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Increasing Vehicle GVWR ~ 2002 Silverado 1500

Discussion in 'Towing & Trailer Tech' started by ippielb, Nov 6, 2012.

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  1. ippielb

    ippielb New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    I am wanting to increase my vehicles GVWR, it is a 2002 silverado 1500, with a 5.3l engine, 4.56 gears, air bag helper springs in rear, along with 6.5" lift springs. also have 35" 10 ply E-Rated Tire.

    GVWR - 6400 lbs
    GAWR FRT - 3925
    GAWR RR - 3750

    Looking to bump up my GVWR. Power isn't the problem
  2. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    You can upgrade to 2500 leaf springs and torsion bars. You may also then need to upgrade the entire rear axle to a HD axle.
  3. jake's silverado

    jake's silverado New Member 100 Posts

    So looking at what is different, Frame, Springs, rear axle, front springs, front torsion bars, brakes all around, tires...
    So that's some of them to look at. So I guess you can upgrade the rear axle/ brakes/Rims/tires/springs, perhaps enlarge the front springs and brakes, as I'm sure you will want to stop. Could weld to the frame additional metal!

    Now weigh your truck, how much extra weight did you add?

    The first thing I would do (unless you are not concerned with what the Ministry of Transport, I think in the US it is DOT says if they stop you) ask them about this as once you do the upgrades you may want the sticker to show the increased GVWR. I would ask them about this, but as I said only if you care if you get stopped. If you don't upgrade the sticker in the drivers door jamb you legally con only have a GVWR that is stated on that sticker.

    In the long run it may be cheaper to upgrade to the 2500 or 3500...

    Don't get me wrong all sorts of things you can do. It only matters if you get stopped and weighed, they open the door read the sticker and weigh you. So how much is a BUMP UP? How about air bags?
  4. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    I would think the limiting factor would be springs and brakes. The springs to help the front end stay on the road and brakes to stop that load. Of course the axle strength will be an issue. Can they handle the extra stress? It may be easier to go to a junk yard and get a complete axle from a 2500 and swap in. I don't know if they are similar or not as far as mounting but a welder could fix that.
  5. ippielb

    ippielb New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    Here's what i was adding, this is an over exaggeration on weights.

    Sled Deck - 500lbs
    Sled 1 Wet - 600lbs
    Sled 2 Wet - 650lbs
    Gear Wet- 200lbs
    Passengers - 350lbs
    Supplies - 200lbs

    Trailer - 1250lbs
    Sled 3 - 500lbs wet

    Basically thats a total of 4250lbs.

    Let me fully understand this a little more. I was talking to my father about this as well, he use to be a truck driver, so he's dealt with department of transportation numerous times, and i have dealt with them once as well. We only can think of it as a heavy truck, not necessarily smaller trucks.

    When licensing the truck the insurer asks if i am going to be towing with a truck and trailer weight over X amount, i can't remember what that is. But having my class 1 license means i dont need to get my heavy trailer endorsement.

    You hear about people towing trailers that weigh 5600lbs dry, then all their gear, water, food, ect.

    How can they classify anything exactly? Like frame strength, brakes, and anything that wont be static? I have done necessary modifications to ensure that the rake of the truck stays the same to keep dispersion the same.

    How do they classify "overweight", those GVWR are determined based on the stock tires. Which are a joke.

    My tires now are 2.5" wider, 10 ply E-rated and a load range of 3415lbs at 65psi.

    Like anything, you can't see a semi needing to be outfitted with brakes strong enough to stop a 39,000kg load. Using proper driving practices and driving for the load itself is what needed.

    Maybe if someone would explain this a little better for me i could fully understand.
  6. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    From what I could find the weight you are looking to pull is under the GVWR. The info I found stated your trucks rating was arouond 6400lbs. I say around because it showed to different weights depending on the brakes that came with your truck. If you had the bigger brakes (JF3 RPO) than your rating was 6700. If you had the smaller brakes (JF7 RPO) than the rating was 6400. So to answer your question the limiting factor in MOST towing is brakes. You mention tractor trailer brakes. They have larger brakes for one and of course more of them to stop the 80k lbs that they are.
  7. ippielb

    ippielb New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    On my door it says 6400. I guess i will need to take the truck loaded to a scale to see the weights on the different axles. I have a 2006 Duramax 2500hd as well, but i want to make sure i have a vehicle to tow my toys with regardless.

    Here's the only picture i have with the sleds loaded on my sled deck on this computer.

    [​IMG]
  8. steved

    steved Former Member 100 Posts


    GVWR or GCVR?? The listing you gave indicates a trailer, and that's not really part of your GVWR, its part of your Gross Combined Vehicle Rating. The GVRW is what the truck and cargo can weight, not inclusive of a trailer.

    Find your manual, and find what the recommended trailer towing weight or the GCVR is...its probably near the 6k pound mark (making your GCVR around 12k)...but that's just a guess. For example, my 2500 has a GCVR of 14600, subtracting around 5000#s for the truck nets me a 9600# trailer capacity. Just remember any trailer over 3k pounds GTW should have brakes...
  9. buckmeister2

    buckmeister2 New Member 100 Posts

    from a DOT standpoint, you can forget about it. the DOT will not accept any, and I mean ANY, changes to a vehicle as evident that it has an increased GVWR. If you have a 1500 silverado of a given year, they will consult the dealers listed gvwr, and that is it, no discussion. they cannot be put in a position of inspecting vehicles personally, and deciding who did what, and was it done right. Your GVWR is not flexible.

    the fact that we all fudge it a little, or a lot, is beside the point. If you run into an officer who knows his trucks, and wants to give you grief, you are going to get stuck.
  10. 03 SIERRA

    03 SIERRA New Member

    i agree, you can make your truck stronger to handel more weight but it is technically not legal. your truck would be considered overloaded

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