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Old 01-27-2009, 01:00 PM   #1
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
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Tow Vehicle Modifications

I'm interested in hearing from the ones of you that have done modifications to your tow vehicle to increase towing performance....things like exhaust system, intake system, and computer mods, etc., what vehicle it was done to, and what if any performace increases you have experienced. Additionally, did the mods improve or decrease fuel mileage?

Let's hear about them.
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:49 PM   #2
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Question

1995 2500 Sub. 3/4 454, 3:70 diff.
Mods done w/new approx. 18000mi.
Gail Banks Power-Pac w/stainless headers & cold air intake, Jet six-pack programable computer chip, Accel Double Strike Ignition, stainless low temp thermo, Bosch Plus4 Plat plugs & Jacobs silicone wires. Tekonsha external transmission filter with temp gage. All Synthetic lube, diff's, t-case and all. Water injection w/needed, (blue washer fluid actually).
Gained ave. 3mpg w/towing. Over 165000mi. With a lot more power and torque.
It's really only cost effective when spread out over many miles.

ps. it's for sale.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:53 PM   #3
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Tow Vehicle Modifications

My 1975 Cadillac has received a custom full dual exhaust system including low-restriction/high-flow dual catalytic converters and low-restriction/high-flow dual baffle-type mufflers utilizing 2" pipes. Also added was a custom 5-row core radiator, GMC Motorhome water pump, and heavy duty clutch fan similar to that used on GMC Motorhomes. Carburetor rebuilt to GMC Motorhome specifications.


The modifications made no difference in fuel economy either solo or towing. The positives included:
  • Driver no longer gets hot-foot from single-restrictive catalytic converter.
  • Air Conditioner now has a fighting chance to cool the cabin as the improved flow of the exhausts help to keep interior heat gain down.
  • Power production is improved --
    • smoother speed gain when towing
    • more responsive when starting from stop on grade
    • reduced lag in speed gain when passing while towing
With the modifications above, the Cadillac easily tows my Minuet anywhere in the Lower-48 with minimal concern. While it can handle the Overlander in the Rocky Mountains, I am more comfortable keeping East of the Rocky Mountains when towing the Overlander.

After modifications, the solos economy is 12 MPG Solo and 6 to 10 MPG towing -- around 9 MPG average for towing. This is not a tow vehicle for rushed trips as it only has about a 150 mile cruising range per tank when towing.

Kevin
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
I'm interested in hearing from the ones of you that have done modifications to your tow vehicle to increase towing performance....things like exhaust system, intake system, and computer mods, etc., what vehicle it was done to, and what if any performace increases you have experienced. Additionally, did the mods improve or decrease fuel mileage?

Let's hear about them.
Mods,
Direct read Oil Pressure, Direct read oil temp, Direct read Trans temp, Pyrometer. Airspeed and Altimeter, OAT and System Voltage.
As for chipping. I considered it. I am waiting until the 100,000 mile warrenty expires. Even resetting to Factory spec leaves a trace in the Fords Computer.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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2005 GMC Youkon XL 2500 Quadrasteer

Cold air intake - pulls stronger; no real gas mileage improvement.

Aftermarket Class IV receiver; the OEM receiver is junk

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Old 01-27-2009, 10:05 PM   #6
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1965 Suburban 350 350 turbo trans 4.11 gears
I have added power disc brakes, the original drum brakes were only good for one quick stop. Replaced the intake with a edelbrock performer Manifold and caburator. K&N filter, NGK Iridium spark plugs, wires and headers. All of this helped in performance and gas milage. The thing that I have added that helped the most was a GearVendors overdirve. This unit has droped my gears to 3.33 and rpms by 600 rpm. I now get 11 mpg towing and 14 mpg daily. I use the burb for my daily driver and for my business.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:01 PM   #7
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* I have installed a Talon USA full air ride system on my 2007, new body style, ĺ Ton HD, GMC Sierra. What a heavy duty kit. The ride is level and smooth in all regimens, empty or loaded. This system replaces the original HD springs with large tractor trailer air bags. All four original shocks are replaced with adjustable HD shocks. There is no dipping or pitching during braking or acceleration. The system has a hold and kneeling feature to facilitate hooking up fifth wheel trailers. The kit is about $4000 and installation around $2000. I have no monetary interest in Talon USA. You can find them on the web at <talon-usa.com>.

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Old 01-27-2009, 11:50 PM   #8
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Hi, 2000 Lincoln Navigator; Changed worn out brake pads to Ceramic pads. No other changes necessary or wanted.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:36 AM   #9
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Hi, 2000 Lincoln Navigator; Changed worn out brake pads to Ceramic pads. No other changes necessary or wanted.
Our case is identical to yours Bob. Although it won't help fuel mileage they do work great (and keep the rims much cleaner) Hawk HPS brake pads. With a V6 we have more than enough power and very good economy compared to most.
Hawk Performance HPS Brake Pads
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:48 PM   #10
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A second tranny cooler, RV shift kit in tranny and an electric fan infront of the radiator. Especially in a van configuration cooling air doesn't flow as well as other TV body types. Plus it get's fipping hot here.

The shift kit really helped the EAOD tranny I have. Less slipping and less heating up the fluid.

I also installed a less restrictive muffler. Didn't see much improvement in the towing experience.

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Old 02-02-2009, 06:32 AM   #11
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Common Sense , Texas
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Thanks everyone for your input. It is appreciated.

But surely there are others who have done some mods to their tow vehicles....please tell us about them, and the results.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:14 AM   #12
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2006 25' Classic
New Hyde Park , New York
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I did the following to a 2002, Ford F350, 2wd, Crew Cab, SRW, long bed, 7.3 PSD:
Banks exhaust system
Banks turbo elbow
Banks turbo waster gate
Banks 'Trans Command'
AFE Air cleaner
Use Standyne Blue and occasionally Amsoil Cetane Boost
Amsoil in engine, tranny, rear end, power steering.
I went from 12-15mpg around town to 14-16 mpg around town, 13-16 mpg to 15-19mpg on the highway. Towing I went from 10-13mpg to 11-14 mpg.

mark
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:48 AM   #13
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By asking for mileage data, it would seem your interest is on engine modifications that increase horsepower or torque. I imagine the most common modifications involve durability and stability. Towing puts a heavier load on a vehicle. This suggests high quality synthetic fluids, additional cooling capacity and temperature gauges for the transmission and rear differential. I purchased a finned aluminum differential cover that adds about a quart of fluid capacity. It doesn't sound like much, but the rear differential runs cooler now. Some guys install airbags to better control the suspension. There are other add ons that improve suspension. Even quality shocks like Bilsteins represent a major upgrade over stock. For me, towing power is mostly buying a vehicle with an adequately sized engine. I'm generally more worried about stopping than getting the wagon train rolling. You can't go wrong with brake upgrades... at least on most vehicles.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:58 AM   #14
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1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer - project vehicle to have fun.
Aluminum crossflow radiator - outstanding cooling performance
Edelbrock dual plane intake manifold
Ditch the carburetor - went GM throttle body but will be upgrading to port fuel injection. Has given great throttle response and allowed the engine to breath easier with the tbi setup.
Engine is currently getting a new custom grind cam - this will increase power across the board. Will be running about 9:25 to 1 compression which will keep me in the 87 octane range.
Will probably go headers into a single 2.5" exhaust for more low end torque. Currently have a Magnaflow high flow muffler and cat. - Has a nice tone without the drone.
Expected fuel mileage - 15 hwy not towing and 11 towing.
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