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3.73 or 4.10 gear ratio

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Going Commercial, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Going Commercial

    Going Commercial Member
    Messages: 56

    What rear axle gear ratio do you guys prefer, 3.73 or 4.10 on your pick-up trucks for plowing snow? I have a 2005 Chevy 2500HD extended cab with 4.10 gears and a 2009 GMC 2500hd regular cab with 3.73 gears. My Chevy with the 4.10 gears will out push and pull my GMC any day of the week. I do not see any major differance in fuel consumption. I may trade the 09 truck in to get an extended cab, but I am trying to make the decision on the gear ratio I should go with. Just looking for some opinions. Thanks !!!
  2. djagusch

    djagusch 2000 Club Member
    from mn
    Messages: 2,068

    I have 2 chev reg cabs. 09 with 3.73 and 05 with 4.10's. I do see a slight fuel difference with the 05. If that is due to being 4 yrs older or the gears I don't know. For plowing I run out of traction before the truck stops pushing on either of them so I don't see much differnce. So for me the 3.73 with slightly better mpg is what I would go with.
  3. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    You really cant compare the pushing power of those 2 trucks based on just the gear ratios. Yes, they are both Cheys, and yes they both have (presumably) the 6.0 gas motor, but they are 2 different animals. Although the displacement is the same, GM really changed a lot with the 07+ 6.0 motor to really help it get some down low power. Your 2005 2500HD will have the LQ4 version, and your '09 has the LY6, which over the LQ4 adds variable valve timing, and is a lot more reliant on computer control to change the parameters of the engine performance to give it a little more kick is the a$$ when needed. Your '05 will have a 4L80E 4 speed tranny, whereas the 2009 model has the 6 speed 6L80E, so your transmission gear rations are going to be different, which will significantly change your perception of the amount of pushing power each truck is giving you based on the differential gear ratios.

    Now, if you plan on buying a new truck, I believe with either the plow prep or towing prep packing (plow I know for sure towing maybe maybe not) you get 4:10 gears. You are at least on the right track about the fuel consumption. In an apples to apples comparison, you would notice that the truck with 3:73s would get noticeably better fuel mileage. However, the 6-speed tranny in the newer truck with the 4:10s is making up for the loss in mileage that you would see in the '05 with the 4 speed.

    As for what to buy, its up to you. My '06 has 4:10s in it and I find it to have plenty of pushing power for snow and plenty of power while towing. I do not own one, but have driven a new Chevy with the 6.0/6L80E combo, and I was not very thrilled with it. I thought the throttle felt numb to the driver, no matter how much gas you gave it, it seemed like the thing would just go wide open no matter what, and when just driving at like 40-50 mph down the road it could never decide what gear it wanted to be in and did a lot of accelerating/shifting without much input on the gas pedal from the driver. Was not a big fan to say the least.

    As I said, its hard to compare when you're going between 2 different transmissions, one that has 2 extra gears than the other. I do believe the way the new trucks drive and act with the electronic throttle that seems WAY too sensitive has a lot to do with the poor mileage these new trucks are known to get.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  4. Going Commercial

    Going Commercial Member
    Messages: 56

    Mike, I agree with you on not being a fan of the 6 speed transmission in my 2009 vs the 4 speed in my 2005. As far as buying a new truck, you can get it either way with 373 or 410 gears. It does not matter if you get the snow plow package or towing package. I always buy my trucks with both packages and it is just preference on which ratio a person wants. Most of the trucks are made with the 373 gears, they are more common.

    The main reason why I am looking into a new truck is because I need the extended cab, but my workers and myself all agree that my 05 truck with 410 gears seems to use less effort pushing and pulling. I run 8.6 mvp plow on both trucks. Thanks for your input.
  5. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    Are tire sizes the same on these trucks? Do you plow in drive or L1 , L2 ??
    What else do you use the truck for in the non plowing months
    The 4.10 will be better for plowing and towing over the 3.73 but gas mileage will be less and RPM's will be higher at highway speed.
    My personal opinion is to go with the 4.10 the little be of extra gas is worth it at the low end
  6. Going Commercial

    Going Commercial Member
    Messages: 56

    SWTIIH... I always plow in drive, and the tires are exactly the same size and make. I only notice fuel consumption higher with the 410 gears when my speed is over the 65-70+ because the rpms are higher. No doubt, on the thruway, I get better gas mileage at higher speed. Around town I see no difference. Thanks!
  7. pooleo8

    pooleo8 Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    I would opt for 4:10's. This way you can go a slightly larger tire without effecting fuel mileage/power to badly. You can go a bigger tire that would drop the ratio to 3.73 or so. Same with the 3.73, you could get a smaller tire and bump the ratio up. I have 2 rangers, one with 4.10 the other 3.73. The 4.10 runs out quicker and there is no significant difference in fuel consumption.