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Old 01-12-2014, 09:43 PM   #1
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Towing 3,500 pounds with a 3.21 axel JKU

Since my last thread turned into a pissing match on mileage (sorry about that Mods!), I thought I would get back to the towing. Can anyone point out why it would be dangerous to tow 3500 lbs with a 2012 JKU with automatic transmission and 3.21 gear? I'm not talking about whether the manual or the published tow rating allows it or whether I could be held liable in an accident. I'm just talking about doing it. I am considering towing a horse trailer (with electric brakes) with a horse in it for a total of around 2,600 lbs. I have a full steel bumper with a fully welded hitch that attaches to the crossmember and the frame, MOPAR factory 7 pin connector and a tekonsha P3 brake controller so take all that out of the equation. What would be unsafe about towing this combo or one heavier, say 3,000 pounds? Don't want this thread to get locked so please just real world experience or knowledge. I also know that it may cause premature wear on the affected parts of the jeep, I'm only concerned with safety. Does anyone want to admit to towing this much with a 3.21? Thanks!

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Old 01-12-2014, 09:56 PM   #2
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The only thing I would be concerned with is transmission fluid temperature. The torque converter would slip more with the 3.21s, and this would create excessive, transmission damaging heat. I would install an auxiliary tranny cooler, and a transmission fluid temp gauge to monitor what's going on.

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Old 01-12-2014, 10:05 PM   #3
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^^^ good advise above also turn off your overdrive lugging the engine creates heat keep you in the torque curve
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:22 PM   #4
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keep it in 'tow' mode as well, watch the usuals and stay alert....

While I don't personally ~like~ to tow at 'maximum' I've done such and survived.

Depending on roads, hills, etc it might even be fun.

If you're familiar with the various odd possibilities and keep it under control, it's a legal weight and stamped as such by Mopar.

Short story: real world job with Forest Service, big lectures on procedure for keeping down hill heavy loads under control 'before' there is an issue. They harped & carried on about it so much I actually modified how I descended a 7 mile logging grade of about 8% average. I hauled fire wood 2 cords in an old Ford flatbed and always relied on my version of technique & luck.

Not a week after the instructor whupped all of us, I was using the granny gear to creep down the long grade....half way down the brakes did burst into flames, as it was a very heavy load of wet fir, easily over the usual limit....

in any case if I had been in a higher gear the Big Corner at the end of the grade would have been a horrid place to discover what the 'no brakes REALLY' meant. So I'm far more cautious than before.

You seem to have covered the necessary equipment pretty well. Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:44 PM   #5
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We can go round and round with this no matter how many threads you create. No one knows the answers except the Chrysler legal department. That's what it really comes down to. Can it physically do the job? Yes. Should you? That's up to you. If something bad happens, whether it be a mechanical breakdown or a liability issue, they will point back to the ratings and you'll be screwed. No one here is going to give you the green light. Do what you want and be down with it. No one here can grant you immunity.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:34 PM   #6
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I have a JKU and six horses.

I love my Jeep and I love my horses. There is no way in hell I would tow a horse behind a Wrangler.

Wood, hay, feed, trash, camper, boat, etc, yes but live animals no way. I wouldn't take the chance. I'd be more concerned about stopping and trailer control than about the gearing.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:55 PM   #7
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I'm an animal rights proponent. Now that I know what you're doing... here's some friendly advice.

Will a Jeep pull a horse trailer? - Yahoo Answers

Best Answer (Voter's Choice)

Absolutely NOT. It is not a matter of the wheelbase being long enough. It is a matter of the size of the vehicle. A Cherokee is not large enough to control the weight of the trailer, horse, tack and whatever else you have in there in an emergency situation. If you have to swerve or stop fast the trailer will take over and you will loose control.

It is not a matter of can it, because yes, it will pull the trailer. I could pull a trailer with my Wrangler. It is a matter of should. And you should not.

Plus the transmission and brakes are not heavy duty enough and it will put a lot of wear and tear on the vehicle.

I have been in a trailering accident. Luckily we were towing a Jeep and not my horse, either way, believe me... it was not fun.

We were towing with the correct size vehicle and still ended up with our truck on its side with the trailer flipped completely over.

P.S. Our towing vehicle now is a Ford F-350 (not the one we flipped, that was a Ford Expedition, we traded it for a larger tow vehicle) and the only reason it is not a Jeep vehicle is because Jeep does not make a vehicle large enough to tow my horse or our Jeeps.

Source:

22 years of horse ownership and just as many years towing.

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Old 01-12-2014, 11:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wassup8687 View Post
I have a JKU and six horses.

I love my Jeep and I love my horses. There is no way in hell I would tow a horse behind a Wrangler.

Wood, hay, feed, trash, camper, boat, etc, yes but live animals no way. I wouldn't take the chance. I'd be more concerned about stopping and trailer control than about the gearing.
Thank you.

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Old 01-13-2014, 12:00 AM   #9
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I'm not looking for permission, just opinions. I take them for what they are, opinions. I already have a tranny cooler and sway control. Why should I be concerned with stopping if I have trailer brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wassup8687 View Post
I have a JKU and six horses.

I love my Jeep and I love my horses. There is no way in hell I would tow a horse behind a Wrangler.

Wood, hay, feed, trash, camper, boat, etc, yes but live animals no way. I wouldn't take the chance. I'd be more concerned about stopping and trailer control than about the gearing.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:33 AM   #10
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Horses move around in trailers. You can feel the 1200 pounds shifting in the trailer when you haul them in a 1 ton pickup, and it is amplified by the fact that the load is either on the passenger or driver side of the vehicle. I've hauled a lot of horses, really think a 1/2 ton pickup isn't a good match for hauling horses, a jeep is crazy in my opinion.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:44 AM   #11
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That's actually very helpful. Thanks for the response.

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Originally Posted by al_safety View Post
Horses move around in trailers. You can feel the 1200 pounds shifting in the trailer when you haul them in a 1 ton pickup, and it is amplified by the fact that the load is either on the passenger or driver side of the vehicle. I've hauled a lot of horses, really think a 1/2 ton pickup isn't a good match for hauling horses, a jeep is crazy in my opinion.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:00 PM   #12
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Hey OP, probably shouldn't have mentioned horses. Should have said you were towing toyotas. Lol
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clc3251 View Post
I'm not looking for permission, just opinions. I take them for what they are, opinions. I already have a tranny cooler and sway control. Why should I be concerned with stopping if I have trailer brakes.
When you brake hard the weight of the trailer puts alot of strain and pressure on the back of the tow vehicle causing swaying and jackknifing if the wheelbase on the tow vehicle is too short. Given that along with the movement of the horses this could be a disastrous situation.

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