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Old 02-28-2014, 01:30 PM   #239
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One thing to remember, no matter what one tows with, how the vehicle is driven can determine its lifespan. I have a neighbor that has had to replace two rear ends in a halfton truck. He accelerates and brakes with a trailer in tow asif he is not towing. A vehicle near its tow limit driven sanely and intelligently can last longer than a half ton or larger truck that is abused. Common sense is a wonderful thing! Jim
Does your neighbor's truck happen to be a GM?
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:32 PM   #240
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One thing to remember, no matter what one tows with, how the vehicle is driven can determine its lifespan. I have a neighbor that has had to replace two rear ends in a halfton truck. He accelerates and brakes with a trailer in tow asif he is not towing. A vehicle near its tow limit driven sanely and intelligently can last longer than a half ton or larger truck that is abused. Common sense is a wonderful thing! Jim
Yep, final drives take a tougher beating when subjected to more engine torque, especially in the lower gears. Somewhere at home I have the owner manual for a late eighties Kenworth, and they have several pages about the importance of using no more throttle than necessary to "get the job done", especially in the lower gears, as this has a definite impact on driveline and differential life.
Everything obviously has limits, and the more miles we can operate with plenty of headroom in those limits, the better durability and long term reliability we can expect.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:44 PM   #241
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I would do research on the head problems for this model and see if the engine can be made reliable. Many times it is a case of redesigning the head gasket. If the problem can be fixed, you might be able to tow with it. Using a scan gauge is a great idea. I was able to program mine to display slip ratio which tells you that the torque converter is not locked and you are generating a ton of heat. You can boil the fluid in a big truck transmission if you push too hard with that torque converter slipping. Usually, you lock the transmission in a lower gear or just back off. HP is never the problem but how long you can run at max HP. Trucks are usually rated to run at or near full throttle or torque for long periods of time. Cars hardly ever need to run full throttle for more than a few seconds to get up above the speed limit. Monitoring engine temperature and transmission temperature will help you stay out of trouble. Synthetic fluids will also help reduce wear under extreme conditions.

Perry
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:50 PM   #242
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I have an Android Galaxy Tab 7" with OS 2.3, so it looks like that would work. $5 bucks is just latte money, so that's a no brainer. Thanks. Looks like it would be a great addition to our "tow instruments." We always have the Galaxy with us for towing if for nothing else, "Gas Buddy." It also is way easier for finding anything than our GPS, which has a horrible search engine (You must type the EXACT ASCII string value to find something).

EDIT: Whoops! Requires a $100 adapter! I spoke too soon about latte money.
Nope. A $7 adapter from ebay will work just fine.

Here's the one I bought: Auto ELM327 V1 5 Interface Bluetooth OBD 2 OBD II CAR Diagnostic Auto Scanner US | eBay
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:08 PM   #243
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Nope. A $7 adapter from ebay will work just fine.

Here's the one I bought: Auto ELM327 V1 5 Interface Bluetooth OBD 2 OBD II CAR Diagnostic Auto Scanner US | eBay
Thanks. I saw those cheapies. The makers of the software tell you that such clones don't work.

Torque web site: "If you buy one of the cheap china OBD2 ELM327 bluetooth adapters from ebay / amazon, then make sure you have a good returns policy with the seller "

I guess for $7 there isn't much to lose though?

Did you have to try more than one?
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:14 PM   #244
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And while Perry makes a good point about synthetic fluid being more tolerant of heat, I always suggest doing homework before making changes from recommended fluids. ( And it could be factory fill is syn.) Whether some backyard mechanics would like to admit it or not, very often those engineer dudes down at the car factory are pretty smart.
Here is an example that is not at all related to the OP's car, but this points out some of the logic that might be applied. Using my Frontier as an example, with it's manual six speed transmission. Nissan specs to use GL4 non synthetic gear oil in this transmission. Some of the guys that think they know better have swapped that out for something like Royal Purple systhetic. Then they experience shifting problems ( gear grinding). The issue is that syn ( or even GL5 non-syn ) is "slicker" than old fashioned GL4, and that extra slipperiness ( tech term there ! ) is not allowing the syncros to perfrom their function correctly. So it's a example of going with what the factory reccos is a smarter move.
Hey I am an old hot rodder too. There have been times that I thought I knew better than guys a lot smarter than me. There were times I broke parts that proved I was not so smart ( NOS on a CB1000F Honda, anyone ? )
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:20 PM   #245
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Older Dodge, but he can destroy anything. The OP should have no problem as long as he uses common sense when towing. No hard starts or violent downshift, and careful on normal braking. Jim
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:41 PM   #246
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EDIT: Whoops! Requires a $100 adapter! I spoke too soon about latte money.
This $13 Amazon adapter claims to work with the torque app.

Amazon.com: LYLŪ mini small ELM327 v1.5 Bluetooth Mini Small Interface OBD2 Scanner Adapter Torque Android: Automotive
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:59 PM   #247
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Did you have to try more than one?
Nope. Bought one, plugged it in, worked like a charm. Your mileage may vary on this.
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:41 PM   #248
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I would do research on the head problems for this model and see if the engine can be made reliable. Many times it is a case of redesigning the head gasket. If the problem can be fixed, you might be able to tow with it. Using a scan gauge is a great idea. I was able to program mine to display slip ratio which tells you that the torque converter is not locked and you are generating a ton of heat. You can boil the fluid in a big truck transmission if you push too hard with that torque converter slipping. Usually, you lock the transmission in a lower gear or just back off. HP is never the problem but how long you can run at max HP. Trucks are usually rated to run at or near full throttle or torque for long periods of time. Cars hardly ever need to run full throttle for more than a few seconds to get up above the speed limit. Monitoring engine temperature and transmission temperature will help you stay out of trouble. Synthetic fluids will also help reduce wear under extreme conditions.

Perry
So far, I have not observed any changes in trans temp while towing.

I am not sure how to tell when the torque converter is locked or slipping. What is the simple way to tell?
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:56 PM   #249
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So far, I have not observed any changes in trans temp while towing.

I am not sure how to tell when the torque converter is locked or slipping. What is the simple way to tell?
By the feel by your butt...or watch the tach.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:00 PM   #250
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For me this year I did have a day where I was driving into a strong headwind all day at 60mph and the gauges showed increases in horsepower and engine temperature, running 110hp and at around 200F (air temp outside was a little over 85F), and that was for hour after hour. That's much higher than running solo, of course, but still with the manufacturer's limits. How tough are the engine components? Can I expect them to be OK when running at higher loads but within limits? On that trip, apart from awful gas consumption, the car showed no ill-effects but will the additional strain will result in a shorter life for the engine and transmission? It's anyone's guess, I think.
My work background was in heavy duty mobile and industrial equipment, often used in mining. Diesel engines in most cases, some natural gas engines. We tracked and guaranteed service costs over multiple years, and how the equipment was used had a big impact on those service costs. We and the manufacturer we represented used gallons of fuel consumed as a proxy for engine load factors and duty cycles, and in fact had access to published manufacturer overhaul intervals based on those gallons burned. I see no reason why the same formula wouldn't work with a gasoline engine that has a heavier than normal duty cycle/load factor, within the range of having sufficient cooling, and so on. So if you are burning twice the fuel, you can consider that you will wear the engine out twice as quickly. However, you aren't always burning twice the fuel, it may be a small portion of the time you use the vehicle. Also, with modern vehicles we often aren't wearing the engines out (rings, pistons, etc) within the useful life of the vehicle, however long that may be.

With transmissions, we usually worked in hours of use. We did have correlations to the number of shifts, though, and used that factor to adjust component overhaul intervals. With automotive transmissions, it wouldn't just be number of shifts, but how much time the transmission spends with the torque converter locked. The things they are doing to get better fuel efficiency have significant benefits to transmission life and minimizing heat, which is good for all of us. And that ZF 8hp transmission is an amazing product IMO.

Jeff
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:23 PM   #251
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By the feel by your butt...or watch the tach.
Hmmm?

I don't know what that means in any useful way. I watch the tach all the time.

Maybe I would ask it this way. When I am going upgrade and holding the car in 3rd gear for miles, is the TC locked? The whole time? What would make it change states?
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:24 PM   #252
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Just got back from the dealer. The block is ok, so they are only replacing the heads. Car will be done Tuesday afternoon.
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