Suburban Tow Rigs

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by NickMaul, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. NickMaul

    NickMaul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    NC4x4,

    I am looking to step up my offroading game and go in on a tow rig in 2018 sometime. I am in a unique situation where this will be my first big automotive purchase and I want to have time to think/research it. Basically unless I find a good deal on a crew cab 3/4 chevy I am set on a Suburban.

    Right now I am looking at the ninth (2000-2006) and tenth (2007-2014) generation 3/4ton burbs. I have limited knowledge on them besides having full float 14 bolt axles and 6.0 engine.

    According to wiki there was a change in trans. The 9th have 4l80E and some tenth have a 6L80. In terms of reliability which has the better trac record?

    It also looks like the 6.0 changed between 9th(LQ4) and 10th(LY6) generations. Any preference there?

    The intended use will be towing my XJ and other chit. I plan on having a beater for daily driving and work commute but the suburban will be designated for road trips.

    TIA :beer::usa:
     
  2. Ron

    Ron Dum Spiro Spero Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Sharon, SC
    ~02 - ~05 there is the tcase pump rub issue.
    Lots of folks run from the 07-09 motors. I know an 05 motor brings 300 more in a local junkyard than an 07...

    To me, the 00-02 was the peak of those vehicles.. they were over built in some ways and I personally like the interiors much more in those years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
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  3. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    Definitely get the 6 speed. Also consider caddy escalade and Yukon Denali depending on how much need to tow and what options you want.

    The latter have 6 spd and 6.2, but now low range.
     
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  4. NC-V

    NC-V Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Location:
    Mooresville, NC
    I just got into an 02 8.1L Yukon XL to tow my rig. Stepping up from a normal yukon with a 5.3L. I love all the room while traveling and I'm more comfortable in the 00-06 interior than the 07-up. The 4l80 is a stronger trans than the 6l80, but at stock power levels shouldn't really make a difference and the 6l80 may get slightly better mpg. The NP246 are common for pump rub issues, but that is pretty simple to remedy or prevent if you have mechanical aptitude.
     
  5. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    Wanna buy a 2500 Avalanche with the 8.1 & 4l85?
     
  6. BigClay

    BigClay Knower of useless ZJ things

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
    @NickMaul buy this if the price is right!

    I had a 04 Yukon XL Denali with a 6.0. The motor was awesome, and very strong. MPGs on the highway with no load was 13. If I had to do over again, I would have gotten a 8.1 suburban.
     
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  7. BigClay

    BigClay Knower of useless ZJ things

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
    Oh and I will make you a deal on a 96 V10 Ram :D
     
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  8. NickMaul

    NickMaul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Gosh, in a year. A truck isn't quite in the budget just yet :(
     
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  9. CasterTroy

    CasterTroy Motarded

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Wallburg
    Hey @Rich

    Hows that avalanche treated you?
     
  10. XJsavage

    XJsavage Warlock of Zante plantation

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Sc
    I'm dead set on buying a 3/4 suburban for towing as well. 99+ with 6.0/4l80. I'm budgeting about $5-7k to own one. I've grown accustomed to driving my current Yukon XL with 5.3 for work and recreation and I love it. I'd tow a rig with it but the 210k mile 4l60 is begging me not to lol. A 4l80e is one of my favorite transmissions of all time. My transmission guy (of 15 years at Johnson transmission) warns me about the 6l80. I'll take his word for it.
    End of the day, even with the 6.0 hopped up some, it will not tow as good as a diesel. However, I don't give a shit. When I go wheeling, that to me is a vacation. If it takes me an extra half hour to get to a park that's 6 hours away, screw it. I'll be sleeping in the back in heated/air conditioned comfort when I'm there. :flipoff2:
     
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  11. XJsavage

    XJsavage Warlock of Zante plantation

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    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Sc
  12. NickMaul

    NickMaul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Sleeping in the back is definitely a driving factor for the burb. My old 88 had a tailgate and a roll up window. I would like to find another one and throw in the drivetrain from a 2000 but I can't handle anymore projects :D


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  13. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    If you can afford to step up to get the 6 speed it's worth it

    Otherwise just find one to swap in the future. It makes a huge difference.

    I love the 8.1/4L85 combo.

    We will just be better suited with a suburban over the avy, but I love my avalanche.

    With us having two large dogs, and potentially kids in the future, the suburban will fit us better when not towing.

    Sacrificing the 8.1 in trade for the 6 speed. After driving one with 6 spd, my mind is made
     
  14. XJsavage

    XJsavage Warlock of Zante plantation

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Sc
    For two people, it's damn comfortable. There's been many a night where it was freezing cold that I (and one other person) have thrown the sleeping bags down in the back and slept snug as a bug. Crank the heat on full blast a half hour before you get in to warm the sleeping bags and the heat will last for half an hour or so. My dad had a early 80s burb with 454 growing up. He also had a 79 k30 complete at the same time. If he still had them, I'd put the 60/14 bolt under the burb, do a 6.0 and 4l80 swap and rock out!
     
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  15. XJsavage

    XJsavage Warlock of Zante plantation

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Sc
    I like the idea of a 6 speed but coming from those who rebuild them, when they go out, they go catastrophically out.
     
  16. 1stgenxxx

    1stgenxxx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Location:
    Hudson
    I just saw a 2000ish 2500 burb with some nice m/ts on it for sale in Greenville SC. I only saw it from the road but it said 2700 on the windshield.
     
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  17. NC-V

    NC-V Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Location:
    Mooresville, NC
    This is exactly why I bought mine, I added a second battery (marine) with isolator. Built a foldable sleeping platform in the back. Installed an inverter in the rear and have a tent to go over the rear of the vehicle so we can leave the rear doors open (wish I had a hatch instead of barn doors) and have a covered spot to sit/eat. Dvd player, etc etc. Very comfortable for the two of us and just a comfortable vehicle in general to drive.
     
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  18. BigClay

    BigClay Knower of useless ZJ things

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    Location:
    Winston-Salem
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  19. XJsavage

    XJsavage Warlock of Zante plantation

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Sc
    It'll still ride 9 people....split 9 ways? :lol:
     
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  20. NickMaul

    NickMaul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    If there is room on the trailer for muh jeep!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  21. StretchASU

    StretchASU Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Location:
    Creedmoor, NC
    That is because the 6L80's and 6L90's are a direct clutch design. No bands, servos or other mess to go bad. So when it does shit the bed, it shits the bed. But compared to a 4L80, its relatively the same in strength. I won't even compare it to a 4L60 because that is just a wear item like brake pads.
     
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  22. paradisePWoffrd

    paradisePWoffrd Recovering Project Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Location:
    Newton, NC
    I had one of those jeep tents, that wrap around the back of the car, when I had my Tahoe. I wish it would have had barn doors as the hatch wouldn't open all the way with the tent on.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  23. NickMaul

    NickMaul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Fellas thanks for the advice here. Like I said this is probably about a year out but how are you guys usually scanning the web for low mileage trucks. Not sure if I want to resort to craigslist first but is there a site anyone could recommend? The hampton roads area has tons of private dealership lots around so I am sure I could spend all day looking at inventories.

    Lastly what is a conservative midlife mileage for a 6.0/4l80E? I want to make sure I am not buying something too high mileage :D
     
  24. paradisePWoffrd

    paradisePWoffrd Recovering Project Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Location:
    Newton, NC
    Iirc the average is like 15-18k per yr. Under 10k per yr is low mileage to me.

    Something that age with under 100k use a good place to start.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
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  25. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    A 4L80 will need a rebuild around 220k. We have had two done with about that mileage. Neither left me stranded when they went out, only began to upshift early when hot, and upshift extremely hard.

    One is behind a 6.0 that is still stock with 250k on it. Doesn't smoke, still runs and pulls a 3500lbs enclosed regularly.

    The other is behind a 7.4, that pulls same enclosed daily. Both were used to tow my jeep on trailer to wheel.

    That said. My dads daily is a 5.7/4L80 with about 320k on it all stock and doing fine. But it rarely pulls anything more than 2k lbs.

    I figure it will need a rebuild at 220k max. Sooner if towing more, and it's been hot. Later if it's towing less.

    I shop Autotrader, eBay, and Craigslist. I also check eBay for ended auctions to see what price stuff is selling for. That also leads to auctions that didn't meet reserve from dealers. You can then go search that dealer inventory for the suburban to see if they still have it.
     
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