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Jan 23rd, 2013
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GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end #13534256 04/25/20 07:55 PM
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Dayne Offline OP
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Is this vehicle adequate for towing a 4500# glitter sled in hilly terrain? I’ve only had diesels and 6 litre gas engines..

Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Dayne] #13534266 04/25/20 08:09 PM
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I'm going to guess very marginal. I have extensive experience owning three 2WD GM's over many years, all with the 5.3 L. I ordered each one with the "heavy duty trailering option" that includes a number of desirable trailering upgrades along with a change from the common 3.23 rear to a 3.42 rear for better towing performance. I''m guessing you meant to type 3.23 as I'm not aware of a 2.23 gear ratio.

I don't drive a lot of hilly terrain, but I have done some, and I have no complaint at all with the truck drivetrain I mentioned above. I tow a Ranger 521 with a Merc 250, and tend to take a lot of stuff in the vehicle as well for multi-day trips when I travel. The engine will relax reasonably at steady speed on flat terrain, and hasn't bogged down pulling my load. The specs say it could pull 8500# the way I have it configured, but I wouldn't think I'd be too keen on that much load. I also don't think I'd be happy dropping to a 3.23 axle. So, I'd say you probably don't want to try that 3.23 with 4500# very frequently, and certainly not in hills.

Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Dayne] #13534311 04/25/20 08:54 PM
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Dayne Offline OP
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Thanks very much. I did mean 3.23. I guess I had a brain fart and didn’t proofread. I’ve never had a rear end geared like that and I was leary of it. I don’t want to drop a bunch of coin then be sorry.

Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Dayne] #13535353 04/26/20 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Dayne
Thanks very much. I did mean 3.23. I guess I had a brain fart and didn’t proofread. I’ve never had a rear end geared like that and I was leary of it. I don’t want to drop a bunch of coin then be sorry.

Oh, I was just checking on the rear number just in case it was actually a better gear when corrected. I think you are right to be leary of the 3.23 if you are going to tow. I wouldn't want it configured like that. I think the 5.3L is fine for any tow up to 6000#, maybe even more, if it is coupled with the 3.42 rear. That 3.23 gear is a sweet spot for economy for scoccer mom use, not sportsmen towing.

Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Dayne] #13537528 04/28/20 02:20 PM
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I have no question that it would do the job fine, however that rear end, towing in hilly terrain I think you will not be happy with it.

What transmission does it have? If it has the 8-10 speed that will make a big difference, but I still think you would be happier with a more towing appropriate rear end.

Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: redchevy] #13537699 04/28/20 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
I have no question that it would do the job fine, however that rear end, towing in hilly terrain I think you will not be happy with it.

What transmission does it have? If it has the 8-10 speed that will make a big difference, but I still think you would be happier with a more towing appropriate rear end.

I own the next closest thing to the combo he's looking at, and I DON'T think "it would do the job fine." I've never seen the 10 speed transmission paired with a 5.3 - only the 6 speed, but could be wrong. Have you actually owned the combination, or are you guessing? I own a 5.3L with 6 speed transmission and 3.42 gear,(part of the towing package from GM) and would not want anything less torque wise. It already drops the MPG from 21 to 12. I believe the 3.23 would be in near constant strain, making fuel INeconommy even worse.

Last edited by Flippin-Out; 04/28/20 04:06 PM.
Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Flippin-Out] #13537836 04/28/20 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
Originally Posted by redchevy
I have no question that it would do the job fine, however that rear end, towing in hilly terrain I think you will not be happy with it.

What transmission does it have? If it has the 8-10 speed that will make a big difference, but I still think you would be happier with a more towing appropriate rear end.

I own the next closest thing to the combo he's looking at, and I DON'T think "it would do the job fine." I've never seen the 10 speed transmission paired with a 5.3 - only the 6 speed, but could be wrong. Have you actually owned the combination, or are you guessing? I own a 5.3L with 6 speed transmission and 3.42 gear,(part of the towing package from GM) and would not want anything less torque wise. It already drops the MPG from 21 to 12. I believe the 3.23 would be in near constant strain, making fuel INeconommy even worse.

Yes I have owned several 5.3's. a 2000 with 3.73 gears, a 2006 with 3.23 gears both those with 4 speeds and 2011 with 3.42 gears and a 6 speed. I think it would do it fine as in you would get from point a to point b reliably I think the performance would suffer and not be what he is looking for just like my post stated.

No matter what gears it has the engine makes the same power at the same RPM's select the transmission gear that is appropriate. For moderate towing speeds with the 6 speed in my opinion he is looking at towing in 4th. Again it would do it just fine, but wouldn't be my pick and I don't think he will be happy with it.

Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Dayne] #13538258 04/28/20 09:42 PM
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If your looking at a new Chevy, they are offering the 6.2 in several new configurations now. I'm considering an ext. cab trail boss with the 6.2 right now. You won't be disappointed pulling with that engine.



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Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Chris B] #13538453 04/29/20 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris B
If your looking at a new Chevy, they are offering the 6.2 in several new configurations now. I'm considering an ext. cab trail boss with the 6.2 right now. You won't be disappointed pulling with that engine.

It seemed he had found a particular vehicle he wanted (whether new or used) that fit his wants except for that rear end ratio. You're right on the 6.2L. I just got one matched with a 10 speed and 3.23 rear, and it's like I've got an extra after-burner I can call on. Note that with the extra torque of the 6.2L, the 3.23 becomes the gear ratio included in the towing equipment package.

Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Flippin-Out] #13538475 04/29/20 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
Originally Posted by Chris B
If your looking at a new Chevy, they are offering the 6.2 in several new configurations now. I'm considering an ext. cab trail boss with the 6.2 right now. You won't be disappointed pulling with that engine.

It seemed he had found a particular vehicle he wanted (whether new or used) that fit his wants except for that rear end ratio. You're right on the 6.2L. I just got one matched with a 10 speed and 3.23 rear, and it's like I've got an extra after-burner I can call on. Note that with the extra torque of the 6.2L, the 3.23 becomes the gear ratio included in the towing equipment package.

I don't think the rear end gear is as important anymore in these newer transmissions. The Toyota has a 4.30 and I've read where the final ratios are almost the same in other trucks with higher rear end ratios.



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Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Dayne] #13541606 05/01/20 04:01 PM
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All depends on the final drive ratio, the combination of the rear end and transmission ratios. Pair a low rear ant ratio with a high trans ratio and arrive at the same result of a high rear end and low trans ratio.

The more and more gears transmissions have the less important the rear end ratio becomes. Depending on the load, I can tow in 8th 7th or 6th gear in my ram with an 8 speed. The new ford/gm 10 speeds are probably good from 6th - 10th.

Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Dayne] #13543576 05/03/20 01:38 PM
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The new 8-10 speed transmissions really make the rear axle much less relevant. You no longer have to pick between crummy mpg and crummy towing.

But if this is an older GM with the 6 speed or heaven forbid the 4 speed, then I agree that you can tow anything under 10k lbs with the 5.3L, but it's not going to be a fun experience if it's over 5k lbs or has significant wind resistance.


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Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Dayne] #13543577 05/03/20 01:39 PM
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And for the record, I owned an old 5.3L with the 3.23 and 4-speed for a long time, and my buddy has owned a 5.3L with the 6-speed and 3.23 forever. So I've got lots of experience with both.


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Re: GMC 4x4 5 litre with 2.23 rear end [Re: Chris B] #13546013 05/05/20 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris B
If your looking at a new Chevy, they are offering the 6.2 in several new configurations now. I'm considering an ext. cab trail boss with the 6.2 right now. You won't be disappointed pulling with that engine.

I agree, I'm pulling a 30 foot 5th wheel with it and it does a great job. Also get's good mileage just driving around.

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