towing a van- what gear?

Submitted: Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 15:07
ThreadID: 14708 Views:2018 Replies:7 FollowUps:0
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My nephew has a Statesman V8 , 5.7 Gen 111. He has towed a van weighing in at
1280 kg (tare) From South Aus to Cairns driving in 3rd gear, using $650 of fuel.
Do members think he would risk damage by leaving the car in Drive?
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 15:14

Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 15:14
Drive or Overdrive? I would seem that they have called overdrive / drive on this car?

On some gearboxes, and only some....... towing through overdrive is not good.

I am sure there will be people here that can answer this by tonight.


AnswerID: 68046

Reply By: Member - Luxoluk - Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 15:47

Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 15:47
Suggest you check the owners manual. From my experience with late model V8 Commodores towing my van I use "D" but engage the power button so it kicks down without overloading the transmission. I also self select 3rd if I know I need some power to overtake etc and to stop the transmission hunting through 3rd and overdrive until I'm ready to resume a steady cruise speed. The autos are the preferred transmission for towing and the overdrive issue is a completely different one compared with an overdrive manual. Hope this helps. Cheers

AnswerID: 68049

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 17:09

Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 17:09
Not knowing anything about those gearboxes or motors, but knowing the power they have I can't imagine there being much of a problem.
If the gearbox can handle you sticking your right foot into a Gen III V8 then surley it can handle towing a moderate sized van??!
I would do as suggestioned above and put her in drive, but select the tranmission power button(if there is one) so as to let it let go of gears a little easier. Also using it manually for overtaking and big hills won't hurt.
AnswerID: 68057

Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 18:18

Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 18:18
Approx 3200 ks and lets say fuel average a $1 per ltr., not to bad for a loaded V8 auto at 5kl per litre!! Dont think you will get it much better.
AnswerID: 68068

Reply By: Peter 2 - Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 18:49

Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 18:49
My old man had an earlier (VN?) v8 commodore, towed a 17ft van all over Oz in drive using the overdrive without any probs. Got better mileage from the V8 than the subsequent V6 as the V8 was just loping along.
If speeds kept to below 100k he got over 20mpg out of the 8 and 15mpg out of the 6.
AnswerID: 68073

Reply By: Savvas - Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 23:12

Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 23:12
He wouldn't have a problem with the trannie. It is the Hydramatic 4L60E as fitted to the Hummer, Chev Silverado, GMC Sierra, Corvette, etc, etc, etc. It is significantly over-spec for the Commodore and Statesman.

Keep it in power mode instead of economy and he will be fine using Drive. Maybe shift it to 3rd for hilly sections of road.

AnswerID: 68113

Reply By: harry5 - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:34

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:34
I agree with the other comments if its hunting between gears, strong headwind ,overtaking, long climbs change back. A lot of the time you are using more fuel by trying to stay in top gear. A good tail wind and the big V8 should be worth trying economy mode in Drive but if in doubt go power/3rd better to waste a bit of fuel
AnswerID: 68145

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