Towing 940 Turbo

  #1  
Old 11-22-2010, 05:14 PM
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Default Towing 940 Turbo

I am looking to see what the chances are of using my 94 940 Turbo wagon to tow a 17' single axle camper would be? I have no clue what the camper weighs but beings it is a single axle I am sure it's not really heavy or they would have used tandem axles... I do know the tongue weight is above 200 as I can not lift it .... has anyone one here used a 940 Turbo to tow?

Thanks in advance for any input.
 
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:36 PM
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I've towed with a 960 wagon (same chassis, but straight 6 'whiteblock'). it handled pretty well with a 2000 lb trailer. with 2000 lbs, you definitely want trailer brakes, but this likely means you'd need a brake controller in the vehicle. I towed without trailer brakes (it was actually an overloaded 1200 lb trailer) and it was pretty sketchy doing down steep grades, I did a lot of engine braking.

the camper's weight gross maximum weight should be on a plate somewhere on the front left side. if you empty your water and dump tanks, you save 100s of lbs.

I would think the turbo 4 would do OK, just take it easy, stay out of overdrive, keep your speed down, and take it real easy going up hills so things don't overheat.

I believe the 740/760/940/960 wagons are rated at like 3500 lbs tow, and 300 lbs downforce on the hitch. do note, you have to take that downforce off your GVWR and rear axle load, this basically means you can't carry much in the car safely if you're towing a heavy load (2 largish adults + 300 lbs == 700 lbs... whats the total payload?)
 
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:04 PM
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We would have 3 adults ... anything else we carry could be moved to the rear of the camper ... most of the travels would be flat terrain .. maybe slight hills .. I would not even chance the mountains here in NC .. I figure 3 hr drive to the coast 50 MPH should be ok .. and yes it does have brakes on the trailer. One thing ... it's low geared in the rear of the 940 .. at 50 MPH I would be taching 3 K is that too many RPMS extended for a 3 hr drive?
 
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:12 PM
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I don't think 3000rpm is a problem. better that than lugging when pulling a load. just keep an eye on your temperature gauge, and try and drive without leaning too heavy on the boost, and it should be fine. good fresh synth oil and coolant would probably be a good idea.

re: mountains, our old 960 hauled some damn heavy loads up into the California Sierra Nevada.



(said overloaded 1200lb trailer + overloaded 960)

how oakie can you get? hahahah
 
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:53 PM
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The trailer may have brakes, but for them to work, you need an electric brake controller installed in the car. Otherwise...no brakey! I lived in NC for 20 years...there are no mountains there! Just oversized hills. Even up around Boone...just big hills. Three hours to the coast? So...leaving from around Raleigh? Headed to the coast...Morehead City? Or...?
 
  #6  
Old 11-22-2010, 08:53 PM
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That looks like a load to me ... it would be a great help if the 940 could do it .. that way I would not have to get another vehicle ... I have read some place on the net where in the UK they pull some large trailers with 940's and the like ... I just want to make sure before I go out and buy the hitch and brake controler and invest and not be able to use it ... be out several hundred dollars ...
 
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:59 PM
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Oh...3000 rpm's is nothing. Up until 25-30 years ago, overdrives were just expensive options. Most all 4 bangers pull at least 3k at 60mph. My 144 has no overdrive and pulls 3200 at 60. I've run it at 70-75 for hours! Doesn't hurt a thing. Watch your temp gauge tho'. Don't be tempted to use the o.d. That's the really weakest portion of the AW71 transmission your car has.
 
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:28 PM
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the hardest part will be finding a place to fit the brake controller. I have one on my big van, under the dashboard, where I can reach its manual brake override and adjust. the inertial kind is best for proportional electric brakes. under the dash of a 940 is kind of cramped. maybe install it where the change tray is or something.

also needs to be quite a few wires run from the brake controller to the back. my van was prewired which made it easy.

also, a camper trailer usually is designed to get battery charging power from the vehicle, so the camper batteries recharge while you drive. this requires heavy gauge wiring from your vehicle alternator (or battery where its easier to get to) which is controlled by a relay (so it shuts the trailer power off when the vehicle is stopped so the batteries don't eat each other). my van already had the wiring for this and the socket to install this relay. I guarantee your volvo won't.

my 960 just had lights, no brakes, so I didn't have to worry about this stuff, just used a 4-wire trailer light controller that attaches to power and the vehicle tail lights for brake and turn...
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:43 AM
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Attached is a page from my car's owner's manual (98 740 turbo). I would think it's pretty much the same. Also, that engine gets peak torque at 2900rpm, so if should have the most hill pulling power at that engine speed as well as the most efficiency for towing a load at highway speeds in drive.
 
Attached Thumbnails Towing 940 Turbo-towing_specs.jpg  
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:39 AM
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Fit a transmission cooler. Towing is NO PROBLEM in overdrive.
I towed a boat home (3 hour trip, lots of long grades) and the 740T did it no problems, only selected 3 pulling long grades. Otherwise the turbo just spooled up and did it's thing. The boat and trailer would've been 1000-1200kg (2200-2600lb). No brakes, didn't feel to need them either.
I did get the trans fluid pretty warm, it foamed at one stage (just took it easy for a bit), but I was sitting on 120-140 km/h (75-85mph). I haven't had an issue with the trans fluid since fitting a large cooler.

Regards, Andrew.
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:54 AM
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VOLVO ,, so called the most safe car!!! Hope so !
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:04 AM
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re: transmission cooler, I believe the 91 940SE (turbo) I've poked around had one. kinda thought it was standard equipment on the later turbo cars. My Vadis DVD shows it on the 91 940 wagon w/ AW71 tranny and B230FT engine, and doesn't indicate it was optional.
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:29 AM
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Trans cooler is one thing I did think about ... I see them online for about 60.00 which is not bad and well worth the help it would give the trans. I don't think my 940 T has the cooler now ... seems I remember the lines go right to the Radiator . I have never hooked a cooler up but I am sure it will come with good instructions.
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:48 PM
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um, if the tranny fluid is being pumped through a section of the radiator, that IS your tranny cooler. the one I found on that 91 940SE turb was sandwiched on one side of the radiator
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:26 PM
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I always understood it was better to have an external cooler then the radiator ... because most all cars/trucks come with the lines going to the radiator for trans cooling .. but when under heavy loads an external one should be installed.
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:56 PM
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Towing in OverDrive is a no-no. Anybody who does any serious pulling will tell you that. An external cooler is a good idea as well. I pulled a 1900 pound trailer with my 1997 Cutlass Supreme without trailer brakes, and it was no big deal. Just needed to make sure that you allow room for that.
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:16 PM
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its no big deal til you have to make an emergency stop and the trailer pushes your car brakes into the meltdown zone. or worse, jack-knifes. 2000 lbs is, I believe, the threshold above which trailer brakes are required by DOT codes.

my general rule is, if the trailer is more than half the weight of the towcar, you better have brakes. I have a 2500-3000 lb popup tent trailer I pull behind a full sized van... it has brakes that don't work very well, but the van is big and heavy enough that its no big deal (rated to tow 6000 lbs, 6000 lb GVWR, etc). I'd tow this trailer behind a RWD volvo if and only if it was A) at its minimum weight (no cargo inside, no water in the tank) and B) the brakes were fixed.
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:33 PM
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Yup, your car already has an external transmission cooler, has an oil cooler for that matter but it is coolant cooled, not air. The tranny fluid runs through the radiator and then through the cooler then back to the tranny. Heck, my 84 760T had trans cooler, oil cooler and power steering cooler! Volvo is very conservative. Who else would build a rear end capable of handling 400 hp and put it behind a 114 hp engine? And guys...he's driving 3 hours to the beach. Assuming he's somewhere in the Raleigh NC area, he's going gently down hill from 300 feet elevation to essentially 0 over the course of 150 miles. He'll be fine...It ain't the Big Bend Open Road Race...
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:41 PM
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@swiftjustice44 - I am close to Raleigh .. I'm in the Pinehurst area ... I am guessing then after all the input that it should be fine. I'm not planning on going 70mph ..I'd be happy at a pace of 50 MPH which I feel would be safe ... my main concern was damage to the motor - rear end - trans - suspension ... that would cover all but the paint and glass :>) guess I'll go ahead and order the hitch and brake controler and see what comes of it all ... might be a trip like lampoons vacation
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 240nc View Post
... might be a trip like lampoons vacation
Well, whatever you do...Don't tie the dog to the rear bumper!
 

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