Jon A replied to 2017Silverado's topic in Trailers, Hitches, & TowingBudget for a gearswap and you'll be fine. If you have a 6-speed I'd go 4.10's, if you have an 8-speed either 3.42's or 3.73's will work. First, of course, verify what you have--window stickers list standard and optional equipment and will sometimes list two different things in different columns so verify that before going through with the gear swap.
It should be mentioned in this discussion, especially for those with 1500's, if the truck isn't "handling" the trailer as well as you'd like, you are much better off improving the truck (airbags, LT tires, etc) in addition to using a WDH rather than exclusively relying on bigger and bigger WDH bars to transfer more and more weight. If you have a newer GM 1500 and you transfer more than 50% of the weight back to the front with a WDH, you are violating your tow ratings just the same as if you violate the max trailer weight in your owner's manual or violate the payload sticker. There are very real safety reasons the TRUCK manufacturers have for giving their guidelines on how much weight to transfer with a WDH. Too much might feel better but is less safe. Improving the truck means you don't need to rely on an over-adjusted WDH so much to get the ride and handling with the trailer you want and is a much safer thing to do.
Yes, two different things: The physical size of the gears and the ratio of the gears, one has nothing to do with the other. All 6.2's get the larger 9.76" gears which will add some strength and durability. 5.3's get 9.5" gears standard but with the NHT option get the bigger 9.76". Though the durability difference probably isn't something you'll ever notice unless you're towing 10K+ fairly often as the 9.5" is a pretty beefy axle for a 1/2 ton, historically speaking. Both the 5.3 and 6.2 get a different ratio when the NHT option is selected. The ratio difference is small, but will help the truck feel like it has a bit more power, especially up hills and be helpful in keeping the temps in check. How much of a help depends a bit on the truck--a 5.3 with a 6 speed, really, really, really needs gears. A 6.2 less so and with the 8-speed both engines do better with the standard ratio. So looking at a 6.2 8-speed as you are, the ratio difference isn't that big a deal.
Jon A replied to Donstar's topic in 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra 1500Hopefully the one on the 2019's in the bed will be much more powerful. If so it would be a great retrofit mod when the part is available.
Airbags are a great mod and it will ride and handle better with them. You may want to shorten the coupler a bit if you use them so the trailer is still level without the back of the truck sagging so much. Either way I think you can be confident you've got a much safer setup for moving that tractor around now.
I'll disagree with some here and say the tow mirrors are probably the most useful thing you get with the NHT package. With a large trailer you'll be really blind with the standard mirrors. You can use clip-ons or add tow mirrors yourself (as I did) but it would be really nice to have them come on the truck in the first place. The second big thing you get is the extra 400 lbs of payload. How important that is depends largely upon how worried you are about the internet weight police. It's not a performance/safety issue if you upgrade the truck at all with airbags or the like (which I'd recommend in either case anyway) but you can't change that sticker and it is very easy to exceed. Since you're looking at 6.2's with the 8-speed, gears aren't much of a worry. If towing in the mountains, you'll be happier with a 6.2 non-NHT than you will with a 5.3 NHT.
Jon A replied to ltzsilverado's topic in 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra 1500Yes, the pad on that bracket is smaller, but that's no different than many others out there. A two minute google shows as much: Rough Country: Havoc: No, it's not the strongest setup but there are probably tens of thousands of people out there running similar without issues, so I hate to tell you but expecting to get some money out of the company just isn't going to happen. Some brands are different and arguably better so this is something people should keep in mind before buying--most brands offer their instructions online so you can see how they install and what the brackets look like before you buy them. Since the boards seemed to flex right after you installed them, that may be where the damage was done. If the brackets were rigidly attached to the step and did not align with the rocker panel, the sheet metal would have been preloaded when the bolts were tightened and could have cracked right then, especially if there was an underlying factory flaw at that location.
Jon A replied to 426power's topic in 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra 1500To clarify this a bit, a level has virtually no measurable effect on the load distribution of the truck, but it can cause other adverse effects. Depending upon how high you go and what type of kit it is, they generally reduce your available extension travel. When towing a bumper pull trailer, your front end will rise some more, further reducing extension travel and stretching your suspension angles even farther from stock which can adversely affect ride/handling/steering. Yes, everybody does it and it usually doesn't cause massive problems, but generally speaking if one is going to be towing a lot he may want to keep the amount of leveling minimal to moderate so he's not stretching things to the max before the trailer is even hooked up. For dual use lots of offroad/lots of towing, a proper 4" lift really is a better way to go. Yeah, that sentiment may have had some merit 10-15 years ago, but it really has no basis in fact in this post-SAE J2807 world. While certainly not perfect, the current ratings are the most meticulously derived, scientifically based ratings we've ever had in history. And they're backed up by real-world testing, proving the truck can safely handle the max sized trailer through a myriad of performance, handling and braking tests. The best thing about implementing J2807 over the last decade or so is that the truck makers have made the trucks better because of it. Much stronger hitches, frames, bigger brakes, bigger axles, better grade braking, integrated trailer brake controlers, trailer sway control, etc really have made the trucks more capable and much safer when towing large trailers. If anything, it's the ratings for older trucks I'd call "bloated." Just because they were lower doesn't mean the trucks were as safe at those ratings.
Jon A replied to ltzsilverado's topic in 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra 1500Those look like they bolt to the exact same places in the same way as every other running board/tube step on the market. I see no way the boards were at fault. There certainly could have been a factory flaw on the truck that allowed it to crack easily, but most likely the boards were subjected to high loads. Tire shops are often guilty of lifting the truck by the boards; something like that is most likely the cause.
Jon A replied to GMCanadian's topic in 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra 1500I wouldn't think of doing that. The new tires are better for towing anyway as they are LT D rated and you can pump them up to 50-60 PSI when towing add better control/handling of the trailer. One inch is not a huge deal. Yes, on big hills it will struggle a bit more but on more level ground it won't make much of a difference. It'll feel a bit lazier, but won't be show-stopping. Gears are a great mod that will make the truck more fun to drive all the time, so if you don't like the laziness, that's a good excuse to do them. Sticking with the factory car tires on the truck isn't a good solution for anything.
Jon A replied to Madcow2020's topic in 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 Silverado & Sierra Accessories & ModificationsSorry to hear about your trouble with the Icons. Did they ever get to the bottom of it? I see your springs were a different part number than mine and are visually different (different number of active coils). Icon doesn't list details, but the internet says mine (PN 158508) are 700#/" 14" long springs and yours were 650#/" 13" long springs (used for Toyota Tacomas, etc). If you do the math, that means for the same spring perch height, your coilovers would result in a ride height nearly 2.2" lower than mine. Did they not figure this out? FWIW, mine have been fantastic for 30,000+ miles.
Jon A replied to 2009GMC's topic in 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra 1500There's no doubt the better truck for you right now is the 1/2 ton. 3/4 tons are not nice daily drivers for around town driving, gas or diesel, and lots of short trips would be torture for a new Dmax. As for towing in the mountains, I've done a lot of it and had no issues maintaining freeway speed loaded to over 15K GCW up really long, steep mountain passes with the 6.2. With the 6.0 3/4 ton, you will slow down with a big trailer. If that's what you're looking to avoid, you'd need the Dmax in the 3/4 ton. But if that's your biggest worry, it won't be an issue with the 6.2 NHT. What kind of trailer will the 10K one be? If it's something hard to control (really long bumper pull camping trailer, etc) and/or needs a lot of tongue weight, the 3/4 ton would be better at controlling the load and have more payload capacity so you may want to lean that way or plan to upgrade in the future. But if it's only towing once a month, possibly, three years or so from now, it might be difficult to spend all that money on a truck that will be worse for you right now, but might be better one day a month years in the future. The 1500 NHT would be better now and likely get the job done just fine with the big trailer for a couple of years; once you have the new trailer and see first hand how it handles it you could simply upgrade to the 3/4 ton in 5 years or so as a lot of people would want a new truck by then anyway. On the other hand, buying a new truck is expensive and getting one that will do every thing you want for the next 10+ years is much smarter financially than trading in a few years. It's really a judgement call on your part, I don't think there is a "right answer."
Jon A replied to 2009GMC's topic in 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra 1500Expressing you feel sick because you think another guy is endangering the lives of his own children is a really heavy thing to say. If you know the specs of the trailer and truck and know how it was loaded and determined he was grossly overloaded, then you'd have a good basis for it and it would be a fair point but you didn't say any of that. Your post came off much more along the lines of a "5th wheel = big, scary and unsafe" type of comment, which is the opposite of true although way too common on the internet. The "can be" is really a misconception, the reality is more like "virtually always" safer for a similar sized trailer. It's not even a contest--the difference is dramatic, one easily felt from the driver's seat in the way the truck and trailer handle.
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