Chevrolet Suburban 3500 Questions

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calsdad

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Just a guess, but since they didn't make very many of them and only sold them new to fleet customers for "upfitting." Gm probably didn't bother going through the j2807 towing tests to determine an actual gcwr for them. They probably just used the regular (1500) suburban gcwr hence the high payload but really low towing capacity.

Bingo - that makes total sense.

I did some searching for GM literature to see what the GCWR is for the "standard" 2017 Suburban - and found the Chevrolet 2017 Towing and Trailering guide:


In section 13, Colorado , Tahoe , Suburban , etc - it says that the Tahoe/Suburban with the EcoTec 5.3: V8 with Max Trailering Package - has a GCWR of 14,000 pounds.

So with the GVWR of the Suburban 3500 being 11,000 pounds - that gives you the 3000 pound tow rating.
 
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Bigburb3500

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I remember the older GMT900 2500 suburbans had a mechanical cooling fan, but I remember seeing a picture of the 3500 Suburban using electric cooling fans. Is this true, or was it a picture showing a normal Suburban?
Also, do the 3500 have beefier torsion bars? I *think* some have the 9.5" 14 bolt rear ring and pinion, and some have the 10.5 14 bolt.
It has the electric cooling fans and has the 10.5” rear end with 4.10. She’s beefy. Not sure about the torsion bars.
 
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Bigburb3500

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That actually makes sense - because the tow rating they give for the truck doesn't really add up based on the components they used to put that truck together. For instance, I have the GM brochure for the 2015 HD trucks saved on my computer - and the GCWR (combined weight rating) for a crew cab pickup with the Vortec 6.0L V8 gas , with a 4.10 gear ratio - is: 20,500 pounds. That 3500 Suburban has the same drivetrain and has the 4.10 gear ratio if I remember correctly - so it should have a similar GCWR. Only having a 3500 or whatever it is pound tow rating just makes no sense at all.

I'd have to go back and start digging thru the GM brochures to find it , but GM at one point was selling the HD trucks with either the 3.73 or 4.10 gear ratios available - and 4.10 trucks had a sizeable increase in tow capacity rating over the 3.73.
I agree 100% - this was not a truck designed to tow, but rather “haul” stuff around. Armor or large command center style items.
But seeing as I do not live in “that part of town” and do not been be overly concerned I am more interested in the towing.

I think generally speaking we are all coming to the same conclusion: Without any upfit packages this is pretty similar to a comparable 3500. It seems the largest limiting factor is the hitch at this point, and getting the truck to a scale would be helpful.
 

calsdad

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According to the Chevrolet 2003 brochure for the Suburban, the 2500 with the 8.1L Vortec, 4.10 gear ratio had a GCWR of 19000 pounds and a max trailer weight of 12,000 pounds. The 8100 V8 gas was rated at 340hp @ 4200 rpm with 455 lb ft of torque.

I'd have to go lookup what a 2500/3500 pickup with the L96 6.0L and a 4.10 gear ratio is rated at for towing to get a more precise idea of what your 3500 Suburban should be capable of towing. But the above numbers from the 2003 should give you some idea.

Bare minimum I think what you're looking at is at least 10K in towing capability.
 
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Bigburb3500

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Bingo - that makes total sense.

I did some searching for GM literature to see what the GCWR is for the "standard" 2017 Suburban - and found the Chevrolet 2017 Towing and Trailering guide:


In section 13, Colorado , Tahoe , Suburban , etc - it says that the Tahoe/Suburban with the EcoTec 5.3: V8 with Max Trailering Package - has a GCWR of 14,000 pounds.

So with the GVWR of the Suburban 3500 being 11,000 pounds - that gives you the 3000 pound tow rating.
I am not sure I follow you here. GVWR is different than GCWR. I found this for a 2018 Suburban LT on MotorTrend, GVWR is only 7500lbs. A comparable Silverado 3500 has a GVWR of 10700-12000. KBB shows it at 11600. I think @Doubeleive is right, to really figure out some of these figures a true Cat-weight will help a lot. In the end this truck seems to be lining up pretty close to the Silverado 3500, but was expected to has upfit packages on it not tow 30ft campers/boats.


 
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Bigburb3500

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According to the Chevrolet 2003 brochure for the Suburban, the 2500 with the 8.1L Vortec, 4.10 gear ratio had a GCWR of 19000 pounds and a max trailer weight of 12,000 pounds. The 8100 V8 gas was rated at 340hp @ 4200 rpm with 455 lb ft of torque.

I'd have to go lookup what a 2500/3500 pickup with the L96 6.0L and a 4.10 gear ratio is rated at for towing to get a more precise idea of what your 3500 Suburban should be capable of towing. But the above numbers from the 2003 should give you some idea.

Bare minimum I think what you're looking at is at least 10K in towing capability.
It makes 360hp and 380ftlbs per the spec sheet. The 3500 Silverado’s rating is 13k-14klbs towing.

I really appreciate you chiming in on my thread. I think the hitch is the major limiting factor and I found a place that will either order a higher rated hitch or will custom fabricate one to ensure it can hold whatever I hang off the bumper.
 

calsdad

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I am not sure I follow you here. GVWR is different than GCWR. I found this for a 2018 Suburban LT on MotorTrend, GVWR is only 7500lbs. A comparable Silverado 3500 has a GVWR of 10700-12000. KBB shows it at 11600. I think @Doubeleive is right, to really figure out some of these figures a true Cat-weight will help a lot. In the end this truck seems to be lining up pretty close to the Silverado 3500, but was expected to has upfit packages on it not tow 30ft campers/boats.



The Chevrolet towing document I referenced - gave a GCWR for the 2017 Suburban as being 14,000 pounds. Your 3500 Suburban has a GVWR of 11,000 pounds - ergo ..... what's leftover from that 14,000 lb GCWR - is 3000 pounds - which is how you end up with the 3000 pound FACTORY tow rating for your 3500.

Basically it sounds like GM punted on coming up with an actual tow rating for the 3500 Suburban - likely because whatever spec came down from .gov for what they needed out of a Suburban that can be up-armored - had no requirements for an actual tow rating. So - as 15Burban said: they likely didn't bother running the tow rating tests and since the "regular" Suburban is already certified to have the 14,000 lb GCWR - and the 3500 Suburban has a rated 11,000 lb GVWR - you've got 3000 pounds of extra capacity to do something with - so they just throw that under tow rating.

Honestly I think people are taking the factory ratings on the 3500 too "seriously". Like I said before - look at the components used in the truck and look at what they're rated for in other trucks the very same components get used in - by going thru that you can come up with a realistic rating of what the 3500 is going to be capable of towing.

For example: (from the GM brochure for 2010 Silverado)
L96 6.0L engine with 4.10 gearing in a 2010 Silverado 3500HD SRW Crew Cab 2WD with 8ft box: Max trailer weight 12,200 lbs

2003 Suburban with the 8.1L gas V8 and a 4.10 rear end ratio tow rating is 12,000 pounds.

Now you've got a FACTORY rated tow rating on the exact same drivetrain that is your truck of 12,200 pounds , and a FACTORY tow rating for pretty much the exact same frame that is in your truck of 12,000 pounds - ergo - your truck should have a realistic tow capability of right around 12,000 pounds.
 

Doubeleive

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yep i would fill up the tank, hell it might have 2 or the reserve anyway, then get a front axle, whole truck and rear axle weight and go from there. with the 4.10 it "should" be able to tow more than a 3.73, presuming its not heavy as hell. if it's not upfitted I don't see what adds 3500 lbs to a stock truck
 

15burban

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What do you plan on towing? Sorry if I missed it. Also some hitches have a higher rating when using a weight distribution hitch. Just a quick look on etrailer the first replacement hitch for my truck says 10k max but also 12k max with a weight distribution hitch.
 

calsdad

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I looked thru all of the GM Suburban and Yukon XL brochure PDF's I have saved - and none of them seemed to list a curb weight.

So I went and did a google search - and it says the curb weight for a 2010 Suburban 2500 is 6215 to 6551 pounds.

It says a 2010 Suburban 1500 is 5846 to 6024 pounds.

So it looks like the difference between the 2010 Suburban models is 369 to 527 pounds.

You could probably just round this off to 500 pounds difference for sake of simplicity.

A search for the 2018 Suburban curb weight says it's 5808 pounds. So not really much difference between a 2010 and a 2018

Since the engine, transmission, rear axle, and the frame are pretty much exactly the same between the 2010 Suburban 2500 and the 2018 Suburban 3500 - just add 500 pounds to GM's listed curb weight for the 2018 "1500" Suburban and that should put you pretty damn close to what the actual curb weight is for the 2018 3500.
 

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