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  1. #1

    Default I just joined and need help, 3.42 vs 3.73 gear ratio

    I am in the process of buying a 2010 GMC Savana AWD cargo can.
    I am getting the G80 differential and it will be AWD.

    I can get 3.73 or 3.42 gear ratio. I have no idea what to do here. I want good gas mileage and good performance offroad.

    What is the preferred gear ratio for vans, pickups, suv's?
    Last edited by 1flyfisher; 01-05-2010 at 12:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Sr. Apprentice itsabowtime2's Avatar
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    Default

    General rule, lower ratio (3.42) will yield better fuel economy.

    Now for a disclaimer ; driving habits, maintenance, load will all play a part in your economy.
    2003 Chevy Tahoe Z71 4x4
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    Life is short. Boats and trucks are cool.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by itsabowtime2 View Post
    General rule, lower ratio (3.42) will yield better fuel economy.

    Now for a disclaimer ; driving habits, maintenance, load will all play a part in your economy.
    Yes I am aware that the 3.42 may give me a better gas mileage depending on how I drive.

    I am wondering what ratio is more of a generally accepeted gear ratio for pickups, vans, suv's. IF there is one.
    I won't be towing much.
    The salesman said the 3.73 would be better climbing hills.

    Does it matter which one I get? I will be driving this vehicle off road , dirt and gravel roads, snow.....etc

  4. #4

    Default 3.42 vs 3.73

    Oh yeah.

    This vehicle has tow/haul mode which is supposed to help prevent hunting between gears when climbing hills. I guess that would help with 3.42.

    Anyone have a 3.42? Do you like it?
    I live in mountain country here in the CA Sierra's at Lake Tahoe and high elevations... lake level is 6200 ft. I am generally driving at high elevations 5000 ft to over 7000ft, alot of 1-2 hour+ highway drives on U.S. 395 and I-80 to get to lakes and then off road for a mile or so.
    I MAY be buying a small boat 19' in the future. I may not.
    I drive off road quite a bit.
    Wash board roads, dirt roads, mud, sand, snow, hard pack snow.
    Last edited by 1flyfisher; 01-04-2010 at 11:56 PM.

  5. #5

    Default

    Most of the pickups with the G80 option have the 3:73 ratio, more for low end torque vs gas mileage. My new Colorado has the 4:10 G80 and I would just as soon had the 3:73s.


    2010 Z/71 Colorado C/C
    Black 4X4 w/5.3L V8
    ===============
    2007 Winnebago Adventurer
    w/8.1L Chevy & Allison 6spd.
    Canyon Lake, Texas

  6. #6

    Default

    I am not currently towing anything. I am ordering the trailer hitch as I may tow a trailer or light boat in the future.

    I do live in some hilly areas and I am at a high elevations of 5000 to 7000+ with lots of hills.

    Vans are pretty heavy and I am perplexed as to what to do here.

    I read and article by a GM exec that said the higher gears really don't adversely affect MPG's. I said speed difference affect the MPG's. As in driving faster vs slower speeds affects MPG rather than if it is a 3.42 or 3.73.
    Nonetheless I am seriously struggling with the decisions as to what to get. 3.42 vs 3.73

  7. #7
    Sr. Apprentice itsabowtime2's Avatar
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    Default

    My Tahoe has the 3.73. I am pleased with the performance. I get about 16-17 highway.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1flyfisher View Post
    Does it matter which one I get? I will be driving this vehicle off road , dirt and gravel roads, snow.....etc
    Go with the 3.73's if you intend to use the truck for these tasks, the MPG loss wont be a lot but the performance will make a difference off-road.

  9. #9

    Default

    I found this article/interview with a GM exec.
    It is a good informative read on this subject of 3.42 vs 3.73

    http://www.trucktestdigest.com/axle%20ratios.htm

    This 1500 Van is 5000+ pounds and comes Standard with the 3.42 with the 3.73 available as a NO COST option.
    The 2500 (3/4 Ton) and 3500 ( 1 Ton) come Standard with the 3.73.
    The weight difference between the 2500 and 1500 is about 300 pounds and that vehicle comes with the 3.73.

    The 1500 AWD Savana has the 245/70/17 tires which are 30" tires.
    I was considering 255's.

    ANY ADVICE or Opinions would be greatly appreciated as I would like to hear others thoughts on the matter.
    Thanks in Advance
    Last edited by 1flyfisher; 01-05-2010 at 12:01 AM.

  10. #10
    Sr. Apprentice Mr Dragon's Avatar
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    Default

    The 2010 should have the 6 speed transmission, so I would definately go with the 3:73, better toruque for offroad driving. If you use 4 Low, much the 3:42 will not grind it out as well. Just my preference and opinion.

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