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Old 08-23-2013, 01:16 PM   #43
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For comparison's sake, our Tundra never overheats going over Colorado mountain passes. Different manufacturers have different standards for their cooling systems. Tow ratings may be done on level roads at sea level.

Gene[/QUOTE]

Gene,

I am one who spent 25 in the automotive industry working for a supplier and went on test trips with the auto companies. Beside testing cooling systems in Death Valley etc the hills like Grapevine in the SW were used for cooling testing with a trailer. Passes like Monarch in CO were used for high altitude operation, sometimes with and sometimes without a trailer. The operating temps were pretty much always hotter in the SW on those long grades.

I'd also like to point out that while I certainly agree that vehicles are "better" today than 30 or 40 years ago they are not so over designed today. The better comes from improved manufacturing and quality systems. What I mean about overdesigned is that today with the importance of fuel economy any vehicle can't afford to carry unnecessary weight so components are designed to tighter limits based on expected duty cycle. In the old days we overdesigned (more conservative) and put in bigger heavier part and didn't worry about it. An example of this is that largest axle available on a new F150 with tow package is still smaller (as measured by the ring gear diameter) than the standard axle on a '60's and '70's full size Ford sedan.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #44
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BUT, ring size (diameter) is not necessarily THE indicator of robustness. Many smaller diameter rings are much stronger than larger rings of yesteryear. And I disagree with the "more conservative" statement. Back in the day, durability testing was to an expected 100,000 mile lifetime. Today, most vehicles are durability tested to 250,000 to 300,000 miles...and many components, like the Duramax are tested to 500,000 miles. That is one of the reasons that the average age of registered vehicles has risen from 6.5 years, when I started my career, to a new high, right now, of 11.5 years.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:31 PM   #45
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The Tundra has a separate temperature gauge for the transmission fluid. I have never seen either gauge rise above normal operating temperature.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:34 PM   #46
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The Tundra has a separate temperature gauge for the transmission fluid. I have never seen either gauge rise above normal operating temperature.
I did see a very slight rise in one of the gauges while pulling up Vail Pass at 65 mph. Nothing significant and I was going pretty fast. I usually drive 50-55 on those passes including Monarch, but was in a hurry. The gas gauge does go down fast going 65 up the pass.

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Old 08-23-2013, 01:42 PM   #47
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Toad,

I am trying to get myself motivated to post the entire process. It would take several pages to tell all, and I am not sure I'm up for it, as there will be those who say it's all BS anyway.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:45 PM   #48
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As an interesting side note, a member of the SiennaChat Forum recently asked Toyota what the GCWR was for his Sienna as it's not posted on the door post sticker or in the manual. Toyota's response was that they "did not have that information". Make of that what you will.
The absence of the GCWR numbers on spec sheets and brochures seems to be growing over the last couple of years. Suspect that it may be a legal issue. Toyota's TRD division is a real profit center for dealers. They (the dealers) offer the same item with a TRD sticker that you can buy down the street for less money but there is always that threat of a voided warranty when you use the same item without that TRD sticker.

Wonder if Toyota/TRD paid the Joe Gibbs Racing fine when the Toyota NASCAR engines were out of spec and fines levied?
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:52 PM   #49
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Well the 9 inch ford of the '60 easily took over 500 hp in a race car back in that time period as it was the standard to use in NASCAR and drag racing. Today with modern steels it takes 900 hp in a NASCAR racer and more than that in drag racing with after market parts but still the same 9 inch design. Having some experience in this I very much doubt that you can take a stock rear end from an F150 and put that kind of power thru it and expect any life.

If you have ever looked a assembly like an axle, you know the rest of parts used in the assembly like bearings etc follow along in size. The shaft sizes and bearing sizes very much are limiting factors for load ratings and that was my point of rear end example. Parts like bearings simply haven't changed all that much. I can look up the load rating of a bearing in a 20 year old NSK bearing manual and get the same number as published today.

The point is that new cars are designed closer to limits of what they need to do. The result is that to compare a car today to a car of years ago is somewhat apples and oranges. While quality suffered overall in cars of the era, many of parts used in cars of that era that are critical to towing were overdesigned for what they had to do because we didn't worry so much about weight, and therefore even though they were cars vs trucks they could take the increased stress of towing. Transmissions were the same way the C6 in Ford car could take a lot more power than it was asked to in the sedan inspite of only 3 gears. So when you towed and were therefore using a higher power level for extended periods of time you still weren't taking the parts in the driveline to anywhere near their real limits.

Today with the need to keep weight down the parts are designed to meet a limit and that is it.

You also raise the point of design life, and I admit I'm don't know what current design life cycles are common. But it is not just the miles that your simulating, it is also the duty cycle, i.e. percent load for example and in the '90's we used (as directed by the auto companies) a more severe life cycle for a truck part than a car part. I recall that they were also longer cycles for trucks. So I believe you would have to specify if your talking trucks or cars.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:05 PM   #50
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Cars (for GM) are generally 200,000 - 250,000 and trucks are 300,000 +, and yes the tests and duty cycles for testing are much more rigorous for trucks than cars. The registration data are for all light duty vehicles (1 ton and below and all other autos). All fulfill their intended purpose much longer and with less repairs than the old days.

Racing with the old stuff????? That's your bailey-wick, I didn't do any and can't say, and yes, new alloys and materials,and better machining and tighter tolerances have made for lighter components....but the evidence is clear....today's cars and trucks are FAR superior to any in the past, as far as reliability and long term durability are concerned.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:23 PM   #51
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Cars (for GM) are generally 200,000 - 250,000 and trucks are 300,000 +, and yes the tests and duty cycles for testing are much more rigorous for trucks than cars. The registration data are for all light duty vehicles (1 ton and below and all other autos). All fulfill their intended purpose much longer and with less repairs than the old days.

Racing with the old stuff????? That's your bailey-wick, I didn't do any and can't say, and yes, new alloys and materials,and better machining and tighter tolerances have made for lighter components....but the evidence is clear....today's cars and trucks are FAR superior to any in the past, as far as reliability and long term durability are concerned.
One more try then I quit since I am obviously not getting my point across. I am not saying the old cars were better, got it?

The questions in the original thread revolved around limits like GCWR and GAWR. Then the old saw about they towed with these crappy old cars came up.

Then the discussion seemed to be moving to a position that since new vehicles are so much better than old ones, this was somehow justification that todays vehicle towing limits and weight ratings could be exceeded with impunity. Certainly this was not said but seemed to be implied.

Since I don't feel this is a valid assumption, I was simply pointing out that many of the parts used in these crappy old cars that are critical to towing were capable of much more than than was asked of them and therefore towing was not all much harder on many of the parts we rely on in towing. Unlike today to where, while quality is higher and design lives are longer, today's vehicles are not designed to handle higher loads etc than specified in the duty cycle. Therefore pushing the vehicle to limits past what it was designed for is very much taking the responsibility into your own hands.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:26 PM   #52
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Rick, we're actually not that far apart. GCWR,GAWR, etc ARE valid engineering established (with a small safety margin built in) numbers that, if exceeded regularly will, at a minimum, result in shortened lifespan of vehicle components.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:40 PM   #53
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Rick, we're actually not that far apart. GCWR,GAWR, etc ARE valid engineering established (with a small safety margin built in) numbers that, if exceeded regularly will, at a minimum, result in shortened lifespan of vehicle components.

Very well said.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:43 PM   #54
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So, are todays vehicles made better and more reliable than those of our childhood ??
Can't remember when I last changed a spark plug. OH yeah, bye-the-way back then we had to pull the plugs and clean them every 3k miles or so. And oil changes. Don't forget them every 3k. Yes, it's tough to compare todays vehicles with the earlier ones. Todays require much less maintenance ( unless you're lucky enough to get the lemon). They are much safer ( brakes / airbags / structural crash protection). I didn't do any heavy towing back then so I have little personal towing experience with the older cars. I tow my trailer with a 1T pickup and feel very confidant and safe. A 3/4T would also do nicely. I see other configurations on the road as well. I'm well within the manufacturer weight ratings of my truck and feel comfortable using them as my guideline.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:52 PM   #55
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So, are todays vehicles made better and more reliable than those of our childhood ??
Can't remember when I last changed a spark plug. OH yeah, bye-the-way back then we had to pull the plugs and clean them every 3k miles or so. And oil changes. Don't forget them every 3k. Yes, it's tough to compare todays vehicles with the earlier ones. Todays require much less maintenance ( unless you're lucky enough to get the lemon). They are much safer ( brakes / airbags / structural crash protection). I didn't do any heavy towing back then so I have little personal towing experience with the older cars. I tow my trailer with a 1T pickup and feel very confidant and safe. A 3/4T would also do nicely. I see other configurations on the road as well. I'm well within the manufacturer weight ratings of my truck and feel comfortable using them as my guideline.
I can only comment professionally to vehicles dating back to the mid 70's or so. I started in 1982 and the market was mostly made up of 70's cars & trucks. All I can say is THANK GOD WE DON"T BUILD THEM LIKE WE USED TO!!!!!! That includes all automakers, domestic and foreign.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:55 PM   #56
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Crisen, I think your posts have been informative.

We buy trucks (SUV's on a truck frame, for ex.) be cause they are tougher and last longer. They are also easier to get in and out of for my old body. Our 4Runner has 107,000 miles my wife informs me. Nothing goes wrong except a few light bulbs and other minor things. It is built on a truck frame and is well designed except I don't like the seats. We wouldn't tow with it because it isn't designed for the weight of our trailer.

I understand how vehicles were heavy and had big, strong parts in the "old days". I think today's parts are lighter and metals technology has made them strong too. And that big GM 350 engine was heavy and could lope along at highway speeds for a long time. Of course, the engine was a gas hog, had plenty of crappy parts attached to it and didn't last for a long time. I haven't driven a '60's or '70's vehicle in a long time, but I think if I did, it would be kind of scary—poor brakes, wandering steering, super soft suspension and frequent repair bills.

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