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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Towing with 5.3 GM #12762011
05/20/18 01:23 AM
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After driving/towing with my '06 Duramax for a while, I decided to haul the boat with the ole 5.3 today. Damn I felt like a pig! The thing really felt like it had no power. But before I got the Duramax that 5.3 was a towing machine to me! Not only that, you could reaallllyyy feel that boat back there. I never noticed before, but after hauling with the 3/4 ton for a while now you could really feel that boat moving around back there. That 3/4 ton diesel, literally can't feel a damn thing behind you. I guess to put into perspective; the Duramax pulled an 8,000lb mini excavator a few weeks ago better than the 1/2 ton pulled my 3500lb boat..


Wonder why I didn't go diesel to begin with.. Love this thing!!! grin

Last edited by dk2429; 05/20/18 01:26 AM.

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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12762208
05/20/18 11:32 AM
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I was never that impressed with the 5.3L honestly. Owned a 4.3L V6 in 2 separate trucks and felt like it towed my bass boat just as well. I put a travel trailer behind my 5.3L once and realized how stupid that was. Absolute dog of an engine.

If you're going to be towing anything with significant weight or a significant aerodynamic profile, the 5.3L really isn't a great tool for the job.


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12762688
05/20/18 07:35 PM
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Well when it was what I used to tow my boat and RV, I thought it did well. I didn't feel comfortable with the trailer though in any kind of hills. It has pulled my bass boat I sold all around Texas though. Original owner from 2003 with 115k on the clock now. The truck is literally 100% original except the tires and battery. I just changed the brake pads for the first time last week. The truck has been great no doubt.

But nothing beats that Duramax. I've driven it 20k miles so far and can't be happier. I'll haul anything anywhere now.. Took the RV through the hill country a few times now. No prob


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12762994
05/21/18 12:46 AM
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I went from 5.7 3.73 rear end to a 5.3 3.42 rear end and hated it. Get on the gas and it wanted to take a dump. Did this so I could give my truck to my son. Bought a travel trailer. Year later went to diesel to pull trailer and boat. Doesn't even know the boat is back there. Best move ever. Never thought I would buy a diesel.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: whnigt] #12763132
05/21/18 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted By: whnigt
I went from 5.7 3.73 rear end to a 5.3 3.42 rear end and hated it. Get on the gas and it wanted to take a dump. Did this so I could give my truck to my son. Bought a travel trailer. Year later went to diesel to pull trailer and boat. Doesn't even know the boat is back there. Best move ever. Never thought I would buy a diesel.


I honestly couldn't tell you what rear in my 5.3 has. I'd guess most likely the 3.42's...


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12764090
05/21/18 09:26 PM
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10 years ago, if you told me we'd be arguing over how wimpy the 5.3l is and how great 2.7l and 3.0l truck engines are, I'd have called you crazy.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: Samsonsworld] #12764110
05/21/18 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: Samsonsworld
10 years ago, if you told me we'd be arguing over how wimpy the 5.3l is and how great 2.7l and 3.0l truck engines are, I'd have called you crazy.


agree

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12764116
05/21/18 10:04 PM
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The old 5.3 does struggle a bit with big wind catching loads. I think its fighting multiple fights though, GM has done away with the good towing gear ratios for it you cant get a 3.73 or 4.10 any more, the torque management sucks azz, and I feel like the transmission is programmed to upshift asap for fuel economy. I hated towing our old TT with mine, but if I would keep the rpm's up, towing in 4th gear at 2500-2700 rpm it did much better.

With options like the ecoboosts and other competition I just don't see why they still sell so many 5.3's.

It is nice to have a diesel, they are power houses, but in todays day and diesel age with DPF's SCR's and EGR I just wouldn't buy a big diesel if I didn't need one.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: redchevy] #12764187
05/21/18 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
The old 5.3 does struggle a bit with big wind catching loads. I think its fighting multiple fights though, GM has done away with the good towing gear ratios for it you cant get a 3.73 or 4.10 any more, the torque management sucks azz, and I feel like the transmission is programmed to upshift asap for fuel economy. I hated towing our old TT with mine, but if I would keep the rpm's up, towing in 4th gear at 2500-2700 rpm it did much better.

With options like the ecoboosts and other competition I just don't see why they still sell so many 5.3's.

It is nice to have a diesel, they are power houses, but in todays day and diesel age with DPF's SCR's and EGR I just wouldn't buy a big diesel if I didn't need one.


Eh, my '06 don't have any of that except an EGR. Yeah no doubt, it's expensive to maintain, and hell, diesel is almost $3/gal right now, but it's worth every penny to me. I don't dog it or hot rod it, but it's a blast to drive even without a trailer


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12764500
05/22/18 03:11 AM
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Eh Iím 30 years old so it matters to me I canít go out and buy a nice new diesel without all the garbage that kills economy longevity and reliability and is uber expensive and problematic to own out of warranty.

Iím not new to diesel we have 2 pre emissions Duramax, they are great but I canít buy a new one.

Last edited by redchevy; 05/22/18 12:34 PM.
Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12764889
05/22/18 02:39 PM
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Don't let the 5.3l taint your tastebuds for gas engines. There are a lot of great options out there that blow that engine away.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12764963
05/22/18 03:36 PM
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To echo off of samsonsworld, the performance of the diesels doesn't come from the difference in diesel fuel alone, it comes from forced induction, that's why the ecoboosts are towing sons of guns. Take the turbo off of any of the modern diesels and I think the perception and following would greatly change.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: redchevy] #12766436
05/23/18 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
.....It is nice to have a diesel, they are power houses, but in todays day and diesel age with DPF's SCR's and EGR I just wouldn't buy a big diesel if I didn't need one.

Wisdom^^^^^^^


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: Samsonsworld] #12766551
05/23/18 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: Samsonsworld
Don't let the 5.3l taint your tastebuds for gas engines. There are a lot of great options out there that blow that engine away.

yep, like the 5.7 in a Tundra or the 6.2 in a GM. I was considering the latter until I learned that I had to get the higher trim level.


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: Stump jumper] #12766690
05/23/18 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted By: Stump jumper
Originally Posted By: Samsonsworld
Don't let the 5.3l taint your tastebuds for gas engines. There are a lot of great options out there that blow that engine away.

yep, like the 5.7 in a Tundra or the 6.2 in a GM. I was considering the latter until I learned that I had to get the higher trim level.


But don't kid yourself, even those pale in comparison to modern diesel performance when towing, I mean make them look flat out pathetic.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: redchevy] #12766754
05/23/18 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
Originally Posted By: Stump jumper
Originally Posted By: Samsonsworld
Don't let the 5.3l taint your tastebuds for gas engines. There are a lot of great options out there that blow that engine away.

yep, like the 5.7 in a Tundra or the 6.2 in a GM. I was considering the latter until I learned that I had to get the higher trim level.


But don't kid yourself, even those pale in comparison to modern diesel performance when towing, I mean make them look flat out pathetic.


The DPF and all that [censored] is the reason I decided to go used on my first diesel, so found the '06. I may end up getting one of the new L5P's in a few years once they get the bugs worked out, but I'm more than happy with what I have.


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: redchevy] #12767253
05/24/18 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
Originally Posted By: Stump jumper
Originally Posted By: Samsonsworld
Don't let the 5.3l taint your tastebuds for gas engines. There are a lot of great options out there that blow that engine away.

yep, like the 5.7 in a Tundra or the 6.2 in a GM. I was considering the latter until I learned that I had to get the higher trim level.


But don't kid yourself, even those pale in comparison to modern diesel performance when towing, I mean make them look flat out pathetic.
I understand the diesel thing. I thought we were talking gas motors. I have never driven a 5.3 AFM and after what I have read I don't plan to just like I wont touch a Gen3 Tacoma with a car motor. I really liked my Tacomas with the 4.0 but moved up to the big leagues. Friend had a Gen3 Tacoma and hated it.


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12767652
05/24/18 12:40 PM
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My point was that the 5.7 tundra use to be the Big Dog on the block. Toyota for whatever reason hasn't done chit to it in a decade and now its not the big dog on the block any more, in fact its little better than the often ridiculed and not resepcted 5.3 in performance and much worse in fuel mileage.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: redchevy] #12767840
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
My point was that the 5.7 tundra use to be the Big Dog on the block. Toyota for whatever reason hasn't done chit to it in a decade and now its not the big dog on the block any more, in fact its little better than the often ridiculed and not resepcted 5.3 in performance and much worse in fuel mileage.
Toyota is slow to change. I think they are reluctant to change a proven design. It does put them behind in some categories like MPGs but keeps them on top of the heap in quality. I will gladly sacrifice a couple of MPGs to avoid trips to the dealer for repairs and the resale value on the back side. Tundra pulls my 22' Champ effortlessly.


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12767876
05/24/18 02:48 PM
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Effortlessly don't even know its back there etc. all = BS


I agree Toyota builds a quality truck, but till I find quality problems with other brands that offer more fuel mileage less cost and I have gotten great resale out of I will not buy one.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: redchevy] #12768087
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
Effortlessly don't even know its back there etc. all = BS


I agree Toyota builds a quality truck, but till I find quality problems with other brands that offer more fuel mileage less cost and I have gotten great resale out of I will not buy one.
ok, effortless may be exaggerating a little bit. No way I would ever say I don't know it is back there. Even on the smoothest road you are going to feel a 5,000 lb load behind any 1/2 ton and if you have an aftermarket exhaust you will hear it. Not sure about less cost. I did not price a F150 but the quotes I got for Tundras and Silverados were real close for similar trim levels.


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12768250
05/24/18 07:04 PM
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You think towing with a 5.3 is bad, try my dads 4.6 Ford. Makes my 5.3 feel like it's supercharged. Good thing you guys didn't have to tow a boat in the 90s. Sounds like some of y'all would have needed a semi.



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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12768293
05/24/18 07:41 PM
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I guess that is something that always stuck out in my mind. My first truck was a '94 chevy with a 350. I feel like it towed every bit as well as my 5.3 did even though the 5.3 made more PEAK horsepower. The 5.3's peak HP is probably 2000 rpm past the redline on my old 350, its got more hp, but its not at an rpm that I would ever use it, pretty much same with the torque.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12768323
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You do have to rev that little 5.3 up. It doesn't hurt it. I tow with overdrive off. Sitting on 365,000 miles. Guess I'll see if it will go half a million.



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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: redchevy] #12768389
05/24/18 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
Effortlessly don't even know its back there etc. all = BS


I agree Toyota builds a quality truck, but till I find quality problems with other brands that offer more fuel mileage less cost and I have gotten great resale out of I will not buy one.


I'd love to see a full size, HD 3/4 ton or 1 ton dually Tundra with a diesel in it. And I'm not talking about an "eco diesel." I'm talking a full size V8 or I6 diesel putting out 900+ on torque. That'd be cool as hell!


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12768408
05/24/18 08:51 PM
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The speed limit was 55 mph on most roads back in the 90's. We are asking more from our trucks than ever before.

Doesn't surprise me about the 350. I thought the 351 towed better than the first generation 5.4l. Those pushrods had some low-end torque.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12768470
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I tow with a 5.3 and have no problems whatsoever. A driver just needs to know how to drive. It's all in the gearing.


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: ChuChu1] #12769135
05/25/18 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: ChuChu1
I tow with a 5.3 and have no problems whatsoever. A driver just needs to know how to drive. It's all in the gearing.


Didn't say it towed bad, but after you haul with a diesel it does.. lol

Still use the 5.3. Going camping, I pull the RV with the Duramax, whoever else is going pulls the boat with the 5.3. Not saying it pulls bad, just feels like a dog after driving a diesel for a while now.

The only vehicle we have that i can say that can't tow worth a [censored] is a 2014 Suburban with the 5.3. I know it has something to do with the gearing in it. I'm not even sure what rear end it has but it damn sure ain't for towing.. Even just the boat, thing would drop 2 gears to go over a bridge. When I DID tow with it, I would put it in manual 5th gear with tow haul mode on. It helped it a good bit. But still, gutless.

The 5.3 is started the thread about is 2003 Avalanche. That thing tows tons better than the suburban.

I even had a 2013 Silverado with the 5.3 before the suburban. That thing couldn't pull a string out of a cats [censored]. The new 5.3's don't impress me one bit. Then again, I'm sure they both have the wrong rear end in them


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: ChuChu1] #12772923
05/29/18 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: ChuChu1
I tow with a 5.3 and have no problems whatsoever. A driver just needs to know how to drive. It's all in the gearing.
I agree have 5.3 in the yukon and it pulls my 20 foot boat fine, I pull my 5th wheel with the 6.2 with no problems. I think it's overkill to have a diesel just to pull a bassboat.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: Samsonsworld] #12773100
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Originally Posted By: Samsonsworld
The speed limit was 55 mph on most roads back in the 90's. We are asking more from our trucks than ever before.

Doesn't surprise me about the 350. I thought the 351 towed better than the first generation 5.4l. Those pushrods had some low-end torque.
I had a 1990s Bronco with a 5.4 and a 2001 F150 with a 5.4. The 2001 was the biggest piece of junk I ever owned. The Bronco did seem to tow better. I would take my 87 F150 351 H.O. over the 2001 any day. When they initially extended 635 through Irving I put my foot down towing my Ranger and next thing I know I was doing 95 with plenty of pedal left. Now MPGs were another issue. Open up that Holley and you could watch the gauge move.


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12773669
05/30/18 02:33 AM
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Had a 1/2 ton Chevrolet with 5.3L and 3.73 axle and it towed boats, tractor, etc. nearly as well as a 3/4 ton with 6.0L and 4.10 axle.
It appears the 5.3 is sensitive to gear ratios. The 1/2 ton did not have active fuel management. Used tow/haul mode when towing the tractor with no problem. You do have to accept that both of these motors are going to run the rpms up in the hills but they are made for it. If you cant handle the increased rpms, get a diesel.

Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: Fish2Chill 1] #12773732
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Originally Posted By: Fish2Chill 1
Had a 1/2 ton Chevrolet with 5.3L and 3.73 axle and it towed boats, tractor, etc. nearly as well as a 3/4 ton with 6.0L and 4.10 axle.
It appears the 5.3 is sensitive to gear ratios. The 1/2 ton did not have active fuel management. Used tow/haul mode when towing the tractor with no problem. You do have to accept that both of these motors are going to run the rpms up in the hills but they are made for it. If you cant handle the increased rpms, get a diesel.

Done, and haven't looked back.


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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: dk2429] #12778696
06/03/18 06:24 PM
06/03/18 06:24 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 588
East Texas
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Fish2222 Online content
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Fish2222  Online Content
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Posts: 588
East Texas
I pull a small camper.
Also pull a glass bass boat.
5.7 ltr Hemi, 8 speed tranny, good brakes.....no problem.
That 5.3 from GM was not made for pulling...it was made for economy (joke)
My hemi is 16/23 all day long.


"I only catch the ones that bite"
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Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: Fish2222] #12778851
06/03/18 09:45 PM
06/03/18 09:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,531
Gonzales, Tx
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ChuChu1 Online content
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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,531
Gonzales, Tx
Originally Posted By: Fish2222
I pull a small camper.
Also pull a glass bass boat.
5.7 ltr Hemi, 8 speed tranny, good brakes.....no problem.
That 5.3 from GM was not made for pulling...it was made for economy (joke)
My hemi is 16/23 all day long.


Then why did GM put a towing package on it?


Snowflakes and entitled brats will be the doom of America!


Re: Towing with 5.3 GM [Re: ChuChu1] #12779705
06/04/18 05:42 PM
06/04/18 05:42 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 8,384
Rockwall
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Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 8,384
Rockwall
Originally Posted By: ChuChu1
Originally Posted By: Fish2222
I pull a small camper.
Also pull a glass bass boat.
5.7 ltr Hemi, 8 speed tranny, good brakes.....no problem.
That 5.3 from GM was not made for pulling...it was made for economy (joke)
My hemi is 16/23 all day long.


Then why did GM put a towing package on it?
GM needs to wise up and make the 6.2 available on all trim pkgs or at the LTs. I know that the CAFE stds are why they don't.


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2017 Tundra TSS 4x4 Crewmax 5.7L
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