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cray

Tow Vehicle Mileage

10 posts in this topic

I need a new tow vehicle. I am looking at getting a newer, used SUV. I have narrowed it down to a 4x4 4-runner, Trailblazer or Explorer. I will be towing a 16ft aluminum boat w/ a 40 hp motor.

Does anyone use any of these vehicles with a similar rig? If so, what kind of mileage do you get when towing. Thanks.

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I have an 05 Trailblazer and tow a 16 foot Lund Alaskan with a 60hp E-tec. I get around 10-11 at 80 mph, and 14-15 at 65 mph. Interestingly, I only get about 16-17 in mixed driving when I don't tow, so the boat doesn't make that much difference if I keep her below 65. Above that and the mileage gets brutal.

Safe to say my trips are a lot slower this summer than ever before with gas at $4.

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I just went through this replacing my full size truck. I ended up with a V6 4Runner and the main reason was gas mileage. I've had it for a month now and have played around with the mileage computer, here's what I know:

The computer is about 10% optimistic (all these numbers are what the computer says).

Towing @ 75mph - 17.5 mpg, I only towed my boat that one time it's a 16.5' smokercraft with a 90 merc I had 3 guys and gear for a week.

No trailer cruise @ 55 mph - 33 mpg

No trailer cruise @ 65 mph - 25 mpg

Average driving (50/50 mix of city and hwy) - 23 mpg

I'm pretty geeky when it comes to numbers and gas mileage

If you're looking for good gas mileage I would not get the V8 4runner.

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Wow, MJ, that is pretty good! How is the V6 on power? Is the V8 4Runner the 4.7L? I've got a Sequoia--great engine, but eats way more gas than your V6 4Runner. Granted, it's a lot larger vehicle, though. Very impressed with your mileage, though!

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Wow, MJ, that is pretty good! How is the V6 on power? Is the V8 4Runner the 4.7L? I've got a Sequoia--great engine, but eats way more gas than your V6 4Runner. Granted, it's a lot larger vehicle, though. Very impressed with your mileage, though!

Yea but keep in mind it looks like the computer is 10% high on all those numbers.

The power is fine, I think they have 230 hp, I've only had it for a month and I plan on upgrading my boat some day so it might be an issue down the road. It's rated to tow 5,000 lbs but not wanting to max out that rating I'm guessing I'm limited to maybe a 4,000 lbs boat/trailer.

Yes the V8s are the same as the Tundras and Sequois (that's what I had before), I was running about 16 avg on my tundra, from what I saw while researching these the V8 4runners are about 1 point above that.

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Yes the V8s are the same as the Tundras and Sequois (that's what I had before), I was running about 16 avg on my tundra, from what I saw while researching these the V8 4runners are about 1 point above that.

Sounds about right. I can touch 16 on the highway, but average about 14. I'm guessing my Sequoia weighs a bit more than a Tundra, though.

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I love my V6 4-Runner. Plenty of power, good gas mileage and a very underrated 4L (tons of torque). Throw on some beefy AT tires and good luck getting stuck.

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I've got an '03 Trailblazer. Straight 6. Only gets about like 12 mpg while pulling my 14ft boat with 40 hp outboard on the back. All kinds of power though.

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Check out Subaru Ourbacks. Full time for wheel drive and the newer ones 2005 on will tow 3000 to 3500 lbs I'm using at 2002 to two my 2000 lbs rig. Good power I can run 70-75 mph with no problem and they are blast to drive

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    • BEFORE BEGINNING

      Before you begin, make sure you have a good strong battery and make sure it's charged up. If you have a bad or weak battery, you may want to replace it because if it doesn't crank good and strong, you are likely to get a low, inaccurate reading. Make sure your engine is warmed up to operating temperature(if possible). About 10 minutes of riding should do.

      First, take out the spark plug and thread in the adapter for the compression tester. Make sure you have the correct size adapter for your particular ATV. Slide your kill switch to the "off" position. Some ATVs won't crank over with the kill switch in the "off" position, so if yours is like this, then you will need to either unhook your ignition coil or ground the end of the spark plug wire to a good ground. You can use a jumper wire with alligator clips on each end to ground it. Next, make sure the throttle is in the wide open position. You can either hold the throttle lever with your thumb or you may be able to tape it or use a zip tie to fasten it to your handlebars to hold it in the wide open position. If you don't have the throttle in the wide open position, you will probably get too low of a reading. Also, if you are testing a newly rebuilt engine, the engine needs to have been run for, at least, 30 or 40 minutes or you will probably get too low of a reading.

      NOTE: Before you begin with the actual test, make sure the threaded adapter is screwed in good and isn't leaking any air out around it.

      ACTUAL TESTING

      With the throttle in the wide open position, push the start button and crank the engine over until the hand on the gauge stops moving. Each time the engine turns over the hand should raise a little more until it reaches the maximum compression of the engine. When it stops, that is your compression reading. This usually takes no more than 10 seconds. Try to avoid cranking an engine for more than 10 seconds at a time as this is hard on the starter and the battery. Now, push the relief valve on your compression gauge and that will reset the hand back to zero. It's a good ideal to repeat the test a couple or three times to make sure you get an accurate reading. On kick start models, it will be the same procedure, but obviously you will be kicking it over instead of using a start button. Worn piston rings and cylinder walls will increase the number of strokes it takes to reach the maximum reading. If you're kicking, it could possibly take as many as 10-20 kicks to get the highest reading.

      THE READING

      You will need to check your repair manual for your particular model for the correct compression specifications. See note below. Usually, an engine will run OK if it has at least 100 PSI of compression. Most engines will have somewhere between 100-250 and some as high as 300 PSI, depending on the engine. Sometimes they will run with under 100 PSI, but usually not very well. If you get a low reading, you can do a "wet test" to try to help determine the problem.

      If your reading is too high, then you probably have carbon built up on your piston and combustion chamber.

      NOTE: You may get a low reading on some engines because some engines have a decompressor assembly built into the camshaft. Check the service manual for your quad to see whether or not your quad has a decompressor assembly built into the cam.

      WET TEST

      If you got a low reading, pour about 1-2 teaspoons of clean motor oil down into the cylinder through the spark plug hole and do the compression test again. If your reading increases, then your rings or cylinder walls are probably worn. If your reading doesn't increase, then it's probably your valves. You could have a bent valve, you may have leaky valve seats, or your valve clearance may not be adjusted properly. Also, low compression can be caused by a blown head gasket.

      CAUSES OF LOW COMPRESSION

      *Worn piston rings or worn or damaged cylinder walls
      *Leaking valves
      *Valve clearance not properly set
      *Blown head gasket

      CAUSE OF HIGH COMPRESSION (stock engines)

      *Carbon buildup in combustion chamber and on piston

      NOTE: Compression testing is a good way to keep track or "gauge" the wear in your engine. When you first get your ATV or when you rebuild the engine in your ATV, you can do a compression test and then later on, you can do them periodically. This will help you determine the wear in your engine each time you do a compression test and will guide you in knowing when your engine needs rebuilding.

      This is about all I can think of. I hope I didn't leave anything out and I hope this helps everyone with their compression tests.
    • As dumb as this sounds how is this done?
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