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Towing Interstate With My Fg Xr50 Turbo – Beware Super Long Post


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I have a black XR50 turbo same as OP (but in ute) and I must admit they tow brilliantly. When moving back from mackay to the Sunshine Coast (860klms) I had the tray full (to the point I couldnt close the hardcover) and a 7x5 trailer full to the brim (probably too full) and the ute responded! I think it averaged just over 16.5l/100.

I was able to overtake with ease (must admit you do realise once there is a fair bit of weight being dragged).

Good to see there are many more happy XR50 and XR6t owners out there!!!

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Leaving in three weeks time for the annual trip from Hobart to Queensland, only thing I now have to decide is do I fit Polyair bags to the rear of the Falcon for that extra insurance of ground clearance?

Supposedly the polybags arent suited to our cars, maybe a higher hd spring that'll compress to stock height so its still gives clearance n you wont get bad tyre wear? A 20 min job to change the rear springs in n out

Edited by Dagabond
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  • 3 months later...

I tow a 1750kg boat with mine and it knows its there.Sorry guys but my tuned D40 navara does it so much easier its not funny.Sure they can tow but there in no league to a tuned 4wd diesel...

Hi FPV Tranny and all,

I can’t believe one of my first posts on this forum is still pinned many years later, this is very humbling, thank you all

Interesting feedback FPV Tranny. I am 3 months way from the end of my lease and I am seriously considering an FPV. The only thing I hate is that they are de-rated to 1,600 kg I believe.

I never tuned my Navara but after many long trips towing my boat I was glad to see it go.

Whilst there is no perfect towing car, they are all about compromises; the Navara certainly commands the boat better due to its physical size and presence.

When it comes to power, torque, fuel economy and braking power the XR50 Turbo leaves the Navara for dead.

The other thing long distance towing has taught me is that many of the drawbacks of towing with a sedan can be addressed by other means.

My boat trailer finally gave up the dust late last year. I had planned to upgrade it this year so I knew what I wanted to do.

This time around I have up-specced my trailer, some say it is overkill but the difference was absolutely stunning.

Long story short my new trailer is rated to 3,000kg (my old trailer was rated to 2,000kg). Therefore apart from the heavier duty axles and springs it also has 14" mags and electric / hydraulic braking with full break away.

Chuck in my Hayman Reece Load Levellers and I now have a super stable towing platform with a braking setup that makes it a joy to tow with, I love being able to adjust my braking from within the cabin. The 14” wheels make a huge difference as well. If you want to improve your trailer going larger diameter wheels makes a huge difference.

I would have never believed it myself if I hadn’t done it, but the trailers ability to ride the bumps improves dramatically with just a 1 inch increase in diameter.

The only way I will go back to a 4x4 of crew cab is if I need to da allot more towing etc.. Considering that 85% of the time my car is just a daily driver I still feel a well setup sedan and well setup trailer makes a great compromise.

Please feel free to ask ma nay questions, happy to help out where I can.

All the best.

Chris

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I have a black XR50 turbo same as OP (but in ute) and I must admit they tow brilliantly. When moving back from mackay to the Sunshine Coast (860klms) I had the tray full (to the point I couldnt close the hardcover) and a 7x5 trailer full to the brim (probably too full) and the ute responded! I think it averaged just over 16.5l/100.

I was able to overtake with ease (must admit you do realise once there is a fair bit of weight being dragged).

Good to see there are many more happy XR50 and XR6t owners out there!!!

Could not agree more.

I have kept track of my mileage from every fill up since the second tank using an iPhone App so I can tell how she performed on every long distance towing journey.

Long story short, from an economy perspective my XR50 Turbo kills everything else I have ever towed with, hands down. Of all the other cars I have owned (around 6 cars) none of them come even close to the XR50 Turbos’ fuel economy.

It all has to do with the massive amount of power and torque down low; you just can't beat that combination

With 3 months left on my lease I am finding it hard to let my car go.

It has been faultless and an absolute joy to drive every day.

I seriously lost count of the number of days I have taken the long way home :)

I am also waiting to find out more about the 2014 Falcon, I am hoping there is something there that will grab my attention.

Cheers,

Chris

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

This post is awesome!

I have been towing a 1400kg pop top van + 3 kids and all the stuff in the boot - with a VE Late model camira 3 litre, power brakes and hayman reece distribution hitch.....its really stable and handles fine, but gee, the little 3litre struggles at times.

So now that lease is over - I have opportunity to get something more suitable.

With 95% of my driving regular day to day - I simply dont want a 4x4 diesel......so it was reaally a toss up between the falcon, territory or the SV6.

Happy to say - I have put in an order for a new Mars Red FG XR6 turbo auto......I knew power would be fine, but I was concerned about ride height, bottoming out, tyre wear.....

After reading above - I am actually feeling much relieved that I have made the tight choice!

Other than weight distribution hitch, power brakes, regular alignments....any other pearls of wisdom to make my towing more joyous?

Only a week till delivery....woo hoo.....big thanks!

Steve

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All,

Whilst researching a different topic - 'running in' - I also found some relevant info regarding towing ....so have cut and paste ......see below.

Ta,

Steve

Engine Forum - Running In

Hi All,

Thanks for posting my query into the correct thread - its been an interesting 9 pages of posts - much appreciated. I read all 9 pages, and even followed the link to MotoMan and read through his site (as reccomended).

Well - I now have my hands on my brand new FG II XR6T - and gee its awesome!

Importantly - I read the owners manual, and thought I might share with you what Ford reccommends regarding Running In.......and I think they actually give pretty sound advice.

My humble opinion - Ford advice is similar to what many posters reccomend. I paraphrase the Ford reccomendations as follows....

  • Don't flog it stupid
  • But Do - take it through its paces - driving at various speeds,
  • Dont labour the engine
  • Dont let it idle for excessive periods
  • (towing not reccomended initially - however this seems to be diff related - see below)

page 1.pdf

page 2.pdf

page 3.pdf

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  • 1 month later...

Gee interesting reading.

I've signed up here because I'm about to pickup a new xr6t.

Back in 03 I needed a new car and I also own a boat so it was a choice of falcon or Late model camira for me. I would never have a 4x4 in my driveway.

I was so tempted to buy the xr6t back then as the BA XR8 still hadn't arrived. What put me off was a concern about heat, I live in regional WA and it can hit 50° here.

So I ended up with a BA XT V8 and she has been a great and loyal servant over the years and delivered similar performance with great fuel economy (14-16l/100k)

Towing the boat from Melbourne to Perth was the highlight.

It looks like I will be missing nothing with the change of car, that's a huge relief.

Oh and I nearly was caught out with the lower limit of the manual too, glad I found that in time.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All,

Happy new year and all that jazz.

Well - a little feedback on my first heavy tow with the XR6T.....

I towed the caravan (approx 1200kg) with the new XR6T for the first time over christmas - the car performed faultlessly.

Major differences I noted between the XR6T and my old tow car (a VE Late model camira 3 litre sedan).....

The Late model camira actually felt a little more stable, not much, but just noticeable.....it may have been the wind (it was very windy in Victoria over the new years break)??

However - the falcon was still very stable, no issue at all. No bottoming out, scraping speed humps or nasty swaying.

The big difference - the XR6T did it sooooo much easier. In the old little 3 litre, she would struggle up hills, screaming revs, holding gears (small engine / bugger all torque) - whereas the the XR6T - I swear it never even built up a sweat....simply loping along at 1500rpm on the open road most of the time......

And this alone - means the towing experience was so much easier, less stressful and less tiring.....Overall - an awesome towing rig!

I crunched the numbers - and over a 350km stretch that was mainly open flat road - it averaged 17.1 litres per 100km - which I reckon aint to bad for a fully loaded car, boot and big boxy caravan doing 100km/h.....

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I am doing some construction on a large property that had a dodgy private sealed road over 50km long to get to the dirt road that leads to the construction sight (another 10km). this track becomes too dodgy for concrete trucks so its all hand mixed..

I load 3.5 tone (sand metal mix) into a 1 tone trailer (total 4.5 ton) and the ute tows it easy. The dirt track is steep (too steep for a concrete truck) both up and down. probably done 50 loads in total

Had a few hairy moments when the trailer brake failed (the cable broke) but the ute is still going strong.

when I get back on public roads and tow legal loads it feels like (in ned flanders voice) nothing at all.

and its a manual. I get about 14 L/100 towing at 80 kmh - they are great towing cars. (Hayman reese HD towbar fitted)

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Great read and very informative.

My previous towing vehicle was a Ford Ranger Wildtrak which I towed my Haines Traveler bowrider with. Looking to get back into the turbo'd falcons (previously had a BA XR6t) but had often wondered what the towing capabilities would be like... So very happy to hear of your experiences!

Cheers

Anthony

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Chris,

Great article.

I am looking at towing a boat ( not as big as yours) with my next FG Turbo.

I was wondering if I could quote some of your post ( esp sec 5 ) to show some none believers

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Chris,

Great article.

I am looking at towing a boat ( not as big as yours) with my next FG Turbo.

I was wondering if I could quote some of your post ( esp sec 5 ) to show some none believers

Hi Samboc,

Apologies for the late reply. I hadn't been on the boards in a while and once again I am humbled my post still lives as a sticky after 3 years. I never imagines I would still be contributing to this post after 3 years.

Please feel free to quote away!

While you are at it give this some thought!

Whilst the falcon is rated to tow up to 2,300 kg the closer you get to that limit the more important it becomes to look at upgrading your trailer.

By close my general rule of the thumb is; if your trailer is being called upon to lug around 80% of its maximum capacity and you plan to haul long distances then I would consider upgrading your trailer.

Ideally you would look to upgrade / up spec your trailer if you were in the market to buy a new a trailer, having said this most trailer manufacturers would be glad to help you with upgrading an existing trailer as well.

In my case my trailer is a Mackay and my experience upgrading my trailer and having a new 3,000 kg compliance plate issued was exceptional. The guys at Mackay Trailers went out of their way to help me achieve my gaols and did allot to minimize the cost, can’t ask for more than this.

Assuming your trailer is rated to around 1,995 kg I would look at the following upgrades:

1. Weight Distribution Hitches (WDH)

2. Upgrade trailer wheels by 1”

3. Look at going 4 wheel discs and full brake away setp

  • WDH – They are just the ducks guts. I have purchased both the Ford kit (with my BA XR8) and Hayman Reece, hands down the Hayman Reece wins. In fact I would buy the Hayman Reece WDH and keep it, each time I change cars I will order a Hayman Reece setup to match the new car and the WDH. Once you get the hang of the WDH setup they will make a significant difference to stability and make sure everything stays straight and level
  • Upgrade your wheels by 1”- In my case this means fitting 14" wheels, it’s a no brainier, it improves the ride as well as fuel economy. Make sure you fit light truck tyres and inflate them to the correct pressure; the increase in diameter enables you to run increased tyre pressure.
  • Upgrading Brakes - Next I would look closely at your brakes. I know it is not cheap but what price so you put on your own safety and towing ease. After completing 3 trips with my new braking setup it still blows me away. The first bonus of going with a full breakaway system is “NO MORE THUD THUD THUD” each time you brake. The sliding trailer hitch that operates the old braking system is GONE……………YIPPEEEE But wait!!!! There is more. With the trailer fitted with disc brakes on all 4 wheels and a clever controller in the car I now have unbelievable control over my brakes. In my case I went with a Hydrasater braking system and a Tekonsha P3 controller. I have so much control that I can lock up all 4 trailer wheels and stop my car and trailer with ease. Once I had the setup properly dialled in it was time to see what difference it makes.

Now the journey from Melbourne to Adelaide has 2 very hilly sections that are just punishing on any setup; that is the run from Melbourne to just outside of Beaufort and from Tailem Bend to Adelaide.

For me it is the second section that really tests your stress levels more than anything. After 8 hours or so behind the wheel you have to keep your wits about you especially the run down the Adelaide Hills.

Well, I was massively surprised how easy this section of the journey has become as a result of my new brake setup. When the big hills are a comin I just dial up the brake boost on the controller altering the brake curve so the trailer brakes engage earlier. After that just cruise along, the brake controller does the rest.

It is as simple as that.

In discussing this with one of my fishing buddies I arrived at this conclusion.

Upgrading your trailer brakes falls in the same category as installing an anchor winch in your boat.

Both upgrades fall in the “It is an expensive upgrade and you feel you can make do without them, however when you bite the bullet and get them installed you will NEVER go back”, it is as simple as that!!!

In closing if you are loading up your trailer consider getting it updated / upgraded as the difference is staggering.

Like most people who have commented on this post I do not want a great big oofffyyyy 4x4 or SUV as my daily (no offence to my 4x4 and SUV mates).

My car is performing towing duties 15% of the time, therefore the other 85% of the time it is just a daily driver.

Getting around town in a sports sedan is just so much more enjoyable and easy to live with.

The key to making this marriage work is the trailer, get that right and you will have one super stable towing platform that can will surprise you!!!

That’s it for now, please feel free to ask any questions and I will do my best to anwer them.

Kindest Regards,

Chris

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Great read and very informative.

My previous towing vehicle was a Ford Ranger Wildtrak which I towed my Haines Traveler bowrider with. Looking to get back into the turbo'd falcons (previously had a BA XR6t) but had often wondered what the towing capabilities would be like... So very happy to hear of your experiences!

Cheers

Anthony

Hi Anthony,

Stevebag sums it up quite nicely

The big difference - the XR6T did it sooooo much easier. In the old little 3 litre, she would struggle up hills, screaming revs, holding gears (small engine / bugger all torque) - whereas the the XR6T - I swear it never even built up a sweat....simply loping along at 1500rpm on the open road most of the time......

Every car I have owned needed to use its max revs in order accelerate from a standing start or overtake. The XR6 Turbo has such a massive spread of torque you simply do not need to ring its neck.

It is amazing how your perception changes when towing with a vehicle that had massive amounts of power and torque in reserve.

If your tow vehicle is doing it easy you feel more at ease.

Conversely if your tow vehicle is being called upon to produce 100% of its power and torque on a regular basis you begin worrying if everything will hold together.

As for your Haines Traveler (is it a tb170) the XR6 turbo will have no issues.

If it is a tb170 your towing weight would be around 1,200 to 1,300 kg, could be as high as 1,400 kg depending on gear installed.

Which model XR6 Turbo are you looking to purchase?

Cheers,

Chris

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I am doing some construction on a large property that had a dodgy private sealed road over 50km long to get to the dirt road that leads to the construction sight (another 10km). this track becomes too dodgy for concrete trucks so its all hand mixed..

I load 3.5 tone (sand metal mix) into a 1 tone trailer (total 4.5 ton) and the ute tows it easy. The dirt track is steep (too steep for a concrete truck) both up and down. probably done 50 loads in total

Had a few hairy moments when the trailer brake failed (the cable broke) but the ute is still going strong.

when I get back on public roads and tow legal loads it feels like (in ned flanders voice) nothing at all.

and its a manual. I get about 14 L/100 towing at 80 kmh - they are great towing cars. (Hayman reese HD towbar fitted)

Hi rockafellqeinstien,

That's some serious haulin.

​It has been mentioned many times that the ute makes a better tow vehicle than the sedan (well, when it comes to the FG)

Only down side to Hayman Reece kit is the HD tow bar interferes with the reverse park sensors.

Fit the HD Tow bar and put the car in reverse and all you get is one loud constant beep.

It only happens with the HD tow bar (I.e. 2,300, the 1,600 kg does not interfere..

It is a small nuisance in order to have a better quality towing solution with is easily adjustable.

Cheers,

Chris

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  • 2 months later...

Just thought Id add my 2c

6 Speed manual BF2 Ute. Stock proformace wise.

Factory fitted tow bar, just fitted an electronic brake controller a few days after I got it.

I have a track car, 180sx weightin around 1100KG

Dual axel trailer with electonic brakes around the 500KG mark

Car loaded up with spare wheels, tools, jacks, jerry cans ect

I have previously towed with a Lexus LS400 (4L v8), that towed reasonably well, but wasnt load rated for it.

Replaced that with a VT Late model camira wagon which is what I did most of my longer distance towing with (wakiefield, winton ect)

The VT Late model camira was just a 4 speed auto V6. It was reasonable for the price I paid, being only a couple of grand, but struggled at times. Spent most the time in 3rd gear, unless you got a run up on the bigger hills you were hitting 5+K in 2nd and struggling to maintain speed. That used nearly a full tank to get to wakefeild and back. I usually filled up at sutton forrest as I was afraid I wouldnt make it home.

I towed to Wakefield and back from south west sydney, Aprox 350KM round trip. reasonably hilly for about 1/2 the trip last weekened

The falcon was great. I was worried at first with taking off with a manual box, but really just reminded me of the button clutch in the track car, just a bit more revs and let it out a bit smoother to avoid a jolt.

It ssat on the flatter sections with cruise control on in 6th and sit on 110odd without issue. When starting to come up to hills I just got in the habbit of dropping back to 5th. As long as I was back on the power before a hill and I wasnt changing gear already on the incline t took most with a bit more throttle like with no issues or loss of speed. The only time I want in 4th was if someone pulled out in front of me doing 90km up a hill, but would still pick it back up relitivly quickly. Where as in this situation the Late model camira would be stuffed and revving to 5K struggling to keep 80km/h and I felt horrible for holding people up.

Fuel wise I used 3/4 of a tank. But being easter monday there was a lot of traffic on the way home (to the point of stop start) after mittagong so this would have affected it more. The trip computer which I reset at the start of the trip was showing an average of 18L/100 from memory. So it may even use less fuel than the 3.8L commodore. Only downside is it is 98 compared to E10.

I may look into getting a tune to give the car a bit more pull down the track, but handles it fine as it.

IMG_20140421_074232_zps22atmxh2.jpg

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  • 3 years later...

I have a story too.

 

Had my FG XR6t for about 7 years.

 

I frequently tow around 2 tonnes (racecar full of fuel + electric braked tandem trailer + 6x 20L jerry cans of fuel + tools + spares) and found the FG as good as everyone here describes. Mine runs on liquid injected LPG and I average about 20L/100km on highways at 80-100km/h.

 

I replace engine oil (any 5 or 10w40 synthetic) at 7-9,000km, ATF (Nulon synthetic 6HP26 compatible) at 30-40,000km and diff oil at similar intervals. Nearly 200,000km and only one major flaw with FG Falcons that some people can't even fathom as an issue and don't notice before/after.

 

The half shaft unijoints are complete underengineered weak piddly rubbish, both OEM and aftermarket. Towing (within Fords rated load and speed specification), they typically last 5-10,000km before lash is measured in millimeters instead of low micrometers per CV joint as per specification. This causes massive NVH problems under load at speed, most noticeable with urethane diff and rear suspension bushes since they transfer harshness to the chassis more than factory rubber diff bushes (which also have similar short life in turbo editions).

 

I haven't towed my racecar for a few years and in 2016 I made the stupid mistake of paying for overpriced OEM half shafts thinking they might be better quality. 40,000km and all four CVs (two per half shaft) are so completely shredded without towing, they need replacing again. I've lost the reciept too so I'm an idiot.

 

These shouldn't be so weak. Every time I replace them, the car is as silky smooth as it was when it rolled off the dealership floor. My tailshaft's rear CV is also starting to be a little loose but that's completely expected at 200K after a very hard life. Gearbox and engine are perfect.

 

Live axle, single piece tailshaft with two unijoints would last forever but drive like an EA-EL.

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