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Towing with Smaller Chevys

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Old 12-06-2003, 07:58 AM
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Default Towing with Smaller Chevys

Does anyone here have a smaller boat that they tow with a 4.3 Vortech engine? I was wondering how much a Blazer or S-10 can handle as far as the size of a boat.

Ford and Dodge are not an option. Just personal preference, but I wouldnt consider either........
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Old 12-06-2003, 09:09 AM
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I pulled 5K lbs. (26 Maxum CC) with my '89 S-10 Blazer; ONCE, and once only! It was only about a mile. I would have to estimate you do not want to pull more than 3K lbs. TOTAL. Subtract gear, trailer, and fuel, and you are back to about 2200 pounds for the boat dry.

Like we always say here on the board, "Yeah you can PULL it, but can you control it and STOP it?"

I would say go with at least an after 1996 model year 4.3L. (They went to Vortec that year, and got a little stronger.) Also, tranny cooler, and go for 4 Door, 4WD, and the tallest gear ratio you can get. Check the codes printed on the card in the glovebox for the gear ratios. (GT4 should be 3.93 gears. GT5 should be 4.10.)
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Old 12-06-2003, 09:12 AM
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I would`nt go more then 3500lbs. I had a Toyo Tundra with 4.7 and it pulled the 22zx Donzi 4000 gas & gear pretty good,but if conditions were not right at the ramp it could get frustrating.By conditions I mean angle and if it was smooth concrete or rough textured.Always go as big as you can $$$ it saves in the long run.
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Old 12-06-2003, 09:54 AM
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What boat are you trying to pull. I had a z71 that didnt handle my boat near what my superduty does. the z71 pulled and stopped it ok, but the handling of the boat is night and day, always something overlooked.
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Old 12-06-2003, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BajaRunner
What boat are you trying to pull. I had a z71 that didnt handle my boat near what my superduty does. the z71 pulled and stopped it ok, but the handling of the boat is night and day, always something overlooked.
Currently a 22' BAJA. I was wondering how much bigger they could handle. I want one as a daily driver. I dont drive or tow enough that I want to buy a full size truck.
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Old 12-06-2003, 02:33 PM
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i towed my 19 donzi with a 91 s10 that had a 4.3 it weighed a little over 4k with the trailer and gear. It pulled it fine but didnt stop it too well. once I put surge brakes on the trailer it was fine. I would not go much over 4k though it was at its limit.
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Old 12-06-2003, 02:45 PM
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I pulled a 21' FourWinns Liberator (near 5000lbs total) for a season with an S10 Blazer.Power wasn't too bad but , mine was a 2 door with the shorter wb and it was a little hairy. Instead of towing the boat you kinda had to let the boat go where it wanted and just had to keep the truck in front of it .
If I'm not mistaken the S10's are 5000lb max and 4500 for 4x4.
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Old 12-06-2003, 03:42 PM
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I pulled my 24' Concord with a S-10 Blazer. That was proably just over 5k. It did ok. I pulled my 26' cat a couple of times with it too. The cat weighs 5500lbs. Big difference. The truck was really having to work and wasn't able to control the trailer. Definetly 2 handed driving and white knuckles when passing semis. I guess that what I'm saying is that it really depends on the boat as much as the weight.
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Old 12-06-2003, 03:55 PM
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I pulled my 24 Baja Outlaw the first year I owned it with a '92 S-10 4x4 extended cab with a 4.3L. It went down the road just fine. But stopping was always a story waiting to be on the front page of the newspaper.

I towed a 20' runabout with the same truck prior to buying the Baja. It might have weighed 4000 lbs total going down the road and handled pretty well actually. I had extra leaf springs and heavy duty shocks in the rear though... helped keep the rear from squating and distributed some of the wieght forward (could not have towed the Baja without these additions I'm sure). Also had a large aftermarket tranny cooler installed.

Advice: Buy an older full size Chevy if you intend to tow more than a few times a year or more than a few miles at a time, even with your 22 Baja (which is actually quite heavy for it's length).
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:22 PM
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Be careful with that S-10. Keep the speed down to 55 mph MAX and don't follow anything too close. Never pull in overdrive and pull the tranny down into second gear when stopping once you get below 40 mph. You can do it but, things can get ugly real fast if you don't have an adequate size vehicle to tow the load you are pulling.
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