I'm sure this has been asked before

Discussion in 'Towing & Trailer Tech' started by dbb06, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. dbb06

    dbb06 Member

    I have a question or two about towing. It's been a while since I had to figure out tow ratings and such. I used to tow a trailer for work 3 Z-turn mowers +equip. But that was with a 2500 4x4 truck and was about 10 years ago.

    I have a 2006 Silverado crew cab L59, 3.23 rear gear, with the HD towing pkg. From what I'm reading from my owners manual, I can tow approx 6700# max with the gears I have or 7,700# if I had 3.73 gears. I'm wondering if what I have now would be enough to tow a single car trailer 7'x17' with a 3300# car or a 4000# suv on board? Or would it be worth my time to upgrade my rear gears? I would probably be towing 6,000 miles a year.
  2. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    My tandem axle 7x16 (wood) deck landscaping trailer (which has angle iron sides, removal side load ramps, aluminum fendors, a big drop-down rear gate, etc.) weighs 1540lbs, by itself ... plus jack, tongue box, and spare tire. Being conservative, if we said your 7x17 weighed 2000 lbs (which would be very heavy for a 7x17 car trailer that lacks sides/fenders like most car trailers do), your math is: 2000lb trailer + 4000lb SUV = 6000lbs.

    So, if you are rated for 6700 with your gears ... based on that conservative estimate you've got ~700lbs left for passengers, fuel for your truck, FUEL IN THE VEHICLE BEING TOWED, beverages, stuff you keep in your truck, etc.

    Fuel is heavy and so are people. I'd say upgrade. Frankly, I find 3.23 gears on a truck with the HD towing package comical. I can't imagine going through the mountains with that setup...
  3. dbb06

    dbb06 Member

    Thanks for the reply, I was dumbfounded myself when I was looking at the sticker. I won't complain though I got the truck from my dad (cheap) to use as family transport. I'm looking now since I have some spare time and a truck, I might as well make some money using it.
    Mainly it would be just me driving, but I agree it's better to be safe. I did look at a aluminum one as well as a wood deck one, I'll have to verify weight on them before I decide.

    I saw a thread from last year that you spent around $1500 for both front and rear gears, am I correct? I got a quote from a truck performance shop last week for like $1200 for just the rear. I think they just didn't want to have to deal with it. I do plan on getting other estimates that was just the first place I talked to.
  4. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Yup, it was a little more than $1500 for parts plus installation ... for front and rear on a 4x4. There was also a diff oil change after the break-in period ... and that ran a little under $70. (It was required in order to avoid invalidating the 5 year warranty. I had the same shop do it just to remove ANY/ALL doubt regarding the work having been performed and/or down properly.) If you've got a 4x4 you've got to do both front and rear. Front setup should always run more than rear setup as the rear is right there to be worked on whereas there's extra labor involved to get to the front.

    I used a shop that specializes in drivetrain work that just happens to be local to me (East Coast Gear Supply aka ECGS: http://eastcoastgearsupply.com/). I went with gears recommended by the shop (Nitro gears) and steered clear of Yukon gears, which was the one name I knew. Yukon apparently spends a crapton of money on marketing. Interestingly, I've since learned that Yukon re-boxes gears made by US, Richmond, or Precision gears ... and I've even read they're doing that with imported gears, too. This is in addition to making their own. The reboxxing makes my skin crawl...

    My advice to you is to take your time and shop around. Regearing is all about the setup, so you need/want someone who does this regularly AND has a good reputation for their work. Great gears with a terrible setup will encounter problems long before cheap gears with a great setup. Obviously, what you want are great gears with a great setup at a reasonable price. :)

    It's worth a drive to a good shop; I was fully prepared to drive up to 500miles each way for a specialty shop, as it was just that important ... however, I lucked out as I had a specialty shop ~10 miles away. Keep in mind there's usually a break-in period and if you don't do it, you may invalidate the warranty. (Speaking of which, ALWAYS ask about the warranty.) My break-in period from ECGS was 400 miles, with 1 hour cooldown for every 25 miles driven -- then a gear oil change at 400 miles. If you have a 4 Wheel Parts near you they can do the work, but they're very hit/miss -- some shops are reputable and some are TERRIBLE, so do your homework.

    Good luck!
  5. dbb06

    dbb06 Member

    Thankfully I only have to worry about the rear end since I'm 2wd. I have not really found many places around here that do them. How much was the labor if you don't mind me asking?
    Thanks for the information!
  6. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I don't remember the breakdown and, sadly, my truck receipts are all in a storage unit (along with 95% of what I own) as I've got an impending move. :(
  7. dbb06

    dbb06 Member

    I hear ya, thanks for the info though and good luck on the move.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I contacted 4wheelparts in Georiga which is about 2 hours from me. They sent me this estimate, ever heard of G2 gears?

  8. steved

    steved Former Member

    I would be going with something a little steeper myself...3.9 or 4.1 range...but that's just me.

    G2 is just a reboxer from what I remember, sort of like Yukon...they buy in bulk, then rebox the parts under their name.

    $800 sounds about right from what I remember.
  9. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Looks reasonable for materials, labor, and taxes/fees. I tend to agree with the idea of 4.10's. That was the shortest set of gears you could get in our trucks, if memory serves.

    Don't forget you're going to need a tuner that can tell the truck's computer about the new gears ... else the computer will think you have your original gears and toss some idiot lights up on the dash cluster.
  10. steved

    steved Former Member

    Definitely research this place...they are a chain, and their work quality seems to vary from place to place.

    Look around for a differential/driveline shop...almost every town has one. Even ask around at the local garages, a lot of time they will refer you to someone they use.

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