1991 c2500 , can it tow 6000lbs trailer.

Discussion in 'Towing' started by Edmduncan, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. Edmduncan

    Edmduncan Newbie

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    so in an effort to come to the experts and the people that have real world experience I'm asking the question.
    I have a 5200lb dry travel trailer and the truck is as follows.
    1991 C2500 350tbi with Z82 package, dual battery, trans cooler, heavy rear leaf springs.
    4l80E trans, with shift kit and 3:73 rears.
    Compression test on engine 140/150 and in between across the board, so within 10% variance.
    Everything that can be external on the engine has been replaced or serviced within the last 6 months. Complete tbi clean and all new everything except injectors as they are throwing cold cone pattern.
    Engine is strong, transmission serviced and pristine mechanic said.
    The truck is in good shape as it was very seldom driven and been family owned since new.
    135000 miles / 217000km.

    I just want opinions as to if it will tow ok, should I adjust timing, or anything that maybe a good upgrade. Don't get me wrong if I can tow i will keep the 350, but a ls swap isn't out of the question for fall lol.
     
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  2. L29Sub

    L29Sub I'm Awesome

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    It'll tow it. The truck is up to it easily. The 350 will do the job, but at hight RPM. No OD (tow mode).
    A diesel is best, BB good. SB is what you got. It'll work.
    A 6.0 is a good tow engine.

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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
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  3. L29Sub

    L29Sub I'm Awesome

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    I'll add that if you do an LS swap, find a complete, running drivetrain for a donor.
    I'd also go with a 6.0 or larger.
    You'll thank me for this info...


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  4. L31MaxExpress

    L31MaxExpress I'm Awesome

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    6.0L/4L80E/4.10 gear is fairly gutless pulling an empty 15 passenger van IMO. I would get a 454 Vortec or an 8.1 if you engine swap.
     
  5. Edmduncan

    Edmduncan Newbie

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    Honesty not looking to turn this thread into a engine swap debate, wanted answer to my question about the ability of what I have.
     
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  6. Hipster

    Hipster I'm Awesome

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    I stated in your other thread that a 350 tbi is not going to be happy pulling that weight in OD. L29 said the same thing in his post in this thread.

    It will do it, but it will be in 3rd gear @ 2700 or so rpms @ about 65mph where the engine is making more torque to maintain speed.
     
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  7. L31MaxExpress

    L31MaxExpress I'm Awesome

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    It will tow just fine just don't expect to tow fast. They built many C60 chassis trucks and school buses with 2bbl carbed 283s, 327s and 350s back in the day.
     
  8. Erik the Awful

    Erik the Awful I'm Awesome

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    If it's an occasional tow, I wouldn't worry about it. If you're towing that load every weekend, I would strongly consider upgrading the cam and retuning the TBI.
     
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  9. David89gmc

    David89gmc OBS Enthusiast

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    I have a 1989 K1500 short bed with 350 TBI. It's rated to tow (and stop) a 5600 lb trailer. Your C2500 should easily pull another 2000 lbs, with the tow package it can pull even more. We all ran our engines around 3000 rpm at 60 mph before overdrive became popular.
     
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  10. 92_Bahama

    92_Bahama Newbie

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    It will pull that at 55 to 65mph without breaking a sweat! If that is a 8 lug C2500 your chassis can easily handle 10K, the question becomes can that Swirl Port 350 maintain speed! And unless you live in the Rockies the answer is yes. A 350 TBI can run all day at 2,500-3,500 RPM varying loads as long as it has enough cooling, sufficient oil pressure, and proper spark. People don't realize that 20 years ago this is how folks went camping before the Diesel Wars! My 93 K1500 with 300,000 miles and much less compression than you just tugged a 8ft tall 4,000lb trailer 800 miles round trip through hilly Northern MI at 60mph in 4th (NV3500) no questions asked. It's ok to downshift going up a long grade!

    The best thing to do is take it for a test run as is! See how well it pulls, handles, and brakes. After that you know what you're up against. If I owned that truck I would add a high flow air cleaner, headers, high flow muffler, a stack plate trans-cooler with an E-Fan, and last but not least a trans-temp gauge. With a proper brake controller and those heavy rear leafs she should handle like a dream!

    I have swapped many a LS before, a 6.0 will not be worth the hassle. A TBI 7.4 however would be an easy weekend project! Do not set your base timing further than 4 degrees ADV, 30 seconds into a long grade the last thing you want to find out is that your knock sensor is not plugged in.

    Good luck!
     

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