1998 Tahoe Towing/Power question

Discussion in 'Towing' started by Some Guy with a GM, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Some Guy with a GM

    Some Guy with a GM Newbie

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    Hi,

    I have a 1998 Tahoe with the 5.7 that I use primarily for camping/towing. I've owned it for several years now, and it's in overall good shape, rust-free body and 190k kms (118k miles). I also try to keep up on maintenance.

    The trailer I'm towing (new to us this year) is a well oversized A-Frame/folding trailer - about 18ft long, empty at 2200lbs but probably in the 2600lbs-3000lbs range in real life with stuff etc.

    I just came back over the coquihalla highway, which for those not in BC is VERY steep, and they even made (still make?) a reality show about it in the winter.

    My point - even though the trailer is relatively light for the truck, The Tahoe just completely ran out of steam over large chunks of the highway - like to keep up with traffic I'd have to be screaming at 4500rpm in 2nd, so I was relegated to the far right lane with the big trucks. I'd expect this with a heavy trailer, but this light?

    Is this normal? I'm not really a truck guy so I don't have comparables, but other trucks (mostly much newer but with much larger loads) were blowing by me, and I nothing left. Around town it's fine, silky smooth.

    I've done a recent tune-up - new plugs/wires and pretty much upkept. I know the cat is getting old; could the truck not be breathing?

    Thanks!
    Chris
     
  2. letitsnow

    letitsnow Newbie

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    Is the truck a 1/2 or 3/4 ton? What gear ratio?

    Mine is a 3/4 ton with 4.11 (I think) gears. Pulling a 7000 lb camper, I scream it at 4500 rpms in 2nd gear on any sustained uphill. In Minnesota...

    You being in the real hills, that isn't surprising - especially if your truck is a 1/2 ton with higher gears.
     
  3. shorepatrol

    shorepatrol I'm Awesome

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    Loaded trailer with my quad and all my camping gear I'm screaming at 4000 rpm in 2nd gear up hills too.
     
  4. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 I'm Awesome

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    Sounds normal for a stock 5.7. As long as it's not overheating you can peg it at 5k all day.
     
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  5. Some Guy with a GM

    Some Guy with a GM Newbie

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies - I don't know which diff I have, but it is a 1/2 ton.

    Ok - so it sounds like this is normal for the truck. Fortunately, I don't live in a spot of the province with big hills, nor to I encounter much in WA State or Oregon, so there it is....
     
  6. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 I'm Awesome

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    Check your glove box, should be GT3 or GT4, 3.42 and 3.73 respectively.
     
  7. L31MaxExpress

    L31MaxExpress I'm Awesome

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    Sounds normal to me as well. With the Marine L31 cam, milled 906 heads with 2.02/1.60 valves, 1.7:1 roller rockers, the marine intake manifold and tri-y headers I was still foot to the floor at 4,500 rpm in 2nd gear on any long hill when I had 3.73s in my Express van. It would hold 70 mph uphill though. Towing a 23' long, 8' wide, 11' tall wide box of a 6,000 lbs travel trailer behind me with the aerodynamics of a parachute. I have since added about 80 hp to the engine. I put 200cc aluminum heads, a bigger 215/224 @.050 cam, and 5.13 gears in the thing and it now pulls the same trailer uphill in 3rd at 3,500 rpm with ease.
     
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  8. 95C1500

    95C1500 ┌П┐(◣_◢)┌П┐

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    GU6 is 3.42
    GT4 is 3.73
     
  9. shorepatrol

    shorepatrol I'm Awesome

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    My pickup would struggle to keep 55mph with a 6000lb trailer up a hill I think lol
     
  10. Some Guy with a GM

    Some Guy with a GM Newbie

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    Thanks - I found GT4 in the glove box code sheet, so 3.73? Considering that this truck is most needed for road trips, would it be worth looking out for a 3.43, or isn't it a big deal?

    Is one more popular/common than the other, or really a 6 of 1 sort of thing.
     

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