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Towing With A Sable?

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ALL: Cannot find anything on forum about towing with the Gen4. Do any of you tow with your Gen4? And what do you tow with your Gen4? The reason I am asking is with the Cavalier now gone, I now need to occasionally tow my 500lb trailer and a 500-600lb motorcycle (total weight 1100lbs) with the Sable. Again, I will occasionally need to tow the 500lb trailer and 1000lbs of firewood (total weight 1500lbs) with the Sable.

The hitch I am buying for the Sable is rated well past the above total weight amounts, I will be adding a heavy duty transmission cooler on the Sable, and per recreational towing section in the owner's manual, I am within to just above the towing weight limits of the 3.0L Vulcan, but if I had a Duratec 3.0L, I'd be under the towing weight limits. So it appears that the HP rating of the Vulcan is what is hurting me, not the weight capabilities of the unibody structure. Is this accurate?

Another reason I ask about towing is that I know the transmissions in the Taurus/Sable is a weak link. BB has an excellent rebuilt AX4S in it, since this is now my vehicle, I would prefer to put the hitch on the "old" Sable, and tow with it. The wife now drives NYNd, with 38K now on it, (the "new" Sable) which has an AX4N in it, and antilock brakes to boot. So which is the better tow vehicle? Realize I will have to do some tough discussion with the wife to convince her to let me "borrow" HER "new" Sable to use it for towing, if BB is in any way acceptable to tow with, that will be the one I will have to use.

Don't tell me no towing, the Cavalier did it O.K., and my Tracker, with 1.6L and automatic, is the backup tow vehicle, and it does it, abet

s - l - o - w (35-40mph) up the slight hills we have around here. I have experience with towing camping trailers, and know to not push a vehicle too hard when towing, so I am not worrying about that. Remember all, occasional towing!

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ALL: Cannot find anything on forum about towing with the Gen4. Do any of you tow with your Gen4? And what do you tow with your Gen4? The reason I am asking is with the Cavalier now gone, I now need to occasionally tow my 500lb trailer and a 500-600lb motorcycle (total weight 1100lbs) with the Sable. Again, I will occasionally need to tow the 500lb trailer and 1000lbs of firewood (total weight 1500lbs) with the Sable.

The hitch I am buying for the Sable is rated well past the above total weight amounts, I will be adding a heavy duty transmission cooler on the Sable, and per recreational towing section in the owner's manual, I am within to just above the towing weight limits of the 3.0L Vulcan, but if I had a Duratec 3.0L, I'd be under the towing weight limits. So it appears that the HP rating of the Vulcan is what is hurting me, not the weight capabilities of the unibody structure. Is this accurate?

Another reason I ask about towing is that I know the transmissions in the Taurus/Sable is a weak link. BB has an excellent rebuilt AX4S in it, since this is now my vehicle, I would prefer to put the hitch on the "old" Sable, and tow with it. The wife now drives NYNd, with 38K now on it, (the "new" Sable) which has an AX4N in it, and antilock brakes to boot. So which is the better tow vehicle? Realize I will have to do some tough discussion with the wife to convince her to let me "borrow" HER "new" Sable to use it for towing, if BB is in any way acceptable to tow with, that will be the one I will have to use.

Don't tell me no towing, the Cavalier did it O.K., and my Tracker, with 1.6L and automatic, is the backup tow vehicle, and it does it, abet

s - l - o - w (35-40mph) up the slight hills we have around here. I have experience with towing camping trailers, and know to not push a vehicle too hard when towing, so I am not worrying about that. Remember all, occasional towing!

I have towed G-2 with Essex engine and I was STUPID!.

It just towed the U-Haul so easy I forgot to put it in "3" and ran OD in July ~95 degrees.

Cooked the seal in the TQ and it leaked. Replaced the TQ and not the tranny, and it was fine for many years.

Later with another G-2 Wagon Exssex, I towed U-Haul again couple of times but remembered to use "3" and no issues at all.

It is not about the power but what they decide.

My Lin Cont shows "light duty" 1000 lbs.

My '01 book shows 800 to 1250 lbs for Vulcan depending on vehicle loading of passengeers and luggage.

Tranny makes little heat in "3" but makes heat in OD due to gears, and then shifting back and forth.

Gear "3" is direct through and uses no gears.

-chart-

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I don't recommend towing with these cars but I won't say 'no towing'. I don't see why the Vulcan couldn't do it. The 2 biggest issues I can think of are:

Transmission. You said you will be getting a cooler and that's good. I'm thinking that with the weight you are talking about I would want a cooler no smaller than half the size of the radiator. That might be overkill but I would rather have too much cooling than too little. Of course when you aren't towing the tranny will probably never get up to temp without a bypass (thermostat).

Second; the suspension. These cars have softer springs for a smoother ride. They don't do well when you start adding weight to the back. A set of spring spacers might help or a set of Moog cargo springs. Otherwise the back end of the car will probably sag really low.

As for the engine the Vulcan has about 50hp less than the Duratec so that might slow you down some. I would also use the car with ABS (if you're allowed :) ).

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One of my friends does alot of towing with an olds intrigure, now it does have the "Short Star" under the hood so it pulls good, but I've seen that car tow 1500+lbs easy. He always ran it in 3rd or OD off. It does take a major toll on the car though, that car has alot of issues now, I don't know if its just GM garbage or if the car is wearing out. It will over heat at random and has other cooling/engine issues. The transmission is still going but I'm sure it is worn down. They did a good job caring for that car up till about 6 months ago when they decided it is just a beater and will run it till it dies.

I don't see why a G4 taurus can't haul around 1000 to 1500lbs in town. No way I would tow at highway speeds with a mid size sedan. They makes trucks and SUVs for that. It always bugs me when I see cars towing larger loads, if you plan on towing something alot then plan on owning a vehicle that is suited for towing.

If I were to tow 3000lbs fairly often I would probably be investing in a 1/2 ton pickup, some may think thats over kill but at least I know I will be able to handle it no problem in any conditions on any road.

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My little 4 cylinder Caliber can tow 1,000lbs according to Dodge, so I'm sure a Taurus can handle the same.

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ALL: Cannot find anything on forum about towing with the Gen4. Do any of you tow with your Gen4? And what do you tow with your Gen4? The reason I am asking is with the Cavalier now gone, I now need to occasionally tow my 500lb trailer and a 500-600lb motorcycle (total weight 1100lbs) with the Sable. Again, I will occasionally need to tow the 500lb trailer and 1000lbs of firewood (total weight 1500lbs) with the Sable.

The hitch I am buying for the Sable is rated well past the above total weight amounts, I will be adding a heavy duty transmission cooler on the Sable, and per recreational towing section in the owner's manual, I am within to just above the towing weight limits of the 3.0L Vulcan, but if I had a Duratec 3.0L, I'd be under the towing weight limits. So it appears that the HP rating of the Vulcan is what is hurting me, not the weight capabilities of the unibody structure. Is this accurate?

Another reason I ask about towing is that I know the transmissions in the Taurus/Sable is a weak link. BB has an excellent rebuilt AX4S in it, since this is now my vehicle, I would prefer to put the hitch on the "old" Sable, and tow with it. The wife now drives NYNd, with 38K now on it, (the "new" Sable) which has an AX4N in it, and antilock brakes to boot. So which is the better tow vehicle? Realize I will have to do some tough discussion with the wife to convince her to let me "borrow" HER "new" Sable to use it for towing, if BB is in any way acceptable to tow with, that will be the one I will have to use.

Don't tell me no towing, the Cavalier did it O.K., and my Tracker, with 1.6L and automatic, is the backup tow vehicle, and it does it, abet

s - l - o - w (35-40mph) up the slight hills we have around here. I have experience with towing camping trailers, and know to not push a vehicle too hard when towing, so I am not worrying about that. Remember all, occasional towing!

One more logic to put to use.

Towing is very different depending on what you tow, and where you tow.

Factors:

Tongue weight

Total weight

Wind area.

Geography

So going down a level road, then you factor windage. Weight is not an issue, once up to speed.

Low profile, little wind resistance. Big Box like U-Haul, lots of windage.

Big hils/moutains, then weight is the big issue.

You can work with tongue weight with weight centering.

-chart-

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One more logic to put to use.

Towing is very different depending on what you tow, and where you tow.

Factors:

Tongue weight

Total weight

Wind area.

Geography

So going down a level road, then you factor windage. Weight is not an issue, once up to speed.

Low profile, little wind resistance. Big Box like U-Haul, lots of windage.

Big hils/moutains, then weight is the big issue.

You can work with tongue weight with weight centering.

-chart-

Chart is right when it comes to wind, I used my moms escape (rated at 3500lbs) factory class II towing package, to tow a U-haul 5x8 (the largest single axle cube trailer) this summer. Those trailers are pretty light and we maybe only put 800lbs in it so I was way under the 3500lbs. The wind resistance was terrible, the escape was a few feet shorter than the trailer and it was a dog to drive on the freeway. The trailer just had alot more contact area than the escape.

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If he's just hauling a bike or wood I imagine he is using an open bed trailer. With no bulky size to pull through the air there would be minimal wind resistance. Weight distribution would be a larger factor.

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You're doing what I would do. External cooler and using 3rd gear.

Don't think 1 vehicle is really better than the other. If you plan to haul some weight, I would very seriously consider doing what was suggested above and replace the rear struts and install some Moog CC859 springs in the rear to help it handle the weight.

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One more logic to put to use.

Towing is very different depending on what you tow, and where you tow.

Factors:

Tongue weight

Total weight

Wind area.

Geography

So going down a level road, then you factor windage. Weight is not an issue, once up to speed.

Low profile, little wind resistance. Big Box like U-Haul, lots of windage.

Big hils/moutains, then weight is the big issue.

You can work with tongue weight with weight centering.

-chart-

Also, don't forget braking capacity is also a factor.

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So my little addition to all of this. People above pretty much covered everything. Yes you should be fine with 1500lbs, as long as you install the cooler (with bypass valve for when you aren't hauling) and run it in 3rd gear you should be fine.

I agree with installing the moog cargo springs (go ahead and replace the struts while you're at it?). Will help rear end sag not just for hauling, but for everyday driving.

Also, while you're adding the trans cooler go ahead and add a trans fluid temp gauge. Put it on the line coming from the trans to either the stock or external cooler, whatever goes first. Good to know what the temp is like when you're going up hills in the heat!! If you add a big ass cooler you shouldn't even need to worry. I have heard stories of someone with a gen 3 adding a cooler and even after that the trans fluid boiled over going up a hill.

I think you're fine with your car. ABS shouldn't be a huge deal unless you're towing in wet or snowy conditions. Then it may be helpful to have. If you want extra braking capacity, do the rear disc brake conversion so you have front and rear disc brakes, using high quality brake pads will help as well.

Edited by breeves002

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Also, don't forget braking capacity is also a factor.

I have towed a number of times with '95 wagon, Essex 3.8. Largest U-Haul with single axle, and filled the back of the wagon, and then used the pas seat and floor for luggage and food/drink. Filled the trailer to all it would hold. 600 to 700 miles in a day on interstate 65mph. No tran cooler, nothing changed, U-Haul hitch matched to the car. No issues, no issue with stopping. The car eventually failed when my daughter was driving it and had the idler pulley come off and she drove it home. (her house) Got it repaired but it blew up first time up to speed. (Literally belew the engine apart) Running with no water pump is at as bad as no oil.

With my bad experience in the '92 towing in OD, I am burned onec, twice shy. NO OD in tow.

I see no reason for a cooler. In "3" your tran is running with the least heat of any other case. TQ locked, no gears involved. Direct drive. The OD uses planetary gearset and that at best looses 5% of the power to heat.

The OD looses power (heat) in proportion to the power transmitted. In "3" no gears, no loss proportional to power transmitted.

Of course driving habits do matter. Have to do extra space between next vehicle in front. look ahead, accelerate modestly to limit TQ slip = heat.

One problem with the Essex engine and tow. Peak torque is 2400 rpm so in "3" you are well over peak torque rpm at road speed and it feels like it is reving too much. Feels better in OD with the rpm ~2200-2400 but that is deadly.

Gen 2 tran was not much to brag about. But it lasted longer than the car. ~160K.

However that wagon could haul any amount of weight in the rear, so no issue with tongue weight and filling the back of the wagon.

-chart-

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ALL: Cannot find anything on forum about towing with the Gen4. Do any of you tow with your Gen4? And what do you tow with your Gen4? The reason I am asking is with the Cavalier now gone, I now need to occasionally tow my 500lb trailer and a 500-600lb motorcycle (total weight 1100lbs) with the Sable. Again, I will occasionally need to tow the 500lb trailer and 1000lbs of firewood (total weight 1500lbs) with the Sable.

The hitch I am buying for the Sable is rated well past the above total weight amounts, I will be adding a heavy duty transmission cooler on the Sable, and per recreational towing section in the owner's manual, I am within to just above the towing weight limits of the 3.0L Vulcan, but if I had a Duratec 3.0L, I'd be under the towing weight limits. So it appears that the HP rating of the Vulcan is what is hurting me, not the weight capabilities of the unibody structure. Is this accurate?

Another reason I ask about towing is that I know the transmissions in the Taurus/Sable is a weak link. BB has an excellent rebuilt AX4S in it, since this is now my vehicle, I would prefer to put the hitch on the "old" Sable, and tow with it. The wife now drives NYNd, with 38K now on it, (the "new" Sable) which has an AX4N in it, and antilock brakes to boot. So which is the better tow vehicle? Realize I will have to do some tough discussion with the wife to convince her to let me "borrow" HER "new" Sable to use it for towing, if BB is in any way acceptable to tow with, that will be the one I will have to use.

Don't tell me no towing, the Cavalier did it O.K., and my Tracker, with 1.6L and automatic, is the backup tow vehicle, and it does it, abet

s - l - o - w (35-40mph) up the slight hills we have around here. I have experience with towing camping trailers, and know to not push a vehicle too hard when towing, so I am not worrying about that. Remember all, occasional towing!

One more point.

The Vulcan has peak torque at 3250 rpm. Drive it in "3" and you will be running in the peak torque range. That is where any engine is happy while making power.

Your engine should be "happy" doing some work.

-chart-

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I have towed a number of times with '95 wagon, Essex 3.8. Largest U-Haul with single axle, and filled the back of the wagon, and then used the pas seat and floor for luggage and food/drink. Filled the trailer to all it would hold. 600 to 700 miles in a day on interstate 65mph. No tran cooler, nothing changed, U-Haul hitch matched to the car. No issues, no issue with stopping. The car eventually failed when my daughter was driving it and had the idler pulley come off and she drove it home. (her house) Got it repaired but it blew up first time up to speed. (Literally belew the engine apart) Running with no water pump is at as bad as no oil.

With my bad experience in the '92 towing in OD, I am burned onec, twice shy. NO OD in tow.

I see no reason for a cooler. In "3" your tran is running with the least heat of any other case. TQ locked, no gears involved. Direct drive. The OD uses planetary gearset and that at best looses 5% of the power to heat.

The OD looses power (heat) in proportion to the power transmitted. In "3" no gears, no loss proportional to power transmitted.

Of course driving habits do matter. Have to do extra space between next vehicle in front. look ahead, accelerate modestly to limit TQ slip = heat.

One problem with the Essex engine and tow. Peak torque is 2400 rpm so in "3" you are well over peak torque rpm at road speed and it feels like it is reving too much. Feels better in OD with the rpm ~2200-2400 but that is deadly.

Gen 2 tran was not much to brag about. But it lasted longer than the car. ~160K.

However that wagon could haul any amount of weight in the rear, so no issue with tongue weight and filling the back of the wagon.

-chart-

I would still put a cooler on just to be safe. These transmissions have their factory cooler installed on the side of the radiator. Heat from the engine coolant gets into the tranny fluid and then the tranny runs too hot. A really poor design in my opinion. Early model gen 4's have the extra cooling pipe in front of the condenser but since it is a single pass with a small surface area it doesn't do much.

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I would still put a cooler on just to be safe. These transmissions have their factory cooler installed on the side of the radiator. Heat from the engine coolant gets into the tranny fluid and then the tranny runs too hot. A really poor design in my opinion. Early model gen 4's have the extra cooling pipe in front of the condenser but since it is a single pass with a small surface area it doesn't do much.

The radiator oil/coolant exchanger is for a reason. Heater/cooler. The trans does not like to be too cool. In cold weather, even cool, the engine coolant heats the fluid to get the tranny in a good operating range and stabilize the temperature. So for a lot of cold weather driving, I would expect the system is heating the tranny. For mine, takes about 5-7 miles of highway to get the fluid warm enough to have the TQ lock. I hear it is about 100 degrees but I have no direct info. Both my Lin and both Sables are about the same timeframe.

-chart-

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The radiator oil/coolant exchanger is for a reason. Heater/cooler. The trans does not like to be too cool. In cold weather, even cool, the engine coolant heats the fluid to get the tranny in a good operating range and stabilize the temperature. So for a lot of cold weather driving, I would expect the system is heating the tranny. For mine, takes about 5-7 miles of highway to get the fluid warm enough to have the TQ lock. I hear it is about 100 degrees but I have no direct info. Both my Lin and both Sables are about the same timeframe.

-chart-

I agree with this, except my car has TC lockup way faster than that. Usually my TC locks up within 3 minutes of city driving to the hw and when I get to speed on the highway and merge, it locks right up.

Anyways, an external cooler is still a good preventative measure as long as it has a bypass valve. Without that valve it will overcool and will do more harm than good. With the valve it will only open when the trans fluid gets hot enough and then will keep it from boiling over if you're going up a hill and it shifts to second or something like that. It's better just to have in general for all driving. Good excuse to put it on when you decide to tow something!

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I agree with this, except my car has TC lockup way faster than that. Usually my TC locks up within 3 minutes of city driving to the hw and when I get to speed on the highway and merge, it locks right up.

Anyways, an external cooler is still a good preventative measure as long as it has a bypass valve. Without that valve it will overcool and will do more harm than good. With the valve it will only open when the trans fluid gets hot enough and then will keep it from boiling over if you're going up a hill and it shifts to second or something like that. It's better just to have in general for all driving. Good excuse to put it on when you decide to tow something!

Time/distance to TQ lockup depends on outdoor temp and resting time.

Kind of like me.

-chart-

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Time/distance to TQ lockup depends on outdoor temp and resting time.

Kind of like me.

-chart-

:P this is true, but even in super cold temps and after sitting overnight it seems to lockup quickly.

Edited by breeves002

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I prefer mine...locks up every time I remove my left foot. Zero slip, any gear.

Oh wait, this is way off topic.

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I prefer mine...locks up every time I remove my left foot. Zero slip, any gear.

Oh wait, this is way off topic.

Interesting how that works. Oh wait you have no torque converter! Hmmmmmmmmmmm.....

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On the V8SHO the dang engine runs so hot that the trans fluid gets neary the same temp. So trans fluid can be near 200F like the coolant. And the finned tube on 97 SHOs is for power steering. Straight tube is trans. Dumb dumb dumb.

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I had a G2 with the Essex and I don't remember having a "3"... I had OD, D, 1 IIRC...

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I had a G2 with the Essex and I don't remember having a "3"... I had OD, D, 1 IIRC...

The "D" is 3rd. "OD" is 4. 2 is not available on all Ford shifters.

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I had a G2 with the Essex and I don't remember having a "3"... I had OD, D, 1 IIRC...

Since they change the text symbol from time to time, I just used the "3" for third gear, the one just below OD.

I don't even remember what the labels are on my 3 cars.

Just looked at the book and Sable, D, D, 1. or the Lin is D, 3, 1.

Of course on the Lin they start about how to start and drive the car on P 130.

At the begining they start with the entertainment system.

See, I have owners guides.

And I sometimes know where they are.

Happy motoring.

-chart-

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I have a 97 Vulcan with the AX4N with 212k and added a 10x15 Hayden aux trans cooler @ 195k. I have towed a Rx7 on a car dolly in 3rd at 45-50mph for 40 miles, towed my 500lb snowmobile on a 5x8 steel trailer, and towed a pile of fire wood (probably 500lbs) on a 8x8 sled bed. With no problems. I know my giant trans cooler saved my trans.

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