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Old 09-28-2015, 08:49 PM   #11
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Changing gears would help, but a small block 350 is meant to rev. 3,000 rpm isn't bad. My blazer would hit 3500+ going up hills at 60. You would be looking around $500 for a gear change. Like said above, take it to a 4x4 shop or performance so they are set up right. I would also suggest going to synthetic gear oil in the axle.

If this is primarily a toe vehicle, save the money and buy a newer vehicle with more power and a 6 speed tranny. Might be partial, but you can't beat the torque and mpg of a diesel.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:01 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the information and suggestions. Lots to think about. I've owned big blocks and diesels throughout the years. Each have their own pro's/con's, and we're at that age where we don't have a lot of debt and don't want to invest $50,000+ in a new vehicle. I guess we're a little "old fashioned" in that respect.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:03 PM   #13
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When you say it revs nearly to red line... how many RPM are we talking? If you actually mean over 4000 - 4500 RPM, or higher, the engine is revving until it finds enough torque / HP for the speed you want to go; if that is the case I doubt a lower gear will help in a significant way. You need more torque; or a lighter trailer, or slow way down and save your money for your next truck... it doesn't have to be new... no body drives a new vehicle! JMO.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:08 PM   #14
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It's 2-wheel drive, so I wouldn't need to do anything up front. I guess I get nervous when it downshifts to 2nd, the RPM's get close to red line and my speed drops into the 40's...
Slow down and enjoy life. Going 40mph vs 50mph for an hour only saves you 10-15minutes. I limit my old junker to 3500rpm, if those behind don't like it, they have 3 choices, pass, follow or stop.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:45 PM   #15
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OldCoot and everyone, you all have excellent advise. I like the pass, follow or stop part! We've always lived in the fast lane and retirement has made us slow down a lot, so I'm glad I'm not alone in this. I just don't want to blow the engine with rev's over 3500 - sounds like a jet plane! It's in my genes to "worry". We'll keep it as is and consider options when it's time to upgrade. Thanks everyone.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:55 PM   #16
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Few years ago i went from 3.42 to 3.73s in my 01 silvy. Its not as BIG a change numerical wise, but it made a huge difference all around.
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:51 AM   #17
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I guess I get nervous when it downshifts to 2nd, the RPM's get close to red line and my speed drops into the 40's.
If you go with the gear set change and if the Burb still needs to use 2nd gear, your speed will even be slower for any given RPM. But with the gear set change, your Burb may not need to downshift. Can you say "conundrum" ??
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:58 AM   #18
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If you go with the gear set change and if the Burb still needs to use 2nd gear, your speed will even be slower for any given RPM. But with the gear set change, your Burb may not need to downshift. Can you say "conundrum" ??
Yes, it is and the more I consider things, the more it becomes a conundrum. I've always wanted to "shake things up" and do something just a little different, so I my just have to try it. Might even beautify the motor bay a little. Can you say "headers, chrome valve covers, etc, etc"? DW says go for it if I want!
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:18 AM   #19
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You know with the right parts... you can upgrade that small block to 383 which is supposed to be a big boost to torque.

Headers look cool but the intake is where the power is.

Hot rodding can be a slippery slope
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:12 AM   #20
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Slow down and enjoy life. Going 40mph vs 50mph for an hour only saves you 10-15minutes. I limit my old junker to 3500rpm, if those behind don't like it, they have 3 choices, pass, follow or stop.
This is a key statement in most tow guides:
When adequately equipped, which may require engine and/or other drive train upgrades.

If you have a 5.7L suburban with only 3.42 gears in it it probably does not have the right package for serious towing. That configuration was good for casual towing. I would seriously doubt it has all the HD equipment needed to be a good hauler.

If your truck is not properly equipped, you WILL have a problem towing it.You need to be able to maintain a speed that is adequate and considerate to other drivers.Most state highways are 55 to 60 mph. Unless there are extenuating circumstances like excessive traffic or weather for example, you need to be able to keep up. You do have several choices. Upgrade your current equipment, buy a new truck, buy a smaller trailer or find a seasonal site that you like and just park your trailer it. Driving too slow on the highway has been proven to be just as dangerous as going too fast.

Slow down and enjoy life is a good concept if you are retired and have no time constraints but you have to realize that you are not the only one on the road. People going to work. delivery trucks, people with deadlines to meet are also on the road and they have the right to travel as fast as legally allowed also. If you can't make the grade then get out of the way.
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