('01-'02) Towing Recommendations - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Towing Recommendations

Hi Guys,

I've had my 01 Forster L MT for a few years now and I really don't want to part ways with her. However, I'm starting a party rental business and plan on towing a 4'x6' utility trailer 1-2 days a week within a 25 mile radius. I live in NJ so it's not very hilly but I'm just curious to see what everyone suggests as far as feasibility goes. I understand the tow limits and I don't think I'll ever go over 750lbs (trailer included). I've seen info suggesting an alternate transmission cooler, is this worth it for my scenario? If I get 2 years out of it, I'd be happy. Otherwise I may just trade the car in for a truck which I'd really hate to do but I don't want to kill the car.

Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Also forgot to mention that the car has a relatively new clutch, new head gaskets and a little over 142k miles

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 05:06 PM
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You're towing with a MT and not an AT. Transmission coolers are for AT only. MT gear oil never gets hot. Your clutch will wear faster than normal due to the need to slip to get the rig moving. Towing with AT is easier, AT fluid needs to be changed more often due to heat generated. There are those that will argue MT is better for towing. I disagree, I towed a 3300lbs trailer from Philadelphia to Austin, TX. My Subaru now has 215,000 miles and the transmission and engine are just fine.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. You pulled 3k in a forester? That's crazy man. I think at most I'll be towing 900lbs. Hopefully I can get a few more years out of it.

Do you have any suggestions for preventing clutch wear? Other than driving it the way it should be driven lol. Just wanna cover my bases here.

Last edited by Kevin; 06-19-2019 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Unnecessary use of Quote
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 09:54 AM
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Start slow. Release clutch as quickly as possible, the less slipping the less wear. In other words don't force your acceleration. Once you're moving the clutch does not need slipping for subsequent gear changes.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks man! Just installed the hitch yesterday so I'll let you know how everything goes. Really appreciate the advice. Fingers crossed for my clutch/trans lol

Last edited by Kevin; 06-19-2019 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Unnecessary use of Quote
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 04:51 PM
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You won't need a transmission cooler with a manual, so that's good.
Second the advice for not giving it to much gas when taking off. you don't want to burn the clutch.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 06:10 PM
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under heavy duty actions ,yes mt gearbox oil does get hot, but to move it to and from to a cooler,you would need to install drains, lines a pump and cooler, and often a thermal valve inline, not worth that for what you will do,................. BUT an engine oil cooler external to the radiator will help your stressed engine quite bit................, under towing hard conditions, it is possible for oil to go well over 240 or more degrees,over 300 D can become a problem, , install a oil filter adapter and lines to a 2 to 4 row cooler in front of the radiator......... keep the oil temp down to about 180 to 210 or so,
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 04:36 AM
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Overkill for the OP towing requirement. He is towing less than 1000 lbs. He can also run 5w-40, or 15w-50 oil as recommended in the owner's manual.

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Last edited by Kevin; 06-19-2019 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Unnecessary use of Quote
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 12:02 PM
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heavier weight oil can help. but high temps still cause problems,................ i know what i have done for myself on work vehicles and others cars. .............. on my last work car with 500 stops over 55 miles i used a 3 row cooler for atf, and a smaller one for oil,................ rotella t6 5w40 and a napa gold filter . changed every 3500 miles ................... oil temp settled at 200 D[measured at the oil filter with my 900D max laser guided heat gun] and idle psi at 40 and 2000 rpm at 60 psi, ............ overkill in your opinion , which is not wrong generally in this matter, ,,,,,,,,,,, but it is his car . and he asked for advice based on our experiences ............., and that is my experience and advice, you either do the most you can to protector your large investment or you dont, and you live with the results

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 06:09 AM
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I've towed more than twice what he is planning on towing with my 2018 2.5i and have never got the oil above 220F.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SyrForester View Post
I've towed more than twice what he is planning on towing with my 2018 2.5i and have never got the oil above 220F.
I would agree. @leland grant has posted very extreme towing case, but he also has not provided any specifics either. Such as trailer weight, ambient temperature etc....I am not certain 100% that he is even talking about using a Subaru Forester for towing either, as he mentions "work vehicles".
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onave View Post

Do you have any suggestions for preventing clutch wear? Other than driving it the way it should be driven lol. Just wanna cover my bases here.
If you do find yourself pulling away on a steep incline, ramp etc, then you can always slip it into ( manual) low ratio to pull away in first with negligible strain and wear on the clutch, then go back into std/ high ratio when you're up and away moving, like when you're up into second or third gear. Low ratio first and second are also useful in really slow moving traffic jams when towing, I find, saves keep dipping and slipping the clutch.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 08:10 AM
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If you do find yourself pulling away on a steep incline, ramp etc, then you can always slip it into ( manual) low ratio to pull away in first with negligible strain and wear on the clutch, then go back into std/ high ratio when you're up and away moving, like when you're up into second or third gear. Low ratio first and second are also useful in really slow moving traffic jams when towing, I find, saves keep dipping and slipping the clutch.
OP is in New Jersey USA. I am not sure if the US version has the ability to switch to lo from hi like the European model.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bman400 View Post
OP is in New Jersey USA. I am not sure if the US version has the ability to switch to lo from hi like the European model.

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Learn something every day thanks! But that would be a pity, it's ( low ratio) great for towing, not just off road.

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