question for those towing a van with a Dmax...

Submitted: Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 19:15
ThreadID: 133976 Views:8099 Replies:12 FollowUps:9
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Im on the verge of buying a new (used 2013/14) tow vehicle -
Dmax or Ranger. Havent decided yet. I do like Isuzu vehicles and have owned several.
Done lots of reading over the last few months on both, and both highly regarded.
Ranger has more power which ticks a big box for towing an 18.5ft van.
My question is, if you bought a Dmax for towing, did you consider the Ranger
and what led you to choose the Dmax?

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Reply By: Kazza055 - Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 19:51

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 19:51
Paul, I tow a 2500kg van behind our D-Max auto and it does it easily.
I have fitted a Scangauge 11 so I can monitor the transmission temperature and so far no problems. It has been recommended to use D which I do most the time but when in hilly areas I put it into 4th to stop the transmission from changing up and down all the time.
The pre 2014 D-Max was only rated for 3T but I believe it is a simple process to increase this but I would never suggest that you try towing 3500kg behind any of the 3.5t rated dual cabs.
When loaded for touring we come in at 3.000kg for the car and 2.500kg for the van and having had the GVM upgrade done I still have 500kg to spare.
D-Max will sit on the speed limit with the van on the back without any problems and still return 16-17L/100K
AnswerID: 606876

Reply By: Athol W1 - Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 21:29

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 21:29
I have a 2015 Dmax and regularly tow a 3 tonne van of 21ft length. I have a Scangauge 11 so that I can get reliable readouts of both engine and transmission temps and I have also fitted an additional transmission cooler. I have also an upgraded suspension fitted.

I currently have 34370km showing on the clock, of which 12599km has been towing and can not fault this vehicle or its towing ability.

My previous tow vehicle was a LC200TTD towing the same van, and whilst it may be a little slower off the lights or climbing some hills I still consider the Dmax to be adequate for the job. I have no problems keeping up to the traffic or the speed limits, but I am saving approx. 30% on fuel usage. At any given time or situation the Dmax would generally be in the same gear as the LC apart from its preference to hold 4th when cruising at 100kph when D selected.

After looking at available payloads when towing I did not consider the Ranger.

Enjoy your Dmax.
AnswerID: 606877

Follow Up By: Paul E6 - Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 23:46

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 23:46
Are you saying the Ranger has less allowable GVM?
FollowupID: 876587

Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 09:09

Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 09:09
Prior to my purchase I looked at the Tare, GVM and GCM and ball weights of all the popular utes, and my conclusion was that the most favourable payload was with the Dmax.

None of these vehicles can carry a full load when towing, there has to be some sort of allowance made. Whilst the Dmax can tow 3.5t it has a GCM of 5.95t and a GVM of 2.95t and a Tare of around 2.0t (depending on configuration and accessories fitted), that immediately reduces the load capacity when towing the 3.5t to just 450kg, and ball weight has to be considered into the equation. Assuming that there is a 300kg ball weight that is included in the Gross Combined Mass then the maximum weight that is permitted on the wheels of the Dmax would be 2750kg (2.75t) with a maximum weight on the trailer wheels of 3200kg (3.2t).

Remember that the weight of both driver and all passengers, and the fuel in the tank, must be included as payload

My calculations were based on a 3.0t caravan with 250kg ball weight, as measured on a weighbridge and the published specifications of all the vehicles on offer. Some vehicles had their load capacity reduced by greater amounts than the simple example above (i.e. ball weight caused a greater reduction in payload than the actual ball weight), and from memory the Ranger was one of those vehicles

Hope this helps.
FollowupID: 876592

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 10:11

Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 10:11
If you scroll down the figures for all the utes are given

Ute weights
FollowupID: 876593

Reply By: Member - Witi Repartee - Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 21:48

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 21:48
I looked at both and bought a Ranger. The level of tech in the new MY17 Ranger far exceeds the more power. I'm not a Ford's the first one Ive owned in 66 years.
AnswerID: 606879

Reply By: D-MaxerWA - Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 22:46

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 at 22:46
I was going to buy a Ranger. The blokes at the Ford dealership were not interested in even coming to talk to me, as I was looking in the yard.

I bought a MY14 D-Max LSU dual cab and it does everything I want it to. I am a Ford person, and was disappointed that I got ignored at the dealership. I am happy with my D-Max though.

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AnswerID: 606882

Reply By: DiggZ - Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 09:55

Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 09:55
I have a 2013 Dmax LSM dual cab, towing 2.8t. I wasn't too concerned about the weights as every thing was within the limits. I looked more at the engine gearbox side of things, e.g.. steel timing chain, less torque from similar size motor to me equaled less stress on the motor and it does have plenty of grunt to do the job. Apparently its the same motor they use in their small trucks. I have a tray back but if you get one with style side check the height of the side as I read somewhere the ford has reasonably high sides and lifting anything over the sides is a real pain if you're a bit height challenged. Fuel consumption was another at the time.

I looked at Isuzu, Ford, Mazda and Holden and Isuzu had the best deal at the time although that wasn't the deal breaker then.
AnswerID: 606885

Follow Up By: noggins - Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 10:18

Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 10:18
I bought a Ranger
I'm a strong believer in lazy HP is better .
With the slightly larger Ranger motor and drive train it's obviously going to do less hard work than a smaller unit.
I did look at the Isuzu and Colorado, but went with the ford for the above reasons, as well as good service and attitude from Lane Ford Mandurah.

FollowupID: 876594

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016 at 18:55

Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016 at 18:55
I don't think Navara D40 or BMW diesel owners would get too excited about steel timing chains!

FollowupID: 876713

Reply By: Member - Ian F (WA) - Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 10:52

Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 10:52
This may be of interest to some,
Technical Bulletin
In case you missed our December Extra Bulletin…

Service warning: Mazda BT-50 / Ford Ranger new generation 5cyl diesel models UP0YF1 – When draining the oil, ensure that the total drain time does not exceed 10 minutes.

Field reports indicated that there may be an issue with the variable-flow oil pump fitted to Mazda’s new generation BT-50, 5 cylinder common rail diesel engine.

A new feature in the BT-50’s engine is the variable-flow oil pump that helps maximize fuel efficiency. Rather than the conventional fixed-flow gear drive oil pump, it is accomplished with a chain driven oil pump located in the sump that matches the oil supply to the engine load. The variable-flow pump changes its capacity based on the engine’s demand for oil, by rotating the eccentric outer ring. This prevents wasting energy to pump oil that is not required to maintain engine operation.

These variable-flow pumps are much like power steering pumps, using vane elements in their design with the added ability to control flow rates at varied engine speeds. When the vehicle has the oil drained for an extended amount of time, the oil drains not only from the sump, but internally from the pump assembly. The vane type design appears to be less tolerable to being allowed to drain out and recover from that state thereafter.

Reports to Autodata are that if the engine oil and filter are changed in service and the oil is left to drain longer than 10 minutes, the oil pump may fail to prime and leave the engine in a critical no lubrication situation. Attempts to prime the pump by increasing the rpm fails to solve the problem, and will lead to component failure from lack of lubrication.
AnswerID: 606886

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 12:53

Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 12:53
All this fuel-saving stuff in Rangers and BT50s that saves micro amounts of fuel:

Ranger's "smart charge" system that reduces load on the alternator but doesn't fully charge the battery, which can only lead to premature death of the battery;

The oil pump that limits oil pressure to what's needed (we have to trust that) to save fuel, but if it's lost it's prime, get a flat-bed or tow to a repair shop;

The electric power steering (which may actually be a good thing for steering but how much fuel does it save?).

And yet the 4WD models, which in 2WD (which is most of the time), leave the front drive line turning, using up all that the fuel that has been saved plus heaps more.

Where are the auto front hubs? Or manual, for that matter?

What are they thinking?

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FollowupID: 876597

Reply By: Member - Witi Repartee - Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 12:12

Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 12:12
Apparently the recommended way for DIY is to drain the not start...then do the filter. The fuel saving technology on the steering is brilliant. Electric assist, very light when manouevering, backing up to the caravan etc, one finger stuff...and then it firms up nicely for highway etc. Although we are in our late 60's we are enjoying the Synch 3 technical pack...adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, close focus rear view camera with hitch guidance etc. Plus it's a very smooth torquey engine and tows our 2.8 tonne van easily at traffic speeds.
AnswerID: 606887

Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 15:25

Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 15:25
If you are going to keep your car a long time go the Isuzu .

The Rangers have more power but long term ownership would worry me . ( over 150,000km )

AnswerID: 606892

Reply By: Paul E6 - Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 23:16

Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 23:16
As an aside, I recently inspected a 2014 ranger at a well known Perth caryard..Turns out on looking at the service book, the motor and auto had been replaced - on a two year old car.
Must have had a hard life, but it was a country vehicle. Plenty of gravel/dust/ mud inside the chassis rails. Half an inch in some of the lower spots.
AnswerID: 606902

Reply By: Grant L - Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 10:07

Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 10:07
Paul E6,

Been towing 21" (internal) van around Aus for five years left east coast with 88k on 2010 Colorado Dmax) 4wd manual now have 256k on it.
Travel mostle a 95klm/hr on the speedo (Actual 90klm/hr) but freeway and major highway 100 to 105 on speedo not arad to punch it and pass slower vehicles it gets driven like a truck, don't rev it use the gears not the brakes, so in 6 years it has done the job well, but standard suspension not up to job long term would prefer heavier tow vehicle when towing large van (ATM 2550) and all 4 cylinder high performance diesel engines which comply with latest emission standards are suffering from poor air quality in the combustion cycle. ie high mileage engines sludge up there intake systems. Must keep fuel and air clean.
My vehicle is on its second lot of injectors, first change at approx 160k after 12 months in Darwin humidity, second lot after 80k then discovered myself intake manifold was full of sludge required removal and high pressure clean using oven cleaner, now have crankcase ventilation into catch can and blocking plate on efg valve , engine is noticeably stronger.
Had tappets adjusted for first time at 240k (little if any adjustment required)
rear springs changed and new shocks around at approx 200k, new clutch plate and friction disk at 245k (fly wheel clean didn't need skimming) the AT tires were found to give to rough a ride on the 2010 model suspension so now run HT tires.
All that said the vehicle has not let me down it just pulls and keeps pulling and I want anther new one even though this one still goes well, its a bit agricultural to travel in with heavier suspension. Next one will be an auto and a much better sorted suspension.
Hope this is of assistance.

AnswerID: 606909

Follow Up By: Paul E6 - Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 19:02

Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 19:02
I currently drive an RA diesel, model before yours.
while having less output an the 4jj1 tc, the 4jh1tc is another good ol' truck motor
that goes forever.
but we got a new bigger van and a bit beyond old faithfuls ability.
FollowupID: 876641

Reply By: Sigmund - Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 17:33

Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 17:33
The Ranger certainly has more herbs but my impression from casual reading is that it has more problems too. I know two owners of the model and both have had repeat problems (auto trans leading to a limp home in one & oil leaks requiring engine removal in the other - both required 2 trips or more to the dealer).

I tow with an MUX and have had one minor problem with the oil filter housing fixed at a normal service. It has 68 K now with a good number of those hard ones.

Isuzu design these to be capable, simple and understressed. They say 90% of the engines will return 500 K or more with regular servicing. Parts are cheap. Fuel consumption is relatively low. There's a high level of owner satisfaction.

Good luck with your choice.
AnswerID: 606932

Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016 at 18:05

Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016 at 18:05
The J.D. Power rating in the US for the Ford brand can be seen here:

They don't offer the Ranger there it seems. Overall brand dependability is rated at 2 out of 5.

Isuzus have been sold there under several brands and model names. Chevrolet Trailblazer was one.
AnswerID: 607031

Follow Up By: Paul E6 - Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016 at 18:16

Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016 at 18:16
But the rangers here are made by Mazda aren't they?
I had a 2002 Ford laser (Mazda 323) and it was a great car.
FollowupID: 876710

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016 at 19:33

Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016 at 19:33
AFAIK it's a shared design and made in Thailand - whether in the same factory I don't know.
FollowupID: 876715

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