Help figure out towing capacity

Discussion in 'Towing' started by JoeM, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. JoeM

    JoeM Newbie

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    Have a 1998 k1500. Recently got a parts truck that was a '94k3500. Had the turbo diesel, single axle 14 bolt FF rear.. engine/trans are gone. But I still have the suspension, front & rear diff & hydroboost setup.
    Thinking of putting the front & rear diff, rear leaf springs, torsion bars & hydroboost on my '98. Just b/c I have everything and its free. I know I'll have to buy some additional stuff here n there, no biggie.
    What would you think my towing capacity would be with the 1-ton parts.. and eventually a 4l80 transmission? Oh, frame is shot thats why I'm not just using it.. Front frame rails crushed up to the steering box..
     
  2. jdla140

    jdla140 OBS Enthusiast

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    Well, getting the front suspension in is a pretty big job, but I wouldn't pull more than 8-9k with it. You aren't changing the frame, motor, or trans (yet), just axles. The 350's were only rated to pull like 9k in even in a full blown 1 ton truck. Maybe I err on the safe side though, hopefully someone else will chime in
     
  3. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 I'm Awesome

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    I need to measure my frame thickness again on the 1500. It's about 5/16 on my CC 3500, but I scrapped an EC dually and its frame was onpy 1/4" thick. The 8 luggers do have leaf hanger reinforcement brackets. On the other hand, short and long bed front leaf mounts are in very different places. Short bed may be inherently stronger? There is a lot of speculation on my part as to where the weak link truly is. Hub bearings have to play a part at some point. GM had a funny way of rating towing capacity in these things. According to my owner's manual it seems it's entirely hp based. When a 2500/3500 aren't necessarily rated to tow more with the same motpr as a 1500 something is fishy. I tow around 9000 with my 1500, but in stock form anything more than 5000 was getting sketchy. That said, I never used a WD hitch when I was stock. Still though, that wimpy rear leaf pack makes things interesting at times. Plus the brakes blow and they're gutless. And the 4L60 and 10 bolt are ticking time bombs. So there's a bunch of rambling to muddy the waters up for ya. :D
     
  4. jdla140

    jdla140 OBS Enthusiast

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    Oddly enough in 1994/5 the N/A 6.5 and turbo 6.5 are rated to pull the exact same. The N/A would have a 4l60e and the turbo would have an 80e. the 5.7 trucks are rated to pull more, even in a non-F44 1500. So, I'd have to agree, entirely based on horsepower rating withing a specific series truck.

    A 7200 GVWR 2500 (which is a 6 lug truck with a 14b Semi-Floater rear end and heavier leaf springs) is rated to pull 1,000 pounds more than a 1500. So with 3/4 ton springs 9-10K wouldn't be totally out of the question.
     
  5. Biggershaft96

    Biggershaft96 Cant Getrite

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    it would be sketchy at best
     
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  6. Ken K

    Ken K OBS Enthusiast

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    Other than the obvious frame and suspension parts, the manufacture confirms towing capacity by law...with the brakes.
    Changing parts as discussed will come with larger brakes but either way, that a lot of work. But I can't afford to go buy a 1 ton either, but I do have a lot of time & tools.

    Best of luck.
     
  7. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 I'm Awesome

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    Brakes were clearly not part of the equation or else the owner's manual would specify a bit higher rating for the 2500 vs 1500.
     

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