Tired 454 Suburban

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by al2500, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. al2500

    al2500 New Member

    I have a 99 2500 suburban that is having trouble pulling my 8800 lb trailer. It has 110000 miles on it. The body is in good shape but on my last trip I had some electrical issues with the trailer brakes and the batteries went dead. Should I trade it in on something newer or swap the engine out??? If I replace the engine any suggestions welcome.
  2. moosetags

    moosetags Rockstar 100 Posts

    Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

    First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

    The trailer towing woes that you are describing sound as much of a trailer problem as a tow vehicle problem. The trailer brakes are either a trailer brake or controller problem.

    Tell us a little more about the symtoms that are causing your problems. Nothing you are describing thus far sounds very serious.
  3. al2500

    al2500 New Member

    The trailer is 3 years old. The problem is in the truck. I purchased it used and I'm not sure if it is the controller or the wiring. I didn't have any problems with the brakes until this last trip to Niagara Falls. The brakes I can deal with but going up some of the hills I was in first and second gear doing 5000 RPM's hoping I would make it to the top.
  4. moosetags

    moosetags Rockstar 100 Posts

    What is the weight of this trailer that you are towing?

    What type of trailer brake controller are you using?

    What type of weight distribution hitch system are you using?

    Is the Suburban behaving the same way when not towing?
  5. al2500

    al2500 New Member

    The trailer is about 9000 lbs loaded.
    The brake module is three years old and I forget the model.
    The truck runs ok when not towing.
    The weight distribution hitch is a reese.
  6. moosetags

    moosetags Rockstar 100 Posts

    I pull 7400# with my 2500 Subs, and they do pretty well, but can be sluggish on a steep upgrade.

    9000# for your Sub is probably near its realistic towing limit. 9000# is into Duramax territory. Your Sub is probably acting pretty much as I would expect under that much load.

    You really need to take your rig to a truck scale and weigh it. I had estimated my Airstream at about 6500#. When I put it on the scale, it came in at 7400#. You may be towing more than you think. You also need to determine your trailer's tongue weight. You may be loaded heavy to the front, exacerbating your situation.

    Also, make sure that your WD (weight distribution) equipment in properly installed and adjusted.

    As far as your brake controller is concerned, make sure that it is properly calibrated and adjusted.
  7. al2500

    al2500 New Member

    Thanks, I'll give it a try.
  8. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I have a half ton 99 and the couple things I have pulled have never had a problem, I have 3.73 gears out back. When I had towed the only mods I had was a K&N filter and exhaust. My weights has been from the 5000-6500 range and really had no problems doing it. However, my uncle has owned many HD pickups, he currently has Duramax trucks, he has also had the 8.1 and 6.0 on his 04 longbed extended cab trucks. Other then his engines being different everything else was the same (tranny and rearend) and he hated the 8.1, he said it just didnt have the power of the 6.0 in the right RPM range. So maybe there is the same thing between a 5.7 to the 7.4, but with 110K I wouldnt think the engine is "tired". I wold have the engine and tranny looked at there could be something wrong that you cant notice. Tune-up, fluid in tranny & rearend, cats plugged up these coud all lead to power lose

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