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Old 08-01-2006, 12:30 PM   #21
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I'm sure others will chime in here, but I would not recommend towing in overdrive, especially not with a V6. My truck has the GM "tow" mode (which keeps it out of overdrive), and I tow our 13' in tow mode. Even then, it does occasionally downshift when on an upgrade (it is a 4.8L V8). For what it's worth, I have towed it in overdrive just to measure the gas mileage, and have found that gas mileage is essentially the same either way. To me, it's not worth the slight improvement in gas mileage to risk possible damage to the transmision. In your situation, it's hard to speculate as to whether towing a relatively short distance in OD did anything to contribute to your transmission troubles, however.
Hello Jason;

I was told by a GM mechanic that the GM tow/haul mode, only extend the speed range of the first, second and third gear. The gear are changing much faster, but at a higher RPM, in order to minimise tranny slipping (which causes heat). The OD remains enabled, in tow/haul mode, and you still must select the third gear to tow (if you need to).

Yves.
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:14 PM   #22
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...AAA RV service will not tow a trailer here. They will tow the tow vehicle and leave your trailer on the side of the road. Its really a moho plan. They give no consideration to travel trailers being RVs...
I light of the very clear statements that they will tow travel trailers (for members with the RV option) on both the Alberta site (which I linked) and the AAA site which Lizbeth quoted, I would not accept the trailer being left at the roadside. Benita's experience sounds like either a misunderstanding by a member, or a lazy (or even dishonest) auto club tow truck driver. Any thoughts, Benita?
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Old 08-01-2006, 04:57 PM   #23
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Hi again Myron, I`m guessing that on most 4x4 vehicles, when the transfer case is in neutral, there is no drive on the transmission....the rear diff free wheels.....so from that, guess you probably don`t know if your transfer case was in neutral or not.....in neutral, if it`s the same as my GM truck would be with a 4x4, you should be able to tow the Explorer across the country.........also.... Hi, Jason, in my manual it states that tow haul is only useful at 75% of GCWR or about 8,250 lbs. or more and using it with light loads won`t cause any damage, but may cause unpleasant driving chacteristics and reduced fuel mileage.......my fuel mileage is about the same as yours when towing the 13' Boler....21 mpg Canadian with a 1/5 larger gallon conversion factor, so our trucks do well towing, although could use more power in the mountains.......on the flat lands with my 17', it won`t go into OD if there is any amount of headwinds, so only use 3rd all the time but never figured out the fuel because of the shorter trips......anyway, back to the topic... ....Benny
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:34 AM   #24
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Yes, I drove the Ford yesterday, after writing a check for $710 to the transmission guy, who spent $510 of that money (he said) for something called a "T Converter" which I guess is the transmission seals/gaskets/thingo, which is what blew out on me when towing the burro to the Catskill Mountains last weekend.

Of course, he made me feel better about it when he said, "actually your transmission itself was in good shape." Was no need to replace it, and, he said, often when this happens there's a fire, and the whole Ford burns up. (Aaah-hah!) I felt congratulated on my smart, fast-thinking, field-expedient, transmission-saving solution to the problem, which, of course, I owed to my old OCS training from back in the day. Didn't wanna burn up no Ford. Like the car now even more, now that I saved it from the fires of hell. BTW Ford manual says put it in neutral and don't go over 35 mph when towing it. We done that. Maybe I can keep this car forever.

Just submitting paperwork to AAA on hoped-for towing reimbursement. Am tippy-toeing around that issue right now.
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Old 08-06-2006, 02:23 PM   #25
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...spent $510 of that money (he said) for something called a "T Converter" ...
That would presumably be the torque converter, which serves both as a clutch (to allow the engine to run while stopped and in gear) and as a sort of continously variable transmission (the output to the rest of the transmission can be slower and have more torque than the input from the engine). It is a hydraulic turbine device; if you have no fluid, you have no drive. It typically looks like a big donut, and sits in that flared area of the transmission housing against the engine (just where the clutch does with a manual transmission), called the bellhousing. I've never had to replace one, but the cost quoted doesn't seem surprising to me.
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:27 AM   #26
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Correct. The torque converter was the problem, Brian. I am now good to go.

Just to make sure, I took the rig out yesterday for a 50 mile test run out to the Delaware River, up the hills and down the hills and back home again, to see how things are.

Must admit to having a few butterflies as I pulled out, but they all went away. I had also installed a standard class 2 hitch underneath the factory installed Explorer bumper hitch, to eliminate a severe towing angle. Stopped at a country store in Layton, NJ, not far from Dingman's Bridge, for a snack. Out came a charming couple all smiles wide as the Monongahela, very curious about this marvelously strange trailer. Happy to get my first taste of FB celebrity, I gave them an enthusiastic nickel tour. Later on, at Millbrook Village, a restored 18th century farm center in the parks system, a park ranger followed me into the parking lot and we did the tour thing again.

It's going to be a fun year.
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:21 AM   #27
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Interesting thread and good transmission story! I was under the impression that when the torque converter goes, the rest of the transmission often goes with it. Sounds like your actions paid off. Appreciate the info about AAA road service.
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Old 08-12-2006, 05:56 PM   #28
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You have a complete sentence there saying "Don't tow in OD", so I wouldn't do it except maybe downhill on an Interstate highway -- The risk of transmission repair isn't worth the low potential for fuel savings.

My 98 Ranger has the same engine and 4x4 setup, but I believe my auto transmission is slightly different (5R55E) and my rear-end ratio is 3.73; my tow capacity is 5,960. There is an auxilliary trans fluid cooler in addition to the standard one in the bottom of the radiator.

BTW, with my trans, when "2" is selected, the trans is locked in third gear (of 1-4+OD) for traction on slippery surfaces and when "1" is selected while moving, it downshifts to third gear and then (when speed drops below 30 mph) directly to first gear for engine braking.

Towing nose-up creates a really bad air-dam effect under a trailer and also increases the tendency for the trailer to sway -- Towing level is best, nose-down is second-best and nose-up is worst.
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Old 08-17-2006, 08:15 AM   #29
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I had an '88 Ranger 4WD auto that was capable of being towed on flat-four with the mechanical transfer case lever in "N". It's an absolute no-no with Toyotas. Each brand and model is set up differently. I also lock OD out when I tow. The RPMs at speed are only about 10% different, and the mileage isn't much different at all, but there's a lot more power with the torque converter locked out.

Roger
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Old 08-17-2006, 04:05 PM   #30
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...I also lock OD out when I tow. The RPMs at speed are only about 10% different, and the mileage isn't much different at all, but there's a lot more power with the torque converter locked out.
Roger, I'm confused : are you locking out overdrive (OD), which is the top gear ratio, or are your locking out (disabling) the torque converter lockup feature?

Both controls have been offered in various vehicles. For example, my Sienna allows me to select "4" instead of "D" (so the highest gear ratio - 5th gear - will not be used), but it does not have a way to tell the transmission to never use the lockup clutch on the torque converter. On the other hand, some cars have had a button to disable the lockup clutch.
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Old 08-17-2006, 04:57 PM   #31
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On both my Excursion and my Tundra, I believe that the OD "off" switch locks the torque converter, and doesn't allow the overdrive to operate or the torque converter to slip.

Roger
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Old 08-24-2006, 11:46 AM   #32
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A check just came in today's mail, bringing to a happy ending the AAA part of our aborted try to get to Gilbert Lake. So triple A, who initially would not come tow our trailer when we got stuck did in fact reimburse us fully for the tow expense incurred. It wasn't peanuts. Came to $285.00.

No, we did not tell them the local tow guy State Police called had towed the entire rig. No, he did not include this information on his bill, which we sent a copy of with the reimbursement request. So no, the question we really want an answer to, "Why did they refuse to tow the Burro?", has not been addressed.

Maybe it is simply an aberraton, a one-time case involving an ill-informed dispatcher. Maybe not. All I know is, one in the hand is worth two in the bush. Knowledge may be priceless, but money...is green.
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