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Towing 1.25T boat across the Nullabor ... aftermarket oil cooler?

Discussion in 'VF Holden Commodore (2013 - 2017)' started by Moph, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Moph

    Moph New Member

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    I'll be towing a 16' fibreglass half cabin boat on single axle trailer from Adelaide to Perth in late December this year. ATM weight is around 1.25T. Tow rig is a VF Series I Calais V Sportswagon with the 3.6L V6 auto and 2100kg rated factory towbar.

    I understand that there's a small oil cooler built into the bottom of the OEM radiator. Will this cope okay with summer conditions on the Nullabor or should I fit a separate aftermarket cooler? Cool with spending the money if it's warranted but also would rather spend it on other toys if the stock cooler is adequate.

    Cheers
     
  2. stooge

    stooge Well-Known Member

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    i would fit it
     
  3. Fu Manchu

    Fu Manchu Well-Known Member

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    I’m pretty sure there is a factory oil cooler available for towing that fit VE-VF.
     
  4. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    On such a long drive, I’d invest in an oil cooler and may even consider a trans service prior to the trip depending on vehicle k’s since last service.

    Also, from May to August you get prevailing westerlies so it’s not a good time to be driving from Adelaide to Perth ;)

    Luckily your doing the trip in late December, you shouldn’t be driving into head winds the whole way. That time of year the prevailing winds are SSE so most likely you’ll get cross winds on your trip (so a little wind assistance blowing you home) :cool:

    https://www.windfinder.com/windstatistics/nullarbor
     
  5. Fu Manchu

    Fu Manchu Well-Known Member

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    Wind directions may well have predominant directions but it should be noted that the presence of large High pressure systems in the summer doesn't mean they are stationary. Winds will shift a fair bit around their movement. Sea breezes will mostly be afternoon after land heating has occurred. Favourable conditions with tail winds can often occur before the sea breeze.

    Also in the winter as the dominant features are cold fronts, these cold fronts also make way for offshore winds. In winter months, travellers will experience plenty of tail winds as well.
     
  6. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    ^ weather is never static, rather it’s always changing.

    But tell that to a guy I know that road his bicycle from Perth to the east coast. Along the Nullarbor, he spent what seemed forever riding into head winds. He noticed the prevailing head winds very much.

    The Nullarbor is a 2 day slog, not a half our drive, so the prevailing winds do have an impact. If they are not strong averaging headwinds, a car driver may only notice the higher fuel consumption if he’s paying attention. If they are strong, he’ll notice unless he’s asleep at the wheel.

    It’s just something else for OP to consider on his 3000 odd km drive from Adelaide to Perth.
     
  7. Moph

    Moph New Member

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    Thanks guys, consensus is that it's worth fitting so I'll have it done. I'm at 70,000km and it's been logbook serviced since new so not sure that that's included a trans service. I'll ask the gearbox workshop what they recommend.

    It's not my first trip across the Nullabor and I've experienced the roaring headwinds. Last trip was a fair while ago - 2009 - when we moved to Perth and did the trip in 30 hours in a 1.3L Suzuki Sierra with myself, the wife, two staffies and a 5x3 trailer. Stopped for a 2 hour kip near Eucla and the winds were buffeting the car around even while stopped.

    Was a surprisingly comfortable trip. Sierras have a great seating position and the 4x driving lights are all 55W HID - I was less uncomfortable at the end than prior trips in a VQ Caprice.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Daniel Souza

    Daniel Souza Active Member

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    6A5A178B-45D6-4AE1-838E-D3E6B1C1C90D.jpeg Get an OBDII Bluetooth dongle só you can monitor all the temperatures during the trip.
     
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  9. Moph

    Moph New Member

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    That's a cool gadget. Is there a recommended dongle? Also what would be considered 'too hot' for auto trans fluid?
     
  10. Forg

    Forg Well-Known Member

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    A Sierra is lighter than that boat, so just because you towed the Sierra across the nullarbor comfortably doesn't mean it'll be the same for the boat.

    Hope that helps.

    :D
     
  11. VS 5.0

    VS 5.0 Well-Known Member

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    The Sierra was self propelled.
     
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  12. Moph

    Moph New Member

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    The Sierra was driven over and pulled a 5x3 trailer. I didn't tow the Sierra. I mentioned it only in relation to Nullabor winds - it has all the aerodynamics of a brick and we had to push into those headwinds all the way across. It was a May crossing.
     
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  13. Fu Manchu

    Fu Manchu Well-Known Member

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    How much fun are those Sierra's. Great little cars.
     
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  14. Moph

    Moph New Member

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    They are indeed. I haven't driven it in almost 5 years (kids...) but can't bring myself to get rid of it. It's taken us on some great adventures :cool:

    Started life like this:
    [​IMG]

    Now sits like this and goes pretty much anywhere:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Wayno73

    Wayno73 Member

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  16. Fu Manchu

    Fu Manchu Well-Known Member

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    That top photo looks like the beach carpark at Aldinga
     
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  17. Forg

    Forg Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I thought it was pretty obvious I was spinning the post around & just being a dick. :)


    Since we've segued (and totally going against my intense hatred of all things SUV & 4WD ... well, because, frankly, you couldn't drive one of these unless you really wanted to offroad it! :)), the new Jimny gets really great reviews for doing EXACTLY what it says on the packet. Fun little jigger in exactly the same way as Sierra/Jimny before it. And pretty good value compared to pretty much anything else you use regularly for beach or sand runs.

    Having said that, a mate somehow ended-up with a Sierra as a company-car for 6 months or so, 25 years or so ago now. As a car to drive around the city it was pretty awful, made the first-shape 3spd auto Nimbus seem like the height of automotive excellence by comparison, and the first-gen Magna totally smashed it. :)
     
  18. Moph

    Moph New Member

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    Well spotted ;)

    31x10.5's, locked front and rear, lowered transfer case gearing, lifted transfer case, 2" body lift, modified suspension, etc ... she's pretty capable. Will outdrive a moderately tickled GQ or 100 series on most terrain.

    Trouble is that she makes driving stuff too easy, if anything. Nothing looks impressive anymore. Just lock one or both front hubs, drop it into 4L, hit the fast idle switch and steer.

     
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  19. BlackVXGTS

    BlackVXGTS Well-Known Member

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    With my older cars - VN V8, VP V8 (HSV Enhanced), VS V8 (HSV Enhanced), I always fitted the 2100kg factory tow bars, and they all came with a transmission oil cooler as part of the package (as well as strut reinforcements in the boot). I would definitely get a cooler.
     
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  20. Wayno73

    Wayno73 Member

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    Nice articulation there
     

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