Towing 2000 EB 4x4 v6SOHC, Tran cooler, 33's, 4.10 gears - pulinng Coleman Bayside | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Towing 2000 EB 4x4 v6SOHC, Tran cooler, 33's, 4.10 gears - pulinng Coleman Bayside

Wanted some input from fellow 4x4 and Explorer haulers regarding a prospectus Coleman pop trailer we are considering purchasing. The coleman pop tent has a unloaded Gross weight of

Box Size Classification 12ft t
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 3,500 lbs
Unloaded Vehicle Weight 2,655 lbs
Unloaded Hitch Weight 160 lbs

I assume with water and fuel and food and kids for the most part we will be right at the 3500 lbs for most trips if not 4,000.

The Tow vehicle is also my 4x4 toy so it has the following specs:

33x12.5x15 MTR's
4.10 Gears
Transmission cooler Stock
Tran Gauage
107k miles

Things that i have considered might need to be done:

ReGear 4.88
Larger Tran cooler? (have read that dodge rams have large stock ones)
ECU remapping for Towing ? (Hensen performance tune)
Transmission Shift kit work and Solenoid work ?

The big question is are we about to purchase something that the Explorer will just never comfortable tow?

Will any of the upgrades above be needed ASAP?

Should I plan on doing any other work to enhance towing capabilities?

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How far are you going, and are you going over hilly terrain? I tow in my sport with 4.10's and the SOHC quite a bit with the stock cooler and a trans gauge.

You're definitely going to wan to click the od off on trips if you are approaching 4k. The extra cooler would definitely help keep it cool. I'd try it a few times and see what kind of temps you get. You will see the most improvement in re-gearing, but it will cost you quite a bit to do it.

We do have some decent grades in the Tahoe and bay Area I am sure nothing like the East coast thou....

What is an acceptable temp range for the tranny?

Usually i see about 160 in street driving and 190-200 when Rock Crawling.

Generally you don't want it to get much over 180. That is when most oils start to break down.

150-180 is normal range.

So we had a great camping boys weekend planned and went up to the Sierra Highland Lake basin area West of Lake Tahoe. And i got to toe my buddies trailer and Rhino UTV which was about 1700 pounds combined on a single axle no brake trailer. The good thing is the explorer did a fine job pulling it some of the grades were pretty steep maybe around 4-6% i would guess and the temps stayed around 190-195 Water and 170-185 on the Tranny, Tranny ran a little warmer then i wanted but recovered really quickly down to 170 after the grade was over.

Is it ok to peak at 185 tranny temp at the top of the grade and then let her cool on the way down / rolling hils?

Also i had another interesting experience that i wanted to get your opinion on:

While going up some steep grades from a virtual stand still I had the 5r55 in 1st gear with the O/D OFF then would shift at 4k to 2nd Gear and the RPM's would drop almost exactly 1k RPM to 3K RMP in 2nd gear. The next thing is the weird thing it would hold 3k for about 15 seconds and then would drop another 500 rpm to 2.5k rpm even thou i didnt let off the gas or change anything else.

Almost like it was putting O/D on itself.

Can anybody explain this experience as it has me baffled?

2nd gear is one of the weak gears in the 5r55e. It uses a band to lock 2nd it may be slipping and then finally engaging after a short time. Do your temps rise much when that happens?

I tow a lot with my mountaineer we have a dual axle (4700lb) popup. I had to add dual coolers and a transmission shift kit to bring the temps down when I first got the trailer. I usually run right at 175 on warm days on the highways. Then when I hit a mountain (or long grade) I can see the occasional high 190's for a short time. As soon as we get over the hill the temps settle right back to 175 - 180. BTW my temp gauge is on the hottest line coming from the tranny to the first cooler. Oh an I also have 4.10 gears.

BTW when I said Band I meant Overdrive Band. Basically our 5r55e tranny is a 4 speed tranny that uses OD to simlulate 2nd. So your actually in 1st gear but the tranny engages the OD band to simulate 2nd gear. SO 2nd gear is actually 1st + OD

Does that make sense?

You may have a slow OD servo(leaky seal, sticky servo) or weak line pressure/EPC pressure. Of course its impossible to diagnose without additional information.

Any recommendations on next steps for testing or rebuilding? I was reading up on Servo replacement and shift kits and i have already dropped the pan to replace the filter and switched her to ATF royal purple.

Did you adjust the bands when you were under her? if not I would highly recommend setting the proper band torque, as this alone may help the problem. When you were in the valve body did you replace the EPC valve? They tend to wear out rapidly since they are constantly adjusting hydraulic pressures in the valve body. When you dropped the pan did you re-torque the valve body? the 5r55e is infamous for coming loose and blowing the gasket. It is very important to follow the torque guide to the letter. You may want to read through the stickies in the transmission section on the 5r55e. There are many valve body upgrades most of which are fixed by installing a good shift kit.

I should probably ask how many miles you have on your Ex?

With that kind of gearing and cooling, you should have around 5000 lbs tow rating, right? I tow our 2000 Coleman Mesa at around 3000 lbs loaded (GVWR is 3250, dry weight is 2260). We've been towing it with a Chrysler minivan for 8 seasons without a problem, but that's been in the flatlands here around Michigan/Ohio. We just bought the Mounty with plans to get a larger trailer.

I really think you should be OK, but I don't have a terrific understanding of how all your mods are affecting things. GCVWR should be around 10,000 lbs (?). Was 4.10 gearing a factory option back then, or did you retrofit that. Assuming that's added for rock-climbing (from a standard 3.55 ro 3.73), I would think it will only help versus stock.

My bigger concern would be you loading up a Bayside to 4000 lbs. The GVWR (like you said) is 3500. What are you planning on loading???? Typical loaded weights for these popups is 600-800 lbs over dry weight.

4.10 gears was a factory option on some models with the towing package.

Towing is all about the terrain. If he is going to be towing in the mountains then his transmission will heat up real fast if it does not have more adequate cooling then what the factory puts on it. I was amazed how quickly the temps are reflected by the tranny fluid when you are asking it for more torque while towing. So if he is towing in all flat land and will never see a long grade / mountain then he may be fine and he doesn't need to worry. But if there is a chance that he will go on a family vacation out west or here in the east were it is all rolling hills/mountains then he needs to find out if his cooling is adequate. Otherwise you run the risk of burning up your transmission when the problem could have been prevented for an additional $60 (extra tranny cooler). The only way to tell is to have a temp gauge. If you don't want to plumb it into the line you can always purchase one that straps on the tube (not optimal). Either way being the boy scout that I am I want to be prepared and make sure that I am not causing my truck damage that will greatly reduce its life. If you don't care then just tow and go. But be prepared to drop $2K into a tranny if things do go south.

Just read up on the Overdrive band adjustment the other night and that seems like a very straight forward maint item and maybe will assist with the temp while towing / rock crawling and also the weird 1st to 2nd possible slippage.

I am using a Scan Guage II that outputs the Tranny temp digitally from the OBDII computer unfortunatley i don't know if that is on the hot side or the cold side of the factory cooler?

Anybody know where ford picks up their own temp monitoring to feed the OBDII computer?

I don't really want to plumb a digital or physical temp guage if i dont have to as the ScanGuage II is such a cleaner eloquent solution.

I am adding a Mark VIII electric cooling fan in the next few weeks and that should help also but still think i might need to swap in a larger tranny cooler for safety as i will be puling thru the Sierra Mountains and up to Lake Tahoe which has some wicked grades.

After our first longer trip with the new Camping trailer I think the v6 sohc, 33 tires and 4.10 ratio gears is not appropriate. I called and spoke with Hennings about a custom tune but his recommendation was to setup the appropriate gearing first before looking to apply a custom tune.

On our 3 hour trip to Pismo Beach I had to keep overdrive off for most of the trip and ran somewhere around 170 F on the tranny temp most of the drive. The hills the throttle was probable 85-95 percent which is not what i want to do with a truck with 104k miles.

The question now is what gears do I choose?

4.88 or go taller?

Also if I am going to open up the front diff to change the gears do i invest in sometype of locker and what brand?

I have the Dana 35 IFS (Model 2000 Eddie Bauer) currently running a Powertrax unit in the rear do I stay with Powertrax of go with a Aussie?

4.88's should be fine. I personally run 3.73's with 31" tires but would like to go up to 4.33 (not available) so will instead settle on 4.56's. I do use a monster B&M 26,500 BTU trans coller in addition to the Ford coolers from the factory and have no problem pulling my low profile 6,000 lb travel trailer.

The 5R55E trans is the weak link. Get the VB upgrades etc, in it as soon as possible. Slippage is the biggest enemy, followed by normal heat made from towing. The stock trans is prone to many inherent issues which create slippage from less than ideal shifts.

None of the VB kits are shift kits, they are all intended to correct problems. They are correction kits. The 5R55E has had no one do anything special for performance purposes, it's not a popular performance application.

Concentrate on the trans first, the rest is support stuff for the trans. Find the biggest cooler that will fit up front, even if it means removing the old one. Depending on your Winter temps, consider bypassing the radiator cooler, which heats the ATF. As long as the OEM thermal bypass circuit in the VB is functioning, you can do that with no harm in any climate.

Do the gearing and PCM tuning, but the other stuff is critical to do first, for towing heavy loads. Regards,

Read through the 5r55e rebuild diary in the Sticky section of the tranny forum. The first things I did to my transmission when I bought it was to go through the entire valve body and upgrade the shifting and the EPC valves. There are upgraded parts that need to be put in the valve body for heavy duty use. When I first got my truck I towed my camper once and realized that my tranny was going to burn up quickly if I continued to use it in stock form. After I performed the upgrades it was like I Installed a new transmission.

I've got 33" tires with 4.10 gears and it tows well up mountains. The problem with going to higher gears is that your RPMs at highway speeds are going to be very high with the OD off. This is going to limit your highway speeds.

anyway here is was I did to my tranny for towing. There may be other options now since it's been about 4 years since I did all the upgrades.

1) Transgo shift kit with the towing springs installed
2) New Ford EPC valve (later replaced with Borg Warner EPC Valve)
3) upgraded ford parts (see rebuild diary)
4) Added drain plug to oil pan (easier fluid changes)
5) Full synthetic Mercon V (for higher temps)
6) Adjust Bands (this is very important to do frequently)
7) Replace filter with the high quality (microfiber style not metal screen)
8) External tranny filter (optional just extra insurance)
9) dual external coolers (keeps temps below 190 in the worst conditions)
10) temp gauge so you can tell what your tranny is doing

So far with all these upgrades my 5r55e has about 180K miles with heavy use and still shifts and drives like new. I have been surprised by how well it works

Currently I monitor trans temps at three locations. The trans output line (hottest the fluid ever gets, except at the micro level), Trans input line (coolest it gets) and between the radiator and my B&M cooler/temp valves/factory external cooler (just to see how efficiently everything is working). The rest of my trans is still factory. She will get the upgrades when she needs rebuilt. 195k miles LA commuting, off roading and towing heavy. Still going strong, knock on wood.

Times when heat builds rapidly;
1) trans slipping- keep the bands adjusted per factory specs, the power of our stock engines, and then some, won't cause slipping otherwise.
2) Torque converter unlocked- watch the tach and or trans cooler temps and adjust throttle accordingly. This by far causes the most and rapidest increase in trans fluid temp.
3) Shifting between gears- very little rise regardless of throttle except if the trans hunts. The real reason not to tow in OD. If the trans doesn't hunt for the correct gear therre will not be a rise in fluid temps. In fact, this is when mine cools down the most.

These are just my experiences with the 5R55E under fairly extreme use in the Explorer. Of coarse my filters and fluid (Mercon V) get changed every 30,000 miles or after heavy off road use or particularly challenging towing over many miles.

Hi all me again on the towing thread. So in the Winter months I have been able to add a Aux Transmission cooler inline after the stock cooler plus I added a FlexLite VSC and MarkVii fan and Red top Battery.

I think for the last help for the summer camping i am going to have it re-geared inline with Hennings recommendation.

The Question is what gears do i go with?

I was thinking 4.88 since i am currently running 33x12.5 tires but would consider running 35x12.5 at some point but not sure that i will be using the vehicle to tow anylonger at that point.

Any feedback on Gear selection for towing would be appreciated.

Hello Towing Forum readers. Back with another question but i lost my email account so I had to create a new user name.

Finally got the Pop trailer out of storage cleaned up and out camping this last weekend, been a crazy summer so we missed using it.

Now to the questions. During the winter I added a second Oil cooler and changed to a Mark VIII electric Fan both of these for Towing and for Offroading.

The question is that we had some steep 1 and 2 gear climbs to get to the camping destination this weekend and my ScanGuage II was registering the following temp and I want your guys feedback regarding the temp range.

The v6 SOHC got to about 204 degree's during the peak of the climb and as soon as we crested the ridge dropped back to its normal 190.

The transmission was much better and i dont think ever got over about 172 with the second cooler on it.

Am I still having some cooling problems with the temp going up above 190 ?

What should I do?

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