Why is a Chev 3500 such a dog!?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by CuttingEdge8684, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. CuttingEdge8684

    CuttingEdge8684 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    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.
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    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.
  3. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 911

    That does seem a little slow. Maybe the dealer would be able to diagnose the problem.
  4. bmc1025

    bmc1025 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    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.
  5. CuttingEdge8684

    CuttingEdge8684 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    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.
  6. mow4cash

    mow4cash LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    Something is up with it. Sounds like a transmission issue to me. Are you getting full rpms?
  7. bmc1025

    bmc1025 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    I just noticed the filter took out R e t a r ded for what ever reason.
  8. CuttingEdge8684

    CuttingEdge8684 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    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.
  9. ParkWelding

    ParkWelding LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    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?
  10. CuttingEdge8684

    CuttingEdge8684 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    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

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