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Thread: Rear end ratio

  1. #1

    Default Rear end ratio

    I have just finished putting a Whipple Supercharger on my 02 5.3 Tahoe. The car runs great but frankly not my expectations! I think it's heavy car and I'm considering changes to the axel ratio. I have 3:73 on and looking for 4:10. I need help on couple of things:
    - How much Improvement should I expect in take off? I know it's not high way gears but my car is used alot in city driving and off road.
    -Do I need to match the same ratio to the front end, i.e both 4:10 in back and front? or can I just change the rear ratio and keep the stock front?
    - What other mods I can put to improve the performance? I have already put Headers and cat back, High flow induction but i would not touch the boost to keep the car street use!

    Any Help, thoughts or ideas are appreciated Guys.

  2. #2


    first of all, this does not belong in the member introductions area, it belongs in Powertrain issues. secondly, you must keep the same gear ratios in the front and rear, and switching out a differential's gear ratio can easily cost 300+ to just replace one diff, much less a front and a rear. You probably wouldn't see too much in the line of difference between 3.83s and 4.10s on takeoff. You will see some, but I don't think you'll see as much as it seems you're looking for, you'd have to go with really high gear ratios (at the cost of top end speed).

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 277K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half

    There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who dont...

    Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down- Adam Savage

  3. #3


    Thank you, I guess first timers make mistake! I will pay attention next time but thank you again for the reply.

  4. #4
    Jr. Apprentice CaJuN625's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Pleasant View, UT

    Default Don't take it hard

    Don't let the "wrong place" comment get under your skin. Maybe this person just hadn't had his morning cup of coffee before they replied.

    Anyway, yes, both front and rear as you were told. If you only did the rears, imagine the problems when you went to 4wd the first time and the fronts tried to turn different rpms than the rears?

    You'll find it costs about $250-$300 in labor alone to switch gear ratios on the back. The fronts can cost up to TWICE as much because of the IFS not allowing the gears to be removed with the housing attached to the frame - unlike the rear-end. You can get new gears for $160-$500 a pair (you'll need two sets, obviously) that should have all the bearings and spacers and such that you'll need for the swap. It's not something you want to do yourself, though, as it's something that takes ALOT of practice to get right. You might get lucky doing it yourself, but ... the risk is WAY too high, in my opinion.

    It amazes me that the 3.73 gears aren't to your liking. I've got 3.42s in my Tahoe and under the right circumstances, she'll take off like a bat out of hell. No, she's not a Camaro or Mustang, but for 3 tons of steel and a small block ... wow.

    I'd turn my resources to a custom tune for your computer, personally. It seems to me you're missing something ... if you've got a supercharger and STILL aren't happy. Keep in mind, you don't have a big block, you've got a 327 on a vehicle that's twice as heavy as the original cars these engines were put into : Corvettes and Camaros and the like (2800-3400 pounds). Even so, you should have about 375-400 at the flywheel, now, so you should have noticed SOMETHING. Definitely get the computer reprogrammed to understand WHAT it's got and HOW it should react. Money well spent.

    Good luck.
    Pleasant View, UT

    1998 Tahoe LT 4dr 4wd
    2004 GMC 2500HD CC / SB

  5. #5
    TrailLeadr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Coventry, Rhode Island


    I have to agree with Cajun on the tune.
    Don't worry about Crawdady, we'll have him whipped, and flogged later.:slap:

    BTW: Welcome to the club. Keep us posted on whatever you decide to do.
    Rhode Island

  6. #6


    sorry if I came off the wrong way, it's just a pet peeve of mine I need to get rid of. I didn't mean to scold or be angry at anyone or anything of the sort. Tuning the PCM does sound like a good next step. I wanna get some bolt-ons done before I order my chip, then again, PCMforless does offer reprogramming to new specs for just $50 bucks... (did I get some brownie points for the plug TrailLeadr?)

  7. #7


    From experience (I own a supercharged Tacoma and a Turbocharged Toyota truck, and recently sold a supercharged Suburban) I can tell you that if you havent had the computer and engine tuned for forced induction your missing out on a lot of potential performance.

    Yes gears should be matched from front to rear, you can be off by less than 10% between front and rear but its best to get the same ratio for both axles. 3.73 to 4.10 is to much of a difference. The only trucks I can think of that run a different gear ratio front to rear are dedicated mud trucks that use a smaller tire and lower gear ratio up front so they can keep the front tires spinning to steer the truck.

    Additional Mods:
    Index the plugs
    Bigger plug wires
    Different plug settings (you may be able to run a hotter plug with the Supercharger)
    Upgrade the manual valve body in the transmission
    Or a performance built transmission

    You off-road this truck, what size tires are you running? This could also be some of your lack of performance issue.

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