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Towing with 3:42 gears

This is a discussion on Towing with 3:42 gears within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; I am planning on buying on 06 5.3 4X4 with 3:42 gears. I will be towing a boat that weighs ...

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    Towing with 3:42 gears


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    I am planning on buying on 06 5.3 4X4 with 3:42 gears. I will be towing a boat that weighs 3600 lbs. I plan on towing in Drive so I'm thinking that the 3:42's may actually work better for me than the 3:73's due to the RPM's staying around 2500 while running 68-70 mph. I would like opinions from those of you that tow with 3:42's and what weight you are towing? I want to be sure that the TC will stay locked in drive while out on the highway.

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    Redneck Gearhead Sierra H/O's Avatar
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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    You'll be fine. I towed an 18 foot trailer with hay on it(total weight around 5000) and still had enough power to pass cars. Getting a tune, exhaust, and cold air intake will help too.
    I don't pluck, I don't moisturize, and the only thing I wax is my car!

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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    I tow a 21 foot Ranger ona dual axle trailer, guessing 4000lb or so, with a 97 K1500 5.7 with 3.42's. I'm very happy with it - stays locked up great in drive, does well in the hills (I dragged it down from Virginia after buying it, no trouble in the Blue Ridge or through TN). I reliably get about 12 mpg towing.

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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    I towed my boat this weekend and am impressed with the way the 3:42 gears tow. I really can't tell a difference between my previous 2004 with 3:73's other than the 06 is running about 300 RPM's less at 70 mph which I like better.

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    Registered User Vanquish's Avatar
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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    Its hard on the overdrive to tow with it in D, best to keep it in 3.
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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    3600lb? No big deal.

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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    actually both my 06 owners manuals said that its fine to tow in OD. if the load equals 70% of the maximum weight then it says to use tow/haul mode.
    sounds like what he is towing should be fine. now if you start going up alot of mountains and start lugging the truck, then you should shift it down to 3rd or towing more than the 3600 or so lbs.
    my first 06 with the 3.42 towed a 6x12 trailer, an 800 polaris, a 700 grizzly, and a 450 grizzly in the bed of the truck fine in OD. the trans temp gauge never got hot.
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    Registered User smokinsilverado's Avatar
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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    That truck is rated to pull 8000lbs so you won't have any problem. I pulled my old Pachanga with those same gears no problem at all. Don't use overdrive it's just going to jump in and out of gear, just use the tow haul mode and you will be fine

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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    You'll be fine. Just make sure you don't tow in OD. A trans cooler and a temp gauge would be good add-ons.

    It's not worth shelling out the amount of money necessary to do a gearing swap to only go from 3.42 to 3.73.
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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    I pull an 02' 185/90 Tracker and no problems...I just drop into 3rd when on two lane and 55.
    Don't let it search gears....

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    We'll Kill them all EFlores's Avatar
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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    ya'll are funny, i tow whatever in overdrive
    but i have a 454 and a 5 spd
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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    It will tow that just fine in OD. Only time you need to worry is if it starts shifting up and down a lot. Then it's time to pull it down to 3rd. Otherwise you'll be fine. When it starts searching for gears, thats when you'll burn up the tranny, cuz it gets hot FAST when it's hunting for gears.
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    Re: Towing with 3:42 gears

    During the spring, summer and fall I pull a trailer daily. With my equipment on it the trailer usually weighs about 5000 lbs. I dont have any auto trans. I have the manual NV4500. I am geared with the 3.42, no G80. Towing really isnt any issue. Going up hills you can definitly tell you have 3.42. On the highway, if you are dealing with alot of wind you will be shifting alot which will make it hard on your tranny. If your dealing with alot of hills I would stay out of OT. You dont want the trans fishing for gears the whole time.
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