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Old 01-04-2011, 03:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 56
Suburban Conversion

Because my Jeep was stolen, I've decided to convert my 2003 Suburban 1500 for towing. (I never liked the Jeep, anyway!) I have done all the research on the specs, and I'm OK. However, I would like to hear the pros and cons of using a driveshaft disconnect versus the transmission pump. My service guy, whom I trust, says there is little difference in cost, but can't give me a concrete answer on which is better. Any opinions and/or facts out there??


40 ' 2008 HR Ambassador 360 HP

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Old 01-04-2011, 05:25 PM   #2
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
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Newmar Owners Club
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Location: Moorpark, Ca.
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RVsteve.....I just installed the Remco driveshaft disconnect on my 2010 Nissan Frontier. Here's my opinion....I would rather have not had to use a disconnect or a pump, but the available trucks for towing were limited. I was towing a Dodge Dakota 4X4 which allowed me to shift into neutral. I wanted to stay with a small truck and it boiled down (for me) to a Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier, both requiring a disconnect on an automatic.

I did my own install.....They shipped the new driveshaft to me and I had to have it balanced for another $100.00. On my model they don't come balanced because you have to add your own ends on their driveshaft. The shaft works well and really doesn't need any other equipment to operate. If you're willing to crawl under the truck and shift the slide ring forward and back, you don't need any of their bracketing/shift mechanism. This was nice to know if the shift mechanism ever broke.

Their brackets that bolt to the rearend were really not fitted well for my truck and they had to send me two different models that I converted into one that fit. The system seems to work well, but I will soon pull off their bracketing and improve on their attachment points.

With an older truck like yours, I'm guessing that the correct brackets are readily available and fit better because of your more popular model.

Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018
2016 GMC Canyon 4WD Crew Cab
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:52 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Thanks, Don. My main concern with the disconnect is that it will be difficult to balance for smooth operation at highway speed when not being towed. I haven't heard anything about the pump, so hope someone has that installed.

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:53 PM   #4
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
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RVsteve.....The Remco drive shaft can lock and unlock in two different positions, 180 degrees from one position to the other. The driveline shop said mine needed work, but balanced up perfectly in both positions.
Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018
2016 GMC Canyon 4WD Crew Cab
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:28 PM   #5
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We towed our 03 Suburban 1500 4 wheel drive for several years. I checked the book and it told us how to do it...DW was in charge of it...we did have a brake set up inside that help with the braking as it was a rather heavy toad...now we pull a mini cooper...much better mileage and more fun when we get somewhere.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:23 AM   #6
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We have towed a 2002 GMC Envoy for 5 years with a Remco Drive shaft disconnect we have never had a problem or noticed any vibration when driving the SUV at highway speeds. We ordered a complete drive shaft from Remco however they did not offer a balanced one but that has not been a problem. I had it installed by a Remco dealer and they may have balanced it I don't recall (CRS).
Dave & Jeri
06 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:43 AM   #7
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Location: Wisconsin
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I tow a suburban myself but mine is a 4 wheel drive so very easy to switch into the tow mod and back. I dont even know its back there. If I can make the turn with my t/c the suburban tracks right behind.
Renegade Garage Unit
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:12 PM   #8
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Did the Remco Disconnect on my Blazer 1998 4 wheel drive , Installed myself , did not need to balance it as it came with the U joints on. Approx $800.00.

approx 18,000 miles as toad and 15,000 miles as my winter/off road vehicle and still working good.

When I change the oil/ check rearend fluid on the toad I clean the area with Wd 40 and dry it off the best I can was spray with a dry lube.

Check out the disconnect runout on the shaft before you install. you may have to send it back if they didn't center it before welding.

I choose the shaft over a pump system so the trans can be placed in PARK and no friction loss in the tranny.

The Best Toad is in you driveway!!!!!
2009 Safari Simba 34SBD, WH W22 GM 8.1L 6k Sterling tow bar, US Gear Unified Tow brake,98 Blazer 4wd, Remco Prop shaft, Alaska Tested
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:48 AM   #9
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Towing Nissan Frontier

We have a 2002 Nissan 4X4 with an automatic that we tow that I installed a Remco driveshaft disconnect on it and like it very well. I also put an additional brace on it to help stabilize the disconnect device but I don't know if it was really needed. I felt better about the installation by adding the brace. I think the reason that Remco does not sell the Nissan shaft balanced is that the front yoke and rear driveshaft flange are not available as seperate parts. You have to buy a complete driveshaft to get them. I had my Remco balanced after I got it. This truck from the time I bought it new always felt like it had a tire out of balance when you first started driving for about the first 5 miles. The problem was the Nissan
u-joints were stiff like they had no grease in them. After I installed this Remco driveshaft it was like a new truck.

A lot of GM products you can tow without doing anything to them. I will not buy anymore towed vehicles that are not able to be towed. I know a couple that tow a late model Civic and they are not supposed to be towed and they have never had any trouble with it. It is an auto trans also. George
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:41 AM   #10
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I tow a 2010 F150 using the Remco driveshaft disconnect and the M&G brake system. Truck runs well at all speeds and I like having the fewest parts moving on my truck while being towed. I mounted LED tail lights under the bumper so that everything is separate from the truck system. I bought a ignition key without the chip in it so I don't have to worry about someone using the key to steal the truck.

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drive shaft, suburban, toads, trans pump

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