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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > 2000 5.3 V8 Silverado performance questions

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c3saving

East Coast

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Posted: 06/24/12 07:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The truck has 150K miles. It was ordered with a heavy duty tow package on it from the factory. According to Trailer Life, it has a tow capacity of 8500lbs. We took our TT with 7500 GWVR trailer about 2 hours away this weekend. This is our third trip and by far the furthest. The truck also has a K&N air filter kit on it.

My question is what should I expect as far as performance.

We traveled from the Tidewater area of Virginia to the Gloucester area. We used the tow/haul mode. The trip required traveling through a tunnel under one of the local water ways and over a high rise bride. When traveling up an incline the truck seems to rev for a bit before switching to the next gear. I watched the RPMs and most of the time it stays below 3000. While on cruise control, it occasionally would kick into high gear and go up to 4000 rpm for a short bit and recover. I also watched the oil pressure. During times of rpm right below 2000, it was sitting around 50. During times of higher rpms, it would move to 60.

I know the vehicle has to change gears, but I'm a little concerned about the length of time it takes to switch when towing up an incline. Frankly, I'm not sure what is normal and wondering if any trips to the Shenandoah should even be considered. Thinking only sea level elevation is my only option.

I can get another K&N air filter. (It was cleaned before leaving but still a bit black.) I'll have a chat with my mechanic, but wondering if a synthetic oil might be a good idea. Any feed back would be appreciated.

A 2500 is in the future, but at minimum 12 months out.

hmknightnc

Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 06/24/12 07:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That 5.3 motor is an excellant motor however you are essentially using it at it's max capability. Get rid of the cruise control when pulling any kind of grade with that heavy of a trailer (I wouldn't recommend cruise at all but flat land should be ok). Use your electronic throttle control to force the transmission into drive vice OD when climbing (even 2nd if steep hill). Let the engine rev to 3500-4000 rpm while working and it will pull like a champ and run like that all day long.

Pulled a 6,000 TT with a Tahoe with the 5.3 and 3.73 ratio for over 50k miles. That Tahoe now has 140k on it and still running like new. DD runs it now and puts over 20k a year on it supporting Saddlebred Horse Association activities. Wouldn't hessitate for a xecond to take that engine across country tomorrow if needed.

MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 06/24/12 08:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

On performance - when heading up out of the tunnel the engine is trying to maintain speed - (not sure this is the right wording) truck seems to drop down a gear, rev, RPM move to 3000 to 4000 until we reach the top and incline levels off. I suppose I'm expecting it to find the power it needs to move to the next gear before the top of the incline is reached.

The truck is paid for. Been looking at a Ford 250 Lariat. Very interested, but the budget requires a little bit of time to prepare.


That's exactly what my 1997 F150 does with over 235,000 miles on it.. For me, that's "normal" and expected when I tow my #5000 GVWR TT...

When climbing a grade, you are NOT going to gain enough momentum to be able to shift into a higher gear to clear the top of the grade.. Can you do that when you are riding a 10 speed bike up an incline?

I go up 5-6% grades that are are 'miles and miles' of second gear running, pulling some 3500 rpms and going an easy 55 mph...

Basically, it's just the nature of the beast and you are doing fine IMO...

Don't over clean your K&N either... Unless you have dirt literally 'caked' on it, you don't really need to clean it until it has over 50,000 miles on it..

I don't want this to get into the usual K&N debates that occur when someone even mentions the product, so I won't go in it here, but I've been running one for 11 years and over 170,000 miles and maintain it per the instructions and what do you know?? I haven't killed my engine yet!

Anyway, it does sound like you are just not used to having your engine run in the higher rpms so that's disturbing to you... To me, you are doing fine...

Don't toss money at your rig in an attempt to lower it's rpms while going up a grade towing a "brick"... About all you can do is get a truck with a bigger engine or that burns a different type of fuel...

Good luck!

Mitch


2013 F150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab Max Tow Egoboost 3.73 gears #7700 GVWR #1920 payload. 2003 Prowler Lynx 722F #5000 GVWR and weighs every bit of it! Happy Camping!


jerem0621

Tennessee

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Posted: 06/24/12 07:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My only suggestion, if you are not satisfied with the transmission kicking down when you feel like it should is to manually shift the transmission to a lower gear when going up a grade.

Also, we may need a little clarification about what kind of performance you are talking about? Are you talking about power, are you talking about MPG, engine RPM.

You have a gasser, it needs to rev high to make power.

If your current truck is financed and you feel that your current TV is not adequate, I would go to a dealer and talk about a trade, you may get pretty close now, instead of waiting 12 months. If your TT is pushing your current rig to hard it may be worth it to take a little hit now and upgrade to a 3/4 or 1 ton truck.

Thanks!

Jeremiah


2014 Chrysler Town And Country
3.6 Pentastar V6

"It's Kind of Fun To Do The Impossible"
~Walt Disney~

c3saving

East Coast

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Posted: 06/24/12 07:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No cruise control - got it.

Confused on the electronic throttle control - drive vice OD when climbing. Could you expand on this?

Thanks!

c3saving

East Coast

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Posted: 06/24/12 07:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jerem0621 wrote:

My only suggestion, if you are not satisfied with the transmission kicking down when you feel like it should is to manually shift the transmission to a lower gear when going up a grade.

Also, we may need a little clarification about what kind of performance you are talking about? Are you talking about power, are you talking about MPG, engine RPM.

You have a gasser, it needs to rev high to make power.

If your current truck is financed and you feel that your current TV is not adequate, I would go to a dealer and talk about a trade, you may get pretty close now, instead of waiting 12 months. If your TT is pushing your current rig to hard it may be worth it to take a little hit now and upgrade to a 3/4 or 1 ton truck.

Thanks!

Jeremiah


On performance - when heading up out of the tunnel the engine is trying to maintain speed - (not sure this is the right wording) truck seems to drop down a gear, rev, RPM move to 3000 to 4000 until we reach the top and incline levels off. I suppose I'm expecting it to find the power it needs to move to the next gear before the top of the incline is reached.

The truck is paid for. Been looking at a Ford 250 Lariat. Very interested, but the budget requires a little bit of time to prepare.

MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 06/24/12 08:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah, it's a new experience to hear your engine working at it's peak power rating.. That's all it's doing should be fine doing it.

As long as it's not missing or running rough or surging while you are doing it, all is good!

Mitch

ib516

Up here!

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Posted: 06/24/12 08:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your truck is operating normally while towing.

I'm not a fan of K&N filters, but it's your engine. I find they let too much dust through. Opinions vary on them though.


2010 Cougar 322QBS 5er
Prev:
01 Dodge 2500 360 gas, 4.10
02 Dodge 2500 5.9L Cummins, 3.55
07 Dodge 3500 SRW Mega 5.9L Cummins, 3.73
Current:
2014 RAM 2500, 6.4L Hemi, 4.10, auto

10000# GVWR, 5500# FGAWR, 6500# RGAWR, 3040# payload, 15470# tow rating, 22500# GCWR


hmknightnc

Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 06/24/12 08:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

c3saving wrote:

No cruise control - got it.

Confused on the electronic throttle control - drive vice OD when climbing. Could you expand on this?

Thanks!


Your transmission is electronically controlled. If not using cruise control just push the accelerator hard and then back off a little. The transmission will shift down one without outrageously racing the engine.

What are experciencing with cruise control on is the cruise continues to add throttle in an attempt to regain set speed until the transmission downshifts but the cruise holds basicaly wide open throttle at that point until speed is regained. If you do it manually like I describe you can cause the transmission to shift earlier and not race at full throttle. You can maintain speed better by getting the engine rpm into the true power range earlier without over revving it

Your truck sounds like it is operating perfectly normal, your just not use to using it at this level of performance. Don''t worry about running that engine above 3,000 rpm for extended periods of time as long as you have maintained it well. It will do that without a problem if maintained.

c3saving

East Coast

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Posted: 06/24/12 08:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Anyway, it does sound like you are just not used to having your engine run in the higher rpms so that's disturbing to you... To me, you are doing fine...

Don't toss money at your rig in an attempt to lower it's rpms while going up a grade towing a "brick"... About all you can do is get a truck with a bigger engine or that burns a different type of fuel...

Good luck!

Mitch


Definitely not accustom to running the engine at the higher rmps...

This is our first real "brick". The other was a 3500# popup.

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