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Old 09-27-2009, 09:10 PM   #1
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Lack of power

Good evening everyone,

Hubby took the truck and camper for the first time himself this past weekend. We'd taken it to Myrtle Beach this summer-I did all the driving. It did ok, but like all 6.0's it does lack a bit. We've owned the truck a little over 18 months-it was a used one. Just didn't like that Mega Cab-worst seats we've ever had in a vehicle. The Chevy is good around town and running empty highway, but this towing thing has us scratching our heads. It's a 04 with a 6.0 2500HD and has 4:10 gears. The camper dry is 5250-I say it had about 500lbs extra for the gear-not enough to bog it down.

He towed up 17 to I-81 here in NY and back again. He said it'd drop all the way to 40 on some hills. Like it was really struggling along. While we've done that drive a lot with other vehicles we had-a 01 Suburban with a 6.0 and a Dodge Mega Cab with a 5.7-neither really had any trouble getting it up the hills. He was towing less stuff-ie no kids or kids junk and down 3 people in the truck. Just him and a buddy from work with fishing gear to go to Pulaski. He said it bogged down like nothing he'd seen before. The other complaint-he had to fill up that tank more often too.

Any ideas on what we can do to boost it's power? It's the same camper we've had for 9 years and did fine with the other tow vehicles. You'd figure with the same engine the Suburban had, it would have performed just as well. What a surprise there. Going to Myrtle Beach, it did ok-about the same as the Dodge, but not as good as the Suburban. We are only towing a couple of times a year right now-not as much as we did before. So it's not a major problem, just annoying that there seems to be a lack of real power.

Ideas? Suggestions? Other than getting another tow vehicle.

Nell
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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He said it bogged down like nothing he'd seen before. The other complaint-he had to fill up that tank more often too.
Is this diesel or gas? If it's a diesel it sounds like a very dirty fuel filter. If it's gas someone else with experience in these newer engines will ave to help you.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:42 PM   #3
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Is this diesel or gas? If it's a diesel it sounds like a very dirty fuel filter. If it's gas someone else with experience in these newer engines will ave to help you.
It's a gas engine. We have no idea about the service records on this vehicle-just what we've done.

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Old 09-29-2009, 07:24 AM   #4
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Try asking the same questions on a truck forum. You will get answers from both sources then and may get better info. Link below is to one forum I know about but there are others, I am sure.

Chevy Truck World
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:28 AM   #5
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I have an '04 Yukon XL ( same as Suburban) w/the 6.0 & had experienced the lack of power too. Very frustrating on the hills. I had a chip installed & programmed for towing. The difference in power is amazing. I now have to use premium gas but the towing mileage has increased from just a hair over 7mpg to right around 9mpg which makes up for the price differential in fuel grade. The towing experience also makes up for the $400 cost of chip installation. The engine can also be reprogrammed back to stock settings or an economy mode. Since at least 90% of the use of the Yukon is for towing I leave it in that mode.

Also, keep in mind that the 6.0 makes its' peak power in the 5000rpm range. Towing at 55 - 60 mph, it only revs in the area of 2000 - 3000rpm so you're not generating all the horsepower & torque this engine is capable of. Jodann
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:59 PM   #6
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Remember, with any small block gas motor you have to drive it with your foot on the floor boards with it screaming in your ear to get the most out of it!. Sounds silly, but if you look at the power curve for that motor it is best to run it at 4000RPM or so. especially in the hills. You are probably lugging it. Also, please remember that the "advertised" "dry" weight is totally meaningless. Unless you have actual ready to camp scaled weight numbers please use trailers GVWR numbers.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:12 PM   #7
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Remember, with any small block gas motor you have to drive it with your foot on the floor boards with it screaming in your ear to get the most out of it!. Sounds silly, but if you look at the power curve for that motor it is best to run it at 4000RPM or so. especially in the hills. You are probably lugging it. Also, please remember that the "advertised" "dry" weight is totally meaningless. Unless you have actual ready to camp scaled weight numbers please use trailers GVWR numbers.
The only reason he was lugging it he resisted revving it that high. When he did rev it, it took off again. Just fine. It just felt unnatural. Course if you know the hills on Route 17 out of Middletown NY and up I-81 towards Syracuse, you know they are pretty steep too.

We've had this camper for 9 years now. One of the 3 vehicles that have towed it was a 01 Chevy Suburban 3/4 ton 6.0 4:10 set up that towed it. No problem at all there with power. This truck has the same set up, yet weighs in less than the Suburban did. Now when we had the Dodge Mega Cab with the 5.7, 4:10 3/4 ton, it was awesome for power, but the most ungodly truck to ride in comfortably. We are definitely in the range for towing. Made sure of that long before we bought any of the vehicles. I guess he has to drive it like he stole it on hills.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:38 AM   #8
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My guess is that this is not your problem, but - I was experiencing a loss of power and fuel milage in my Duramax, it even cut out on my when I tried to accelerate in 3rd gear a couple of times. I thought I might have a major problem. But, pleased to find out, when I took it in to the Chevy dealer he found a mouse nest in the air intake. Really, I am not kidding. He showed me that grasses and cigarette butts that made up the nest. Now the power is back and the fuel milage is up. The experience got me to thinking what installing a Banks intake/exhaust system might do. But the price makes my wife yell "ouch" just a bit too loud.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:16 AM   #9
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One other thought... that was about the time GM came out with the "Tow/Haul" mode on one of the sticks on the steering column. Check to see if you have a "tow/haul mode" button and then make sure it is turned on for towing. This will make a difference in your towing power.
Good Luck-I hope it is that simple!!
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:32 AM   #10
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You mentioned you bought this vehicle used...so I am not sure you have an Owners Manual.
You can save the Owners Manual on your computer from here - but page 120 of the PDF file (page 2-28 of the manual itself) talks about the "Tow/Haul" mode.

I hope this helps...
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:20 AM   #11
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You mentioned you bought this vehicle used...so I am not sure you have an Owners Manual.
You can save the Owners Manual on your computer from here - but page 120 of the PDF file (page 2-28 of the manual itself) talks about the "Tow/Haul" mode.

I hope this helps...
We've always used the tow haul mode-had it on the Suburban too. We towed just fine to Myrtle Beach back in August. But then again, we weren't pulling the hills like we do in our area of NY. Now that we've been told, we are just going to have to stomp on it and bring up the rpm's.

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Old 09-30-2009, 10:18 AM   #12
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Have you considered a compression check of the engine cylinders? I used to routinely perform those when I was a kid in the old days of used clunkers. I found them to be a good indication of a bad engine.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:00 PM   #13
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Fuel filters and spark plugs are cheap--try them to see if results get better. One of the posters on the RVTalk forum had probs with his 8.1 Burb, and found plug electrodes almost gone.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:49 PM   #14
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I have a Silverado 2500HD with the 6.0, 4L80E transmission, and 3.73 gears. I found a couple of things really help this truck when towing our 7000 pound trailer.
First, get a fiberglass topper for the bed (that angles up slightly at the rear), it will help deflect the air over the front of the trailer, and reduce drag. I also tow in Tow/Haul mode, in 3rd gear, not O/D. The owner's manual, unless yours is different, specifies towing in "3" whenever towed weight exceeds 3000 pounds.
I recently towed our trailer over I-15 on Cajon Pass, topping the 12 miles of 6% grades at 52 mph. We would have been able to go faster, but there was a brush fire midway up, and we had to start from a dead stop there. I'll rub it in a bit more, the temp was 102 that day, and we had the a/c on...
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