Trailer towing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ksland, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. ksland

    ksland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 927

    How do you think a 1994 C1500 W/T vortec 4.3L Auto 4 speed with 3.42 rear axle ratio would handle a 7x14 tandem dual axle enclosed trailer thats at 3,000 pounds now with equip and if I load additional equip would be 4,000 pounds max. I have 1000 in it now plus the trailer weighs 1900.

    The window sticker says 5,600 GVW rating
    2 stage multi leaf springs

    Also does anyone know where I can get towing capacity and general HP and torque ratings on this truck?
  2. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    It should have no problem towing 4000 lbs with the 4.3 V6. I used to build that engine in Romulus Michigan before retiring from GM and moving to FL so I'm well schooled on GM's V6 avd V8 engines. Before you tow that much weight though make sure you have electric trailer brakes hooked up and working and that your using a class III or better hitch. You won't have a problem's the stopping part that's important. That engine is rated at 195 hp. I can't remember the torque ratings but it is a very strong engine for a V6. You might be able to buy a performance chip for that year computer which might add a little more power and low end torque for pulling up hills and such. Check with or Jegs performance for the chip availability. Good luck
  3. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 752

    Sounds a lil heavy to me!
  4. grassdaddy

    grassdaddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 565

    IF its level ground,you'll be allright.If its hilly,you'll need to cut out the floorboards and help paddle it along.
  5. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    Ksland...I have a 92 c1500 with a 5.0 V8 and 5 sp. manual. When I tow a 16' open trailer with a Hustler Z and 2 toro walkbehinds, 2 21' mowers, it does'nt like it one bit. Thats on flat terrain here, I would hate to try it in hills. Good work truck but go with a 3/4 ton if at all possible.
  6. lovethegreen

    lovethegreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    i think thats a six cyl.... way underpowered. maybe if it had a higher gear like a 4:10 it might be enough but not likely.
  7. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    The advise on electric brakes is great!
    Engine power probably is no problem - Any engine can probably get you there.

    The Big Problem I have had in the past with 1/2 ton trucks is the transmission - Will it stand up? I pulled a 24' van trailer, and trany could not handle it when I had the 1500 chevy - Went to a 2500 heavy (V10) Dodge which has the tow package - one ton springs and trany, and now have no problems.

    IMO it is the transmission that is the weak link in a towing situation.
  8. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    Flex deck is right on the tranny issue. It might be a good idea to install a transmission cooler if you are going to tow the trailer at expressway speeds for any length of time. I have a 2003 Chevy Astro with the 4.3 and a towing package option from the factory and it comes with a heavy duty transmission cooler as part of the towing package. I don't do a lot of towing with the Astro but the vehicle is rated at 9,500 lbs GCVW ( gross combined vehicle weight). The van weighs 4,200 lbs so that means I should be able to tow a trailer up to 5,300 lbs using a class III hitch and equalizer bars. I have no intention of towing a trailer that heavy, but the owners manual says it's capable of it.
  9. chines63

    chines63 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    I use 94 chevy 4.3 no problem yet. Stopping is a little tricky.

    Good luck
  10. ksland

    ksland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 927

    I will definately put a nice brake controller in for the brakes as well as a tranny cooler and Class III hitch. Those are obvious. As far as the tranny being the weak link it is the same tranny used in 5.7L and 5.0L as well as 3/4 ton trucks. There is little to no towing on highways and no serious hills. Also BAYFISH the 92 5.0L engine is not the vortec and is rated lower in HP and Torque than the vortec 4.3L Even the 5.0L in 94 wasn't the vortec. They improved HP and Torque quite a bit in the vortecs and the main difference was the addition of a roller cam, and header style exhaust manifolds. I know I am sounding like I have my mind made up, but I am just updating the facts we have to work with. Stopping is not an issue since the trailer brakes not only stop the trailer they slow the truck down without applying the trucks brakes. Basically it should stop better than without the trailer because it adds braking power to the truck. I would imagine sudden emergency stops might be an exception but should still stop decently

Share This Page