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upgrading 1/2ton v6 truck to towrig status

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by ryan22re, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    make a long story short, id like to convert my daily driver to towrig status. (94 c1500 4.3 standard cab/long bed) i was thinking, drop in a 350, big tranny cooler, possibly a larger rear axle (like maybe a dana 60 and 3.73/4.10) and some airbags to help out the rear suspension when towing/hauling.

    i really dont want/cant have another vehicle, and i cant sell this one (family heirloom). if money were no object, id like to drop this body on a 4wd 2500 frame. but my real question is this: How much different are the 1500/2500 frames and suspension? could i upgrade to 2500 springs/suspension? (still 2wd) any thoughts/help would be appreciated
     
  2. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    My first response would be that it's not doable.

    Like, just too much work.....starting wiht something that isn't up to the task.

    With a 350 swap, a good tranny cooler, and a 14bolt rear, you might do alright....but i wouldnt' reccomend it. Plus, you'd have 5 lug front and 6 or 8 lug rear.....
     
  3. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    All I can say is buy another truck... cause by the time you change out everything needed to do what you want your not gonna have the same truck anymore. What good is the sentimental value if only 15% of the truck is original?
     
  4. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    what kenny said.....i didn't want to be the 1st one to say it......
     
  5. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    How much weight do you want to tow?

    You can get a 14 bolt SF rear from a 454SS truck, it's a 5 lug 14 bolt so it will still match the front. You will still have 1/2 ton brakes though...



    .
     
  6. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    I thought of that, and knew someone would bring it up......but good luck finding one.
     
  7. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    yeah, maybe its a little far fetched, but i think it would be do-able. people turn six cylinder camaros into drag cars right? eh....who knows what i will do.
     
  8. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    Building a drag car isn't anything like building a tow rig though... You can do it, its just a matter of time and money. LOTS of time and money.
     
  9. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    plus, if someone overloads the rear axle, or frame or whatever on a drag car.....not much happens. it breaks, maybe runs into a wall?

    When you load up 7-8000lb of truck and trailer behind an inadequate tow vehicle and go driving down a public freeway....you put at risk everyone else who sets foot on the road.
     
  10. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    you guys must have it in for 1/2 ton trucks.

    how about this: with a 5.3 v8 a 2006 2wd 1/2t long box truck can tow 7200 lbs with 3.23's and 8200 lbs with 3.73's.

    that seems like something my truck could be built to or even better. come on guys, where is your sense of adventure?
     
  11. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    My sense of adventure ends when I get pushed around by the trailer because the truck couldn't handle it... I've done a lot of stupid stuff and towed a lot of stuff. I offer my advise with great respect for what these trucks can do. My '79 K10 with me, full tank of fuel, a duffle bag of clothes and my tool box weighed in at 6200#+, the tires were never happy with more than 1000# more in the bed of the truck as a 1/2 ton.

    7200 or 8200 # is only 1000-2000# over the weight of the vehicle after you add fuel, driver, passengers... Your not gonna haul much with it. However you have not really said what you plan to haul. If its only a 2000# trailer it should be fine if you put a tranny cooler and a few little upgrades.
     
  12. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    home that 2006....and your truck if you build it up....never hit a hit with that load....

    I have a 1/2 ton truck, but respect its limits. Our boat weighs in around 5000lbs, and i have dropped down to 25mph ish going up good grades, with the motor taching around 3-4grand and pedal to the floor....
     
  13. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I would hope he's not trying to pull something that needs more than 2k lbs of toung weight.
     
  14. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    I'm talking about GCVWR... combined weight of truck and cargo (including the weight of a trailer and anything on it). A stock 1/2 ton doesn't offer much there.
     
  15. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    It's not that we have something in for 1/2 tons, it's that they aren't designed to really pull trailers. yeah, they can pull bass boats, U haul trailers, smaller trailers like that but they are designed to be basically a car with a pickup bed on the back.

    Today's 1/2ton trucks are getting more tow friendly with stronger components and higher tow ratings because people want to actually be able to pull with a 1/2 but not have to step up to a real pickup like a 3/4 or 1 ton.

    You have an older truck that you compare to that 2006, the problem is that unless you plan on changing the frame ( i don't know what HD frame would actually bolt in) there isn't a lot you can do as far as that goes.

    With that you could put in a different engine, swap the rear springs, put in an 8 lug full floating rear end or a semi float 6 lug 14b. That would let you bring the tow rating up a fair amount, but it wouldn't change what it says on the paperwork and what a highway patrol would see.

    Yeah, you could probably put your cab and bed on a 2500, but why? Thats a ton of work, and you'd basically have to buy a complete truck for a rolling chassis anyway.

    I'd just look for another truck IMHO.
     
  16. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    I don't think it has been mentioned yet, but imagine some douche bag pulls out in front of you causing you to smash into them and kill their kids in the back seat with your overloaded "1/2 ton truck", even if it has been built up to 3/4 ton status. Lawyers will sue the sh!t out of you.
     
  17. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    OK, got it.
     
  18. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    If it was such a special truck to me...i don't think i'd want to kill it by overloading it, or modifying the hell out of it, or over working it. Just a thought....
     

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