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2001 5.3 GMC Sierra power


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Just wondering if anyone else has this issue. This truck seems to have plenty of power until you put something behind it! Hauling a 4000lbs car hauler and the truck falls on it's face! A little worried since we just ordered up a brand new 2013 TT that wieghs in at 5600lbs. Is there a reason for this "bog" in power when something of weight is thrown behind the truck? Even at higher RPMs and using the tow/haul feature the truck still seems to struggle.

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Just wondering if anyone else has this issue. This truck seems to have plenty of power until you put something behind it! Hauling a 4000lbs car hauler and the truck falls on it's face! A little worried since we just ordered up a brand new 2013 TT that wieghs in at 5600lbs. Is there a reason for this "bog" in power when something of weight is thrown behind the truck? Even at higher RPMs and using the tow/haul feature the truck still seems to struggle.

 

I'd try a full fuel system clean & a good tune up. Then see what happens. Might just be due for some TLC. After truck is 11 years old.

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Well it's been that way since I bought it with 63,000 miles on it. It now has 105,000 and feels the same as it did. I am going to do some maintenance on the truck, tune up, dif. oil changes, etc. Will see what happens after the tune up.

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I towed a car about 900 miles last summer. I have the 5.3 and 3.73 rear end. I certainly felt it. Adding several thousand lbs behind a pickup is going to be noticed but everyone perceives things different. The poor braking and overtaxed suspension was more noticeable to me than the lack of power, lol. I did notice it would pull like a bear at 4000+ rpm. This was discovered when I pulled out onto the intertstate from a rest stop going up hill and a big rig was bearing down on me and the on ramp was short. Shot out of there with authority. But yeah, it does feel like a pig in stop and go driving with that kind of load.

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Well I'll give her a tune up and let er rip! Guess there's no sense in worring about it until I try it out, eh? I have heard that these trucks make their best power above 4,000 rpm, especially for towing.

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  • 1 month later...

Make sure you change your gas filter first. You might want to get some MAP Sensor cleaner and throttle body cleaner too. Spark plugs and wires may help if needed. You might also want to put in a lower thermostat for cooling improvement which is supposed to help with power.

 

Just my2c

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Well not sure what changed since I last hauled that car hauler but I hooked up to our new camper this past weekend and the truck had no issues! I do plan to change the air and fuel filter but from that test run I'd say she's fine! Maybe it was just my imagingation or maybe it was the brakes hanging up as the rear brakes were shot and had to be replaced last year. Haven't hauled anything since. She pulled up to 60 mph, even up hill, without a clitch! She did smell a bit hot after the test run though (it was almost 90 out!). We'll see how she does this weekend as I will be towing our new rig about 45 miles to the campground!

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these older 5.3's seem to be pretty powerful. the 5.3 in my 01 runs really good. its not a towing machine, and i can feel a 3500lb trailer pretty good, but for what it is, its not bad

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I get my best power from 3-4000. Any more than that it seems like there isn't much torque. But as soon as I hit 3k it just takes off. Which is handy, because even with a little 18 foot boat the wind can really slow you down here. 35+ when I pulled it back from the shop.

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Just wondering if anyone else has this issue. This truck seems to have plenty of power until you put something behind it! Hauling a 4000lbs car hauler and the truck falls on it's face! A little worried since we just ordered up a brand new 2013 TT that wieghs in at 5600lbs. Is there a reason for this "bog" in power when something of weight is thrown behind the truck? Even at higher RPMs and using the tow/haul feature the truck still seems to struggle.

 

I have a 2001 Sierra SLE with 5.3 L engine and 4x4. You should have a tow/haul selector on the gear selector arm. You will encounter it bogging down, and the mileage will suck. But remember there's more to our trucks today than before. Auto tranny, computerization, and the crappy fuel on the market.

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Sounds like nearly everyone had the same experience I did. Bought my truck with 9k miles on it, first V8 truck, felt like plenty of power. We were buying it primarily to tow our 5000# trailer.

 

So, we go to the dealer to pick up our new trailer. Pulled out onto the highway, which was somewhat uphill. We thought it was struggling, and was afraid we bought too much trailer. I also was a bit afraid to rev it to high for too long. We had a 3 hour drive home through East Tennessee rolling hills. Hard downshifts, loud revving, etc JAD us really wondering about our combo.

 

Fast forward a bit. I got a Wait4MePerformance tune (before I'd heard of Blackbear). Learned these roller bearing engines don't mind revving, and drove a little slower while anticipating hills and accelerating.

 

Now, I think the truck has proper power for its class and tow rating. Having said all that, I'm trying to convince the finance committee (read: wife) that 4.10's would decrease the frequency of downshifts in Tennessee's constant rolling hills. Currently have 3.42's.

 

Larry

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Finally hit the road for our first camping trip with our TT this past weekend. The camper weighs a bit over 6k lbs. and we pack light. Pretty sure I am pushing the GVWR of the truck but it's all I got for now. For slight uphills and level travel the truck does OK. Hit a decent incline and look out! One thing I noticed is that with the tow haul on and in Od the truck struggled quite a bit with inclines. It would not downshift until the pedal was mashed to the floor for a few seconds. Seems like it needs to downshift quicker. When leaving the campground I used 3rd instead of Od. Much better but still hesitant to downshift on steeper inclines. Once it does downshift it's almost too late and I loose about 10-15 mph by the time I reach the crest. Sure made that motor scream that's for sure!

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Finally hit the road for our first camping trip with our TT this past weekend. The camper weighs a bit over 6k lbs. and we pack light. Pretty sure I am pushing the GVWR of the truck but it's all I got for now. For slight uphills and level travel the truck does OK. Hit a decent incline and look out! One thing I noticed is that with the tow haul on and in Od the truck struggled quite a bit with inclines. It would not downshift until the pedal was mashed to the floor for a few seconds. Seems like it needs to downshift quicker. When leaving the campground I used 3rd instead of Od. Much better but still hesitant to downshift on steeper inclines. Once it does downshift it's almost too late and I loose about 10-15 mph by the time I reach the crest. Sure made that motor scream that's for sure!

 

Yeah when I take out my travel trailer (~4200 GVW) I always just leave the truck in 3rd with Tow/Haul mode engaged. I'd rather have the higher RPMs then having the engine lugging all over the place. Plus it keep my MPGs higher than trying to run in OD. I've had as good as 14mpg hauling my trailer before. This is running at ~60mph, 3rd gear, Tow/Haul and a fully loaded truck/rig. I try to anticipate the hills but speeding up the best I can before I start the hill and it seems to make the truck much happier.

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