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Towing with a 2006 Vortec Max

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by Skippy, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Skippy

    Skippy Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    4.10. Love it. :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is my rig towing the beast of a trailer. My wife towed it two days ago (finally got her to try it), and her comment was "Wow! This is SO much easier than the Expedition towing that 19' trailer!" NO kidding. Love those dual cams... The power is nice, too. Just toss it in 2nd gear and go up and down the mountains all day long without shifting.

    [​IMG]

    This last trip, I got 8.9 MPG, but it included the nastiest grade within 200 miles. Up and down I went with the flow of traffic... the CAR traffic. I just chuckle when I, at 60-65 MPH, pass those big diesels running at 40MPH up that hill.

    The picture is deceiving too. I actually still have quite a bit of play in the rear suspension. I've thought about timbrens, but the ride stabilizer button works wonders if any bouncing starts. Every time I drive this truck, I'm ticked to death to have gotten so lucky to have found it. Blessed even. :)
  2. GuyGene

    GuyGene Member

    Nice indeed! I'm liking that 6.2 more and more! And the beefed up transmission! For my little trailer, about a 3.73 differential should be good, it only weighs 3,200 empty.
  3. nonnieselman

    nonnieselman Member 1 Year

    Have you ever thought about a rear axle temperature gauge? Ive seen them on 3500 and larger trucks but never anybody with a 1500.

    Also your transmission has a plug above the shift shaft on the driver side. You can remove that plug and thread in a Autometer temp sensor thats 1/8" NPT and its a pretty accurate reading. ~ 10* of the OEM sensor in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Skippy

    Skippy Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Nope... never even considered a rear axle temp gauge. I change the fluid every other year, though, as I do some boat towing, and I'm always paranoid the differential may have been submerged by someone borrowing the truck (family campouts) to pull the boat out. It's unlikely, given the trailer goes in while only the tires hit the water, but I'd rather be safe. Every two years, though, means the fluid is being changed every 4000-4500 miles (I typically drive less than 2K miles a year on this thing), so I'm unconcerned about fluid breakdown overall... Since towing-axle failure is almost always due to lubricant failure from heat, and it's a cumulative effect (much like average temps in a tranny), I'm fairly certain that my maintenance cycle is more than adequate. Since the longest tow I make is about 2.2 hours (117 miles), AND given the fact my family can't seem to make it more than 45 minutes on the road without needing a "Break time!" or "Popcorn from the convenience store!" I'm definitely not concerned that I have massive heat problems back there. A temp gauge in the rear diff would just be a toy for me. :)

    Additionally, a vast majority rear-axle heat increases come from torque spikes, which are incredibly commonly while doing 4x4ing (think everytime you're in a low gear and BAM you hammer the thing to climb over something), they're not very common in a towing environment. Sure, the temps can climb... But not nearly as likely unless you're doing very very long hauls.

    That being said, I'm still planning on getting an expanded capacity differential plate, with fins, at the next change (due this fall). This'll add an extra quart or so of fluid, and lower the temps... But I'm only getting it, because they look cool from behind. LOL

    The Autometer plug is definitely an interesting option. Thanks for pointing that out!

    Cheers!

    Skippy
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  5. nonnieselman

    nonnieselman Member 1 Year

    Ive got the aluminum girdle for my 8.6" 10 bolt and noticed it has a 1/8" npt plug on the bottom and it dawned on me it was either a drain or for a temp sensor. i changed my fluid about ever 5 years and thats alot of towing and racing. Gears have 285,000 miles on them and just changed the pinion bearings 3 months ago. Eaton LSD has 130,000 miles on it and just did first fluid change when i put the new bearings in haha.
  6. Skippy

    Skippy Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Compare that to the guy driving a Bronco (old 80's model) in the middle of town two moths ago... I was behind him at a light, and I saw he couldn't get it in gear... then he would go forward a bit, then stop, he'd throw it in reverse and then it would rock and then he'd go... I was turning right (him left), and had a quick errand. 5 minutes later I drive through the SAME intersection and he's standing outside of his vehicle... BOTH REAR WHEELS WERE DISCONNECTED FROM THE REAR DIFF! Funniest thing I think I've ever seen on the road. Clearly the rear diff just blew up (literally) and the wheels popped out from under the vehicle. The butt of that bronco was on the ground. Absolutely hilarious! made me glad I at least change my fluid frequently enough to look at the gears once in a while. LOL

    Bet his day was a lot worse than he thought!
  7. nonnieselman

    nonnieselman Member 1 Year

    Wow ive never seen that on the road. Ive seen it alot at the mud and dirt races.

    My ring gear has metal flowing from the valleys of the teeth. Pretty sure that was when the pinion bearings had some slack. But then again ive pulled some heavy loads and was heavy on the throttle ha.
    12, 000# wet sand was fun. 16, 000# ditch witch was quite a fun one too.

    I put a class v hitch on it after I bent the rear frame some with a cheap reese class nothin hitch.

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