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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Towing with an Intrepid

Hi

I posted a previous thread on replacing the transmission on my intrepid. The transmission actually broke when I was towing and I wonder what the views are on towing with an Intrepid? I bought the car about 18 months ago with a towbar, and I spoke to the previous owner after I bought it and he told me he'd replaced the transaxle, so I kind of wonder if maybe he'd overloaded it and sent it on its route to a failure 18 months later. I was towing U haul's smallest 4'x8' 2-wheel box trailer empty when the failure happened so I don't really think that was the cause and previously with this car I've towed one of their 5' x 8' 2-wheel box trailers, once with an entire kitchen it in, and it was fine, although I think maybe I made a lot of use of the 3rd gear downshift.

I've been told the transmission on the intrepids isn't one of the high points, don't know if that's true?

I'm replacing the 3.5 transmission with one from a 2.7 from a '99 car and just wonder whether towing is just not a good idea, especially with a replacement transmission from an older car?

Thanks for any thoughts

Andrew
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:04 PM
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Those are good questions - the Intrepid transmission is probably the weakest link, but I wouldn't by any means say it is overly weak vs any other car transmission of the same generation, honestly.

I wonder how it broke the first time and what broke the second time (I don't remember what you had happen). If it broke the first time due to excessive wear, it could have sent shrapnel into the cooler that wasn't properly flushed out, and it took out the second trans... it could have been that the second trans was on its way out, and it was just 'time'... SO many variables.

BUT - as to your question of being able to handle it...

Should it tow another item of weight equal to the car - NO - the brakes wouldn't handle that, let alone the transmission for an extended haul. But for towing a utility trailer - I see NO reason the car shouldn't handle that for 'light' use - hauling up and down mountain in 4th gear at 70MPH would be bad - but I see no reason you cant tow in "3" (keep the car out of OD/4th) and then keep your speed reasonable. I guess it isn't really the 'speed' that is the issue, it is the load you impart to the transmission by pushing it.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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The circumstances of the failure were that I was probably doing about 70 with the trailer on the back - smallest one so thought it was no issue - and probably it was in 4th for a fair bit of the time. Also, there's a bit of an ascent part way through the journey, maybe partly in 4th. I was picking something up and the person I was getting it from was going out so I was in a bit of a hurry. Well, live and learn, speed does matter for towing and 3rd is best for inclines! Right?

Andrew
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:35 PM
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Dodge says 2,000 lbs can be towed by an intrepid. If they say 2,000 IMO I wouldn't go over 1000lbs
Source:
http://www.dodge.com/towing/D/vehicl...amily=INTREPID
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:46 PM
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Correct Andrew - the biggest thing is watching 3rd gear. IF you plan on doing towing often, which it sounds like you do, SERIOUSLY consider installing the biggest secondary transmission cooler you can find in front of your radiator. Something that will keep those transmission temperatures down.

Once you are in 3rd, then speed is limited mostly by RPM and your comfort with how well you can stop...

If Dodge says 2K pounds, I say 2K pounds ON A GOOD DAY. I wouldn't cut it in half, but you are obviously safest keeping the weight down.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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I don't plan to do a lot of towing. In 18 months, I've towed 3 times and I've never towed before on any other car. Some things just don't fit in a car unfortunately, eg/ a dishwasher which is what I was collecting on my last trip. An intrepid and $14 for a U Haul trailer is a much better solution for me than buying a truck. Just need to take it easy and not too much weight..
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:56 PM
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Exactly. I've got a class II that is going on my car here at some point, to tow either a little boat trailer-turned-flatbed, or an old mini-truck-turned-trailer thing I've got, for exactly the same reasons.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:57 PM
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It is just something you can do, but isn't exactly recommended. I really highly doubt you will have any problems. Just ease on the gas though and watch out for big inclines that would cause stress on your tranny.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmccul View Post
Correct Andrew - the biggest thing is watching 3rd gear. IF you plan on doing towing often, which it sounds like you do, SERIOUSLY consider installing the biggest secondary transmission cooler you can find in front of your radiator. Something that will keep those transmission temperatures down.

Once you are in 3rd, then speed is limited mostly by RPM and your comfort with how well you can stop...

If Dodge says 2K pounds, I say 2K pounds ON A GOOD DAY. I wouldn't cut it in half, but you are obviously safest keeping the weight down.

The thing about using 3rd, is TQ Converter lockup. In 4th the TQ Con. will disengage from lockup alot more than it would in third, creating alot more heat. Heat is the main killer of all Transmissions.

Examples on Coolers.


Better,


And what the hell you plan on towing.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:45 PM
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You say it doesn't lock up in 3rd? I know other brands do - does ours not lock up in 3rd?
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 09:57 PM
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yes, it does lock in third.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 10:13 PM
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I didn't even know that Intrepids could haul! (I wonder what the specs are for a 1G 3.5)
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 11:55 PM
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Please show me where the 42le locks in 3rd. Books about this seem to show partial emcc in 4th only for any LH of any year. And full emcc in 4th only.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cdmccul View Post
You say it doesn't lock up in 3rd? I know other brands do - does ours not lock up in 3rd?
I am saying it does. Tq lock up can happen in all gears except 1st.. But What I was saying in 4th, due to it being the highest gear it will be more to prone to unlocking to get more power than if you kept it in 4th and kept the rpms and speed in safe zone.

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Originally Posted by Adpros View Post
Please show me where the 42le locks in 3rd. Books about this seem to show partial emcc in 4th only for any LH of any year. And full emcc in 4th only.
Taken from 1994 FSM Page 21-2

The 42LE transaxle provides forward ratios of
2.84, 1.57, 1.00, and 0.69. The torque converter
clutch is available in 2nd, direct, or overdrive gear.

The Reverse ratio is 2.21. The shift lever is conventional
with six positions (P, R, N, OD, 3, and L).
When OD is selected the transaxle shifts normally
through all four speeds with the torque converter
clutch operational in third and overdrive; this position
is recommended for most driving. The 3 position
is tailored for use in hilly or mountainous driving.
When 3 is selected, the transmission uses only 1st,
2nd, and direct gears with 2nd-direct shift delayed to
40 mph or greater. When operating in 3 or L positions
torque converter clutch application occurs in
direct gear. This improves transmission cooling
when towing trailers and/or driving on steep grades.
If high engine coolant temperature occurs, the
torque converter clutch will also engage in 2nd gear.
The L position provides maximum engine braking
for descending steep grades. Unlike most current
transaxles, upshifts are provided to 2nd or direct
gear at peak engine speeds if the accelerator is depressed.
This provides engine over-speed protection
and maximum performance.


I also know it locks up by how the engine,speed, and acceleration feel. When disengaged the rpms will move alot more than will locked up. You can feel a more connected feeling during Tq converter lockup. The 4th gear Tq lock up has had many people believe we had 5 gears as well. The ol' Phantom 4th gear.


Also, the Prowler TCM kept the TQ locked up alot more than the standard LH TCM does as well.

If any more clarification on the operation of the 42le, I do believe Chewie has the actual FSM for the Transaxle.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by EagleESI View Post
I am saying it does. Tq lock up can happen in all gears except 1st.. But What I was saying in 4th, due to it being the highest gear it will be more to prone to unlocking to get more power than if you kept it in 4th and kept the rpms and speed in safe zone.
In 4th gear, the PCM/TCM, while towing, is going to see situations so often due to load that it will constantly be slipping out of lock up, and then more often down-shifting. When you sense that the transmission is constantly downshifting, it is better to force it down into 3rd and keep the trans from having to shift, and that will give the PCM/TCM more reason to keep the TC locked up.

Generally, unless you are on a very short haul, most people get distracted from listening to the transmission, and forget to downshift - for general population, if one must tow, do it in 3rd..
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