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Rear Axle Gear change ~ What's the Cost for a 2007 Silverado

Discussion in 'Towing & Trailer Tech' started by awtposts, Oct 23, 2012.

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  1. awtposts

    awtposts New Member

    I'm looking for anyone that could provide a "Ballpark" guess of cost to change rear axle gear in my truck to make it more suitable for towing.

    Info:
    07 Silverado 1500 W/T 4x2
    5.3L Engine, 4-Speed Auto
    3.23:1 Rear Axle
    43,800 mi

    Looking to change to 3.73:1 or possibly 4.10:1

    I'm in the Raleigh NC area so anyone with local experience is a plus.

    Thanks in advance for replies.
  2. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    Welcome to the club Awtposts, There are a number of us here in the greater Raleigh area, I know that [MENTION=50075]SurrealOne[/MENTION] did a re-gear and might have the most up to date local information on a re-gear. Not sure about the axle swap, it might not be needed unless you are going to do allot of really heavy towing.
  3. awtposts

    awtposts New Member

    Thanks nakranij, I will be towing a new TT weighing just over 6100lb and after much research, I have to agree to some comments I've found wondering why would GM put a 3.23 gear in something with a Trailer & Tow package? Makes no sense but I'm looking for recommendations for a shop to get pricing in the Raleigh NC Area to replace the gears or any recommendation really. If I go this route, would it be wrthwhile to go with a 4.10 instead of 3.73?
  4. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    If you are going to upgrade I think the 4.10 is the better option, my truck came with the 3.43 gear ratio.

    Both of our ratio's are better for commuting and occasional towing, but we get somewhat better gas mileage. 4.10 is more for serious towing (at least on the low end, you can go up from there), but you will loose some mpgs's.

    Then you can compensate for the loss in mpg's by changing the tire size a little to be "within" spec and using a programmer to re-program your computer.
  5. awtposts

    awtposts New Member

    I got ya on that and it's right in line to what I've learned so far. I'm not worried about the 1-2 mpg really. More concerned about being safe with my family and not wanting to be forced into the "Granny Lane" going into the NC Mountains grunting along at redline doing 20mph.

    Any recommendations on a shop in the area?
  6. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Moderator 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    Since you're not really worried about mileage, I'd go with the 4:10 as well and even more so if you ever plan on increasing tire diameter. But just in case, I pasted a link to a chart below that may be of some help.

    For a good set of gears and labor, it will probably cost about $500 to $600. And yes, @SurrealOne will be able to point towards a good shop or two.

    http://www.4x4offroads.com/gear-ratio-chart.html
  7. awtposts

    awtposts New Member

    THANK YOU BOTH nakranij and mfleetwood - never expected so much info on an initial posting, you all are tops. I will send a private message (unless you recommend another method) and get a recommendation as you suggest. I promise to pull my beast out of the garage and dust if off and get some nice pics to post and add to my profile info. Thanks again both of you.
  8. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    East Coast Gear Supply (http://eastcoastgearsupply.com/) is on Glenwood in Raleigh. They warrant their work for 5 years provided you adhere to their break-in and diff fluid changing procedures. (I had my diff fluid changed by ECGS after my break-in period ... to remove any possibility of doubt as to whether or not I had complied.)

    Chase is the owner and was who I dealt with. I'd have just thought him to be a knowledgeable sales guy had I not been told that he was the owner, as he didn't announce himself as such. He took some data from me over the phone about my truck, got a quote out to me, scheduled the work a few weeks in advance after I chatted with him about the quote, and did my swap in a day on the date we had scheduled.

    ECGS will put whatever brand of gears you like in for you, but they have been doing this for years and are likely to recommend a set that they know will last. I took Chase's recommendation on Nitro gears even though I had Yukon gears in mind when I first chatted with him. If you are thinking about a brand you might talk to him about it to get his take. What he offers up, experience-wise, may surprise you. (It may also benefit you as it pertains to your axle questions; definitely ask about it.)

    As for pricing, my swap ran me just under $1500 with parts, labor, and NC tax -- to take my front and rears from 3.73's to 4.56's. Yours should be cheaper as it's a 4x2 and it's the front that's the spendier of the two in terms of labor. Call them and get a quote. (Yes, they will email it to you if you ask them to do so. I did.)

    I did not replace my axle or my 10-bolt. I don't tow much but I have a trailer capable of handling max GVWR for my vehicle. I just didn't see the need to do more than new gears since I'm staying within the GVWR of my truck. If you're staying within your GVWR you will probably be ok, but if you're doing some crazy towing then additional upgrades may be in order.

    Also consider that even with 4.10's you'll probably be in the granny lane just to save fuel. And if you're upsizing your tires in addition to towing then you may want to think about 4.56's. Last, don't forget a tranny cooler upgrade AND a handheld tuner. The former will extend your tranny's life since you'll build less heat when towing ... while the latter is essential for you since you'll need something to tell your computer that you have a different gear ratio than it currently thinks you have. :)

    Back to talking about ECGS ... if I were to buy another truck and regear it I'd definitely go back to ECGS. I received solid, timely service from knowledgeable people ... and I really liked the fact that the owner was working right alongside his crew answering the phone, talking to customers (like me), etc. To me that's a sign of an owner who actually likes what he does ... and who cares.

    Surreal

    P.S. When I was there Chase had a Cherokee sitting on 37's in the parking lot with some crazy axle work. I asked about it which is how I learned it was his. Clearly he gets off on this stuff.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  9. awtposts

    awtposts New Member

    SurrealOne - I owe you large buddy. Wow!!! Lots of good info for sure. Thank You! :happy:

    I have an '07 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, Std Bed W/T with 5.3L engine, Trailer & Tow Pkg w/ Heavy Duty Suspension options. Nothing fancy, just what I wanted & could afford at the time. Never thought to check gears as I assumed (ouch!!!) the pkg options would set me right. I'm getting a Travel Trailer this spring and while doing my homework verifying I have what it takes to tow do I learn of GM's (and my) ignorance.

    To me a truck is a working man's tool. Hauling stuff to the dump, towing, mulch runs, lumber etc... Shame the designers today have strayed so far off the mark and ruined things.

    {QUOTE}
    "If you're staying within your GVWR you will probably be ok, but if you're doing some crazy towing then additional upgrades may be in order."

    I don't plan (or want) to exceed truck specs for safety & cost reasons. Trailers I'm looking at are 5300lb & 6200lb dry weight. I know there's more to consider & add resulting in the overall weight I tow. Since I'm so close on specs is the reason why I'm investigating. My understanding is - and please feel free to correct me...

    3.23:1 = 6800/6900 (later having factory tow pkg)
    3.73:1 = 7900
    3.42:1 = can't remember
    4:10:1 = wasnt even listed.

    So if I understand you correctly, I will still need a re-program even if i go with a 3.73 or 4.10 correct? If so i guess this means trip to a dealership added to this project. I also believe I will probably end up putting on some air shocks too.

    Thanks again everyone for your advice and input. I also hope this posting helps anyone else that may be in my situation as well!
  10. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    You're welcome and you surely don't owe me anything. :) Maybe show up at the next RTP area get-together. @aloxdaddy99 and I were just discussing grabbing a brew next week, so who knows. :)

    I wouldn't know which ratio is appropriate for what weight, as improved towing was a secondary benefit of my re-gear. How so? Well, I basically selected my ratio based on a chart similar to what @mfleetwood linked, earlier. In my case I used that kind of chart to locate my stock RPM's with my OEM tire height and OEM gear ratio. I then located my new tire height and matched as closely as I could to the RPM's using OEM gears -- to come up with the ratio that would get me back to stock performance on larger tires. 4.56's with my tires have me 29rpm higher (at 65mph with no overdrive) than 3.73's had me with the OEM tire size.

    I could have gone a bit lower and biased for fuel econ but I wanted the power and, like you, a little mpg wouldn't kill me.

    Given the vehicle's age (i.e. it's likely out of warranty), I'd take the approach of getting a DiabloSport InTune and a custom tune from Diablew. It'll cost you a little more than a trip to the stealership but you'll get a lot more out of it than just a tweak to your gear ratios and you can probably make it pay for itself -- which a trip to a stealership just won't do. How? Diablew got me the better part of 3.5mpg as a gain ... granted mine is an extreme case of regaining mpg's that were previously lost due to mods. (I basically get 1mpg less than factory, now -- which is pretty nice considering most people with a big tires and a lift lose 3-4mpg at a minimum).

    If you get even 1/2mpg improvement then your handheld tuner and custom tune will pay for themselves over time ... and both will allow you to tweak things like gear ratios, tire sizes (to correct for speedo error introduced from non-stock tire sizes), etc. You'll also end up owning something that can read and clear the codes associated with your check engine light ... which is really nice for making that light a non-scary one.

    I showed up at ECGS with my tuner in hand and placed a revised tune on the truck mere minutes after picking it up from the re-gear. This kept me from running with the Parking and ABS lights on, which is what kicks on when the truck realizes something is amiss, gear-wise. (And as I understand it, if the ABS light is on then ABS is disabled?)

    PM @06MonteSS (that's Diablew) if you're curious about a tuner and/or custom tune, as he bundles the handheld programmer and his custom tunes at a rate that's cheaper than buying them separately.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

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