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View Full Version : Why is a Chev 3500 such a dog!?


CuttingEdge8684
03-13-2011, 01:52 PM
I recently bought a 1991 Chevrolet 3500 reg cab dually with 5.7 350 V8 4x4 and a 9x7 contractor sides dump box. The truck only has 18,000 orig. miles. I planned to use it for spring and fall cleanups with a leaf box and towing a 20ft open trailer, landscaping and plowing in winter. My concern is how slow it is! I don't need something fast, but 0-60 empty not towing a thing is around 25 seconds, and towing about 3000-3500lbs is around 45-50 seconds. Is this normal for this engine and set up or is something really wrong? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

White Gardens
03-13-2011, 02:02 PM
The 350 is what is killing you. I wouldn't buy a dump with anything less than a 454 in it if it's a GM.

You might want to consider changing the rear end gear ratio if it's that bad. You'll loose fuel economy and top end speed, but you'll have the torque to pull a load around.

My C3500HD has an 8.1 in it, and I have no problems. Fully loaded and pulling a trailer though, I can tell if I had anything less it would be a dog.

Do keep in mind too, that this is a bigger truck and bigger trucks move around a lot slower. I think guys expect the bigger dumps to get around as well as their smaller single wheel vehicles, but that's just not going to happen, especially considering the more weight on the truck to begin with.

doubleedge
03-13-2011, 02:04 PM
That does seem a little slow. Maybe the dealer would be able to diagnose the problem.

bmc1025
03-13-2011, 04:17 PM
First thing I would check is the fuel pressure regulator. It has a spring inside that usually rusts over time. The knock sensor can keep the timing ******ed if it is faulty.

What gear ratio is the rear end? TBI 350s in general were not all that strong compared to the newer Vortec 350.

CuttingEdge8684
03-14-2011, 02:16 AM
It has the 4.10 rear end. And I think it is pretty horrible on fuel to begin with so idk how much worse it could get by switching the gearing. Hopefully not too much. I'll be sure to check out the fuel pressure regulator first.

mow4cash
03-14-2011, 03:05 AM
Something is up with it. Sounds like a transmission issue to me. Are you getting full rpms?

bmc1025
03-14-2011, 03:52 AM
I just noticed the filter took out R e t a r ded for what ever reason.

CuttingEdge8684
03-14-2011, 11:47 AM
There isn't a tac but it sounds like it is reaching 4 or 5 grand, not sure what is redlines at. And the trans has shifted smooth and perfectly for the 400 or so miles I've driven it.

ParkWelding
03-14-2011, 12:20 PM
Pretty heavy truck with not much horsepower or torque in that year. And probably not the most efficient drivetrain. I would expect it to be a dog even when running 100%. I'm sure it will run for a while, but it begs the question- How was it used for 20 years so it only racked up 18kmi?

CuttingEdge8684
03-14-2011, 01:28 PM
From 91 to 2002 it was used by a trailer park for plowing and salting, which racked up 14000 miles then the last 8 years a guy had it at his place to move dirt and do landscaping when he built his house. Hadn't been registered since 2008 either. And yes, very heavy and not much HP or torque

AzLawnMan
03-14-2011, 01:29 PM
I have an 08 chevy 3500 diesel single cab with a long bed dump on the back, best truck I own. I have had that thing filled with 5 tons of rock with a trailer on back and that thing still pulls like crazy. A friend of mine bought an 08 f450 and has gone through 3 motors and he only has 80k miles. Because my 3500 is so good I am thinking of switching my personal truck from a ford to a chevy.

ParkWelding
03-14-2011, 07:11 PM
Good chance then that the heads and intake have a bunch of buildup in them. Doesn't help the situation.

Quite a while ago my neighbor bought a truck with a similar history. Low miles, 10 or 12 years old. Used mostly as a plow truck at a apt. complex or something like that. With only thirty-something kmi, it drove like a total POS.

THEGOLDPRO
03-14-2011, 07:15 PM
the 350 is a pig and makes crap for power, couple that with a heavy truck and an automatic trans and you get your truck.

93Chevy
03-14-2011, 07:21 PM
It has the 4.10 rear end. And I think it is pretty horrible on fuel to begin with so idk how much worse it could get by switching the gearing. Hopefully not too much. I'll be sure to check out the fuel pressure regulator first.

The 4.10's the best gearing you can get for that truck. It's a dog, but it's got the low torque. It's bad on gas, but you put a load on, and the fuel mileage doesn't drop very much.

If you would add, say 3.73 gears, you'd notice faster take off and better fuel mileage...until you put a load in it.

White Gardens
03-14-2011, 08:30 PM
The 4.10's the best gearing you can get for that truck. It's a dog, but it's got the low torque. It's bad on gas, but you put a load on, and the fuel mileage doesn't drop very much.

If you would add, say 3.73 gears, you'd notice faster take off and better fuel mileage...until you put a load in it.

Isn't there a 4.56, and 4.88 available for that rear? I'm guessing it's a chevy 10 bolt.

Granted, the top end speed and mpg's will suffer, but it will have better power for towing and hauling.

93Chevy
03-14-2011, 08:58 PM
Isn't there a 4.56, and 4.88 available for that rear? I'm guessing it's a chevy 10 bolt.

Granted, the top end speed and mpg's will suffer, but it will have better power for towing and hauling.

Oh, maybe you're right, I forgot about it being a 1 ton. My bad on that.

But those lower gears would decrease his acceleration and fuel mileage, albeit not noticeably I would imagine.

jimmyjack
03-14-2011, 09:57 PM
Isn't there a 4.56, and 4.88 available for that rear? I'm guessing it's a chevy 10 bolt.

Granted, the top end speed and mpg's will suffer, but it will have better power for towing and hauling.

a one ton got full floating 14bolt , the 10 bolt was a half ton rear...........:hammerhead:

the truck sounds fine to me , its a one ton ......how fast do you guys think its gonna be, if it was mine i'd change the fuel filter and air filter give it a tune up and call it a day, the worst thing for that truck was the lack of use..........beat on it for a couple days , it might get better , dont laugh its worked before for me

snapper
03-14-2011, 10:08 PM
that is so funny why is ******ed censored? ****** (r e t a r e ded)must not be a political correct term any more.. odd..

White Gardens
03-14-2011, 10:18 PM
a one ton got full floating 14bolt , the 10 bolt was a half ton rear...........:hammerhead:


Couldn't remember if it was a 10 or 14.

Regardless, you still can get the same ratio change as I stated before.

naughty62
05-21-2011, 07:50 AM
drive it till it drops .engine oil and transmission coolers are important .treat like it is your only wheels .repack the hubs,check all fluids often, do not beat on it,put a spare motor and tranny in the garage.It is what it is.you could drop a lot of loot and build a torquer .but it would rip its self apart . it is a old truck.Its a old 4x4.The $9 /hour employee doesn't give a crap and will tear it up .

RLLServicesCT
06-01-2011, 01:48 AM
Sounds like your not going to get much outta that chevy even at 100%. I had the same problem with my c3500 hd with the 6.5 diesel. I went through a new throttle body/tranny and even with the brand new parts, it's acceleration is awful. I thought about straight pipping it to let it loose! I straight pipped my ford f350 and what a difference! I had to chip it because it was an 08' with the dpf delete requirement, but the chevy has been nothing but issues with me! Work it then sell it

Poontamer
06-07-2011, 10:37 PM
I recently bought a 1991 Chevrolet 3500 reg cab dually with 5.7 350 V8 4x4 and a 9x7 contractor sides dump box. The truck only has 18,000 orig. miles. I planned to use it for spring and fall cleanups with a leaf box and towing a 20ft open trailer, landscaping and plowing in winter. My concern is how slow it is! I don't need something fast, but 0-60 empty not towing a thing is around 25 seconds, and towing about 3000-3500lbs is around 45-50 seconds. Is this normal for this engine and set up or is something really wrong? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

There is defentaly a problem with your 350.
#1- How is the compression on all 8 cylinders?
#2- How is the fuel system?
#3- Are you sure the trucks miles are legit?
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ecurbthims
06-24-2011, 03:44 AM
what size tires are you running ?

LoomisLawnscapes
08-03-2011, 12:32 PM
there's always the possibility that is only a 305...... who knows if someone swapped one in. they look the same externally

360ci
08-13-2011, 10:40 PM
I'd take it in for a full check/tune up first. If power is still lacking, I'd up the gears as mentioned earlier. www.yukongear.com is a good source for checking out what's available. If anything, they can point you in the right direction. If highway isn't much of a concern I'd definitely go with 4.56 gears at the minimum.

BINKY1902
08-14-2011, 02:02 PM
I had a 91 pickup with 305 TBI, and they are good for around 175 hp stock, while the 350 is around 205 hp stock. Not much power for pulling a 1 ton 4x4 around. Just realized this is a pretty old post but there are lots of things that can be done to TBI engines to get some more power out of them. I put on my 305 an aftermarket adjustable fuel pressure regulator, throttle body spacer, fuel injector spacer, hypertech chip, K&N filter, headers, ignition box, ram towing clutch, full exhaust, just to name a few. It went from struggling to pull itself around to towing a 20ft trailer with a racecar on it around pretty good.

360ci
08-15-2011, 10:42 PM
I had a 1990 Sierra C1500 with the 305 V8 and it was plenty adequate. However, when compared to a newer truck with the heavier frames, safety equip. and another 100hp don't overly make it a better performer when you add all the weight. Gearing most definitely helps.

DIXIECONTRACTING
08-17-2011, 10:45 AM
I recently bought a 1991 Chevrolet 3500 reg cab dually with 5.7 350 V8 4x4 and a 9x7 contractor sides dump box. The truck only has 18,000 orig. miles. I planned to use it for spring and fall cleanups with a leaf box and towing a 20ft open trailer, landscaping and plowing in winter. My concern is how slow it is! I don't need something fast, but 0-60 empty not towing a thing is around 25 seconds, and towing about 3000-3500lbs is around 45-50 seconds. Is this normal for this engine and set up or is something really wrong? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

One word "DIESEL" I have a 08 3500 SRW Diesel and it is faster than most cars.

unkownfl
08-17-2011, 08:50 PM
Check your initial timing and then see if it's advancing. Sounds like the timing is off or not advancing. Possibly could be a fuel issue too. A 350 makes plenty of power to have better than a 45 second 0-60. 93chevy I think you understand gear ratios wrong. Increasing the ring to pinion ratio will lower your time to reach a certain speed, but you would trade off top speed. Your mechanically increasing torque doing so. I'm not sure about GM vehicle but I'm sure you need to unplug something to check your base timing. Sometimes someone will forget to reconnect this connection thus not allowing the timing to advance.

i cut with ferris
08-18-2011, 09:01 PM
what trans does it have in it? i had a chevy 1 ton with a four speed in it and it was a dog. but it would pull anything lol. got a 07 diesel now and it goes lol