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Old 09-21-2015, 10:49 AM   #11
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I have chosen the older vehicle/no payment route myself, and have no trouble going cross country with my 2000 with 170,000 miles on it. Older trucks can be built up some, and you could change the gearing if need be. Knowing more specifics about where you are heading could help as well. I agree that a transmission flush is a good idea. I run a tranny temp gauge (among others) and will change the fluid if it gets hot (for me, anything over 220, but that is an arbitrary number) so the fluid stays fresh.

I agree with the above. If you are comfortable with the truck and it tows well, I would run with it. Just do a complete maintenance check, change all fluids (everything, even brake and power steering, axle fluid) and you should be good.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:16 AM   #12
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Give it a chance. Maybe add a tranny oil cooler and take a few trips.
It may be perfectly adequate.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:08 PM   #13
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I am looking, but not in a hurry to drop multi-thousands.
Have tranny cooler, new tires (Cooper A/T3), new shocks, new brakes and complete tune-up last month. Brake controller also.
She pulls quite fine. I'm just a worry wart and like peace of mind. Thus, a 6 speed tranny (instead of 4) and perhaps a larger V8 and different axle ratio (from the current 3.42) would be sweet.
But perhaps a tran. flush and new fluids would do the trick for this season.

Pondering the options......
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:10 PM   #14
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GMC dealership sales manager is a best friend. He has a dozen plus of new 2014 Sierra's with the 5.3 and varying axle ratios that they are blowing out at pretty nice prices. Tempting.
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:14 PM   #15
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GMC dealership sales manager is a best friend. He has a dozen plus of new 2014 Sierra's with the 5.3 and varying axle ratios that they are blowing out at pretty nice prices. Tempting.
"Pretty nice prices" can still translate into a $400+ a month payment. There's a lot to be said for not having payments.

That said, in 2005 we did a cross country trip from Milwaukee to Monterrey, CA, doing a circle through Las Vegas and coming home north via Yellowstone. Nearly 6k miles towing a 3500# trailer with a '95 Suburban that had 123k on when we started. The transmission was rebuilt the year before. Only trouble on the trip was a failed alternator, one that I had replaced with new from NAPA (not rebuilt) only 4 months before the trip. You can't control everything. My dad now has that 'Burb and regularly tows his '77 Jayco 20' TT. The truck now has almost 200k on it.

Seriously, just have your truck gone over by a shop you trust and make sure you have no rusted brake or transmission lines, or other potential "gothchas". Have you trans fluid changed with Dex VI, not Dex III. Dex VI is the replacement that GM recommends and is backward compatible. It's a synthetic blend that runs cooler than Dex III.
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:19 PM   #16
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Indeed! I love no payment plans!
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:54 PM   #17
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Indeed! I love no payment plans!
Grumble...Grumble... 25 payments made. 23 to go.... Then I'll own a 150,000 mile car.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:26 PM   #18
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GMC dealership sales manager is a best friend. He has a dozen plus of new 2014 Sierra's with the 5.3 and varying axle ratios that they are blowing out at pretty nice prices. Tempting.
IF you go this route, go for the 3.42 gears, unless he has a Max Tow 3.73 truck!!! The new 1500's have more power than our old '10-1500 5.3/6spd/3.42 4x4 CCSB, and I never FELT I needed more towing ~7200lbs here in Mi. Even just north of West Branch which is a slow, continuous climb. Dropped into 3rd, and could have accelerated to what I wanted. 4th just wasn't enough to hold 65-67mph. Ever slow slightly was dropping speed.

I missed you are in Mi also!!!
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:40 PM   #19
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IF you go this route, go for the 3.42 gears, unless he has a Max Tow 3.73 truck!!! The new 1500's have more power than our old '10-1500 5.3/6spd/3.42 4x4 CCSB, and I never FELT I needed more towing ~7200lbs here in Mi. Even just north of West Branch which is a slow, continuous climb. Dropped into 3rd, and could have accelerated to what I wanted. 4th just wasn't enough to hold 65-67mph. Ever slow slightly was dropping speed.

I missed you are in Mi also!!!
Need-A-Vacation --

Yes we are in Oscoda on Lake Huron. I'm pretty familiar with the West Branch climb. My friend did suggest staying with the 3.42 also. Do not know if he has any of the Max Tow 3.73's around. Waiting for his return call.
My current oldie is the 3.42, but paired with the 4.8L engine and the tranny is a 4 speed. Have to believe the 5.3/6spd/3.42 would be a much better Tug.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:39 PM   #20
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Need-A-Vacation --

Yes we are in Oscoda on Lake Huron. I'm pretty familiar with the West Branch climb. My friend did suggest staying with the 3.42 also. Do not know if he has any of the Max Tow 3.73's around. Waiting for his return call.
My current oldie is the 3.42, but paired with the 4.8L engine and the tranny is a 4 speed. Have to believe the 5.3/6spd/3.42 would be a much better Tug.
I missed your location! Lol When you posted about Kalkaska & TC, I noticed it. TC is awesome!!! One of these days we will camp again in TC. Last time was in a tent summer of '02 before the boys were born.

We had a 2k Chevy ECSB 4x4 4.8/4spd/3.73, and while the '10 5.3 had a fair amount more hp & tq, the difference was very noticable! Merging on the e-way with ~7200lbs in tow (our last tt) wasn't to bad at all!

Here is a chart comparing the GM 4spd and 6spd trans, made by Music over on GM-Trucks.com. Not sure if the new '14/'15 trans is the same gearing, but this was for the GMT 900 ('07-'13). I would think it is at least very close. As you can see, the 6spd/3.42 combo is more comparable to a 4spd/4.10 combo.

The new '14/'15 5.3's have even more hp & tq, with better fuel mileage!

IF you keep the truck, you will probably be very happy with the A/T3's!!! I would be surprised if you aren't. I had a set on our '10, and in the winter was very impressed with them. We snowmobile in the Caddy area, as well as the Soo area in Ontario, Canada. Plus my in-laws live in BC. Only reason I don't have a set yet on the 2500HD is I can't decide on what size to get. And the darn price!

Good luck deciding!!!!
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