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Wearing Tacoma out by towing?

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Old 07-29-2008, 09:26 AM   #1
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Wearing Tacoma out by towing?

I raised this question before on a travel trailer forum but since finding TacomaWorld it may be a more appropriate question here. I have a 3700 lb. (loaded) travel trailer that I tow with my 2004 Tacoma (V6) XCab Prerunner TRD. A neighbor suggested that my Tacoma would prematurely wear out because of towing such a heavy trailer. It's well within the towing capacity of 5000 lbs. It seems to do the job OK except on some substantial inclines where it slows down a lot. Should I be concerned and start looking for a larger tow vehicle or continue using the Tacoma?

Thanks to all that answered my previous question.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:29 AM   #2
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Check this out, maybe it will help ya out

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tow...ing-bible.html
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:31 AM   #3
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How often are you towing it?

I think that driving any vehicle fully loaded puts more stress on the vehicle. I don't see the point in upgrading though.

I bet most of your problems will come from your transmission heating up.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:55 AM   #4
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if you havent installed an auxiliary transmission cooler, i would do so. it'll keep the transmission alot cooler and that would be very ideal to have to continue to keep towing really.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:22 PM   #5
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Do you have a manual or automatic?

How often do you to?

Definately look into installing a tranny oil cooler for the Auto tranny (if you have one). ANd perhaps some synthetic lubricants in the tranny.

If you have a manual.... Again, synthetic lubricants in there. I can't say much for the tranny itself, but I would think the wear and tear will be mostly on the clutch - pending on how you shift and how much you slip the clutch.

As long as your under the recommended towing capacity, you should be OK. Just keep an eye on things - as they'll need more TLC and maintenance more often.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. They were all helpful, especially the link to towing with a Tacoma. Based on everything I read I'll probably continue using the Tacoma, at least for a while, and not make any modifications. I only use the travel trailer once every couple of months at most and if I understand correctly adding a supplemental oil or transmission cooler isn't absolutely necessary. While the dealer installed the towing fan clutch (green - I stated that it was orange before.) they too didn't seem concerned about what I was towing. They did however change my transmission fluid to something that withstood heat better. Other than that I have a Class IV hitch (Toyota hitch and wiring) with an upgraded fan clutch, better transmission fluid and a Tekonsha P3 brake controller. Everything else is the way it came originally from the dealer. Oh, and yes I only tow in 3rd gear (no overdrive).

I have one more related question though. It appears that the transmission fluid is run through the radiator for cooling. How effective is this compared to the supplemental type that uses a separate radiator?

Addendum to the poster just before this.
The transmission is an automatic. And thanks for clarifying the type of fluid the dealer installed. I recall him mentioning a synthetic.

And BTW, speaking of synthetics, I have used Mobil 1- 5W30 since the vehicle was new.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beeser View Post
I have one more related question though. It appears that the transmission fluid is run through the radiator for cooling. How effective is this compared to the supplemental type that uses a separate radiator?.
Do you have the Toyota factory towing package?

You might already have the transmission oil cooler & engine oil cooler from the factory. If you have this...then you shouldn't need to add an addtional cooler.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janster View Post
Do you have the Toyota factory towing package?

You might already have the transmission oil cooler & engine oil cooler from the factory. If you have this...then you shouldn't need to add an addtional cooler.
According to what is contained in the link at the top of this thread there was no such thing as a factory towing package for Gen. 1s, at least not as they exist now with Gen 2s. According to stuff I read here and elsewhere, adding the Toyota Class IV hitch and fan clutch with the green band increased the towing capacity from 3500 lbs. to 5000 lbs. The only transmission cooler is the one that uses the engine's radiator. There is no oil cooler. Geez ... I hope this makes sense.

I forgot to add the reminder that we're talking about a 2004 Tacoma here.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beeser View Post
I have one more related question though. It appears that the transmission fluid is run through the radiator for cooling. How effective is this compared to the supplemental type that uses a separate radiator?
All automatic transmissions from a f-350 dually to a yugo have a primary trans cooler, and that primary cooler is a small tank in the bottom of the radiator which helps to keep the trans fluid cool. Now while that will be sufficient for the yugo in my example, it would never be enough in an f-350, so most vehicles that could see service as a tow vehicle will have supplimental trans coolers. In the f-350 from our example it will be about half the size of the radiator for the truck. The ones we are talking about for the light to medium duty towing that the Tacomas are designed for will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 6x8 inches and sill be mounted in front of the main radiator and kind of low.

I would recommend going ahead and adding the supplimental cooler, as realistically it is incredibly difficult to make the transmission fluid too cool, and it is cheap insurance against transmission related problems down the line.

That said, whoever told you that you'll wear out your truck is full of crap.

Asside from rear shocks and springs (as there is more weight on them as compared to vehicles who never tow anything) there is nothing that experiences accelerated wear while towing, with the possible exception of the trucks service brakes because while the trailer's brakes help the situation there is still additional load placed on the truck's brakes.

Rest easy on your Tacoma afterall IT'S A TOYOTA, and enjoy your camping trips.

Regards,

Adam
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick491 View Post
All automatic transmissions from a f-350 dually to a yugo have a primary trans cooler, and that primary cooler is a small tank in the bottom of the radiator which helps to keep the trans fluid cool. Now while that will be sufficient for the yugo in my example, it would never be enough in an f-350, so most vehicles that could see service as a tow vehicle will have supplimental trans coolers. In the f-350 from our example it will be about half the size of the radiator for the truck. The ones we are talking about for the light to medium duty towing that the Tacomas are designed for will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 6x8 inches and sill be mounted in front of the main radiator and kind of low.

I would recommend going ahead and adding the supplimental cooler, as realistically it is incredibly difficult to make the transmission fluid too cool, and it is cheap insurance against transmission related problems down the line.

That said, whoever told you that you'll wear out your truck is full of crap.

Asside from rear shocks and springs (as there is more weight on them as compared to vehicles who never tow anything) there is nothing that experiences accelerated wear while towing, with the possible exception of the trucks service brakes because while the trailer's brakes help the situation there is still additional load placed on the truck's brakes.

Rest easy on your Tacoma afterall IT'S A TOYOTA, and enjoy your camping trips.

Regards,

Adam
Adam,

Thanks for the thoughtful response. What do you think of the earlier comment about waiting to install the supplemental transmission cooler until the warranty expires? Seems that Toyota might make it an issue if warranty work was needed.
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