towing in 5th?

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Mar 10, 2019
melbourne, Oz
everywhere I read is not to tow in 5th in most gearboxes, across the board. accepted. but geez, I see plenty folks out there obviously doing it.

My tandem is heavy, 500kg unloaded, sure is tempting to put her in 5th when empty to get home. Is 500kg too much load for a h55f to pull uphill?, she can do it.

If I carry 1000kg in the hj75 troopy without the trailer, 5th is ok?
I have hd springs but that has nothing to do with the gear box.
The problem with the h55f is that 5th gear isn't on the main shaft making it weaker. Also the 5th gear doesn't mesh it's teeth on the other shaft fully making it prone to premature wear and easy breakages. Terrain Tamer actually have a good video about it I just can't see it right now. But no, the h55f isn't going to like towing in 5th. H150, H151, H152 tow all day in 5th, but unlike the h55f the 5th gear is on the main shaft.
I was towing a good 1800 kg including trailer in low 4wd in the bush, got lost up some fire tracks having to turn around with 5 point turns with tandem trailer . Quite the adventure, rain, wind, roads washed out.
A big monster fallen tree blocked my usual road, either 4 hours cutting it up myself or drive around to the other side of the mountain and let the council/loggers move it for me with their front end loader.

I was impressed the h55 could tow up and down, steep, dodgy , muddy goat tracks hours on end. Not fast , but in low range can go anywhere, there is a time and place for first gear! Felt totally confident I would get there eventually. I guess I would have used less fuel just with the chainsaw tho. Big mountain ash eucalyptus.
I guess h55f is good as it gets for a 2h?

Manual, yes.. there's no other factory option.

  • My daily is a 2H/H55F and I even avoid 5th on minor hills.
  • My tourer is a 2H/H41 and I really dont miss having a 5th gear in it at all.

The 2H loves the 4th gear in both the H55F and H41 when pushing 33" tyres in my opinion.. all the way up to 100kph and I'm rarely over that.
here is a mob who explain the cluster quite well..

I have to ask....what does "a mob" refer to? Group of people? I understand you are from Australia so it may sound different to you compared to me.
ah, sorry,'mob' means a group or clan of folks. Not a bad, derivative definition like 'crime mob', but just some fellas. Like a group of kangaroos is a 'mob'. I do believe the 360 folks are quite reputable.

I guess we speak like pirates a bit
Is 500kg too much load for a h55f to pull uphill?

Years ago I worked for someone in Melbourne, his vacation was coming up and he bought a 3 year old HZJ75 troopy privately. He only tested it in 1st to 4th before handing over his money. When he hit the Hume highway , he shifted in 5th and immediately got an awful hissing type noise but continued on his trip with the family using 4th gear only. He was irate as fck. He had the gearbox dismantled when he returned and the gearbox mechanic said the polished surface on 5th gear was missing and this was direct result of the previous owner towing in 5th gear and overheating the gear. I think 500kg on a flat road would be ok, I used to do it often. But I always dropped back to 4th on anything more than a gentle incline.
The H55F is derived from a 4 speed and 5th was added later to make them more attractive. In the early days many of them suffered damage from unwitting owners towing caravans in 5th
It has been a good lesson for me, I now treat 5th like potent dessert, immensely sweet puddin only to be consumed with great consciousness and weariness. A busted gearbox same as a sugar heart attack, massive pita to rebuild. I am researching the quite daunting gearbox rebuild on the wreck, but even parts and pullers is exy, very glad not to be in a rush for that.

I normally keep revs between 2200 and 2400 to love the injectors and optimal combustion, confident in 4th.
Bugger to the folks in the new 4wds overtaking me, I want to keep my troopy to outlast theirs. Feel like asking them 'do you know how much your electronic injectors cost to rebuild?!.'

Stocking up on veg oil and diesel (jumped 20cents per liter overnight), Russia/Ukraine shall make fuel expensive, even more than now. Encouraged by the old school diesel mechanic I met, endorsing biodiesel. Ukraine is just the start for Russia, China does not reprimand Russia as they want Taiwan, and so it goes..

Much noticed that the troopy loved the heavy load in low range 4th in the bush, could have done it all day long. Just not a city car.
In the early days many of them suffered damage from unwitting owners towing caravans in 5th
I've seen a lot of threads on towing in 5th and not to do it etc etc, but what about engine braking in 5th? On long downhills where I live 4th gear engine braking is a bit slow, especially compared to the rest of traffic, so I'll put it in 5th to engine brake and it keeps up with traffic just fine and keeps the RPMs down. Anyone see a negative to engine braking in 5th just like how it's bad to tow in 5th?
I can only kind of speak about the h55f which is what I have and inconsideration to my life style, mechanical ability, time and finances. When I research the h55f gear box and look at the 5th gear, it is a tiny cog, far from the power source. It is just a grade up from the old 4 speed with the 5th tacked on the end basically. Like a bit of icing on a cake, good for on the freeway without a heavy load.

I am always tempted to gear down at corners or slow down with the gears, like a rally car, nice feeling. BUT, I consciously try to avoid even touching the clutch wherever I drive, as I much rather replace brake pads/shoes and rotors than repair my gear box or even replace clutch pad. As soon as you touch your clutch pedal you are wearing the pad.

Been doing lots of towing lately, it slows you down for sure (especially me), more fuel too. It was nice to have a break today and do 200km unshackled. Not bad for a 34 year old car, it excels in the bush for sure, which is where I go, real bush, not tar. Glad I don't have to take a caravan there.
I have to travel 160km tar to get to the last 40km of dirt, mud, gravel and rocks. I use all terrain tyres to be honest, as they seem to last longer. I get through the mud with momentum and nothing wears out tyres quicker than rocks.

I am happy that I can do most service and repairs myself without too much grief, unlike many newer cars. I have to live with the h55f's limitations, thankfully, I don't have to tow too much, but I can. Treated like special occasions.

It is worth changing the gear oil after lots of heavy tow sessions, just to check for swarf on your magnetized gear box sump plug. At least it gives you some idea of what you are doing to your gear box.

There really is not many cars specifically designed for towing, and something newer is out of my budget and repairs are exy. If you look at trucks which are designed specifically for towing, they are quite different, like an engine, gearbox and a tow hitch.

Always worth asking, I am really going off road? with a caravan? Do I even need a 4wd?

Don't really care what others are doing or how fast they go, they probably don't know or have lots more money than I, or both!

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom