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hunter77ah

Changing Gear Ratio- 08 Avalanche

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hunter77ah

Hey guys,

I tow my MXZ with a 2008 Avalanche.  It pulls "OK" and I've never had any issues with regard to stopping, control etc.  Ohio is really flat so hills aren't an issue.  I can tow at 65-70 fairly easy (with tow/haul on) but would like a bit more pulling power, especially if I have to tow my dad's boat (more barge like). 

Currently I have the stock 3.73 ratio (GT4) but there was an option for a 4.10 ratio (GT5) that the original owner did not select when it was built. 

My questions are:

1- would it be beneficial for me to change the gearing- looks like I can buy the stock GT5 GM ring and pinion (both front and rear) online?

2- any idea how much would this cost for installation?  I know it is market dependent, but curious to know if it takes 3 hours in the shop or 12 hours.

3- any risks, unintended consequences?  I know that rpms will increase at highway speed, but beyond that, I would think that the gear change would be easier on the transmission.

I am open to any suggestions, tips, comments, etc.  I know I should look into getting a bigger truck eventually, but the utility of the Avalanche is awesome and the CFO doesn't want to get anything else.

(and a supercharger is out of the question- I already asked)

TIA.

 

Edited by hunter77ah
Clarification

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oldjeep

I'd try to do something to wake up the engine. 

But in terms of your questions, typically a few hundred per differential for labor - make sure you go to someone who really knows what they are doing, setting up gears is a pain and easy to screw up.

You would also need to get the truck adjusted to the new gears, that is typically either something the dealer has to do or an aftermarket programmer.

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coldwater-echelon

I tow with a '07 Av and I agree it does ok but more HP is beneficial.  I tow a '04 Sunscape 21 and a 30' travel trailer that is probably close to 7000lbs. I picked up a Hypertech MaxEnergy tuner several years ago and thought what could it hurt. I picked up some power and maybe 2 MPG pulling the camper, not much mpg gain anywhere else but it does make more power. I was getting 6 or 7 mpg at 68 mph in 3rd gear and with the tune and mid grade or premium fuel get 8 to 10 at the same speed.

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hunter77ah
13 minutes ago, coldwater-echelon said:

I tow with a '07 Av and I agree it does ok but more HP is beneficial.  I tow a '04 Sunscape 21 and a 30' travel trailer that is probably close to 7000lbs. I picked up a Hypertech MaxEnergy tuner several years ago and thought what could it hurt. I picked up some power and maybe 2 MPG pulling the camper, not much mpg gain anywhere else but it does make more power. I was getting 6 or 7 mpg at 68 mph in 3rd gear and with the tune and mid grade or premium fuel get 8 to 10 at the same speed.

Do you have the 3.73 or the 4.10?  

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coldwater-echelon
3 hours ago, hunter77ah said:

Do you have the 3.73 or the 4.10?  

I’ve got the 3.73 gear set. It is an ‘07 Av, LTZ with the flex fuel 5.3 motor. The tuner was a couple hundred bucks and I bought it back when gas was in the $4 range so I figured the HP and MPG improvement would quickly pay for itself. 

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Nitrousbird

If you are going to use a tuner, get HP Tuners.  Don't waste your money on the handheld stuff.  It will give you actual control of what you want/need to change via your laptop.  It is a MUCH more powerful tool.  That said, don't expect any real power gains out of it.  But you can adjust your speedo for the new gears and adjust shift points, which help.  The gears will help with towing, but will the reward be enough - maybe not.

Or you could upgrade to a '07-'13 Escalade EXT.  Still has all the Avalanche stuff in it but with a more powerful motor (and nicer interior, and 6 speed transmission that didn't come in the Avalanche until 2009).  Unfortunately, due to its less aggressive gearing, it tows better but isn't insanely better.

Or get the unicorn Avalanche, a '09 6.0L with the 6-speed transmission.  Good luck finding one. 

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