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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm looking to increase my mpg and be able to tow better. I have an 2001 Tahoe with a 5.3 sitting on 35's. I have 3.73 gears and towing sucks! The truck doesn't make power where I want it too.
I'm not looking to spend a hole lot of money, also it is my DD however I only drive it about 15 miles a day and that's all side streets. Also I would like to increase my mpg slightly, hoping for 10+? (I only tow a little jet boat with it and can't get better than 6-7 doing it).

I have a broken exhaust bolt at the moment and thinking headers, I've looked at many different ones and can't really understand much difference (keep in mind I live in Cali).
I'm debating on getting the arid jr (because from what I can tell the stock air box intake is good it's just the ribbed tube that robs all the power).
I'm not set on the fact that I need to swap gears yet, mostly because I don't want to lose even more mpg.
What else am I missing that I could be looking at? Opinions on thoughts? I tried looking for other threads on this stuff and either missed it or the truck was set up differently.


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Discussion Starter #2
Oh I also have a slight overheating problem, I never actually overheat but it heats up to 245 or so. I have a 3" body lift if that makes a difference at all.


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My wife drives a 05 Tahoe Z71 with a 5.3, Black Bear tune, 3" body lift, keys, 4.56s and 35"s.
Its currently the tow pig and it does very well. It gets between 12-14mpg depending how how she drives it.
sounds like you have some issues to fix but once they are fixed some gears will help you gain mpg and really wake that thing back up
 

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I changed from 3.73's to 5.13 and gained 4 MPG (14.4 Hwy) on 33" tires. You think you will lose MPG but if the motor is lugging because of low RPM your not getting good gas mileage.

I would change gears and get a tune. 4.56 is most common gear that people use with 35" tires. I love my 5.13's but my camed 6.0 likes higher RPM then your 5.3
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Really, sounds like my thoughts are gears are incorrect. I guess I'll have to do some more research then.


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:lol: ^
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lol at this thread and ur username

Yes yes I know, I really don't care about mpg. I really care about making it to my destination without having to fill up. And I surely don't want to spend over $1200 to get an oversized tank that only gets me 4 more gallons.


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If you don't care about your mpg, but you care about not having to fill up? :insane2:
 

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change gears !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

you went from a stock tire and rim combo 70-85lbs per corner to 35s and rim prolly 120-150 pending on tire and rim combo to start with . that's a lot of rotating weight you just added x 4. 75 x 4= 300 125 x 4=500 200 extra pounds and that's on the light side of this equation. then you went from a 30.5" tire to a 35" tire. LOADS of diff.
my 02 1500hd with 3.73s I went from a 265/75-16 up 1 size to 285/75-16 and lost 3 mpg. just by the tire swap alone
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you don't care about your mpg, but you care about not having to fill up? :insane2:

No I care about being the only one that has to stop and fill up short of my destination, which is on average 210-250 miles away. Or when I run out of gas in the middle of no where because there isn't any station around... Day to day stuff I love driving it!
And I'm not looking for world changing here, I'm looking for 10 mpg or a reasonable cheaper way to fit more fuel.


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Discussion Starter #12
So headers... I'm in a Cali and not looking to make it a speed truck. I'm leaning toward a set for shorties. What does everything think of the super cheapy ones on eBay? Or would I be better off with a Borla or JBA set?


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Don't waste money on Shorties, The ebay LT are fine but I had one hell of a time getting the passenger side in. After 3 hours of two guys pounding,banging Modifying fire wall got it to fall in. Then the OFY I got with my kit was a PITA and had to be welded to Y anyways as those flanges are cheap and leaked.

I did see somewhere some suggested Camaro headers as the huge the motor better and are easy to install but I cant confirm. Maybe someone else will step in here.
 

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What's ur budget? Gears, cam, FBO.... Everything will help. Cam and stall with full exhaust and a tune will work wonders. Gears will as well. A lot depends on bank....
 

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Don't waste money on Shorties, The ebay LT are fine but I had one hell of a time getting the passenger side in. After 3 hours of two guys pounding,banging Modifying fire wall got it to fall in. Then the OFY I got with my kit was a PITA and had to be welded to Y anyways as those flanges are cheap and leaked.

I did see somewhere some suggested Camaro headers as the huge the motor better and are easy to install but I cant confirm. Maybe someone else will step in here.



X 2 shorties are a waste. And really? I had a pain the 1st time now I come in from the bottom can install a set in 30 mins as long as the manifold bolts come out smoothly ;)
 

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What's ur budget? Gears, cam, FBO.... Everything will help. Cam and stall with full exhaust and a tune will work wonders. Gears will as well. A lot depends on bank....

I can get the front and rear gears done for $1000 (with a locker) so I'm saving for that. I would really like to not spend more than $400-600 on other stuff right now. Being that I have a broken bolt I was going to do headers first.
Are there any Cali smog legal longtubes? I'd like to just do the work once and be done. Not have to worry about it.
Also if I go longtubes I'd need a y-pipe and a cats right? Plus additional welding to fit, because they won't just directly bolt on.


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I can get the front and rear gears done for $1000 (with a locker) so I'm saving for that. I would really like to not spend more than $400-600 on other stuff right now. Being that I have a broken bolt I was going to do headers first.
Are there any Cali smog legal longtubes? I'd like to just do the work once and be done. Not have to worry about it.
Also if I go longtubes I'd need a y-pipe and a cats right? Plus additional welding to fit, because they won't just directly bolt on.


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In Cali there is no legal modification of oem exhaust period. But def not exhaust manifolds. If you're deleting cats it's no good. If you move cats, it's no good. And shortys and high flow cats are a waste if money. Just fix your bolt and buy gears.
 

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Go for thorley tri-y's with the dual air ports for 99-01 models, they have a carb number too. I have them on my truck, didn't notice much SOTP but I can tell the truck operates at lower rpm cruising now so I know it's working easier. You might want to find someone to "pass" the visual though. I had to move my cats back maybe an inch or so, so I just had a new y pipe built with the factory cats installed as close to the collectors as possible


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The gear change is what you really need due to the bigger tires. You're currently running a gear ratio of 3.25:1 with the stock 3:73:1 gears, so you should go with a 4.56 and it'll equate out to a 3.97:1 with a 35" tall tire. And a tune will help A LOT too. And don't waste you're money on shorty headers they flow pretty close to the stock manifolds.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sounds like a pretty wide fix the bolt and save for gears, see I'm glad I asked because I was thinking headers, intake, and a tune. Then some where later get gears.
Thank you all


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