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View Full Version : '95 Chevy 3500HD / 454, NO POWER.


Jason Rose
03-22-2009, 12:07 PM
Ok, my 3500HD I bought is totally gutless. By this I mean it can just BARELY pull my 20' lawn trailer (about 7,000 lbs) up even a slight incline, and if there's a head wind my top speed is about 45 to 50 mph. That's IF I can get it up to speed in a mile before I have to stop or turn. I've NEVER seen a truck with a big block that accelerated as slowly as this one does.

Evidently I must be thinking about gearing all wrong, but if this truck is "geared for towing and hauling" shouldn't it jump when I hit the gas?? Shouldn't it have loads of low end power and torque for towing?? All I get out of it is sloooow acceleration and a sick whine from the engine as it's rapped up to 3,500 RPM's before it will shift. Yes, I'm generally towing in "3rd" (meaning it's not in overdrive). I understand that this is a 9,500 pound truck (empty weight), but for god's sake that 454, and with the gearing it *should* have, it should take off, especaially with no trailer...

I had a friend check it out, he thought the timing may have been off, turns out it was, possibly, about 4 to 6 degrees advanced. We adjusted that, and it seemed to help a LITTLE. We can't set the base timing, as we can't locate the wire that should be coming out of the loom that runs behind the distributer. (Sorry, I'm not a mechanic, and I may have botched some of the termanolgy).

The air filter is new.
The plugs are like new.
Checked for any sort of vacuum leaks, replaced PCV valve.
Checked Idle air control. (was having a problem with it idiling fast).

Am I expecting too much out of the truck? Can I get some opinions from others that own this same model of truck? I know there's a few at least on this site.

tyler_mott85
03-22-2009, 12:47 PM
What year is it?

If it's a TBI 454 the Distributor Advance wire you're looking for is against the firewall on the passenger side kind of by the A/C stuff. Should be two wires. One tan and one black. No point in checking the timing unless that is unplugged. The computer will put it right back to where it wants it to be.

In the glove box you'll find all of those need 3-digit RPO codes. Copy all of them down and do some searching on the net and one of those codes will tell you what the rear-end is supposed to be. If someone changed it you'll have to jack up the truck and do some counting and stuff with how many times it take the drive shaft to go around for the tire to go around once.

Good Luck!

Jason Rose
03-22-2009, 01:00 PM
It's a 1995. Yes TBI. The only tan and black wires in that area I can find go to the light attached to the underside of the hood... My friend crawled around in there for 15 minutes looking, top and bottom and couldn't find anything...

Jason Rose
03-22-2009, 01:34 PM
Found a site for the RPO codes: http://www.c2e.info/rpocodes/

Here's what I have:

4.63 rear axle
Trans. 4 speed auto w/ electris controls H.D. (hydra-matic 4L80-E)
Brakes- Hydro power 4 wheel disk
Engine- 7.4L 1 TBI, VB.

I had no idea it was 4 wheel disk brakes. I've not had the rear duals off myself, only the tire shop when they put the new rubber on. The brakes on this truck squeek HORRIBLE, but it's not a metallic squeak like the pads are worn. The front pads I've checked and they are in great shape. but that's not the problem here...

Gravel Rat
03-22-2009, 01:48 PM
The brakes on your truck maybe glazed so they make noise. You can have lots of meat on the pads but the brake pads are glazed over and provide little stopping power.

As for power wise you may have a transmission that is slipping a 454 should have good power. I would have your transmission checked. The 4:63 gears are the best for the 454 you don't want any taller.

Jason Rose
03-22-2009, 01:55 PM
The brakes on your truck maybe glazed so they make noise. You can have lots of meat on the pads but the brake pads are glazed over and provide little stopping power.

As for power wise you may have a transmission that is slipping a 454 should have good power. I would have your transmission checked. The 4:63 gears are the best for the 454 you don't want any taller.

The brakes work really well, for a 9500 pound truck, but you are probably right about them being glazed. This truck sat most of it's life, indoors, only 50K miles since '95. I bought it and put more miles on it in the last 3 months than it's seen in the last 2 years.

Would the whine I'm hering possible be the tranny slipping? God I don't want to even think about trans. trouble!

This truck was always inspected annually and always serviced at the local Chevy dealer, one would HOPE that if the tranny was crapping out they would have red flagged that. The guy I bought it from genuinely wanted this truck being 100% operational when he sold it, If the tranny was taking a crap he probably would have had it fixed first. (If he knew about it). Stupid automatic transmissions... :cry: But I would hate driving a standard around town all the time!

Gravel Rat
03-22-2009, 02:34 PM
Do the cheapest thing first, change the oil in the transmission that way you pull the pan off and see whats in it. If there is lots of metal shavings/chunks in the pan its time for a rebuild.

tyler_mott85
03-23-2009, 01:33 AM
Go drive the truck and warm up the motor and tranny then put it in park on a level surface. Leave it running and check the tranny fluid. should be a bright red pink. If it's darker or smells burnt you need to get the tranny looked at.

I didn't pick up on the squealing part in your first post. It could very well be low on fluid or need some tranny work. When you put the transmission in gear in the cab does it go into gear right away or is there a delay? If theres a delay its probably just low but i would check anyway to be safe.

The squeal on the brakes could just be dust accumulating. I'm sure you'll get a lot of it since its such a heavy truck. I've never heard a school bus whose brakes didn't make noise while it was stopping :)

It's dark now but I will try to remember to check for the tan and black wires on my truck tomorrow. I'm trying to remember back to when I had to check my timing. Ihose wires may have been under a black cover on the firewall, passenger side. I believe there are a couple black covers that hide some wiring stuff or some of the A/C components. I'm 99% sure that it should be on the passenger side up above the motor somewhere. I'll get back to you tho.

good Luck!

tyler_mott85
03-23-2009, 04:47 PM
Got you some pics of my truck. 93 TBI but it's the V6 so it could be different. I doubt it on TBI tho.

First pic is just of the engine compartment on the passenger side to get your bearings. The black panel on the firewall comes off and behind it is wiring. It should be behind there. Mine was sticking out so it was easy to find.

The second pic I'm pointing to the connector so you know what to look for. Just pull that wire apart before you turn the motor on. turn on the motor, check your timing, shut er down. plug that wire back in. And you're good to go!

Good luck!

Jason Rose
03-23-2009, 05:29 PM
Tyler, nice effort, but my truck is a 1 ton HD with a 454. This is NOT a standard truck and is not configured like a normal 1/2 ton. My truck does not have any of that that you pictured under the hood, by the a/c. There's no wiring there at all.

My friend is basically a mechinic, and he knows there *should* be a wire there to unplug to set the base timing, but where it is, we don't know. I was hoping for some assistance from someone that actually owns another 3500HD like mine (gas) that might know what's up.

As for the transmission, my fluid is full and super clean. I suspect it was recently flushed or changed. Like I said, it was always serviced at the dealership and they would do stuff like that on a routine basis, it's more money for them if they push stuff like that. The transmission goes into gear, both fwd. gears and reverse almost instantly when selected.

My opinion is that the transmission is working fine, but this truck of the weight it is should have a 6 speed trans, not a 4. The power issues I still believe are the engine, but WHY is not clear to me.

jblawns123
03-23-2009, 05:42 PM
Your timing advance connector is under your dashboard under the glove box area just above the carpet.

Jason Rose
03-23-2009, 05:51 PM
Your timing advance connector is under your dashboard under the glove box area just above the carpet.

Sweet! Thank you! Now if I had a timing light, and knew what the hell I was doing, I'd do it myself :laugh:

I was kinda wondering... I know that ALL the wiring is behind the glove box... I had to replace the blower fan, OMG that was fun:hammerhead:

cutbetterthanyou
03-24-2009, 09:17 PM
If not the timing. I would check your catlitc converter if no one ever ran on the truck it could be stoped up chokeing the enigine out. Just a thought

Jason Rose
03-24-2009, 11:04 PM
If not the timing. I would check your catlitc converter if no one ever ran on the truck it could be stoped up chokeing the enigine out. Just a thought

I was wondering about this myself... It's an odd configuration, the cat is AFTER the muffler. Never seen that set-up before.

Just thinking today, when I bought the truck last fall I was able to use it to pull my lawn rig with 4 or 5 times (days) and never remembered it having trouble pulling then. Matter of fact I remember commenting to someone about how I couldn't even tell the trailer was behind it. WTF happened over the winter???

I looked tonight for that wire to unplug for the timing. Still can't find the damn thing. There's several wire looms that are under/bhhind the glove compartment, including the computer, but I can't find any single wires that have a plug on them.

nosparkplugs
03-24-2009, 11:58 PM
When your towing or hauling a load does the engine try to gain rpms, but seems to reach a plateau? You should have plenty of reserve/torque with a 454 regardless of a slight timing advance. I would say you have a hidden transmission problem. A torque converter will rob the engine of power like your describing a tranny flush will hide a burnt TC too, the 4L80-E is a weak slush box in stock form. Get the transmission scanned it will at least rule out the transmission.

An owner who does a recent transmission flush is NEVER GOOD especially if your purchasing the truck. Any transmission shop will tell you that a transmission Flush is like Russian Roulette, unless you know exactly what your doing.

Also a transmission flush can mask know transmission problems, only to surface later after the sale.
Personally I would rather see some dirty tranny fluid in an older truck than "super clean".

Jason Rose
03-25-2009, 12:13 AM
When accelerating the rpm's go up pretty quick, and then hold around 3K for quite a while until the truck slowly gets up to speed where it can shift into the next gear, then it's the same thing. I can't feel any power difference between when I start acceleration and when it's revving around 3K. If there's a headwind, or a slight incline to the road I can't get it over 45 or 50 mph generally, unless I have over a mile of road. Well, I can, but it's pedal to the floor, and I don't want to be running the engine that kind of rpm's all the time.

Today I was behind my other truck (the dodge) that my helper was driving. He was just driving normal, unloaded with no trailer, and I was unloaded with no trailer. I could just barely keep up, and after a stop he'd get a good block ahead of me in a 35mph zone, and I was pretty much pushing the chevy as hard as it could to keep up. Something is terribly wrong IMO. The Chevy only weighs about 1500 lbs more than the Dodge, and I *think* the Chevy is geared more for pulling than the dodge too! It should be at least equal in power.

The last thing I want to think about is having to replace that transmission. What a bunch of crap. I got a decent deal on the truck, or so I thought, then had to put $1,000 in rear tires on it, and now possibly a $2,000+ transmission. What a "good deal" i got!

nosparkplugs
03-25-2009, 12:25 AM
Sounds like a burnt Torque converter if the engine is reaching 3,000rpm thats plenty of power just not transferring the fluid power to the second turbine/mechanical one in the TC. Remember! The torque converter is the most important part of an automatic tranny. It's a fluid coupler/multipluyer, and when the clutch/turbine's are burnt in the torque convert it will allow the engine to rev up generating heat, and no torque to the ground. This is why you are only reaching 50MPH or a strong cross/head wind slows the truck down under heavy loads

A weak torque converter is able to move the truck, add the trailer it's then to much. This is why during the winter the truck acted normal. All is not lost as it stands you most likely just need a new torque converter.

Also a Gasburner has a "non-lock up" torque converter; which is why your slipping under load. The positive is a gasburner TC is much cheaper than a diesel lock-up TC.

A good torque converter for your truck will run $350-$1000. About $400.00 labor.


I would take a bad transmission or torque converter any day over major engine trouble. You Still got a nice truck Jason






When accelerating the rpm's go up pretty quick, and then hold around 3K for quite a while until the truck slowly gets up to speed where it can shift into the next gear, then it's the same thing. I can't feel any power difference between when I start acceleration and when it's revving around 3K. If there's a headwind, or a slight incline to the road I can't get it over 45 or 50 mph generally, unless I have over a mile of road. Well, I can, but it's pedal to the floor, and I don't want to be running the engine that kind of rpm's all the time.

Today I was behind my other truck (the dodge) that my helper was driving. He was just driving normal, unloaded with no trailer, and I was unloaded with no trailer. I could just barely keep up, and after a stop he'd get a good block ahead of me in a 35mph zone, and I was pretty much pushing the chevy as hard as it could to keep up. Something is terribly wrong IMO. The Chevy only weighs about 1500 lbs more than the Dodge, and I *think* the Chevy is geared more for pulling than the dodge too! It should be at least equal in power.

The last thing I want to think about is having to replace that transmission. What a bunch of crap. I got a decent deal on the truck, or so I thought, then had to put $1,000 in rear tires on it, and now possibly a $2,000+ transmission. What a "good deal" i got!

Jason Rose
03-25-2009, 12:28 AM
Sounds like I need to get it in a transmission shop ASAP. The season here is cranking up, but I'm still inbetween the first and second mowings most places. And the best part is that I still have my other truck, the dodge with the dump bed, for back-up.

Now to find a good transmission shop....

nosparkplugs
03-25-2009, 12:46 AM
I have three transmission builders on speed dial their my best friends:) If you don't have a "go to" transmission guy or shop be careful; while a good transmission builder is worth ever dollar. Some will mark their parts up buy 65% this is where the shops make their extra/real money.

I always purchase all my own Transmission parts; while this is not the norm for most folks. I tend to like the $$best$$$ transmission parts, most folks just do patch jobs:nono: I have torn up enough slush box's over the last 20 years, to know "you pay for what you get" in a transmission rebuild:) NEVER GO CHEAP; especially if your depending on these trucks to put food on the table:usflag:

Most torque converters have a refundable core charge, the core value will vary on engine though. I got $500.00 for my stock 5.9L cummins core





Sounds like I need to get it in a transmission shop ASAP. The season here is cranking up, but I'm still inbetween the first and second mowings most places. And the best part is that I still have my other truck, the dodge with the dump bed, for back-up.

Now to find a good transmission shop....

4.3mudder
03-25-2009, 12:51 AM
With those gears in the rear end it should be hauling azz, could be the tranny slipping if it goes up that high to shift. When you are barely on the gas it should shift at very low RPMs. But, I'm not sure of the certain shift points on those either.

Jason Rose
03-25-2009, 12:51 AM
Yeah, I think I got shafted on the last transmission I had rebuilt. Cost like $1,600 (I think) to rebuild the tranny on my old F-250. About 2 years later and it was worse off than before it had been rebuilt. Wouldn't go into reverse unless you had some time to kill, and was getting to where it wouldn't even shift into the forward gears.

I'll definately do some asking around before I go with a shop, but I really don't know many people that get repair work like this done.

4.3mudder
03-25-2009, 12:53 AM
Most torque converters have a refundable core charge, the core value will vary on engine though. I got $500.00 for my stock 5.9L cummins core

You have an automatic with a Cummins? Aww, I would take a standard in that any day.

4.3mudder
03-25-2009, 12:55 AM
Yeah, I think I got shafted on the last transmission I had rebuilt. Cost like $1,600 (I think) to rebuild the tranny on my old F-250. About 2 years later and it was worse off than before it had been rebuilt. Wouldn't go into reverse unless you had some time to kill, and was getting to where it wouldn't even shift into the forward gears.

I'll definately do some asking around before I go with a shop, but I really don't know many people that get repair work like this done.

it is hard finding a good reputable person to rebuild a tranny. Just like finding a good mechanic, very hard to come by.

nosparkplugs
03-25-2009, 01:11 AM
Most folks with a 5 speed keep them forever. You can make any slush box bulletproof with MONEY:), and the manuals have their own set of little gremlins. Their is zero slip in the manual so you SNAP hardparts, and there double the cost of a 47RE hard parts. I would rather have some controlled slipping than NONE:rolleyes:

All one needs is to add a transmission programmer/controlled or a simple torque converter lock-up switch if you cheap, and you have total control of the auto tranny

So in the end a heavy duty rebuild 47RE/48RE will run with a 5 speed all day long. Just get the OEM soft parts out



You have an automatic with a Cummins? Aww, I would take a standard in that any day.

Gravel Rat
03-25-2009, 04:09 AM
If you pull the transmission pan off it will tell the story.

It will be worth it in the long run to install a rebuilt automatic and never have to worry about it. Ya it may cost a good chunk of money but it is still cheaper than you stuck on the freeway with a loaded truck calling a tow truck.

Jason Rose
04-01-2009, 01:02 AM
Well, I ended up taking the truck to the dealer that's serviced it since it was new. THey ran all kinds of diagnostics on it, drove it with the computer attached, and got nothing out of it. According to the computer, it works 100% as it should.

The mechanic agrees, the thing has no power, he said he could barely get it up to 70 driving into the wind, that's with no trailer. But with no trouble codes and everything checks out like it should, there's nothing that can be fixed. His opinion is that it's just heavy, too heavy for the 3 speed transmission. Needs more gears.

So I have this truck, that will haul anything I want, slowly... And I have the dodge, that has the payload capacity of a 1/2 ton, but it's speedy... All I wanted was ONE truck that I could haul my grass and rig with and not have the ass end dragging all the time.

Gravel Rat
04-01-2009, 01:14 AM
Are you sure it has a 3spd auto if it does than somebody has swapped in a Turbo 400.

That truck should have a 4L80E or 4spd automatic. I still think there is something wrong with the transmission. Those trucks with the 454 are not usually gutless.

nosparkplugs
04-01-2009, 01:16 AM
Thats good & bad, Yep I have ran all three brands GM, FORD & DODGE gas or diesel. Nothing pulls like a good old Dodge & A518/618 transmission. Folks can knock Dodge all they want I have the best track record working Dodge trucks. For the record a buddy has a new Toyota Tundra, and my Cummins pulls way harder than that Jap truck too, but I have 5K in the 47RE too with a triple disk Torque converter. All the Big three need to do is put top of the line parts in their engines & tranny's problem solved, but some end-user would complain about cost too.

Get you a Dodge 3500:)


Well, I ended up taking the truck to the dealer that's serviced it since it was new. THey ran all kinds of diagnostics on it, drove it with the computer attached, and got nothing out of it. According to the computer, it works 100% as it should.

The mechanic agrees, the thing has no power, he said he could barely get it up to 70 driving into the wind, that's with no trailer. But with no trouble codes and everything checks out like it should, there's nothing that can be fixed. His opinion is that it's just heavy, too heavy for the 3 speed transmission. Needs more gears.

So I have this truck, that will haul anything I want, slowly... And I have the dodge, that has the payload capacity of a 1/2 ton, but it's speedy... All I wanted was ONE truck that I could haul my grass and rig with and not have the ass end dragging all the time.

Jason Rose
04-01-2009, 01:35 AM
Are you sure it has a 3spd auto if it does than somebody has swapped in a Turbo 400.

That truck should have a 4L80E or 4spd automatic. I still think there is something wrong with the transmission. Those trucks with the 454 are not usually gutless.

Yes, it's a 4 speed, 3 plus overdrive. And according to everything I've seen I'm not supposed to be towing in overdrive, so that gives me 3 gears... Though *if* I have room to get it up to around 50 mph I go ahead and kick it into OD to lower the rpm's.

The Dodge never had a problem towing this same trailer, even in overdrive. And it's empty weight is 7800 I believe.

I have a hard time believing that the extra 1700 lbs the Chevy weighs is what the real problem is too. But without something actually failing, they don't know what's wrong.

Nozzleman
04-01-2009, 09:10 PM
When the dealer scanned it did they rule out any problems with the catalytic converter? Your symptoms are very similar to a plugged exhaust. Another thought is due to the low miles the truck may have done frequent short trips causing the muffler to rot from the inside. A baffle may have broke loose and blocked the muffler internally. Check your exhaust.

Gravel Rat
04-01-2009, 10:22 PM
I never thought of that with too much exhaust back pressure. I would cut the cat off anyways unless you have to go through emmisions.

Jason Rose
04-01-2009, 11:08 PM
Anyone know what size exhaust pipe is on those trucks with a 454? (it's dark out and it's parked over rock/dirt/mud.) I'd love to put a flowmaster muffler on it, not something horrible loud, just something with a rumble to it... Unfortunately, whatever I want to do with it I have to order the muffler online and wait for it to ship, nowhere around here stocks them.

Yes, loose the cat too. There's no regs here about those. As I said earlier, it's an odd set-up with the cat AFTER the muffler.

It's certianly worth a shot, and I'm not really out anything if I just cut out the cat and see what happens.

mjealey
04-02-2009, 12:27 AM
Jason, I had the same motor and year truck, but a 3/4 ton. I had a Flowmaster on mine and at the time I bought the quietest Flowmaster they made. I think it was a Series 50, but I might be wrong. Be careful with the exhaust and don't go to big. Those TBI's like a little back pressure to really perform well. My buddy also had the same truck and he cut off everything and went with a straight pipe and performance really suffered. I had a 3.00" single in/ 2.5" dual out Flowmaster and it seemed to be the best combination of the exhausts.

If I were you I would do the exhaust first. Get rid of the cat, and go with an exhaust like I talked about.

A lot of times problems with the transmission won't throw a computer code or show. I still think you got a couple problems here with a restrictive or plugged exhaust and like Nosparkpluds said, You still might have a problem internallywith the transmission.

Right now, you can't really sell it becuse you have some money invested in it already, and chances are nobody will buy it in its current form. It is not the most ideal thing, but i would go ahead and spend the money for the exhaust and get the tranny rebuilt or buy a used one. 4L80's are pretty easy to come by and overall i think they are good transmissions.

Remember, some people think just because they have a big block 454 their truck will absolutlely haul! Those motors are a little slower reving then the 350 and provide decent torque for towing, but in stock form they aren't real real quick. However, in your case you should have no problems getting up to 70 with it empty.

Jason Rose
04-02-2009, 12:35 AM
Jason, I had the same motor and year truck, but a 3/4 ton. I had a Flowmaster on mine and at the time I bought the quietest Flowmaster they made. I think it was a Series 50, but I might be wrong. Be careful with the exhaust and don't go to big. Those TBI's like a little back pressure to really perform well. My buddy also had the same truck and he cut off everything and went with a straight pipe and performance really suffered. I had a 3.00" single in/ 2.5" dual out Flowmaster and it seemed to be the best combination of the exhausts.



Currently is has just one tail pipe, 3" I presume. Would it be kosher to use a 3" in/out single flowmaster "big block" 50 series, so I can just use the factory tail pipe and hangers? I'd rather not have to have pipes made up just for this truck... What's there is in perfect condition, would just need a section of straight pipe to fill in for the cat and the muffler length difference.

mjealey
04-02-2009, 12:41 AM
If they are in perfect condition you can go ahead and use them. If you are going to get rid of the cat, you are going to need a whole new tail pipe that is one piece and the right length since the cat is behind the muffler. Surprisingly, if you go to a muffler shop it really is not that expensive to have a new pipe and muffler put on. They probably already have a pipe that is pre-bent to fit your truck. It has been a long time since I had that truck, but I actually think it is a 2.5" exhaust. I might be wrong, and if i am it is a 3" exhaust.

Jason Rose
04-02-2009, 12:47 AM
Why does the pipe after the muffler have to be one solid pipe? Can't it be spliced together (welded) with a new section of pipe in place of the cat? I don't know much about exhaust "flow", I admit, hence the question...

There's no muffler shops around anymore that can LEGALLY work on a vehicle that has no cat, nor can they remove one and not replace it. So I really can't take it to any muffler shop to have the work done.

mjealey
04-02-2009, 12:59 AM
Sorry Jason, I had misread your post. Yes you could get a pipe just the length you need to fill in where the catalytic converter went. If you decide not to tackle it yourself and take it to a muffler shop, they make some pretty good high flow catalytic converters now you could have them put on. They are a lot less restrictive than that stock one you have.

The Bigger exhaust you have, the more potential HP the motor will make, but your torque at lower RPM will suffer. If you have a smaller exhaust pipe, the more torgue the motor will make, but your HP will suffer a little bit in the higher RPM's. There are a lot more variables but this is a general rule of thumb. It would be a good idea to open the motor up a little bit and increase the flow to get a good all around power curve. If you stay at around 3" in/out you should be fine. Just don't go sticking a 6" exhaust like the diesel boys, or it won't run worth crap. You have to have a little back pressure, but not too much to really restrict the motor.

Jason Rose
04-02-2009, 01:05 AM
Ok, I got it now. Thanks for taking the time to type all that out!

I will throw the calipers on the pipe tomorrow and verify the diameter and order myself a new muffler. Probably go ahwad and cut the cat out while I'm there and see if that makes any difference. At least it will still have a muffler... I could take that off too, but a 454 with a straight pipe may piss off the neghibors, a LOT! (I did that with my old F-250 / 460 engine. That thing would wake the dead!! Got old after a week and I re-attached the muffler.)

mjealey
04-02-2009, 01:12 AM
Yeah like I said, my buddy ran the straight pipe for a little while on his, and it was awful. It was so loud and it really didn't perform that well. I haven't looked at mufflers or bought one in about 8 years for gas motors, so i am not sure what the best thing is out there now. My duramax has a Magnaflow on it and it is actually pretty quiet. It is only a little louder than stock. Go to fullsizechevy.com and there are a ton of reviews and opinions on exhausts for your truck.

Jason Rose
04-03-2009, 11:33 PM
Well, I *think* the problem has been found!

I took the sawzall to the cat, and cut that bi*** out of there. Now the truck seems to preform like it should! I'm not expecting it to jump like a car, I know it's a 9500 pound truck pulling a 7000 pound trailer, but it is sure better now than it was before. With the trailer on I feel like it's not working nearly as hard, and the engine isn't having to crank at the high RPM's nearly as much to get up to speed. It's still a little slow to get up to 60, but I can get there now. Without a trailer I have to really watch the speed. Seems like I'm coasting and I'm doing 40. I don't notice the traffic in front of me pulling away like it was before, and I'm not having to floor the go pedal to make it keep up.

Evidently the cat was pretty clogged up! I also found that the cat was a large part of the muffler system, even though the actual muffler is still in line, the truck is LOUD with the cat cut out. I'm going to have a shop add the section of pipe where the cat was removed. Was going to do it myself but there's 2 hangers in the way and what's there is going to need to be re-cut to hook the new pipe in. Going to trade the old cat in for most of the work. How much is an old cat worth anyway? Always heard there's a good bit of money in scrap in them, copper or something?

Thanks to everyone who posted for the help! Wish now I had just cut the cat out in the first place, wanted to do that when I got the truck...

nosparkplugs
04-05-2009, 11:40 AM
Glad you found it, and their is nothing more satisfying than taking a Sawzaw to your exhaust The "Cats" contain "rare" earth metals mainly Platinum, this is why criminals are cutting the Cat's off to resell. I would say yours is worth very little, since it's trashed. However I would still look into salvaging some cost.

If you must run a Cat, get you a "high flow" cat, they cost more, but well worth the money.



Gotta love pre-emission diesels no Cats or emission checks here in TN for diesels. AKA legal to straight pipe them.



Well, I *think* the problem has been found!

I took the sawzall to the cat, and cut that bi*** out of there. Now the truck seems to preform like it should! I'm not expecting it to jump like a car, I know it's a 9500 pound truck pulling a 7000 pound trailer, but it is sure better now than it was before. With the trailer on I feel like it's not working nearly as hard, and the engine isn't having to crank at the high RPM's nearly as much to get up to speed. It's still a little slow to get up to 60, but I can get there now. Without a trailer I have to really watch the speed. Seems like I'm coasting and I'm doing 40. I don't notice the traffic in front of me pulling away like it was before, and I'm not having to floor the go pedal to make it keep up.

Evidently the cat was pretty clogged up! I also found that the cat was a large part of the muffler system, even though the actual muffler is still in line, the truck is LOUD with the cat cut out. I'm going to have a shop add the section of pipe where the cat was removed. Was going to do it myself but there's 2 hangers in the way and what's there is going to need to be re-cut to hook the new pipe in. Going to trade the old cat in for most of the work. How much is an old cat worth anyway? Always heard there's a good bit of money in scrap in them, copper or something?

Thanks to everyone who posted for the help! Wish now I had just cut the cat out in the first place, wanted to do that when I got the truck...

jblawns123
04-05-2009, 11:44 AM
Well, I *think* the problem has been found!

I took the sawzall to the cat, and cut that bi*** out of there. Now the truck seems to preform like it should! I'm not expecting it to jump like a car, I know it's a 9500 pound truck pulling a 7000 pound trailer, but it is sure better now than it was before. With the trailer on I feel like it's not working nearly as hard, and the engine isn't having to crank at the high RPM's nearly as much to get up to speed. It's still a little slow to get up to 60, but I can get there now. Without a trailer I have to really watch the speed. Seems like I'm coasting and I'm doing 40. I don't notice the traffic in front of me pulling away like it was before, and I'm not having to floor the go pedal to make it keep up.

Evidently the cat was pretty clogged up! I also found that the cat was a large part of the muffler system, even though the actual muffler is still in line, the truck is LOUD with the cat cut out. I'm going to have a shop add the section of pipe where the cat was removed. Was going to do it myself but there's 2 hangers in the way and what's there is going to need to be re-cut to hook the new pipe in. Going to trade the old cat in for most of the work. How much is an old cat worth anyway? Always heard there's a good bit of money in scrap in them, copper or something?

Thanks to everyone who posted for the help! Wish now I had just cut the cat out in the first place, wanted to do that when I got the truck...

Well, I don't know about your state.... but what you just did is highly illegal here.

Jason Rose
04-05-2009, 12:08 PM
There's no emmissions testing here, thankfully. Most everyone with 'older' trucks run them with no cats. Once they plug up or break apart it's just not worth the money to replace them. Yes, it's illegal for a muffler shop to remove a cat, but if it comes into their shop without one, they are not legally obligated to replace it. In other words, if you want to get rid of the cat, and have a custome exhaust installed, you must remove the cat at home before taking it to the shop.

It's going in to a local shop monday morning to get the piece of pipe added in where the cat was, but now I'm thinking about having him bend some new pipe and have the exhaust exit in front of the wheels on the pass. side. Where the factory tail pipe is my mudflap is too close to it and it's melting/warping my new mudflap. Plus having it a shorter tail pipe, and maybe go with 3.5" will give it better sound. The stock muffler with no cat, only about 1 foot of tail pipe, sounds really good. Would like to keep most of that sound, and spare me having to buy a 'preformance' muffler.

stroker51
04-05-2009, 09:28 PM
I thought it sounded an awful lot like a plugged cat as you talked about it. I had a very similar situation with a 93 F250 460 4x4, 28k original miles when I bought it, ran great for about a month, then started to dog on me, just ran like crap, cut out all the old exhaust and threw on two thrush glass packs, fixed that problem, and was able to set off car alarms driving by plowing snow!!! The only thing I don't miss about that truck was 9mpg, it was a lot of fun to drive and great power, once my kitty ran away.... I've got an 89 F450 with a 7.3 non turbo diesel that is like yours was, I can haul just about anything, but I'm not setting any speed records doing it, my new(er) F350 with the powerstroke is worlds better. Good luck with it goin forward!!!