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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Towing with a 99 GMC Suburban 7.4L

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FireGuard

Ventura, Ca

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Posted: 02/12/18 07:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A buddy is selling his 99 Suburban 4x4 with the 7.4L (454) for a great price.
Not sure of the model but it’s loadd with leather.
It’s in very good condition except a little paint peeling on the roof.
The original owner is a fellow FF and took good care if it. 148k mi and the only issue is that the AC needs to be recharged periodically. (Probably looking at new compressor and condenser based on another 20 yr old veh I bought)
I have 5 acres that I’m going to build on this spring and this would be a great veh that I won’t have to worry about scratching or dinging.
My toyhauler is 21’ but heavy with a 12,500 gvw but closer to 8-9k lbs the way I camp.
I don’t tow often but need to be able to pull it 2-300 mi with some good hills. ( Grapevine, Bishop grade to Mammoth etc )
I know it will suck gas and tow much slower than my Ram but I’ve heard of some overheating issues with this motor.
The original owner towed his 5k lb trailer and said it was slow on the hills and ran warm.
I’m only looking for reliability and don’t want to be left stranded on the side of the road.
Is this a good tow vehicle for my application?
What makes it tempting is that he only wants $1500.


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MFL

Midwest

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Posted: 02/12/18 07:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Owner being honest said it was slow and ran warm towing 5K on hills. I think towing 8-9K on hills will be slower, and run hotter. I think I'd pass, even though the price is right. Your trailer would have much more hitch wt. Is the old Burb hitch capable of over !K, and RAWR going to work?

Jerry





rjstractor

Auburn, WA

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Posted: 02/12/18 07:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's hard to pass up on a rig that is that cheap and you know the history on. I have to wonder why it's so cheap, although I'm in the fire service too and I don't know of anyone who would intentionally cheat a brother on a vehicle or any other purchase. I would think that the 7.4 would tow your trailer just OK, nothing at all like your current truck. If you run into overheat issues maybe an radiator and fan upgrade would help. Hard to go wrong for only $1500 on that rig.

Lwiddis

Cambria, CA

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Posted: 02/12/18 07:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only issue is the AC...and overheating. Buying to pull 9k over the Grapevine on I5 and Conway Summit on US 395 at 8,000+ feet? Not a good tow vehicle even for free.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 02/12/18 07:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“I'm in the fire service too and I don't know of anyone who would intentionally cheat a brother”

RJS, not to cheat a brother...or anyone?

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 02/12/18 07:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Buddy had one - it made a poor tv and that one will leave you sitting on the GV. My short advice is don't do it.


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BurbMan

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Posted: 02/12/18 08:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A 2500 burb will easily handle 1000 on the tongue, my TT is 8500 lbs with about 1200 on the tongue. The old 454s had some issues, cooling was one of them, but there are aux fans you can install to help with that. I would say if you have the 4.10 rear axle, you should be OK towing 9k lbs but you're not gonnna win any races going uphill. The 3.73 rear axle even less so.

$1500 is a great price with that relatively low mileage, I would grab it just to have around, like you say, something that you don't have to worry about hen youre building on your 5 acres. Not sure why you would want to tow with it since you have a brand new Cummins diesel, but that's your call.

I would grab this Burb for $1500, take the trailer out for a test spin and see how it does. If you don't like how it tows, you could turn around and sell it for $3k easy over the summer. Even if you don't wind up keeping it you wonlt get hurt on this deal...unless you blow the trans going up the grapevine lol.


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FireGuard

Ventura, Ca

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Posted: 02/12/18 09:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Burbman, I was thinking the same thing about buying it and if it didn’t tow we’ll just use it as a beater around the mountain. Or sell it.
Rjstractor. The original owner and current owner are partners on the RA and even though I think he wanted to sell it for more, you know how it is when a bunch of Firemen get together to buy and sell toys. LOL.

Golden_HVAC

Fulltime, CA, USA

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Posted: 02/12/18 09:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a friend who bought a new 2500 Suburban with 454. He loved it for towing his 10,000 pound trailer.

Who cares if you are not going 55 up the grapevine? It is one of the most advanced and powerful 454's! He got about 6 mpg towing. It will make a nice truck to make trips into town.

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 02/12/18 09:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My buddy with the big 454 burb used it to occasionally tow a 10K# boat.
He lives at the top of a long steep hill (Simmons rd/Kenmore Wa) and found the burb slowed down to 15 mph in 1st gear at wot. He wasn't sure he was going to make it. The next time he asked me to tow it home - he was scared of that hill and blowing a trans or eng.
I started from a dead stop and started rowing gears, finally letting off at at 65. My truck has only slightly more power than stock.
That Burb was more than slow, with that kind of strain it was on the verge of catastrophic failure.

I say buy it if you need but don't tow heavy over the GV.
just my .02.

* This post was edited 02/12/18 10:01pm by ScottG *

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