Ideas to make truck tow better

   #1  

namesray

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I have a 1992 chevy one ton dump with a 350 engine that I have been using to tow approx 10000 lbs with (total trailer and cargo weights).

I have found a few different documentations that this truck can legally tow 9500 lbs.

The truck handles all aspecs of the load fine, braking/stopping, sway control, and even hills (if I am already moving).

The trouble is getting started from a stopped position.

The truck is a 5 speed stick, with low and overdrive. Even in low gear on just slight inclines, I have to somewhat fight with the clutch to get rolling from being stopped. Stalls alot. I am worried if I ever have to stop on a real hill, I will not be able to get moving or else I am going to take the clutch out. When the truck is moving, it tows fine. I can take fairly good inclines in 1 or 2 gear. I dont even need low gear. I just need to be able to start out better.

Truck does have exhaust manifold leak, but would this help with not stalling or needing to slip clutch so much to get rolling from stopped position?

Change the rear end gear ratio, or am I chasing the wind with this one?

Been told to get a truck with bigger engine. I Like my truck I have now, but I am also looking at other one ton dumps. I would like to just get what I have now to tow better, but don't want to put a lot of money into some fix that doesn't work, I just get a different truck.

Any advice? Thanks in advance.
 
   #2  

lonestar6

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I'm no mechanic but once played one in the back yard, but is a ceramic clutchplate an option? (if they still make them). A friend of mine has a similar 1 ton Chevy dump that I occasionally borrow. It has the 454 engine along with 4:10 rearend. I know it has a ravenous thirst for fuel & it does "ok" on hills, but much like you, when it's rolling, it's fine, just don't stop in the middle of a steep grade with a load on.....perhaps someone else can offer a better perspective on this???
 
   #3  

wolfpack2

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Do you know what rear end gear ratio you have? Better gearing will help, but as other have told you, a bigger engine would also help. If the 350 is getting tired, you could opt to have it rebuilt with some extra horse power add ons (bigger cam, better intake, blower, etc.) or swap it out for a big block. There are tons of go fast parts for a 350 out there. What you are looking for is more low end torque to get the load moving. IF you have a good engine shop nearby, they should be able to help you get more with what you have.
 
   #4  

tcartwri

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Any idea what gear is in the diff. In first gear you should be able to get the truck moving without any throttle on level ground if it's geared properly.

Pretty common practice is to use the trailer brakes to partially hold the truck until you get rolling.
 
   #5  

tcartwri

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If you have no documentation on the truck you can do a little math by noting the rpm the truck pulls while in fourth gear at 60 mph. Then use an online gear ratio calculator with your numbers.
 
   #6  

Diamondpilot

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Personal I would sell it and pick up a 70's or 80's dump. Something like a Chevy C60 or Ford F700.

We just sold our 78 C60 with a 10' snow plow setup Monday. $3300 and the only thing it needed was a rear seal on the diff. Plow and truck worked 100% with just a tad of surface rust. It had a 5 speed and a 350 with a split rear end. Gear ratios were 5.30 to 1 and 9 to 1 or there a outs. It had no problems moving 35,000# but was more commonly used at 25,000#. Only down side was it was painfully slow and a 18 gallon tank at 3.5 mpg made planning fuel stops impou.

Chris
 
   #7  

bigdeano

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Do you know what the gear ratio is in your transmission in the lowest gear? You either need more gear reduction or an engine with more torque, in my opinion.

I've heard of people putting in auxiliary transmissions to get more reduction.
 
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   #8  

MossRoad

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I thought those Chevy 5 speeds had a really, really low 1st gear(creeper gear). Any that I've dealt with we usually started in 2nd unless we had a load on a hill, like pulling a boat out of a lake up a ramp. If the engine doesn't have power at low RPM with a creeper 1st, and you're stalling the engine, not slipping the clutch, I'd look at the engine first. It would be helpful to know which tranny and rear end ratio you had in it.
 
   #9  

downslope

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Are you sure the 5-speed is original to your truck? If it is an NV4500 5-speed there were 2 different versions. The early ones had a 6.34:1 first gear, but the later ones were 5.61. If someone swapped in a later one this could be causing your problems. One way to tell is the later ones had a synchro reverse, where the early ones with the 6.34 were unsynchronized reverse gear. I think later ones also had a switch to send a signal to the ECM when in overdrive. Some NV4500's had problems with 5th gear nut coming loose, so if you are not the original owner someone may have done a replacement instead of rebuilding the original.

For some reason I thought 5 speeds started in 93, but maybe I'm a year off on that.

Anyway, try to check out what trans you have as well as the rear axle ratio. 4.56 rear would be nice, 4.1 should work with the proper tranny, but nothing lower numerically. I assume you have stock tires and not something taller. Did these trucks come with 215's but some guys would try to squeeze 235's on the duals?
 
  
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#10  
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namesray

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I am atleast the 3rd owner of this truck. Truck only has 78k miles on it, or so I have been told. It has r title, but the odometer section was written out legit, so I think 78k miles is correct.

The tires are 235 85 16s. That was what was on it when I got truck and I just had them replaced last fall.

I have no idea about what transmission or gear ratio I have. All I do know is in over drive gear, at 55mph, on flat road, rpms are at 1900 about. I will have to look into this more. Just a note, transmission going to reverse does seem to grind gears if I dont catch it just right or such, so maybe it is the orginal transmission that has non syncro rev. Does seem like prev owner mentioned something about having 2 gear troubles with syncronizers and had something re done.

Even empty with no trailer, I don't have much room for error getting started out on the flat in 1 gear, or else it stalls. It does seem to have issues getting moving from stopped all the way around in my opinion. So maybe there is a problem with truck, but once moving it handles everything fine.

Right after I got truck (2years ago) I had all new plugs, wires, rotr, and injectors put in. So as far as a tune up, I think truck is good there.

In my opinion, if truck just had 1 more gear lower, I wouldn't be having an issue, but I hate to keep putting money into something that in the long run isnt worth it. I eventually want a different dump and all the mechanics I talk to here don't act like they even want to mess with any "upgrades" to this truck, they all say "you need a bigger truck, there is only so much you are gonna pull with a 350 engine." I say put a 454 in it? They say look for a different truck. So I am at a dead end there, but I bet if I got the rear end parts, I could find someone to help me put them in.

Well thanks for some guidence. I will keep pondering this one.
 
 
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