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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Platinum Member wieland77's Avatar
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    Question 4.8L over 5.3L Vortec

    I am looking at buying a truck that looks to be a pretty good deal but only has the 4.8L in it (2003 Chevy 1500 Z71 Ext) and not the 5.3L. I dont tow my boat very much (87 28' Saber roughly 7,000lbs) but how much of a dog is the 4.8? It does have a superchip in it and also the K&N cold air intake sys.

    Any comments would be appreciated. THANKS

  2. #2
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    Never towed with either but owned a 5.3 1500 work truck with the factory tow package (listed to tow 8500lbs) that struggled to pull a 32 Sunsation on a triple axle trailer. Boat is 6600lbs dry, plus fuel/ trailer. After a 3 mile ride to a gas station I never hooked that combo up again.
    The last loaner I got was a 4.8 1500 Crew that burned rubber around the block. I actually thought it was a 5.3 until checking under the hood to see it was a 4.8.

    I liked both the 4.8 and 5.3 enough to buy either if the deal was right but towing that boat may be an issue for you.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Platinum Member wieland77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jupiter Sunsation View Post
    Never towed with either but owned a 5.3 1500 work truck with the factory tow package (listed to tow 8500lbs) that struggled to pull a 32 Sunsation on a triple axle trailer. Boat is 6600lbs dry, plus fuel/ trailer. After a 3 mile ride to a gas station I never hooked that combo up again.
    The last loaner I got was a 4.8 1500 Crew that burned rubber around the block. I actually thought it was a 5.3 until checking under the hood to see it was a 4.8.

    I liked both the 4.8 and 5.3 enough to buy either if the deal was right but towing that boat may be an issue for you.
    That is what i was thinking. I have a 2002 F250 with a powerstoke from work that i use when i go for any long trip with the boat but would be using this pickup with the 4.8 around town and to and from the gas station. What i was really trying to figure was the difference in everyday driving, which you say it very comperable? Thanks, MIKE

  4. #4
    SORE MEMBER Platinum Member Wobble's Avatar
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    Those trucks are geared for fuel mileage, but there was an optional 4.10 rear end that allowed them to be an ok tow vehicle.
    Mark...........
    One boat at a time!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a8_-iFkjcY

  5. #5
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    With the weight your towing I would opt for a 5.3L. The 4.8 was a fuel milage attempt. I doubt you would be happy even if it had 4.10 gears. I had a 1/2 ton 5.3 with 4.10, now that was great at towing a 6000LB boat. Wasnt great on milage on the highway.

  6. #6
    Registered czy40p's Avatar
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    Do you carry stuff with it in the bed? Father in law bought the 4.8L to save on fuel. He ended up trading it in to get the bigger motor.
    1) MPG's were not there
    2) Transmission would down shift to climb interstate overpasses, drives people nuts.

    Granted he is a carpenter and he was hauling 700-1000lbs of gear everyday, but he dumped for the 5.3 and is getting better mpg's.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Registered techman's Avatar
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    It has a chip and a cold air intake already? That should answer your question! Not enough beans

    5.3 with a 4.10 is what you will need for 7K #'s. Or better yet get a 8.1 or a Duramax and don't worry about the tow #'s.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wieland77 View Post
    That is what i was thinking. I have a 2002 F250 with a powerstoke from work that i use when i go for any long trip with the boat but would be using this pickup with the 4.8 around town and to and from the gas station. What i was really trying to figure was the difference in everyday driving, which you say it very comperable? Thanks, MIKE
    Mike you will not notice the difference driving both around town. I think a few responses are confusing the 4.3 with the 4.8 motors. The 4.8 and 5.3 cannot be told apart from the city driving seat of your pants estimate. The same cannot be said for the 5.3/4.8 vs. the 4.3 six cylinder.

    I own 4 GMC trucks for work and two are 4.3's, one is a Duramax, and the other is a 5.3. They ALL get 13-14 MPG around town pulling a 2K 5X8 trailer with no highway traveling. This is calculated by hand, not using the trip computer.

  9. #9
    Registered rush's Avatar
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    I have a 2005 k1500 with the 4.8 I get around 17 mpg. but I live in the country. Its great without a load and not bad with say 1500.lbs. in the bed.

    I would'nt use it to tow a boat that size often though.
    Last edited by rush; 05-08-2008 at 07:28 PM.

  10. #10
    Registered jeff32's Avatar
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    according to fuel consumption books, 4,8 is 1mpg better in gas compared to the 5.3.

    You have 15 hp more in the 5.3 and some more torque. If not towing much, either engine would do the job. My 5.3 I had was cheaper on gas than the 4.8 when pulling my 26 ccraft stinger that was around 8000-8500 pounds.


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