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Towing Light Load... OD on or off?

Discussion in '1982-Present GM Diesel' started by Kale, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Kale

    Kale Newbie

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    Hello all this is my first post. This is a very nice site you have here, (colors are hard to see but thats okay) I have a question that perhaps you all could help me out with. I live in michigan and my daily driver/ trail rig is my 92 samurai. Its begging to wear on me and i want to buy a tow rig/daily driver. I don't want a pickup cause i am 6'6 and i need something that can lay the seat back. I had an 88 suburban and i thought its seat fit me perfectly. (had to see it cause of mpg reasons aka 9mpg syndrome). Anyways i want to buy a k5 with the diesel of course and the 700r4 as i do a lot of highway driveing(30,000 a year)I have skimmed the the 70 or so pages of this boaard in the last two weeks so i know they are good vehcile when maintained properly. I plan on towing my samurai with it (aprox 2100 lbs). I am wondering will the blazer with 3.08s and 235/75r15's be able to hold 70 in overdrive on flat lands of michigan or i am gonna have to slow to 60 and drive in drive? And i know i can expect between 20 and 22 when driving but what about when towing. Also swapping gears isn't really an option since i this will be my daily driver 90 percent of the time and towing maybe 10 percent of the time. Sorry this is so long, any help would be appreciated. TIA
     
  2. 86DIESEL

    86DIESEL Registered Member

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    I would never tow in OD. It doesn't take much at all to tear up the OD in a 700. I've put around 60-70k miles on my tranny since Nov. of 99 and the OD is already acting up and thats mostly all unloaded highway miles. I run 3.42gear and 33" tires. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  3. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    You will get a lot of conflicting opinions on this question, and actually if you do a search on the 2nd generation forum for the past couple of weeks or 3 maybe, you will find a few posts on the subject.
    The 700 doesn't like to work hard so if you have the right gearing it's fine as long as you keep he RPM's happy.
    I go by the feeling of it and I do fine, many share my feeling, they just downshift from OD when they feel that the tranny is not happy.
    Some will tell you never tow with OD.
    I will not say never, but on flat roads and good speed with the 235/75/15 measuring around 28" with the 308, I would say yeah why not, but always be prepared to downshift if you see the speed not enough and the tranny will not downshift on it's own.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    As I said do some searching here on the 2nd gen 73-91 K5... You will find a lot of arguments about it.
     
  4. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Hold on a second, brother. Based on your description of the K5 in question, I wouldn't recommend you use it for towing because.....

    1. 3.08s are not good towing gears. Combining 3.08s with a 6.2 will prove to be extremely frustrating. I wouldn't go any less than 3.42s if I were you. You mentioned that you don't want to upgrade your gears because it's a daily driver, but 3.42s or even 3.73s will keep you in the upper ranges of the power band which , IMHO, is better all-around for the drivetrain, even for city driving.

    2. 2100 lbs doesn't include the trailer, I'm assuming. How much will the ENTIRE load weigh?

    3. Have you done much towing before? 70 MPH is NOT a safe speeed to travel with a short wheelbase truck/trailer combo(As far as I'm concerned, it's unsafe regardless of thew style of truck /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif). If your main goal for a tow rig is the ability to tow at high speeds, you'd better be looking to buy a long-wheelbase rig with lots of power.

    4. Last but not least, as mentioned above, there are varying opinions about the towing in OD issue. Unless you have a good auxilliary cooler and a tranny temp gauge, I wouldn't attempt it(FYI, I always tow in D).

    Welcome to CK5, brother!!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. Kale

    Kale Newbie

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    Canmore K5:
    1. If i were to switch to 3.42's would i still be able to cruise comfortable at 75 when unloaded on flat lands.

    2. No trailer, towing with a towbar.

    3. I've towed a 4000 lb pop up trailer behind my old 88 burb with a 350 and it had no problem holding 70 in drive with 3.42s. Its 700r4 lasted 188,000 miles.
    I thought given the lightness of the load (2100lbs) and the weight of the tow rig (5000 lbs) that it would barely know its back there. (i have no expirience with towing with a blazer, thats just what i came up with in my head.

    4. If this did pan out to be a good idea, those would be my very first upgrades, most likely along with the banks stinger system /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    1. 75 in OD with 27" tall tires and 3.42's puts the motor at 2200 RPM. Just about perfect...

    2. I flat towed a 74 blazer shell on a rolling chassis behind my Jimmy. I hardly noticed it was there and 70 /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif was no problem at all. This was with my 350 but as for stability and such it was just fine.

    I'd either go 3.42's and tow in OD only on the flats and install a large cooler and tranny temp guage...or I'd keep the 3.08's and tow in drive. 70 mph with 3.08's and 27's in drive would be roughly 2600 rpm...

    Rene
     
  7. Tybee

    Tybee 1/2 ton status

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    I have 3.73s and when I had 31" tires I could 80 in od, comfortably. Not towing anything of course.
     
  8. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    I agree with canmore on one thing, towing at that speed is not safe.
    I thought he wanted to tow and also be able to drive it alone at those speeds.
    Rene, I am sure you could comfortably tow at 70MPH but imagine something hapening like what happened to me when the frame where my towbar was bolted cracked and the truck rear ended me, I was towing a pickup rolling body, no engine no tranny/Tcase so very light.
    I was going max 50MPH and that is why I didn't have a big problem, and I managed to pull over and deal with it.
    Especially when you tow something that isn't braked like a trailer with brakes, do not go that fast even if the truck can.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    I however do not agree on 308/6.2/28" tires being not good combination.
    I have the same gears with 33 inches and it tows fine.
    But that is always a debate, but safety is not.
    /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif
     
  9. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Ok, the towbar thing changes everything. The weight distribution of the load is totally different than I thought. So ignore my comments in that regard. HOWEVER, I still maintain that towing at 70 isn't wise.....

    Like Rene said, 3.42s look like a good way to go. I honestly think you'd be disappointed with the way 3.08s would perform.

    Keep us informed of how things go, brother!!!
     
  10. Tybee

    Tybee 1/2 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    I however do not agree on 308/6.2/28" tires being not good combination.
    I have the same gears with 33 inches and it tows fine.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    Is that with your turbo perkins?
     
  11. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    No that is with my 2wd van.
    My turbo perkins has 35" tires on the same gear ratio.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    And it pulls easier than the van.
    I love turbo.
     
  12. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Hmmmmmmmm......My 6.2 is in a 1/2 ton pickup with 235/75/15s-3.42s and when I used to tow my 4000 lb travel trailer I found the staying power on hills a little disappointing. Of course, when I say hills I mean mountain passes that usually surpassed 1800 meters(almost 6000 feet) above sea level. I can't imagine tugging up those same hills with 33s and 3.08s!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

    Perhaps it has something to do with altitude and air density. What's the elevation in Sacramento? Canmore is at 1350 meters(4300 feet). We all know that diesels need lots of air, so maybe there's not enough air up in these parts!!! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Thanks for reinforcing the safety issue, brother!!! I have seen way too many accidents around here(resort town /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif) that could have been avoided if people would stop being in such a rush with a trailer behind them......
     
  13. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    I am sure you could comfortably tow at 70MPH

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I kept forgetting I was towing something and the next thing you know...70mph/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    When i flat towed the 82 blazer back from Texas I had that combo up over 90 mph trying to keep up with everyone else hightailing it due to tornado's forming.../forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    Overall 2200 lbs behind you isn't that much. The potential for disaster does increase with speed but doing 20 under the limit is often more dangerous than keeping up with traffic.

    I'd humbly suggest you should have checked the condition of the frame you were hooking a tow bar to. I spent 8 solid hours prepping the truck to be towed and went over it with a fine tooth comb.

    Rene
     
  14. Tybee

    Tybee 1/2 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    Perhaps it has something to do with altitude and air density

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I think you hit right there.
     
  15. OFFRDK5

    OFFRDK5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Just gonna post this. Not going to say if it was safe or not.

    I have towed a full size trailer with 1 built J**p on the back, with 3.08, 1/2 ton running gear, 6.2 Diesel, and 31" tires while doing at least 65 mph (speedo broke, report of speed from vehicle following me with red and blue lights on top /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif) with no problems. Not really safe, thats why he pulled me over. It also ran cooler, and better. That's what the Diesel was made for!!

    Towed a big fricken trailer (required 2 hi lift jacks to pick it up and put on reciever) with a shed on the back, 3.73, 3/4 ton running gear, 6.2 Diesel, and 31" tires. The person in the passenger seat kept looking back to make sure it was there. No idea on speed, but I wasn't passing anyone and no one was passing me on a two lane road, so I assume about 65.

    I was in OD both times and it was flat land as well and I also have a 24,000 B&amp;M tranny cooler.

    Looking back I did some bad things like this. Now I have learned to slow down and take my time. No use in getting myself or others killed for just getting there a few minutes earlier.
     
  16. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Rene, I agree with you on the inspection thing.
    It was a big storm and I had to do it that day and the rain pouring on me made it hard to see the crack assuming it was there before since there is no way I cracked a frame in 200 miles.
    Still knowing that I couldn't possibly be sure everything was in perfect condition I put heavy duty chains as security and I went slow. Most of the times I was at the speed limit for towing 55MPH the rest I was keeping up with the traffic at 20-25, since it was raining and lots of accidents.
    I have been towing and recovering people for more than 18 years now as favors for people friends or strangers. Just was contriputing to my Karma account, knowing I will need it with my kind of hobies. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    I have a lot of experience in what could go wrong, and how to avoid it and how to remedy it if it does.
    Still I would say when towing stay within the speed limits most places it's 55MPH for towing. at these speeds, if something happens you can still recover or the damage would be minimal.
    Not towing I am known to keep an 85-90MPH speed.
     
  17. AzzKicker

    AzzKicker 1/2 ton status

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    I think i have you all beat /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif. MY OLDER truck, not my current 6.2L, was a 305 with 3.08 gears and a 700r4 and 31's and we towed a 5,000lb tractor. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif total load had to be close to 6k. It was SUICIDE for the 700 and 305 LOL I remember we only took that thing like 55mph. Even that was pushing it.
     
  18. marcus

    marcus Registered Member

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    Hey! My daily drive is a 1987 SJ413...great little "trucks"! Completely stock until next week when I pick up the 4" lift spring &amp; shocks and set of 5 31" tyres on wide rims for it....
     
  19. marcus

    marcus Registered Member

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    What I really don't understand is the difference in towing over here in Great Britain. The favoured towing vehicle over here is the Land rover. Msot of these are fitted with a 2-3litre turbo diesel, making 1/3 hp and torque of the 6.2. Yet people still happily tow up to 7700lbs (3500kg) with them!

    I think the expectation of a tow vehicel is lot higher on the other side of the pond....you expect to pull stuff as if it wasn't there, whereas here, people just want to be able to pull it....even slowly!
     
  20. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    You got it.
    People want to pull a million tons and go 75MPH /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    I would be happy if it can pull and get to 55MPH but I usually settle for 45-50 and I usually max out what I have, within safety and reason.
     

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