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Old 04-17-2012, 04:02 PM   #1
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Smile Towing preference?

We now pull our 2011 26 RLS Flagstaff with a 2003 Yukon Denali XL with the 6.0 engine. We're looking at a 2005 Suburban 2500 with 8.1 engine as we feel we need more power up and down high hills. The Denali pressure gauge goes up about 15 degrees or more when pulling in the hot summer. Does anyone have experience or knowledge of the comparison between the two? Thanks a bunch.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:59 PM   #2
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Do you mean temp gauge?

Do you know what gear ratio is in the denali?

You will absolutely not like the fuel mileage from the 8.1

Have your thermostat checked in the 6.0 .

Install an electric fan in it as well that will help

Start with the thermostat and maybe even a flush
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply. The gear ratio is 3.73 if that's what you mean. My husband watches the temperature gauge all the time when it starts creeping up. But, it almost gets in the red when driving on a hot day. I know the radiator has never been flushed and that's a great suggestion. We'd never camped before getting this truck so your information is quite valuable. Happy camping!!
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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Also have the clutch fan checked it may be weak.
that 6.0 shouldn't run warm
373 is good
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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The rad on your Denali might need to be re-cored...when re-cored they can change the number of rows and increase the cooling efficiency.

I think that the cooling problems are fixable. I really don't think that you need more power with your set-up...our camper's probably about 6000 lbs loaded. It's not that unusual to lose some speed climbing steeper climbs and have the trans downshift. The Surburban 8.1 will have more power, but also weighs a lot more. Unless you need the extra payload capacity of the Surburban, I say to stick with what you got.

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Old 04-17-2012, 11:59 PM   #6
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I have a 04 Yukon Denali xl. Tow about 7000 pounds. I did do a radiator flush for first time last year. You might also have the themostat checked as trans cooler is in the radiator. Mine was getting hot on hot days 95+ weather going up hill, but never red line, probably peak at 210 - 215 deg on the trans temp gauge. After that experience I installed a radiator cooler which has lowered temps 10-15 deg on hot days, but it won't fix a redline situation. Highly recommend you install a extra trans cooler kit in series with the factory cooler. I think 03 had factory coolers on them. You can figure if you have a factory one by looking at the hoses going into the radiator. Trans cooler on the Denali is inside the radiator.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:51 AM   #7
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after thinking about it your denali may have electric fans stock with no clutch fan.
either the case check and or install these items.
1) thermostat
2) clutch fan (if equipped ) you can also upgrade to a hd towing unit .
3) flush radiator
4) check for and or install external transmission cooler
5) if it has factory electric fans check to make sure there working
6) change differential gear lubes (front and rear) and engine and transmission oils to synthetic. (if there not already)

Normal operating temperature range of this engine is 210 - 215 degrees.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:13 AM   #8
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We had a 1990 Astro Van with a 373 and pulled a 1994 23RL Jayco TT. We had overheating problems until we added another trans cooler. We drove it until it has 350,000 miles on it...gave it to our son and it had an oil leak and he blew it up. I think if he had taken care of it it would have easily gotten 500,00 miles. Now on the other hand we got another Astro in 2003 brand new with exact same specs and we couldn't pull it without tearing up the rear end...actually had a noise in the rear when we owned it for two weeks. Anyway had it "fixed" several times and it still whines. Drives fine, but noisy, I'm gonna keep it til the wheels fall off.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #9
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towing

I would think that either should pull it, I towed a 829FK 4500 miles thru the canadian maritime provences with a 2008 f150 supercrew, 5.4, 3.73 gears. It sounds like you are a Chevy fan, but you may want to consider switching to Ford. My new 2011 F150 5.0 supercrew is rated at 380 hp, 390 ft lbs torque and it pulls fantastic.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rlocicero View Post
I would think that either should pull it, I towed a 829FK 4500 miles thru the canadian maritime provences with a 2008 f150 supercrew, 5.4, 3.73 gears. It sounds like you are a Chevy fan, but you may want to consider switching to Ford. My new 2011 F150 5.0 supercrew is rated at 380 hp, 390 ft lbs torque and it pulls fantastic.

Yes I usually am a Chevy fan but I also like whatever works. So we just got a 2006 Ford superduty Crewcab diesel flatbed F250 and we had our diesel mechanic tweak it and now we are getting 19mpg and we have a brand new Wildcat 313RE and we are happy happy campers, just can't go as much as we'd like because we're not quite retired yet.
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