Towing with the Pajero

Submitted: Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 22:30
ThreadID: 55801 Views:3067 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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G'day, long time reader, first time writer

We recently purchased a pre-loved Pajero Exceed 04 petrol. Love the comfort and extras that you get with this model !!! but what I hadn't experienced before was the 5 speed auto gear box.

I'm sure this has been done to death, but please for my benefit!!!

We have towed our Jayco Swan camper van on numerous occasions without issue but our recent first trip with the new Pajero had me thinking.

Please excuse my ignorance but should I be towing my van in 4th or drive (5th). I sit on about 95 - 100k's and how much of an effect will this have on the fuel consumption and mechanical running gear of the vehicle between the two gears.

I anticipate the overall weight will be about 1300 kg

We (wife & 2 kids) are heading off to Darwin from Perth (and return) over 8 - 9 weeks period and any advice you might have would be greatly appreciated.

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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 23:06

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 23:06
Let the box decide . It should change down when it needs to.
AnswerID: 294070

Follow Up By: DIO - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 10:14

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 10:14
You could also check with other owners. Why not try the Pajero Owners Club forum Link . You might actually find someone there who's had relevant towing experience and can answer your question with some authority. Good luck.
FollowupID: 559894

Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 23:30

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 23:30
You will need to experiment with speeds to find out if it will hold 5th. Obviously gradient and airspeed are the major factors. The main thing is to avoid hunting twix 4&5. Adjust your speed or lock out 5th. Remember that hunting and transmission oil temps are what determine auto life. lucky you....silverback
AnswerID: 294074

Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 23:33

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 23:33
sorry one other thing have a Mitsi dealer flush your tx INCLUDING the torque converter befor you go.
FollowupID: 559841

Reply By: Go-N-Grey (WA) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 23:36

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 23:36
I have towed a Jayco Swan behind a 2.5 ltr 1990 turbo diesel Pajero to Kunnunara and back (twice) via the Gibb River Road, no problems at all.

We have also towed a 16'6 poptop van behind the same vehicle for many thousands of km including Sydney and back.

On one trip we were accompanied by friends with a V6 petrol 1990 Manual Pajero with a van the same size to the Pilbara and back. Surprisinglyly the fuel consumption was identical.

With the exception of the A/T transmission you should have no problems at all, its a matter of personal preference, and I wouldn't worry about it.

I currently have a V8 Auto LC and tow a 22' 2.8 tonne van, but I found it happiest in 4th gear with the torque converter locked up.

I drove to Broome from Perth in "D" and back to Perth in "4." No difference in fuel consumption, but I sure the A/T was a lot cooler on the return trip, but have no way of knowing.

The cruise control works a lot better when the tq is locked up which it seems to do easier in "4".

I rarely exceed 90 km hour. At 100km hour the fuel consumption is astronomical (30ltrs+/100km) and the TQ never locks up.

Dont know how this translates to the auto Pajjy, but I expect it would have a TQ lockup also.

At one time when I was towing with the Pajero, someone said never to in 5th. I did 170,000k towing in 5th with no problems and still have it.


AnswerID: 294075

Follow Up By: Stevie 90 - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 23:50

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 23:50
Thanks Phil some good advice from experience goes a long way !!

FollowupID: 559848

Follow Up By: Davo_60 - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 09:55

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 09:55

I have a and old 60 series with a A440 trans with modified valve body giving lockup on 3rd and 4th. I also have a temp gauge fitted. The difference in temp with the transmission locked up is amazing. Locked in 3rd or 4th is sits on 80 to 90 degrees max but shoots up over 100 fairly quick when unlocked and working hard. This supports your theory Phil of having cooler temps on the return trip.

FollowupID: 559889

Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 09:30

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 09:30
My previous 4wd was an NJ Pajero auto and it towed many things. As has been suggested above letting the auto decide is generally the best and locking out overdrive when the box is shifting too much typically in hilly country.

The key thing is to make sure you have an ear for when the torque converter is locked. When locked the transmission is in its most efficient mode and produces less heat which is the most important thing for a long auto life.

I now have a LC100 TD4.2 auto which pulls like a train but I still think the Pajero had a better transmission system. It certainly had a better LSD but that is another story.

Remember to occassionally check the auto trans dipstick. The fluid should be a nice red colour, any trend towards orange or brown is a sign of overheating. The A/T temp warning light on my NJ tended to come on early, which was a good thing and only did so when under a big load, hot day, hilly country and slack driver.

Enjoy your trip and don't sweat it, the Paj will do it well.

AnswerID: 294085

Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 21:56

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 21:56
I have the same model Pajero and find that with 2500kg towing I leave it in 4th gear and sit on 91 - 92 klm per hr. Sounds a bit precise but I find the transmission will lock at just over 90 providing the best fuel economy. Over 33,000 klms we averaged 14.7 litres 100 klm. when I tow the trailer with say 1500kgs I find it will tow in 5th down hill and on the flat but bring it back to 4th on inclines.
hope that hepls

AnswerID: 294153

Follow Up By: Stevie 90 - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 23:27

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 23:27
Thanks Neil,

I haven't done any real precise calculations regarding weight etc but from what you have said it's sounds as if I'm being a bit pedantic.

I imagine the c'van won't weigh any more than 1500kgso at this stage without any hills or headwinds I should be ok in 5th.

FollowupID: 559971

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