2003 Chev Silverado 2500 Towing?? - Chevrolet Forum - Chevy Enthusiasts Forums
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2003 Chev Silverado 2500 Towing??

Adrenaline's Avatar
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July 23rd, 2009, 4:54 PM   #1  
2003 Chev Silverado 2500 Towing??

Hi all, This is my first post, and I hope you can help me with my question.

I have a 2003 Silverado 2500 with a 3.73.

Can I increase the towing capacity of my 3.73 to the same as a 4.10 by increasing HP and Torque? What I mean is assuming it has the same brakes, GVWR, HD trailer equipment (from factory), Can it pull a simular amount if it had more hp/torque?

As I am triing to pull a 5th wheel trailer that weighs approx 9200 lbs loaded and has a hitch weight of about 1800 lbs, and everything i have read says my trucks towing capacity is 8200 lbs, but a 4.10 is 10200 lbs. Already looked into switching to a 4.10 and it is financially not practical.

Any and all help with this question would be appreciated, thanks.

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July 23rd, 2009, 5:07 PM   #2  

you can increase your torque and horse power ,change the gear's ,increase the spring capacity .but nothing short of buying the heaver chassis will increase your legal carrying capacity . a lot of people have bumped up their truck to carry heaver load's but it can get expensive .

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July 23rd, 2009, 8:08 PM   #3  
There is a lot that goes into increasing your towing capacity. IMO, 8200lbs on a 3.73 2500 is pretty conservative. If it were my truck, I would just go ahead and pull the 9200 on the 5th wheel. I would just make sure I have trailer brakes though ^_^. I've pulled close to 10K lbs on a 1500 before and it did just fine.

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July 23rd, 2009, 9:16 PM   #4  
Yeah we used to pull a solid steel horse trailer with three horses in it. Loaded down the thing weighed 10,400lbs. That was with a 2003 GMC Sierra 1500 Z71 with a 5.3 and 3:42 gears. I assume that you have a 6.0 paired with the 3:73's, but don't worry about it. It will pull it no problem. I would look into getting a bigger tranny cooler to help with that area and MAKE SURE you are running in towhaul especially if on hilly terrain

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July 23rd, 2009, 9:24 PM   #5  
If you are happy with the way it pulls, i wouldn't worry about it, the rating from the manufacturer is something that your truck will handle in almost any condition, hillls wind etc, i have pulled 18000 behind a 1998 2500 HD with 3.73's and a 4L80E, (prolly what you have) without any problems for year. However i would not send just anybody away with it and would not be able to pull it in steep hills as the truck does not have enough power.
Replaced the 98 with a 04 2500Hd with 8.1L and 4.10's it has gvwr of 9200 i believe i pull goosneck dump with it at a minimul of every other day, loaded hitch weight is around 3800 and total gross is anywhere from 26000 to 34000 lbs and i can still hit 75 fairly easy loaded, but at 60mph running 2000 RPM in Over drive and she just purrss lol,
Hope this helps you any,

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July 23rd, 2009, 10:22 PM   #6  
Not for nuthin', for 275$ a Cold air intake will give you the extra revs when you need it...

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July 24th, 2009, 8:09 AM   #7  

I checked you numbers out out on trailer lifes tow ratings guide. Looks like you are right on the tow numbers.

I do not know all the factors about your tow vehicle, but with a 6.0 liter and 3.73 differential you will be over loaded pulling this size trailer.

As others have said you can pull the load and may never have a problem.

Issue: In todays sue whoever world we live in, if you are involved in a accident

Even if its not your fault, if the lawyers can prove you are overloaded, your fat will be in the fire.

Just my two cents:

Rule 1 of towing: its not want you can pull that counts, its what you can stop in a reasonable distance that counts.

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July 24th, 2009, 8:38 AM   #8  
So, bearing Wellmax's Rule 1 in mind, hopefully your 03 2500HD came with the 4 wheel disc brakes. They really do stop on a dime.

Litigation aside, it's been my towing experience that the tail tries to wag the dog when you're least able to respond to it effectively.

Such as middle of the night, during bad weather on a hill or a rough road. My point being if you know you're already at or near maximum capacity, you're already aware you have little or no reserve capacity. In difficult towing situations reserve capacity provides some stability.

This all depends on your personal towing situation, I once knew somebody who towed way over her capacity, but it was short distances, during the day, on straight roads. All she really risked was blowing up her drivetrain.

So the question you really have to ask yourself is do you feel safe with the distances and weather you have to deal with given the road conditions?

Last edited by therewolf; July 24th, 2009 at 9:00 AM.
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July 24th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #9  
Thank you for all the info. Guess I should have mentioned more than the axle ratio... My truck is a 6.0L V8 with a 3.73, it has a transmission cooler(factory installed HD equipment package) and disc brakes throughout, as far as I can tell the only difference between it and a 4.10 is the axle ratio which gives it the higher torque to pull upto 10200 lbs.

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July 24th, 2009, 5:58 PM   #10  
Other info which would help is how often do you tow, how far, and what the road conditions are like.

Your truck is a lot like mine, and I can say these trucks are brawny enough for some respectable towing. IMO it wouldn't be worth your while to change to 410 gears.

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