Mazda bt50

Submitted: Monday, May 16, 2016 at 21:24
ThreadID: 132437 Views:6574 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Ok, time to retire the GU Patrol due to overheating problems when towing. Comes down to a Mazda BT50. After talking to my mechanic, he says good vehicle but don't tow in 6th gear. He knows of at least one gear box failure due to this. I would like any comments from those who own a BT50. We will be towing a 21ft off road duel axel van. Cheers Errol
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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Monday, May 16, 2016 at 21:52

Monday, May 16, 2016 at 21:52
Mechanic is correct.
6 speed auto, tow in sports mode.
6 speed manual. Don't use 6th gear for towing what you have.

You won't save any fuel and will hurt the box over time. Many say they have towed in 6th and have had no problems, they just haven't towed either a heavy enough load or towed for long distances to cause problems with the box.
Don't ever think this is restricted to the Mazda, it applies to most light vehicles that tow.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chooky and Wobble - Monday, May 16, 2016 at 22:34

Monday, May 16, 2016 at 22:34
We have a 2012 manual bt 50 xt and tow a 14 foot goldstream explorer ST. It is a heavy van for its size. Offroad options 2 water tanks etc.
I didnt use 6th much but did sometimes. It has done the darling river run plus a lot of local victorian high country trips 6 weeks around tassie etc.
At about 50k km it developed a noise in the gearbox. I told the dealer when it went in for a service. It came back with a new gearbox ( no charge). Coment from service dont tow in 6th unless its downhill with a tail wind.
Vehicle has been great and would buy another one. Wife loves it as its the first tow vehicle she is happy to drive with van on the back. Its stable and handles well.
Economy wise its hard to be exact due to not being able to do tests in same conditions. Average economy over a typical trip it makes little or no difference to economy using up to 5th instead of 6th when towing. Swapping from 5th to 6th the throttle position doesnt change for same speed which may be an jndicator of fuel use, but computer may be doing things too.
The ford ranger has same gearbox etc and I know it has same issues.
I asked about autos and as stated use sport type mode. Overheating is the issue in autos and is common with all similar vehicles in hills and sand type conditions if you dont.

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Reply By: Member - John - Monday, May 16, 2016 at 22:47

Monday, May 16, 2016 at 22:47
Errol, wouldn't it be cheaper to fix the overheating Patrol? Have a look at Patrol4x4, lots of cures for over heating Patrols. Just curious, but do you tow in 5th with the Patrol? Good luck which ever way you go.
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Reply By: gbc - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 07:35

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 07:35
I cannot think of a brand of car or gearbox which hasn't suffered from people trying to tow in overdriven gears.
I tow a bobcat/excavator/scissorlift/boat/camper with the ranger auto - always in sports mode per the manual. I recommend doing yourself the favour of towing with the auto box before you buy the manual. They do the business very well, especially for something like what you want to tow.
AnswerID: 600175

Reply By: Hoyks - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 10:48

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 10:48
In the Mazda manual, 5th is 1:1 and 6 is the only over drive gear.
Lots of vehicles have weak overdrive, I recall that early GU Patrols had 5th gear issues, even when they weren't towing.

I'd also be looking at the auto though. In the manual 1st is nice and low, so will get you rolling without riding the clutch, there is also some sort of anti stall system run by the ECU, even at idle, no accelerator at all and with a load on I can just lift off the clutch and the revs will lift a bit and it will pull away.
But then you will be changing gears a fair bit, without a load on you can get away with 6th from about 70km/h, but you have to go through them all to get there. It is a bit of a pain in traffic and around town.

I got an auto as a loan car and although I swore I'd never get an auto, that changed my mind. After 30+ years of only owning only manuals, next one I will be moving to the dark side.
Just fit an enlarged transmission cooler to be sure. From what I read, the auto box has a thermostat on the cooling circuit, so it is reasonably warm before it starts pumping through the cooling circuit, a larger cooler lets you stay ahead of the heat buildup.
AnswerID: 600181

Reply By: Robert R1 ( - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 15:32

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 15:32
I have a 2014 Mazda BT50 and I tow a 16' Jayco Outback Poptop which is about 2000kg when I am travelling. The Mazda is a single cab tray with a canopy that weighs about 700kg. I tow in 5th gear (manual) and I have been about 30000km towing with it on bitumen, dirt, corrugations etc. and it is a fantastic vehicle. I average around 14 l/100 km at 90km/hr. It is very stable on all sorts of roads and drives like a car. I previously had Hiluxes which were great vehicles but drove like a truck.

Without the van on the back I have done 40000km on roads like the Savannah Way, Strzelecki Track, Birdsville Track etc and it is a dream to drive.
AnswerID: 600195

Reply By: Member - Errol (York WA) - Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 19:41

Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 19:41
Thanks guys for your reply's. Confirmed what I thought. As for fixing the overheating problem, already been down that road. Have dun every thing I can except a new engine. By the time I do that, I mite as well put the money into an upgrade. Sad to have to do this, dun a lot of miles in it, been a lot of places in it, but I think it's time. Retiring next year, so wont be able to afford it then. Cheers Errol
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