Any guys towing with a 1500 5 speed anymore?

Discussion in 'Towing' started by 5speed91, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. 5speed91

    5speed91 OBS Enthusiast

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    My truck now has a GM Goodwrench L31 5.7L Vortec with TBI, said goodbye to the 305 forever
    refreshed NV3500 with new clutch (the larger 12" clutch meant for a 350 application)
    3.08 gears and 31x10.5 Load C tires
    I have a brake controller, Z82 trailering package including the KC4 oil cooler.
    Everything mechanical from the radiator to the driveshaft has been replaced, rebuilt etc.

    Am I out line thinking I can tow a 5500 lb 24 foot travel trailer with this combo. Factory says 5500 max trailer weight with 3.08 gears but I have towed a car on a 16 foot trailer that was about this weight and it pulled fine however, I no a travel trailer is a completely different animal. Keeping my trips local in the Texas hill country 100 miles or less till I can obtain a better truck.

    Everything else seems to look good payload wise, just the overall weight Im a little concerned about. In the not too distant future, I may look into finding a 3.42 (whole rear end) from a suburban or something that I can swap in. One major disadvantage of this transmission is the Reverse gear is alot taller than the 1st gear so backing a heavy trailer into a complex area or uphill will be hell on my clutch. A 3.42 upgrade would be the equivalent of what my 1st forward gear is with the 3.08. NV3500s have a pretty steep first gear so it gets thing moving pretty easily even with the 3.08s.
     
  2. 94burbk1500

    94burbk1500 I'm Awesome

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    that towing capacity is based on the brakes and suspension, not what the engine and drivetrain can handle. The trailer having brakes will help, but I'd look into some better brakes and if the tongue weight sags the truck a bunch, some stiffer springs out back. I doubt you'll have trouble getting that trailer moving, stopping and handling is the real concern.
     
  3. Biggershaft96

    Biggershaft96 Cant Getrite

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    Id hunt for a 6 lug 14 bolt rear end. Theres a good chance of finding one with 3.73s and they all have the bigger brakes. With that id add some bags or an add a leaf. Im sure your truck can handle it as is but there are alot of things that can make for a better/safer way to tow.
     
  4. 5speed91

    5speed91 OBS Enthusiast

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    The factory literature for my truck as configured says 3.08 5500 max trailer, 3.42 6500 max trailer and 3.73 7500 max trailer with WD hitch of course. I realize there was no real standard back in the day but it seems like a realistic reference.
     
  5. 5speed91

    5speed91 OBS Enthusiast

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    What did these typically come in? 6 lug 2500's. I cant even find any factory info on the 6 lug 2500s. What years did they make them? Ive seen theme before but Im thinking only early models like 88-90. I'm assuming I cant just insert 5 lug axle shafts. Wheel change is mandatory I take it?
     
  6. df2x4

    df2x4 Domestics only.

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    No, but you can send the six lug shafts to Moser or another comparable machining place and have them plugged and re-drilled for whatever lug pattern you want.

    http://www.moserengineering.com/shop-services/

    EDIT - Also the six lug 14 bolt SFs are more common than you think. Search for them in 2500s via car-part.com and you should find a few nearby.
     
  7. 98chevy2500SS

    98chevy2500SS Bowtie 'Til I Die

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    There is also the F44 package that included the 6 lug 14 bolt SF, which is the same as the 2500LD, I believe. I would check your local junk yards, they are bound to have at least one.
     
  8. 5speed91

    5speed91 OBS Enthusiast

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    Thanks guys! Ill check that out.
     
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  9. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 I'm Awesome

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    I think the 5 speed was rated to tow less than the automatic which makes no sense to me as the 4L60 is a POS.
     
  10. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 OBS Enthusiast

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    Automatic transmissions are generally much more gentle on other driveline components. The durability of a manual transmission is very heavily dependent on the person operating it. Wouldn't surprise me if a lighter duty trans like the NV3500 has a lower rating. I've towed 5000 lbs with my NV3500 and 2.93 gears for quite some distance in my Caprice wagon and it is fine, but I'm pretty mechanically sympathetic.
     

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