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09 Silverado tow issue

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by speedracer170, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. speedracer170

    speedracer170 New Member

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    Ok I have an 09 1500 with the 5.3 with 4 speed tranny and 3:43 gears and it seems like it strugles pulling a 4500lbs toy hauler and only get about 8 MPG. What can I do to make it pull better and get better MPG?

    Thanks,

    [​IMG]
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  2. Greg84

    Greg84 New Member

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    I don't think there's much you can do about the mileage. Mine gets about the same mileage as that when I tow anything over 4,000 lbs. Even if you got a 2500 with the 6.0 engine, it'll have more power to tow but it won't get any better mileage towing (and the mileage when you're not towing will be much worse than your current truck!).

    As far as making it pull better, what do you mean? More power, is the trailer pushing/pulling your truck around when you're going down the road, does it sag too much..?
    #2
  3. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member

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    you can try some aftermarket performance stuff first. CAI, exhaust, programmer etc. after that if you tow alot is a gear change to a 3.73 but it will affect non towing mileage some.
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  4. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member

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    I had a 5.3 and wasn't impressed with it in the least, very weak motor in my opinion and I have 3 Silverado's in the last 5 years. My last two have been 6.0's and love em to death. I would say your biggest problem is the oversized wheels and tires, small motor and weak gears. 4.10 would make a lot of difference.
    #4
  5. speedracer170

    speedracer170 New Member

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    It feel like I am pulling a very heavy load but I know i'm not, just think the trailer is creating alot of drag. I have an CAI and a exhaust, was looking at getting a programmer and a camper shell but I have heard they don't help much. I have a WD hitch with anti sway bars so it sits level. Do yall think the programmer and shell would help? I am looking at going with 3.73 gears for it but not sure if I have a 8.5 or 8.6 rearend.
    #5
  6. speedracer170

    speedracer170 New Member

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    Anybody have any more info?
    #6
  7. bsmntcritr

    bsmntcritr New Member

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    Speedracer,
    You're getting about the same as most folks towing with the same equipment. I've towed a 6200lbs TT while carrying 2 400cc class ATV's with a '06 GMC 2500HD 2X4 reg cab 6.0ltr and got similar mileage. Now days it seems GM has shifted the power band to higher RPM's to clean up the emissions. Those higher RPM's are not real friendly to good mileage while the truck is working. I have been trying to find some credible information on if the aftermarket air induction packages are able to increase the mpg's - have found anything yet.
    #7
  8. 99'HEARTBEAT

    99'HEARTBEAT Moderator

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    As mentioned by dsfloyd, Going with a Tune, will help with getting a few more Pony's from the Engine, going with a camper shell will IMO just add weight and no gains......also going with 3.73's will once again help with Towing......as far as the rear gears you have.....8.625 Ring Gears.

    Edit:.....also what Size Tires are you running??
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
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  9. speedracer170

    speedracer170 New Member

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    Tires are 275/65/18's, whats the best bang for the buck for programmers?

    Thanks,
    #9
  10. billnorman

    billnorman New Member

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    I'd agree with dropping to the 3:73 rear. I get very good mileage with the 3:73's when not towing, and towing a 3500 pound boat on trailer combo I get about 13&1/2 mpg. Wind resistance may contribute some. You may need to reprogram your ECU if you re-gear. I'd search for an Eaton locker in an on-line boneyard and swap the whole banjo housing out, it's a pretty fast job. They are selling 5.3's complete for less than $1500 so a rear couldn't be that much.
    #10
  11. speedracer170

    speedracer170 New Member

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    Yeah think I'm gonna do the 3.73's, anyone ever done a 4 speed auto to a 6 speed auto?
    #11
  12. bsmntcritr

    bsmntcritr New Member

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    Speed,
    I've had the 4 speed (06) and the 6 speed (2011) in recent versions of GM's truck. Both trucks had 410 drive gears. While towing, I thought the 4 speed was a better unit. The top gear in the 6 speed is such that it can't be used in towing for long. It will up shift to 5th on even small inclines. As soon as that transmission get a wiff of a hill of any size it'll start down shifting. You'll be back to 3rd and fourth gear. Add to the nearly identical performance of the 4 speed and 6 speed, to the cost of making the 6 speed in your present truck work, I'm thinking it'll be lots of $$.
    #12

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