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E83 towing on the 4.3l

E83 towing on the 4.3l

Postby JethroBodine [OP] » Oct 04 2014, 3:03am

Don't do it!!!

Whatever the secret sauce is that makes E85 give the Silverado 4.3l 10% more torque, does not translate into towing power.

Towed my 17'[8" aluminum boat with a four stroke 150 on the back a couple hundred miles on E85 today. Or I should say "tried to" because mileage dropped to 8.3mpg. (from 13.4 just driving around on E85)

Worse, the downshifting actually appeared more frequent, although I've got no way to know.
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Re: E83 towing on the 4.3l

Postby JethroBodine [OP] » Oct 04 2014, 1:17pm

Actually, "downshifting" isn't the right way to describe it.

It stayed at 3000 RPMs a lot more on E85 than with regular gas. The other times I've made this journey the tach stayed at 2100RPMs most of the time, only kicking up to 3000 on some hills.

I was surprised by the running higher RPMs.

On the mileage I had just logged a few hundred miles at 13.3mpg on E85 vs 18.4mpg I had on the previous 2000 on E10. The drop to 8.3 from the usual 10.4-12.5 I get towing is too much.
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Re: E83 towing on the 4.3l

Postby Munger59 » Oct 04 2014, 7:32pm

e85 has more btus that means a little more power but worse milage. plus its cheaper so what do you expect.
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Re: E83 towing on the 4.3l

Postby JethroBodine [OP] » Oct 05 2014, 12:07am

Munger59 wrote:e85 has more btus that means a little more power but worse milage. plus its cheaper so what do you expect.


E85 has much lower BTUs and much higher octane.

http://www.hho4free.com/gasoline_vs_ethanol.htm

The 4.3l gets 5% higher HP and 10% higher torque on E85, and you can actually feel that difference driving.

So what I expected towing was improved towing performance, less time at 3000RPMs and above.

What I got was the opposite- spent a lot of time on relatively flat road at 3000RPMs and more time at 4000RPMs. On my last trip "up north" it only kicked down to 3000RPMs a few times.

So while E85 is better for unloaded performance it appears worse at loaded performance. (to me- surprising)

Not a huge deal, as the 4.3l tows my under 3000lb boat easily enough on E10, which is available anywhere. I just thought I'd trade some mileage/fuel cost for higher performance and got lower.
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Re: E83 towing on the 4.3l

Postby Munger59 » Oct 05 2014, 8:57pm

Yeah I had it backwards. But if you are worried about towing performance why did you buy a 4.3? That's like a cruise ship with a chevy 350
04 Gmc 4x4 z71
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custom tuned, high flow cats
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Re: E83 towing on the 4.3l

Postby SilmarilS » Oct 05 2014, 9:18pm

Surely because the new 4.3 has the same performance of the previous 5.0L SBC and the 4.8L LS engine.
And it is fine for 90% of the trucks on the road that only goes grocery shopping.

People thinks you need the 6.2L to tow a quad behind their trucks.
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Re: E83 towing on the 4.3l

Postby Munger59 » Oct 05 2014, 9:26pm

i would always rather have enough power on tap for anything than be screwed and not have enough but thats just me
04 Gmc 4x4 z71
Spiral Gray
285/75 Safari Tsr
6k low/fogs, 20% tint, 07+ jump seat
custom tuned, high flow cats
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Re: E83 towing on the 4.3l

Postby JethroBodine [OP] » Oct 06 2014, 3:08am

Munger59 wrote:i would always rather have enough power on tap for anything than be screwed and not have enough but thats just me


I've bought four boats in the last 15 years, last two were 17'8" aluminum deep Vs with 150s on the back. My "anything" is being able to tow <3000lbs.

The 4.3l has 90% of the hp/torque of the 2010 5.3l I traded in on it, and tows the boat fine- with regular gas in it.

I posted this thread because I wanted to share info with fellow 4.3 owners on E85 performance. (great for driving around, abysmal for towing)

Just got back from up north, 200 miles pulling the <3000lb boat.

11.4mpg on cruise at 72mph, held it in the 1700-2100RPM range, even on most hills. Rarely downshifted to 3000RPM, never to 4000RPM. Totally different experience from the E85. I wish that stuff was the silver bullet to the "sending our $ to foreign oil producers" issue, but it isn't for towing anyway.

Bought the truck because I got a sweet deal on a loaded one, and usually keep them 3-4 years anyway. If it inconvenienced me, I'd trade it in now.
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Re: E83 towing on the 4.3l

Postby JethroBodine [OP] » Oct 06 2014, 3:30am

SilmarilS wrote:Surely because the new 4.3 has the same performance of the previous 5.0L SBC and the 4.8L LS engine.
And it is fine for 90% of the trucks on the road that only goes grocery shopping.

People thinks you need the 6.2L to tow a quad behind their trucks.


The new 4.3l V6 is a better engine the last years 4.8l V8.

The 4.3 makes it's 305lbs torque at 3900RPM, last year's 4.8l made it's 305lbs torque at 4600RPM. Same power at lower RPM is always better.

For some perspective on the power, the 2000 5.3l Z71 had 285hp (same as current 4.3l V6) and 325lbs torque at 4000RPM. (20lbs more torque than the current 4.3l V6)

http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/review ... erado.html

Not that long ago, we were all driving trucks with pretty similar power to the 4.3l and that much power was the thing to have for towing.
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Re: E83 towing on the 4.3l

Postby SilmarilS » Oct 06 2014, 3:48am

I know... If I had to change trucks tomorrow, it would be the V6.
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