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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Silverado 3.08 vs 3.42

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jamtz

Kansas

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Posted: 12/17/11 01:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not too sure how to answer that except that maybe its the difference in torque from the 3.08 to the 3.42 axle.


2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Z71 EXT CAB 5.3L V8 3.42 axle 4x4 (Old TV)
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LT 6.0L V8 4.10 axle CC 4X4 (New TV)
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cVIZgo

New Lenox, Illinois

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Posted: 12/17/11 01:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Torque to get load moving? Cause again, same engine and trans? If it's only to get load moving, why the huge weight difference?


Keep on Truckin'


MARK VANDERBENT

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Posted: 12/17/11 02:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am hearing a lot of good things about the new 6 speed trans. 308 and 342 rear ends feel a lot better towing, and fuel mileage is up. I would get the 342. I have a 97 burb 1500 350 with a 342, and it tows great in 3rd gear.

donn0128

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Posted: 12/17/11 01:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It may be the same engine and transmission but the rear end ratio is a multiplier to put the power to the ground. If you had for example a 1:1 rear end ratio you might be able to go 200MPH, but you would NEVER get the rig rolling without a push car. Conversely if you have a 6:30 rear end in the exact same rig, you could pull a freight train, but probably could never go over 50MPH.


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GuyM

The Great Midwest

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Posted: 12/17/11 02:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a new GMC Ext. Cab, 5.3 with a 3.08. With the 6 speed it handles my 4800 lb. trailer (scaled weight) just fine. In fact I get up to speed quicker than I did with my 5.7, 4 speed with a 3.73. The only time I feel that I'd like more gear is when I try to run at 65+ mph. Most of the roads I drive are 55 mph limit, so the 3.08 works just fine for me when I'm towing. Towing only makes up less than 20% of my miles, so I'm very happy with the 3.08.


Guy

lbrjet

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Posted: 12/17/11 02:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will have more HP at any given speed.

GM is trying to tell you the 3.08 gears are their worst gear set for towing. Even if you don't understand why, you should listen to them.


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dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 12/17/11 04:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It`s more than just getting the load moving. it`s also about keeping the load moving and how easy it will be. there is nothing different about the strength of the gearsets, more the mechanical advantage. just like when you change gears on a bike. the lower the gear (higher number) the easier it is to move a given load. the higher the gear (lower number) the more work it takes to move it and keep it moving when loaded.


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cVIZgo

New Lenox, Illinois

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Posted: 12/17/11 03:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've pulled my rig estimated 4500 pounds with out a problem at all. But my fiance and I have been in the market for new TT and the area we've been looking keeps taking us around the 8,000 pound range loaded. Less the the 3.42 towing capacity but over the 3.08 capacity and I'm trying a reason why there is such a difference between the gears. Is there a way to ask Chevy or a technical forum where I may get a chevy tech who may have the answer to this?

maxwell11

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Posted: 12/17/11 06:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i had a GMC with a 3.42 differential ratio.

great truck to drive back and forth to work and for light work.

but, when i hooked mama bears camper to it, you would have thought i had hooked the pickup to a big tree.

I would not want anything less than a 3.73 and that depends on the motor and trailer weight.


Remember: you need at least 20% overage in tow capacity and sometimes that is not enough. Also, remember when some fool pulls out in front of you and you have to shut her down quick, your truck/trailer cannot have enough brake capacity.
bigger tow vehicle is better:

jmtc
good luck and stay safe,

APT

SE Michigan

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Posted: 12/17/11 04:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

7000-8500 pound RV is really pushing half ton suspension, regardless of motor, trans, and gearing. A boat, sure, but most people are not comfortable towing RVs that much with them. Are those dry weights or GVWR? 8000 pound RV means 1000-1200 pounds of tonque weight. Most half ton trucks only have 1500 pounds of payload, leaving 300-500 pounds for family and cargo in the bed.

If you insist on the 5.3L, get the 3.42 for more torque. There is no penalty, only 11% more wheel torque. But I'd look at under 6000 pounds dry or 3/4 ton truck.


A & A parents of DD 2005, DS1 2007, DS2 2009
2011 Suburban 2500 6.0L 3.73 pulling 2011 Heartland North Trail 28BRS
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