Towing W/4 Cylinder Frontier...? - Nissan Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old Apr 28th, 2004, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Towing W/4 Cylinder Frontier...?

Hi Folks....

I am going to move back to Atlanta this summer/fall and would like to tow my Infiniti G20 with my 4 banger, 143 hp, 2003 Frontier 2X4 w/5 speed (7,300 miles on the clock). The trip is 2200 miles, done it a few times before..but never towing.

The manual says the truck will tow 3500 lbs. The Infiniti and trailer should bring it up to that limit +/- a few pounds.

Basically I would like to know if anyone else has towed something near that weight with their 4 cylinder, 5 speed truck. If so, is the truck a complete dog uphills and do the brakes work effectively? Though, it's always nice to hear that folks "think" it will be ok....or "my V6 tows it fine"...etc...I would ONLY like to know actual stories towing with a 4 banger Frontier.....

Thanks in advance.
-Brian

**Brian** (NE Atlanta, GA)
G35 coupe; (2) Infiniti G20;Toyota Tacoma V6.
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post #2 of 16 Old Apr 28th, 2004, 12:57 AM
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well, I've got experience with a 4 banger 86 hardbody...2.4L 140hp I think it was. Not incredibly strong on hills, it'll be work, but the engine can do it. Just don't expect brute force brakes should be fine, but if you can get trailer brakes, they help a bit as well

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post #3 of 16 Old Apr 28th, 2004, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimmike
well, I've got experience with a 4 banger 86 hardbody...2.4L 140hp I think it was. Not incredibly strong on hills, it'll be work, but the engine can do it. Just don't expect brute force brakes should be fine, but if you can get trailer brakes, they help a bit as well
Actually the 1986 2.4 liter was about 106 hp IIR. It wasn't until around the early 1990's model that they came out with 134 hp (12 valve head)...then 1998 Frontier's had 143 hp. I believe I am close on those H.P. numbers....though my years may be slightly off. Anyone know exactly?

The only thing the 1986 truck had was a weight advantage....about 2500-2600 lbs while the X-cab Frontier's are easy 3100+ lbs.

Thanks for the feedback.....it's mostly flat driving across I-10 & I-20. The biggest issue is getting out of San Diego on I-8..pretty steep incline. Guess worse case, 2nd gear at 4,000 rpm's....45+/- mph or so. =) The KA24 is pretty bullet-proof ---or let's hope so.

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G35 coupe; (2) Infiniti G20;Toyota Tacoma V6.
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post #4 of 16 Old Apr 28th, 2004, 08:47 AM
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I regularly tow with my 96 and its fine. I have a friend who would pull cars from auctions with his hardbody.

I've pulled 4800lbs before with the factory bumper. It wasn't a particularly safe thing to do. I pull 3000lbs every week. As long as there is not a lot of frontal area(namely my 6' wide gatebacked trailer ). You will be able to pull. I pulled my SER on a double axle trailer that was right around 2 tons. I wouldn't recommend that for a long trip though. If it was me I would do it.


Something that you could do to help power you out power wise is go and buy some inexpensive tires a size or two smaller. Shorter. It will throw your speedo off but will it give you more pulling power. You will also have to not be afraid of revving the engine to 4k. Your going to have to run it hard. But don't worry it won't break.

The main issue is not power, its brakes and stability. Will the car pull straight behind you and will you be going through any mountains. I would be a little worried on steep grades.

The best thing to do is go and get the dolly and try it out with the car on it.

Years ago I bought a plane ticket and paid a friend hourly to go and get a truck for me. It was cheaper than renting a U haul trailer.

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post #5 of 16 Old Apr 28th, 2004, 11:59 PM
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Should have no problems with it. I've got a '00 Frontier, 4-cyl, 5-speed 2WD, and I've had to pull a Ford F150 out of mud with it, slipped the clutch some, but did a good job, and definitely gave me bragging rights. And just the other day I hauled a Dodge Dakota, did a nice job, including up hills.
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post #6 of 16 Old Apr 29th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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Towing concerns on a long trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95G ATL
Hi Folks....

I am going to move back to Atlanta this summer/fall and would like to tow my Infiniti G20 with my 4 banger, 143 hp, 2003 Frontier 2X4 w/5 speed (7,300 miles on the clock). The trip is 2200 miles, done it a few times before..but never towing.

The manual says the truck will tow 3500 lbs. The Infiniti and trailer should bring it up to that limit +/- a few pounds.

Basically I would like to know if anyone else has towed something near that weight with their 4 cylinder, 5 speed truck. If so, is the truck a complete dog uphills and do the brakes work effectively? Though, it's always nice to hear that folks "think" it will be ok....or "my V6 tows it fine"...etc...I would ONLY like to know actual stories towing with a 4 banger Frontier.....

Thanks in advance.
-Brian
I wouldn't hesitate to do the trip with a low mileage truck. As a precaution, I would consider a trailer with brakes. Check the coolant level, tranny oil & change out the motor oil. If it were an older/higher mileage truck, change out the tranny oil too, maybe even to a synthetic for better temperature control. RC
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post #7 of 16 Old Apr 30th, 2004, 10:07 PM
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How bout towing a bass boat with a 01 4 Cyl Frontier. I just bought one used with 19,000 miles. I have a 17' Bass Boat that I would like to tow with it. Any experience at launch ramps? The boat probably weighs a little over 2,000 lbs and then add a few hundred foe fuel and gear. I have towed a boat this size with other small trucks......just never owned a Nissan.

Thanks

Ron
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post #8 of 16 Old Apr 30th, 2004, 10:18 PM
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I've pulled a 17'nitro 120hp with my hardbody. No problem. I also pulled a 17' cuddy cabin out with two people and gear in it.

The trick is to back the trailer well into the water and secure the boat before pulling out. This way the boat is still semi floating. When you go to pull out the weight of the boat is not fully on the trailer. Thus not near as mch stress is placed on the truck in the critical moment of transitioning to forward movement.

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post #9 of 16 Old Apr 30th, 2004, 11:40 PM
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Shouldn't be a problem with the boat. Know in the old '84 (high miles), had to slip it quite a bit coming up a steep ramp, but that was with a BIG aluminum boat.
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post #10 of 16 Old May 1st, 2004, 10:17 AM
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I recently hauled 8 scaffold bucks, and all necessary planking and bracing, plus some trade tools on the truck, and pulled a trailer with a motar mixer on it nearly 200 miles up and down the West (by Gawd) Virginia hills. Okay, I admit it didn't want any more, but we pulled the hills just fine. 70 MPH and 17MPG the whole way.

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post #11 of 16 Old May 1st, 2004, 10:25 AM
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I've pulled a 30 Foot boat 40 miles with a Chevy S-10... If checvy can do it so can a frontier. Now don't get me wrong the back was bottomed out and it may ride like total shit but it'll work

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post #12 of 16 Old May 1st, 2004, 01:44 PM
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Well the boat I am planning to pull is no where near 30'. The total package weight should be less than 3000.....if I had to say proably between 2500 - 2800 lbs. I am sure the truck will tow it fine, its just the launch ramp that I had questions about.

Thanks for all the input.

Ron
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post #13 of 16 Old May 1st, 2004, 01:58 PM
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It'll be alright don't underestimate the mighty 4 banger

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post #14 of 16 Old May 1st, 2004, 02:40 PM
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The only thing i would say is that if the ramp is steep watch out for a little bit of spinning those ramps get slippery.

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post #15 of 16 Old May 1st, 2004, 10:14 PM
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I too have a question about towing... I own a 95 P/U 4 cyl, 5sp. I'm thinking of towing a small camper trailer in the near future. The weight will most likely be around 2000-3000 pounds. What will I need to do to prepare my truck for towing? I checked the manual and it says to use a Sway Control Device. Is this needed? Also on my bumper it says that the maximum trailer weight is 2000 pounds but this rating is only for 4 cyl auto models. Why would my bumper say this?
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