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Towing Boat With 1990 Ls 400


Lert
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Hi,

Im thinking about towing my light sail boat (400 lbs + weight of the trailer) from Atlanta to Michigan this summer. Ill looked through all the posts about towing and people mentioned that the transmission might overheat or the engine for that matter. However, if im just cruising on the highway is the transmission going to be doing that much work. Are there any other issues created by towing a trailer with an LS for such a long distance?

Thanks,

Albert

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Hi,

Im thinking about towing my light sail boat (400 lbs + weight of the trailer) from Atlanta to Michigan this summer. Ill looked through all the posts about towing and people mentioned that the transmission might overheat or the engine for that matter. However, if im just cruising on the highway is the transmission going to be doing that much work. Are there any other issues created by towing a trailer with an LS for such a long distance?

Thanks,

Albert

You will have no problem at all if your transmission is in decent operating condition. I've seen lots of people on these forums say that towing a trailer is terribly hard on an LS400. But I have noticed that just about none of them have much or any experience towing a trailer behind an LS. I've towed a 2000 pound sail boat behind a 60 HP Mercedes diesel sedan so towing 600 or so pounds (boat and trailer) behind a 240 HP LS400 is rediculously easy. It will be so easy that you find yourself checking your rear view mirror to verify that the trailer is still attached.

I had a class II receiver hitch on the 90 LS400 I drove from new until 2003 and I towed a fully loaded utility trailer behind it countless times - several times with 1,500 pounds of paving bricks in it. That car is still going strong today with its current owner at over 250,000 miles.

I currently have a class II hitch on my 00 LS400. I bought it at "etrailer" which seems to have only a class I hitch available for a 90 LS400: http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-1990_Lexus_LS400.htm It appears that the supply of class II hitches (3500 lb max) for the early LS400 has dried up but a class I hitch has plenty of capacity for your needs.

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If the weight of the trailer is 400 lbs, and your boat is 400 lbs, that is 800 lbs... Balanced properly with load over trailer axle, you houldn't worry about pulling whatsoever. Imagine hauling four 200lb friends along in your car instead, no problem. The only other 2 considerations aside from weight is weight on your hitch, and aerodynamics of the trailer and boat.

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If the weight of the trailer is 400 lbs, and your boat is 400 lbs, that is 800 lbs... Balanced properly with load over trailer axle, you houldn't worry about pulling whatsoever. Imagine hauling four 200lb friends along in your car instead, no problem. The only other 2 considerations aside from weight is weight on your hitch, and aerodynamics of the trailer and boat.

A trailer designed to carry a 400 pound sailboat likely weighs only between 120 and 150 pounds - there are a variety of places like http://www.directboats.com/sabotr.html that sell them. The total weight is going to be very low unless one fills the boat with a bunch of other stuff. Because of its shape, a boat causes less aerodynamic drag that towing a box shaped trailer. Make sure the boat is well secured to the trailer.

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Your lexus will have not problem towing that small of a boat. The manual just recommends that you change your Tranny fluid earlier than recommended if you use your lexus to tow..

I think it says to change it every 60K if you are towing..

Double check your trailer wheel bearings for grease.. That is a very common problem here in michigan with people not greasing thier trailers and have a bearing sieze while towing thier boat, especially across country or over mountains (hilly terrain).. You have to remember those tiny wheels are turning alot faster than your LS wheels..

It is funny that it is not the towing that is so hard on the trannys as is the pulling the boat out of the water after use. I see so many people at the lake trying to pull out a 20 foot boat with a midsize car and you can just hear it struggling..

I can speak from experience that it is not good when your tranny goes out when you are pulling your boat out of the water. Everything rolls right back down into the water.... That happened on my Durango a couple years ago.. Some guy in a ford had to pull me and my boat out. I told him thanks and he said "No problem, its not the first time I had to pull a Dodge out of the water..

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Towing a little 400 pound boat on a light weight trailer is not going to require changing the maintenance schedule. With that said, I have always changed the transmission and rear diff fluid in LS cars every 30,000 miles. Probably overkill but it is cheap insurance.

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