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PostSubject: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Feb 16, 2010 9:48 am

I've done a little bit of searching, and I can't seem to find my answer. What is the towing capacity of the mid-90s B-body wagons?

Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Feb 16, 2010 9:50 am

I believe the stock capacity is 3,000lbs. If you have the tow package (V92 I think) it's 5,000lbs.

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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Feb 16, 2010 10:59 am

The Fleetwood's had more capacity? I know they're 5000, and then 7,000 with tow package. I figured wagons would be the same/more?

There's a guy by my house who had a RMW for sale that I looked at, but it had some rust issues, but he was slowly turning it into an Impala wagon to tow his '96 SS. I'm thinking more than 3k.
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Feb 16, 2010 1:34 pm

Yes, the Fleetwood's have a higher towing capacity. As you stated, 5,000lbs standard and 7,000lbs with the tow package.

I'll have to check my sales brochures as it's been a while. But I'm pretty sure 3,000lbs is the standard rating for the wagons. It might be 4,000lbs but for some reason that doesn't quite sound right to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeWed Feb 17, 2010 10:17 pm

it is 5k with the tow pack. dunno regular but 3 sounds right
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeThu Sep 02, 2010 8:27 pm

Revisiting this, does anybody know what upgrades the tow package Fleetwoods have to up the capacity to 7k? Is it chassis upgrades, suspension upgrades, drivetrain upgrades?
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeThu Sep 02, 2010 8:59 pm

That's a good question. I was kind of wondering the same thing when it first came up.
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeThu Sep 02, 2010 9:26 pm

3.73 gears.

Bill will know more.
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeThu Sep 02, 2010 9:41 pm

Really? I thought tow package Fleetwoods had 3.42's.
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeThu Sep 02, 2010 9:51 pm

(Wikipedia is your friend)
The 7,000 lb (3,200 kg) trailer towing package returned to the Gen 5 Fleetwood in 1993, something not seen in a production sedan since the 1971-1976 Gen 3 Fleetwood[citation needed]. The RPO V4P package included heavy duty cooling (RPO V08, which consisted of a 7 blade mechanical fan and an extra capacity radiator), RPO FE2 Suspension System Ride Handling, HD 4L60 transmission, RPO KC4 Cooling System Engine Oil, RPO KD1 Cooling System Transmission Oil, RPO KG9 140 amp alternator, and RPO GT4 3.73 gears with an 8.5" ring gear. In 1994-1996, the V4P package was revised with RPO GU6 3.42 gears with the new more powerful RPO LT1 260 hp V8, and HD 4L60E transmission with unique accumulators to shift smoother with the shorter rear axle gearing.

1993 was the only year for 3:73's,.. to help the aenemic tbi motor, (oops did i say that out loud?? Wink )
1994-96 cars did fine with 3:42's, 'cos they were lt1 cars of course, with the real motors in them.. Laughing

Nick
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeThu Sep 02, 2010 10:06 pm

add to junkyard shopping list........
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeFri Sep 03, 2010 6:29 am

The V4P tow package in a Fleetwood is a hard to find car too. There apparently weren't many made.
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Mar 06, 2012 4:51 pm

I hate to bring this thread back from the dead, but I wanted to know what the max legal weight you can tow with a 94-96 RMW is. I'd like to buy a single car hauler for my upcoming move.

I realize that the trailer package is called "5000 lb trailer towing package" but it was the same for the TBI cars. The 93 sales brochure I have for 93 Buicks shows 5000 lb for the tow package RM. The 94 owner's manual states that a weight distributing hitch is recommended for trailers weighing 3000 to 7000 lb on p. 185. P. 186 also states to "use two friction sway controls if you [sic] trailer is over 5000 lb loaded weight [...]" and specifies that "if a trailer is over 5000 lb adjust vehicle rear tire pressure to 35 psi. (cold tire pressure).".

I know wikipedia isn't the most reliable source but it also shows 7,000 lb for the LT1 Wagons, and references the 95 owner's manual.
Quote :
"Ordered with the towing package, the 94-96 Roadmaster was advertised to tow up to 5000 pounds, although the Estate Wagon owner's manual extended that to 7,000 lbs when using a weight distributing hitch, dual sway controls, increasing the rear tire pressure to 35 psi and disabling the Electronic Level Control[7] . The tow package added 2.93 gears and a limited slip differential, heavy duty cooling system including oil and transmission coolers, and a factory installed self leveling rear suspension consisting of air shocks, a height sensor between the rear axle and body and an on-board air compressor. The most distinctive feature was the combination of one conventional fan driven mechanically from the engine alongside of one electric fan, offset to the left (non-towpack cars came with two electric fans)."

7. ^ "4" (in English). 1995 Buick Roadmaster Owner's Manual (First ed.). General Motors Corporation. 1994. pp. 4-34.

I have the trailer package but upgraded to 3.42 gears. I obviously want to be safe, but I also don't want to have any issues with the law.
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Mar 06, 2012 9:24 pm

Last spring there was a 96 fleetwood with the tow pack in the yard I go to. If only I had known back then!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Mar 06, 2012 10:40 pm

Jason:

Legally, your safe up to 10% over (5,500 lbs on the Roady, 7,700 lbs on the V4P Caddy). Only Province that will really give you grief is Alberta. Get caught over that 10% and the rig stays where it is and has to be trailered away, plus a big fine. Bunch of States down south have the same attitude.

The 3:42s really help but definitely use the load equalizing hitch AND ELECTRIC BRAKES!. Depending on what the car weighs (remember you have to add the weight of the trailer), you might be forced to go a braked tow dolly (not the UHaul one...it doesn't have brakes). Ironically, the best one out there is made by Roadmaster. Pricey but worth it.

http://www.roadmasterinc.com/products/towdolly/towdolly.html#RoadMastertowdolly

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Mar 06, 2012 11:31 pm

thanks for the tips. Do the cops have a database for each vehicle's tow rating ?

Let me rephrase my question: Is the RMW is ACTUALLY rated for 5000 lb or is that a carryover from the TBI manual ? I know the wheelbase of a vehicle impacts its rating, and the fleetwood has a longer wheelbase, so I can see how it would be possible for the B-body to be capped at 5k lb regardless of the engine and gearing. I'm just going off what is in the 94 owner's manual. It is entirely possible 7k lb is an error.

I'll check the wording in the 95 owner's manual.

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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeWed Mar 07, 2012 12:05 pm

jasonlachapelle wrote:
thanks for the tips. Do the cops have a database for each vehicle's tow rating ?

Let me rephrase my question: Is the RMW is ACTUALLY rated for 5000 lb or is that a carryover from the TBI manual ? I know the wheelbase of a vehicle impacts its rating, and the fleetwood has a longer wheelbase, so I can see how it would be possible for the B-body to be capped at 5k lb regardless of the engine and gearing. I'm just going off what is in the 94 owner's manual. It is entirely possible 7k lb is an error.

I'll check the wording in the 95 owner's manual.


Thats a good question. The spirit of the law would dictate not the ability to tow the weight but rather how safely it can do it. That means they would only be concerned with:

1. chassis
2. suspension
3. brakes

What engine/cooling requirements were needed would be on your hook. The excercise I went through upgrading my "livery" caddy to V4P indicated the following differences:

1. chassis - none. same part number(s). The 91 RMW had boxed sub frame joiners in the towpack cars, the non had open channel. Don't know about the other TBI cars.
2. suspension - springs only
3. brakes - none
4. trans - as Nick described plus extra cooler
5. engine - oil cooler and ECM programming?? (have not seen any significant difference between the factory V4P and the original livery tune)
6. cooling - one electric and one mechanical fan
7. axle ratio 3.42 open center (traction control). RMWs used the 3.23 posi for the TBI cars, don't know about the LT1s

The factory specs for the RMW TBI cars were for 3,500lbs. without the tow pack and 5,000lbs. with. The Caddys were 5,000lbs. without and 7,000lbs with the V4P code.

If you kept records of the modifications, and they met the factory changes, the legal argument could be made that the car was upgraded to towpack specs. If that would help on the side of the road is another question.

If it makes a difference, Carol and I have towed trailers with full frame GM cars (some obviously heavy) for going on 25 years and we have never been stopped for over weight. Have created some road rage with obviously underpowered cars on hills but never for weight.

I assume when they see the load eqaulizing bars and a level stance, they figure you know what you are doing. The rigs with their nose stuck up in the air and the rear bottoming out on every bump are the ones they are looking for.

Hope this helps

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeWed Mar 07, 2012 2:44 pm

When I bought my new pickup back in 97, I studied the manual and found that the 2 wheel drive truck had a higher tow capacity than the 4 wheel drive. The capacity difference was exactly the difference in weight between the two trucks, leaving an identical "GVW" (truck and trailer weight) for both vehicles. The only thing I can come up with that explains this is brakes or braking capacity, which were the same for both vehicles.
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Sep 04, 2012 9:26 pm

convert2diesel wrote:
jasonlachapelle wrote:
thanks for the tips. Do the cops have a database for each vehicle's tow rating ?

Let me rephrase my question: Is the RMW is ACTUALLY rated for 5000 lb or is that a carryover from the TBI manual ? I know the wheelbase of a vehicle impacts its rating, and the fleetwood has a longer wheelbase, so I can see how it would be possible for the B-body to be capped at 5k lb regardless of the engine and gearing. I'm just going off what is in the 94 owner's manual. It is entirely possible 7k lb is an error.

I'll check the wording in the 95 owner's manual.


Thats a good question. The spirit of the law would dictate not the ability to tow the weight but rather how safely it can do it. That means they would only be concerned with:

1. chassis
2. suspension
3. brakes

What engine/cooling requirements were needed would be on your hook. The excercise I went through upgrading my "livery" caddy to V4P indicated the following differences:

1. chassis - none. same part number(s). The 91 RMW had boxed sub frame joiners in the towpack cars, the non had open channel. Don't know about the other TBI cars.
2. suspension - springs only
3. brakes - none
4. trans - as Nick described plus extra cooler
5. engine - oil cooler and ECM programming?? (have not seen any significant difference between the factory V4P and the original livery tune)
6. cooling - one electric and one mechanical fan
7. axle ratio 3.42 open center (traction control). RMWs used the 3.23 posi for the TBI cars, don't know about the LT1s

The factory specs for the RMW TBI cars were for 3,500lbs. without the tow pack and 5,000lbs. with. The Caddys were 5,000lbs. without and 7,000lbs with the V4P code.

If you kept records of the modifications, and they met the factory changes, the legal argument could be made that the car was upgraded to towpack specs. If that would help on the side of the road is another question.

If it makes a difference, Carol and I have towed trailers with full frame GM cars (some obviously heavy) for going on 25 years and we have never been stopped for over weight. Have created some road rage with obviously underpowered cars on hills but never for weight.

I assume when they see the load eqaulizing bars and a level stance, they figure you know what you are doing. The rigs with their nose stuck up in the air and the rear bottoming out on every bump are the ones they are looking for.

Hope this helps

Bill

The discussion on page 4-34 of my 1995 Buick Wagon Manual has a discussion subtitled " (Recommended for loaded trailers weighing 3000 lbs to 7000 lbs)".
Without reproducing the discussion 2 things struck me.
1) The use of the word recommended in conjunction with a 7000 lb trailer
2) The load leveling function must be disabled. That was new to me - I have repeatedly trailered my car (over 3000 lbs) + trailer (somewhere in the vicinity of 1500 lbs) with no problems.
I will have to revise my procedure!

Cheers
Warren
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Sep 04, 2012 10:34 pm

Warren H Turner wrote:


The discussion on page 4-34 of my 1995 Buick Wagon Manual has a discussion subtitled " (Recommended for loaded trailers weighing 3000 lbs to 7000 lbs)".
Without reproducing the discussion 2 things struck me.
1) The use of the word recommended in conjunction with a 7000 lb trailer
2) The load leveling function must be disabled. That was new to me - I have repeatedly trailered my car (over 3000 lbs) + trailer (somewhere in the vicinity of 1500 lbs) with no problems.
I will have to revise my procedure!

Cheers
Warren

Warren:

I have seen the same thing and the instructions for my load equalizing hitch parrots the same thing. It could be the factory shocks were not rated high enough to allow for the added weight. The hitch doesn't unload the springs but rather is supposed to split the wieght equally between the front and the rear suspension. Thus if your ball height drops 2 inches without the help, than when you are done you should have an equal 1 inch drop front and rear.

On my wagon, I installed the Munro Max Airs and disconnected the onboard compressor, filling the shocks from a valve in the rear seat well. When I hooked up the car, I adjusted the trunions to accomplish this then added air till the rear end came back up to factory height. I then recorded the pressure and then again adjusted the trunions till the front was at the factory height. This seemed to work. Note I did this with the car loaded as it would be when we were towing.

The Caddy got the same treatment.

As far as the trailer rating, can't comment. All the wagons I have owned seem to be rated for 5,500 lbs. max, the Caddy 7,000 lbs. with the V4P option code.

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeTue Sep 04, 2012 11:47 pm

Rated towing capacity has more to do with marketing than with engineering. It is only very recently that the manufacturers have settled on a standard means of measuring towing capacity (SAE J2807).

Once upon a time, the standard was that a trailer should not weigh more than the towing vehicle. It didn't mean the car could actually pull that much weights, but at least there was a safety aspect to the equation -- in theory, the car (or truck) has enough mass to keep the trailer in line.

Of course, anyone who ever towed a travel trailer up a hill on a hot summer day with a 3 ton car and a 6 cylinder flat head engine soon discovered the limits of horsepower and cooling. Heaven help the fellow going the other way who tried to slow his rig with the front drum brakes. The marketing department got involved and bigger engines, better cooling, front disk brakes etc. were all touted as improving the towing capacity.

Of course, while marketing was encouraging customers to tow heavier loads, the Accounting Department was having kittens over the blown transmissions and cooked brakes coming back under warranty. Engineering was the referee in that battleground, determining not what was necessarily safe, but what would last long enough to keep the bean counters happy.

Even today, the new SAE standard is concerned primarily with marketing issues. They will serve to stratify tow vehicles and assign similar tow capacities to similar vehicles but not because the capabilities are similar -- it's to keep less expensive vehicles (eg: single wheel pickup truck) from competing with more expensive ones (eg: dual wheel pickup truck).

Starting to sound familiar? Which one had the higher sticker price: the 94 Cadillac or the 94 Caprice?

Yes, the manual rates the towpack's capacity at 7,000lbs with a weight-equalizing hitch. The reality is that your hitch and vehicle loading have more to do with safety than the rating in the manual. I towed a 6,500 lb trailer through hill country with ease using my 92 tow-pack RMW -- with a weight-distributing hitch, two adults seated up front and no cargo in the car. Loading up the car (especially behind the rear axle) rapidly reduces the safe towing capacity. Any extra load behind the rear axle adds more than it's own weight to the rear wheels -- it levers weight off the front wheels. HD springs and/or air shocks only mask the problem -- the weight is still shifted to the rear even though the car looks better. Reducing the tongue weight by shifting the load rearward in the trailer makes it unstable. But a weight-distributing hitch levers some of the extra weight off the rear wheels, shifting a portion to the front wheels and the balance to the trailer's axle(s). Stability is vastly improved. BTW: the bars must be up to the task and are rated according to the tongue weight, which is assumed to be 10% of the trailer weight. So 350# bars are only good for up to a 3,500lb trailer weight. 750# bars are more expensive and harder to find, but are required if you plan to max out that 7,000lb rating. If a trailer's weight is approaching the next size up, use the heavier bars.

The value of trailer brakes on towing safety is probably pretty obvious. When it comes to brakes, the more the merrier, and many jurisdictions require trailer brakes on any multi-axle trailer. I will mention my preference for electric over surge brakes though. In certain situations, the ability to apply the trailer brakes alone may save your neck. I had a freak gust of wind knock the trailer and set up a severe oscillation while towing down hill one day. The trailer was yanking the ass end of the car from side to side. A touch of trailer brake quickly brought everything back under control. Touching the car's brakes might have caused a wreck.
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeWed Sep 05, 2012 12:03 am

I won't quote your discussion - you are quite right. The Buick LT1 engine with the towing setup will pull any reasonable trailer, even those far too heavy to be roadable! I emphasize also, have electric brakes on all wheels of your trailer! I have had surge brakes and they are marginal at best. They will stop you, but they are not really under the drivers's control. At least what I consider "control".

Cheers
Warren
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeWed Sep 05, 2012 10:56 am

Interesting discussion on trailer brakes. I for one, do not like the electric/magnet brakes normally used. They are marginal at best. My trailer weighs the same as my Caddy but in swept area and clamping load, the brakes only help. The cars brakes still do the lion's share of the work.

Agree about the surge brakes from a control point of view but I still prefer hydraulic brakes over the magnets. Should the gods of finanial benevolance shine upon us, the one thing I really want to do is convert the trailer over to hydraulic disc brakes with one of the new RF electric over hydraulic actuators. That way I can swap tow vehicles by just moving the cabin controller over to whatever tow vehicle I want, without having to re-wire every time.

In the future should I have to get a new vehicle, most of the new trucks have integrated the ABS with the trailer brakes into a sway control. Haven't really figured how they to it but figure they have integrated it into the yaw control system. All I know is that I have had some people tell me it works really well, assuming you really want a computer to take control of the situation. That would give me a real case of the weebie jeebies affraid

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Towing Capacity   Towing Capacity Icon_minitimeWed Sep 05, 2012 11:40 am

"the one thing I really want to do is convert the trailer over to hydraulic disc brakes with one of the new RF electric over hydraulic actuators."

Amen, Bill

Now that I have traded my old (95 RMW with electric trailer brakes) for a new 96 with no hitch, I am going to look into the various possibilities. I am not swapping out the old because it would be a pain and it was part (small unfortunately) of the trade-in.
Sounds like a good lead.
I guess with independent control of the brakes like a few of the cars advertise to selectively apply brakes to help in cornering, a computer can do all kind of things, both good and bad. I am still recovering from a corrupted central compter in my SAAB Aero wagon - installing an update screwed it all up.
Thank goodness for the SAAB "limp home" feature.

Cheers
Warren
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