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08-03-2012, 11:24 PM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
Towing cross country...got a couple ?s
This is my first post on the site here, so I'm hoping I get some helpful responses! I have a beautiful '87 gmc v1500 full size burby. On September 1st I plan to move cross country-Seattle, wa area to southwest NewHampshire. As is my truck is full stock, no lift, or other mods. I plan to fill her up completely with boxes and the such...pretty normal household stuff. The heaviest item being loaded is my snap on kra bottom box (around 400lbs). As well as the truck being packed full I will also be towing my 1994 Acura integra on a car dolly trailer. The integra will be loaded with boxes containing light items, you know clothes and the like. My truck just had its 100,000th mile! Runs super solid, strong, reliable. I have never done this lengthy of a drive before, let alone hauling a full load. Just looking for any advice from all of you experienced towers. Do I need to install a trans temp gauge? If so,should I do inline, or in the pan? How about an aftermarket trans cooler, or is the stock radiator trans cooler efficient enough? Oh, nearly forgot the basics... She's a throttle body injected 350 3speed auto with shift kit.
Thanks in advance for any advice/insights.
08-04-2012, 05:40 AM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2010
- Piermont,NY, back in Northern NJ now, But may be in IL soon....
Wow Long move..If you come to the NNJ/NY area before NH let me know.. Anyway I would just take it slow and easy. you should be fine, Also be very careful on the Big Mt hills. You say you do have a Trans cooler? Good, A gauge for the Trans Temp would also be good to get..
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08-04-2012, 09:43 AM #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
- Blog Entries
Enkeiavalanche, he doesn't have either. I would advise him to get both. The load between the truck and trailer will probably be pretty close to the max weights for the truck. I'm guessing the 'burb has something in the range of 3.08 to 3.55 gears in it, which are great for long flat highways unloaded, not so great for towing, heavy loads, and mountains.
You say you have a 3 speed transmission? I guess it's a TH400. That's a good strong transmission, but any little bit you can do to help it keep cool will mean the farther you get before it starts slipping due to heat. Temp senders in the pan are generally preferred, but anywhere you can easily fit a temp sender gives you some idea as to how the transmission's doing. The stock trans cooler is ok for driving and light towing, but as before, with the long hauls, go for better cooling.
As for the rest of the truck, if you can, give it a full tune-up before the trip. There's no sense in not making sure as few things can go wrong as possible. Double-check those spark plug wires are firmly secured and up away from the exhaust. That one stranded me in the middle of nowhere in Texas for 2 days and killed my transmission when I lost 2 spark plug wires on a long-haul. Check the suspension and look for any torn or missing boots or boots with grease leaking out of them. Make sure your tires are inflated to the proper pressure.
Fuel mileage is going to suck for you. When I made my last long haul towing a trailer, I was only making 12-13 mpg, and that was with a 700R4 transmission with overdrive. Keep a light foot whenever possible with your speed around 60mph, and you should do ok.
And most of all, have fun, but be vigilant to what's going on with your truck. Mr. Murphy likes to hide behind every corner.Christopher
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
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08-05-2012, 11:45 PM #4
What route will you be taking? I-80? or another route?
Between mountain passes and stop and go driving in the construction zones. Yes on both and make sure your coolant is spot on.2010 Chevy Silverado Z71 ext cab.4x4
72 Monte Carlo 350-415 hp- sold (June 2011) to pay medical bills
79 Impala 350 4bbl 375 hp- sold (June 2011)to pay medical bills
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08-26-2012, 10:47 AM #5
- Join Date
- Feb 2011
- Blog Entries
Transmission cooler, transmission cooler, transmission cooler, and transmission cooler. I mentioned it that many times because nothing can ruin a good tow than an over heated transmission. A flat, or a radiator hose going out sucks, but are quick fixes if you're somewhere not too far from an auto parts store, but an over heated transmission that fails and decides to blow up...is more than just a head ache.
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08-27-2012, 01:24 PM #6
Also, because tranny fluid breaks down over time (but is still useful), you'll have the most protection by doing a transmission flush before you go to ensure you're starting from a good state.
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