My old 2002 Furd still has a K&N setup from the first air filter change and my son now has it +200k miles. It doesent smoke or lose oil and runs like a top. The problem isn't how much dirt gets by but how much the dope that cleans it over oils it and doesn't let the oil tack up before reinstalling. I have the exact setup OP is asking about and it does increase sound level. To anyone that hears it it is not loud or obnoxious and to car guys it is the music of angels.
I wouldnt do a drain plug on the tranny. Looking in the pan for things other than fluid is like reading tea leaves to predict its future. 2 issues i have with thru the pan fitting above. Fluid drains very slowly and wont pull any debris with it. And it leaves >1/4" fluid in the pan with all the debris in it.
Distance whether the 1st mile or 5000th as long as setup is correct no problemo. Elevation ...make sure you keep your trailer brakes maintained and the truck will never feel the trailers weight when braking. And if you come across a steep grade let the computer do what it does that is choose the correct gear ratio to deliver the required torque to pull the load up the hill. The engine computer will adjust for everything. Towing is not something everyone is comfortable or capable doing. If you are using your head and having some understanding of the mechanics it will make you safer. Like a pilot of a passenger plane ...how do you think he feels when he sits down for a flight? Once you get past the butterflies it is just math and physics that define the safety envelope you operate within. As was suggested by one person a hitch like the Hensley Arrow changes the physics of towing IMO it is a game changer for stable towing.
GM publishes capacities. These are not numbers they pull out of their A$$ and the number also has built in safety margin arrived at by real engineers. If you are a normal rational person and not trying to tow at 90mph there is no reason you cannot tow something within specs without worry. Trailers that size have their own brakes that are capable of stopping more than their own weight. If you use a WDH you are better off setting it light than cranking it down. Too much WDH can unload the rear axle and cause the tail to wag the dog. If the rear sags a bit when loaded air bags or sumo springs will help. Yet another thread here where the incessant "Follow the Manual " crowd seems to make an exception for towing.
A lot of good and bad info I'm hearing. IMO spending thousands on forced induction or gearing to change your stock truck into something it is not is a huge mistake. If you want the bigger engine trade that sucker in and apply those thousands to get what you want. Tuning and CAI is cheap stuff that can wake up a sleepy machine. 6 or 8 speed trannies are the secret sauce that avoids having to do these more expensive add on's. The trans multiplies power and the tune optimizes shifting the available gears to get you there. If you do want to tow be aware a tire with E load rating will handle the load better and I know for michelins can be aired yup to 80PSI if need be to safely carry a load. And they will have less rolling resistance than a smaller heavier mud tire so more MPG.
I don't have good MPG comparative towing data before the tune As I towed mostly locally before and felt very similar on long flat stretches. I got the tune mainly for the trans part and knowing i would be pulling up some grades on the trip. Sorry I cannot give more data points but other than MPG the rest is subjective. IMO the tune feels better than before it was applied and so that probably applied to the towing as well. I never felt that the trailer was hurting the truck or that it struggled under the load. FWIW the ~10 mpg was taken from the dash and not calculated. So the larger tire size on way back is not taken into account. Generally going east with a tail wind i was doing ~14 mpg and coming back west with a strong headwind it would dip down to 8-9 mpg. Guessing actual MPG is around 11-12.
5430 miles total, Arizona to Tennessee to Michigan and back pulling a 33ft toy hauler. It went just fine. Trans shifted smoothly as it should and engine got a good workout with no issues at all. In Michigan replaced the tires with 285/65/20 Michelin defenders and Avg mpg was ~10.
I somewhat disagree with the notion that a CAI or exhaust mods are a waste of time. All these modern engines are EPA corked up off the lot. A 285 HP V6 probably has another 10-15 HP and 10-15 Lbs Torque at a relatively low cost. Adding on a good tune optimizing the tranny and I can guarantee you will feel it and like it. Main thing you'll fee would be crisp throttle response instead of sluggish and heavy. The reason you are not finding upgrades is as people have said. Most get the truck they want and finance it for just a few doubloons more each month.
In so many posts I hear the same drone over and over ...Follow whats in the manual ...really smart engineers figured it all out yada yada yada. ...So in this thread where are all the "look in the manual" nanny whiners? So what is it? follow the manual to the letter EXCEPT when towing ...that is a typo and so unsafe? A current 1500 Max tow is rated at 12,700 lbs so If it is up to that, setup correctly and not trying to go 90mph it will tow it safely. I recently towed a bumper pull across the country and back 4530 miles with just added set of Sumo springs and WDH and friction sway stabilizers. Was it heavy YES and would it stop well YES ...Trailers have their own brakes and when controller is set properly the trailer is not hard to stop. I did not go really fast and yes some bridge expansion joints were extremely rough. If GM didn't want me to pull this trailer they shouldn't have published hard numbers. ...A dimwit on a bicycle riding along with traffic is in more danger than me.
I havent changed chevy plugs since my 73' 454 vette ...I'm pretty sure all new plug boots should have DieElectric grease put in them. The modern high voltage systems will arc across the surface of the boots with the smallest bit of contamination.
A 256GB thumb drive at Co$tco is ~$40 ...a far better choice than any spinning or SSD based EXT HD. Formatted Fat32 and music in correct format works perfectly plugged in inside the console.
Do you have a CAI or catback exhaust? I have both CAI and Borla and mileage is definitely not down unless i wanna hear the ROAR lol. Not sure why yours would be different? After driving quite a bit on the tune IMO the Eco mode is not for driving in traffic. It feels just as lazy as stock and you need to push the throttle further open to take off. With ECO OFF the torque pulls right off idle and makes the truck feel lighter than it is on a lot less throttle shifting around 2k. My guess is that mode is plenty rich on fuel throwing the old emissions test @2200rpm out the window. :-) On the highway in eco mode i did pick up 1+ mpg. and when i get off the fwy I turn off ECO. will be pulling a trailer cross country tomorrow in tow mode.
+1 on the michelins ...last set are still going on my old truck +80K miles. They also have a max inflation of 80 PSI ...meaning if you haul a heavy load you can air up to make the load much more solid/stable which is also what makes these the best out there. I tow and this is important so the rear is not all mushy and unsafe.
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