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2.7 highway speed

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Old 09-20-2014, 06:11 AM   #1
Manderthal [OP] Manderthal is offline
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Question 2.7 highway speed

Curious how the 2.7 handles cruising highway speeds, 65-75 and bursts at 85, long uphill grades etc.
Just overall effectiveness.
Yesterday I picked up my son at college to bring him home for the weekend. 260 miles round trip with an awful mix of cruising speeds mixed with sudden stops and much cursing, followed by stop and go bumper to bumper, lane merging, redirects and construction and finally bursts of higher speeds just to get away from that nonsense. Connecticut and southern RI are very hilly with long grades just to keep things interesting.
Welcome to my nightmare. My new life.

I'd alluded to this in this thread:

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/5-l...ml#post9196051

and thought I might get a bit more input here from 2.7 owners of all types.

My current ride is a 4wd 2006 Nissan Xterra (4.0, 265hp V6, auto) . It handles this ride without a problem but at 18mpg is a bit much. Rather than topping off before the return trip it'll almost be like filling the tank and then again when I get home for more gas for the workweek. I typically refill at 1/4 tank.
Besides the obvious (the kid needs to stay at school) is the 2.7 powered Tacoma the right vehicle for this job? I really don't want to be wringing it out each trip.
The Xterra is just about to fall out of warranty so I'm thinking of replacing it anyway. Just want the replacement to be of the simple and reliable and cheap variety. Lean college years refers to parents lifestyle changes too.
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:27 AM   #2
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My '13 AC Prerunner handles highway speeds very well. If I cruise at 70, that puts the rpms around 2200. At that speed I get 21-22 mpg. No problem with passing other vehicles on 2 lane roads. It has no problems running 75 or 80, but the mileage suffers. In July I made a 2000 mile round trip to Denver pulling a 5x8 Uhaul trailer loaded with furniture for my son. That's a pretty constant climb from central Texas, so on some of the longer grades I spent a lot of time in 3rd gear (of a 4 sp auto), but it handled it well, and man, it felt like a sports car when I dropped the trailer off and headed home.
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:45 PM   #3
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I just bought mine and went to pick it up in Reno, NV. The 500 mile drive home was at 75-80 the whole way with numerous 7% grades. No problem at all handling those speeds. Mine is a 2004 4X4 SR5 with the 2.7. My dad owned it since it was new and I doubt he ever took it past 2500 rpm. I've been cleaning the cobwebs out of it.

I found out that the power is up there a ways. Over 3000 rpm is where you need to be to get anything out of the 2.7. Wind is a problem especially with a shell since these things are so light but I didn't have any problem at all staying with traffic at 75 mph if I revved it. It'll do 80mph in 4th without even hitting redline. I don't even waste my time anymore using 5th under 50mph.

I always thought this thing was a gutless wonder in all the years I drove it and rode in it. It is if you're going to tow with it or you want to race, but not for everyday transport or crawling around on dirt roads. All you have to do is look at the specs. The 2.7 doesn't make it's max power or torque until past 4000 rpm. If you get it up around 3000 rpm and above it gets down the road good enough. That may hurt the gas mileage a little but after having a '73 Cadillac Coupe DeVille as my only car for the last 18 years I'm personally really not worried about gas mileage. This Tonka Toy just cut my gas bill in half and I'm thrilled.

I got 20mpg on that trip and continue to get 20mpg around town. I found that I can't seem to shift it very smoothly if I only take it to 2000-2500 rpm but if I take it up to 3000 I can get it to shift pretty smoothly. I might just need some more practice.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:55 PM   #4
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This is good to hear, since i dont have a tach its kind of hard to tell just how far i can ring out the engine, it did feel like the gears were extremely long
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:11 PM   #5
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my 4cyl has no issues with the mountain hwys on the 10-12% grades you gotta do the 4th gear 3rd gear dance, but whatever I don't mind. The fuel mileage is worth it, I get 20-25 mpg, 25 consistently on hwy runs, it was higher before I added all the weight, to and from work I do 20 easy, the sweet spot is 2500 rpm for shifting, and mileage. It's awesome off road too, does everything the v6 trucks do but with less fuel
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:20 AM   #6
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ive got a 2.7 auto with 285s and it holds 75 on the freeway no problem. If you get a 4x4 2.7 tacoma the mpg won't be much better than your xterra.. definitely not enough to justify spending extra $ for it. A 2wd 4 cylinder will get great mpgs
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:30 AM   #7
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My 2.7 sits on stock 15's, and is shoe'd with 235/75/R15's. Drives super smooth & handles 75+MPH like a champ. My truck seems to like 85+ MPH a lot though, too! The only inclines that slowed it down were the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Very steep inclines...
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misteroldschool View Post
This is good to hear, since i dont have a tach its kind of hard to tell just how far i can ring out the engine, it did feel like the gears were extremely long
The gears are extremely long. At least on mine. I gotta do a lot of clutch slipping to keep it from dying from a stop. It does make a lot of noise once you get up into the powerband above 4000. Even if I didn't have a tac I'd be able to tell where the power is because it really starts coming on at about 4000rpm. You may just have to look at your owners manual and find out the maximum speed for each gear so you can judge where you are at by the speedo.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:26 PM   #9
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It all depends on what you compare it to but I think the gearing is pretty short, at least on my 4x4 2.7-liter, 5-speed. A 4.10 axle combined with a not-very-tall overdrive (.81 if I remember right) is fairly short by 2014 standards. But then again the engine does need to wind out some before it gets into the meat of its power curve, so at certain speeds the gearing does feel tall.

The gearing means it revs pretty fast on the highway, closing in on 3,000 rpm when you get near 80 mph. So it feels great at higher speeds, very responsive when you give it more gas, and no need to downshift for minor to moderate hills. It's a different story at 55 mph because it's right around 2000 rpm in top gear and it's pretty doggy at that rpm. When I am meeting onto an interstate and need some performance I just hold 4th until I reach 70 mph or whatever cruising speed I am going to be maintaining.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:24 PM   #10
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^yep. 55 mph is 2100 rpm, and 70 mph is about 2675. Sometimes I have to downshift on 55 mph roads but hardly ever on freeways. Then again, we don't have much for mountains in Michigan. It's about the same as my Honda Civic was in that regard, although this access cab weighs 4100lb+.

Gas mileage is great; even doing 70 mph in 4th gear, turning about 3400 rpm, I've yet to average less than 20 mpg.

The major annoyances of my 4x4 2.7L 5speed:

The speedometer is way, way off with factory-size 245/75-R16 tires. 60mph on the speedo = 55 actual; 78mph on the speedo = 70 actual. Odometer reads 4% fast as well, so I have to subtract that for true mileage (sig pic is uncorrected; actual lifetime about 23.2). I hope to correct most of this soon with the 30t speedo gear + move needle trick I read somewhere in this forum.

No-man's land. Shifting into 1st while rolling absolutely requires near-perfect double-clutching if you're going more than about 2 mph; otherwise it locks you out. Unfortunately, shifting from 1st gear to 2nd gear drops engine speed 48%, making 2nd gear unusable below about 8 mph. If you're rolling in that 2-8 mph zone and not in 1st gear, and have to start moving again, you will probably have to almost stop the truck (and traffic) to get it into a gear.

My only other complaints are age-related; it's got a squeaky clutch fork, the gears whine, and the shifter wobbles in 5th gear, but it's coming out of the truck for an overhaul to fix all that as soon as the rest of my parts get in this week. That's how I found my freeway mileage in 4th, as driving in 1:1 takes the load off my worn countershaft bearings. (If you're wondering miles, truck has 146329 right now.)

I haven't driven the 4 speed auto on this generation, but it used to be behind the 3.4L V6 in the 1st gen I drove every so often, and it was a very smooth and reliable transmission. I'm sure it's not as punchy as the manual but it should get a touch better highway mileage with its taller overdrive.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:19 PM   #11
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Very interesting post, thank you from a new Tacoma owner. YES, the first gear/second gear things you mentioned are very noticeable to me too. My last manual transmission truck was an S10 with a 4.3 and you just about couldn't lug that engine, making it possible to reserve first for taking off from a dead stop and chug off in second if there was any perceptible movement to the truck whatsoever. In the Tacoma, as the Bible says, not so the wicked,. And you're right, shifting into first without being at a full stop isn't easy, so you have this "no man's land" from, as you say, 2-8 mph where none of your options are appealing. I find myself wheeling around corners fast enough to keep the speed high enough for second.

The other thing I have noticed about the Tacoma five-speed is how high the friction point is the range of travel of the pedal. At first that seemed to make it a little harder to get the engine revs right when upshifting, especially from 4 to 5. I eventually figured out that what works for me is give it a little extra gas before pushing in the clutch, which holds the revs higher longer when you re-engage the clutch.
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:06 AM   #12
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I just made a round trip from Albuquerque, NM to Denver, CO. With the cruse control set at 75 MPH, on level ground, the engine was turning 2500 RPM. Averaged 26.61 MPG.
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Old 10-18-2014, 11:59 PM   #13
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I've experienced the same thing with first gear. Mine will go into first at 5 mph but it's real "notchy". Above that it is locked out. It's rather bizarre.
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