Towing a Caravan with a 3litre turbo diesel 2009 Nissan wagon

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 20:44
ThreadID: 103235 Views:3476 Replies:7 FollowUps:2
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I will be towing a 2.5 tonne caravan around the country and was wondering if anyone out there has upgraded the transmission cooler and the intercooler on their patrol ? I have a chip and 3" exhaust. I imagine that the exhaust temp will rise rapidily as I climb various hills in my travels.
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Reply By: Member - sparra - Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 21:22

Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 21:22
G'day boof,like I was saying to you the other day,time for a v8tojo Hope ya nightshift is going well,mine is,last one tonight, Cheers old mate, sparra
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Reply By: Boof, Bairnsdale. - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 00:13

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 00:13
Thanks heaps Bazza old mate. Got 15 more months with the Nis then the 200 will be introduced to the family as the bosses car.Sell the Ford. You still haven't heped me with my question about the coolers Bazza.
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Reply By: bluefella - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 07:33

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 07:33
G'day Boof
Not sure about trans and intercooler.
I would for sure fit a EGT gauge pre turbo to keep an eye on the temps.
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Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 10:52

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 10:52
I have just returned from my first trip with my LC100 towing a recently purchased 3.5 tonne ATM caravan. I suspect the actual weight is closer to 3.0 tonne as it was not fully loaded.

After this trip I have reached the conclusion that monitoring the exhaust gas temperature is critical and I am glad I had an EGT gauge fitted. The short steep hills are obvious, but often you can be going up a steady rise and the temperature creeps up and up until you have reached or exceeded the maximum recommended temperature.

You may have read about my woes with my auto transmission that I posed on this Forum. I now have a re-conditioned transmission.

It is my intention to fit an upgraded valve kit from Wholesale Automatics along with a transmission fluid temperature gauge and a torque converter lock up switch. Being able to lock up the torque converter in all gears will reduce the amount of energy being dissipated in the gearbox and reduce the heating up of the transmission fluid.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 14:19

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 14:19
Having a large cooler for the transmission is a really good thing to do as it will get rid of the heat created by in the trans oil and it won't be adding that amount of heat value to the radiator water. That leaves the radiator able to cool the engine and as it is already going to be working harder you don't need the added heat from the transmission in there as well.

I know Rob D spoke of the lock up clutch feature and in my opinion, it is ok in a high gear when the torque loading isn't very great but if you are in lower gears where more torque is being applied through the transmission (and torque converter too) then that small little clutch which isn't designed for high torque transmission will have a short life. Idea is good and the theory is sound in reducing/elimination heat producing slip, but the poor little clutch.
If you saw a manual clutch size and the little torque converter clutch size you would question the idea for use on all but the highest of gears because it is being asked to do the same work.

To help with trans temp you may need a user switched fan on the cooler in hot climates.
The temp of the trans oil will be well above the boiling point of water if you don't have some extra capacity to cool it. Shorter trans life is likely without a cooler.

When you get to a hill change it down so the engine load is less, the revs are higher, the coolant flows air and water are sufficient, and the slip rate which is causing trans heat is also less. Most modern vehicles and expectations are to POWER up the hills and that requires the maximum heat torque, fuel, and EGT temps to achieve that level of performance.
A 3 litre Nissan has been known to POP when placed under loads like that. Don't stress it and it will do a good job, it just won't keep up with a 4.5 V8 Toyota towing the same load anyway so why try.

Post turbo EGT temp shouldn't go above 500deg C if good engine life is desired. Changing down will create less EGT on the hills.

I prefer to try and avoid problems where some people seem happy, readily accept problems and prepared to repair the problems when they happen.

Ross M
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:09

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:09
Hi Ross,

I am no expert on auto transmission, however as I understand it the torque converter is connected directly to the engine and the maximum torque it can be subjected to is the maximum torque of the engine regardless of what gear it is in. Adding chips and exhaust modifications can increase this torque.

Getting more torque to the rear wheels is achieved by changing to lower gears. (I know that the torque converter can also multiply torque on take off.)

I am happy to be proven wrong if there are experts out there.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Reply By: Member - Ian H (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 15:58

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 15:58
Mate, my gut feeling is you are asking a lot from a 3ltr engine of any make but really asking for trouble with the Nissan 3ltr donk. It is a great little engine and goes really well but asking it to drag nearly 5 tonnes up hill and down dale day after day in sometimes high ambient temps is just asking for trouble.
But, I still hope what ever you decide results in a trouble free trip. Good luck.
AnswerID: 514783

Reply By: Arwon - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 20:07

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 20:07
We have a 2008 3 lt CRD Patrol, with all the goodies for towing

Cross Country IC
3" exhaust
Unichip and dyno tunes (best chip on the market by far, only chip that can be dyno tuned that I'm aware of)
Water injection post IC (this alowes me to keep my EGT's lower on big hills)

Ours is a manual but would strongly suggest an additional auto transmittion cooler and look at the "grey nomad" auto upgrade.

The biggest must is make sure you have a pyro gauge installed and if possible have the thermocoupling installed pre turbo, if unable to do pre-turbo than get is close as possible to the exit of the turbo in the dump pipe.
If fitting pre-turbo, keep your EGT's to a max of 700 C. If fitting post-turbo, keep them to a max of 600 C. I keep my EGT's below 650 C., as my thermocoupling is mounted in the exhaust manifold near pot 4.

A boost a gauge would also be handy but the pyro gauge is a must.

Have you radiator roded, even though it is a newish vehicle, they have issues with the engine casting sands blocking off some of the cores.

Personally I run Dello 400 (15/40) engine oil, I'm not a fan of full synthetics as my rig tends to burn oil when I have tried full synthetic oils.

Don't forget to do all you drive train oils before you head off, they will be under some enormous pressures pulling a 2.50 tonne van, engine oil and filter every 5000km too.

I also run Castrol 2 T in my diesel fuel (500 ml oil to 100 lt diesel), it assists with lubrication of the injection pump due to low sulphur diesels nowadays.

AnswerID: 514796

Follow Up By: Boof, Bairnsdale. - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 05:24

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 05:24
Thanks heaps for all the replies.The gauges are a must and as mentioned, take it easy and look after he vehicle. I will pay a visit to my local 4x4 mech and sort something out.I have heaps of time in my travels so there won't be any rush to ge every where.

cheers boof.
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