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  1. #1

    Default Towing ability of '97 GMC Sierra 1500

    Greetings all. I am a long time browser, who has finally decided to join the forum.

    I have been looking at buying a truck for a while, especially since I have to tow my project car (1988 Fiero GT) 1398 mi (2250 km) over prairie and rocky mountains.

    I was hoping I could get some advice as to what set up I should use.
    I have been looking at a 1997 GMC Sierra 1500, extended cab, short box, 4x4, 3.73's, 5.7L, and was wondering if this truck would be capable of towing a total weight of 5000 lbs. Also, I'll have about 450 lbs in the box of the truck.

    Any help and advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.


  2. #2


    Is it an enclosed car trailer, or open? The reason I ask is the enclosed jobs have more drag, which you are going to feel. Either way, that truck should tow it. I have a 97, but it's a 2500. So I have a stronger tranny, and lower gears. 4.10. Hauling 5000 on a car trailer is a piece of cake, but I do feel the steep hills. I have been doing some tuneup work, and haven't hauled anything since, so I don't know how much improvement there is. The hills are what you will feel the most. And make sure the trailer brakes are in top notch condition, with a GOOD controllor. Prodigy or P3. I would recommend a full tuneup on the truck, Air & fuel filter, clean MAF, TB, IAC, Seafoam in the vacuum line and tank. AC Delco plugs, cap & rotor, NAPA wires. Change all the fluids. I would put synthetic in the rear axle.

    The longer wheelbase, and shorter rear overhang should tow very comfortably.
    When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses not zebras.

  3. #3


    I have a 24' dovetail dual axle open trailer I tow and it weighs close to 6000 lbs. with an SVX on it, which is WAY heavier than a fiero, and it tows it pretty good. I'd recommend adding an external tranny cooler if it doesn't have one and making sure the tranny has fresh quality fluid.
    1997 Chevy Silverado 1500 210K miles:
    350 Vortec/4L60E, 3.42 posi, Underdrive crank pulley, K&N filter, Superchips power programmer, mallory coil, true dual exhaust, torque swirl TB spacer, and more!

    1991 Pontiac Trans Am GTA- L98 Superram
    1992 Subaru SVX LS-L- Way too many mods to list!

  4. #4


    thanks for the reply guys. I'll definitely be putting in fresh tranny fluid.

    I'll be towing it with a uhaul trailer, so I'm not to concerned about drag.

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