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Comparing 1995 Tahoe/GMC 1500 and 1978 "Heavy Half Ton

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Tomas090, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Tomas090

    Tomas090 Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 63

    What are the differences besdie obvious body?

    Are the axles, weight class, drive gear, wheelbase etc. EXACTLY the same?

    Some say the Tahoe is not as durable for plowing?

    I haven't owned anything but "lightweight" Jeeps since I had a 1978 Chevy Sport "heavy " Half ton, and these new half ton frames and drive trains don't look anything like the old 78

    Anyone care to explain some of the differences in transmissions, transfer case, front/rear end, springs etc

    I can't even find a diagram of a full frame.

    The hook up for the plowside of the Fisher speedcaster looks like a toy compared to the long steel arms used way back in 1978

    Thanks for any answers to this long winded post,

    Is it improper to also place this in the Chevy forum?
     
  2. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    No this is the place to put it!!
     
  3. Tomas090

    Tomas090 Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 63

    Tahoe vs 1/2 ton

    Thanks

    How about differences in Tahoe and 95 1/2 ton?
     
  4. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Very, very little difference between those two. Exact same drive-train and suspension design, same frame design etc. Only real differences would be a slightly different wheelbase and the axle weight ratings will be different. Which can be the major problem with equipping the Tahoe with a plow.
     
  5. Tomas090

    Tomas090 Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 63


    Does the Tahoe have different axle or front end components, or is the body heavier? trying to understand why different ratings?

    I trust using the older Speedcaster with belt driven pump will take bit of weight off the extension of plow frame on front end
     
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    No the axles and front end are exactly the same (except for possibly the torsion bar ratings). The difference in the weight capacity between the truck and the Tahoe is in the amount of extra passengers the Tahoe will haul. It affects the axle rating since they're spec-ed assuming that there will be a load of full size adults inside the cabin. That has to be taken into consideration when the final weight rating are set. Same reason you can't install a plow on certain late model extended cab and crew cab trucks with a diesel. Its not due to the fact that they're lighter built, just the fact that more passenger capability eats up the posted weight ratings.
     
  7. Tomas090

    Tomas090 Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 63


    Thanks, think I have it

    So a Tahoe with driver only will hold as much weight as 1500 with Driver only
     
  8. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Theoretically yes, but on paper not likely, as it depends on exactly what the weight rating difference actually is between the two vehicles your comparing.

    You could install a set of Timbrems or even a set of torsion bars out of a one ton and it would have far more plow carrying capacity than a stock 1/2 ton truck...but it may still not be "technically" allowed (or legal) if its over weight on the factory specified front axle rating.
     
  9. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    what exactly are you trying to do? it sounds like you are comparing the 95 Tahoe 1500 to the 78. Or are you actually trying to put a 78 Speedcaster on a 1500 Tahoe? Your sig shows a 2 door Blazer, that's a lot different wheelbase than a 4 door Tahoe. The 95 is going to have a serpentine belt, so your drive system is going to present some challenges. The truck side mount is going to be 100% different, and if you have to buy all new Fisher mounts you may as well just buy a used Minute Mount to fit your truck. If it will fit an 88-98 1500, it will fit a full size Blazer or Tahoe, they are virtually identical. An 8 footer will be a little heavy for a Tahoe, and worse on the short wheelbase 2 door. A 7 1/2 would be the biggest I'd go just for weight, on a half ton, although many people do run 8 footers.

    In my personal experience the IFS front end is way better and stronger than a live axle. Before everyone bites my head off here, I am not talking about a Dana 60, I'm talking about comparing a 78 Chevy 1/2 ton, which came with either a Dana 44 LD or a Corporate 10 bolt. I had a bunch of them, never had a bit of trouble breaking them. I actually had a couple Dana 44 HDs as well and they weren't much better. I had to change front axle u-joints every plowing season, and balljoints every other year. IFS rides better, works better, stops and steers better. CV joints are a much better design, much harder to break than a dinky little u-joint.

    I've been pushing a big heavy 810 with my 97 IFS 1 ton for a few years, my balljoints and CV shafts are all original at 12 years old and 162,000 hard miles. This will be my second year with 33" Swampers on it. My front brakes have got over 50k on them and still look good. The one and only problem I've had up front is the wheelbearings went the first year it had a plow on it, I think moreso because of the heavy plow and diesel engine. I am going to change one CV shaft soon because I ripped the boot last year and the grease is gone. It hasn't started making noise yet, but I don't want to chance it. Granted, my 1 ton has a little beefier front drive than a 1500, but you aren't carrying a diesel and a 950 lb Blizzard 810 either.

    I'd love to have a Tahoe/Blazer IFS for plowing as a backup rig. I'd buy a Blizzard 760 Speedwing for it. I used to love my old 70s Chevys, but after owning an IFS and having heat and defrost that actually works, not to mention floorboards and rocker panels, I don't think I'll go back.

    BTW, what are you talking about with the long rods going to the back? I never saw a Fisher like that on a Chevy, that was something they did on the Fords because the front ends could barely support their own weight. My Chevy/Fishers had frame mounts on the front and that was it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  10. Tomas090

    Tomas090 Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 63

    Was trying to compare Tahoe to 1/2 ton and then both of those to old 1978, got the important parts, thanks