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Last Post 06 Aug 2008 10:08 PM by  Phillip S. Osborne
Just Got an 05 Tahoe..help with Setup needed!
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ScottH560
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26 Jul 2008 07:26 PM

    2005 Chevy Tahoe LT

    4x4 5.3 Factory Tow package

    Going to be hauling a 2500 car. Would like to have an aluminum trailer, but a steel trailer is going to be the first one for now. What recommendations for setup with brake controller, rear suspension support, etc... that anyone could pass along.

    BTW, anyone know what these things get towing driving the speed limit?

    GTB/ZR-1
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    26 Jul 2008 08:39 PM
    It'll tow like a champ. Set the EBC to abt 2.5 when loaded (4.5k lbs) & .8 when empty--rear needs no special attention, just maybe sway control. The 4x4 will knock the mileage down from a 2wd--you'll get approx 12ish on the highway. Enjoy...
    ScottH560
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    27 Jul 2008 12:14 AM

    GTB/ZR-1 wrote:
    It'll tow like a champ. Set the EBC to abt 2.5 when loaded (4.5k lbs) & .8 when empty--rear needs no special attention, just maybe sway control. The 4x4 will knock the mileage down from a 2wd--you'll get approx 12ish on the highway. Enjoy...

    Hi George. Thank you for the info. I am considering the sway control...my question though is it worth the money for just pulling an open trailer? I haven't necessarily needed it before with the F-250 because most of the time, a gooseneck is behind it plus the truck is so LONG. This SUV is so much shorter. I have also considered putting on the drilled and slotted rotors (Echlin makes them) with better ceramic pads...what is your opinion on upgrading brakes?

    As for the MPG, i figured 12-14 so that's cool. I wanted a 2WD, but around here (Kentucky) a 2WD is unheard of and for the searching and ultimate driving to say Texas for a 2WD buying sight-unseen was kind of scary. As for the EBC, I have a digital EBC on my F-250 and will probably purchase the same one for this truck unless you have a recommendation. The digital one in my F-250 is about 4 years old and I am sure technology has come a long way. I remember towing the car to Topeka last year and using the 2.5 setting and it worked great like you said.

    I would like to tow the car out this year, but with gas as high as it is, and my wife saying, "I'm not driving that damn Diesel around for a week," I guess I will be driving the car. But taking the kids to the events now is going to be much easier. The F-250 is just an extra-cab and the kids don't like riding in it because it doesn't have a DVD player. (Spoiled rotten they are I tell ya!)

    CKEvo
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    28 Jul 2008 11:08 AM
    ScottH560 wrote:

    2005 Chevy Tahoe LT

    4x4 5.3 Factory Tow package

    Going to be hauling a 2500 car. Would like to have an aluminum trailer, but a steel trailer is going to be the first one for now. What recommendations for setup with brake controller, rear suspension support, etc... that anyone could pass along.

    BTW, anyone know what these things get towing driving the speed limit?

    I towed with a Toyota Sequoia, which is not quite as beefy as the Tahoe while my Sierra was in service. There was MUCH more sway than I was used to with the SUV as compared to the truck, even with an aluminum open trailer. It would be something to strongly consider.

    For a brake controller, I can't say enough good things about the Tekonsha Prodigy. I've tried a few and it is my favorite by far. As far as the brakes, Hawk LTS seems to be popular, but my stock AC Delco pads have provided great stopping power and are just about shot now at 80k miles. However I wouldn't waste my money on slotted/drilled rotors.

    GTB/ZR-1
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    Posts:201


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    28 Jul 2008 07:43 PM
    I'd wait to see if sway control is needed; and as stated above, the stock pad/rotor setup is fine--haven't had an issue w/ them (other than occasional warping).
    Autoxmike
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    28 Jul 2008 10:25 PM
    I've been using my 2000 5.3 4WD Tahoe with factory tow package for towing for a while. The 5.3 does not have the torque that the old LT-1ish 5.7 did, but it does OK. I tow a 2600lb car on a (heavy) steel open trailer, and it tows fine with no sway control IF you get the car loaded perfetly, otherwise it can get a bit scary. I personally like a weight distributing hitch - it alwys feels much more stable and safe to me. I use a dirt cheap brake controller that I bought in 1996 and plain old stock brakes on the Taco
    reddog_es22
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    30 Jul 2008 04:48 PM

    Tekonsha Prodigy for the brake controller, they make a harness that plugs right in to the factory wiring. There's a junction block by the parking brake, very neat and tidy.

    I highly recommend a weight distributing hitch. The suspension on the Tahoe/Yukon is not a very stiff, and the vehicle will sag noticeably without help. I also overinflate the rear tires to tighten up the ride, usually around 40 psi or so.

    I also recommend a K&N CAI, I saw a 1mpg gain when towing in my Silverado 2500 when I made the switch. I was a skeptic and only installed it because I got it for free, I was pretty surprised with the results.

    Don't plan on using cruise control much unless it is REALLY flat where you live. The 5.3 doesn't have the torque of the 6.0 in the 2500, and it will shift a lot unless you drive the truck carefully.

    BrianChevy
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    30 Jul 2008 10:00 PM

    I have a 2004 Tahoe with the 5.3L and the AutoRide tow package. I tow an open steel trailer and a 3200 pound 87 Z/28 (and sometimes a go-kart). I recommend the following.

    1) Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller, (buy the $20 adaptor to plug it right into the wiring harness on the drivers side of the dash). -- Just as Scott recommends above, do it, it's the Best purchase I've ever made.

    2) A weight distributing hitch. This helps with the sway factor and means I can put the car further forward than I usually would. -- This makes a HUGE difference in my towing and really controls the rig. I got an old used hitch and weight distro unit and it works GREAT. I highly recommend this setup.

    AND you would be towing 1000 pounds LESS than I would..

    so i'm sure that with those 2 things you will LOVE IT. no need to even buy an aluminum trailer, it'll tow the steel just fine.

    3) I have towed and driven 50K miles and just had the tranny serviced to be sure -- the dealer was happy to report that there were NO PROBLEMS with the tranny at all.

    run synthetic oil and an oil cooler if it's an option.

    Brian in Atlanta

    ScottH560
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    Posts:399


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    30 Jul 2008 10:08 PM
    BrianChevy wrote:

    I have a 2004 Tahoe with the 5.3L and the AutoRide tow package. I tow an open steel trailer and a 3200 pound 87 Z/28 (and sometimes a go-kart). I recommend the following.

    1) Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller, (buy the $20 adaptor to plug it right into the wiring harness on the drivers side of the dash). -- Just as Scott recommends above, do it, it's the Best purchase I've ever made.

    2) A weight distributing hitch. This helps with the sway factor and means I can put the car further forward than I usually would. -- This makes a HUGE difference in my towing and really controls the rig. I got an old used hitch and weight distro unit and it works GREAT. I highly recommend this setup.

    AND you would be towing 1000 pounds LESS than I would..

    so i'm sure that with those 2 things you will LOVE IT. no need to even buy an aluminum trailer, it'll tow the steel just fine.

    3) I have towed and driven 50K miles and just had the tranny serviced to be sure -- the dealer was happy to report that there were NO PROBLEMS with the tranny at all.

    run synthetic oil and an oil cooler if it's an option.

    Brian in Atlanta

    Where can I buy the Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller at, or better yet, where's the best deal to get it? I will take that recommendation. As for the sway control, going to have to look for one of those.

    Thanks for all the advise, any others will gladly be helpful.

    BrianChevy
    New Member
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    Posts:55


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    30 Jul 2008 10:24 PM

    you'll need one of these.

    Prodigy Brake Controller from Camping world

    and I think one of these (better call them to double check part numbers and compatability)

    GM Adapter Cable to plug into 2003+ Wiring Harness

    Then just follow the directions and tell us all how much you love it.

    Brian (no association, just a satisfied customer)


    Steve Hoelscher
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:831


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    30 Jul 2008 10:37 PM
    ScottH560 wrote:

    2005 Chevy Tahoe LT

    4x4 5.3 Factory Tow package

    And a 4L60E automatic. Get a big Hayden transmission cooler and plum it after the radiator and mount the cooler in front of the AC condenser in the center of the grill.

    Change the fluid regularly using a quality, name brand fluid.

    Primetime Glick
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    Posts:1279


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    31 Jul 2008 10:26 AM
    STS_Underdog wrote:

    I also recommend a K&N CAI, I saw a 1mpg gain when towing in my Silverado 2500 when I made the switch. I was a skeptic and only installed it because I got it for free, I was pretty surprised with the results.

    Just a counterpoint about K&N air filters - they are are kind of a pain in the butt, because in my experience they need to be cleaned and re-oiled on almost a constant basis for that good performance. Plus, I've heard lots of bad-luck stories with people sucking fine particles of dust and toasting their engines (mainly hi-compression turbodiesels) because the filter slot size is kinda big, so in some circles they've earned a bad rep.

    BTW about this talk of the weak 4L60E, I think GM is phasing them out [eventually] with the Allison 6L80, so help is [slowly] coming....

    Steve Hoelscher
    Advanced Member
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    Posts:831


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    31 Jul 2008 11:00 AM
    Primetime Glick wrote:

    BTW about this talk of the weak 4L60E, I think GM is phasing them out [eventually] with the Allison 6L80, so help is [slowly] coming....

    I wouldn't be suprized and since I am out of "the business" now I don't have the visibility that stuff any more.

    The 4L60E dates back to the mid '80s so its a 20+ year old design and due for replacement. It was substandard then and updates have improved it but that just made it a better bad design.

    GM owns Allison (if memory serves me) and Allison has been providing transmissions for GM's big diesel pickups for a few years now. My guess is that they have had time to consider the market value of an Allison for their half ton chassis vehicles and put the project in place.

    Of course it may now be to late with full size truck/SUV sales headed the opposite direction of gas prices. GM may not be able to recoup the investment in the new transmission if it doesn't sell enough half ton trucks to make it a profitable venture.

    itsrotary
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    Posts:1


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    04 Aug 2008 11:56 AM

    I have a 2004 Tahoe Z71 that I use to tow an open trailer (steel frame, full wood deck, nearly 2000#) w/ 2800 lbs car. It handles it pretty well. This is my 3rd Tahoe.

    I also use a weight distribution hitch, I think it helps stabilize the setup and a Tekonsha Prodigy. Highly recommend both.

    I did loose a transmission on my 2000 Tahoe and some of the lessons learned with that were:

    Change the trans fluid and filter every 20,000 miles (I do mine annually, it's cheap insurance)

    Never tow without the tow button engaged. Ever. (my trans guy told me he'd strangle me if I ever did this again)

    Heat is the killer and slippage = heat. I used to tow in overdrive and would only occasionally used the tow button, all in search of better mileage. The tow button holds it in gear longer and makes the shifts slightly more abrupt.

    I just returned from an 800 mile roundtrip to Milwaukee and averaged 14.6 down, 14.2 back at 65-75. That's on the high side of usual but 13+ is typical.

    Steve

    Major_Lee_Slow
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    Posts:185


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    04 Aug 2008 03:16 PM

    I also tow with a 2005 Tahoe (well actually the GMC Yukon but you know it's the same thing). I pull a 3300 lb Camaro on a 2000 lb open deck steel trailer. An aluminum trailer would be nice, and if you have the funds to buy it, then do it. If not, then don't fret it, it's really not necessary.

    I have found that if I am traveling under 60 mph it's better to leave the trans in 3rd vs. "D" because the motor lugs way too much at that low of an RPM when towing. Also, small hills (whch are not noticable when not towing) can be challenging in 4th. If one leans too hard into the throttle, it will down shift to 3rd. I've heard that it's better to anticipate the hill and accerlate on the flat then hold a constant throttle when going up hill to mimimize the down shift (even if the vehicle is loosing speed). If you know it will down shift going up hill, it's better to do it manually before the hill so that the shift happens when there is less load on the trans. That will really help extend the life of the trans.

    I average 12.5 mpg when towing at 65 mph.

    Also, a load leveling hitch goes a long way to keeping the load evenly distributed on the tow vehicle and the trailer. When traveling at a constant speed on the highway, it's almost possible to forget I've got another 5500 lbs behind me cause the who rig behaves very nicely (i.e. no sway, no drift, similar steering response, etc...).

    I also give a vote to the prodogy controller. It works very well for me, and the GM adapter harness makes it a true plug and play.

    Have fun with your new rig!

    Phillip S. Osborne
    Advanced Member
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    Posts:648


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    06 Aug 2008 10:08 PM

    Scott m'boy, if you had just listened to your ol' buddy Phil, you would have a Hemi Durango and towing would be a cinch...plus a few more mpg's...[:D]

    Just kidding, with the deal you got on that truck, it's perfect for what you want to do...[Y]

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