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Thinking of a New or Newer 4.3 Chevy 1500 - Towing and DD

Thinking of a New or Newer 4.3 Chevy 1500 - Towing and DD

Postby Never-Hada-Chev [OP] » Jan 22 2020, 3:15pm

Was suggested to look into these. I have never had a GM product of any sort, but this is definitely Chevy country and everyone swears by them. Mainly , I need a DD as I drive 18-20K a year. Something not terrible on gas. The 3/4 and 1 ton trucks seem to top out at about 15MPG. I would prefer to at least crack 20 empty on longer trips! I also drive like a granny most of the time.

I priced out an extended cab (not full crew), 4x4 WT model with the 4.3 and trailering package. Price seems great! I'm a base model kinda guy. No need for anything fancy. But I do need 4 regularly opening doors, not the suicide doors like the Fords have. I don't trust Chrysler products farther than I can push or tow them. Hence why I tow my jeep around.

I tow a Jeep on a trailer about 2500 miles a year, but that will be going up or down depending on how much is going on. My Jeep on my trailer is a hair under 6K pounds. Trailer is custom built and designed to be light and the Jeep is a unibody cherokee. I should be within the limits of the truck. It seems that the 4.3 trucks don't come with a trans cooler, is that something I would be able to add in without being harassed by a dealer? A good stacked plate and fin cooler isn't that much.


I currently tow with a very tired 230K mile triton 5.4, so giving up some ... or a lot ... of speed on the interstates towing is pretty normal to me. Gas mileage towing the jeep is between 9 and 11 so that's what I would be hoping for out of another truck.

Anyone think this would work? How well would it work? I know a 5.3 isn't much more money and would get the same mileage empty and better towing but I don't think I can justify that extra.

I may consider a lease. Easier to get out of the truck if I don't like it or if my hobbies change and I'm not towing stuff around all the time.
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Re: Thinking of a New or Newer 4.3 Chevy 1500 - Towing and D

Postby 19trax95 » Jan 22 2020, 3:20pm

Dont bother with the V6 or the 4 cylinder. They are a waste imo

The newer v8 trucks can achieve 20mpg or more on the highway if driven right and you don't lift them. Heck I got 19mpg in my 17 with the 5.3 with a 4.5" lift and 33" tires.

If its mpg your after, look into the new 3.0 diesel. It is pulling some incredible real world numbers. I'm talking north of 25mpg on the highway easy. Some are reporting nearly 30mpg.

Plus you got the power still to tow without issues.
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Re: Thinking of a New or Newer 4.3 Chevy 1500 - Towing and D

Postby Never-Hada-Chev [OP] » Jan 22 2020, 3:52pm

It's the few $k premium to get into the V8 that I'm not a huge fan of. Even going used the 4.3 trucks are significantly cheaper. It looks like the previous generation trucks have an actual low range and a transfer case lever on the WT models. That's a desired feature for sure.

The diesel version would be nice, but I am not a fan at all of the new modern emissions electronics diesels. Don't trust the stupid thing to randomly derate in the middle of nowhere and the repairs on them are astronomical.
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Re: Thinking of a New or Newer 4.3 Chevy 1500 - Towing and D

Postby 19trax95 » Jan 22 2020, 4:06pm

I dont think youd be happy towing with either if the smaller motors.

The initial little extra to get a V8 will pay itself back when you sell it. No one wants the V6 or 4 banger. Especially on the used market. Which is why trade in values on those trucks is lower as is sale price.

Dealers around me dont even order the V6 trucks anymore. It's all v8. I have seen one or two of the new 4 cylinder trucks, and one diesel. The dealers say they have more diesels coming because they are picking up in demand.
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Re: Thinking of a New or Newer 4.3 Chevy 1500 - Towing and D

Postby Never-Hada-Chev [OP] » Jan 22 2020, 6:12pm

I wouldn't go for the turbo 4, that's for sure. GTDI engines really don't get good gas mileage outside of the EPA Test cycle. Which is why they are popular.

I currently tow with a very tired 5.4 Triton and I'm perfectly fine with the speed. I can't imagine a 4.3 being much worse. 305 lb-ft for the 4.3 and 330 lb-ft for my 5.4. The weight between the trucks is probably pretty close too but with more gears on the transmission.

4.3s seem to be quite the bargain used, though. Depending on price I would consider a 5.3 truck though. When did GM cut the 6 speed off of the 5.3? I don't want an 8 or 10 speed.
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Re: Thinking of a New or Newer 4.3 Chevy 1500 - Towing and D

Postby 19trax95 » Jan 22 2020, 6:19pm

If your going used, most definitely does not pay to get the smaller motors.

New they are a tad cheaper.

You would never get me to buy anything other than a v8 in a full size truck. I don't care what the power rating is number wise.

Not to mention the 4.3 does not get any better fuel milage, if not worse in some cases than the 5.3. The v8 has the power to allow the trans to stay in a lower gear which yields lower rpm and better fuel milage. And when towing, the same applies. The v8 will allow the truck to stay in a lower gear whereas the V6 will really be screaming.

Get what you please, but you'll be sorry if you dont get one of the v8 motors. Sure the purchase price may be $1-2k lower, but that peanuts in my opinion when buying a truck. Have enough power to do what you want, or have just enough or not enough. You'll call in the end.
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Re: Thinking of a New or Newer 4.3 Chevy 1500 - Towing and D

Postby dRewville » Jan 22 2020, 6:30pm

If you werent towing, I'd say yeah the v6 would be fine.
idc what they advertise, the 4 and 6 cylinder were not made for towing.
save up and find a used 5.3 ....you wont go wrong with it and can sleep knowing you can pull around simple stuff.

beyond that, if you still feel that the 4 / 6 cylinder is necessary....then you might as well forget everyones post here, because no one will agree with ya
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Thinking of a New or Newer 4.3 Chevy 1500 - Towing and DD

Postby ferraiolo1 » Jan 22 2020, 6:32pm

Also the v6 in the real world doesn’t get much better mpg than the 5.3 anyway.

6 speed was used till 2018 on the lower trim model trucks.

Few other variations where it wasn’t used but they won’t apply to you.




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Re: Thinking of a New or Newer 4.3 Chevy 1500 - Towing and D

Postby skushmer » Feb 15 2020, 6:25am

I have a 2wd 4.3 and have drug my Jeep from home in Tampa Florida to Moab, UT, TN multiple times, AL multiple times, and all over on a 18 ft steel deck car hauler. The only downfall is oil temperature will climb if you hold it over 3700 rpm for a long time. I monitor it on my tablet with an OBD2 dongle and back off when it gets close to 260 (sump temp is way lower, the sensor it at the hottest point). I let 'error scream otherwise when needed. It will not hold 70 pulling my Jeep over 2000ft elevation, but I don't care. Going over the continental divide, I had to back down to 50-55 on the long hills over 6000ft. I have 105k on it now and am headed to Harlan, KY next month to go rock crawling with my Jeep, no worries. I've also drug my boat to the Keys multiple times and it drags worse than the Jeep due to aero on the t-top. 11 MPG to Utah and Back with the Jeep.
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