towing

about to embark on a trip towing a small caravan with my nissan patrol 3.0 lt gu. diesel auto do i play with the gear settings ie: overdrive button,power etc. or should i leave it in drive and let it do its own thang?
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Jan 29, 2010 at 23:37

Friday, Jan 29, 2010 at 23:37
I don't know how light your small caravan is, but i am a firm believer in the fact that overdrive in autos and 5th in manual is NOT a towing gear, but a cruising gear. You may even use more fuel as it 'hunts' between the two top gears with overdrive on. You shouldn't need the power boost on, unless it gives you an advantage just as you start off - this was a recommendation of someone else and i don't know that it helps. In addition to shorter trips, we toured for three months including Tasmania towing our Bushtracker with our auto 3 ltr Patrol.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Beegee - Friday, Jan 29, 2010 at 23:43

Friday, Jan 29, 2010 at 23:43
thanks motorhen. van is only 12 footer poptop. what speed/revs were you doing? I know mine does about 3200 at 100kph with over drive off.gulp gulp.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Jan 29, 2010 at 23:51

Friday, Jan 29, 2010 at 23:51
I don't think we went over 2,000 - 2,200 unless needing to pass something quickly, but my memory may be wrong. We haven't towed the caravan with it since 2006. We put on EGT and Boost gauges.

Mh
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 17:32

Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 17:32
Motherhen, You towed a Bushtracker(nice van I'm jealous) with a 3lt Patrol. You are a very brave little chook. lol (;-))

Cheers Pop
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 17:37

Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 17:37
Piece of cake for the 3 litre Pop, only there were some issues about the breaking capacity of the auto gearbox - only rated to 2.5 tonne. It is still a great vehicle. There are still a couple of Bushtrackers that i know of out there still being towed by their owner's 3 ltr Patrols; the auto was the limiting factor in our case; we couldn't load up the van and be legal.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 19:40

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 19:40
Hi Beegee

I am tidying my office and just came across some notes i took on our first trip towing the Bushtracker - on revs and temperatures mainly on the Nullarbor. Highest revs were at 100 kph 3,000 revs. Similar but at 90 - 95 kph 2,700 - 2750. On a long hill at 70 kph 2570 revs. All with O/D off.

Mh
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Reply By: Baz&Pud (Tassie) - Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 06:52

Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 06:52
BeeGee
We have an 18' c/van that weighs 2+ ton loaded, and tow it with a V8 Cruiser (manual) and used to flick it into 5th gear all the time until the engine started to feel the load, then back to 4th etc, etc.
Was speaking to a Toyota mechanic one day and he asked me if we towed in 5th, naturally said yes, and in no uncertain words i was advised not to do it again, only go as far as 4th.
Have since spoken to another grey nomad about this subject and he told me he towed an Ultimate camper with his "truck" in 5th and the gear box couldn't take it, hence some $thousands later he stays in fourth.
Cheers
Baz
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Follow Up By: Member - Warwick D (SA) - Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 08:13

Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 08:13
Greetings, I agree with Motherhen. I own a 3-litre Patrol. DO NOT tow in 5th gear/overdrive, with your current car. A search of any camping/caravan forum will overwelmingly show this.
Enjoy your trip. WArwick
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Follow Up By: Top End Explorer - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:07

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:07
I have towed several trailers and boats for several hundred thousand kms in 5th with NO damage to any gearbox all have been 6 cyl diesel Toyota's.

Cheers Steve.
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Reply By: bruce - Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 10:34

Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 10:34
I doubt very much if your vehicle will even know that it has much behind it....that vehicle should tow a small van in o/d easily , as long as it does not hunt up and down there should be no damage done....we tow a 17ft dual axle poptop (1840kg) in o/d with a 96 falcon wagon (yes different, I know) but it does it easily and it just drops back a cog or two when needed and does not hunt...the gear box knows when to shift gears...if the going is a bit tough, like into a head wind I just manually drop it back...have been towing the van like this for 7 yrs now and the gear box was checked 2 yrs ago and had no obvious signs of wear....(and I will probably castigated for this saying this) ....cheers
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 10:40

Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 10:40
Had Patrol , sold it and now run a Cruiser.

We always tow in 4th auto and have for 44,000 k Fuel consumption is no worse and engine runs " ön song"at 2400rpm at 90kph and does that all day

EGT temp is usually 325deg Drop it into 5th and EGT temp immediately goes up to 400deg on a flat road with light throttle.

Why because its at 1800 rpm which is below optimum torque and makes the engine lug so gets hotter

Yesterday came up the Willunga hill south of Adelaide. Warm day about 32deg

Van 2850kg

Halfway up EGT was up to 500deg Trans temp up from 65deg to 97deg

Water temp only up 5 deg

Was doing 50k in 3rd to keep temps at that level.

Remembering that cylinder temps are 200deg hotter than post turbo temp and Nissan pistons melt at around 800deg so Im told.

LOL


Remember its a holiday and its not how fast you get there, its what you see on the way.


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Follow Up By: Member - peter K (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 12:40

Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 12:40
Good To see the advice is as good as every Hb keep up the good work
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 17:50

Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 at 17:50
BeeGee,
We have a 22' on road van towed by our trusty 75 Series Cruiser which is in the process of having a Turbo engine fitted so that we don't hold up traffic so much on those long steep hills or driving into headwinds. The existing rather tired 1hz engine would do the job but a bit too slow. As far as towing with the Patrol auto or for that matter a manual gearbox my opinion is that knowing your car and its limitations is the answer as to whether you leave it to the auto box to decide what gear is appropriate or in the case of a manual what situations the engine/gearbox need a downshift rather than just burying the right foot when road speed drops.
If you are confident in your ability to decide that the vehicle needs a lower gear I think Overdrive towing is OK in some circumtances. If you are not so sure leave it in 4th for a manual or lock the auto out of overdrive.
Personally I prefer 4th in the manual as I feel the car is happier and gives me more control. If I owned an auto I would give overdrive a miss

Cheers Pop
AnswerID: 401758

Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 01:15

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 01:15
Hi Beegee

I just recalled in incident when we did tow with O/D on. We had done the 4wd track in the Gammon Ranges without the caravan, and overlooked turn O/D off when we hitched up. The boost gauge was going crazy as the gearbox couldn't make up its mind which top gear to run with. We thought we had a major problem until my husband realised that we had O/D on.

Mh
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Reply By: Thermoguard Instruments - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:01

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:01
Hi BeeGee,

It's a few years since we last towed with an auto - a '92 Toyota Cressida with a 16' pop-top behind. I'm also not up on the details of the auto in the ZD30 Patrols but for what it's worth:

The Cressida had a 4 speed auto: 3 speed plus overdrive button. The torque converter would lock-up in 3rd and 4th if lightly loaded. On the flat, it towed best and was most economical in 3rd with the converter locked. In 4th (OD) with the van behind it would rarely reach lock-up, with the result that you are using fuel just to heat the tranny fluid while driving. Also the comments of others about overdrive gears not being intended/designed for use under high load conditions applies.

You probably won't be surprised to hear that I had a temp gauge on the transmission fluid coming from the 'box into the coolers (standard in-radiator one plus an aftermarket fluid-to-air cooler). [This was in my pre-diesel-owning and pre-ThermoGuard days.] The tranny fluid definitely ran significantly cooler in 3rd lock-up than 4th unlocked - and that's always a good thing IMHO.

Ian
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