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So my wife and I are in need of an upgrade to our tow/getaway vehicle and we happened upon an 05 Escalade ESV. I saw twocoltbob's post about his truck but am wondering if anyone else has anything to say about them. It has 110k on it and it looks to have very large aftermarket rims on it. Do you guys have any pointers or things I should make sure works before making the plunge. I am taking it to the mechanic on Tuesday, at least that is the plan anyway. I am worried about the drivetrain really, some of my friends have had some issues with their 4x4 transmissions on the GMC's.

Any other thoughts would be welcome as well. And yes we know it gets bad mileage but on a vehicle we only put 8k on a year at most we aren't too terribly worried about it.



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If you are going to tow with it... you will probably want to get rid of the oversized wheels.

Unless it has the really low profile tires on it...the big wheels will change the effective gearing and make it work a lot harder to tow anything.

Also, if it does have the really low profile tires, it is going to ride a lot rougher than the stock wheels and tires.

Just a couple of thoughts to keep in mind...

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Up to 7800 lbs of towing capacity so that seems to fit well. Everything would depend on condition and price for a used model. Transmission in 2005 is the Hydra-Matic 4L60-E HD. I suppose you could add an additional transmission cooler if you are concerned with that for towing, but I would expect that if you operate it reasonably within spec limits it would give good service.

I guess my take for a 110K mile version would include a careful checkout by a mechanic before buying. Then I would weigh into my offer the chances that I might have to spend $2500 on a transmission rebuild in a year, or at least work that discussion into the negotiations lol.


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We tow about a 3600 lb. boat and of course all the family, gear and dogs :D so it is well within spec limits. I try to go half of the max when I purchase my tow vehicles, just a guess of keeping it from stressing it too much. I know the size of the tires can cause those issues, when I drove it, the ride felt good but never rode in an escalade before so have no way of knowing, didn't seem overly crappy at all. I was really surprised at how nimble it felt seems they did their homework on it. Well, heading to the mechanic tomorrow to see what we can find, wish me luck :D. The wife gave me one instruction don't leave the lot without a full tank of gas!


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  • 3 weeks later...

My 2004 EXT tows a 8.5x16 6000 lb vnose trailer all around the country without a problem. I have 20 inch wheels and the towing kit. Had the rear diff rebuilt at 82000 miles. No problems towing and its actually a pleasure compared to the other truck, a RAM 2500 diesel shaking my bones loose.


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