycagal.homestead.com/steph.html>Steph's Webpage</a>&gt;&lt;&gt;
    Suck Fumes Ford Boy
    I keep trying to lose weight, but it always finds me!
     
  15. azblazor

    azblazor 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Well nice try but - DUH! If you read MY post I clearly say 4L80E <font color=red>(that's 4L80E)</font color=red>, I don't IMPLY that it's a 700R-4 or a 4L60E which I don't own. And which BTW, ARE esentially the same thing. I simply stated MY experience with an OVERDRIVE transmission of which MINE is a 4L80E which is essentially a 400 with an electronic overdrive. DUH.

    <font color=blue>azblazor</font color=blue>
    <font color=orange> 79 K5 454-FI / 4L80E, NP205, D60, FF14, 4" lift, 9K Warn </font color=orange>
     
  16. ChevyCaGal

    ChevyCaGal 3/4 ton status

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    I know they are basically the same thing. I typed what you own in wrong. Error admitted on my end. But with the 4L80E tranny you have it still isn't the same as the 700 he is running so you will get a different result in running it the way you do..... that's all Rene said and I was saying when you started in with this DUH business which shows a nice mature attitude on your side....

    &lt;&gt;&lt;<a target="_blank" href=http://www.chevycagal.homestead.com/steph.html>Steph's Webpage</a>&gt;&lt;&gt;
    Suck Fumes Ford Boy
    I keep trying to lose weight, but it always finds me!
     
  17. azblazor

    azblazor 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    duh

    <font color=blue>azblazor</font color=blue>
    <font color=orange> 79 K5 454-FI / 4L80E, NP205, D60, FF14, 4" lift, 9K Warn </font color=orange>
     
  18. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Hey man, take it easy. We all make mistakes (myself included). Steph made a typo (which is common on a BBS), but her point was valid. I happen to like the 700r4s, when properly built they can tow ~6000 pounds of trailer and load in OD (assuming your tire and gear combo resemble stock perportions). That being said, if I had to bank on which automatic OD tranny would tow more and/or last longer in OD I definitely have to say the 4L80 (like you have). The 4L60 (700r4) or the 4L60E (updated electronic version of the 700) is not as strong of a unit. I would say the small trailer with 2 ATV's on it is not going to be a problem, but a heavier trailer and/or steep inclines can pose a problem with the 4L60 in OD. My suggestion is to buy a tranny temp guage and keep an eye on it for rising temps. If you are towing in OD and the temp stays fairly normal (it will probably be a LITTLE higher than normal), then you should be fine, but if it rises alot, then tow in D. As for the 4L80 it is a stouter trans and I believe all (or most of them came with a stock temperature guage to keep an eye on heat). It too is not indestructable, but it also has the advantage of the tow/haul mode which increases line pressure and delays shifting for the sole purpose of towing, where the 4L60 does not. The OD in the 4L60 was designed with fuel savings in mind, and not towing. The newer versions and updates allow you to tow certain loads, but it wasn't designed with that in mind like the 4L80.

    See my rig at <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Leadfoot>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Leadfoot</a>
     
  19. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I had 3.73s with a 305 engine (150,000 miles on it at the time) and 32s and successfully towed a 4,000 lb boat trailer in OD. Now, I wouldn't do it all the time and I certainly wouldn't do it if the terrain had some incline. But, things are pretty flat around Texas. I would say go ahead. But use your sane judgement (as well do around here - wink wink). If it seems to keep downshifting, slap it into D. If it runs okay and has the power you need, then keep it in OD. Everyone here rags the 700 it seems. If you use sound judgement and are responsible with the throttle, it will last a very long time. Mine has 242,000 miles on it and was rebuilt once about 30,000 miles ago. It's like the 10-bolt axles. Some people say that if it isn't a 1-ton, it just isn't worth having. Well, it all depends on how you use (or abuse) your vehicle and how you maintain it. A little less throttle and common sense will save many axles, u-joints, diffs, and trannies!

    Brian
    Check out <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Jimmy</a> with all her projects!
     
  20. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    I have 89 with a 700r4 3.73 gears. I tow a boat that weighs similar to yours(2500 lbs)
    In the hills and mountains and driving around town I only tow in drive.
    On the highway in flatlands and little hills I use OD.
    I have towed my boat many thousands of miles behind my K5 with no tranny problems.
    My owners manual says to use drive when towing a trailer over 4000 lbs also.
    Just use a little common sense with the OD. If the tranny is working hard and shifting a lot, use drive.


    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Thunders-Blaze>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Thunders-Blaze</a>
    <font color=blue>NEVADA: Where the pavement ends, and the West begins.</font color=blue>
     

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