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towing difference

Discussion in '200-Series Cruisers' started by Demosc430, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Demosc430

    Demosc430

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    Hello, all. My wife and I recently purchased a 2013 lx570. 22" forgiato wheels, hidden escort 8500ci (no pre crash/adaptive cruise control because of this), tracvision satellite dish, 3rd row monitor, and exhaust system, every other available option. we got it for $44500 with 66k miles. Unfortunately it will mostly see the suburban jungle as this is her truck (current car is bmw x5 diesel). Although her x5 has been relatively good to us, it has 120k miles and i fear the repair cost if anything happens. were expecting our first daughter in a month (first girl in my family for over 60 years!) and we wanted a diehard reliable vehicle. Ive had the pleasure of owning a couple lx450 and they have been beasts!. well over 200k miles and fired up every time. i personally preferred the 2008-2011 for their more flowing design, she liked the bullt in headrest monitors and the new front end of the 2013. in any event, ive been going over review after review and ive come across articles (car and driver, motor trend, automobile magazine) that says the 2008 had a towing capacity of 8500lbs, yet the 2013 is rated at 7k. i do plan on towing a car hauler, and two can am commanders with it. Im just wondering why the discrepancies (if not in fact a typo) between the 2008 and the 2013.
    Thanks all
    PS, the fear of finally having a daughter is starting to scare the crap out of me. just gotta teach her to do her own repairs and be a markswomen and i should be fine, right? :)
     
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  2. LCHardriver_02

    LCHardriver_02 SILVER Star

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    My 2010 also has the 8500 lb towing capacity, so I am thinking that since the 2013 has some addition electronic features, the curb weight has gone up, but the brakes have remained the same. I have not confirmed this, but it would give reason as to why the max towing capacity has gone down. Have you checked all of the specs on these two model years to compare?
     
  3. Dan Higgins

    Dan Higgins

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    I believe there are a couple of factors in play here. Towing was the primary reason I moved over to an LC (2016) this summer from a Land Rover LR4.

    First, a few years ago a handful of manufacturers, including Toyota, agreed to begin using a new SAE (I think that stands for the Society of Automotive Engineers) process for determining and certifying their towing capacity. Before that the specs had as much to do with marketing as anything else and in some cases where primarily driven by engine power/torque and vehicle weight (though some manufacturers - see Fords website for their trucks - had much more information.) When these manufacturers starting using this new SAE certification process you saw essentially all of them lower their tow ratings the next year - even if nothing had changed with their vehicle - because the new process considers a much wider range of factors. The LC200 series dropped to 8100#.

    The other fundamental difference could be a pneumatic suspension. I'm not familiar with the LX models or when the air suspension was added. But I do know that if you look at the 2016 LC and the 2016 LX the primary difference is the air suspension. The 2016 LC is rated at 8100# and the 2016 LX is rated at 7000#. Yes, the LX is a bit heavier but not 1100# heavier! Engines, body and transmission are essentially the same. So my guess is that the air suspension may be leading to the difference. Was the air suspension added between 2008 and 2013?
     
  4. LCHardriver_02

    LCHardriver_02 SILVER Star

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    First off, the AHC is hydraulic and not pneumatic... semantics for this discussion, but worthy of noting.

    The AHC could very well be the limiting factor, as the drive train is virtually the same between the LX and LC. Another thing to note in this is that normally, the tongue weight is required not to exceed 10% of the total tow weight, so the AHC could limit the tongue weight and therefore limit the total towing capacity.

    BTW on a separate towing note, and this is a huge reason why I am now looking at LCs to replace my LX. The LX's AHC also lowers itself at approx. 65mph to provide better gas mileage, but in doing this it also changes the angle for the trailer, which could then redistribute the weight on tandem axles, moving more weight over the front axle as compared to the back. I don't like that and you cannot disable this "feature".
     
  5. LCHardriver_02

    LCHardriver_02 SILVER Star

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    Oh, and ALL North American LX-570s have AHC.
     
  6. Dan Higgins

    Dan Higgins

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    Thanks for the clarification on hydraulic vs pneumatic. My LR4 was an air suspension so I just assumed. ;) And very interesting about the LX lowering at 65mph. Maybe in addition to gas mileage they are attempting to lower the center of gravity for safety/stability/cornering? Is it a 2" drop? (I'm not familiar with the LX.)
     
  7. LCHardriver_02

    LCHardriver_02 SILVER Star

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    Dan, I believe that you are correct in it being a bit of a safety feature as well. I just wished that I could turn it off. It is kind of like when I hook up my trailer or unhook it. I have to leave the door open to keep it from continuously adjusting the AHC long enough for me to get my weight distribution hitch's bars on or off before it makes me break my back trying to move them!
     
  8. Dan Higgins

    Dan Higgins

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    I had the same problem with my LR4. It would auto-level while I was in the process of trying to hitch up. What I found with the LR4 is that you could use the remote key fob to manually move the height up and down and the process would "fix" it at a particular spot. Once I learned that I would do that it was very handy. I don't know if the LX has anything like that.
     
  9. LCHardriver_02

    LCHardriver_02 SILVER Star

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    Yeah, no. The LX doesn't have anything like that. The easiest thing that I found was to leave the door open once I got out and then shut it once I got the trailer hooked / unhooked.
     
  10. JeffH

    JeffH

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    Looking to purchase an LX and reading thru the sales brochures for the years 2008-2011 I see nothing changes (except colors/wood) except for the towing capacity is reduced from 8500 to 7000 starting in 2011. Must be the way they rate them as Dan stated.
     
  11. GordJ

    GordJ

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    Interesting. I merely back the LX under the trailer hitch with the AHC on “Low”, set the AHC to high, get out to check position leaving the door open and then close the door to let the AHC raise the trailer off the jack. I much prefer the LX over the LC for towing because of the AHC. We had to put in air bags to tow the same trailer with the LC.
     
  12. Dan Higgins

    Dan Higgins

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    It is not entirely clear to me, Jeff. The only data points I have is that Toyota did embrace the SAE standardized testing and after this testing both the LC and LX went down. The LC was reduced to 8100. Prior to the SAE tests, the towing limits were as much about marketing as about things like engine power, drive chain and weight. But systems are complex things. Lots of interdependencies. The SAE tests are actual empirical tests including braking and a hill climb and “certified” by independent testers. So I would presume, less marketing.

    What is not clear to me is why the LX is rated so much lower than the LC. The only difference I can see in the vehicles is the AHC. There is some additional weight in the LX but it is nowhere near the difference in tow ratings.
     
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  13. Dan Higgins

    Dan Higgins

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    No doubt the LX is much more convenient. And if you remain at or under 7K# with your trailer then you should be good to go and better off with the LX provided you don’t want to do other things to it like a lift, bigger tires, etc. Simply for towing, though, it is more convenient and has a decent trailer weight rating. The GVWR of our trailer is 6,000 and were it not for my desire to do a lift and to take it off road I would have gone with an LX. If they LC ever dies on me and if we are still towing trailer I would seriously consider an LX. I don’t expect to ever move to a larger trailer.
     
  14. TeCKis300

    TeCKis300

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    The de-rate was across the board for Toyota products as a result of the SAE J2807 standardized testing. I personally choose my 2009 due to its on paper higher ratings prior to the SAE leveling, for insurance and liability purposes, knowing i was going to tow close to the upper limit. With mods of course. The organizations don't respect mods for raising a manufacturers recommended tow ratings, so I didn't want to have an on paper liability issue with a newer LX570 rated at 7100, with my 7700 GVWR trailer.

    The Sequoia got knocked a bunch also, from 9100lbs to 7100lbs, after SAE testing. Though I know of many on the Airstream forums that tow very successfully in the 9000+ lb range.

    AHC certainly could account for a part of the difference in rating between the LC and LX. Though I've personally found it robust and capable. On a recent 2300+ mile trip, with my fully loaded trailer, along with 6 people onboard with some luggage and cooler... The LX did great, including some serious climbs over the grapevine in CA, and mountains in OR. I was likely well over GVWR on the LX. Tongue weight on my AS 27FB ~1000lb + 700lb people + ~100lb gear. Wouldn't be surprised if we were well over 1800lbs. Door jam says 1230lbs. Of course, we already know Land Cruisers in general are incredibly robust from those that overland with full armor and gear, that likely surpass my setup here. Not that the LX asked for it, but I did make a mod to the suspension for additional capacity - LX570 Augmenting for Load

    The other significant factors for GVWR and towing capacity are pre-installed accessories and tires. The LX is somewhere between 200-350lbs heavier than a corresponding LC, knocking tow capacity pound for pound. Due the the multitude of additional standard equipment and powered accessories, like sound deadening, powered everything including hatch and 3rd row seats, etc. LC's are often quoted with a curb weight of ~5690-5815lbs. LX's - 5906-6206 lbs.

    Tires are another major factor for axle and GVWR limits. As we know, the LC wears 18" vs LX 20" tires. This is likely the other major variable to tow capacity differences. I bring up the Sequoia earlier, as they also wear 20" tires in various trims. Thankfully, this is easily remedied. Not necessarily by going down to an 18" wheel, but going with a uprated LT tire as I have done.

    This is actually and interesting perspective on a feature that I find very useful and use to my advantage. Towing anything significant requires weight distribution bars for higher speed stability. Because of this feature, I can dial in less static WD at rest. Allowing more tow vehicle to trailer articulation for ramps and driveways in town and campgrounds, and less stress on the hitch and tongue. Yet, at speed where more WD is appreciated for stability, it is this hunkering down feature that dynamically adds weight distribution tension.
     
  15. LCHardriver_02

    LCHardriver_02 SILVER Star

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    With the LX's ride height being variable and the use of tandem axles, it can move the trailer weight more or less from the front trailer axle. Not knowing exactly how level I am when I go from less than 65 to 65 or slightly greater (I do try and not exceed 65 when towing our TT) makes me nervous that I will be wearing the tires unevenly.

    Even though the LC requires either upgraded rear springs, or at a minimum, air bags, the static ride makes me more comfortable. Plus I am not guessing where to jack my tongue up to to get my WD bars to release tension and therefore not throw out my back trying to connect or disconnect my trailer.

    My preference only.
     
  16. GordJ

    GordJ

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    So you jack your trailer up to remove/install your WD bars? I raise the truck with the AHC when I back the trailer into position which is easier on my back than cranking the jack. (Okay, pushing the up button on the jack isn't that hard or different from lifting the truck but it does give more room to drop the truck from the hitch)
    And the amount of time I spend over 65 isn't going to be a problem with my tire wear because 1/2-1 inch drop for that limited amount of time that I spend over 65 is not significant.
    Wouldn't the WD cancel out the weight that you predict that moves off the front when the speed related drop occurs? When the truck drops the WD bars would merely transfer more weight forward.
    Like yourself I am only discussing, not looking to change your opinion.
     
  17. LCHardriver_02

    LCHardriver_02 SILVER Star

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    The amount the truck lifts or drops does not place my WD bars into the neutral point where no load is applied, so yes I have to use the trailer's main jack to do this.

    Regarding the WD bars countering the truck's vertical movement... good point... I'm not sure. I'm not sure exactly how much the truck moves and therefore transfers weight either to the bars or to the front axle. (see me scratchin my head...)
     
  18. GordJ

    GordJ

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    '08 LC with Firestone airbags June '16
    [​IMG]
    '14 LX with AHC June '17
    [​IMG]
    '17 trip map, '16 didn't have the last leg north, went west to Prince Rupert instead.
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. LCHardriver_02

    LCHardriver_02 SILVER Star

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    I love the look of you "old" LC... Your LX looks like mine... including the dirt. :D
     
  20. TeCKis300

    TeCKis300

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    The system lowers 20mm(F) / 15mm(R) at 62 mph. I set the front of my hitch just a hair over level. Such that when it lowers, it's just level. 15mm (~1/2") really is in the noise, and not going to make any significant loading changes between the F/R axles on a tandem trailer.

    I always use my electric tongue jack to release the WD bars. I may use AHC high to speed things up, but will still have to raise further with the tongue jack. I use an Equilizer hitch btw.

    AHC2.JPG
     
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