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newb towing advice. long distance

2627 Views 19 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Mathster
This is my first truck got it yesterday...04 xe 4x4 auto. book says 5000lbs max towing.

i am being stationed in alaska so i bought a truck. and im towing my other car which weighs about 2600lbs i plan on using a dolly to reduce trailer weight, and i really wont have that much other weight coming with me.

and im in florida so this is almost a 5000 mile trip. ill be driving 8-10hrs a day for 10+ days.

anything i can do to the tranny to prolong its life...make it more durable...or work easier during this tow? i will prob keep it around 60mph the whole time.

any tips/advice?

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get a big trans cooler! heat kills auto transmissions!
thanx ill def get one of those installed!

heres a few shots i took today

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Truck looks really nice, good find.
Is that Cape Canaveral in the back ground?
I just moved to GA from FL and ended up towing a 6x12 Uhaul up here that was full to brim. In the hills and climbs, I would turn off the O/D to keep the rpms up and and maintain speed and momentum. I averaged around 13mpg on the trip which isnt too bad, I would guess you would probably get around 15. Thats gonna be a loong drive for yabut will be a memorable experience.
no thats the papermill in panama city haha. yea i hope everything goes well on this trip!! haha.
Ever thought of selling the car in FL and getting another one in Alaska?
since its a stock truck and you are towing below ratings, it shouldn't be a problem. however, i'm not sure about what towing 2600lbs ten hours a day would do to it.
your truck has a tranny cooler from the factory, but its not the greatest.

if you are going to be towing often, invest in a quality tranny cooler. (stainless braided lines from the tranny to a cooler with its own fan).

if this is a one time thing, i would still invest in some sort of universal cooler that you could just integrate into your factory tranny cooler system. because of the expansion properties of rubber hoses, be sure you use quality clamps, and check them often.

thankyou for your service to our country.
no i have a 1988 mitsubishi starion esi-r fiji blue...took me years to find this car...and there are none in alaska...ill be the first haha. yea i was on and saw coolers from 40-70$ ill get under there and look at what im getting into for that.

any advice for adding some lighting on the vehicle? because i am kind of going out into the wilderness for this trip on the LCAN haha

thanx for all the great advice so far. i have a few communities i frequent. my starion community is always very good. but i had a porsche 944 once, and those online forums were just ridiculous.
you are going to miss Eglin, i can promise you that, but you make mad loot in AK. I towed 3700 with my truck, v6 2wd, from Eglin to New Mexico with no problems, did around 55-60 the whole time, just gas mileage drop, who would have thought.
i have this;
B&M 70297 B&M Hi-Tek Cooling System
and i had these lines made to replace the hardlines and run stainless braided from the tranny all the way to the cooler. i completely bypassed the factory cooler, which is built into the bottom portion of the tiny frontier radiator.

when i first added a cooler, i tried to go the economy route and it really bit me in the a$$. i had to constantly babysit the hose clamps because they would come loose and leak. i snugged them up before a trip, and when i was in the desert womping around, the clamps quit and puked tranny fluid everywhere.
i decided that my tranny sees lots of stress, and quality is not something to skip on in high performance applications, especially when i'm going to be in the desert.

the total cost was around $430 for that cooler and those lines.

as far as lights, i'm quite pleased with my hella 4000's. they are a little bulky at 9" wide though. you can find them for about $80 a light without wiring.
another option would be a hella 500 kit, you get two 5" lights with a wiring kit for about $80. i was running them before my hella 4000's and they were quality lights.

hella 500's

hella 4000's
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cliff: thanx! those numbers helped out a lot! idk man ive been done with the panhandle for a bit now haha. im ready for something awesome like ak! and i think going there with my first truck is going to be one heck of an experience.

so..where did u mount ur other cooler if u bypassed the factory one? yea ill def be picking one up here next week and getting it all figured out and mounted...this way i can drive around with it for a bit before the big ol drive in april.

best way to mount the lights? see i have some kind of brush gaurd or a cop cruiser haha. ide like to mount a few there...or maybe on the roof rack...i just hate drilling holes in that nice if they had some sort of metal clamp i could mount with a rubber insert.
the cooler is mounted with some minor custom fabrication. i'm talking a couple bolts welded to the front crossmember and a 1/8" strip of sheet metal that secures the bottom of the cooler.
b&m recommends mounting the cooler so it receives the fluid from the top, and i don't have a ton of room up front because of my other mods... so i had to ditch my grill. you could probably find another way to mount it without a problem though.

the cooler you see in the back ground in the pic below is my engine oil cooler. i have never had a problem with it, but the same setup for a transmission cooler just didn't work well for me.

your bull bar is just for looks really, its size makes it difficult to mount anything to it. don't try to push or pull anything with it, either. you could probably construct some brackets and mount the lights to that bar though.
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Nice clean lookin truck bro
thanx beef. yea i went all through ur build thread...bada$$ truck man! my stepdad and mom are comin down to visit before i head out to alaska and hes gonna help me lift this here truck up and get some lights on there and anything else. hes had quite a few trucks hes done up. Once i get up there im going to winterize the truck, gonna need some heated mirrors, block $ battery warmer. and ill more than likely blow some money on a bull bar with a winch.

thanx topoutman =)
thank you sir. i would definitely invest in a heavy duty bumper, for a few reasons- hosting a winch, protection from deers/critters, and it also holds lights.

snow and ice is a pain. sometimes it doesn't matter how much suspension travel you have, if you have locking differentials, or how much power you have- if you are stuck in some bad snow, you are stuck. but a winch will get you out.
my winch has saved my a$$ in the snow at least once.

i wouldn't want to hit a deer far from help either. a big bumper can deter damage.
yea we have the alaskan monster moose too!! yea i was looking at the camini and schruck with the integrated winch spots...

but i want to do the bodylift...but i think i read they dont work with bodylifts...

yea im from NY...there is snow that u just cant get out of lol
the bumpers work with body lifts, they just leave a huge gap between the bumper and the headlights. you can modify them to work though.
my opinion, body lifts look like garbage.

i have the shrock bumper and i love it. very strong and sturdy, i'm always banging it on rocks and its been holding up great. very stout, nothing bad to say at all. if you order a shrock, expect a 6month delivery time- they make their bumpers to order.
Take a look at the thread about towing a sieanna cross country. even thos your DSM is lighter, Im standing by my advice of running a trailer WITH brakes.

If you are set on pulling the car on a dolly, either pull it backwards or pull the drive line on the car since its RWD.
use caution when flat towing, if something in the drivetrain could be deprived of lubricating oil if the drive gears aren't in motion and throwing oil on the moving parts.
certain 4x4's can do damage to the tcase if they are flat towed, i think thats why mathster is recommending towing it with the drive wheels up on the dolly if you plan to go that route.
use caution when flat towing, if something in the drivetrain could be deprived of lubricating oil if the drive gears aren't in motion and throwing oil on the moving parts.
certain 4x4's can do damage to the tcase if they are flat towed, i think thats why mathster is recommending towing it with the drive wheels up on the dolly if you plan to go that route.
yup, but really a trailer with brakes would be better. it will be a load, but it will make stopping easier.
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