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First tow...

Discussion in 'Towing & Trailer Tech' started by steved, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. steved

    steved Former Member

    Well, towed my first decent trailer today...trailer weighs 2,400#s empty, had a good cord of wood on it (figure at least 4,000 pounds, maybe pushing 5,000?); so around 6,400#s at a minimum. All this was using tow/haul and auto "D" (not manual)...2012, 2500HD, 4wd, CrewCab/std bed, 6.0L, 3.73s. I bought the trailer new, so its not abused.

    The chassis handled it excellent...no complaints there, felt just like my 2500 Dodge did. Handled the weight well.

    Powertrain, it was what I expected. It struggled on the little narrow windy/hilly back roads because you had no momentum to keep moving, you were basically trucking dead weight. Once on the bigger roads, it did alright getting and holding 4th, with some dropping to 3rd on the hills; and once on the interstate, it did fine even getting into 6th once you were on the flats (using cruise even). I would say towing at the max GCVW (9,400#s by my book) it would be struggling in this area (read: my home location)...on the interstate it would likely be fine in most cases (although I personally wouldn't tow heavy in the mountains with this setup after today's experience).

    Keep in mind, I'm trying to give this truck a fair shake. It did the job, it will definitely work for my purposes; I knew going into this it would be a whole different experience since I just came from owning Cummins for the past ten plus years. If I find I need more towing power, I'll do a gear swap to 4.10s or steeper. I do like the truck overall.

    The trans...I like it, but it takes some getting used to...its cool how well it holds gears both up and down, but when it drops into a lower gear and starts singing; it won't just shift up when you leave out of it slightly...I'd rather pull slower at a lower RPM than slower at a screaming RPM. Maybe its just me...just not used to hearing a V8 screaming at 5000+rpm.
     
  2. Sierraowner5.3

    Sierraowner5.3 Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts

    coming froma diesel its gonna be weird, but the gm motors make alot of there power up higher in the rpm range, so running at 5000 for a short period isnt a bad thing.

    Alex
     
  3. RallySTX

    RallySTX Member 100 Posts

    Yup, the higher RPM of the gas engine helped provide towing power, increased cooling of the trans and motor. I would either make sure there is an external trans cooler, or put one in. The one built into the radiator isn't good enough in my opinion. Be sure to let the truck run for a few minutes after towing or other hard use, to allow the trans and engine to cool down before shutdown. Always watch your speed, and give yourself extra room for stopping. Sounds like you did a nice job of it, good work.
    Brian L.
     
  4. ChevyHD

    ChevyHD Rockstar 100 Posts

    As Brian said, your powerband doesn't pickup much until 3,000+. But your cummins would have been wound out before then. I'll be the first to admit 3/4 and 1 ton trucks with petrol engines are gutless. There are cheaper all around and usually satisfy most needs but they just don't have the torque of your old inline 6 with a turbo.
     
  5. 99'HEARTBEAT

    99'HEARTBEAT Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Steved, sounds like your Truck did the Job you needed it to do, and Did it Well, I agree with RallySXT(Brian), that Factory Transmission Cooler, are just not Good Enough, to Keep the Transmission Temps Down/Low when Towing, and as we All know, the Biggest Killer of Auto Transmission is....HEAT!!.....

    I did a Aftermarket Transmission Cooler Swap, and when with a......True Cool 40K Transmission Cooler, it is almost 3-Times Larger then the Factory Trans. Cooler, and for my Truck, This has been the Best Up-Grade/Mod I've done to my Truck to help keep my Transmission Temps Down/Low when Towing my Boat,

    Here is my Thread, on installing the True Cool 40K Cooler,
    http://www.gmtruckclub.com/forum/showthread.php/88250-New-Transmission-Cooler#axzz1yfy1kp6U
     
  6. steved

    steved Former Member

    Its got the standalone factory trans cooler...temps stayed below 170 during all of this. I didn't see any signs the cooling (any of the cooling) was overwhelmed. Didn't see anything indicating that it needed upgraded.

    Yeah, the last Cummins sat right about 465HP and 800TQ, plus it was a 6SPD manual and 4.10s...apples to oranges for sure...it towed 14k easier than this truck towed 6500, but as before; how often do I even tow? This one did fine, made the trip fine...just not used to a screaming V8! The last V8 redlined around 5k...this one seems to be in its sweet spot around 5k!

    This was probably one of the heaviest things I will routinely tow...
     
  7. ChevyHD

    ChevyHD Rockstar 100 Posts

    Sounds like you had a nice cummins! You could put a deep trans oil pan on as well which is a simple install and was very effective for my 4l80e.
     
  8. Ridyn

    Ridyn Rockstar 100 Posts

    Why didn't you go for a Duramax? I was about to buy one, but I couldn't bring myself to sign my self up for 62,000 of debt at the age of 22. I have plenty of time to get myself in debt much later lol.
     
  9. steved

    steved Former Member


    No offense, but I would have bought another Cummins before a DMax. I know the Cummins pretty good, not so much on a DMax.

    I had owned a Cummins for years, couldn't justify the upfront cost of another diesel and added cost of fuel for the limited towing we do...
     
  10. Ridyn

    Ridyn Rockstar 100 Posts

    Totally understandable. I hope to upgrade to diesel during or after the Corps.

    I just thought you were in the market for a Chevy :p I can see your reasons though, I would have done the same thing I'm sure.
     

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