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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2001 Chevy Suburban 1500 with a 10 bolt rear end, (373 ratio) and 35" All Terrain tires all the way around.
I used this truck to tow a sailboat on a trailer, combo wgt. 10,000 pds., from Maryland to Virginia with no problem what so ever. The boat and trailer followed the trucks' movements as though it was part of the truck itself. However, since then I have become more educated in the science of what one needs to have in order to haul and tow specific trailers and haul certain ;pad amounts. I don't wish to drive around town hauling it and have my rear end snap. So, I've bought a 1-ton dually rear end and had customized coil springs fabricated. The coil springs are rated for 10,000lbs GSWR. Now I'm coming to the time to perform the modifications. Not trying reinvent the wheel, I'm looking ideas, suggestions, etc..
I would be very interested in hearing from others who have turned their Suburban into big haulers, heavy duty Off-road trucks, Campers, and/or RV's. Thank You
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Towing isn't just about rear axle/suspension capacity......towing ability includes the front end if the vehicle as well. Namely brakes.....馃榿
But the rear axle/suspension is a good start....there's more as towed weights go up....weight of towing vehicle, frame strength etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I鈥檇 start with a 2500. Better brakes, transmission, springs, drivelines, frame, etc. for what you are trying to do.
I've had this truck for over a decade and selling it now would place Me way behind the 8-ball. If I could find one that had no drive train in it for an inexpensive amount, I would definitely consider the purchase to move forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Towing isn't just about rear axle/suspension capacity......towing ability includes the front end if the vehicle as well. Namely brakes.....馃榿
But the rear axle/suspension is a good start....there's more as towed weights go up....weight of towing vehicle, frame strength etc.
Understood. I've have My head into modifying the front end a bit later. Larger gear to match the new rear gear. In the meantime, I'm planning to just remove the front drive shaft. Also, larger pinion, hub, rotors, brakes, and Master cylinder with the correct size booster.
 

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A 1 ton rear axle should handle your snapping fear. Going to dual wheels may be unnecessary. What is your anticipated tongue weight? A Chevy 14 bolt full floater is cheap. Your 3.73 ratio with 35 inch tires gives a very tall ratio for a small block. You have a lift, was this merely to clear the 35's and do you need that clearance enough to justify it? Newer computerized rigs are harder to modify. Ultimately, you may spend a dollar to save a dime by staying with this rig. I had a 97 Suburban 2500 with the 454 Vortec and a 2005 Excursion with the 6.8 V10. The Suburban towed better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A 1 ton rear axle should handle your snapping fear. Going to dual wheels may be unnecessary. What is your anticipated tongue weight? A Chevy 14 bolt full floater is cheap. Your 3.73 ratio with 35 inch tires gives a very tall ratio for a small block. You have a lift, was this merely to clear the 35's and do you need that clearance enough to justify it? Newer computerized rigs are harder to modify. Ultimately, you may spend a dollar to save a dime by staying with this rig. I had a 97 Suburban 2500 with the 454 Vortec and a 2005 Excursion with the 6.8 V10. The Suburban towed better.
The purpose of going with dually was simply having the extra set of tires would permit me to tow up around 14,000. As far as the 35's go, the truck has always had 35's on it since the day I bought it some 8 or 9 years ago. The coil springs that were on the truck when I bought it were very weak. They had the height, but the back end of the truck would drop even with the slightest load or trailer. So, I reached out to a place in Colorado who specializes in making custom springs. Told them what was going on and they asked me what I wanted. I informed them that I did not want the truck drop unless it had 1900 lbs. on it in tongue weight and that it would not drop more than 2". So, they had their engineer make specs. for the coil springs requested and they delivered coil springs that would do the 2" drop and handle 725lbs per square inch there after the 1900lb. 2" drop.

So, that is the history of the lift and why.
 

Slab King
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My two cents -

Install a disc brake 14 bolt with limited slip, go to 4.10 gears, have the 4l60 rebuilt and upgraded specifically for towing, install a good trans cooler and trans temp gauge, and upgrade your front brakes - ideally with larger rotors and calipers.
Then just make sure you stay out of overdrive while towing.

The dually axle is gonna likely require body tub mods, exhaust mods, shock and spring mount mods, trac bar mount mods....
I mean we mod the shit out of our junk all the time so if you're cool with fabbing up something totally custom then that's great, go for it.

But for the express purpose of towing the blowboat around more safely, the above list will get you there relatively quickly and easily.

Oh and dude keep the front driveshaft. Them boat ramps get slick down low.
 
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You can beef up the vehicle all you want so that it tows the load with ease. But if you were to have accident of any kind while towing the only thing the insurance company and DOT will be looking at is the door plate that indicates the factory load limits. If you are towing anything, boat or whatever and if it weights more than printed on the plate the insurance company will most likely deny the claim.
So I agree with what others have said; Buy a vehicle that is rated about 10% greater whatever you are planning to tow. The 10% gives you a added margin of error to cover any additional weight you may add to the tow vehicle and the trailer behind it.
The best advice I can give is to ask your insurance agent before any upgrade to the tow vehicle.
 

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Instead of beefing up the 4L60, you might want to consider a 4L80 and beef that if you are looking at 14K in the future.
5.3 is not the best tow motor and will not like 14K, I know because I had one and tried that..
I agree with others who say you would be better off with a 3/4 sub or 1 ton pick up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My two cents -

Install a disc brake 14 bolt with limited slip, go to 4.10 gears, have the 4l60 rebuilt and upgraded specifically for towing, install a good trans cooler and trans temp gauge, and upgrade your front brakes - ideally with larger rotors and calipers.
Then just make sure you stay out of overdrive while towing.

The dually axle is gonna likely require body tub mods, exhaust mods, shock and spring mount mods, trac bar mount mods....
I mean we mod the shit out of our junk all the time so if you're cool with fabbing up something totally custom then that's great, go for it.

But for the express purpose of towing the blowboat around more safely, the above list will get you there relatively quickly and easily.

Oh and dude keep the front driveshaft. Them boat ramps get slick down low.

Thanks for your two cents.
It is right in line with the items I have been told to price out and locate. However, you are the first that recommended to run 4.10 gears. Any specific reason for that particular size? As far as the exhaust mods. goes, unless you're referring to a larger exhaust, it's relatively out of the way for the shock mounts, track bar mounts, etc..

I'm in no hurry. Time is on My side. I am hoping to have mostly all of the stuff I need before pulling out my current rear end. I know. Things only go that way if I'm in a shop where everything is readily available.

Thanks again for the advice. Some of the best I've gotten from most I've spoken with. As soon as the disassembling begins, I will start posting up some pics..
 

Rolling Mod
04 Wrangler Unlimited, 67 F100
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I had saw online that by having the dually, it increased the towing capacity to 14,000 lbs. ???
馃槅. Only if you do the supporting mods. Frame, brakes, engine, definitely transmission and tires. A more poweful engine is also a good idea. No one item will increase your towing capacity.
 
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