Looking to buy a 1996-2000 kc3500 series dually to pull a 2
horse gooseneck trailer. Can only afford one in the $15000 range. Most
there have about 80,000 miles or so on them. any advice what to look
for? and when is life of the 350 motor over?
On Wed, 16 May 2007 08:01:03 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
There is nothing wrong with a 350 motor and it is a proven strudy
engine. It basic design dates back to 50's and it is a good design for
no inherent weaknesses. When it lacks in towing it is because of
vehicle axle ratio, not because it is a 350. If you get a 350, you
want atl east a 4.10 axle ratio which is a GT3 option could. If you
can find one with a HC4 option code (a 4.56), it wil, tow really well
with even a bigger trailer. As far as serive life of engine, if it has
had regualr lube changes every 3K miles or so it should last a couple
hundred K miles even towing if it is kept cool. The best setup would
be a 454 with a GT5 or a 350 with a HC4 as so equipped, it will tow
anything you are ever likley to tow behind it. Also 100K miles of
towing on a 454 is nothing really if it has been properly maintained.
I would stay away for a used one with a 350 if it has towed a heavy
load a lot ( 3 ton and more)and it only has a GT5 axle in it. Also lok
for trucks that do not have 5th wheel hitches on them now so you know
they have nmot been worked too hard. Stay away from trucks with GT4
axle code as it is not good for a 350 to two with and it is kinda
marginal for serious towing with a 454. You should be able to find a
nice truck for around 10 grand or less as 15K is way too much to pay
for even a used 2000 unless it is very low mileage and clean. 88 to
2000 GM dualies were some of the best trucks of their type GM every
made and I find them to be sturdier and more trouble free long term
than the newer Silverado ones. You want a 96 to 200 modle as they were
of the VorTec design and have more mid range and upper RPM power than
the 95 and earlier TBI models. BTW, I have a 89 4x4 suburban that I
bought new with over 180K miles on its 350 and it is still going
strong and using no oil and runs better than ever. It has also seen
more than a dozen cross country trips across and through rockies and
has been in 25 states and counting.
On Wed, 16 May 2007 10:19:15 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Being that you are in a snowy area, I would get as agressive a tread
as possible on a 215/16 85 tire. If you have the money, a extra set
of rims for rear with studded tires would help A LOT as dualies tend
to be kinda worthelss in 2wd in snow and ice unless you have a go bit
of weight in rear. For what it is worth, I run a couple of snow plow
trucks here and have for many years and I have extra rims for them so
that I can used studded tires on them in winter. SOme consider this
extreme but I go out in the worst of couditions and I have never had
any "whilte knuckle" experiances in the winter using them. I put them
on the rear of my wife 2000 2wd Cherokee too and it outperforms 4x4
versions without them in snow and especailly on ice. You will get no
suddentendacy to trade ends with them on. Years ago I used to run on a
wholesale show circuit with some friends selling electronic hardware
and supplies year round and we used to run studded tires on their tow
vehicles towing big heavy trailers in nasty weather and never came
close to loosing them. AOme other people doing the circuit without
them were not so lucky. BTW, I have a 2000 K3500 SRW (single rear
wheel) with a 350 in it that I also bought new as shares the 88 to 99
body style (there were no 2000 1 ton new style Silverados made). It is
stock with a GT5 axle ratio (4.10) and it does a good job with what
ever i ask it to do. I would have gotten it with 4.56's (HC4) if i
could of but it was only a option of DRW models. If you never plan to
tow more than a 2 horse goose neck, do not rule out a 3500 SRW as it
is quite up to the task too as would good sturdy 2500 too. Also, be
advised that 88 thru 99 2500 have stronger rear springs than the newer
2500HD's do (because they were not trying to push a softer ride on
them) and they will handle the hitch weight better than a new 2500 HD
will. (this is contrary to GVW ratings but my "old 3500 has same GVW
rating as the "new" 2500HD but my old 3500 has a lot more beef in rear
suspension than 2500HD and even a old 2500 has more beef back there
too). One more thing, I used to trailer horses for many years. We
used to just do some hard core trail riding (never did any shows) and
used to haul my horses all over with a old 3/4 Jeep truck for many
years. I got out of them about 12 years ago as it was either get 3
more horse and a bigger trailer or quit them. I miss riding them
sometimes and "might" take it up again when kids are out of college. .
We had App's and there were great rides with great horse sense on the
trail and very sure footed. (I used to ride with a infant in my lap
for a while even on rugged trails as my horse was that trustworthy). I
had them trained to where they would load and unload from trailer on
command. I had a nice big Circle J trailer most of the time I had
them. Do not skimp on stall space/size when selecting a trailer like
some do as it helps the horses trailer better for longer periods of
time if they can move a round a bit. Keeps them a bit cooler too in
hot weather. If you by a used trailer, check condition of floor
because some do not use heavy matts in them and the animal waste weaks
the floor planks. You want a oak floor too. Sorry if I got on my soap
box a bit.
if you are going to pull a trailer use a diesel they have much more power
than a gas duramax is a very good diesel also dodge with a cummins is very
good also. now the advice snowman gave you about snowtires with using studs
in the tires i dont know what state he is in but you use studs here in
wisconsin and they catch you it is a very big fine it chews up the roads
they may use them in other states but not here you will hafto check with
your state to see if they are allowed
I think NY State may allow for studs in certain areas of the state,
but you are correct it is best to check the local laws. Besides, stud
would require you to have two sets of tires, one for winter and one
for other seasons. I personally would not rec'd studded tires, a good
M&S rate tire that is mildly agressive will do you well 98% of the
time in Upstate NY.
NY allows studs statewide from October 16 - April 30
Chains are required during a designated snow emergency.
I can count about 15 days I actually needed studded tires on a personal
vehicle over the past 20 years. They only work well on ICE and the rest
of the time they are just noisy and because your actually riding on the
studs you have less traction on bare roads.
They work pretty good in packed snow too. The noise is a draw back but
traction loose in minmal on dry/wet pavement and I have NEVER had a
vechicle try to trade ends on a icy overpass with them but I have many
times in the past without them. It is very cheap insurance. Even if
you need then 5 or 10% of the time, the 5 or 10% can be a killer at
times especailly towing.
Studs are legal here from Nov 15 till April 15 and anyone that tells
you that regualy M+S tires are as good as studded tires 98% of the
time has never lived with them and is realy quite clueless on the
Well, I will tell you that I disagree. I was born and raised in
Buffalo, NY and have had the previalge of driving with both types of
While I will say that when you are dealing with icy road, studs or
chains are a much better choise then "plain" tires, however if you are
driving in snow, packed or loose, studs are of no real benefit.
The problem is "loose" snow can pack under tires to ice or near ice
especaily when wet and studs do help. Sure you can skate around
without them and get by like many do but i choose not to and in my
snow plowing bussiness I go out when roads are at their worst and
sometimes closed and we get icy storms here from time to time too.
Sine I sarted using them years ago they have made driving in the slick
stuff a LOT less nerve wracking and even if they only make a big
difference 5 to 10% or the time, the 5 or 10% can be a life saver. I
run 4 studded tires on plow truck and 2 on rear of wifes 2wd RWD car
and that car easily out performce 4x4 's on the slick stuff and never
wants to trade ends. They are great for towing on slick stuff too as
it just takes on icy bridge or curve without them to really spoil your
This is very subjective. Properly geared a 454 will pull ANYTHING a
diesel will and quietly too. I get so tired on "you have to have a
1000lbs plus diesel motor " to be able to tow anything well. THat is
what automakers would like you to beleive too and tend to gear gas
trucks stock so they do not do their best and make the high profit oil
burners more attracktive but this can be overcome.
On Fri, 18 May 2007 07:37:21 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
That depends on if it is a 2wd or 4wd but if you get a 454 with a
GT5/4.10 ratio in a dualie, you are not going to need to change gears
unless you start getting over 10,000 or 12,000 lbs in trailer weight
and tow in hills a lot. A 454 is a great gas tow motor.
Guess again, maybe at a car dealer, around 1400 or so for both axles
on a 4x4 abd about half that for a 2wd. The gears are about 225 for
rear and under 200 for front for quality aftermarket ones. There is no
need to replace bearing in axles with a gear change unless it is have
problems as the axles in a truck of that era are pretty sturdy. (many
may try to tell you otherwise and like to to milk you for more coin)
The D70 it should have in rear is not a labor intesive axle to setup
(if you know what you are doing) nor in the front pig with the 9.25
IFS. If you go a acle change route, buy the gears in aftermarket and
then shop around for best price and job. If you buy gears and bearings
at a dealer figure on paying about 3x what they cost otherwise. Yukon
and Precision make a good aftermarket gear and gear for those axles
are very easy to come by.
Unlike you, I don't have to guess. I do this for a living, I
know first hand what the finished product sells for.
Maybe that's where they feel most comfortable having the work
Just because they can be bought for that price doesn't mean that
is what a shop is going to sell them for.
That issue is between the customer and the shop doing the work.
No shop in their right mind is going to warranty used parts, but
since they're the last ones to touch it, that's what the customer
is going to expect.
Or, they can have it done by you and get a half assed hammer job
with a warranty good for the length of your driveway.
Hey genius, D70s suffer from chronic bearing failures. You'd
know that if you actually had a clue.
"best price" equals Walmart mentality.
And if they supply their own parts, they get no warranty and the
labor charge is increased. SOP at most shops.
You farmed out your leaking intake gaskets TWICE, why should
anyone believe anything you say, especially regarding drive gear
I'll give you this; if someone wanted advice on how to establish
a bad working relationship with their repair shop, you can give
very accurate advice.
Look in the glove compartment for a sticker with a bunch of 3 letter/number
combinations. One of these RPO codes will tell you.
Hopefully someone will post a list if they have one, or you can google RPO
codes and find a list.
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