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Old 07-16-2017, 01:23 PM   #1
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Default 98 Chevy 1500 5.7 Towing ablilities?!

Me and my father are lookig ay bigger and better boats for next season, current boat is a 17 mako loaded and all im guessing no more than 3k everything (trailer boat ect) we are looking at mainly 24ft walkarounds, grady whites mainly (90's boats) trucks rated to tow 7500lbs I have tow package and 5.7l. New brakes and no rot. The rear shocks are very old (probally original) would these help with towing? How heavy is a loded grady with a trailer motor and gear? Iv towed close to 6000lbs a car on a trailer and I really felt safe braked very well and PLENTY of power for an old girl. Just want to be safe, I got tow mirrors on it now, would most boats/trailers this size have trailer brakes? How much does this cost to install? Also what os diffrent about towing a big boat like this?

Its a 1/2 ton truck with leaf spring 4x4 and torsion bar frontend. Its got a locker to so i can smoke em up

Thanks- Chris
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:17 PM   #2
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I had a '92 with the 5.7 and a '98 with the 5.0. The 5.7 had 3.08 and the 5.0 had 3.42 rear diff gears, Towed my Mako 21B with both of them - LOTS of miles, The weak link is the transmission and the brakes. Blew the trans in both of them and the front rotors kept warping-especially on the '98 for some reason. Anyway, they towed the boat fine but the problems were one of the big reasons I went to a 3/4 ton with the Allison and bigger brakes,

I'd say you're good as long as you aren't towing long trips (350 mile round trips for me) and keep the trailer brakes in good shape.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:11 AM   #3
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Had a '99 Suburban 1/2 ton towing a 25' HS with twin 175s....no problem.

You'll be fine.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:04 AM   #4
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Tranny is the leak wink. Tow in D, the OD is not strong enough.

Engine has the power.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:31 AM   #5
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Tow in D and you will be fine.

I tow a Mako 231 with my 99 Hoe with a 350 and it tows the boat just fine. As what others have said, the trans is the weak link and I just replaced mine @ 180k. 3.73 is the best rear end but I have a 3.42 and it does ok but I only tow long distance 2-3 times a year and the other is less than 15mi since my boat is wet slipped.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chrisravosa36 View Post
Just want to be safe, I got tow mirrors on it now, would most boats/trailers this size have trailer brakes? How much does this cost to install? Also what os diffrent about towing a big boat like this?
Depending on location, it is most likely legally required to have brakes on a trailer for a boat that size. In FL, it definitely is legally required on all axles. For a boat like you are looking at, you are definitely going to want disk brakes on all axles. The trailer you are looking at most likely has brakes. I'd be shocked if it didn't. I wouldn't, however, be shocked if the brakes didn't work.

Check out e-trailer.com for some prices on parts. Prices vary by axle size and material (stainless steel vs. coated). You'll also have to figure how you want to actuate the brakes. Most use a surge coupler, but you could also upgrade to EOH (electric over hydraulic). EOH would also require a trailer brake controller. Brake controllers are pretty common these days on 1/2 trucks and SUVs, though likely less common when your truck was made.

As far as what's different with larger trailers, there are really only a few things. Brakes were mentioned already. Another difference is lighting requirements, but that's a width thing, so may be no different. Longer trailers take longer to turn. Just something to get used to, and this can be a good thing, especially when backing. Since they take longer to turn, they are less likely to jack-knife on backing.

You mentioned that your truck had a tow capacity of 7500lbs. I would bet that your weight would be over 7500lbs when you consider everything (boat, motor(s), fuel, gear, & trailer). If not over, it's really close to the limit. I'd imagine your truck could tow it, and with good truck and trailer brakes, it could stop it as well. I'd also imagine that it wouldn't be the most comfortable tow. I used to tow the boat in my sig with a Tundra with the 5.7L. It towed it fine, but definitely was not the most comfortable tow. Around town it was fine, but longer tows on highways required both hands on the wheel, and a bit more RPMs to keep up the speed. Also had to lock out the top 1-2 gears depending on hills. Otherwise it was constantly hunting.

I'm now towing the same boat with a Titan XD diesel. Much more comfortable towing experience.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:39 AM   #7
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All of the above is solid advice. As for the trans, I would get a trans temp gauge and keep an eye on the temp. If the truck is not equipped with a trans cooler, I would HIGHLY recommend one.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:46 AM   #8
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I believe most of those 1500 Silverado's were rated 6,500 range max.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HarleyFLHP View Post
All of the above is solid advice. As for the trans, I would get a trans temp gauge and keep an eye on the temp. If the truck is not equipped with a trans cooler, I would HIGHLY recommend one.
Its got a trans cooler and the oil cooler. I will get a gauge for it, how does the installation go for one of those?
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Belzelbub View Post
Depending on location, it is most likely legally required to have brakes on a trailer for a boat that size. In FL, it definitely is legally required on all axles. For a boat like you are looking at, you are definitely going to want disk brakes on all axles. The trailer you are looking at most likely has brakes. I'd be shocked if it didn't. I wouldn't, however, be shocked if the brakes didn't work.

Check out e-trailer.com for some prices on parts. Prices vary by axle size and material (stainless steel vs. coated). You'll also have to figure how you want to actuate the brakes. Most use a surge coupler, but you could also upgrade to EOH (electric over hydraulic). EOH would also require a trailer brake controller. Brake controllers are pretty common these days on 1/2 trucks and SUVs, though likely less common when your truck was made.

As far as what's different with larger trailers, there are really only a few things. Brakes were mentioned already. Another difference is lighting requirements, but that's a width thing, so may be no different. Longer trailers take longer to turn. Just something to get used to, and this can be a good thing, especially when backing. Since they take longer to turn, they are less likely to jack-knife on backing.

You mentioned that your truck had a tow capacity of 7500lbs. I would bet that your weight would be over 7500lbs when you consider everything (boat, motor(s), fuel, gear, & trailer). If not over, it's really close to the limit. I'd imagine your truck could tow it, and with good truck and trailer brakes, it could tow it as well. I'd also imagine that it wouldn't be the most comfortable tow. I used to tow the boat in my sig with a Tundra with the 5.7L. It towed it fine, but definitely was not the most comfortable tow. Around town it was fine, but longer tows on highways required both hands on the wheel, and a bit more RPMs to keep up the speed. Also had to lock out the top 1-2 gears depending on hills. Otherwise it was constantly hunting.

I'm now towing the same boat with a Titan XD diesel. Much more comfortable towing experience.
That titan must be killer! I think this old girl can do the task, just want to get her safe, Actually have the trailer brake module in my truck, but I dont believe it works.... I wouldntbe towing that far anyways, but I feel better about it.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:30 PM   #11
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Tow in D and you will be fine.

I tow a Mako 231 with my 99 Hoe with a 350 and it tows the boat just fine. As what others have said, the trans is the weak link and I just replaced mine @ 180k. 3.73 is the best rear end but I have a 3.42 and it does ok but I only tow long distance 2-3 times a year and the other is less than 15mi since my boat is wet slipped.
I thought I had a 3.73 took a look online and in my glove box at the codes and Ive got the 3.42 with the G80 locker in it. Still should do the trick if I keep it out of OD
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:52 PM   #12
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I had a 97 with the 5.7 and 3.73. It towed fine..you should be ok with 6K just keep in D and keep the tranny serviced and 60 mph or under.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisravosa36 View Post
I thought I had a 3.73 took a look online and in my glove box at the codes and Ive got the 3.42 with the G80 locker in it. Still should do the trick if I keep it out of OD
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Originally Posted by Chrisravosa36 View Post
Its got a trans cooler and the oil cooler. I will get a gauge for it, how does the installation go for one of those?
If you have the code, GT4, it's 3.73. 3.42's would be GU6. I would recommend an Autometer gauge, just my preference. I think you should have a 4L60 trans (turbo 350 with OD). I would buy an aluminum deep pan and drill and tap a hole for the sender, in a location, that does not interfere with the valve body. If the old, rear shocks are not up to the task, I would get a set of Bilsteins.

https://www.autometer.com/media/manual/2650-1079.pdf
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