Looking at 2001 LS as a Tow Vehicle

Road Ruler

New LVC Member
Aug 15, 2004
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Hello.. I'm new to the forum and have read enough here to see many of you know lots about the LS.s I am looking a 2001 V8 with the SST option. We currently tow a 23' Airstream Trailer with a 1993 Nissan Quest Mini Van and it does a great job. We suspect the V8 LS will tow the Airstream even better.

On the test drive at the dealer the LS would not go into 1st gear in SST mode???

It also appears to have the 3.31 gears as it reved at 2500 RPM at 60 MPH in 4th (direct drive). Are the 3.58 gears an option? Do they come with the Sport pkg?

What do you think of the tranny. Has it a reputaion for being tough? I like the idea of having 5 speeds.

Does anyone know the tranny gear ratio's. Someone wrote that they change over the years.

Thnxs for any info you an give me.
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ALL 2001 V8 LSes have the 3:31 rear. Only the early build 2000 V8's and all V6's have the 3:58. Towing ability is based on the body-on-frame/uni-body construction, not the engine size. 2000#s sounds about right.

The SST starts in second gear (unless >60% throttle is applied) so the LS would avoid the gas guzzler tax.

Try http://www.llsoc.com/V2R1/Resources/TestDriver/TestDriverFAQ.htm for more information.
Re Factory Tow rating: Most people use this as a guide to determine a vehicles ability to tow but towing specialists have found it to be pretty much a useless number. For example.... A Hyundai Elantra offers 3,086 pounds of towing capacity. A Sabb 9-5, 4 cyl is rated for 3,500LBs. No doubt the V8 LS ( rated for 2,000 LBs) is at least as capable as either the Saab or Hyundai. There are many better ways to find out a vehicles towing prowess than by using its factory tow rating. Of course many have a different view on the subject and it is not my interest to get into here at this time.

Thnxs for the good info and links. The rear end ratio's have been explained. Has anyone swapped out the 3.58 rear end and installed it in the V8 LS's????

I have also noticed that the rear wheels on the LS's when loaded with 4 adults tilt out at the bottom. Has anyone noticed if this affects the handling of the vehicle at all?? When towing with our WDH (weigh distributing hitch) we would be adding about 150 lbs of tongue weight per tire on all 4 wheels.. Will the rear tires wear unevenly? I am aware of a number of 300M's ( V6) that tow large Travel Trailers and they work very well. I am hoping a V8 LS would be as capable as the 300M's.

thnxs again for any good info
I have had more than 4+ adults in the car and the more people the harder it is to drive. Not only is it harder to handle but it takes so much more gas. The power steering sensor is only affective with speed, not weight.
I think the LS does just fine with a heavy load. It maintains its composure very well - unlike my wife's Taurus which goes to pieces when you load the family.

Also, whether a car is a unibody or body-on-frame doesn't matter for towing purposes. My '66 Chrysler is a unibody convertible, and it could easily tow a Lincoln LS towing a 23' Airstream.
CaptainZilog said:
Are there subframe connectors for the LS?

Not that I'm aware of. With the stiff body, it doesn't need them. The T-Bird on the other hand...............

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