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Post Info TOPIC: Towing with an "automatic" Tug.


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Towing with an "automatic" Tug.


I'll start with a few "givens".

I have driven mainly "manual" vehicles (since the '50s) on all Continents.

As an engineer I am familiar with gearboxes, clutches, transmissions and their operation.

I am familiar with selector and overdrive positioning inside a gearbox.

I drive a Y62 Series 5 (Nissan) Patrol.

When towing with an "Automatic" tug, it is usual to tow with transmission restricted to below top gear. Normally 5 or 6 dependent on vehicle.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I recently had my car in a Nissan Dealership being serviced. Whilst at the Dealership, I was talking to their Service Manager and I advised him that I drove the Patrol basically as a "Manual" when towing.

The Service Manager (an Automotive Engineer) told me that the Y62 should be driven in "Automatic Mode" when towing, other than 4WD or hill descent. Logic tells me that this should be correct.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What is the opinion of my fellow (mechanically minded) Nomads?



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Towing with an


G'day Possum,

I'm no expert but have towed with the Collie for nearly nine years now. I gave towed both auto and 'selective shift'. Mostly, I start off in auto then after second change to selective shift then back to auto through road works and towns etc.

That said, just yesterday I towed the aluminium teepee from N E Vic to NSW Riverina area and mostly in auto. I was proud of the Collie. I did have to go into selective shift a couple of times as up hills, it just didn't drop down a cog quick enough for me. As I said I am more than happy with the ageing Collie, it's ageing just like me. No, I'm already old.



Keep Safe mate.

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Nissan Engineer advice makes sense as; Electronic transmission control, particularly in Y62 Nissan's case (where the computer systems can advise you if and when to fart), should be superior to my aged sensory perceptions.

Another question; How many reverse their rigs in Low range 4WD to get better control? (In auto or manual transmissions).

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RE: Towing with an "automatic" Tug.


My tug is a little older (2003) and its auto gear box brain is a little slower than modern ones.

When starting a trip I have to push the lever from Auto to Sports to make it down shift at the start of each climb, then back to Auto while under load; it stays in Sport mode until the load drops.

After 2 days of this the brain 'adapts' to the towing style and shifts itself earlier so I don't have to.  It re-adapts to non towing quicker, if we leave the van to go 'day tripping' it will need to be re-trained over the next day or so.

bye.



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Possum3 wrote:

Nissan Engineer advice makes sense as; Electronic transmission control, particularly in Y62 Nissan's case (where the computer systems can advise you if and when to fart), should be superior to my aged sensory perceptions.

Another question; How many reverse their rigs in Low range 4WD to get better control? (In auto or manual transmissions).


 I towed a heavy boat ( just under 2t ) with a Ford Courier manual transmission and found high range was geared too high for sensible and accurate reversing thus I used low range.

This habit for me is now a common action to select low range before any manoeuvring with a trailer or our van.

I think that those who repeatedly stuff up when reversing a trailer should try it sometime. Reversing a trailer is not a race.



-- Edited by RickJ on Saturday 18th of March 2023 10:35:29 AM

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I have an absolute hate of automatic transmissions, however they do offer an advantage when reversing a trailer/caravan, as does using low range.

I have experiance in driving all types of vehicle with and without autos, the one advantage a manual has, you the driver total control of the gear selection for the conditions and generally you will get better fuel consumption.

If I desire to buy a new tug, I am somewhat at a quandry, because a new ranger does not have a manual option. I have considerd fitting an aftermarket manual trans, but the expense and warrenty void makes it a unworkable option.



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Towing with an


This was my quandary when upgrading from older GU Nissan Patrol - Patrol being the only vehicle capable of towing my rig "Legally" and not available in Australia any more as a manual transmission.

I must admit I do like driving the Y62 and the Power is just out of this World - The luxury feel is equivalent to my previously owned Rolls Silver Spur.

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Possum,
I had a couple of manual off-road cars when living in the Middle East. I drove a friend's auto Landrover and what a difference in the sand. Next car was an auto and I'd never go back to a manual for towing or off-road work. Present tug is 8-speed auto.
One and the only reason I can think of (other than using auto-box manually for down-hill braking) for selecting a particular gear or speed on an auto-box, is that in most auto-boxes, one of the gears or speeds, say 5 in a 6-speed or 6 in an 8-speed, is that that gear is direct drive (1:1) and therefore, towing as much as possible in that gear will reduce gearbox wear.
Cheers,
Roy.

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Possum,
I have a series 3 Y62 and I contacted Nissan Head Office technical dept. regarding towing. Their recommendation was to tow in auto, only use sports mode to hold a gear when descending steep declines. The y62 has a double overdrive gearbox (6&7) and it gets rid of these fairly quick and leans on 5th (Direct drive) mostly in hilly terrain. I too, had a GU and towing the same caravan at the same speed the GU was spinning at 3100 RPM compared to the Y62 1600 RPM and with almost 400HP under the big toe, hills no longer seem to exist.

I use low range when reversing providing the terrain is not bitumen.....

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My new Pathfinder has a ZF 9 speed auto, I just leave it in auto and turn the dial on the console to towing mode. There is nothing in the manual to say to tow in lower gears. And I must say its a lovely close ratio box to tow with, allways seems to be in lock up. never struggles.

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RE: Towing with an "automatic" Tug.


I'm going to have to revisit the manual for my Holden Trailblazer but I don't think it was very informative regarding towing and the auto gearbox. With my six speed box I tow in manual except around town where I leave it in auto. In my box, gear 4 is 1:1 and, obviously therefore 5 and 6 are overdrive gears. I normally tow in 5 but drop to 4 at the first sign the engine is struggling. I also aim for torque converter lockup. I never tow in 6. I also watch the auto fluid temperature like a hawk, fortunately the Trailblazer displays it natively.

However; if the manufacturers say tow in auto then tow in auto. Modern auto boxes have a *stack* of electronics inside and are probably quite capable of recognising a towing situation and changing their profile to suit.

Reversing: I frequently reverse in low range usually when it's a "tight" reverse, LR provides much finer control in such a situation. I also use LR for carefully wending my way through forests when clearances between van and trees may only be a couple of inches.

Manual or auto: For towing, auto every time. For serious 4WDing manual every time except in soft sand where auto is much better.



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My DMax has a a D setting - D for Go.    Ive done about 40 thousand K with up to 2500 Kg on the back.   No problems.    I did a bit of research into Isuzu gearboxes before I bought the vehicle.   I do take it easy as a matter of course and have not needed a transmission cooler even during lots of trips through the centre of the Big Island.



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Just remembered, my 4 Motion Transporter has a 7 DSG box and I have towed the van a bit with that vehicle.    Again, I just put it in D and let the box sort it out.   



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Towing with an


Talk to an auto transmission repair bloke, they have always told me not to tow in overdrive if you want to save your transmission.

Barry

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RE: Towing with an "automatic" Tug.


BAZZA44 wrote:

Talk to an auto transmission repair bloke, they have always told me not to tow in overdrive if you want to save your transmission.

Barry


 It's also about the T/C being locked and thereby keeping transmission temps down.

But for those who know best.......



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Possum3 wrote:

I'll start with a few "givens".

I have driven mainly "manual" vehicles (since the '50s) on all Continents.

As an engineer I am familiar with gearboxes, clutches, transmissions and their operation.

I am familiar with selector and overdrive positioning inside a gearbox.

I drive a Y62 Series 5 (Nissan) Patrol.

When towing with an "Automatic" tug, it is usual to tow with transmission restricted to below top gear. Normally 5 or 6 dependent on vehicle.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I recently had my car in a Nissan Dealership being serviced. Whilst at the Dealership, I was talking to their Service Manager and I advised him that I drove the Patrol basically as a "Manual" when towing.

The Service Manager (an Automotive Engineer) told me that the Y62 should be driven in "Automatic Mode" when towing, other than 4WD or hill descent. Logic tells me that this should be correct.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hi Possum.

I have been mainly a manual gearbox user with some auto gearbox experience in light and heavy vehicle commercial use spread over 58 years, so when I got my flash 2014 model Nissan with a 7 speed auto with heaps of grunt to tow our 2.7 tonne caravan, D is where I put it which worked fine but at times going up or down a hill I would select manual mode to hold it in a best gear for the Job.

Well at about 5 years and 110 000 kilometres on the speedo, we were out in the nearly flat country of South Australia poking along at about 85 ks when it went into "limp mode' and showing G code and stopped. lucky I have a scan gauge with me and removed fault code and removed ourselves from the side of highway into a safer place. Rang Nissan in Port Pirie being the closest Nissan Dealer and spoke with the service department, after several phone calls, he said Nissan will be ringing me direct.

Nissan contacted me, I will not go into the whole conversation but he was "Nissans Top Automatic Technician" for about the middle 3rd of Australia based in Broken Hill, boy did he give this old fart a dressing down. The main point of the conversation was I should drive our bute 2014 Nissan Navara D40 V6 intercooled turbo diesel with 550nm 170kws of power in manual mode and only as high as 5th gear.

In the 7 speeds auto, the top 2 gears are overdrives, when used at lower speeds (80 to 90ks) overdrives swapping from one to the other gear caused unnecessary heat build up in the oil which sent the car into limp mode.

The Expert felt that I may of shorten the life of the transmission but now the car has done a further 80 000ks with not a single incident mainly towing our 2.7 tonne caravan. For now all feels good at 190 000ks.

We do have the car serviced every 10 000ks and at 40 000ks intervals change the oil in the auto transmission.

For what its worth, I did go down to the next suburb and speak with a top drag racer transmission man in Brisbane who went to great lengths to show me the "sensors" that protect your gearbox and then what a burnt original oil and damage components look like of auto out of a LC200 series with about the same kilometres. Very costly, ok the owner was pulling the preverbal super big caravan with it.

"Now in my thoughts only", if you must tow a heavy tailer, use the manual side of the auto. I do start off in Sports mode but at about 60ks go to manual mode which holds the transmission in 4th, that gets me to about 80ks, then into 5th which it will hold for long way after that.

There is other technical reasons for these thoughts, Sports and Manual Modes the auto is in look up which helps.         



-- Edited by Radar on Sunday 19th of March 2023 11:57:05 AM

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I can't add much to the "Auto Transmission" discussion a  my 4.2 EFI Patrol is manual & pulled my 2.4T van with ease for >250,000km & never in 5thgear.

I always use 4wd LR for reversing up any sort of an incline or doing any extended / complicated backward manoeuvres, after almost burning out a clutch on one of my earlier trips.  The short distance in 4WD LR on bitumen when reversing into my home park spot hasn't resulted in transmission wind up - after 20 years of doing so.

It would be nice to have a super comfortable modern 4WD.



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Cupie wrote:

I can't add much to the "Auto Transmission" discussion a  my 4.2 EFI Patrol is manual & pulled my 2.4T van with ease for >250,000km & never in 5thgear.

I always use 4wd LR for reversing up any sort of an incline or doing any extended / complicated backward manoeuvres, after almost burning out a clutch on one of my earlier trips.  The short distance in 4WD LR on bitumen when reversing into my home park spot hasn't resulted in transmission wind up - after 20 years of doing so.

It would be nice to have a super comfortable modern 4WD.


 Do you have auto hubs on your Patrol?

I always use low ratio for reversing our van with our GU 4.2TDi Patrol, but never with the hubs locked - so never in 4wd. 

After driving a couple of vehicles fitted with an Allison auto, one with a Tbar & one with push button change I'm hoping our next vehicle will have an Allison.



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Yes.  I have Auto locking hubs.



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Towing with an


Consideration needs to be when engines in its sweet spot torque wise . Its not just the motor or auto . The turbo is working its guts out if rpm is too low . Even more so with variable vane technology. Of course the dealer mechanic will say to leave it on D . Or hes going against manufacturers tech . Meaning hes stating theres an issue !! But if your auto wants to stay in top over long slight up hill or head wind . With say ? More than 3rd throttle to maintain speed ? Consider a lower gear and maybe you can travel at lighter throttle ? Youll end up using LESS fuel . Its the multi geared autos that are tuned for economy in mind .

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RE: Towing with an "automatic" Tug.


Like a number of other members, my Isuzu dealer said to tow in "D". Likewise they said if I put a transmission cooler on, I could void my warranty. So I added the cooler, I drive in a combination of "D" & Manual. The transmission is not getting into the dangerously high temperatures I used to see & all seems to be going ok. Incidentally when I had the last two Patrols (both 4.2L diesels with gas injection, the GU was a TDi), I did tow in 5th but as soon as the speed started to drop off on a rise, etc, the gearboxes were back in 4th. Mind you I wasn't towing big weights that some tow.

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Towing with an


Not sure if it was an automatic or not but yesterday, sunday 26th March we were coming back down south from up Mudgee way and come across set up, being an Amarook ute with what looked like the rear end jack up and towing an off road single axle van with the front of the van pull so low that the rear of the van was pointing towards the sun. Passed him twice as we stopped for fuel but he was on a sunday drive, no more than 80 kph both times. Not sure why but guessing with a setup like that he may have had a little bit of movement with the van. From behind the camber on the van wheels looked like the set up of a V8 Supercar. I maybe wrong but it certainly wasn't set up for towing at the spped limit

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The onboard computer (ECU) on new automatic vehicles constantly monitors exhaust output
for levels of pollution. As we all know an EGR valve is used to deal with harmful emissions
when the engine is at low revs or idling. Only referring to diesel, petrol might be different plus
most normal people do not let their petrol power car idle for long periods of time.

Part of this monitoring involves the ECU deciding to allow the torque converter to slip. By
slipping the engine revs are increased and pollution is reduced. That is the theory.
The enemy of modern automatics is overly hot oil. This is caused to a great extent by the T/C
slipping. If anything else in the transmission is slipping, you have a serious problem.

Dealers advising vehicle owners to tow in 'D' are either stupid, ignorant or have missed the
opportunity to keep their mouth shut. They obviously have absolutely no understanding
of the process. Advising the customer that by fitting a transmission cooler will void warranty
claims is also verbal diarrhea resulting from mental masturbation. You may as well include
that running the wrong tyre pressure will void warranty.

They are obviously repeating what they have been told without questioning the logic or
are incapable of doing so.
If you have a standard vehicle, putting the gear selector in 'Sports' 'Manual' whatever
the terminology used by different makes, will promote the T/C locking. When this happens
there is no slippage, transmission temps are controlled.
It is possible to purchase and install a T/C lockup kit. It mainly consist of a wiring loom,
a relay and a switch.
Hope this helps clarify the BS you people are fed by stealerships.

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The Y62 Series 5 Patrol has electronics superior to most vehicles being used as tugs. As the electronics are constantly monitoring transmission system, I would think that it's "computer" would be more aware of the internals of running systems than humans.

The AI (for the want of a better term) has been designed to perform the task of selection that best suits (the vehicle).

It is only available (in Australia) as a Petrol.

I think referring to "Automotive Engineers" as being ignorant or stupid is a step too far. (In my original post I did advise that this was Engineering advice - not something assumed, overheard nor a sales pitch. The bold new World that we are living in is turning steam age engineering on its head.

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RE: Towing with an "automatic" Tug.


Possum3 wrote:

The Y62 Series 5 Patrol has electronics superior to most vehicles being used as tugs. As the electronics are constantly monitoring transmission system, I would think that it's "computer" would be more aware of the internals of running systems than humans.

The AI (for the want of a better term) has been designed to perform the task of selection that best suits (the vehicle).

It is only available (in Australia) as a Petrol.

I think referring to "Automotive Engineers" as being ignorant or stupid is a step too far. (In my original post I did advise that this was Engineering advice - not something assumed, overheard nor a sales pitch. The bold new World that we are living in is turning steam age engineering on its head.


 Wasn't referring to engineers as stupid or ignorant but rather dealers representative. Maybe you read my post wrong. Not referring to your post either

but the pathetic verbal dribble from dealers. 



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The inference of ask the dealer about what gear you should tow in, who are you asking the salesman, the service manager or one of blokes in the workshop ?

Your first source to find the information, is to read your owners manual, if its not then search online for the companies towing guide.

Here in forums you will get opinions from people who have researched to get the information that maybe correct, and then you have self appointed expert who believes he is correct in everything, example when it comes to WDH, they call it a band aid or trying to make vehicle do what it cannot, the old one size fits all rule even if the vehicle manufacture owners manual says to use one.

If you cannot find any credible evidence as to which gear to drive in then the choice is up to you, in my case I would find out which gear is 1:1 and use that, whether its an auto or manual that is the gear I use.

https://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&client=tablet-android-telstra-au-revc&source=android-browser&q=nissan+towing+guide

There is a few there but the information in the American version is more comprehensive. A couple of good nuggets from it, WARNING In order to maintain a safe distance to the vehicle ahead to avoid the possibility of accidents, property damage, serious injury or death, never use the Intelligent Cruise control (ICC) system while towing a trailer or other vehicle.   If the ICC sensor cannot detect the reflector on the vehicle ahead, the system may not function properly. 

IF YOUR ENGINE OVERHEATS A moderate increase in engine operating temperature is normal when towing a trailer. If, however, the coolant temperature gauge reading is abnormally high, if you are experiencing a significant loss of power, or if you hear unusual engine noises,* the engine may be overheating and you should immediately take the following steps: 1.  Carefully pull your vehicle safely over to the side of the road, out of traffic. Apply      the parking brake and move the gearshift lever to NEUTRAL (manual) or PARK (automatic). DO NOT STOP THE ENGINE. 2.  Turn off the air conditioning and, after opening all the windows, turn the           heater on to maximum hot and the fan to its highest speed, and exit the vehicle. The heater core in your vehicle is just like a miniature engine radiator and will provide an extra cooling surface to help reduce engine temperature.  3.  If the temperature does not drop or continues to increase, stop the engine immediately.  

I didn't know this one.

 



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Towing with an


Nissan Towing guide (USA) some useful generic information, not specific on selection of transmission mode (use tow mode if fitted). www.nissanusa.com/content/dam/Nissan/us/manuals-and-guides/shared/2022/2022-nissan-towing-guide.pdf (2021latest edition)

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RE: Towing with an "automatic" Tug.


Gundog wrote:

Here in forums you will get opinions from people who have researched to get the information that maybe correct, and then you have self appointed expert who believes he is correct in everything, example when it comes to WDH, they call it a band aid or trying to make a vehicle do what it cannot, the old one size fits all rule even if the vehicle manufacture owners manual says to use one.


   Hi Graham. Not sure who you are referring to when you mention a "self appointed expert" but, coincidentally, I agree with many of the truths that a member has posted regarding the universally accepted cure-it-all WDH. 

Many times I have posted that a WDH is often used in an effort to make a car do things for which it never was designed.

When a manufacturer recommends the use of one of these it is often because of the lightweight rear axle in their product, and is effectively an admission that that car was never designed to tow HEAVY weights, and can never reach its allocated tow rating when towing a PIG trailer. 

Surely you have seen my explanations (plural) of how tow ratings are issued? 

If not, the "search" function may help you.

NEVER have I posted anything about weights and dynamics that I cannot prove to be true, despite howls from the "head in the sand" brigade.

Perhaps your unnamed, "self appointed expert" agrees with much I've written. 

Have a great day. Cheers

8F9501DA-C983-4ACC-8DEF-9170F2C1FF8C.png



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Your Honour and members of the Jury.

In closing "If the Cap fits then Wear it"

The Prosecution rests it's Case



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Towing with an


Gundog agree 100%

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