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Who is towing with a 5.3/ 4L60e?

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by bowtiepower00, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    I've got an 07 Silverado, and until the day I can afford a New D/A or used Cummins- which is probably going to be awhile, it's going to have to be my Tow Rig. Keep in mind it's a Extended Cab Short Bed 2WD. I'm going to add a Tekonsha Prodigy and Firestone Airbags to the rear before I hook up to anything. I also plan on adding a Diablosport programmer and intake, too. Does anyone tow with a similar rig? How about on grades?

    What am I going to tow? Mainly, a 68 Nova on a 16' trailer, probably around 4500 pounds lightly loaded and 6K when I've got lots of tools, etc. with me. I may also tow an enclosed cargo trailer (probably around 14-16x7) full of Motorcycles and tools, with a trailer weight similar to the first, perhaps a bit lighter.

    I'm not looking for any comments on the Transmission's life expectancy. It has a decent cooler on it, and it will get a better one before I tow. I leave it out of OD unless I'm going to stay in it, and if/ when it goes out I will have a suitable replacement built and upgrade the TC.

    I am not expecting this thing to pull like a HD, but it will probably be my towrig for the next few years, so I want to make sure it will get the job done. If it needs it, I will regear to 4.10. The factory tow rating is 7K, which would just cover my K20 on a suitable trailer. I wouldn't be too worried if it was flat out here, but just about any direction that I'll be travelling includes 6% grades.
     
  2. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I tow my 83 shortbed on 44's with a deckover, total they weigh about 10K lbs. I have a 4.8 with 3.73 gears, no typo. I installed a K&N fipk intake, flowmaster cat back, and hypertec programmer. I keep it in tow/haul mode. 4.10's would make a difference. the factory rating goes up with deeper gears. I know cause I sell GMC's new. the tekonsha is the best controller you can buy.

    I have been putting the trail rig on a diet and stripping what I can off my overbuilt trailer. my drive from home to Paragon is 100 miles and all uphill. would I like more power, you betcha.

    I have pulled the truck and trailer with a 2500HD with a 6.0L. (I get a demo from work) it is better, but for the 350 days a year that I am not pulling 5 tons I am glad I have a small engine. my demo never got more then 11.5 mpg no matter how easy I was on it.
     
  3. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the reply. My truck currently gets 15+ MPG all PHX metro driving, but it only has 2500 miles on it and I have a heavy foot. The factory tow rating for my truck with 3.73's is 8K, 1K more. If I decide to tow a trail rig with this, it will definately be as light as I can make it.

    How do you like the upgrades? I'd really like to see what this thing will do if I can turn off the torque management. A Programmer and Intake are all I really want to do, are they worth the money? And, what brand of intake is the best for these trucks?
     
  4. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    you have 3.42's:haha: sorry had to. I did the intake, exhaust, and programmer all at once. made a big difference. $890 to my door and I picked up 1-2 mpg and seat of the pants power. the place I bought it all said it totaled about 40 hp gain.

    I went with a 70 series flowmaster. it flows better and is still fairly quiet. you can just hear the truck idle and when you get on it, it has that signature rumble, but it's not obnoxious.

    the K&N intake fit right and still fits right after a body lift. do you have the new '07 or the classic?

    I like my Hypertec, but have not tried anything else. it has a lot of adjustability and doesn't take long to change the settings. seems to me they are all basically the same though.
     
  5. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    My truck's a 2WD, according to the window sticker and RPO codes it has 3.23's. I originally wanted 3.73's but for normal driving the 3.23's work well since I leave it in D. 80 MPH is about 3K rpm. In OD, it's closer to 2K. Which K&N model do you have?
     
  6. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    when I bought it there was only one kit. the standard FIPK. now they have one with a chrome tube. I would like that one but my truck is almost always dirty.

    3.23's aren't available with 4 wheel drive, and everyone up here has 4wd, so I forget it's available. The last 2wd truck we had on the lot was a mistake. 3.73's would make your truck a rocket, and the tow rating would go up to 8400 lbs. 4.10's would put you around 9000 lbs. they are not available in 2wd with the 5.3 so they do not have a rating. I am basing this number of a 4wd.
     
  7. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I tried to get the 3.73's, but they didn't have any trucks available with them. I got the last 5.3 truck on the lot the way it was, the majority of the trucks had the 4.8. My requirements were 5.3 and charcoal interior. Even with the 3.23's, the truck, IMO, is pretty quick. Definately faster than any HEMI or 5.4L (not including lightning) truck I've driven. The weight is listed at just over 4500 pounds. Is the truck really that light? I just figure that if I do regear, I'll go ahead and do the 4.10's. As nice as 4WD is, I avoided it for several reasons: Price, MPG, maintenance, price, the fact that I'd never owned a 2WD truck before, and because if I have 4WD, I use it, and I don't need to be offroad in a new truck. Did I mention Price? Down here we don't see winter conditions, either. If I lived somewhere where it got snowy and icy (like northern AZ) I'd definately want 4WD. If I end up needing it on this rig, SFA is not out of the question after it's paid for.

    To be honest, if it were just me, I'd purchase a K2500 or K3500 WT with a 5-speed- probably regular cab. But, my GF drives this thing more than I do (I work out of town all week) and she had to have PW, PL, etc., and the extended cab was tops on her list of must haves. I really like this truck, and it grows on my more everyday. It drives like a dream, and is easy to get around town in.

    About the intakes, have you heard anything about the Volant? It appears to be a good unit too, and has a cold air scoop available. I've heard that over-oiled K&N's can mess up MAF sensors, etc. but I don't have any first hand experience of that happening. I looked at the SLP unit too, but it's pretty spendy. What model of exhaust are you running, and did you order the stuff or get it locally? I've always wanted to try a Borla system, but they're spendy too. Every truck I've owned has had Flowmasters on it. I may go that route again. If I do, I'll probably just replace my factory muffler with a Flow, and add a stainless Borla tip.
     
  8. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    yes your truck is that light. mine weighs 4800 lbs, I have had it on a scale. It is a regular cab 4wd longbed with 33's. plus my spray in bedliner, toneau cover, and all the junk I cram behind the seat weigh something.

    my K&N have been on the truck for 45,000 miles with no issues. I have cleaned and reoiled it a few times now. they do not require much oil, but I can see how someone could use to much and bolt it on too quickly. basically you want to lightly mist the filter with oil and let it soak in. if you do not get full coverage go back and apply a little more.

    I got everything from www.truckperformance.com no one could beat their deal on the package, even with shipping they were less then my local guy.

    the muffler is the only part of the stock exhaust that has any restriction. I went with a whole kit because I wanted dual exits. I don't like the side swept look. straight out both sides is ok, but I prefer duals straight out the back right beside the hitch.

    any intake you go with is going to make your truck sound better. the factory setup has a big baffle built into it that hangs down next to the radiator.

    get a stick shift now because the new body style trucks will not have them. everything gets an auto.
     
  9. jk5blazer

    jk5blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I know the title of this post is with a 5.3, so I only assume yes. I tow my blazer with my 06 crew cab 4x4. Its got the 4.8 and 4l60e and 3.73 gears. Everything is still stock except exhaust (flowmaster 40 w/ turndown) It really does quite good for whats its pulling. I can get to about 75-80mph and stay in the 2500 to 3000 rpm's.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. littlejimmythatcould

    littlejimmythatcould 1/2 ton status

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    Wow, I'm glad I found this thread. I too have been doubting my truck, but after hearing all of your input I think I"m good to go. I was also contemplating having 4.10's put in. I have the 2wd crew cab 5.3 auto with 3.73's. I looked at 3/4 ton trucks but I can't afford them right now. I just need to stop babying my truck I guess. Did anyone notice a change in their mpg when they added the aftermarket exhaust? I would like to put glass packs on it, but was not sure if that would adversly effect my power vs. a flowmaster or other chambered muffler.
     
  11. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    Looks like there are quite a few of us who tow, or are planning to tow, their rigs with 1/2 ton trucks. Great pic, JK5. I really like those crew cabs.

    GMC4cw, I'd like to hear your impressions of towing with the 2500/ 6.0 compared to your 1500.

    What kind of MPG are you guys getting with the 4.8's? As I mentioned before, I'm around 15. I haven't had the opportunity to run a whole tank on the highway in OD yet.
     
  12. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I average 15 mpg lifetime with my 4.8L. When I was towing with the 6.0 up to Paragon I didn't get there any faster. I got 11.5 mpg empty with the 6.0L and about 7.5 towing 10,000 lbs. My 4.8 gets about 7.5 mpg towing the same weight.:dunno:

    I figure the difference is in the gearing and tire size. My 4.8 is turning through 3.73 gears and 33" tires. on the highway at 75mph it runs around 2000 rpm. The 6.0L running through 4.10 gears and 31" tires revs a lot higher at 75mph. pulling away from a stop the 6.0 has the advantage but the rest of the year the 4.8 is better at the pump.

    The new HD should be awesome and get much better fuel economy. It is going to have a 6 speed auto standard. go to www.GMC.com and check it out. I can't wait to order one for a demo.
     
  13. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I've seen those new trucks. That 6-speed looks to be quite the trans, hopefully they can avoid the teething problems that plagued the 700R4 during the first couple of years, but I'm sure that they've learned from their mistakes.

    I'm still trying to get used to the new styling, but it's growing on me. I definately like the GMC's styling more than the Chevy's. I'm finally starting to see the HD's and WT's on the lots now, I prefer them to the more heavily optioned models.

    My ideal truck would be a K2500HD CCSB or K3500 CC "big dooley" as Chevy likes to call it. In W/T trim with the D/A. However, it's going to be a long time before I'm going to be willing to drop that kind of coin on another truck. I could have purchased two of my 07's for the price of a new D/A.

    I just don't think I could buy a HD with a gas engine. I've looked at the differences in price and fuel economy, and it appears that if you drive more than 2K a month or tow frequently the engine will pay for itself in 3-5 years. The harder you work it the faster you'll make up the difference. The biggest reason, IMO, is resale, but that's another issue for another thread. As stout as the half-tons are getting, a Vortec Max or Tundra would be my choice for a gas tow rig, and would be more economical to boot.

    Realistically, when it comes time for me to get a heavier tow rig it will probably be a used 12V Cummins Dodge, or, eventually, a Cummins swapped older style CC Dooley. For 10 or 15 grand, I could build one hell of a tow rig, and have enough left over for a 09 Camaro or used Vette.
     
  14. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    thats exactly correct. if you drive 20,000 a year then the diesel pays for itself in 5 years.

    I drive 10K per year. It would take me 10+ years to break even the extra cost of a diesel truck.
     
  15. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    Yah, and thats to break EVEN, aka start saving money.....
     
  16. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, the initial outlay is greater, and on a 5-6 year note you're looking at a hundred bucks a month, maybe a little more. However, consider what happens in five to ten years when you decide to sell it. Have you compared the prices of two similar trucks, one gas and one diesel? No comparison. It's also much easier to sell a diesel truck, typically. People don't think twice about a 150K-200K mile diesel, but a gasser?

    For those of us who plan on keeping our trucks for a long time 10 years plus, a diesel truck is generally capable of running 2-3 times longer than a gasser between rebuilds.

    But, generally, I think that most people who can afford a Diesel buy one. I know if I could have afforded a D/A I would have bought one, but there is no way that I could have afforded the extra $10K it would have taken me to get one- and that's just to get a W/T, a comparable LT like I have would have been at least $15K more.
     
  17. littlejimmythatcould

    littlejimmythatcould 1/2 ton status

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    I don't like the new body style. I traded my 96 pickup for my 06 pickup and I like my new truck because it has the same "feel" inside of it as my old truck. The new trucks are all sleek inside and trying to be like everyone else... rednecks, for the most part, don't like change... I know I don't, if I could afford one right now, I'd buy me one of the 2007 sierra "classics" (as the dealer calls them) in a 3/4 ton extended cab and get rid of my crew cab. I agree though, the work truck packages are more appealing to me, but I have digital dual climate control in my crew cab now because the wife likes them, but I really miss my knobs and everything to adjust the temp with:( . I guess I"m really not happy with my truck, it's squating right now with 2 axles in the back of it:doah: . My old 96 wouldn't even of blinked an eye at that kind of weight. I guess they don't build 'em like they used to.

    The crew cab bed space really bothers me too. I wish the dealership in my town had more of a selection at the time I bought my truck...
     
  18. littlejimmythatcould

    littlejimmythatcould 1/2 ton status

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    I'm sorry about my last ranting post. :doah: I was mad because I couldn't get financed on a new 2007 extended cab Sierra 2500 4x4. I wanted to take advantage of the 0% financing but I couldn't afford it. Oh well.

    On the up side I did find a trailer today. I just got to wait on my taxes...
     
  19. tomford

    tomford 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    What do you guys have for a trailer hitch, i need to get one for my 02 silverado 1500, and i eventually want to tow my 81 shortbed and want to know what hitch you guys would get/recomend
     
  20. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I picked up a factory one from a swap meet for $35. Its a long ride from Mass, but the Englishtown spring swap meet is the end of April. There are tons of people selling truck parts there.


    the wiring is there. its usually folded back on itself and tucked up by the spare tire.
     

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