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Old 05-02-2007, 08:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Any experiance 4.8/ 5 speed chevy trucks?

I've been towing with a '90 light duty 3/4 ton (350/ granny 4 speed) chev and I'm sick of it, not the towing ability but it is falling apart and I'm ready for something newer. I'm a manual trans guy and chevy never offered a 5.3/ 5 speed truck though there are some 4.8/5 speed trucks out there in my price range. Anyone ever tow with one? I'm towing about 5k and am pretty patient when it comes to towing (a 4.8 has to have more power then my really tired tbi 350).

It'll see DD duty, local towing under 50 miles round trip a weekend, and then 1/2 dozen longer tows a year. I'm thinking mileage empty will be pretty good which is a big plus. I'm a college kid so money is tight, I graduate in a year with the good chance of a long comute each day so I'm thinking the 4.8/ 5 speed truck would turn into more of a DD and then in a couple years buy a nice diesel. My requirments for a truck are a manual trans, 4x4, and definetly less then 10 grand. There isn't much in my price range that's a 4x4 with a manual trans. Most of the diesels and 3/4 tons have really high mileage and are pretty beat.
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My Dad has a 2000 with the auto and 3.73s... It tows the 3500 lb snowmobile trailer no problem. A very nice running engine. Being how you are out east away from the high passes, I think it could tow 5000 lb okay. Not fast but the older ones had good brakes, and handled and rode well. His has had zero problems. Just new tires and oil changes, and it spends most of its mile with at least a quad in the back.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No manual but the 4.8 w/auto, 2wd 1/2T I use as my DD has towed my race truck and trailer a couple times no with no issue (probably 5-6K total load). Works best with the tranny in 'tow mode'.

Actually I really like the motor, good zip, runs smooth, nice power. Slows down a little with the trailer behind it and you got to get on it on the hills some more but doesn't compain. Haven't pulled any passes with it though or my heavier trail truck.

The 1/2ton need the weight distribuiting hitch since the rear springs are so soft, a 3/4ton probably wouldn't.

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Old 05-02-2007, 10:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I used to drive a 4.8/auto/4x4 with 4.10's for work as a parts guy, the most I had in the back was about 1,000 pounds and never had a trailer in tow. I think it got 16-19mpg and that's lots of idling, really short trips around town, and driving with my foot in the wood. I really liked it, just trying to get some more oppinions.

I have no problem hopping in the slow lane behind grandpa driving an RV up a pass. The slow TBI truck actually probably saved me from a couple tickets.
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have the 4.8/4x4/auto- I dont know if its the 3.73 gears or 4x4 but the thing cant hold 80mph on the highway to save its life on the slightest hill or slighest headwind it has to downshift into 3rd, I really wish Id have gotten the 5.3, the 4.8 is a dog
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I seem to recall from reading on Chevy's site a few years back that the manual tranny option lowers the tow rating by something like 1000 or 1500 lbs gross. It would be worth researching that point a little more. Given everything else being the same on the trucks with the auto and manual that can only make a guy wonder as to how tough that tranny is.
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have the 4.8/4x4/auto- I dont know if its the 3.73 gears or 4x4 but the thing cant hold 80mph on the highway to save its life on the slightest hill or slighest headwind it has to downshift into 3rd, I really wish Id have gotten the 5.3, the 4.8 is a dog
Don't worry, the 5.3l isn't any better. I towed my junk twice from Orlando to Moab with a 2001 5.3l powered 1500 Silverado 2wd. It would do OK until I started to hit the rolling hills in Texas, and it only got worse from there. I towed the passes from Moab to Denver and it flat out sucked donkey dick. I had the truck in first gear, foot to the floor bouncing off the rev limiter and that was all it could do hauling my jeep on a trailer east bound on I70 over Loveland and Eisenhower. I sold that truck shortly after returning home from that trip and bought a VW instead. Once we moved and before I bought a real tow rig, I had to fetch my jeep and trailer from a friend in Bayfield, CO. I rented a Penske van with a 6.0. It did OK on the flats, but was marginally better than my old truck pulling over Wolf Creek pass. It managed about 25 mph up the hill and overheated 2 miles from the top.

Now I have a '98 K2500 burb with a 454. I paid $7k for it used with 118K miles on it. The difference in performance is night and day. Gas mileage towing is the same, power is more than double and I can maintain the speed limit going up pretty much any hill except for last mile or so of Eisenhower or Loveland.

The 5.3l=327ci It's just not enough to tow anything more than a jet ski or snowmobile. Also, the drivetrain is much stronger too so no worries pulling in OD or melting the rear axle down.
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Don't worry, the 5.3l isn't any better. I towed my junk twice from Orlando to Moab with a 2001 5.3l powered 1500 Silverado 2wd. It would do OK until I started to hit the rolling hills in Texas, and it only got worse from there. I towed the passes from Moab to Denver and it flat out sucked donkey dick. I had the truck in first gear, foot to the floor bouncing off the rev limiter and that was all it could do hauling my jeep on a trailer east bound on I70 over Loveland and Eisenhower. I sold that truck shortly after returning home from that trip and bought a VW instead. Once we moved and before I bought a real tow rig, I had to fetch my jeep and trailer from a friend in Bayfield, CO. I rented a Penske van with a 6.0. It did OK on the flats, but was marginally better than my old truck pulling over Wolf Creek pass. It managed about 25 mph up the hill and overheated 2 miles from the top.

Now I have a '98 K2500 burb with a 454. I paid $7k for it used with 118K miles on it. The difference in performance is night and day. Gas mileage towing is the same, power is more than double and I can maintain the speed limit going up pretty much any hill except for last mile or so of Eisenhower or Loveland.

The 5.3l=327ci It's just not enough to tow anything more than a jet ski or snowmobile. Also, the drivetrain is much stronger too so no worries pulling in OD or melting the rear axle down.
I really think it all has to do w/ the computer/ torque mang. on EACH truck b/c before my 4.8 I had a 5.3 which did just fine on hills and such, hardly ever drop into 3rd and it had 3.73 gears, my dad has a new Avalanche w/ the 5.3 but 4.10 gears and that thing off the line seems pretty slow but on the highway it will hold any MPH on the in 4th on every hill/ small N. Ga mountain in Ga I put it on, so I really think its each truck b/c of the torque mangement
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience3006 View Post
I seem to recall from reading on Chevy's site a few years back that the manual tranny option lowers the tow rating by something like 1000 or 1500 lbs gross. It would be worth researching that point a little more. Given everything else being the same on the trucks with the auto and manual that can only make a guy wonder as to how tough that tranny is.
Ford did the same thing with their five speeds. My guess is to not have to warranty clutches and driveline bits from idiots that can't handle a handshaker.

Case in point, '97 F-150, 4.6L, M5OD-R2. Book rated for like 3000lbs. Before I got the diesel, drug 10k+ trailers and still on original clutch at 100k.

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Old 05-05-2007, 08:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a buddy with a similar truck. 03' 1500 work truck, reg cab, long box, 4.3 5 speed, 4x4, I want to say he paid 13K for it brand new. Pulled his CJ-7(4500lbs) on a trailer from the UP to MN, and then from MN to SC, along with a bed full of belongings with no real issues, just a little slow on hills. Also hauled it to telico 2 weeks ago with no issues.

He said the best thing he did was put bags on it, to help the excuse of a leaf pack they come with.
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yeah I remember bildo saying he didn't mind his truck when he towed down here with it. I've yet do decide what i'm going to buy...
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