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3.55 vs. 3.92 - MPG vs. Towing Ability

114730 Views 22 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Ecodiesel2016
Hi All,

I’m trying to decide on the best gears for my future purchase. I’m trying to see how big of a difference the gears make on the gas millage. That always seems to be the information people leave out of their MPG reports.

Also I have read several threads talking about towing more than the truck is rated for but they typically leave out what gears they have.

To me the gears are a huge part of evaluating the MPG and the towing ability.
Can some of you guys please clue me in on your experience with these two topics and let me know what gears you have?

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My Limited came with a 3.92 and honestly I'm currently averaging 21mpg in the city and its not too bad for me. Im sure if i commute more on the freeway it would be better, but i figure, it comes with a good 8speed trans so it shouldn't be that bad in mpg.
I know this is a late response but I figured it could help someone out in the future. I have the 3.92 and my dad has the 3.55. He can average about 24mpg with normal city/hwy mix driving while I do roughly 21mpg. I've driven his truck quite a bit and am able to get the same mpg in his truck that he does so I can conclude our driving habits are similar. As for towing capacity, all trucks are engineered with safety ratios in towing capacity. Just because it says 8.5k towing capacity does not mean it cannot do more. It is simply not recommended. However, safety factors often decrease load ratings quite a bit. Just cause you are near or over 1000 lbs of the stated tow capacity does not mean you are near an unsafe tow capacity.

We towed a small trailer with a 2wd frontier that was loaded with vinyl plank. This load was well over the towing capacity of the truck (it was a one time tow). The truck held up well even though it struggled slightly, in the end it was the trailer that ended up giving in haha (blowout).

My recommendation to anyone pondering the same question is to go with the 3.55. It is far more than what your typical loads require (boat, atvs, construction materials for DIY projects) and it is worth the better mpgs.
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3.55 vs. 3.92 - MPG vs. Towing Ability

I have the EcoDiesel with 3.55 Axle Ratio. When I'm towing heavier loads +6000 lbs the transmission never shift beyond 6-7 gear @ 65 mph.
The 3.55 is limited to 7750 lbs and the 3.92 to 8750 (quad cab)

Why does it matter if the engine is spinning at 65 mph @ 1808 (3.92+ 8 gear) vs. 2059 (3.55 + 7 gear)

Unfortunately there is no direct RPM match for different gears between 3.55 and 3.92 (see attachment)

Basically there is always a gear to fit RPM and speed so why not stick to the 3.55 and why is the towing weight different?
I don't think ZF makes the lower gears less durable than the 8th gear since when towing the engine never reaches 8th gear.
I'm not to worried about the MPG when towing.


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