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Old March 19th, 2004, 13:30
randrews randrews is offline
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Talking Towing

I've got an '89 XJ,4.0, moderately modified, 3 inch lift, only 31 inch tires, Warn hubs up front with front axle upgrade to get rid of vacuum disconnect. I recently bought a '79 CJ-5 (the CJ and XJ seem to be getting along o.k.). I am considering flat towing the CJ with the XJ when my son and I go out wheeling. I've never towed much with the XJ. It has a heavy duty radiator, red top optima battery, and I am thinking about putting a tranny cooler (AW4 4 speed auto) on. I live in New Mexico, like to up up to Utah and southern CO, so mountains are in the picture. Am I nuts or have any of you done extensive towing with the XJ without worries?
Thanks
Ron
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Old March 19th, 2004, 13:37
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ChiXJeff ChiXJeff is offline
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Re: Towing

IMHO, anything over a ton behind an XJ requires it's own brakes. Especially if you're on slopes.

Yes, a trans cooler for an AW4 is pretty much mandatory for any towing.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 17:41
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Eagle Eagle is offline
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Re: Towing

The XJ with auto tranny and external tranny cooler is rated to tow 5000 pounds. Jeep recommends trailer brakes for anything weighing over 1000 pounds.

I towed a stripped XJ on an aluminum trailer behind a 4.0L MJ and I do NOT want to do it again. First problem was that the trailer brakes didn't mate up with my truck (borrowed the trailer from a friend for the day), so I was driving on the MJs brakes only. Bad news, but that can be rectified.

Bigger problem was that even with the 4.0L engine and 3.73 gears (final drive ratio was equal to stock tires and 3.54 gears) the truck was really working hard to get over hills. I pulled this through the Berkshire Hills of western MA and northwestern CT, and what I went over was nothing compared to the MOUNTAINS you're going to encounter. IMHO you could do it once to get the other Jeep home, but I wouldn't recommend making a regular practice of it.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 20:05
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Goatman Goatman is offline
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Re: Towing

I agree with Eagle, that's too much to ask of the XJ's smallish brakes. The power and speed up hills is something that's more personal, but the brakes will be a problem. It can be done, but the safety is very borderline, and definitely not recommended.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 20:56
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XJFREK XJFREK is offline
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Re: Towing

I have towed a 3200 lb. camper with my 94, stock gearing and 235 75R15 tires and it's not terrible but not fun either. On steep grades you will max out at like 35-40 mph uphill. I strongly recommend the tranny cooler as well and the electric brakes. I've had the trailer brakes fail and it's not fun at 40 mph let alone highway speed. I towed this trailer through the Smokey Mountains and even with the tranny cooler you could feel the heat from the transmission radiating into the cabin. I just switched to 31's so I know it's only going to get worse. If you still have the stock gearing it's gonna be a struggle. Also, depending on the width of the trailer you might want to invest in a sway control device to prevent the "tail from wagging the dog". Nothing worse than losing control with 2000 lbs of weight chained to your vehicle.

Last edited by XJFREK; March 19th, 2004 at 21:04.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 21:25
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trouble1 trouble1 is offline
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Re: Towing

The weight for the cherokee would not be a problem, Independence Pass will deffinately slow you down, but that slows anything down...I just pulled a 25' RV from Steamboat to FL a couple months ago with my 88 XJ. I never dropped below 55, and have 3.73 gears. The RV is twice as heavy as a CJ.
I have seen ways to get the rear brakes on a CJ modified to work with a inertia ( dont ask about the spelling) trailer brake set - up, but its not really cheap. somehow it works thru the e-brake...I've seen it done, but have no experience. I'll surf around a little to try to get you some info. If your looking for cheap...rent a u-haul flat bed trailer...they come equiped with brakes, and if the CJ brakes on the trail....you can still tow it home.
Other than that...synthetic in diff
tranny cooler is a must
class III hitch.

Hope that helps....
By the way, weeling in CO...ever been to Independence Trail....just outside of Pueblo...Only trail I've ever seen that will put the fear of God in ya...lol
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