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Discussion Starter #1
Titan community, I'm moving Thursday and need some knowledge/input. I want to tow my wife's 2013 Mazda cx9 fwd from NC to TX. I have a 2006 Titan let crew cab 4wd with off-road and tow package. I'm only concerned about my transmission temps and slight rust on towing hitch. I've never had problems with temps but I've never towed with this truck. However, I do keep up with my maintenance and recently changed my transmission fluid, rear, and front diff fluid. I just need some more experienced Titan owners to chime in and any advice/ tips for towing.

Thanks in advance

William
 

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Looks like the CX-9 curb weight is 4500 pounds at the upper range. As long as you've got the 3.36 gears you'll be fine. Tow package should have them, but an easy way to tell is drive at 70 mph and if your RPM's are at 2k you've got the bigger gears.

When you're towing just keep an eye on the trans temps as you're going through the mountains in west NC and east TN, and downshift if you see it climbing. I'm assuming you're taking I-40, so those are the only spots with hills. Past Cookeville it's basically flat the rest of the way.
 

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Both 1st and 2nd gen Titans have good trans cooling stock. You should be ok since it sounds like you have kept up on maintenance and sounds like the trans has had pretty easy life so far with no towing. What type of trailer are you planning to use?
Even if you have the taller gears I don't think you'll have any problems. My 2nd gen has the 2.92 gears and I have 35" tires on top of that making it even taller and I still towed my 300ZX on a full frame trailer from San Antonio to Branson, MO and back with ease. The full trailer weight was a bit over 5K lbs. The trans temp never even budged and this was in July summer heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah I think total weight of the Mazda + trailer is 6700#. My goal is to keep the boxes and extra to >300#, so my total will be no more than 7000# towing. Now i might have another 500# in the bed of the truck. Is it better to put or weight to tow with or in the bed?
I'll actually be taking Raleigh to Atlanta, so i85 south.
Thank you for your response.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Both 1st and 2nd gen Titans have good trans cooling stock. You should be ok since it sounds like you have kept up on maintenance and sounds like the trans has had pretty easy life so far with no towing. What type of trailer are you planning to use?
Even if you have the taller gears I don't think you'll have any problems. My 2nd gen has the 2.92 gears and I have 35" tires on top of that making it even taller and I still towed my 300ZX on a full frame trailer from San Antonio to Branson, MO and back with ease. The full trailer weight was a bit over 5K lbs. The trans temp never even budged and this was in July summer heat.
I have the 3:36 gears. Since I have the off-road and tow package, with tow/haul mode and transmission temps gauge. I'll be using the uhaul auto trailer, it's kinda heavy at 2200# but not much choices for renting. All said about 7k lbs. I've probably only ever done 3000# and no where near as far. I'll feel better once I do at least a day of towing with no issues. Trying to pack as much as possible for our movers and carry light so I don't keep adding weight for the Titan to take on.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've read of the transmission cooler lines blowing on stuff like this. Was thinking of adding a worm groove clamp onto the ends of line???
 

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Well, theres several factors to consider when distributing weight. Generally speaking you the weight would be better placed on the trailer instead of the solely in the bed. Reason being is you're changing that static weight on your payload to a new value which is added to the tongue weight of your trailer. Depending on placement of the weight you can dramatically reduce the overral added weight since the tongue acts as a fulcrum or lever to reduce the static weight on the hitch.

So the Uhaul auto transport is rated for a maximum of 5200 lbs. So depending on the CX9 curbweight and how accurate that 4500lb number is, and adding a few hundred more lbs of cargo you're already looking at close margins from the trailers capacity standpoint. I would certainly recommend driving that Mazda on a scale to know where you stand.
 

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One thing left out of this discussion is tongue weight. If you've never towed before, and have not beefed up the rear suspension or used a weight distributing hitch, there's a good chance your Titan will be squatting in the rear. That makes steering and braking tricky, so before you start out, load up the trailer and see what the truck does. If it looks like you're pulling a wheelie, you've got more work to do.
 

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You've gotten good advice so far. Especially the post above on weights and what to do if your T is squatting when loaded up. You dont want too little tongue weight, as the trailer will try to buck you around a lot. Too much, and you lose steering efficiency, and stopping ability.

As for the worm gear clamp, certainly not a bad idea. Cheap insurance for those lines.

One more thing on trans temps - if you start heating up, slow down. You could do 40 in 3rd all day, I suspect, without overheating the trans or the motor.
 

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Looks like the CX-9 curb weight is 4500 pounds at the upper range. As long as you've got the 3.36 gears you'll be fine. Tow package should have them, but an easy way to tell is drive at 70 mph and if your RPM's are at 2k you've got the bigger gears.

When you're towing just keep an eye on the trans temps as you're going through the mountains in west NC and east TN, and downshift if you see it climbing. I'm assuming you're taking I-40, so those are the only spots with hills. Past Cookeville it's basically flat the rest of the way.
^^^
The worst hill I remember on I-40 out in west NC is around Black Mountain. You'll be going up a decent grade for about 10 minutes, road is twisty also. Just go slow and stay to the right and you should be alright. All the semis look like they crawl up this hill anyways. Just be mindful of people in the left lanes, lots of retards seem to think that they can fly up it.
 

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For reference, here's my 2008 with no WDH on a 1" lifted rear suspension (before I got my airbags) with a 2002 Xterra on a U-haul car trailer. It sagged pretty badly, but I didn't have any issues driving other than terrible gas mileage. Yours will probably be around 1000 pounds heavier. Nothing in the bed or cab in terms of payload.
 

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It actually looks like your route will keep you out of the worst of the mountains/hills. Should be fairly smooth sailing as long as you take it easy and pay attention to your truck.
 

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Remember that the main braking force on your Titan comes from the front brakes. If it has a lot of squat, braking distances will expand exponentially. Keep a good distance from the cars ahead in any case, as it gets eaten up FAST when someone brakes hard in front of you!
 

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Thoughts:

1. I don't know where you're going in Texas - are you going I85 to 20 through upper Alabama/Mississippi, or are you going I85 to 10 through the panhandle? Either way you are going to miss the mountains.

2. I live here in the mountains and never had any trouble whatsoever with that little bit of weight. I actually carried about a ton of gravel up and down mountains in my Titan with no problems, transmission temps barely budged.

3. If you haven't added worm clamps to the transmission lines you want to do that pronto. Both of mine were almost completely off the metal transmission line barbs when I did it; I just missed catastrophe. There's enough room that you can use a worm clamp and the Nissan spring clamp for double the protection.

4. Brakes are your biggest concern here. You're not pulling much weight for the Titan but the brakes on everything pre 2008.5 were too small for the truck. So make sure you have good pads front and back and that your parking brake is working properly.

Beyond that, don't shake hands with anyone, sanitize after stopping at the pump (which you'll be doing often!) and stay safe!
 

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If your tranny temp rises, put it in 4th gear. Bad things happens in 5th going uphill with heavy load.
 

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Try to get your weight distributed correctly as others have said. that in itself is the biggest thing when towing as far as how the vehicle will handle.

I always turn on tow/haul and put the truck in 4th. never tow in 5th as it causes it to shift constantly and will heat up quickly. from my experience towing my 21' toy hauler, I will always manually shift it on any significant grades and lock it in 3rd or even drop my speed and go to 2nd if needed. I try to keep my RPMs around 32-3300 on the hills since max torque is at 3600. the truck never skips a beat and has plenty of power at that rpm. once I'm over the hill, I pop it back into 4th and let it do its thing until I come to another large hill. then I just repeat the process. just take your time, this truck tows great in my opinion.
 

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I have the 3:36 gears. Since I have the off-road and tow package, with tow/haul mode and transmission temps gauge. I'll be using the uhaul auto trailer, it's kinda heavy at 2200# but not much choices for renting. All said about 7k lbs. I've probably only ever done 3000# and no where near as far. I'll feel better once I do at least a day of towing with no issues. Trying to pack as much as possible for our movers and carry light so I don't keep adding weight for the Titan to take on.
Just a thought if you are concerned about weight... How about using the 2 wheel car dolly instead? It would definitely be a lower weight, and should work just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for everyone's help I had to leave my Titan with my family. Too much going on and trailers not coming back in time pushed me to leave it for now. Much appreciate the input.
 

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Good luck, Bluedevils16. To say this is a difficult time to move is an understatement!

Besides trying to properly equip your Titan for towing, it's hard to load and evaluate the changes to your truck. My Titan KC LWB is already properly configured, but this would be a weird time to be driving cross-country. Gas prices are low, sure, but imagine if you had a flat tire or vehicle problem. Good luck getting a tow truck or tire store in a locale you're not familiar with.
 
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