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I used to tow my 28' Car hauler with my old 98 6.5 it had a GM8 Turbo and stock exhaust/Tune and it struggled with it, I also had a 96 454 Dually I towed the same trailer with, Night and Day except the 454 sucked the fuel I could never get above 8-9 pulling the trailer, Now I would say Brutus would put the old 454 to shame and it got almost 13 mpg pulling my 5th wheel the last trip
 

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4thesporty, you sound kinda like me, i bought a 6.5 about a years ago, i knew i wanted to get a camper, well a few months ago i got the camper, took it out last weekend and well, I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, i think i was a little disappointed also, my 28ft trailor, at about 6.5k lbs according to the tag....went from cheyenne to the campground by the lincoln momument on I-80, which is also the highest elevation on I-80 from coast to coast, so it was a steady grade getting there, i also have the 3.73 gears, and well the only time i was in 4th was in a downhill section, now i was cruising around 55-60mph, slowed down to 48mph on 1 hill, backed up traffic a little bit.....i mean i knew it wasnt a powerhouse so to speak, but i figured i would have a little more....way i figure if i can keep pace with the 18wheelers i would be alright, to be honest, im not sure it is there. BUT, to be honest im kinda glad to hear your story, because it makes me think my truck is alright, that maybe all 6.5 are that way?? because i was wondering if somthing is wrong? on another note the trip was about 70 miles into the moutains and back down, about 35 each way, and i used maybe 5-6 gallons of old green fuel...which is less gas then i used in the generator, atv, and chainsaw for 1 day. before i had this truck i had a half-ton chevy with the 350 and i was upset with it too, i towed a slide in camper, and pulled a trailor with either boat or atvs, i spent a couple years building it to where it had enough power, and i did.....but then i couldnt afford the gas, and that was the main reason i went diesel.....for towing economy. i can tow more....(have bigger trailor) with less cost at the pump, so that is what cheers me up about my so called lack of power, is that, "hey this is the CHEAPEST way to tow anything. last summer my gas bill could be 2-3 hundred a weekend, im hoping to cut that in half, or go twice as far?
 

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The first will be tweaking the tunes, then dropping tranny pan to install a larger one
Although I'm never one to discourage changing fluids and adding the ability to carry more, I don't think that you're going to find that simply adding a bigger tranny pan is going to solve your temperature issues. Something is wrong somewhere if you scorched the tranny at the temps you mentioned with that trailer - either the tranny is slipping, the tranny cooler is clogged, or *something* is not right.

Here's what I pull with my 6.5.



And as I mentioned, my tranny temps rarely exceed 210-220. It's a 5th wheel as well which has dramatically more drag versus a traditional trailer, not to mention my tag trailer behind it.

If your tranny can't get rid of it's heat (or is making too much) for some reason, all that adding a bigger pan is going to do is allow you to carry a higher quantity of overheated fluid, that's all.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
@Marshall: hopefully I can figure some things out and pass them on to you to get your power up and not sacrifice too much economy.

@PP: I just ordered an electronics kit for the tranny seen here and will be installing it along with this transmission pan. When I button it back up and fill with fresh fluid I plan on leaving the return from the cooler disconnected and in a bucket, start the truck and let it pump out the old fluid from the cooler until it looks clean. This will also let me verify flow to/from the cooler. As long as all that goes well I am going to pull the grill and loosen the radiator to clean all of my cooling stack again.
 

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Although I'm never one to discourage changing fluids and adding the ability to carry more, I don't think that you're going to find that simply adding a bigger tranny pan is going to solve your temperature issues. Something is wrong somewhere if you scorched the tranny at the temps you mentioned with that trailer - either the tranny is slipping, the tranny cooler is clogged, or *something* is not right.

Here's what I pull with my 6.5.



And as I mentioned, my tranny temps rarely exceed 210-220. It's a 5th wheel as well which has dramatically more drag versus a traditional trailer, not to mention my tag trailer behind it.

If your tranny can't get rid of it's heat (or is making too much) for some reason, all that adding a bigger pan is going to do is allow you to carry a higher quantity of overheated fluid, that's all.

I would beg to differ on a fiver having more drag than a comparable TT.
Any truck i have towed with( and I do it for a living) performs much better carrying the load rather than pulling it. I realized that even with the GL-4 tune in my 2000, I would get there, but not as quickly as some. I did install a much larger tranny cooler on a fresh rebuild for similar temps the OP describes. Helped alot.
 

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@Marshall: hopefully I can figure some things out and pass them on to you to get your power up and not sacrifice too much economy.

@PP: I just ordered an electronics kit for the tranny seen here and will be installing it along with
this transmission pan. When I button it back up and fill with fresh fluid I plan on leaving the return from the cooler disconnected and in a bucket, start the truck and let it pump out the old fluid from the cooler until it looks clean. This will also let me verify flow to/from the cooler. As long as all that goes well I am going to pull the grill and loosen the radiator to clean all of my cooling stack again.
Yours being a 94 can have a TCC lockup mod. LOVED it in my 95. Search this forum, its as easy as the high idle mod.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Yours being a 94 can have a TCC lockup mod. LOVED it in my 95. Search this forum, its as easy as the high idle mod.

I'm taking care of that in the tuning.

On that subject, over lunch today I removed my MPC for reprogramming and installed my stock chip. Wow, what a diffrence. Even in my economy tune I had more power and better response than this one. And remember, I got 18 honest MPG in economy over a 750 mile trip to IA a couple of days ago. For those of you without a tune, it's worth it, whomever you may use. If you are 94-95, well, you know who gets my vote :)
 

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@PP: I just ordered an electronics kit for the tranny seen here and will be installing it along with
this transmission pan. When I button it back up and fill with fresh fluid I plan on leaving the return from the cooler disconnected and in a bucket, start the truck and let it pump out the old fluid from the cooler until it looks clean. This will also let me verify flow to/from the cooler. As long as all that goes well I am going to pull the grill and loosen the radiator to clean all of my cooling stack again.
Buy some Amsoil ATF, you should be set with the transmission.

So, that electronic kit is essentially rebuilding the electronic module of the transmission???

I like the Derale Trans pan, that is what I plan to use next time I had to change the trans fluid.
 

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I like that pan too, but others told me that it might be flimsy like the stock ones, and some prefer that real rigid type like the mag-hytec so you dont have to worry about over tightening and bending them to cause leaks. But the cooling tubes are neat in the derail, and its a good price.

I dont think you'll have a problem once the tranny has the new TCC and Pressure Control Solenoids. The tranny slipping was likely your main issue for heat and low power.

You may also have a vacuum leak, because you should be hitting 15-18psi at high throttle. Or what happened on my GM4 was that the wastegate was somehow getting caught or gummed up and couldnt fully close. It would still spool with it open a little, just not as high. If you have a vac gauge see if you have 15" at the turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
I'll go over the vacuum system with the mityvac this weekend and check for leaks. When I swapped injectors a couple of months ago I broke a vacuum fitting in the process of removing the turbo and had to make a quick splice with full intentions of fixing it correctly....then I forgot about it. It could be that it is leaking slightly.

But...I might not have the vacuum system on there much longer if I go to a diffrent turbo too.
 

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Discussion Starter #51 (Edited)
Buy some Amsoil ATF, you should be set with the transmission.

Noted

So, that electronic kit is essentially rebuilding the electronic module of the transmission???

It replaces all the solenoids in the tranny along with the internal harness

I like the Derale Trans pan, that is what I plan to use next time I had to change the trans fluid.

I couldn't argue with the price on amazon. I'll take some pics on install and give you an honest opinion of it when I get it on.
Answers in Red above.
 

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Well, I came to some decisions today. I am going to install an HX40WII on the truck. I actually just made an offer on one. With that comes the need for an elbow off the turbo, so I contacted a member that is selling them and am awaiting a response on that.

When I got home from work, I found that the family was leaving for a few hours so I stayed outside and poked around on the truck. I pulled the upper fan shroud and found a mound of leaves, bugs, junk in front of the radiator. This really suprised me as I had it **** and span about this time last year, and have not had any cooling problems with it.

Then I got sidetracked and decided to install some parts that have been sitting in my garage since last fall. A 97+ water pump I got for $50, brand new. A Hayden severe duty fan clutch, and a duramax plastic fan.

I started to remove some stuff to get to the water pump and ended up doing a vacuum pump-ectomy as I won't need it with the new turbo. Then after wrestling with the power steering pump bracket I got the water pump and backing plate off. Got the front of the engine all cleaned up and started working on the backing plate. I think I spent an hour trying to get all the black RTV off of that thing. I then set the new water pump on the plate to find out that both holes lined up perfect with the water pump. I have seen some examples of wps that don't line up quite right, so I was happy about this. Anywho, I went to get my permatex only to find it was hard as a rock :(

So then I bolted the duramax fan to the new clutch and called it a night and will finish up this little project tomorrow.

I need to do some searching to find out what leangth belt I need to run since I now have no vacuum pump. I believe it is supposed to be 1" shorter than what I run now. Can anyone confirm this?

The tranny pan will be here by Friday and hopefuly so will the solenoid kit so I can get that done this weekend. It would be perfect timing as the wife and kid will be out of the house quite a bit :)

Stay tuned.
 

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I used a 101" I believe on mine with no vac pump, which is about 1" shorter than stock.

Its different on the later models with the accessories on opposite sides, the 96+ years use a shorter belt.
 

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Your awesome man. I'm ready to.move forward with my truck and do a tune and some other stuff but funds are tight for me being in college and all. Next mod for me is going to be an h1c swap onto my truck. Isn't near as powerful as the hx40wii but is a good match for what I do with my truck. This thread is awesome and informing to me as I haven't pulled anything with Kayla truck yet but am dying to. Know its not going to be a powerhouse of any sorts but ready to see exactly how.she does. Great thread! Subscribed!
 

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Well, I came to some decisions today. I am going to install an HX40WII on the truck. I actually just made an offer on one. With that comes the need for an elbow off the turbo, so I contacted a member that is selling them and am awaiting a response on that.

When I got home from work, I found that the family was leaving for a few hours so I stayed outside and poked around on the truck. I pulled the upper fan shroud and found a mound of leaves, bugs, junk in front of the radiator. This really suprised me as I had it **** and span about this time last year, and have not had any cooling problems with it.

Then I got sidetracked and decided to install some parts that have been sitting in my garage since last fall. A 97+ water pump I got for $50, brand new. A Hayden severe duty fan clutch, and a duramax plastic fan.

I started to remove some stuff to get to the water pump and ended up doing a vacuum pump-ectomy as I won't need it with the new turbo. Then after wrestling with the power steering pump bracket I got the water pump and backing plate off. Got the front of the engine all cleaned up and started working on the backing plate. I think I spent an hour trying to get all the black RTV off of that thing. I then set the new water pump on the plate to find out that both holes lined up perfect with the water pump. I have seen some examples of wps that don't line up quite right, so I was happy about this. Anywho, I went to get my permatex only to find it was hard as a rock :(

So then I bolted the duramax fan to the new clutch and called it a night and will finish up this little project tomorrow.

I need to do some searching to find out what leangth belt I need to run since I now have no vacuum pump. I believe it is supposed to be 1" shorter than what I run now. Can anyone confirm this?

The tranny pan will be here by Friday and hopefuly so will the solenoid kit so I can get that done this weekend. It would be perfect timing as the wife and kid will be out of the house quite a bit :)

Stay tuned.


Hi, I removed the vac. pump on my 94 a few years ago and got a belt for a 93 model truck since they don`t have vac pumps from tha factory.Had no problems.
 

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For the weight you were hauling your truck should have done better. I've pulled 14k lbs with my '97 2500 with a 3.73 and had no trouble maintaining 65 mph in 4th gear up and down the hills on I-70 in MO - which is the same type of terrain your were driving on I-35. I only used 5th on some of the downhills. My truck is completely stock. The big difference is that I was hauling a large skidloader on a flatbed trailer which would have no where near the wind resistance your travel trailer has. Plus I know you had a hard headwind, since I live outside of Kansas City and the wind was galing all weekend.

You might just need to tow in 3rd gear with your trailer. I've got a similar Jayco trailer, about the same size as your but lighter (only one slide) at 7,500 lb. I haven't towed it with the pickup (other than Sunday to move it to get it ready to sell) but have towed it with our '01 1/2 ton Suburabn (3.73 and 5.3 V8), which has a tow rating similar to our trucks, and it would tow it fine at 65 or 70 mph but I had to be in 3rd gear the whole time - as long as I stayed in 3rd the tranny didn't overheat, but it wouldn't really stay in 4th unlesss I was on a steep downhill.

 

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Discussion Starter #57 (Edited)
I pull a large gooseneck flatbed with some weight to it from time to time and have had no trouble pulling it. I also believe the strong headwind was my biggest challenge. Either way, you can't control whether the wind is blowing in front or behind you so, i'm going to try to make my truck pull a little better in any situation.

After some bartering with an ebay seller I got the HX40WII for 265.99 shipped. It never hurts to do the "make offer" rather than "buy it now." Even if it only saves you $15 bucks. I also got the DP elbow and accesories ordered this morning. I don't expect all that stuff till next week so thank god we are back on daylight savings and sun doesn't go down at 5:30 anymore, as I'll be installing after work in the driveway. I can't wait till I get my shop :rolleyes
 

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The first will be tweaking the tunes, then dropping tranny pan to install a larger one. While I have it off I will be replacing some internals with this kit.

Then we will see how it goes on the next outing.

Edit: Does anyone have any recommendations on a larger pan for the 4l80e. I was thinking of going with this one.
That tranny kit looks like the same one I used. Easy to install.

That Derale tranny pan is the same one I used. Excellant product and very affordable compared to the cast pans.

I did the solenoid kit, new tranny filter, and larger tranny pan at the same time.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #59 (Edited)
Good to hear. Did you notice a difference in your tranny afterwards?

Which gasket did you use for the pan? Any trouble with it sealing?

Also, just to be sure do you use the same filter pn, or does it change for the deep pan?
 

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Even though I agree with what Private Pilot says, I still think a 6.5 in good condition should pull a little better than what it appears your truck is doing.
I have bone stock 2000 crewcab K3500 4x4 dually with the 6.5 /automatic trans, pulling a total weight close to 22K with 3.73 gears and stock tires. It sure helps that it is in exellent condition and low milage (50K), but my truck and fifth wheeler is both wider, higher and heavier. Except for slowing down when going uphill I have no problem staying locked up in overdrive on level roads, cruising at 1800-2000 rpm / approx. 65 mph. I have to feather the pedal all the time however, to keep it in overdrive as much as possible. I see no reason at all for wanting a lower 4.10 rear-end, I absolutely hate the exessive engine noise when I have to downshift with rpm climbing to 2200-2400, killing mpg. Mine is totally falling flat also when reaching 2500 rpm.

Even though I have no knowledge about the route you went, I can't imagine steeper hills or more demanding conditions than some of the trips I have done the last couple of years. (Up and down the mountains along the northern Norwegian coastline.)
Take a look at my website here:

Steep hills to climb for a 6.5 pulling 22K:
http://northkape.com/Geiranger/Trollstigen/Trollstigen/Trollstigen03.html
http://northkape.com/Geiranger/Geiranger/Geiranger/Geiranger-18.html
http://northkape.com/Geiranger/Geiranger/Geiranger/Geiranger-22.html

3300 mile trip to the Northcape:
http://northkape.com/home.html

Or start from the beginning to view it all if you want to:
www.northkape.com

Jan
 
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