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View Full Version : Using overdrive while towing


RELIABLELAWNMAN
10-25-2003, 12:32 AM
After 244,000 + miles on my 91 Chevy S10 P/U I finally burnt it up
(Water pump leak). I purchased a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 with V8
engine and auto. transmission. The tranny is equipped with overdrive. There was no owners manual in the truck when purchased. My question is do I use O/D when towing a trailer?
I currently pull a 5 X 8 open trailer loaded with equipment and 2
extra storage boxes loaded with spare parts, hand tools, fluids, etc. I have not owned a truck with O/D before so this is new to me. Any help will be appreciated.

wojo23323
10-25-2003, 07:52 AM
When using my F-250 for towing, the owners manual says to turn the overdrive off.

goodbeus
10-25-2003, 07:55 AM
when towing with a 1500, od off...you'll burn up the transmission...

bob
10-26-2003, 09:41 PM
Both my 95' and 02' pickups (owners manuals) stated that while towing, don't use overdrive. My friend always towed in overdrive on his 97' and guess what happened- transmission problems!

GarPA
10-27-2003, 05:13 AM
agreed...turn it off...besides, when towing the thing will always be shifting even on a slight incline if you dont turn it off

Kingbman1
11-29-2003, 02:09 AM
I drive with it on, exept when driving up hills and such.

98rammer
11-29-2003, 08:31 AM
towing in overdrive is fine as long as the tranny temp stays down and you're not lugging it. i'd recommend a temp guage. the dodge transmissions line pressure is controlled by throttle position and what the pump can put out based on rpm (the more rpms, the more pressure that pump can put out as long as your foot is into it).

Tom

EagleLandscape
11-29-2003, 01:28 PM
dont pull in overdrive unless you know what you're doing. ie: can feel the gear its in, stress being put on the gear, should be in a lower gear ratio. just keep it out of overdrive.

mag360
11-30-2003, 07:06 PM
The others are giving you sound advice. A Dodge 1500 has a very touchy overdrive due to the torque converter lock-up feature. Keep overdrive off for towing and (if you have 3:55 axle ratios) keep it off for back road driving. Also install a tranny cooler if its not already equipped with one, it is a cheap way to prolong the life of your transmission.

Good luck with the truck---the dodges are very solid in my opinion.

Frosty_03
11-30-2003, 07:38 PM
Agree with KLC 99 install a tranny cooler. I have a 96 Dodge Ram with 123000 miles I have always towed without the over drive unless I get on the interstate or a good long primary road with not light, but for around town driving I take it out of overdrive. Hope this helps!!!!

HOMER
11-30-2003, 07:47 PM
When I'm running 65-70 I let mine run in OD. I think by then there are enough RPM's and enough of a load off the tranny that it can take it. Wouldn't want to run it with the OD kicked off that fast anyway.

Yes I've had one rebuilt too.

2000 Dodge 2500 Cummins

Ideal Lwns & Landscp
12-01-2003, 06:31 PM
i have 2 chevys..2500hd and 3500 mason dump. both have 6000 motor and 4.10 rears..I almost always leave the overdrive ON..When I tow my trailers, 8 x 16 enclosed, it doesn't even know they are there..If I turn overdive off it turns more rpm's and the transmission runs hotter. ( I have a gauge in both) I had a Dodge 1500 with the 318 motor and 3.92 rear..I always had to run with the overdrive OFF because it would continually downshift on me..

mag360
12-01-2003, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by Ideal Lwns & Landscp
i have 2 chevys..2500hd and 3500 mason dump. both have 6000 motor and 4.10 rears..I almost always leave the overdrive ON..When I tow my trailers, 8 x 16 enclosed, it doesn't even know they are there..If I turn overdive off it turns more rpm's and the transmission runs hotter. ( I have a gauge in both) I had a Dodge 1500 with the 318 motor and 3.92 rear..I always had to run with the overdrive OFF because it would continually downshift on me..

to the best of my understanding, automatic trannies circulate fluid better in the higher gears (like overdrive) but the constant shifting in and out of overdrive is hard on the clutches. The half ton dodges do not have low enough gearing to pull in overdrive with a stock motor.

An exception may be if you have the 360 with 3.92 gears and that 5x8 is pretty light

98rammer
12-01-2003, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by KLC99
to the best of my understanding, automatic trannies circulate fluid better in the higher gears (like overdrive) but the constant shifting in and out of overdrive is hard on the clutches.

i'm not sure about full electronic valve bodies, but the dodge trannies circulate more fluid the higher the rpms go.

however, good point, *shift overlap*. that's what a shift kit makes faster and reduces wear. soft shifts are bad on a transmission-- and having the tranny constantly shift back and forth is bad on the clutch packs.

Tom

Metro Lawn
12-07-2003, 02:47 PM
I can't speak for the brand X trucks (Ford & GM ) but as for the Dodge: NEVER tow in overdrive. My nephew is a Dodge Tech. He says that the owners manual say not to tow or plow in overdrive.

Scott Wachtel
12-10-2003, 06:28 PM
If your pulling a trailer, don't even think about overdrive until your in excess of at least 55.If your just city driving,burn the extra gas not your trans.