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CreeperSleeper 03-05-2009 05:05 PM

Beefing up the tow rig...
Okay, I know everybody on here is going to say sell it and get a deisel or something of that nature, but I have found myself in a financial place were I am stuck with a 1996 Chevy Tahoe LT as my daily driver and tow rig. It has a Vortec 5.7l in her with a class III hitch and (I believe) 3.54:1 gears...

I don't want to dump a ton of money into this truck as some day I would love to own a real tow rig again. However, what do you guys recommend to make this more tow friendly? I know that it needs overloads of some sort (any recommendations?) and a trailer brake controller (Again needing recommendations). I will also be doing some mild bolt ons to increase power. Any help will be apprieciated.

wcjp 03-05-2009 10:43 PM

For overloads you could look into SuperSprings. For brake controller I like the Prodigy. Found mine on Ebay for considerably cheaper than Camping World. Don't forget to downshift/turn off OD while towing. Also, recommend a good tranny cooler. Get some good tires for the towrig.

Big K 03-06-2009 09:52 AM

I second the Prodigy. Best I've used.

Perhaps airbags in place of overloads?

Weight distributing hitch is a must.

Make certain them trailer brakes are in top notch condition.

CreeperSleeper 03-06-2009 12:30 PM

Thanks for the replies. I would rather do overloads than airbags just because of the price... However, if they are that much better, I could justify it. What brand overload or airbag systems are being used?

wcjp 03-07-2009 11:39 AM

I'm using Pacbrake airbags on my 3/4ton Dodge. The literature says they're the best. On my application they were a complete bolt on. Installed the air schraeder valve in the driver rear wheel well.

Big K 03-08-2009 09:23 PM

Firestone "Ride-Rite" has been well spoken of.

I hate overload "slap"...


Merrick Graves 03-09-2009 12:29 AM

Us'ta have a 96' Tahoe. All it needed was a Brake controller and a weight dist. hitch. It towed a YJ on a trailer all over the Northwest and Southwest. Kinda slow going at times.

The weight dist. hitch completly does away with the need for airbags or overloads. Why make the rear able to carry more weight then tighten up the weight dist hitch and remove the weight??

The only problem this Tahoe ever had (sold at 215K miles) that came from towing was it went thru an outer axle bearing (proabaly the high mileage did it in).

If I were to do anything over again it would be to beef the rear axle by replacing the 10 bolt with a 12 or 14 bolt. That's all you would maybe need to do. We put 100k hard miles on the rig. Darn good tow rig for what we spent on it.

CreeperSleeper 03-09-2009 02:33 PM

The only problem with a weight dist. hitch is I don't have my own trailer... I borrow them for the time being. I also found a 3/4ton Chev that was wrecked. I can get it for $400 and it looks like all the running gear is good. Something to think about.

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