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Old    JTW (sangerlover)      Join Date: Sep 2005       12-18-2006, 7:43 AM Reply   
Buddy just bought a new to him V215 and he only has a 05 1/2 ton GMC with the Vortec 4800 (small V8). I know it can pull it but just how painful will it be for him to pull the few grades that he will need to travel. I am concerned when he pulls it up to our Lake Tahoe trip in July considering he will have a ton of gear with him as well. Anybody pull with the small Vortec 4800?
Old    mendo247            12-18-2006, 8:54 AM Reply   
itll do the job, i did the exact same thing this summer before i bought a diesel.. had a few problems when i attempted to go up a gravel hill, but mine was only a 2 wheel drive and i had 1200 pounds of lead in the boat also.. as far as crusing down the highway and pulling hills he will be fine.. that motor likes to run high in the rpm band so just tell him to drop the hammer and listen to that thing purrrr.. dont go overloading the whole deal though that is quite a bit of weight for that rig, and stick to the speed limit for safety reasons..
Old    JTW (sangerlover)      Join Date: Sep 2005       12-18-2006, 9:25 AM Reply   
His is a 2 wheel drive extended cab. He estimates when going camping ( a couple times a year) he would have 800-1000 lbs in the bed of the truck + 5 passengers in the cab. Add the boat,trailer and gear in the boat he estimates another 4500-5000 lbs. He knows he will probably be over the rated limits of the truck but will drive accordingly.
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       12-18-2006, 9:26 AM Reply   
Yeah, could be a bit of a haul to Tahoe. I'd probably try to load as much gear as possible in another ride. It'll do it though, but it'll be pretty much pinned the whole way. One of my buddies actually towed a 23 Maristar to Tahoe with his Mitsubishi Montero V6. I thought he was insane, but he did it.
Old    Barrett (rwb)      Join Date: Aug 2005       12-18-2006, 1:10 PM Reply   
I have the 5.3 litre Vortec which is not too different from the 4.8 litre (CC or HP wise). Where a difference can be made is in the gearing . . . chances are the 4.8 litre has the 342 gears which will limit the vehicles' towing efficiency. My truck has the 342 gears, and it is not the greatest towing machine at higher speeds . . . In hind site, I wish I had gotten the 373 gears. If you keep the speeds down around 55 mph, the 4.8 Vortec should be ok, not great, but ok.
Old    Big E. (wakesetter101)      Join Date: Oct 2005       12-18-2006, 3:34 PM Reply   
He may just need to turn off overdrive and pull in drive. I think you will be surprised at how it pulls. A 5.3 would be better but that will get him by.
Old    Nacho (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       12-18-2006, 3:37 PM Reply   
Yep, be ready to take it out of OD and he should be fine
Old    Geoff Hatfield (ridealready)      Join Date: Feb 2006       12-19-2006, 3:28 PM Reply   
You guys actually tow with your overdrive on? Doesnt that work your tranny to death?
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       12-19-2006, 3:34 PM Reply   
Towing to Tahoe he wont need to be worried about being in overdrive. It's going to be more like second gear from about Appletree up on 80, or Strawberry up on 50. Either way it'll be pinned pretty much the whole way. Definitely works the hell out of the tranny. I wouldn't be too worried about the motor. They'll spin 5k all day long. If possible he may want to make the haul in the AM when it's cool.
Old    Peter_C (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       12-19-2006, 3:39 PM Reply   
Out of the five poeple in the truck, doesn't someone else own a bigger tow vehicle?
Old    Bob L (bob_l)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-19-2006, 4:18 PM Reply   
A lot of people forget the downhill (read brakes) side of this equation. Make sure they are in excellent shape and let the engine help out with the braking.
Old    mendo247            12-19-2006, 4:29 PM Reply   
Well as i stated earlier i towed the same boat with lead in the truck and boat.. so asuming he has five people and gear that would put us at the same load.. I was on a steep 2 lane road with a couple switch backs i was hauling rear up the hill until i came to a switch back and a guy pulled out in front of me.. i came to almost a complete stop.. as i steped on the accelerator i noticed the truck didnt want to move finally i found my foot on the floor and hardly moving! i heard and felt things ive never felt from a vehicle, the tranny was shaking badly, i was waiting for the drive line to snap! it was absolutely pathetic! it was a steep climb but i was bummed my truck was having so many issues. by the time i mad it to the top i had reached about 15 mph and everything was smoking.. it was at this point i realized i needed a diesel! i had towed many times to other lakes and with easier roads with not many steep mountain grades and had no problems.. just pay attention and dont get over your head!
Old    JTW (sangerlover)      Join Date: Sep 2005       12-19-2006, 5:09 PM Reply   
The Lake Tahoe trips even worked the hell out of my 6.0 powerstoke when I had it. Last summer I was fully loaded out with gear and boat and blew my turbo near placerville. My buddy a couple hours behind me blew his intercooler and turbo. What a trip that turned out to be.Just sold it because I couldn't rely on it for those big trips anymore. I will miss the power but back to a gasser for now.

BTW, My buddy knows he is overloaded with the 4.8 and will probably shed some gear into a different vehicle.
Old    Ron (ronskal)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-19-2006, 8:37 PM Reply   
I had an 01 Yukon with the 4.8L and 3.42 gears. It will do the job. I traded it off on an 02 Yukon with the 5.3 and 3.73 gears and it tows much better.

He will have to keep it out of OD for sure and he may eventually want to regear the truck if he wants to keep it. The gearing makes a BIG difference. BTW, I can tow on the flats in OD with my setup which is around 4500 Lbs boat and trailer (04 X2). I have to keep it above 65-68 MPH in OD for it to stay in the torque range to do it.

Like an earlier poster said the 4.8 and 5.3 are close on HP, but the 5.3 has much more torque since it is a stroked 4.8.

Get rid of the lead, the transmission will appreciate it. Your friend should look into a transmission cooler, since I doubt it has one.

Technically the load your are talking about is within the rated tow capacity for the rig. My setup has a rated tow capacity of 7800, so his would be this if I recall:

4.8 With 3.73 gears= 6800 Lbs.
4.8 with 3.42 gears= 5800 Lbs.
Old    Barrett (rwb)      Join Date: Aug 2005       12-19-2006, 9:07 PM Reply   
Hey Ron, have you seen any difference in gas mileage between the 3.73 and 3.42 gears? (regular driving) I had a '00 Silverado with 3.73 gears and it was a lot stronger that my '06 Silverado with 3.42 gears, and it seems to me the mileage difference is negligible. Both motors are/were the 5.3 litre. I'm kicking my self for not paying closer attention to the gearing, before buying the current truck. . . live and learn, I suppose.
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       12-20-2006, 10:02 AM Reply   
My old Tahoe had the 5.3 and 3:73's and it towed fine. I would tow in overdrive when possible (usually only when totally flat and doing 60+). I never considered towing my boat to Tahoe with it. I towed to Bullards Bar with it once where the climbs are brutal. It was my Sanger at that time with probably about 500 extra pounds of lead. Needless to say the Tahoe struggled. Lots of areas where I couldn't better 30mph on the climbs.

Driving to and from Tahoe with my old truck unloaded it was a haul over the summit. Granted it was lifted, but it only had 33's (which are only 1" taller than stock). It would pretty much stay in 3rd gear all the way up, dropping to second if I got on it to pass.

IMO, if you're gonna haul to Tahoe regularly a 3/4 ton is the way to do it. If you do it once a year I'm sure you could get away with less. JTW, I'm kinda suprised to hear about the diesels having that many problems. That's kinda what they're made for. I haven't tried that haul with my diesel yet, but I plan on it this year. We'll see how it works out. I definitely wont be pushing it with extra lead, though. I think I'll be using all water weight when I pull to high altitudes.
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       12-20-2006, 10:03 AM Reply   
Barrett, you can get those gears changed fairly inexpensively. Less than $2k I'd imagine.
Old    Barrett (rwb)      Join Date: Aug 2005       12-20-2006, 3:02 PM Reply   
Evan, Hmmmm . . . I'm going to look into that, thanks.
Old    JTW (sangerlover)      Join Date: Sep 2005       12-20-2006, 3:11 PM Reply   
Check out this forum I belong to. The issues with the 6.0 powerstrokes are well documented. They are very problematic (mostly 03 / 04 my) and I just had no faith anymore that I could get from point A to Point B without issues.
Old    jude (macdaddy)      Join Date: May 2004       12-21-2006, 12:26 AM Reply   
the whole diesel /gas thing is getting old.. i have owned both and i really prefer my 5.3 suburban with 3.73 to my old 03 f350 7.3...I have towed to tahoe with the burb, full of gear, boat full of gas and seven peeps in the car towed great up highway 50. and i get 17mpg in highway not towing prob. 9-10 towing.


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