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Thinking about downsizing


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Let me begin by saying, I love the way the truck looks like it sits. But, after towing my little 5x10 trailer with my golf cart on it, I have noticed that I have lost a lot of towing ability. I know I didnt have much to start with (3.42 gears), but the 35s dont help. I know a gear swap would help that, but I dont have $1500 to drop on new gears, and I will still be making payments till Dec 2015, so it will be another 2 1/2 years till I can gather the cash.

 

So, Im thinking of downsizing the truck back to stock height. I figure if I took the BL off, and dropped back down to a 285, I could help salvage some of the towing power and maybe recover some of my MPG. One of the main reasons is that the time is coming to begin prep for Oct bow season, and I need to pull a tractor to my lease spot. Its not far, but there is a serious grade in the way. Not sure how much the tractor weighs, but climbing that hill with it put a hurting on my 06 2500 (non HD, 6.0, 4L80E, 3.73, stock tires). I think I got 25mph and 5000RPM+. It was screaming cus I have to make the grade from a dead start. You pretty much exit the lease at the foot of the hill.

 

AM I just thinking crazy?

 

Should I just be patient and make do till I get some 4.10s?

 

Would it be possible, or advised to pull a 40hp tractor with impliments with my current setup?

 

Would pulling that much weight on the stock setup be any better?

 

I guess I could always just get some factory tires to use for towing with.

 

I dont know what to do.

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You won't do much, if any, better on a stock setup. The effective gearing really doesn't change much since you're still talking about almost a 33" tire. If you're thinking about buying new tires, you're almost all the way to a gear change in cost depending on the tires you'd be picking. If you think it'll sag too much towing, get airbags. Otherwise, if you only have to do it once I would just make do and you'll make it through. Really though, that tractor you're looking at pulling probably exceeds your rated capacity and I would look into finding a buddy with a HD truck to help you out. A basic 40 hp tractor with a front loader weighs around 5900 lbs and the same tractor with front loader and backhoe is around 7700 lbs. By the time you add a trailer capable of safely transporting the tractor you're definitely pushing your capacity.

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I know its up there, but the tracto has no front end loader, and I will either have a mower or a disk on the back. I am assuming its a 40hp, but that may be a gross overestimate. He did bale hay with it though, so it could be that large. Ill have to do some checking.

 

He does have a couple of trucks I can borrow. One is an old 92 F250 diesel, but it has a transmission that hangs up when it warms up, and he hasnt had it inspected in 2 years. The other one is his DD, which is an 03 F250 CC LWB V10, but its a mile long, 2wd, and he gets real skiddish when I act like I want to use it.

 

I dont know. Whataya think?

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Do some checking on the weight, but I'd really try for one of the bigger trucks that is used to towing that kind of weight if I were you. A 40 hp tractor with a mowing deck is still somewhere around 6k lbs (without trailer). The diesel would probably be my first choice unless it is not road legal because of the inspection. If not, then the other would do. You're not looking at offroading it so the 2wd and long wheelbase isn't an issue. As stated above, you might be best off parking at the bottom of your lease and unloading the tractor there and driving it up the grade separately.

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OK, but just to clarify, is there going to be a significant difference in the 265/70/17s vs. the 35s when towing loads like the golf cart? I got the cart shortly after putting the tires on, so I have no towing reference as far as comparing the two tire sizes.

 

Probably wont be trying to pull the tractor with my truck, regardless of tire size. Mainly because of the weight limit of the truck, but also because there is no possibility to get around driving up the grade since its actually the highway that is that steep. Goin in, the grade is about 5 miles from the lease, and going out, its about 1/2 mile from the lease drive and about another half mile long going up the hill with nowhere to stop and load the tractor. Additionally, since I cant unload the tractor to climb and descend the hill, I dont want to be going down those hills at max weight, especially since the trailer my FIL has may or may not have working brakes.

 

As much as I like using my own equipment if I can, Ill stick to one of his trucks because they both have gooseneck hitches and I know his gooseneck trailer has brakes.

 

 

Aside from towing, is there any justification for downsizing tires or removing the lift from my truck?

 

I think I know the answer, but I guess Im looking for you to convince me.

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I will eventually regear, but I need to decide to what ratio. I have been toying with the idea of 4.10s, because I want to save my RPMs and thus save gas, but the 4.56s is only about 250 RPM difference. However, the different puts me over 2200 RPM, and it has been my experience that anything over 2000 RPM kills mileage on these engines.

 

Those of you with 4.10s, 4.56s, and even 4.88s on 35s chime in on your MPG. Thanks.

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Well, I know that 3.73s would put me at the same ratio as stock, but with the tires being heavier, the increased rolling resistance, and all those other physics type terms, I think I want to go with something lower. I had planned on going with 4.10s, which would put me at a ratio closer to a stock tire on 3.73s, but the more I think about it, the more Im leaning toward 4.56s. My only concern with the 4.56s would be the fact that the RPMs would be around 2200, and in my experience, anything over 1800 - 2000 in the LS motors gets you really crappy mileage.

 

Im hoping to get someone with 35s and 4.56s to chime in on their mileage in my other thread, or this one.

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