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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2001, 07:21 PM
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Flat towing Zuk in OD?

This may be sort of an off topic question but It looks like I'll be flat towing my LWB Samurai to Zookimelt behind my '97 Tahoe. I know the Zuk doesn't weigh much, so do you think I'll be safe if I leave the Tahoe's tranny in overdrive? I know they say to tow in 3rd, but they must mean if you're towing a camper trailer or something as large, right? I'm just thinking about the fuel cost over a 2000 mile trip.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2001, 07:28 PM
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Re: Flat towing Zuk in OD?

Your Tahoe won't even know it's back there until you try to back up.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2001, 07:52 PM
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Re: Flat towing Zuk in OD?

Mxnhid and I just towed 3 Zuki's all over the place in upper New England in my '95 Isuzu Trooper. My Trooper has 127K on the engine with an auto tranny, and we spent the whole time in OD (auto tranny), no problems. We even hit 80 mph in a lot of sections. The Trooper has a 175 hp V-6, 3.2L, so it's not a large engine, and I have larger tires on it as well that suck up some power. Your Tahoe won't even know it's back there. Neither will you, Max and I found it funny that when towing the Zuk, we couldn't see it in either of the side mirrors, at all. The only way we knew it was back there was from the "clunking" of the class 3 hitch receiver and the rearview mirrow. Two of them were also loaded with tires and other Zuk related stuff. The tranny never even thought about getting hot, and the 4 wheel disc brakes made stopping a breeze. I routinely average about 15 mpg, and I think I may have gotten down to 14 while towing.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2001, 08:12 PM
 
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Re: Flat towing Zuk in OD?

if you feel it lugging the motor going up hills put it in drive but i dont think it will know its back there

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2001, 08:35 PM
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Re: Flat towing Zuk in OD?

I have flat towed many times behind the Tahoe, but never such a long distance. You're right, I don't know it's there sometimes. This past weekend I borrowed an 18ft car hauler that had 4ft plywood sides all around it. It seemed huge. When empty the Tahoe barely knew it was there. Loaded down I didn't have much problem either. We brought a little Dodge D50 4x4 with a heavy camper shell to the wrecker in it and it towed no problem.

I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't harming anything by towing such a long distance in OD. Thanks guys.

post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2001, 09:24 PM
 
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Re: Flat towing Zuk in OD?

do not tow your zook in overdrive... i know it doesnt weigh much, but 2000 pounds is 2000 pounds (and a long wheelbase will probably be more like 2500 pounds)... you try pushing it up and down hills and you'll wish you had gears... i tow my zook all the time in drive behind my toyota tacoma and my dad's half ton chevy z71... its alot more comfortable in drive... my uncle was towing an aluminum boat (maybe 500 pounds) in overdrive and his transmission caught fire... didnt burn it up right away, but it had to be rebuilt about a year later... overdrive is for fuel economy, not power, and when towing anything, you need more power... is saving a little money on gas worth rebuilding your transmission? its not to me

sorry for rambling, i just dont want you to take a risk and tear up your tranny

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2001, 11:15 PM
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Re: Flat towing Zuk in OD?

Thanks Steve, you make a good point. Anyone else have opinions on this? Is there someone on this BBS who perhaps works in a tranny shop who might have firsthand knowledge?

post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2001, 11:46 PM
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Re: Flat towing Zuk in OD?

i just got back from towing my zuk on a trailer 3hrs up in the adirondacks of NY. towed in drive below 65mph. averaged about 75-80 in od with a 95 3/4 ton chevy. no problems. i tow the equivelant weight daily for work with the same truck the same way and have been doing so for years.

65 mph in drive is about 3200 rpm. 75 -80 in o/d is about the same. right in the powerband.

build it, break it, then build it better.
post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-26-2001, 12:00 AM
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Re: Flat towing Zuk in OD?

Just curious as to why it would burn up at all. If the tranny couldn't handle it, it would shift back down into drive. It's the constant shifting that burns them up, and most OD systems are a full lockup torque converter, which do generate heat, but also don't lock fully until higher speeds. If the tranny is going to heat up that much, you'd see it on the gauge or idiot light if it has no gauge.

FYI, the U-haul car carriers weigh as much as a Zuk, they are HEAVY!

I would not care to tow my Zuk in drive, my Trooper has 4.56 gears (with LSD, rear discs, and dropout 3rd member!) and it winds up a lot when not in OD and you're going over 50. It does tow and stay in OD a lot better at 70 to 75 than it does from 60 to 65 though.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-26-2001, 12:25 AM
 
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Re: Flat towing Zuk in OD?

right, and the constant shifting will burn it up... alot of older trucks dont even have an idiot light for the transmission (ny uncles was a '92)... of course, if you're going fast enough, overdrive will be fine... but you need to keep the rpms up to keep the engine in the right powerband that way the tranny wont have to shift.... and for alot of the overdirve gears out there nowadays, you would have to be flying... and i dont think i would want to tow my zook at those speeds

i wouldnt tow anything (a uhaul car carrier included) in overdrive...

also, if you're going to be towing alot, go to your local trailer shop and get an aftermarket transmission cooler... it will keep the temps down

my toyota has 4.10s (and an electric locker) in the rear and i always tow in drive... whenever i need to pass someone or go uphill or anything i just give it some gas and it gets up and goes... doesnt waste time or energy shifting gears... remember, you wont hurt your engine by running it below the redline (i wouldnt run it anywhere near the redline, and i suspect that even in drive, your isuzu isnt close to the line either)... overdrive is merely a fuel economy luzury....

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