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Last Post 11 Feb 2012 04:05 PM by  EPcivic
Frontier or Titan for occasional towing?
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IntegraR0064
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Posts:151


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09 Feb 2012 01:14 PM
This is a good discussion, thanks to everyone who shared their experience.

I'm sort of wishing I had gone with the big tow package to be safe, but I'm guessing it'll be fine since the load will be pretty light. Also I'm wondering if maybe the tuner will give it just that little bit extra to let me go 70-75 in 5th. If it seems like it's hunting a lot or seems like I need to limit it to 4th and that really impacts my fuel economy I can always sell it and go with the other package (or maybe swap the gears...I wonder if that's possible). The fuel mileage difference otherwise seems to be significant so I think it's worth taking the risk, and I did get it at a really good price so I probably won't lose much selling it. I'll report back in a few months once I've had the chance to tow with it.
GlennAustin
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Posts:980


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09 Feb 2012 09:43 PM
John V wrote:
You say the transmission doesn't hunt, but then you complained about high transmission temps?

The only reason the temperature would get up there is if it's shifting frequently.

Low speeds, steel trailer + 350Z + family + gear (approx. 12,000 lbs), and steep climb -- at night -- on an unfamiliar road.

Williams, CA to Nice, CA

John V
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10 Feb 2012 05:54 AM
So throw it in third and let it scream. That's why they give you that gear selector, Glenn :)
EPcivic
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Posts:48


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10 Feb 2012 06:44 AM
I don't have the big tow pkg, and didn't want it because I wanted the better mileage of the taller gears, and didn't need the wide mirrors to see around my Civic on an open trailer. With my load, I pull in 5th and it almost never downshifts. If I hit hills, I put it in 4th for a while, no big deal. I have tested back to back on full tanks of gas on the same day running in 4th vs 5th and there wasn't any difference in mileage. It is louder in 4th, obviously. The trick to keeping any truck from downshifting from overdrive is to get you speed up enough past the natural 4-5 upshift point. Unless you're pulling something with a high wind load, the transmission hunting should improve with speed. Enclosed trailers are NOT the same dynamic, as the wind load is the dominant factor.

-Chris

IntegraR0064
Basic Member
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Posts:151


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10 Feb 2012 09:35 AM
EPcivic wrote:
I don't have the big tow pkg, and didn't want it because I wanted the better mileage of the taller gears, and didn't need the wide mirrors to see around my Civic on an open trailer. With my load, I pull in 5th and it almost never downshifts. If I hit hills, I put it in 4th for a while, no big deal. I have tested back to back on full tanks of gas on the same day running in 4th vs 5th and there wasn't any difference in mileage. It is louder in 4th, obviously. The trick to keeping any truck from downshifting from overdrive is to get you speed up enough past the natural 4-5 upshift point. Unless you're pulling something with a high wind load, the transmission hunting should improve with speed. Enclosed trailers are NOT the same dynamic, as the wind load is the dominant factor.

-Chris

Thanks, that's good to hear, that was pretty much my thinking that I was hoping would happen. So approximately where is the "natural 4-5 shift point"? Also, just so I understand what you're saying, when you tested 4th vs 5th, were you going the same average speed?


Edit: Also interesting point about the mirrors, I figured I'd have to get some tow mirrors afterwards. How wide/long is your trailer?

GlennAustin
Advanced Member
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Posts:980


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11 Feb 2012 12:10 AM
John V wrote:
So throw it in third and let it scream. That's why they give you that gear selector, Glenn :)

That's pretty much what I did. A few months later the transmission had no problems -- the difference between 5,000 and 10,000 miles on a transmission is a lot more than people sometimes think.

The problem was that the transmission temps went up in 4th -- there was plenty of *power* and the truck could stay in 4th, but there was not enough airflow to effectively cool the transmission for the amount of work it was doing. In third, the engine fan pulled enough air to keep the transmission cooler more effective.

EPcivic
New Member
New Member
Posts:48


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11 Feb 2012 04:05 PM
IntegraR0064 wrote:
EPcivic wrote:
I don't have the big tow pkg, and didn't want it because I wanted the better mileage of the taller gears, and didn't need the wide mirrors to see around my Civic on an open trailer. With my load, I pull in 5th and it almost never downshifts. If I hit hills, I put it in 4th for a while, no big deal. I have tested back to back on full tanks of gas on the same day running in 4th vs 5th and there wasn't any difference in mileage. It is louder in 4th, obviously. The trick to keeping any truck from downshifting from overdrive is to get you speed up enough past the natural 4-5 upshift point. Unless you're pulling something with a high wind load, the transmission hunting should improve with speed. Enclosed trailers are NOT the same dynamic, as the wind load is the dominant factor.

-Chris

Thanks, that's good to hear, that was pretty much my thinking that I was hoping would happen. So approximately where is the "natural 4-5 shift point"? Also, just so I understand what you're saying, when you tested 4th vs 5th, were you going the same average speed?

Edit: Also interesting point about the mirrors, I figured I'd have to get some tow mirrors afterwards. How wide/long is your trailer?

I don't know off the top of my head where the shift points are, but if you were trying to run at 50-55 in 5th with a trailer, it's probably going to try to downshift a lot. Running at 70-80 there is no problem unless you hit a big hill.

When I tested 4th vs 5th I ran at the same speed. I think it was 70. I've actually done quite a bit of mileage testing with it, mostly because I'm a geek. Without a doubt, the most important factor is wind. If you can find a truck or bus that is going the speed you want to go, you will pick up mileage by following it. The improvement gets better the closer you follow, but even a very reasonable distances (ie, nowhere close to tailgating), there is still a benefit. I installed a scangage from work for one of my trips to Blytheville from Ohio, and in full on hypermiling mode, I was able to get almost 16mpg towing. This was at around 65, trying to follow trucks and being careful with hills.

My trailer is very small, just big enough to fit an 86 Civic. My garage is really tight, so the extra mirror width really would be a problem. I'd probably have to use the power folding feature every time I pulled in.

-Chris

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