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Increasing towing capacity?

Discussion in 'Towing' started by ManMan, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Dec 18, 2011 at 8:44 AM
    #1
    ManMan

    ManMan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The wife and I are avid track addicts and haul 2 bikes +gear for weekend trackdays 1-2times per month. Right now, the Taco hauls our 5x8 utility trailer just fine. I just put on Hawk LTS pads and SS lines to help out with the pitiful braking performance.

    However, we're looking to by a toy hauler in the future. And while I know the rated tow capacity cannot be increased, what can be done to help the Taco haul at or near 6500lb more reliably? Especially in our 110+ summers!

    A S/C looks like the only power adder that is worth the time, $$$ and effort, especially at useable RPMS. What about transmission and or oil cooler? I know the tow package adds some, but would a larger or supplemental cooler help, or are the stock ones good to go? I looked but didn't see much in the way of higher capacity tranny pans.

    Chassis wise, I was looking at bags on the rear springs (truck is the wife's DD) and I'm probably adding Xrunner braces and a rear swaybar. But those are more because she complains that it drives like a truck and she misses her SI. I haven't really seen frame issues talked about on the 2nd gens like some of the older models.

    The trailer of course have trailer brakes and the truck would get a controller. WD hitch and good tow mirrors.
     
  2. Dec 18, 2011 at 10:48 AM
    #2
    Supra TT

    Supra TT Solid Axle FTMFW!!

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    I pull around 5,000#, haven't had a single problem what so ever. I've had it packed before where I know I was carrying another 1k# including myself and passengers. A larger cooler would be helpful... but it already does a great job. Bags are great.. I need some.. The only true thing that will help it, is a S/C, but..$$$

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Dec 18, 2011 at 11:03 AM
    #3
    hard2kill

    hard2kill Well-Known Member

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    a set of dakar leaf springs ome hd shocks.firestone airbags out back.....good hitch....trailer brake controller....drop in afe dry flow drop in air filter...cat back exhaust...will get you a solid towing platform....if you have an automatic maybe get a larger b&m tranny cooler....also try running redline waterwetter as your coolnt in the summer...worked awesome in my modded subaru wrx in summer months, ran 10-15 degrees cooler coolnt temps in high heat summer months with the redline
     
  4. Dec 19, 2011 at 2:56 AM
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    03is300ztk

    03is300ztk Well-Known Member

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    The only problem with going to larger Oil cooler is that you have to worry about keeping your oil to cool during the winter. So if your going to do that make sure that you put on an internal thermostat to prevent to much undercooling of the oil.
     
  5. Dec 23, 2011 at 7:09 PM
    #5
    sechsgang

    sechsgang Well-Known Member

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    You can't really increase towing capacity and / or payload.
    Most toy haulers (if not all) are too much for the Tacoma IMO.
     
  6. Dec 24, 2011 at 4:08 PM
    #6
    ManMan

    ManMan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hadn't thought about over-cooling during the winter. I'll do some data logging prior to randomly upgrading. Good thought, thanks!

    Mmkkk... not really pertinent or helpful at all, but thanks all the same?
     
  7. Dec 24, 2011 at 4:22 PM
    #7
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Also accurate. Not trying to rain on your parade, but it's rated for a reason. There are plenty of things you can do to help your truck deal with the burden, but then you already know about them, dontcha?

    As far as increasing towing capacity, only way to do that is purchase a bigger truck.
     
  8. Dec 24, 2011 at 4:31 PM
    #8
    jberry813

    jberry813 The Mad Scientist

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    You're right that you can't increase tow capacity, only help out with the load with upgraded cooling/braking/power. However there are toy haulers that can be towed just fine. An example is Dune Sport. They have toy haulers as small as 12' and 2400 lbs dry weight.
    http://dunesport.com/loaded_toy_haulers.php

    There's no reason you couldn't tow the 18' as long as you kept your payload in check. OP has dirt bikes so it shouldn't be a problem.
    http://dunesport.com/toyhauler_towing_fjcruiser.php
     
  9. Dec 24, 2011 at 7:44 PM
    #9
    sechsgang

    sechsgang Well-Known Member

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    Sorry man, I know it's not what you wanted to hear. But unfortunately it's true. You need to buy a bigger truck if you want to increase your towing capacity.
     
  10. Dec 24, 2011 at 7:46 PM
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    sechsgang

    sechsgang Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, looks like there are a few smaller ones that would work. Thanks for pointing that out! Should have said "most" instead I guess, especially when loaded. It would be interesting to know the tongue weight of that 12' toy hauler - they don't seem to list it. I could imagine the empty tongue weight is > our max 650 lbs for the Tacoma, not sure though.
     
  11. Dec 25, 2011 at 5:54 PM
    #11
    ManMan

    ManMan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That's what I was asking... I know some things, but there are a lot that I don't know. For instance, hadn't considered that I might over-cool the transmission!
     
  12. Dec 25, 2011 at 6:41 PM
    #12
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    This. If you want to have a truck that will comfortably tow up around 6,500 lbs frequently, you should look into a bigger truck. Air bags, a rear sway bar and a good weight distributing hitch will help the Tacoma but a bigger truck will do much better with that kind of weight.
     
  13. Dec 27, 2011 at 7:23 AM
    #13
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 XMF - Extreme Mexican Food fo Life!

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    Regarding the towing weight, my father in law has a F150 and tows a Travel Trailer that's within the "Towing Rating" spec of his truck (weights 7700 lbs loaded on the scale). His truck rated for 9600.

    But...he has a fiberglass bed cover, which is lighter than a camper top, but still heavy. Also, 300 - 400 # of boxes, tools, and random crap in bed. So he put on airbags to assist since he was complaining about bottoming out.

    Long story short, bags "fixed" the problem, but since he was so grossly over his GWAR (rear axle) he's not having some issues related to bearings and something else (I forget what he said) regarding the constant overloading of the truck.

    Basically he's doing a 3/4 trucks job with a 1/2 ton, which could translate very equivocally to what we are speaking of here from Mid-side to 1/2 ton.

    I personally don't care if you do it, just keep an eye on the truck. People sometimes ask why trucks don't come with airbags and tiembrens from the factory if they are so inexpensive and increase it's performance so much....it's kinda like steroids, there's always a catch....
     
  14. Dec 27, 2011 at 7:36 AM
    #14
    Chipskip

    Chipskip N7MCS

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    Best advice in this thread. Many of us have towed at or slightly over the capacity of our trucks. I use to say that my '81 Tayota could pull anything, just not very fast. I did it every once and a while when I needed to. TW is full of Tacomas overloaded and weighed down with loads... they can do it, but I wouldn't do it on a regular bases.

    You can compute data on temps for everything and add the air bags and stronger springs, etc, etc.... but you can't see what you are doing to the axles on a daily bases.

    If you do go this route, do a build thread so we can see all the awesome upgrades and keep us informed on how the trucks weathers the prolonged abuse.
     
  15. Dec 27, 2011 at 7:37 AM
    #15
    ManMan

    ManMan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Fajitas: That's exactly what I'm curious about... Where is the first weak link in towing? Bearing maintance is annoying, but not overly so... An axle swap really isnt very hard. But frame or transmission issues are a bit different!

    http://echorv.com/products.php?p=00008&a=specs&f=00012. That's the toy hauler I'm currently considering.

    So 3700 lb trailer
    2x 400 lb bikes
    200lb of gear
    300lb of for me and my wife

    So 5000lb. Now that or course doesn't count any accessories in the truck or trailer, but I should still be under the 6500lb limit. And not talking full time tow rig here... A weekend per month. And if the Taco can't take it... I'll jump back into a Diesel Ram2500 and worry about towing much of anything. The Taco is just MUCH friendly to drive the other 28days a month! (Although he newer trucks are much better behaved than my '95)
     
  16. Dec 27, 2011 at 9:33 AM
    #16
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 XMF - Extreme Mexican Food fo Life!

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    Ok so I looked at the specs of that Toy Hauler, the only thing that really pops out at me is that 525 tongue weight, that's pretty fierce.

    I'd absolutely try to keep my payload in the bed very low while towing it if you choose to do so.

    Something to consider is to put some of that stuff in the trailer itself, which will add to the tongue weight, but only at smaller % of it than if you put directly in the bed itself.

    Tacoma use a fully boxed frame under the engine mounts and front part of the cab, and use a C channel frame from there on out. I'd get a tongue weight scale and make sure to keep that baby at the 650# number or less, then account for that weight and the payload of the trucks weight too when loading for a camp trip.

    Regarding your situation and the Tacoma, I think hitch weight is gonna be where you will need to be the most cautious. To give you some perspective, my Silverado doens't have much more payload than you (mine 1500# payload, I think some variants of Tacoma's might even have that much), but due the the fully boxed frame, different suspension, and some other elements (but mainly FBF), my max tongue with a Weight Distribution hitch is 1100#, where yours is 650# (that's with a WD hitch BTW, I think it's 500# just on the ball).

    Hope that helps.
     
  17. Dec 27, 2011 at 1:58 PM
    #17
    sechsgang

    sechsgang Well-Known Member

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    Very good and detailed advise!

    One thing I'd like to add: manman's final tongue weight could actually go down a little bit from the 525lbs dry tongue weight with the 800lbs in bikes loaded, as theyd be sitting slightly behind the rear axle of that trailer.
    Manman, if you are careful, I think this could work. Need to keep all other gear light, and as fajitas said, a tongue weight scale would be a good tool in your case and worth the $130 or so IMO. I have one myself.
    Good luck, and keep us updated!
     
  18. Dec 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM
    #18
    ManMan

    ManMan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ha! I didn't know there were tongue weight sales, sounds like a much better idea than 4 bathroom scales and some 2x6's!

    Now my understanding with WD hitches is that they should be adjust to keep the vehicle as level as possible. So bags or tiembens really shouldn't be needed if I'm within spec... Correct?
     
  19. Dec 28, 2011 at 11:10 AM
    #19
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 XMF - Extreme Mexican Food fo Life!

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    Correct. Also, it's natural for the truck to sag a little even with the WD done up right. Your focus on the WD hitch is to keep the FRONT wheels back to factory setting to make sure you're getting the front traction for steering, not pick up the back wheels to their factory setting.

    And yea, I did the bathroom scale too, and it's a pain and it's not as accurate as my OCD self...but it is a great start!

    I'd like Tiembrens for the simple fact that from time to time I'm going to accidentally overload my truck seeing as I can't ask the forklift driver to weigh that pallete of grass or rock before putting in my truck.

    If I'm worried it's going to be way over my payload, I got tons of friends with Trailers I can borrow.
     
  20. Dec 28, 2011 at 11:43 AM
    #20
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    The cooler is put on the output line of the transmission before it goes into the radiator. This way the radiator acts as a fluid warmer when it's too cold, and a fluid cooler when it's too warm. This is the whole reason that the factory trans cooler is in the radiator to start with, and is not a stand alone cooler.

    A rear anti-sway bar would make for a smoother tow. Weight distribution hitch, trailer brakes, and all the other already mentioned add-ons will help you tow up to the rated capacity with more confidence.

    As noted before: Exceed the capacity at your, and everyone around you's, own peril!
     
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