Why not tow with OD on? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 02-28-2009
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Why not tow with OD on?

Okay, around the last time I logged in (a while ago) it was mentioned that I should avoid towing with the OD turned on. I'm wondering if that applies to the highway as well.
Typically (when towing) I disable OD everywhere unless I'm going to be on the highway. Seems to me it's better to use the OD rather than rev the engine to the moon.

FWIW; I've yet to see an issue with using OD when towing and have never burnt the fluid.

Any input is welcome as I am very curious about this.

'01 4L single w/ 4OD trans
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Old 02-28-2009
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Well, the way I was taught is that if you ARE going to put the rig into OD, make sure you're on flat ground, or going down hill (on the highway/freeway).

You want the revs to be higher, because it puts less stress on your engine to be pulling a heavy load when your engine isn't in the lower RPM ranges. It's also terrible for your transmission.
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Old 03-01-2009
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Yeah, I get the revs being higher and all, but what about the recommendation of locking out OD and spinning the motor that high when I'm doing 75 mph? It seems to me that locking out the OD is not a very good choice since the motor will be turning at 4500 or more until the tank is empty.

Just to note: I drove trucks for a couple years so towing is nothing new. Just curious as to the "whys" of avoiding the OD during extended highway stints while trying to keep minimal stress on the drivetrain as well as other components.
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Old 03-01-2009
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I think it probably depends on the load you're towing. If it isn't a heavy load, then its not going to hurt anything. I couldn't give you numbers though.
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Old 03-01-2009
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you tow with overdrive on cause the transmission would get way too hot towing a trailer with the od on.

if you are cruising down the highway or whatnot, you can turn the od back on
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Old 03-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SB05EDGE View Post
you tow with overdrive on cause the transmission would get way too hot towing a trailer with the od on.

that is the correct answer.
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Old 03-01-2009
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Yes and it will hunt in and out of OD if your on changing terrains which is annoying
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Old 03-01-2009
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OD clutches are the absolute smallest in the transmission. They aren't designed for pulling. So you'll burn them up in a hurry. Now across the country I carefully chose when i ran overdrive. No problems since
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Old 03-01-2009
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I'll tell you this...I tow about 3-4k pounds...which is not too great on the lil ranger.

My truck will not shift into OD at all with the trailer, I DO have upgraded internals in the trans. If I keep o/d ON (as I normally drive), it will not shift into OD, but I assume it tries to...temps rise to about 200*. If I keep o/d OFF (orange light), I see temps of 165*MAX city towing. Thats just to give you an idea of whats going on inside...I assume the trans TRIES to shift up to OD and it's burning and heating up.
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Old 03-01-2009
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It is OK to use O/D while towing. Contrary to common forum lore, the owners manual does not prohibit it.

Whether towing or not, you have the option to turn O/D off for improved engine braking or to reduce shift hunting.

Driving with O/D off may lower transmission temperature in some conditions for two reasons. First, it may keep the torque converter clutch engaged more in 4th gear instead of disengaging frequently or continuously in 5th. Second, as mentioned before, it can reduce shift hunting with heavier loads, on uphill grades or when driving into headwinds.

Generally speaking, I would allow O/D for light towing on level ground. When the engine is working harder or when going up or downhill, O/D off can be a better choice for towing.
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Old 03-01-2009
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oh the joys of auto's lol
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Old 03-02-2009
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Here is a really good rule of thumb.


Leave the OD on until you feel the tq convertor unlocking because of too deep a throttle.


Rich
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Old 03-02-2009
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I ran mixture pulling my ranger over the weekend. Driving North it was into a head wind the whole way, truck wouldnt even stay in OD at all or even try. Coming home, wind was pushing me and pretty flat. Stayed in OD the whole time. I still like to tow all the time with OD off though.
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Old 03-02-2009
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Thanks for the responses.

Sounds like I'm more or less on the right train of thought as far as when OD should be locked out.

I am curious about one last thing--> If OD is turned on yet the trans down shifts during a long climb, would it be in my best interest to lock out OD at that time? Assuming that the trans is still on the converter but 3rd gear is selected.....I guess what I'm asking is do I basically want to keep the trans off the converter for "stressed" situations such as climbing hills, etc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex98
oh the joys of auto's lol
Yeah, I hear ya. This truck's my first automatic in a very long time.
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2009
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I would. No sense in having it try to shift only to shift back to 4 again 3 seconds later.
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Old 03-02-2009
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what about a 10' Pop Up tent trailer on my 3.0L? I'm going camoing in august and i'm gonna be pulling it with the truck.. for the most part there is no hills so i can leave o/d on right?
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Old 03-04-2009
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Thank you all.

I can sleep a little better tonight.

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Old 03-04-2009
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i know im 5 speed but 5th is like an over drive when im towing a load of wood (around 5K) i hardly ever got into 4th let alone 5 and if im on the highway i never get into 5th.
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Old 03-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downey View Post
i know im 5 speed but 5th is like an over drive when im towing a load of wood (around 5K) i hardly ever got into 4th let alone 5 and if im on the highway i never get into 5th.
I doubt your truck could tow that much without falling apart.

I highly doubt you were even towing that much with a properly hooked up trailer, with electric brakes and a brake controller in your truck carrying that kind of weight. Its people like you that shouldn't be hauling stuff on the road
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  #20  
Old 03-05-2009
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I've towed around 4,500 with no trailer brakes. Worked for me.
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Old 03-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark98xlt View Post
I doubt your truck could tow that much without falling apart.

I highly doubt you were even towing that much with a properly hooked up trailer, with electric brakes and a brake controller in your truck carrying that kind of weight. Its people like you that shouldn't be hauling stuff on the road
look up the weight of a cord of mixed hard wood it around 5k and i do it ever weekend
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  #22  
Old 03-05-2009
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the way I view towing over drive is best describe as follows:

When your riding a mountain bike and in the highest gears (usually like 3 and 7 for those 21 speeds) and your going up a hill your legs are pumping and the bikes hardly moving, you can feel that extra work correct? Now shift out of those gears and its much easier. Sure its spinning faster but the work is easier. Same concept. Sure the truck pulls just fine but you feel that extra pressure being put on it and its even more than letting it spin faster.
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  #23  
Old 03-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downey View Post
look up the weight of a cord of mixed hard wood it around 5k and i do it ever weekend
Then you need a bigger truck because yours is overloaded. I think you need to look up the weight of a cord of wood, 5000# your kidding right?? My dad has had a cord in the back of his 250 with no noticeable sag. I think that 5000# would have caused some sag no?
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  #24  
Old 03-05-2009
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A cord of wood fills a dump truck if I remember correctly. Seems like 5000 pounds to me.

And there's no way an entire cord fits in the bed of a 2-fiddy.....maybe a quarter or possibly half cord, but a full cord, no way.
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Old 03-05-2009
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A cord is 4'x4'x8' how does that fill a dump truck??
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