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Old January 15th, 2008, 07:34 PM   #1
lgottler
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Default When can you tow in OD?

So in what year or transmission types can you safely tow in overdrive? Reading a post here about the new transmissions being able to handle it....

My '94 Suburban 7.4L 4.10 gears, towed up buddies Samurai to West Branch this past weekend. Left it in Drive to check mileage. Towed without issue, I left it around 63mph on cruise control. I averaged the trip up at 7mpg. On the way back I set it in overdrive and cruise on at 63mph and I netted 8.5mpg....

The only time it downshifted while in OD was when I took it into Drive to get over the Zoo. I don't have a trans temp gage, so can't say anything there....

Is that old of a trans "safe" to do OD in if it doesn't hunt for lower gears often? Manual and door says DO NOT TOW IN OD in bold print

Lucas
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Old January 15th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #2
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If I am towing much, I flip the tow/haul switch until I am at highway speeds, then turn the OD back on. I just watch my tranny temps on the gauge. I just don't let it bog down and lug too much.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #3
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Lucas I would recommend the owners manual first.

Second I don't believe they had the tow haul mode in 94, so I would be hesitant.

However I would think if you can hold OD with the Torque converter locked up you would be ok.

Do not take that for anything other then what I would "think" would be ok. Maybe someone with more experience/knowledge could confirm.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #4
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Lucas, with a '94 4L80E I wouldn't tow in OD. Chad Chevy didnt' offer the tow/haul mode until the '99 trucks like your last.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 09:17 PM   #5
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When you say torque converter lock up...you mean when it drops like 200-300 rpm even when I'm already in OD?
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Old January 15th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lgottler View Post
When you say torque converter lock up...you mean when it drops like 200-300 rpm even when I'm already in OD?
yes, but as mike confirmed that year did not have tow haul mode. Someone who knows more is going to have to give you a solid answer.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 09:42 PM   #7
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correct me if I'm wrong, but I was always told that towing in OD isn't what hurt the transmissions, it is when the vehicle is always downshifting/shifting in order to maintain speed.

towing flat, and not an extremely heavy of a load is ok in OD as long as the truck isn't kicking down alot. once it starts downshifting, is the time to take it out of OD.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #8
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my 99 tahoe does not have tow/haul either. it's manual says to use OD unless it's hunting for gears. I tow in OD some of the time and take it out of OD when it's hilly or hunting. I know with the 'hoe it really depends on the speed and also, it does better when I do NOT use cruise. i'm able to modulate the gas pedal to keep it from shifting easier that way.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 10:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gotsand? View Post
correct me if I'm wrong, but I was always told that towing in OD isn't what hurt the transmissions, it is when the vehicle is always downshifting/shifting in order to maintain speed.

towing flat, and not an extremely heavy of a load is ok in OD as long as the truck isn't kicking down alot. once it starts downshifting, is the time to take it out of OD.
you are correct...that whats hurting the tranny, shifting in and out of OD a lot. I never use OD when towing my camper as its too heavy of a load for my 350ci to maintain 4th gear. The other day towing a empty 18' car hauler I left in OD, towing it on flat level roads.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 10:47 PM   #10
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you are correct...that whats hurting the tranny, shifting in and out of OD a lot. I never use OD when towing my camper as its too heavy of a load for my 350ci to maintain 4th gear. The other day towing a empty 18' car hauler I left in OD, towing it on flat level roads.
it's like a hammer repeatedly beating your tranny.

If you have never towed before try towing over the rockies for a little enlightenment on how to use gears. Lugging the motor is bad for the trans.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 12:16 AM   #11
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simple answer. light loads OD heavy loads no OD. get a temp gauge there cheap insurance. if it's hunting for gears at freeway speed then shift into 3rd and leave it. there is a diffrence between shifting and the TCC cycling. you will notice if the TCC cycles it's only 300rpm change versus 700 or so when it downshifts. if the TCC cycles thats nothing to worry about.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #12
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Wow, about everything in this thread is what I stated in the other one that you most of disagreed with me on.

lgottler, as Kodiak stated above is very accurate in my opinion. My question would be, what is the excitement about towing in OD? In the long run, you will not save money in gas mileage (based on weight and torque required). If you get in a situation where he trans "hunts", you will actually be costing you money.

Like Kodiak stated, I will tow my bike trailer in OD but that is about all (95 Tahoe). Its weight is about 300lbs.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 09:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Smiley23 View Post
Wow, about everything in this thread is what I stated in the other one that you most of disagreed with me on.

lgottler, as Kodiak stated above is very accurate in my opinion. My question would be, what is the excitement about towing in OD? In the long run, you will not save money in gas mileage (based on weight and torque required). If you get in a situation where he trans "hunts", you will actually be costing you money.

Like Kodiak stated, I will tow my bike trailer in OD but that is about all (95 Tahoe). Its weight is about 300lbs.
That's because tow/haul mode is a different beast than a straight up 4 speed auto.

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Old January 16th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #14
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That's because tow/haul mode is a different beast than a straight up 4 speed auto.
x2....something that didn't seem to get through someones head in that last thread.

anyway lets keep this on track before Cooter has the clean it up and ban someone.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #15
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Wow, about everything in this thread is what I stated in the other one that you most of disagreed with me on.
No, its really not. Everyone here is saying its fine to tow locked up in OD or with a tow mode-equipped vehicle. Being unlocked in OD or frequently downshifting is the problem - just like people said in the other thread. But that's okay - go ahead and keep rearranging everyone's words to make yourself feel better all you want.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #16
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That's because tow/haul mode is a different beast than a straight up 4 speed auto.

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My statements did NOT include "tow-haul" mode as I already specified multiple times in the previous thread. That feature was not mentioned until about the 6th or 7th post in the thread.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 09:54 AM   #17
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No, its really not. Everyone here is saying its fine to tow locked up in OD or with a tow mode-equipped vehicle. Being unlocked in OD or frequently downshifting is the problem - just like people said in the other thread. But that's okay - go ahead and keep rearranging everyone's words to make yourself feel better all you want.
You guys were the ones re-aranging words.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:04 AM   #18
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My statements did NOT include "tow-haul" mode as I already specified multiple times in the previous thread. That feature was not mentioned until about the 6th or 7th post in the thread.
Smiley read Chads first post in that tread again...he said new truck w/temp gauge. Wouldn't that give you a slight clue its a fairly new truck with tow/haul mode? You know that option has been out since '99.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:11 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Roadhouse View Post
Smiley read Chads first post in that tread again...he said new truck w/temp gauge. Wouldn't that give you a slight clue its a fairly new truck with tow/haul mode? You know that option has been out since '99.
Nice edit / delete.

I did read it and no, I did not clue in that "temp gauge" and "new truck" were key words that meant it had "tow-haul" mode. For obvious reasons. People have different opinions of what a "new" truck is. "New production" or "new posession"
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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:14 AM   #20
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what if you have two od's???
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