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iceracer
iceracer Dork
9/16/10 3:54 p.m.

I have towed all over the NE summer and winter with my Liberty, towing app. 4K lbs. for 8 years. Never a problem. Cruised nicely in OD at 65. Gas mileage ran from 13 to 15 towing, gets 19+ on the highway at 70+ when not towing. Trailer brakes are essential, but have towed with out. Added Air Lifts to keep it more level not really needed. After a few problems when it was new it has since been very reliable.

Vigo
Vigo HalfDork
9/16/10 6:01 p.m.

I wouldnt doubt a liberty is a lot safer to tow with than a cherokee. The brakes and stability probably reflect the fact that a liberty is 1000 lb heavier than a base cherokee.

failboat
failboat New Reader
9/16/10 9:14 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote: All GM Truck engines are referred to as a "Vortec" since 1996.

Seems you guys are referring to V8's only but figured I should point out the 4.3 V6 also was also called "Vortec", even a few years earlier than 1996. I had a 1994 G20 3/4 van with a 4.3L Vortec. Never did tow with it, it slipped bad in reverse since the day I bought it and figured the day i hooked up a trailer was the day the transmission would explode.

Currently planning on outfitting the Grand Marquis for tow duty, hitch, airbags for the rear if I feel i need them, extra coolers from a P71

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
9/16/10 9:25 p.m.

Actually the 4.3 was first. 1988! Had to do with the combustion chamber design. I was blown away the first time I drove a Vortec 4.3... easily outperformed my late 70's carbed 350.

As far as I can tell, a completely positive development... compared to their "standard" counterparts, Vortec engines tend to have more toruqe, HP, and better mileage. The difference in a TBI 5.7 and a Vortec 5.7 is astounding. (acknowleging differences other than just combustion chambers...)

HiTempguy
HiTempguy HalfDork
9/16/10 9:33 p.m.
wcelliot wrote: and a Vortec 5.7 is astounding.

Preachin' to the choir man. As a truck motor, much better than the 5.3L gutless wonder.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/17/10 10:10 a.m.
HiTempguy wrote:
wcelliot wrote: and a Vortec 5.7 is astounding.
Preachin' to the choir man. As a truck motor, much better than the 5.3L gutless wonder.

What about the 5.3 vortec? Is it a POS compared to the 5.7 or are you comparing it to a non vortec 5.3? I dont know enough about these motors.

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
9/17/10 10:31 a.m.

I don't think there ever was a non-Vortec 5.3.

I currently have a 5.3 Vortec (Avalanche) which replaced a G500 which replaced two 5.7 Vortecs (Surburbans).

The 5.3 has more peak power than the 5.7 (and likes to wind tighter) but has less low end torque. Unladen (likely the way most people use these trucks) I prefer the 5.3... which drives suprisingly like the G500 engine.

However, add any significant load and the 5.7 is vastly superior over either due to the low end torque.

AND, unladen mileage was about 4mpg better (18 vs 14) on the 5.7 than the 5.3 (which I just can't understand)... though towing mileage seems similar. (G500 mileage was also about 14 as well... but really really bad towing)

I do like the new "tow" setting of the 5.3 transmission which allows me to tow in OD. It's well programmed and is likely why the towing mileage is as good as it is... always towed in 3 with the 5.7

Dad has a 454 Vortec (Suburban) which replaced a 454 TBI (Dually). The power differential there is stunning and the mileage is significantly better with the Vortec. Went from "really horrible" to only "horrible". ;-)

miatame
miatame Reader
9/17/10 10:40 a.m.

I'd like to have a pickup but 95% of the time an SUV works better for me.

I have to decide what I'm going to replace my Cherokee with. I want the same or better mileage (not a hard goal) and great towing.

05-10 Grand Cherokee Hemi or 07+ Chevy Tahoe are at the top of my list. Tahoe is much larger in and out but the Jeep can tow more believe it or not and it can really go offroad. If I could find an '09/'10 HEMI GC at a fair price I think I'd be happy.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy HalfDork
9/17/10 10:51 a.m.
dean1484 wrote: What about the 5.3 vortec? Is it a POS compared to the 5.7 or are you comparing it to a non vortec 5.3? I dont know enough about these motors.

Actually, the 5.3L is relatively fine. The issue is that when they brought the 5.3L in, from 99-03 they used throttle cables. Decent enough motors. The 4.8L's were REALLY good. Then, they brought drive-by-wire in for '04 and later, and put in a whole bunch of torque limiting ECU code. Stupid things like you can only get max power in 2nd gear above 3k rpm (nowhere else), throttle is limited to 15% from a stop for XX seconds (which is why tip in on them sucks, then you give more gas and finally they LUNGE forward).

By simply paying $500 for HPTuners (essentially makes any newer GM ECU a standalone ECU from what I can tell), you can remove all of the torque limiting badness, picking up 2-3USMPG and get all of your low end torque back. Still not as good as the 5.7L, but I think that is a displacement/cam thing. We've fiddled around extensively with the program (we being my father and I) and love it. Its the only way to truly get all of the power a stock '04 and newer GM vehicle has. Even Camaro's have this stuff.

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
9/17/10 10:52 a.m.

I'd like to have a pickup but 95% of the time an SUV works better for me.

Exactly why I have the hideously ugly Avalanche. Really the best of both worlds...

Drop the midwall and you have a full 4x 8' bed. With it up, full SUV comfort seating for 5. In a Suburban size and weight package (my wife refused to drive a big 4 door truck with a full size bed)

Completely open (with the sunroof open) it's like a Bronco/Blazer with the top off... and OEM camping packages are dirt cheap... would be really practical to tow and sleep at the track with...

A real Swiss Army knife of a vehicle.

Mileage (and looks) are the only real negatives.

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