My Weekend Adventure: Towing with the XJ
Well after installing my class III hitch, massive 10k lb tranny cooler, changing the rear diff to 75W140 Synthetic, wiring in trailer plug, and fixing my car dolly up, I decided to put it to the test!
I loaded up the '91 Toyota Tercel that I had to deliver onto the car dolly and set off. It was about a 4 hour drive to Boston, and then took car of that. Then this morning I brought the dolly to Revere and picked up a '90 Toyota Celica, and towed that back home.
Over all I'm very happy with how it went. The Jeep towed both vehicles very well, in fact around town I don't even notice that they're there. Going up steep hills (lots of those in VT) it was a bit of a strain, but I usually could maintain 65 mph in 3rd at 3k RPM most of the time, with occasional downshifts to 2nd.
I kept it in "3" the whole time. I don't have a tranny temp guage but I'm confident it was good with that big cooler. There was one rather hairy moment outside of Boston, I was trying to get over to an exit (one of those where there are people merging onto the highway at the same place you're trying to get off) and I had to step on it to get in, then I look up and see the yellow ramp speed sign, "20 MPH"! I tap the brakes as I come around the corner and the tow dolly and car just slide right out (it was raining, wet roads) on me and rotated the back of the Jeep a little bit. I kept it together and straightened it out, but I sure won't forget that!
That's one thing I forgot to mention is it was raining the whole time.
Anyway, my next upgrade is going to be brakes. I had plenty of power to get moving, but it was getting stopped that had me more worried. I'm thinking about a rear disk conversion and larger front brakes with the best pads/rotors I can get. I also need to upgrade the rear springs to something a little more heavy-duty since it gets pushed down back there quite a bit. Then I'm going to get an LSD for the rear. Once that's all done, it's 4.6 stroker time!!!