Towing in OD? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-14-2003, 01:12 PM   #15
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towing in overdrive

Interesting tidbit from the 'ATS website' regarding rebuilt Dodge ram transmissions.....

"Our high performance rebuilt transmissions are built to handle heavy loads and high horsepower. We increase the number of overdrive direct clutches from 8-10 to increases the amount of torque the overdrive can handle from 640 foot pounds to 800 foot pounds. We also increase the number of high/reverse clutches from 4-5 to handle higher torque loads. Better oiling to the overdrive planetary gears enabling towing in overdrive......

......Our transmissions are designed to enable towing in overdrive."


At the library, I found information in "Mitchels" referring to my Chrysler mini-van 4 speed automatic transmission. As I understand it, when in overdrive, the electronic controls sense when the vehicle becomes 'under load' and 'unlocks' the torque converter in order to allow a smooth downshift. If it's not enough load to complete the downshift, the transmission might operate with the converter 'unlocked'. Interpreted as 'not good'.

I experimented with towing in overdrive on a flat interstate and would notice an increase of engine rpm on overpasses with out any speed increase. This was puzzling. But apparently the converter was becoming 'unlocked' during this time.

Trucks and cars are designed differently from the ground up....well, we know that?! :)



Keep smilin'........just part of the expense of having what sounds like a wonderful trip.

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Old 05-14-2003, 02:30 PM   #16
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Hi PineConeDon
What you read is exactly what our Ford Mechanic friend told us. When towing in OD the torque converter is constantly locking and unlocking which burns out the trany.

We towed our tent trailer for years in OD and noticed nothing different. The 17' stick built was what we noticed the constant lock/unlocking with. The 13' Trillium seems not to cause the problem but its not worth the risk.

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Old 05-14-2003, 11:47 PM   #17
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PineConeDon: You quoted a website that was talking about rebuilt trannies. Everybody is trying to avoid that but if it does come around to a rebuild, beefing up a trannie is common. The guy I know that does it wont rebuild a 700r4 to factory specs, its only a couple of bucks to put in a better clutch pack and make a few other mods. Just make sure the guy doing the work knows you tow, how much it weighs, you will get you a slightly different rebuild.

The 4L60e in not a known to be extremly strong but it will do fine under reasonable conditions and even better once beefed up a bit. Im confident in mine, driving in OD and all but I would know when to drop it down and keep it there (I hope-where is that wood-knock, knock).

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Old 05-18-2003, 05:25 AM   #18
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GM Owner's Manuals Revisited

All, (Al and Charles in particular)
Sorry for the sloppy homework in my previous post. The procedure for accessing gm's manuals online follows:

1. Go to, click on "Owner Center" in the upper right corner of the page.

2. This brings up a login page for the "Owner Center." Click on the "register" button, about mid-page in the graphics

3. Complete the registration process, it will ask you for the VIN, or year, make, and model, among other things. It will also ask you for an email address. They will email you your password to the email address you provide.

4. There will be a shortcut to the login page in the email that provides your password; go to the login page and enter the username and password provided. Once you login into the site, go to the "glovebox, " this is where you can download an electronic version of your manual, or order a print version.

I don't know how many model years in the past they service on the site this way. I hope this helps and is more complete than my last post.
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Old 05-18-2003, 07:30 AM   #19
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Hi All
As I said in Gen Chat my wife and I bought a new to us tow vehical.Of course this is first auto trany I have had in 25 years.Now I have got to see what I can do according to manual.In trailer towing section, NOTHING said about towing in OD one way or the other.

In another section of manual for one paragraph,which I all most missed Says (When driving in hilly areas,towing a trailer or carring heavy loads TURN OD OFF)This will reduce trany failure.

If that isn't clear to me nothing is.

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