Best Towing Gear Ratio...

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by emower, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. emower

    emower New Member

    I wanted to get some opinions about "what's the best gear ratio for towing?"
    Specifically, I have a 2001 Suburban 6.0 4x4 2500. It has the factory "heavy duty" towing package with 3.73 gears. This truck drives me to work about 3 miles each way. It also drives down the interstate during the summer months to my camp. I am usually towing equipment or my Travel trailer. We have a lot of mountain passes around. I'm not worried about fuel ecomony as it already gets maybe 13 mpg HWY and about 9-10 city, so thats out the window. I want a good highway towing gear that matches better to the 4l80 and the higher reving 6.0L in my truck. I can get ratios from 4.11, 4.56, 4.88 or 5.13
    I was looking at the 4.56 maybe, but not sure if I'm going to kill the truck @ 70 mph.
    Would the 4.11 make a big difference? Or, should I look into 4.56 or even a 4.88?
    I don't like the 3.73 with the 4l80's 1st gear, it tachs out in 1st at about 45mph I want to get a better "get up and go" 1st gear for the truck and possibly utilize all 4 speeds on the highway when towing instead of shifting it back to 3rd for crusing. Over Drive with a small trailer on a slight grade is just no power with the stock gearing.

    What do you guys think?
  2. silveradotrailblazer

    silveradotrailblazer Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Welcome to the club. How tall are the tires on your truck, stock size?
  3. BillD64

    BillD64 Rockstar

    What is the weight of your trailer and how much air drag do you get? Also, why are you shifting to third on the highway? Leave it in Drive and put the tranny in Tow/Haul mode. The older Tahoe's and Subs had to be put in third but not the 800 series. I have an 03 Tahoe with the 5.3 and the 3:73 and it works just fine towing my 5500 lb car trailer with about 500 lbs of tools and spare parts in the rear of the truck. I live in a hilly area in up state NY and have no trouble on long steep hills. I just leave it in cruise at 70 mph and I am usually the one passing others in those sections. I have 8 years of trailering with this truck several hundred miles at a time with no performance issues.

  4. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Honestly the best all around ratio for trucks is the 3.73 since it gives you the best for empty, and good for towing. i would leave it be...
  5. Blackout07

    Blackout07 Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    Most I would go is 4.11, with stock tires.
  6. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    3.73 is a good stock towing gear. after that, assuming you are on stock tires I would say 4.10's will give you some more towing ability. (my owners manual actually shows an increase in towing capacity as well with the 4.10's over the 3.73's). the 4.10's wont kill you on the highway either. Just remember if you do a gear change do both axles, and you will need to correct your speedo as well. 4.56 will be too much on stock sized tires.

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