"Insane" 280 torque in little Mazda3 speed - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-12-2007, 11:39 PM   #1
Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 45
Today's NY Times used that word in a review entitled, "Hatchback Slathered in Hot Sauce." Could such a vehicle safely tow some of the smaller fiberglass trailers often mentioned here since it sure seems to have the physical capacity?

No doubt it would be a fun change of pace. I've never owned a car than can go 150 mph and I suspect that's true of most folks here. This car is even faster than the RX-8.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/11/automobi...amp;oref=slogin

I own the re-engineered Mazda MX5 which came out a year ago in 2006. The car started with 120 horsepower back in 1990, then jumped to 140 horsepower and now reached 170 horsepower and is feature the cover of 2007 Consumer Reports (Apparently a turbo-speed version of the is on the way) The MX-5 was picked as the "most fun to drive" an ranke second (three way tie) among all cars in avoidance manuever. CR said the closest thing in a four door or wagon is the Suburu Impreza.

EXPENSIVE VEHICLES WITH POOR REVIEWS: It's amazing how much the price of a vehicle sometimes reflects status of a brand rather than qualities you'd want. I knew Jags and Land Rovers were expensive but trouble. What's interesting is how poorly some of the high-priced German cars (BMW 7 series, Mercedes) did in relialiability. Ditto some of Volkswagons, especially the Tuareg (about $50K) which is available with a DIESEL engine and might have interested folks here. Saabs didn't do well either (a friend of mine got nicked and dimed to deathowning one). The Nissan Altima got a "below average" use recommendation.

GOOD REVIEWS: Most Toyotas did well (one or two exceptions. Hondas did well. Among Mazdas the Mazda 5 wagon and the two vehicles above did well but not the Mazda Triute (safety issues) and Mazda 6. The GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe did well and were rated among the most satisfying large SUV's by readers.

MY MAZDA MIATA MX-5 VS. PORSCHE BOXSTER. Consumer reports recommended both but there's a whopping price difference. The Boxster costs MORE than twice as nuch. In cse there are any Porsche owners here, I'm not knocking the car but--not having unlimited funds--can't see how the difference is justified unless you get something substantially and obviously much, much better for the money.

The acceleration is virtually identical (Boxer 6.5 seconds, MX-5 6.7). Both handle great and I wouldn't know who has the edge there. There's no question however that the Boxster has had somewhat more trouble areas in the past than the Miata and that repairs and parts appear a bit more expensive as well.

Someone here wrote that "everyone likes there own RV best because we don't like to admit to mistakes. I can't help being biased when it comes to looks but other people's reactions seem similar to my own.

I parked the Miata at a shopping mall and discovered a Boxster about ten cars away--same exterior color, tops down on both. Later as I watched from the store as several people walked right past the Boxster but stopped to stare at the MX-5. Both had an attractive red exterior. The Miata's interior (black) with silver (pseudo?) roll bars behind both seats just looks sexier than Boxster beige with red.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Until last year we only needed one car because my wife was able to walk to work previously. Now--because of medical problems--it looks like she might have to retire at the end of September in September instead of two years down he road. Neither her Protege 5 nor my Miata will do for a tow vehicle so one--at least--will have got to go then. The Miata "speed" may have the power for some of the trailers here but I'd guess the size would be a problem. I'd imagine the sight of a turbo-charged red Miata towing a 13 foot small scamp would cause some campers to scratch their heads.
__________________

__________________
Frank G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 12:20 AM   #2
Moderator
 
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
 
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
California
Posts: 8,151
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Frederick L. Simson
Unhappy

Quote:
I'd imagine the sight of a turbo-charged red Miata towing a 13 foot small scamp would cause some campers to scratch their heads.
In 1996, when I first encountered the Lite House, trailer-for-two, their promotional literature stated that there was one being towed by a Red Mazda Miata. However, it was only possible because the trailer only had the bed and storage cabinets. No stove, no sink & water tank, no icebox, no propane bottle, no battery, ....
... all to get the trailer's weight down to about 650 pounds. Basically a hard sided tent on wheels.
__________________

__________________
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
Frederick L. Simson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 05:14 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Alf S.'s Avatar
 
Name: Alfred
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA / 2010 Nissan Frontier
Ontario
Posts: 3,816
Registry
Send a message via Yahoo to Alf S.
Hi: As far as I know Turbo powered cars are unsuitable for towing! The fact that the turbo is only required for hard acceleration means the waist gate is closed most of the time...meaning the exhaust that drives it ( very hot stuff ) bypasses it!!! When towing a trailer the extra drag would cause the waist gate to remain open most of the time and could cause overheating/berring failure in the turbo...As far as I know Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
__________________
Alf S. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 06:01 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Roger H's Avatar
 
Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
Posts: 5,000
What you can do, and what you ought to do are often two different things. As to whether or not your Miata can tow a trailer, I refer you to my avatar. It can. Whether it can do it safely, long term, under all conditions is another issue entirely.

In 1980, I towed a Scamp 13 with a 4 cyl Dodge Omni. I didn't do it long (only a few times) and it was harrowing towing it over the mountains in SoCal to Anza Borrego, but I did it. I'd never do it again. It wasn't rated to tow a roller skate. I couldn't find a hitch to fit it, and the guy who was willing to install a "generic" class I hitch told me I was nuts. Fortunately I was young and confident and wasn't bright enough to ask why.

Check your owner's manual to see what your Miata is actually rated at for towing. Tow ratings are based on many mysterious factors, the least of which (I suspect) is horsepower. Rear end gearing ratio, transmission, clutch size, suspension, weight distribution, and body/frame construction all have some part to play. Further, short wheelbases are not recommended for towing, and the shorter the wheelbase the less competent the vehicle is for towing.

All-in-all, I'd say let the Miata be a sports car and find something competent to tow with if you want to drag a trailer around.

Roger
__________________
Roger H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 08:06 AM   #5
Administrator
 
Mary F's Avatar
 
Name: Mary
Trailer: Escape 21; (formerly Casita LD 17 & 16)
Texas
Posts: 9,711
Registry
How you gonna stop?
__________________
Mary F Fiberglass Rules!
________________________________
FGRV Forum Custom Search
Mary F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 10:15 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 2000 19 ft (formerly 17 ft) Casita Freedom Deluxe ('Nuestra Casita') / 2000 4WD V8 Tundra
Posts: 760
Send a message via Yahoo to Kurt & Ann K.
From the discussion so far, it would appear that "Insanity", or sanity is relative.
A high speed, one way trip...or the alternative!
Kurt & Ann K.
__________________
Kurt & Ann K. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 12:33 PM   #7
Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 45
I'd never consider towing with the MX-5 but wish I could. I'm aware of some of the other factors involved, including size, wheelbase and brake/transmission concerns.

Speaking of that my wife's brother--a nice guy and great family man--wrecked the transmission on his van (Caravan if I recall) by using it to tow a boat. I gather it wouldn't have happened if he had the transmission cooler.

That brings up a question which may be naive:

Some post I came accross recently led me to think such a cooler is mainly required where the tow vehicle is an automatic. Is that correct? If so, it suggests that the same vehicle, if rated to tow a given number of pounds, would not need the cooler if it were a stick?
__________________
Frank G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 12:55 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
LSChilders's Avatar
 
Trailer: Casita 17 ft Liberty Deluxe
Posts: 105
<span style="font-family:Arial">"Some post I came accross recently led me to think such a cooler is mainly required where the tow vehicle is an automatic. Is that correct? If so, it suggests that the same vehicle, if rated to tow a given number of pounds, would not need the cooler if it were a stick?"</span>


Correct.
__________________
LSChilders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 01:03 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Chester Taje's Avatar
 
Name: Ches
Trailer: 1992 Kustom Koach 17 FT
British Columbia
Posts: 4,897
Quote:
<span style="font-family:Arial">"Some post I came accross recently led me to think such a cooler is mainly required where the tow vehicle is an automatic. Is that correct? If so, it suggests that the same vehicle, if rated to tow a given number of pounds, would not need the cooler if it were a stick?"</span>
Correct.
I think you are right.I tow my unit with a stick shift and no trany cooler and no heating problems.
__________________
Retired Underground Coal Miner.
Served in Canadian Army (1PPCLI)
Chester Taje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 01:18 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Brian B-P's Avatar
 
Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
Posts: 5,000
There is a large difference between producing very high engine output for the few seconds that it takes to reach highway speed, and the sustaining that output under the continuous load of towing. I would not expect a problem with the turbo itself in a modern sports car, but the engine's cooling and lubrication system would probably not keep up.

There was a link posted here to a top speed caravan towing attempt by BBC's Top Gear. They reached about 125 mph, but the race-ready tow car then blew up its multi-hundred-horsepower turbocharged engine. I suspect that the same car was quite reliable in race use.

Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see some of these combinations...
__________________
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 06:23 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Trailer:
Posts: 787
Sorry, Alf, you've got the idea of a turbo completely backwards. They often work better when towing as extra load makes the turbo do more work, which improves efficiency. I'm not suggesting better mileage towing, but less of a drop when towing. Turbo gas engines make lovely towing power units because they give you the big torque at low-ish revs.

A boss of mine had an Audi S4, the (previous) turbo four-wheel-drive sports model, which was a near-perfect tow car - mountains of torque, more brakes than two cars would need, and a surprising amount of stability for a relatively small car. His wife complained a lot, as he felt obliged to show guys in fast cars he could out-drag them, with both a trailer on the back and a boat on the roof.....

Andrew
__________________
Andrew Gibbens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 06:37 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 3,030
Send a message via Yahoo to Darwin Maring
I do not think it is the torque but the weight. I think your vehicle needs to have the weight to hold things on the road. I once pulled a utility trailer with my Suzuki 4 door 4X4 Sidekick and when I came to the stop sign and applied the brakes, the weight of the trailer pushed me out into the traffic lane.

That Suzuki Sidekick had the torque, just not the weight to control the trailer.

Do not exceed the manufactures stated limits in the owners manual. Hurt someone by ignoring the manufactures limits and you may lose everything you have in the court case.
__________________
Darwin Maring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 07:07 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Brian B-P's Avatar
 
Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
Posts: 5,000
I don't think a turbocharger fundamentally aids efficiency in a gasoline engine, but I do see how it can help by allowing operation at a lower engine speed for the same power, reducing wear and frictional losses. On the other hand, the slightly lower compression ratio required to accommodate the turbo means starting with a handicap compared to a non-supercharged engine.

Every implementation of the same technology is somewhat unique, so I'm sure there are great turbo gasoline tugs. Just don't expect a sports car engine to run at high output continuously, regardless of the technology.

Diesels and turbos are an entirely different matter... but I don't see a turbodiesel MX-5 or Mazda3 in the near future!
__________________
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2007, 07:36 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
Quote:
That brings up a question which may be naive:

Some post I came accross recently led me to think such a cooler is mainly required where the tow vehicle is an automatic. Is that correct? If so, it suggests that the same vehicle, if rated to tow a given number of pounds, would not need the cooler if it were a stick?
Typically, a manual transmission has no cooling associated with it (auto transmissions are relatively delicate, as is their fluid, and produce a lot of heat when they are 'slipping' and not in lockup mode) because the components are robust and there's far less waste heat.

Because auto transmissions usually use the main radiator for primary cooling (look on the bottom back of the radiator and you will see the transmission fluid plumbing), there's also less cooling available for the engine. Auxilliary transmission coolers help to make up the difference.

The prime newbie-to-towing misconception is that towing is all about pulling power -- The grim reality is that one not only has to pull it, one has to be able to steer it and stop it -- Many motorcycles are powerful enough to pull one of our trailers up Pike's Peak, but likely would never get it back down in one piece...

Even with trailer brakes to handle the stopping part, the towing geometry of small cars is such that a sway situation caused by too much speed, rough road, imbalance or even a passing truck would have the trailer overpowering the car and flinging it into the ditch or the opposing traffic...
__________________

__________________
Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Weights:"older model","later model" 17 ' Bigfo Joseph Olajos Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 8 04-05-2010 06:56 PM
1985 "20 ft Bigfoot tandem axel" 19ft 5'er? $6200 Robin G Referrals: Molded Fiberglass Trailers 0 02-14-2010 11:09 AM
overcoming a "charm-ectomy", rotten floor & other issue Kelly G Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 5 05-22-2009 01:57 PM
SOLD - 1970 Boler on "Ebay" 10 hours/ 20 Minutes left Dave Baston Classified Archives 5 04-12-2009 11:45 AM
"SOLD" 1988 Scamp 5th Wheel Deluxe, So. Calif, For Sale Sam Halderman Classified Archives 2 05-23-2006 07:56 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.