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Old 01-29-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
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Axle ratio question

I wanted to see if some of you guys agree with what a truck salesman told me about axle ratio.

I have the Silverado 1500 5.3 V8 with the axle that gets better gas mileage but does not tow as much. I think the other axle gives the truck a tow capacity of over 9,000 pounds and my axle ratio brings that number down to the 7,000 pound range. Sorry, but I don't have the exact numbers with me.

His explanation is that two trucks with those two axles could have the same engines, same transmissions, same towing packages and same suspensions. Consequently, he says, it is perfectly safe and will not harm the truck to haul 9,000 pounds with either truck, regardless of which axle is used. He says the only difference would be that it would take longer for the truck with the lower tow rating to tow a trailer up a long grade.

I know the towing equation is much more complicated, but I just wondered if you guys agree with this guy regarding the general concept of how the axle ratios affect safety and performance.

This doesn't affect my towing at the moment, but might if I went to a larger unit.

Thanks
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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Be afraid very very afraid!

Find a new salesman and dealer quick!


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Old 01-29-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
Be afraid very very afraid!

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X2 The strain that will be placed on your engine and transmission will cause it to overwork itself and you'll be replacing both, and the rear differential, much sooner than you should. You would be extremely disappointed in your towing performance anyway.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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The higher rear ratio truck can pull more because of the higher torque multiplication...that's the way it works. The saleman doesn't know what he's talking about.

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Old 01-29-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
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The higher rear ratio truck can pull more because of the higher torque multiplication...that's the way it works. The saleman doesn't know what he's talking about.

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His salesman hasnt towed more than his push mower!
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:57 AM   #6
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It seems that in my research that the better gear ratios also come with a package that includes better engine, transmission, and power steering cooling. GM seems to be offering a standard vehicle that is great for fuel economy but terrible for towing. You almost have to get a HD tow package if you plan to tow any serious trailers, IMHO.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:08 PM   #7
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Do you remember riding a ten speed bike? Think of the difference starting off in 10th gear and then starting off in 1st wich one was easier on you? Same logic used driving a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission wich is harder to take off from a red light being in 1st or 3rd gear? These are basic examples but the logic applies. Your engine will work harder and transmission will operate hotter. Gear ratio is much more important in a gas engine as the usable torque simply don't exist in the lower spectrum of the RPM range.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:08 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure a swap from 3.73 to 4.10 will yield an additional 1,000 lb. tow capacity. There are limits to how much a 1/2 ton frame can handle though. IMO sales reps tend to be overly optimistic about the product they are trying to sell.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:23 PM   #9
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You could swap out the gears to raise your trucks towing capacity. But do your homework. The sales people will tell you anything to sell you the trailer. It is not they do not know what they are talking about but it is not their truck they are talking about.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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Best bet is to swap gears. You have the 3.08 and the higher tow capacity 1500 has the 3.42.
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