Home Main Category Clubhouse

Talk to me about my rear end

BuffcoBuffco Senior MemberPosts: 6,244 Senior Member
I have a 2009 GMC Sierra, 160,000 miles. I'd like to upgrade the suspension for towing.

Is it as simple as buying some Biltstein shocks and adding an add-a-leaf helper? I'm not towing anything that heavy. But I can't imagine that shocks are designed to last for 160,000 miles.

Any advice?

Secondly, I have a 3:08 rear end that I want to swap for a 3:73. I'm having trouble finding one with drum brakes because I don't really want to redo all the brake crap. The 3:08 sucks donkey balls for towing and speed, and I can't tell that it gets any better gas mileage for town driving. Sure, maybe if I went 600 miles on the interstate the extra 300 rpms would cost, but I can't understand why anyone would want a 3:08. CAFE standards, I guess?

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
«13

Replies

  • RocketmanRocketman Banned Posts: 1,118 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Why change the entire rear end? Why not just change the gear set ?

    Bearing preload, backlash, shims, bearings, heavy carrier, crush sleeve = pain in the ass.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,911 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    ..................I can't understand why anyone would want a 3:08. CAFE standards, I guess?

    Chevy has been using a 3.08 gear ratio in the rear of automatic transmission cars since the 1950's, so it's nothing new. 3.73's are for the standard trans cars, but you'll definitely be able to accelerate much faster with the 3.73 gear ratio. It seems to me just putting in new shocks would take care of hauling a trailer with a class 2 hitch on it.

    See this website for hitch categories:

    http://www.autoanything.com/towing/how-to-select-the-right-hitch-class.aspx
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Once upon a time the GM 14 bolt was the go to hardware for heavy hauling.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    What are you going to tow?

    If the rear end is not posi-traction I would consider swapping it out.


    Towing a heavy load in the heat up and down hills might be better to have a **** cooler as well. Have you thought about your cooling system and radiator?

    A heavier suspension and new shocks will help you with a heavier tounge weight, but if you are going to tow over 5000 lbs over distance you should also look into a weight distribution hitch.

    And finally, it isn't about towing 7000 lbs as much as it is controlling and stopping 7000 lbs... You need to make sure you have brakes in a heavy trailer and an actuator.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Why change the entire rear end? Why not just change the gear set ?
    Lot simpler. Buddy got a 3:73 with 40,000 miles for $400 delivered.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    What are you going to tow?

    If the rear end is not posi-traction I would consider swapping it out.


    Towing a heavy load in the heat up and down hills might be better to have a **** cooler as well. Have you thought about your cooling system and radiator?

    A heavier suspension and new shocks will help you with a heavier tounge weight, but if you are going to tow over 5000 lbs over distance you should also look into a weight distribution hitch.

    And finally, it isn't about towing 7000 lbs as much as it is controlling and stopping 7000 lbs... You need to make sure you have brakes in a heavy trailer and an actuator.

    D
    I've got a **** cooler. Considering getting a larger aftermarket one but after monitoring my trans temp, the guys who are using the aftermarket are only getting about ten degrees less than me. May do it.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    Why in the world would I need posi traction? I'm not even close to hauling 5000 lbs

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Why in the world would I need posi traction? I'm not even close to hauling 5000 lbs

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

    Then you likely do not need any upgrades to your rear end, **** or suspension. Shocks at 160 k could be swapped out.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,985 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    I've got a **** cooler. Considering getting a larger aftermarket one but after monitoring my trans temp, the guys who are using the aftermarket are only getting about ten degrees less than me. May do it.

    ALWAYS use an auxiliary **** cooler when towing with an automatic transmission. Always.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,985 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    Shocks at 160 k could be swapped out.
    Like I told my mechanic when he told me the MBZ needed new shocks: "Why? I just changed them 15 years (and about 140k) ago!!"
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    Then you likely do not need any upgrades to your rear end, **** or suspension. Shocks at 160 k could be swapped out.

    D
    I'm getting the 3:73. A 3:08 on a 5.3 engine is a travesty.

    I've got a trip to Indiana coming up that I'm going to have to pull a good sized trailer.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    The pinion angle must be exactly right. Close enough won't cut it.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    I didn't realize any of the 2wd pickups came with drums in '09. A 3.73 drum brake axle is going to come off a Z71 package pickup. As for a source I can't help there.

    Have you looked at air bag helper springs? Install a set of those and just use a Schrader valve and skip the air compressor. I have a buddy who did that after his air compressor quit. He likes it just fine, he can air up for whatever the load is and dump air when he is done so the ride isn't quite as stiff.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    The pinion angle must be exactly right. Close enough won't cut it.

    Why not? There is a U joint back there for a reason.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    Then you likely do not need any upgrades to your rear end, **** or suspension. Shocks at 160 k could be swapped out.

    D
    Yep. Under 5000 pounds is nothing. I wouldn't even bother with it.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Why not? There is a U joint back there for a reason.

    A loud radio can help if it's off. :driving:
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,985 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Question for Dan: Unless you are pulling a trailer in the snow, mud, sand, or across the floor of an adult video store, why in the world would you need a posi-trac rear end?
    WORD. More complex, needs oil changed much more frequently, uses special oil. If you need it, you need it. If not, don't...
    As to the **** cooler, I'm certain the truck has air conditioning.

    BAM! :rotflmao:
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,349 Senior Member
    I had a '09 5.3 Z71. I had the towing package, including **** cooler and class 3 hitch from the factory. It also had a 3.73 gear. Probably where you want to look to locate one for your truck.

    ETA - mine also had drum breaks on the rear.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Question for Dan: Unless you are pulling a trailer in the snow, mud, sand, or across the floor of an adult video store, why in the world would you need a posi-trac rear end?


    As to the **** cooler, I'm certain the truck has air conditioning.

    There is no harm in a little extra traction. Besides without posi the pickup is a one wheel wonder and has a good chance of getting stuck in a piss puddle on grass or dirt especially with highway tires.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    I didn't realize any of the 2wd pickups came with drums in '09. A 3.73 drum brake axle is going to come off a Z71 package pickup. As for a source I can't help there.

    Have you looked at air bag helper springs? Install a set of those and just use a Schrader valve and skip the air compressor. I have a buddy who did that after his air compressor quit. He likes it just fine, he can air up for whatever the load is and dump air when he is done so the ride isn't quite as stiff.

    Unless I'm mistaken, they all swapped to drums.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    There is no harm in a little extra traction. Besides without posi the pickup is a one wheel wonder and has a good chance of getting stuck in a piss puddle on grass or dirt especially with highway tires.

    There's some great irony here in that the first time that I went to the SE shoot, I followed Dan to Jerry's house and after he took a wrong turn, he backed into some wet grass to turn around and almost got stuck.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,985 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Pot-kettle

    Yea, yea! :tooth:
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,664 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    There's no harm, yet there's no real valid reason, either. At least not enough to warrant the expense, if he's not driving across the video store floor.
    Did he not get stuck awhile back putting pigs in the pen?

    Sent from my SM-J320V using Tapatalk
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,126 Senior Member
    I thought this was going to be about 'roids
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    I thought this was going to be about 'roids

    It is.

    Sure be alot less expense and work to just drive slower. What's the rush? Slow down, enjoy the ride. You may avoid the above ailment.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,958 Senior Member
    If you are towing 5K, here is the best setup you can do.

    Take your existing truck, even if it is a Chevy, slide the hitch into the receiver with the right ball on it. Remember, ALWAYS grease your balls. Back up until the ball is under the trailer hitch. Lower trailer onto ball. Latch hitch and pin it. Hook up your chains, cross them left to right and right to left under the hitch. Connect the plug. Get in the truck and drive away.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • Cheetoh734Cheetoh734 Senior Member Posts: 714 Senior Member
    If you are towing 5K, here is the best setup you can do.

    Take your existing truck, even if it is a Chevy, slide the hitch into the receiver with the right ball on it. Remember, ALWAYS grease your balls. Back up until the ball is under the trailer hitch. Lower trailer onto ball. Latch hitch and pin it. Hook up your chains, cross them left to right and right to left under the hitch. Connect the plug. Get in the truck and drive away.

    :agree: This...

    Under 5000 you shouldn't worry about it too much. My Titan doesn't have the tow package and has 2.97 gears, its still rated at 7500lbs. Yours has to be at least that. I pull my 5500lb travel trailer around in our hilly terrain with 0 issues. I take OD off and put it into "tow mode" and i'll do 65-70mph at ~2100 rpm. The stability bars help and I have a trailer brake controller but, again, less than 5000lbs i'm not sure all of that is necessary.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    I meant 7,000 earlier. I'm not hauling 7000. I am right around 5,000.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    7000 ain't a big deal either with any half ton pickup. Yea, you are pulling 7000 pounds... guess what? The truck is going to ride/stop/accelerate differently. 5000? I used to do that with my 86' S-10 with an inline 2.5L engine. I do it now with mama's grocery getter. Georgia to Indiana and back? Meh. No biggie.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,632 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    7000 ain't a big deal either with any half ton pickup. Yea, you are pulling 7000 pounds... guess what? The truck is going to ride/stop/accelerate differently. 5000? I used to do that with my 86' S-10 with an inline 2.5L engine. I do it now with mama's grocery getter. Georgia to Indiana and back? Meh. No biggie.


    This. The diff swap is no big deal, but it's unnecessary. If you plan to tow often, look into airbags. You can go as simple or as convenient (no thinking necessary) as you want. This is the brand I'm familiar with, but there are dozens out there.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.sdtrucksprings.com/suspension-air-bags/firestone-air-bag-kits&ved=0ahUKEwiv4fvw-bHTAhWi8YMKHW3zDY8QFgguMAA&usg=AFQjCNGKM2nMAQHeQLY75IOPs2MMP0mtCw&sig2=GdRr2QklYpb_K44Miji3Ig
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement