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Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Postby solfe84 [OP] » Oct 14 2020, 4:27am

What is your experience towing with a lifted truck? I'm not trying to re-hash old info that is everywhere. Just lookin for folks already towing with a lifted truck and how it has affected them (and pics if you got em)!


I'm looking to do a 4.5 inch CST lift on my 1500, 3.42 gears, and 34" tires but I'm a little nervous about the towing experience. (I have 28ft, 4800# trailer). I know I'll lose some power, higher center of gravity, braking, etc, etc. I've read all the forums/articles (at least that I can find) and know that lifting doesn't improve towing but usually those forums/articles lack real work input from people already doing it.


Thanks!
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Re: Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Postby 19trax95 » Oct 14 2020, 12:57pm

I had no issues at all with my 17. I had the CST 4.5 kit, with their coilovers. Final height was right at 5" over stock. I had and add a leaf in the back with fox 2.0 resi shocks.

I ran 33x12.5r20 tires.

Truck towed fine. Was really pleased with how the add a leaf and shock combo handled as well. Heaviest I pulled was a skidsteer, where the machine and trailer combo was likely over my rating, or right up to it. But the truck did fine. Got it moving no issue, and was able to stop it no issue.

Now I wouldn't want to do that everyday or jump on the highway with it by any means. But I wouldn't want to do that with the truck in stock form either.

Your biggest issue in this case isn't the lift, it's the tire size and gear ratio. Had I kept my truck, I was going to go with 4.10 gears with 33s instead of the 3.42 I had.
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Re: Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Postby Bradley21sanders » Oct 14 2020, 2:10pm

19trax95 wrote:Your biggest issue in this case isn't the lift, it's the tire size and gear ratio. Had I kept my truck, I was going to go with 4.10 gears with 33s instead of the 3.42 I had.


This ^^ lift part will be fine

Although a little older than yours this still applies to your case.

I have a 2009 1500 with the 5.3 and 6speed trans with 33s and the 3.42s. Towing my 5000# trailer even in tow haul mode it would gear hunt and not seem to keep the speed constant through even small rolling hills.

So I went to 4.11s and wow what a difference. If you are running larger tires a lower gears make all the difference to me.

I would recommend going ahead and replacing the carrier.. I ran those 4.11s for 80k miles and then the carrier spider gear decided to come loose some which I think led to the broken pinion tooth.

I now have 4.56s and an Eaton true trac, the true trac is a much nicer helical gear style diff. If you dont plan to go any larger on the tire size stick with 4.10 or 4.11 though.
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Re: Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Postby CT2500HD » Oct 14 2020, 3:03pm

Drivetrain stress. Big tires are already getting close to exceeding the load/torque capacity of your axle shafts, driveshaft joints, and differential on a 1500.
Tow with that, adds more stress.
Less of a concern with 2500HD & 3500HD, but bottom-line is that a lifted truck pushing much bigger than OE tires is not going to have the tow performance of how it came from the factory.
Handling is probably the biggest concern. Big tires and towing with the same OE brakes is not going to handle an unexpected stop as well.
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Re: Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Postby ferraiolo1 » Oct 14 2020, 6:46pm

Run 33s


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Re: Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Postby solfe84 [OP] » Oct 15 2020, 12:10am

19trax95 wrote:I had no issues at all with my 17. I had the CST 4.5 kit, with their coilovers. Final height was right at 5" over stock. I had and add a leaf in the back with fox 2.0 resi shocks.

I ran 33x12.5r20 tires.

Truck towed fine. Was really pleased with how the add a leaf and shock combo handled as well. Heaviest I pulled was a skidsteer, where the machine and trailer combo was likely over my rating, or right up to it. But the truck did fine. Got it moving no issue, and was able to stop it no issue.

Now I wouldn't want to do that everyday or jump on the highway with it by any means. But I wouldn't want to do that with the truck in stock form either.

Your biggest issue in this case isn't the lift, it's the tire size and gear ratio. Had I kept my truck, I was going to go with 4.10 gears with 33s instead of the 3.42 I had.


Thanks for the great info! Do the coil overs add some height to the lift? I promised my wife it wouldn’t be any higher than 4.5 inches...

I’ll Definitely plan on using the add a leaf as well. Great advice. Did your truck squat when towing heavy even with the AAl? I don’t want to be the guy severely nose high with a trailer hooked up.
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Re: Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Postby solfe84 [OP] » Oct 15 2020, 12:12am

Bradley21sanders wrote:
19trax95 wrote:Your biggest issue in this case isn't the lift, it's the tire size and gear ratio. Had I kept my truck, I was going to go with 4.10 gears with 33s instead of the 3.42 I had.


This ^^ lift part will be fine

Although a little older than yours this still applies to your case.

I have a 2009 1500 with the 5.3 and 6speed trans with 33s and the 3.42s. Towing my 5000# trailer even in tow haul mode it would gear hunt and not seem to keep the speed constant through even small rolling hills.

So I went to 4.11s and wow what a difference. If you are running larger tires a lower gears make all the difference to me.

I would recommend going ahead and replacing the carrier.. I ran those 4.11s for 80k miles and then the carrier spider gear decided to come loose some which I think led to the broken pinion tooth.

I now have 4.56s and an Eaton true trac, the true trac is a much nicer helical gear style diff. If you dont plan to go any larger on the tire size stick with 4.10 or 4.11 though.


Thanks for the great advice. Do re gears tend to hold up in the long term? My truck has 75k and I’d like to make it to 200k+
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Re: Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Postby 19trax95 » Oct 15 2020, 12:16am

The coilovers won't add any noticeable height. I had mine adjusted up slightly just to match the height of the rear with the add a leaf.

My truck was less than 1/4" higher in the rear when I was done with it.

At the lowest setting, the coilovers will be the same height as the strut spacers within like 1/4" or so.

As far as squat while towing, since I was so close to level, it didn't take a ton of weight to make the rear lower than the front. But it was never so bad that it looked ridiculous.

I never took pics of the truck while towing with the coilovers and add a leaf, but here is one with the strut spacers and just the 3" block with factory springs. The same machine and trailer with the add a leaf and coilovers, it sagged less and felt way better while driving.

As you can see, I had to load the machine backwards, which got me a lot of tongue weight. More than you'd normally want with a setup like that, but it was the only way with such a short trailer. Image

As far as the re gear goes, it will last as long as any factory setup, as long as good bearings are used, and it is setup properly
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Re: Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Postby solfe84 [OP] » Oct 15 2020, 4:54am

Bradley21sanders wrote:
19trax95 wrote:I have a 2009 1500 with the 5.3 and 6speed trans with 33s and the 3.42s. Towing my 5000# trailer even in tow haul mode it would gear hunt and not seem to keep the speed constant through even small rolling hills.


I now have 4.56s and an Eaton true trac, the true trac is a much nicer helical gear style diff. If you dont plan to go any larger on the tire size stick with 4.10 or 4.11 though.


Thank you! Great real world info.
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Re: Anyone tow with a 4-6 inch lift? Real world input?

Postby solfe84 [OP] » Oct 15 2020, 4:56am

19trax95 wrote:The coilovers won't add any noticeable height. I had mine adjusted up slightly just to match the height of the rear with the add a leaf.

My truck was less than 1/4" higher in the rear when I was done with it.

At the lowest setting, the coilovers will be the same height as the strut spacers within like 1/4" or so.

As far as squat while towing, since I was so close to level, it didn't take a ton of weight to make the rear lower than the front. But it was never so bad that it looked ridiculous.

I never took pics of the truck while towing with the coilovers and add a leaf, but here is one with the strut spacers and just the 3" block with factory springs. The same machine and trailer with the add a leaf and coilovers, it sagged less and felt way better while driving.

As you can see, I had to load the machine backwards, which got me a lot of tongue weight. More than you'd normally want with a setup like that, but it was the only way with such a short trailer. Image

As far as the re gear goes, it will last as long as any factory setup, as long as good bearings are used, and it is setup properly


Trax, Thanks again. Awesome info!

Can I ask you why you ended up selling your truck?
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