Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
hello folks,

Is anyone actually towing near the 5000 pound limit with their FJ with a 6-speed manual transmission? If you are, I'd love to hear from you on how it feels and if you'd recommend the manual over an automatic.

I like manuals, but the trailer I intend to tow will be near the FJ's limit when fully loaded, so I am concerned about buying a manual over an automatic.

I see MT fans posting online that they THINK it should work and that MT's are up to the task, but I would love to hear from someone actually doing something like this with an FJ Cruiser.

Thanks in advance
Lee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
hello folks,

Is anyone actually towing near the 5000 pound limit with their FJ with a 6-speed manual transmission? If you are, I'd love to hear from you on how it feels and if you'd recommend the manual over an automatic.

I like manuals, but the trailer I intend to tow will be near the FJ's limit when fully loaded, so I am concerned about buying a manual over an automatic.

I see MT fans posting online that they THINK it should work and that MT's are up to the task, but I would love to hear from someone actually doing something like this with an FJ Cruiser.

Thanks in advance
Lee


The manual transmission should actually be stronger if that's what you're concerned about. Automatics tend to have issues with fluid heating up and oxidizing generally speaking.
Now I never actually weighted the load but I got a pretty big low boy trailer from Uhaul and loaded my work toolbox with tools and drove it 20-30 miles without any problems. It felt heavy in the rear but no problems. Here's said toolbox here,



Now it's almost completely full so it's not easy to move. The box is pushing close to 1000 empty. Figure in the tools and the trailer's weight and I was probably close. If it's rated 5000 I'm sure it will do more. Seems like everything is underated for safety in experience. I hear too with towing rates it's all about the brakes not if the engine/tranny can pull it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
I pulled a 14 foot box trailer full of furniture close to 1000 miles from Texas to Colorado in October. I did not weigh it but I doubt it was anywhere close to 5000 but thought I would post anyway. I could definitely feel it back there and stayed in 5th most of the time. 5th gear running about 2700 rpm's had me cruising around 65. Tried sixth gear a few times but it would bog down at the slightest incline. Was getting about 10 miles to the gallon and I ran premium even though I usually run regular. No mechanical problems or over heating. Had about a 30 mile per hour head wind part of the way too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
I have a 6 MT and I've pulled a tandem axle UHaul with 5000 lbs in it.

On flat land you're fine. In the mountains it is a little slow going up. No problem on the other side though. :rofl:

I pulled this for several days. Mostly mountains. Total of about 2500 miles.

No problem with the transmission. Engine temp stayed normal the entire time. Lots of downshifting on mountains.

I wouldn't want to do this everyday. Not an ideal vehicle for a heavy trailer in this class.

For occasional towing at this weight you're fine.

I have a small single axle camper that I pull periodically throughout the year.
It weights about 3200 lbs when loaded down. It tows just fine but again, I'm glad I don't do it everyday.

I've towed light trailers too. Big difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Agree with Mountainclimber. I pulled a 6x12 tandem enclosed uhaul 850 miles; it was FULLY loaded with furniture, piano included. The MT did fine overall but wouldn't want to pull that much every day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys!
How was 1st gear? Getting moving is my biggest concern. I'm OK with downshifting as necessary.

I'm looking at a 2007 dealer certified FJ MT 4wd with 69,000 miles on it tomorrow. Dealer price $17,500. How does that sound?

Dan, just to make sure I'm clear, are you saying your loaded trailer was probably NOT close to 5000 pounds, or probably was close?

thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
My wife and I bought our boat last August and the boat and trailer weigh around 3800lbs empty. With full gas and all the equipment on board (beer, ice, anchor etc.) I figure were over 4000lbs total. Out here in the midwest it's mostly flat but the my 6-speed pulls just fine. I can easily run over 70mph but to save gas I usually just run about 60-65. Everyone that goes with me to the lake is surprised at how easily the FJ pulls the boat. My gas mileage sucks but that's about it. The trailer does have surge brakes and that helps a lot. The trailer is very stable.

Good luck......
Wilkie

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
239 Posts
We moved from the bay area in CA to Illinois. I drove the Uhaul 26' truck and my wife ended up having to drive the MT FJ pulling the largest Uhaul trailer they had. I'm sure we were close to 4000 lbs and going up and down the mountains. I think the MT worked very well. I had to instruct her on how to down shift to like 2nd gear coming down the mountains to let the engine do more of the braking work rather that the vehicles brakes and made it easier going up the hills to since you control the shifting. I think it would be much harder on the AT FJ's and I'm not sure if the AT, even in the lowest gear, would brake the vehicle coming down a very steep grade. My two cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,311 Posts
I pull my 25' boat no problem. Filled with gas plus weight of trailer, I actually think it is a little more that 5000#. I can tow it easy. Take in cosideration FJ will not go past 65-70 mph.

Also, I live in FL so I do not have any problems with hills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
I have also towed close to the limit and for long distances. I prefer an auto for towing, mostly because it already has a cooler. I would never tow anything heavy without trailer brakes, so using compression braking will not have to be a consideration. Toyota has done some work on this automatic to increase the ability to use compression braking but that was for four wheeling. Obviously a manual would have better compression brake ability.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
.

I've put over 17k miles pulling my 3400# (loaded) camping trailer over all kinds of terrain from one side of the US to the other. Overall I'm satisfied with the performance from my '09 six speed stick. Like it has been pointed out, be prepared for lots of downshifting going up hills. It's great for going down hills, downshift to the appropriate gear and you rarely touch the brakes.

I have towed my double axle utility trailer several times with 2 tons of wood pellets on board. Trailer weighs approx 1200# for a total of around 5200#. I tow like this for approx 12 miles on a level nice stretch of highway. I am not comfortable doing it for much more than that.

You will absolutely need to wire up an electric trailer brake set-up. This will be a separate run of wire (separate from the trailer light harness that is already on the truck). This will also require a 7 pin connector (as opposed to the 4 pin). I ordered 20' of: Jacketed 2 Wire, 10 Gauge, Brake Wire (from etrailer.com) @ $.89/foot. It's two (2) insulated 10 gauge wires (red & white) inside of another jacket. One wire for the electric brake and the other for the trailer battery charging circuit. You want the 10 gauge wire for the trailer brakes because they operate by magnets and are current dependent (I don't like unnecessary voltage drops before you reach the trailer).

I also installed Firestone air bags in the rear springs. Makes the truck handle better on the highway (esp. when lane changing, etc.).

I also own a Honda Ridgeline (auto 5 speed) which I use to tow with on occasion but I much prefer the FJ for towing long distances. Both vehicles have the 5k max tow rating.

BTW, if you are in a situation where you don't want to abuse your clutch to death (pulling a boat out of a launch or backing up a trailer on a hill, etc.), just shift the transfer case down into 4 low. Put it back into high range as soon as you're done with the stressful maneuver. The low range makes it feel like nothing is back there and also lets you 'creep' at a slower safer rate of speed for these situations.

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
First gear will be fine, but reverse will be a nightmare...
I wish it was half the speed it's right now.

Otherwise, MT6 all the way since the transmission can't overheat like the AT5 can.

If you do take a AT5, make sure to get a transmission cooling kit, like the one on the Tacoma and you should be fine...

:cheers:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
The FJ already has a cooler. I have towed 4000# at 85 degrees for 900 miles and had no overheat issues. Those of you who have autos and have towed (heavy), have you had any overheat issues or is this just rumor? FJC 4X4 have you had personal experience with an automatic overheating? See attached for trans cooler.
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
I think I may be at 6k and to in 110 degree weather. No overheating issues so far.
I don't like that we don't have a trans temp gauge but from past experience with towing you can tell when the trans gets hot.. Smell, harsher shifting and a slight slipping. I had a temp gauge so I was able to validate the issue.

I am very surprised with the power and towing ability. Very controlled and travels nice and straight. Oh and no airbags either
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
FJC 4X4 have you had personal experience with an automatic overheating?.
No, I have the MT6.

I never knew that the AT5 came with the equivalent of the tacoma tow package, which boost it's tow capacity from 5000# to 6500#... Nice to know...

:cheers:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,003 Posts
I think I may be at 6k and to in 110 degree weather. No overheating issues so far.
I don't like that we don't have a trans temp gauge but from past experience with towing you can tell when the trans gets hot.. Smell, harsher shifting and a slight slipping. I had a temp gauge so I was able to validate the issue.

I am very surprised with the power and towing ability. Very controlled and travels nice and straight. Oh and no airbags either
The transmission cooler you refer to isn't really really that efficient. I think all modern transmissions, come with this type. It basically takes already heated water from the radiator to cool the transmission fluid in the small section of coils in the radiator. This really doesn't do much to cool an already heated up transmission. You are trying to cool something with water that's already close to normal operating temperature. The better way is with an aftermarket separate cooler (radiator) much more surface area and it relies on cool air, because it mounts directly to the outside of the current regulator. The Tacoma has an oil cooler that helps with towing, but is not available on the FJ. It's just not meant to pull over 5000# Period. That includes any extra weight you have in your FJ, including passengers and gear. Since there isn't a temp sensor in the transmission, you are left to chance, on whether the transmission is overheating. By the time you get funny shifts and different smells, you are already WAY, over operating ranges. Heat is the number one killer of a transmission. If I were to pull a trailer for extended travel I would have a transmission cooler installed and wouldn't tow over the rating or even near it.
thanks
Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
FJC 4X4

The FJ doesn't come with the equivalent of the Tacoma towing package, that's not what I said, and it is not rate at 6500#. It comes with the standard connection to the radiator as Wikid says above.

I never knew that the AT5 came with the equivalent of the tacoma tow package, which boost it's tow capacity from 5000# to 6500#... Nice to know...

:cheers:[/QUOTE]
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
@wikid
I never said anything about a trans cooler.. Like I said I have experienced a transmission at high temp but still in operating range 200 degress and I started to notice a performance loss. I haven't gotten to that point with my fjc and if I ever do it will receive a trans flush imidiatly.
As far as towing overloaded I've already expressed my point of view and I believe you did as well.. in another thread...
Power is fine brakes are fine and it goes straight down the highway:rocker:
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top