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Old 09-09-2014, 11:59 AM   #1
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Upgrade to 4.10 gears

Pulling with a 03 suburban 1500 5.3 with 3.73 gears. Jumping up to the bigger trailer I've noticed more of a struggle to stay in OD. Currently on any kind of an inclince it drops into 3rd and sometimes second. At 62 mph and in OD I'm turning about 1900rpm. I'm guessing 4.10s would put me somewhere around 22-2300 rpm. Would this increase in RPM be noticeable? Also would this affect my towing mpg for the better considering I'd stay in OD a little longer? BTW I do tow in tow/haul mode. apparently the GM tow/haul mode just firms up shifts and holds passing gear a little longer.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:11 PM   #2
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I don't think it would be worth your expense to change gearing. There isn't a lot of torque in a normally aspirated V8 at that RPM range.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acadianbob View Post
I don't think it would be worth your expense to change gearing. There isn't a lot of torque in a normally aspirated V8 at that RPM range.
X2...plus factor in the additional fuel cost, towing & non towing with 4.10's...IMO, live with what you have until you upgrade to a stronger/more economical towing TV.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:47 PM   #4
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I thought about it last year. It was going to run me over $1000 for a gear swap. I think when I calculated the fuel savings when towing vs non towing and took into consideration how often I would be towing with it (I think I used an average 2mpg gain towing and 1mpg loss when not just for an idea) it would have taken me almost five years to break even with the cost. Wasn't worth it. I just take the hit when I tow and generally drive without OD to keep it around 2200 rpm.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:50 PM   #5
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What is the typical expense to do that? Is it a transmission gear change or a rear end gear change? I remember the kids in High school ( we called them gear heads because they always talked gear #. lol) would pull off the rear end case and change out gears to 4.10 gears on the mustangs or camaro's. Am I thinking about something else?
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:55 PM   #6
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It's a rear end swap. Not hard to do and the parts don't cost but a couple of hundred. I'm half afraid to do it myself due to having to have the clearances just right so I'd rather pay to have this one done. Just paranoid about having it come apart on me at the worst possible time. I think I was quoted around $1200. If I were still in high school I wouldn't worry so much...just have to get a ride if it broke. I've just never done one and, if I screw up, just don't have the time or patience any more.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:25 PM   #7
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If your transmission is hunting, pull it down to 3rd and leave it there until you get to a stretch of flat ground. Who wants to take a mpg hit for the 95% of driving you do without the trailer?
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:39 PM   #8
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According to my Chevy manual, you shouldn't be trying to pull in OD. If mine is in Tow/Haul mode, it won't shift into OD until over 65mph and I don't pull that fast due to ST tires.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:06 PM   #9
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Well next August we will be full timing for 1yr for my clinical rotation so my suburban will become a 100% tow vehicle and then upon graduation will stay that way as I will be able to afford another car that will become my DD.
As far as my tow/haul mode, I'm not sure why but it always shifts into OD whenever tow/haul is engaged no matter what speed.
If I was able to spend $3-5k I'd sell my suburban and by a diesel but no a smart move financially since the upgrade to a new TT.
I've been given an allowance from the wife of $800 to improve the towing capability of the suburban so I thought 4.10s would be the best bet. It's a 2wd so that does keep costs down a little.
Anyway I appreciate the input. Not dead set on gears. Just curious if it would even be an improvement over the 3.73s
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:16 PM   #10
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I don't think you'll see all that much of a difference. Get a quote on it anyway. I don't think you'll be inside that $800 unless you do it yourself.
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