How much will it tow? -- 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 4.8 / 4L60E
Close
         
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
Like Tree15Likes

Thread: How much will it tow? -- 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 4.8 / 4L60E

  1. #1
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Southern California - Inland Empire
    Posts
    2,396

    Question How much will it tow? -- 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 4.8 / 4L60E

    This question is mostly academic in nature, as I don't have any specific, immediate or even near-future plans to tow anything "heavy" with this truck. I have almost no experience towing, and I think it was all just tow-strap towing around town/back roads: a '79 VW Rabbit with my '89 Cherokee on 31's, and a 90's Honda Civic with my '94 Sierra 1500 on stock tires. The Jeep got hot (but may have had some cooling system issues anyway...); the GM had no issues. Anyway, I digress; the point is, don't flame me for my ignorance, haha!


    My truck has a Curt Xtra Duty tow hitch receiver that's rated for WAY more than this truck could ever tow, so no issue there. IIRC (without looking it up right now), the stock truck (with 3.73 gears, as mine has) is rated to tow 7,500 pounds. However, stock, the truck comes with 30.5" tires. Mine has 33" tires and a 2" lift. With these tires, I would guess the final drive is probably not too different from stock tires with 3.23 gearing... Additionally, the 4.8 is pretty dang weak at or below about 2,000 RPM (doesn't really start to make any decent power until 2,500+), and first gear is tall enough to do about 45 mph. So yea, the combination of the motor's meager low-RPM performance, the bigger tires, and the already-tall first gear, make for a not-so-good setup to ever do any real towing. It's sluggish enough right off the line that I feel like it might really struggle trying to even get moving at all from a stop with 7,500 pounds hooked up, LOL. I think second gear would do fine once I got moving: 55 mph = 3,500 RPM (should be enough power to get up steep hills with that weight).

    Anyway, just wondering, what do you think I should be able to tow with this setup? Could I actually get away with hauling 7,500? 5,000? less?? Okay for once-in-a-while tow for an hour? Great way to roast my trans in 100 miles? LOL...

    Again, this is really more of a curiosity, at this time at least, but I would just like to know.
    Last edited by kj7687; 09-01-2018 at 07:54 PM.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

  2. #2
    Senior Member Leisure Time Larry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wet-ern Washington
    Posts
    1,410
    KJ, I have a 1999 Silverado, the first year of the "new" trucks with the 4.8, 5.3, 6.0L engine family. Mine is a 1500, 4x4 Z71, 5.3L reg. cab, long bed. My factory hitch is rated for 5,000lb trailer weight/500lb tongue weight. I've towed a boat occasionally and my cargo trailer occasionally. Both are in the 3,000lb. range. Neither came with brakes. I got rid of the boat, and I added brakes to the cargo trailer. My 4L60E went at 118,000 miles. $3k for rebuilt replacement.

    My short answer is that 5,000lb would probably be around your max. I'm also on the irv2.com forum (RV forum), and "What can I tow? is asked about every other day. My observations from there is that the 6,000 pound range is what is often regarded as the realistic trailer weight for half ton trucks. A lot of that has to do with the fact that payload and rear axle weight rating limits will often be met by most before their "max tow rating" from a guide or literature is close to being met. I used to try to help by typing everything out, but now I just point to this video, which is the best and most comprehensive that I've found. My longer answer involves dealing with the weights and ratings and all that, so if you really want to learn how to figure out what YOUR truck will tow, then give it a watch. Everyone should. It's here... https://rvsafety.com/rv-education/ma...ks-to-trailers
    - Leisure Time Larry -
    Hidden Content
    Hidden Content

    2004 TW200, 13-55 gearing, Shinko 241, Race Tech Emulators, Procycle front springs, Works Performance rear shock, Emgo handguards, Luckybike mirror risers, Ken Sean DS foldable mirrors, 30mm Tusk bar risers, Seat Concepts, Kick Starter kit, Plasti-dip camo coat, Cycle Pumps, Ricochet Skid Plate, flood and spot LED pod lights, Sena, Garmin etrex 20 GPS, IMS 313114 folding shifter

  3. #3
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Southern California - Inland Empire
    Posts
    2,396
    Larry, thanks for the response! Sorry to hear about your 4L60E troubles. I wonder if your towing habits had any impact on that? Hoping mine lasts a lot longer! I do remember (albeit vaguely: been a long time...) my dad towing our light little camper trailer with our four cylinder 1984 Jeep Cherokee -- the one in my signature -- and that it really struggled, LOL. I guess to get an accurate real-world number, there would be a ton of factors to consider, such as rear axle carrying capacity as you mentioned, and trailer load distribution, etc. That makes sense. I'll watch your video and consider your 5,000 pound estimate a good one for any future considerations. Thanks.
    Last edited by kj7687; 09-02-2018 at 01:18 AM.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

  4. Remove Advertisements
    TW200Forum.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Senior Member Donzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    770
    I have an 02 4.8L Silverado. Impressed with it's power. I put on a Cab over camper, approx 1300lbs and pull a 5X9 ft trailer with TW or quad aboard and it does very well - pulls hills with little problem. I have the tranny flushed every 30,000 miles, oil changed by me every 4,000 miles. Had 2500 front disks installed for extra stopping power and less probability of warpage.
    It's got 165,000 miles and going strong. I had to replace fuel pump and water pump - thats it thus far
    kj7687 and Smitty Blackstone like this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    256
    Up hill or down. Interstate or slow back roads.

    I see plenty of people way over load a half ton. It pulls it just fine so what's the problem?? But they never think about the size of the drive train components. Larger brakes, drive shafts, lug bolt size and amount, bigger trans with coolers etc. If your trying to haul/tow 7500 lbs you may want to look at a 3/4 ton, IMHO.
    Smitty Blackstone likes this.
    2017 XR650l
    2014 NC700X
    2005 ST-1300
    Wanted TW450

  7. #6
    Senior Member Leisure Time Larry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wet-ern Washington
    Posts
    1,410
    KJ, that tranny swap was 10 years ago already. At the time, when I researched it, there is a handful of weak points with the 4L60E. Again, 10 years ago so I don't recall the particulars, but it seems as if it is not uncommon, almost expected even, that that little guy will go out post 100k mi. I'm sure there are many factors, such as towing, flushing, etc. that will go into the if or when. Everyone can do their own homework on those things. The rebuilds supposedly address these weaknesses.

    I am the original owner of my truck, and overall I have been very pleased with it. So much so, that I'll probably own it until one of us is put in the ground.
    kj7687 and Smitty Blackstone like this.
    - Leisure Time Larry -
    Hidden Content
    Hidden Content

    2004 TW200, 13-55 gearing, Shinko 241, Race Tech Emulators, Procycle front springs, Works Performance rear shock, Emgo handguards, Luckybike mirror risers, Ken Sean DS foldable mirrors, 30mm Tusk bar risers, Seat Concepts, Kick Starter kit, Plasti-dip camo coat, Cycle Pumps, Ricochet Skid Plate, flood and spot LED pod lights, Sena, Garmin etrex 20 GPS, IMS 313114 folding shifter

  8. #7
    Senior Member jb882's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    A mere 36 miles north of Rhodetrip
    Posts
    1,377
    Your truck if i remember correctly is an Ext cab 4wd? If so its 6800# rated as it came from the factory with either the 30" or 31" tire options. With the tire size change its hard to 100% know what it will tow but you have effectively dropped the gearing to around ~3.50:1 so it will not pull as well as a stock one. I would say Larry's guess of 5k may be its limit. Remember with the bigger tires you have also put more load on the brakes and the lift has changed the dynamics of the suspension. Those two things will limit what it can tow safely more than the engine and gearing ever will. Moving a load is not usually the issue, controlling it and stopping it safely are.

    As far as the transmission goes my experience has been totally different, my 06 4L60E has over 200k on the clock and over half of those miles were towing boats that weigh close to 5k all over the hills of the north east. That truck has had zero transmission issues other than a leak from the torque converter seal at ~150k that needed to be addressed. Beyond that its been regular fluid changes about every 50k or so. As i mentioned before i put a B&M pan on that truck at about 1000 miles when i swapped the all the original fluids and oils over to Amsoil fluids and oils. I have also never had it attached to a flush machine, just drained the pan and swapped the filter every 50k. I'm guessing that the extra 2+ quarts of fluid and improved cooling has done a world of good for it since it still shifts good as new. That truck also had the factory tow equipment which also features an external transmission cooler( the normal truck has the one built into the radiator only) which also contributes to better life because the fluid runs a lot cooler. If your truck does not have an external trans cooler and you plan to tow anything i highly recommend putting one on it. I also had a 2000 with a 4L60e, same deal as the 06 but i only put like 100k or so on that truck before it got totaled in a wreck.
    Donzo likes this.
    Pair of 2006 TW's modded to the hilt and a Ducati Multistrada.

    Hidden Content

  9. #8
    Junior Member martinbrown798's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    6
    I have an 02 4.8L Silverado. Impressed with it's power. I put on a Cab over camper, approx 1300lbs and pull a 5X9 ft trailer with TW or quad aboard and it does very well - pulls hills with little problem. I have the tranny flushed every 30,000 miles, oil changed by me every 4,000 miles.

  10. #9
    Senior Member plumbstraight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Montesano, Washington
    Posts
    2,718
    I know we are talking apples and oranges. I consider a halfton pickup to be a grocery hauler. When on trips I see so many rigs on hilly terrain pulled over with engines steaming. Now you see these newer pickups pulling larger 5th wheel trailers with single tire axles, that would scare me big time. I was looking for a 1ton dual flatbed at a decent price. Wound up with the 5500 and glad I did. I know this is way more than the average fellow needs, but with the heavier frame, bigger brakes and cooling system it serves me without complaint. As most of you know what I put on the truck is a lot, but I can say even when it is hot the temp gauge stays right at 200 all the time, even when pulling long grades at speed. I do have a ford ranger for my grocery hauler. Wouldn't want to put much of a load on that lol.
    Sthrnromr likes this.

  11. #10
    Senior Member grewen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Armstrong BC
    Posts
    2,393
    i had a 2006 silverado with the 4.?? it won't pull your hat off of your head. when we went to a 24 foot trailer the truck had to go
    plumbstraight likes this.
    Greg

    2019 honda cb500x
    2018 honda grom
    2018 suzuki dr200

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Sponosred Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-18-2018, 05:53 PM
  2. 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 off road hill climb!
    By kj7687 in forum Trails, Off-road, and Adventure Riding
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-06-2018, 07:59 PM
  3. Opinions on 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4?
    By kj7687 in forum Off-Topic
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 07-03-2018, 08:11 PM
  4. Front Wheel Tow Rig
    By ezman671 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 09-25-2011, 01:27 PM
  5. Can I borrow some one`s tow strap?
    By Petrus in forum Off-Topic
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-12-2010, 07:03 PM