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Towing with the 2.7 liter

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by bobinyelm, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Jun 29, 2020 at 4:12 PM
    #21
    Tacoma1997White4x4

    Tacoma1997White4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Hell no

    is it a manual or auto?
     
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  2. Jun 29, 2020 at 10:23 PM
    #22
    bobinyelm

    bobinyelm [OP] Member

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    Mine is a B03A, and I found a key here:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/1995-4x4-tacoma-b03a-rearend-blown.586023/#post-19543045

    I guess mine is 4.10 gearing, open differential (from the above chart).

    A B04A at 4.56 Gearing would be better for towing I suspect to keep the engine in the power band at lower speed.

    The more I drive the truck, the more I see the power as adequate (empty), but it's no powerhouse, though admittedly this is with the auto transmission shifting on its own, so it's never really seeing mor than about 2000rpm. I have not experimented with manually holding in a lower gear to see at 2500-3000rpm it feels stronger.

    The truck has the TRD tube headers on it and the PO replaced the stock exhaust from the CAT back with 2 1/4" pipe and a Flowmaster muffler. I can't say I "feel" any impressive power. I had an Isuzu 2WD with a 2.4 liter and 5spd manual and a Datsun with a 2.4 liter with 5 spd manual, and they were both incredibly gutless. The Datsun (I remember it had a dual distributor and 8 spark plugs) could use 5th only to hold a speed you accelerated to in 4th, and even that on level ground. The SLIGHTEST incline put you back to 4th gear. This truck is an auto, as I mentioned a couple of times, so apples and oranges to the aforementioned trucks.

    The Toyota 2.7 feels like it has lots of torque at low rpm, right off idle though. And 200psi cranking compression is impressive, though.

    I have to admit that the later 4 liter Toyota v-6 trucks are damned impressive power-wise. though, especially compared to the 2.7 (no surprise there I guess).

    I haven't addressed trailer aerodynamics here, either. A low flatbed trailer should have considerably lower drag at speed than a taller trailer like the 5th wheel discussed. I know that when I was towing a 3500 pound Casita travel trailer (picture below) with my E-350 Powerstroke 7.3 diesel van I ran into wind conditions in the desert southwest where even with a big freaking V8 diesel I couldn't maintain 60 mph in a stiff headwind. The van was an auto that needed 55mph under fairly light throttle to maintain 4th gear with OD engaged and locked up (which it needed in order to be quiet enough inside th cab to hear yourself think). In that regard, the Cummins I now have is incredibly more competent, though having 6 gears to choose from offers more flexibility in finding an ideal gear for each condition.

    images_3579cfd9bdb44ec46aee5edfbca5320211cec65c.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  3. Jun 29, 2020 at 10:51 PM
    #23
    bobinyelm

    bobinyelm [OP] Member

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    By "Hell No," I assume you mean that this truck should never be used to tow 3500 pounds?

    Auto
     
  4. Jun 29, 2020 at 11:34 PM
    #24
    trustyrusty436

    trustyrusty436 Well-Known Member

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    You could rig up a draw bar on the front of the Scamp, to pull it off the rear hitch. There are a few out there that have done it. A fifth wheel will handle better, but with a big truck it should tow easily! I've read post on fiberglass TT forums, that claim that they do just fine with a 2.7 Tacoma. You won't be the first one up the hill, but you can get there in a while. Maybe look at some Casita forums.
     
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  5. Jun 30, 2020 at 5:41 AM
    #25
    nzbrock

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  6. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:17 AM
    #26
    specter208

    specter208 Well-Known Member

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    Do the 2.7s have an engine oil cooler? Do they need one?
     
  7. Jun 30, 2020 at 7:17 AM
    #27
    Abeyancer

    Abeyancer Well-Known Member

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    Some had engine oil coolers as an option? Im fairly certain of that but have never seen in installed... I've had 3 different 2.7 engines and none of them had it on them
     
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  8. Jun 30, 2020 at 8:00 AM
    #28
    04SilverTRD

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    Hey Bob. Interesting setup you are putting together. Keep us informed of what you do and how it turns out. Here's my input.

    You clearly have more towing experience than 99% of us, so the towing side of this question is settled. To your specific question on whether the trunk will do it, I say yes, it will. Is it a good idea? - I say that depends on where you are towing and how far. I know that there are 2.7's out there towing 13' Casitas and Scamps. They are not towing them fast, but they get the job done. Your 5th wheel is going to be much more weight than a 13'er as you know. I tow a 13' Casita with a 3.4 L tacoma and with all the weight of gear and trailer, it's not an ideal situation. I tow from the midwest out to Nevada and Oregon through the mountains and at elevation - 2000 Miles. It's slow sometimes - 40MPH and 2nd gear. I get the job done, but it takes it's toll on the driver hour after hour. It's doable, but sometimes I dread the drive and that is not what I want when on vacation where I'm supposed to be enjoying myself. When at speed, the trunk has very little acceleration potential and if I need to pass a slow truck on the flats, their pressure wave can slow me down enough that it's hard to escape and get around them. I have to take the interstate Hwys, but when you add in traffic, higher speed, other trucks, headwinds, elevation etc. it can be a chore. I have also towed the same rig around the midwest on state hwys where the speed limit was 55, no elevation, no mountains etc. It does much better in those conditions and it easier on the driver.

    Since you are looking at towing more weight than I do with a smaller engine, I would say that you would not do well on the interstate with this rig. If you stayed on the back roads where you were traveling 45-60 max speed, then it would be fine for shorter distance. It would still be on the edge of acceptable, but slow and steady usually wins the race.

    I think you have to evaluate your own motivations and weigh the costs and impacts on you and your gear. As you know, you are on the edge of acceptable. it won't be a fun and easy tow. You'll be finessing it the whole drive. I've been towing my rig for nearly 10 years like this and I know how to get across the country, but when I get there, I'm fried. For my next rig, I think I will lean towards towing with overwhelming force to lower the stress level a bit. It's one thing to drive slow because you want to vs. driving slow because you can't go any faster. Maybe I need to upgrade to an F150 and a 17' Casita or an 18' Oliver. Maybe a diesel F150.... or an F250... the arms race begins.

    Enjoy and keep us posted.
     
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  9. Jun 30, 2020 at 10:07 AM
    #29
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    I didn't really like towing ~2500-3000 pounds with my v6. Did it do it? Sure. But I was doing 45-50 up Hwy 80 in between big rigs. I could have gone a little faster but firewalling the throttle for 20 miles seams like a good way to blow things up.

    3500 is the MAX for your truck under *ideal* conditions. Meaning flat ground. There's no way I'd tow at the max rating in the mountains (up or down hill). That's just asking for trouble.

    The 2.7L's are good for towing a motorcycle trailer or a small popup tent trailer. Anything larger than that, and a v6 is the minimum.

    The short answer is no, I would not tow a trailer that weighs in at the MAX tow rating.
     
  10. Jun 30, 2020 at 3:03 PM
    #30
    Sebz13

    Sebz13 Coconut Expert

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    a dropped one and a rusty 4wd one.
    I could have sex with my sister, it would work, but would I want too? Probably not, having the automatic behind the 3rz is a limiting factor, its going to feel super sluggish towing anything behind it. I see other people have mentioned it but prehaps something to consider too is a tundra "big" brake upgrade to your front end.
     
  11. Jun 30, 2020 at 3:11 PM
    #31
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    The 4cyl is more of a limiting factor than the transmission, IMO. The auto just makes it worse, lol.

    Also, pretty sure that Scamp has brakes, so the tundra brakes aren't as advantageous. I think anything over 2000-2500# is required to have brakes.
     
  12. Jun 30, 2020 at 3:14 PM
    #32
    Sebz13

    Sebz13 Coconut Expert

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    a dropped one and a rusty 4wd one.
    Definitely makes it worse lol.

    Meet in the middle, sell the taco and get and older 2uz tundra and be done with it.
     
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  13. Jun 30, 2020 at 3:15 PM
    #33
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    For sure. The 4.7 wouldn't even notice the Scamp back there.
     
  14. Jun 30, 2020 at 3:17 PM
    #34
    Sebz13

    Sebz13 Coconut Expert

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    a dropped one and a rusty 4wd one.
    THIRD OPTION.... 2UZ SWAP THE TACO!
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Jun 30, 2020 at 3:25 PM
    #35
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Meh, just get a truck with a frame and drivetrain that can handle the extra power and is rated to tow the heavier loads.

    Also, it actually doesn't matter what motor you put in the 2.7L tacoma, its tow rating will *always* be 3500. It can't be changed as it is a rating that is set from the factory. A bigger motor will just allow you to tow more easily within that capacity, technically speaking.
     
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  16. Jun 30, 2020 at 11:37 PM
    #36
    bobinyelm

    bobinyelm [OP] Member

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    Technically, and "legally" you are of course correct. The "safe towing" load depends on a LOT of things, including brakes, drive train, stoutness of the chassis,stability of the platform.

    Putting a more powerful engine in doesn't make it SAFER per se, but even Toyota rates the 1998 Tacoma at 5000# with the V6 and a Class IV receiver hitch, so it would appear the limiting factor for the 2.7 model would likely be the engine as opposed to the rest of the truck.

    Towing a 5th wheel is actually far "safer" than a 'bumper pull" trailer (even though technically we aren't using the bumper) given the hitch weight (king pin weight) of the Scamp 19 is only 400 pounds in a bed that is rated for much more weight (as opposed to hanging behind the rear wheels on the frame extensions), and stability wise having the king pin between the axles makes towing FAR more stable with virtually NO sway possible. Combine that with effective trailer brakes that easily carry-their-weight in braking conditions, I am not at all concerned with the truck at 3500 pounds except from the engine/transmission situation, which the engine power gives me real pause.

    I mentioned my old friend with more than 300k miles towing his 3500# 17ft Casita w/ his 3.4 liter 2wd 4Runner and he never complained about power, but power is somewhat in the eye of the beholder-it's subjective. I have an earlier model Dodge dually Cummins (2003 HO) that is rated at 330hp and 550ft-lb of torque and it has more than enough for me regardless of anything I have towed behind it (6spd manual), but newer ones are rated at 400hp and 1000 ft-lbs torque and an acquaintance of mine has his tuned to 700hp and he claims 1400 ft-lbs (dynoed) and he wants MORE to tow his 36ft 5th wheel trailer.

    My personal concerns are durability of the engine and transmission. A transmission cooler and gauge are a MUST, and an engine oil cooler was mentioned. I also refuse to drive around at 4000 rpm and high throttle setting as I would feel I was abusing the machinery. I'd much rather crest a hill at 25mph than 45mph as frustrating as that can be if it means not flogging the horses, but there IS a limit to shifting down and crawling up hills. My '05 Sprinter van's 5cyl turbodiesel only makes 154hp but makes 240ft-lbs at 1600rpm, and I used it extensively to tow my 3500# 17ft Casita fine, but while the Toyota 2.7 makes about the same hp, it only makes 180ft-pounds torque at 4000rpm (25% less at 2000rpm higher rpm). That tells me on he same hills I could make with the Sprinter at 2000rpm (admitting the van itself weighs over 5000 pounds empty) I'd likely to gear down and use 3500rpm.

    After all the comments here, I am considering looking for a Scamp 19ft with bolt-on axle and maybe try to lift the coach high enough to clear the bed rails on my Dodge 3500 pickup rather than fight with marginal or sub-marginal power from my Tacoma. I could always finish dolling up and selling my 2.7 Tacoma and try to find a 3.4 liter equipped model in good condition.

    An earlier Tundra is a viable alternative, but most had the 4.7 V8 (a few reportedly had the 4 liter V6 that would seem ideal, but I have NEVER personally seen one). My son had an Gen 1 4.7 Tundra and never got better than 13mpg empty (He now has a 2105 Tundra Crew Cab "1798 Model" and he got 14mpg empty until he put 33" tires on a raised suspension and now gets 11mpg MAX).

    I LIKE the Gen 1 Tundras, but 14mpg empty would kill me since I get 23mpg around town with my crew can LB Cummins (which is a tad big for daily around-town driving here in WA State compared to Texas where I lived previously, and where parking lots were sized for the full sized crew cab trucks that "everyone" drove in Texas.

    SO many choices. I am thinking what I should do is finish "restoring" my Tacoma (front seats re-upholstered, new carpet, "Limited" paint scheme, new brakes/rotors/shoes when they arrive) and maybe hook it to a 16ft dual axle flat-bed trailer I have that weighs about 3000 pounds (it's heavy as it is a stout 12k pounds gross trailer) and get a feel for how it "feels" on the road. At 3000# it's close enough to tell me how doggy it will be with the 2.7's power.

    ALL that said, a couple of years ago I drove someone's Toyota Dolphin 22ft Motorhome with only a 4cyl 22RE engine and a manual transmission (can't remember if it was 4 or 5 speed). What I DO remember is that was glacial in acceleration (reminded me of a Mercedes 240D auto trans I had years ago), but DID accelerate and on the local 2 lane did 50mph fine despite its VERY tall height and around 6000 pound weight. I just looked it up and the 22RE has 105hp and 137ft-lbs torque compared to the 2.7 RZ engine's 150hp and 177ft-lb of the Tacoma. This fellow STILL drives his Dolphin all over the country and recently installed a full-floating dually rear end vs a failure prone live axle dually conversion it originally came with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  17. Jul 1, 2020 at 9:05 AM
    #37
    hr206

    hr206 Well-Known Member

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    It all comes down to expectations. Some people insist on towing their 40' toyhauler at 80mph, some will tow at 55mph, some will notice that ST tires on most trailers are rated at 65mph. Toyota has a reputation to protect. I'm going to guess Toyota's tow limits are pretty conservative and they've been fully vetted to tow at the rated GCWR at "household duty". The coarse, rough engine note on the 3RZ is what will get you to ease off on the gas going up hill.
     
  18. Jul 1, 2020 at 10:28 AM
    #38
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    My dad has a 4.7L Sequioa. He routinely gets 18-20mpg. It's not what you drive, it's how you drive. He also doesn't have a lift or big tires, not that he would anyway...

    I have to laugh at the Bros with their sky high pavement princesses with 20" wheels and 35's towing their travel trailers/toy haulers. They either have a YUGE drop hitch or their trailer's bumper is dragging on the ground.

    Not sure I'd want to try and lift the trailer just to get it to fit on your 3500 (I assume it's lifted?).

    While I haven't driven in a Dolphin, I've passed MANY of them riding my bicycle, lol. ANY engine can tow anything, given a low enough gear ratio.
     
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  19. Jul 2, 2020 at 9:51 AM
    #39
    bobinyelm

    bobinyelm [OP] Member

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    It's true my son doesn't have a feather-foot like I do. I grew up reading "Uncle" Tom McCahill in Popular Mechanics competing in the "Mobil Economy Run" where he described the proper technique as imaging you had a raw egg between your foot and the throttle pedal to "hypermile." He is not reckless-just aggressive, though he swears he tries to get good mileage.

    I think he was nuts to raise his 2015 Tundra up on '33s (to where it would no longer fit into the parking garage where he worked before working from home with Covid so he has to park is metallic blu (worst color for fading and clearcoat failure in Phoenix Sun*) ), especially seeing he LEASED the $58,000 truck rather than bought it (though he does plan to buy it when the lease expires).

    And no, most certainly not with regard to your assumption about my Dodge being "lifted." I consider the practice unwise and potentially dangerous UNLESS one needs more clearance for some specialized use off-road (very unlikely).

    My 2WD Dodge 3500 dually is dead stock height at 52" at the rear, though I have blocks on the secondary rear springs so they come into play sooner as a load compresses the rear springs, as well as Firestone Air Bags to restore the truck to level when I used my truck with a 3500 pound truck camper in the rear. That all said, even standard bed rail height on my 2WD is higher than I would like. I just measured the height of my Tacoma bed rails, and I was rather shocked to see they are only 2" lower than on the Tacoma I have at 50". The Tacoma is a dead stock 4WD model, and 50" seems awfully high for such a small truck.

    It is sitting on one of the stock tire sizes (that range from 225/75 up to 10.50/31 as on my truck). As I mentioned, I considered going down to 225/75 as it would "lower" the gearing of my truck that has a 4.10 differential after I decoded it. The 4.56 gearing would have been much preferable for towing. With 225/75s and 4.56 gearing it would be a "different truck" as far as being able to pull serious loads at modest speeds (I do not intentionally exceed 60mph when towing, though downhill I will accept up to 65mph).

    Bob

    *The Sun destroyed his factory steering wheel in 3 years flat. It de-laminated but his extended Toyota warranty doesn't cover environmental damage and they want $2400 for a new steering wheel (re-using air bag) plus over $300 to install it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020 at 9:43 PM
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  20. Jul 3, 2020 at 7:42 AM
    #40
    gusto11071

    gusto11071 Member

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    So its safe to say that the 2.7L Tacoma will tow almost anything as long as you take it easy with it?
     
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