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How fast would you be willing to tow with O/D off?

Splorin' 461

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03 Limited V8 4WD
2003 4.6 Limited w/ tow package 170,000+ miles. Only me and a 60lb generator in the X.
5'x8' enclosed trailer w/ V-nose and large, quality wheels. The trailer has an overall height not too much taller than the Explorer.
The overall weight of the trailer maybe 3500lbs.

Towing from Minneapolis two hours north so pretty flat overall.

Would you feel safe pulling that at 70mph with O/D off for two hours? I think that would be about 3000 revs on the flat.
 


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Number4

"I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad."
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I'd go 55, maybe 60.

Just one persons opinion.
 




wifes2011xlt

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Would you feel safe pulling that at 70mph with O/D off for two hours? I think that would be about 3000 revs on the flat.

Have done this more times than I can count.

What's your gear ratio?
 




shucker1

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For Safety Sake I would stick with the opinion of Number4.

70 Max.

My work service area covers the entire North American Continent and I have put down over 1 million safe miles. Some pulling a trailer some not.

Last accident was 14 years ago less than 1\2 mile from home.

Think about it.

Is getting there a little faster worth your life or someone else's?

Plus do you really want to try and test you Ex even though you might get away with it?
 




Splorin' 461

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I don't know the drive ratio but it's got the tow package if that is an indicator.

The concern is noted but my question/concern is with the ability of the vehicle not safety.
 




drdoom

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I would do it. I have done it many times with my 97 V6, but with an open trailer and about half the weight.
 




mikeinri

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If you're on a flat highway, why does the OD need to be off?

Mike
 




Number4

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Perhaps let the RPM's dictate the speed. Try to keep them at or under 2500 on flat highway.
 




colintrax

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Unless it's hilly I'd turn OD back on once at cursing speed (70)
 




ArcticGabe

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I tow with my 4.6L Ex all the time, as a matter of fact, that is it's main purpose in life.

I pull a 3500 lb trailer all the time, mostly between 65 and 70 MPH, never an issue. I do tow with OD off as added insurance. I tried towing the same trailer with my old 02 Explorer with OD on, and at these speeds, I overheated the trans in January in Michigan. It vented trans fluid which hits the exhaust and leaves a nice white cloud behind.

Because of this experience, I suspect leaving OD off revs the engine higher, which turns the trans pump faster which circulates trans fluid through the external oil cooler faster (at least this is my theory).

Also, make sure your tongue weight is correct for the trailer!! And regardless of the tow vehicle, when towing at these speeds, trailer brakes makes stopping much safer and much more controllable, especially in emergencies.
 




dieselscout80

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Does the 3500 lbs include the trailer and its payload?

My towing experiences are in this thread.
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=414645

If loaded light and the transmission is not shifting in and out of overdrive then I'd run in overdrive.

The trailer in the above thread is 2500 lbs empty, but it does not have a lot of surface area in front to push into the wind yours has more, but with a v nose it may not be bad. When empty I tow it in overdrive. The hay load is hauled about 35 miles on two lane roads and I run 55 - 60 MPH with the overdrive off, but if I had interstate I would run 70 MPH.

I do wish I had a transmission temperature gauge!
 




Number4

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If you have an OBD II scanner, you can drive with it plugged in and monitor your transmission temps.
 




wifes2011xlt

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Generally speaking, when trailering, you want the engine to run at peak torque. Canceling O/D will help you do that plus will prevent excessive shifting. If you have a lower gear ratio, say 3.08, I'd turn off O/D every time for towing. If you have the higher ratio, I'd leave it on in flat terrain unless your trans hunts for gears.

I frequently tow my 5700 boat/trailer over hilly terrain. Even with 3.73 gears I turn off O/D and go one step further by locking out 4th gear. I hang out at around 2800 RPM when cruising. At that range, it gives me quick access to additional torque I might need at any given moment. I also try to stay at around 65-70 mph for 2 reasons. One is because if I don't have enough speed going into a hill, I will be lucky to be going 40-45mph by the time I get to the top while everyone zooms past me at 65-70mph. You get enough of them passing you at a stretch and you will get into some trailer sway situations especially if you've got some crosswind. The other is that at 65-70mph, I avoid getting passed by truckers (as most are governed down to slower speeds), which have also caused me a lot of trailer sway issues. So yes, I may get somewhere a little faster than someone who is "safer" because they only go 60mph but making good time is the last thing I'm thinking about when I'm towing a loaded trailer.
 




Splorin' 461

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Thanks for all the replies!!!
 




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