Towing in 5th gear

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 00:31
ThreadID: 19284 Views:2329 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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I've just been reading a post about someone drowning their fourby, goes to show how easily we can get caught out. ANYWAY... The writer goes on to brag that he was towed home on a car trailer, plus 5 people and lots of gear by a 100 series TD cruiser which didn't get out of fifth gear all the way home!

I don't doubt that the cruiser has the power to do this, cos I know they are a great towing vehicle with grunt to spare,I wish I had the money to buy one!!
But having heard horror stories about landcruiser gearboxes spitting out fifth gear, I thought that it was almost common knowledge that you shouldn't tow in overdrive. I thought this to be the case within most 4x4 circles, maybe I'm wrong!

Do others agree?

I do know that both Toyota and Nissan do not recommend towing in overdrive, manual or auto transmission.

I asked this question when sorting out which car to buy, choosing between 3.0 patrol and 3.0 prado.

Cheers, Muzz
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Reply By: Yeah Mate - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 02:24

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 02:24

Check out Post ID: 15551
AnswerID: 92562

Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 08:24

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 08:24
Whereas vehicles may be able to tow in 5th gear the owner of that vehicle is only buying trouble as sooner or later the gear will fail due the stresses demanded of it. If the manufacturers advise not put excessive loads on 5th gear, why do it?

As mentioned in post id 15551, 5th gear is not directly attached to the driveline and only acts as a cruising gear so that the engine revs can drop and the engine can operate more efficiently and economically at higher speeds.

Frankly, in my opinion, putting a heavy load on 5th gear, is alike to being Brain Dead.
AnswerID: 92580

Follow Up By: bundyman - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 10:07

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 10:07
I agree with ya Willem but also believe it depends on Gross weight. Towing a small tinnie along a bitumen highway in 5th isn't going to kill the gearbox but in the case above yes it would. Don't want people thinking that just because they have a trailer on that they must use 4th. A fully laden 4x4 with no trailer will probably weigh more than an empty 4x4 with a tinnie on the back heading up the coast.


PS How's the station life treatin' ya?? Changed the locks on the gates and house yet - before the owners return??
FollowupID: 351481

Follow Up By: Leroy - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 12:07

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 12:07
I agree bundyman. I often use 5th when towing but it depends on the load youre towing. But like Willem metioned, the key words being "heavy load".

FollowupID: 351497

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 20:27

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 20:27
Hey Hughesy

Have been hiding in the house as the temp has been over 40 for the past few days.

It is very quiet here with just me and the station animals. A few days ago the indigines came over to hunt a kangaroo. They have a 'hunting rights' thingy. Not sure if the owners are happy about this arrangement but thats the way it goes. They drove up in their 100 series. I asked if they were going to use a boomerang or a rifle. They thought that was very funny. Didn't hear any shots so I dont know if they hit one. Plenty of Big Reds here in the hills.

I got up close and personal with some goats a few days back but the rifle was disarmed and by the time I was ready the buggers were out of range. I placed a few token shots around them(read missed) and they disappeared over the ridge.

Getting a bit bored now. If the weather is cooler tomorrow I might go into the shed and pull the Nissan apart.....hahahahaha
FollowupID: 351573

Reply By: Flash - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 16:17

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 16:17
SOME vehicles will tow a heavy load forever in 5th gear with no problems. (One example (-: GQ Patrols.)
MANY will not.
It's potentially an expensive gamble finding out if yours will or won't.

However- no matter the vehicle- the way to really ask for trouble is to LUG it in 5th rather than changing down at the first opportunity.
AnswerID: 92665

Reply By: fatz - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 09:23

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 09:23
i'm the offender in this post! Baz's description of being towed home all the way in fifth is possibly a little bit of poetic licence! Just a way of describing how well the turbo diesel pulled all the gear home. We did get into fifth gear on quite a few occasions on the way up the hume and we also used fourth quite a lot. I would consider myself a reasonably good driver and having owned three cruisers over the last 18 years and towed many heavy loads to various locations (including a 6 ton concrete truck from whitecliffs into Cobar many years ago) I have never busted a gearbox, many other parts but never a gearbox. I am not defending the toyo box but will say i am aware that the 100 has a weaker box than the 80 and towing is not reccomended in Fifth under heavy load in any car. I would say that coming up the hume with the cruiser in fourth and with it racing away, it is quite suitable to use fifth then when load comes on drop back to fourth. I intend to be around for a few years yet and will keep you all posted on how the box stands up to my driving. it's already done 140k and seems to be holding up well!!

AnswerID: 92759

Reply By: Stuie - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 13:39

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 13:39
How common is it for Patrols to spit 5th? My uncle often tows a trailer, well over 1000kg with his cab chasis patrol - deisel but not sure what model. He does lots of k's but tends to use and abuse and spat 5th at 60,000km. The nissan mechanic said that its pretty common.


AnswerID: 92803

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