D17VTECPOWER threads consolidated - how a member should not behave - Honda Civic Forum

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D17VTECPOWER threads consolidated - how a member should not behave

Old 11-15-2017
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Talking D17VTECPOWER threads consolidated - how a member should not behave

Iím so excited to be part of Civic Forums. I Am a very friendly guy who loves helping people, modding and fixing cars and working on electronics. My daily driver is a 2005 Civic LX that I heavily modded. I also have a stock 2004 Civic and a 2000 Dodge Stratus, but those cars have destroyed engines and I need to change the engines. Anyways, I hope to make friends, help people and share my experiences with yíall. Anyways, I hope to be on. The forum very soon. Have a great day

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Old 11-15-2017
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Welcome to the forum!
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Old 11-15-2017
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Did I tow too much?

I used my 2005 Civic VTEC to pull a U Haul trailer that weighed about 2500 lbs 600 miles. It pulled the trailer no problem. It accelerated a little slower, and it took a little longer to stop, but not bad at all. The engine temp never exceeded 190 and I got an average of 26 MPG. There was no sway either. The only problem is that it lost a little speed going up steep hills, so I would just downshift to 3rd gear and it did better, but still lost some speed. What I am wondering is if I can pull a 2004 Civic with my 2005 Civic. The 2004 Civic has a blown motor. Renting a truck is not an option, and I need to move the car ASAP. It has all ther bolt on engine upgrades, intake, intake manifold, header, exhaust, etc. As for the car, it has 4 wheel disk brakes, drilled and slotted rotors with Hawk HPS pads, Mishimoto racing radiator, Hayden 679 transmission cooler and other minor mods. I would think that on flat ground it would do great, but it won’t be flat lol. What I am most worried about is a section of the trip has a long, steep hill that it would have to climb. Not sure how steep or long the hill is, I need to check. But I am worried that the transmission will go out pulling the cars up the mountains. I don’t care if it fails after I get back home, but I need it to make it home lol. Is pulling a 2500 lb. car more likely to cause a problem than pulling a 2500 lb. trailer? Thanks.

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Old 11-15-2017
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Re: Did I tow too much?

A 2500 lb car doesn't weigh 2500 when it is sitting on a trailer. It weighs 2500 plus the weight of the car trailer. A car dolly still has some weight to it as well. You run the risk of having 2 civics needing towed. Is having a hauling company move the car for you not an option either?

Personally I considered the 1.7 civics to be doggy even without a load behind them. I would hate to drive it with that much weight on it.
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Old 11-15-2017
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Auto trans or manual?

Renting or borrowing a truck is a lot cheaper than a transmission or a clutch job
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by mcnoople View Post
A 2500 lb car doesn't weigh 2500 when it is sitting on a trailer. It weighs 2500 plus the weight of the car trailer. A car dolly still has some weight to it as well. You run the risk of having 2 civics needing towed. Is having a hauling company move the car for you not an option either?

Personally I considered the 1.7 civics to be doggy even without a load behind them. I would hate to drive it with that much weight on it.
I planned to pull the axles out and flat tow it. Would that not work? And having it shipped/towed isnít an option either.
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by D17VTECPOWER View Post
I planned to pull the axles out and flat tow it. Would that not work? And having it shipped/towed isnít an option either.
That can ruin the wheel bearings.
Removing the axles leaves the wheel bearings without necessary clamping force applied.
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Re: Did I tow too much?

why not just bring someone with you and each of you drive a car back?
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by Colin42 View Post
why not just bring someone with you and each of you drive a car back?
Because the 2004 has a blown motor...
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
That can ruin the wheel bearings.
Removing the axles leaves the wheel bearings without necessary clamping force applied.
I didnít know that, thanks for letting me know. So what would be more likely to cause damage- Towing it in neutral with axles or without axles?
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Old 11-15-2017
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Re: Did I tow too much?

What trans is in the dead car?

What trans is in the tow car?

How far do you have to tow it?
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
What trans is in the dead car?

What trans is in the tow car?

How far do you have to tow it?
1. BMXA 4 speed auto
2. SLXA 4 speed auto
3. About 500 miles
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Old 11-15-2017
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by D17VTECPOWER View Post
Because the 2004 has a blown motor...
Should have said that in the initial post.
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by Colin42 View Post
Should have said that in the initial post.
My bad, I edited it. I thought I did specify that.
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by D17VTECPOWER View Post
1. BMXA 4 speed auto
2. SLXA 4 speed auto
3. About 500 miles
Oh hell. No way.

I'd say to Rent a 2 wheel dolly from a u-haul store and tow with the fronts off the ground... OR rent a truck and dolly (one way), load one car inside the truck and put the dead one on the dolly
I'd think this would be a lot safer...and probably not all that expensive if you think about it.

OR To flat tow....... you could go to the junkyard, get a pair of axles (hopefully really junk ones) and strip the outer joints off and apart, so you have only the outer CV cup and stub which is then inserted into the front hub and the big nut installed and torqued. That would at least keep the bearings from destroying themselves as it rolls along.
(Still need to plug or cap the open holes in the transmission, might use the inboard cups to do that)

For the Civic tow car....I'd want to keep the RPMs up high so the trans and TCC don't burn up, I sure don't want the TCC constantly applying and slipping with little bitty changes in load....500 is a long way to go like that though.


You could just abandon the dead car and leave it behind......
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Auto trans or manual?

Renting or borrowing a truck is a lot cheaper than a transmission or a clutch job
Thanks. My other question is if the transmission isnít happy about the load, will it act strange, like slip, to let me know, or would it work fine until it suddenly fails? Thanks
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by D17VTECPOWER View Post
Thanks. My other question is if the transmission isn’t happy about the load, will it act strange, like slip, to let me know, or would it work fine until it suddenly fails? Thanks
Depends......


I've seen Hondas (Odyssey vans come to mind right away) simply puke about gallon of ATF out all over the engine compartment and just quit pulling completely.... this usually originated with a slipping TCC which overheats the fluid to an extreme.... On flat interstate at speed, not towing anything at all, nor overloaded.
Trans was junk at that point, refilling the fluid didn't help anything.

Would that happen to you?
Will it actually fail now (or later)?
Can't tell you that.....but let's speculate for a minute (LOL worst case scenario) because you're depending on it and probably have a deadline to get there on time....... that means about 100 miles into the trip it would likely fail in a spectacular fashion without (much) warning, you'll have at least one of them dragged to an impound yard by the state police...... and you'll need to hire two tow trucks to go the rest of the 400 miles...

Or maybe you'd get pulled over by the state police for dangerous/improper towing or something...(and my luck they profiled me and want to bring out the dogs and search both cars)
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Oh hell. No way.

I'd say to Rent a 2 wheel dolly from a u-haul store and tow with the fronts off the ground... OR rent a truck and dolly (one way), load one car inside the truck and put the dead one on the dolly
I'd think this would be a lot safer...and probably not all that expensive if you think about it.

OR To flat tow....... you could go to the junkyard, get a pair of axles (hopefully really junk ones) and strip the outer joints off and apart, so you have only the outer CV cup and stub which is then inserted into the front hub and the big nut installed and torqued. That would at least keep the bearings from destroying themselves as it rolls along.
(Still need to plug or cap the open holes in the transmission, might use the inboard cups to do that)

For the Civic tow car....I'd want to keep the RPMs up high so the trans and TCC don't burn up, I sure don't want the TCC constantly applying and slipping with little bitty changes in load....500 is a long way to go like that though.


You could just abandon the dead car and leave it behind......
So by "keep the RPM's high", you mean shift it manually at a fairly high RPM, like 3500 or so, and cruise in D3 instead of D4? That's what I did to get here pulling the trailer and it worked great. Thanks.
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Re: Did I tow too much?

I don't know about manual shifting, the extra load would cause it to shift pretty late due to all the extra throttle needed to get it going.....but yes, I would use D3, and I'd probably want a way to monitor ATF temps if possible during the trip.

I think the owners manual says max 1000 lbs towing?
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Good luck...

Just remember that the chances you ending up towing two cars + trailer are there.
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Old 11-16-2017
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
I don't know about manual shifting, the extra load would cause it to shift pretty late due to all the extra throttle needed to get it going.....but yes, I would use D3, and I'd probably want a way to monitor ATF temps if possible during the trip.

I think the owners manual says max 1000 lbs towing?
The owners manual says 0 lbs. towing. But I have a lot of upgrades too. Quick question- Is engine damage possible from the extra load? A friend said I could spin bearings from too much load. To me, engine damage seems like the least of my worries.
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
I don't know about manual shifting, the extra load would cause it to shift pretty late due to all the extra throttle needed to get it going.....but yes, I would use D3, and I'd probably want a way to monitor ATF temps if possible during the trip.

I think the owners manual says max 1000 lbs towing?
But if I use D3, the torque converter wonít lock. Right? Therefore, wonít the torque converter be slipping and making much more heat? For that reason, I used 2 and D3 when going up hills, but on flat ground or going down hills, I put it in D4 so the transmission oil could cool off. I have full synthetic fluid in it and a Hayden 679 cooler, so Iím sure that helped.
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
I don't know about manual shifting, the extra load would cause it to shift pretty late due to all the extra throttle needed to get it going.....but yes, I would use D3, and I'd probably want a way to monitor ATF temps if possible during the trip.

I think the owners manual says max 1000 lbs towing?
Thanks for your help. Also, I frogot to mention, after 3 hours of driving when I stopped to eat(and feed the car lol) I checked the fluids. They were all full, and when I felt the metal transmission oil cooler line going to the cooler with the engine running right after stopping, it wasn’t that hot. I was able to grab it with my fingers for about 2-3 seconds, which I think means the transmission is running pretty cool. The transmission wasn’t showing any symptoms of being overheated either, for what that’s worth. There was no slipping, hard shifts or other abnormal behavior. Wouldn’t the oil cooler lines be HOT if the transmission was overheated?
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Question Ideal oil temp?

I know that cold oil is obviously bad because it doesnít flow well, done not get hot enough to evaporate fuel and oil, clearances incorrect, etc. etc. Hot oil is also bad. Oil that is too hot is too thin, breaks down, creates sludge, damages seals, clearances incorrect, etc. etc. What I am wondering is what the ďidealĒ temp for a synthetic oil is. Iíve heard that quality synthetic oil can tolerate temps up to around 300 degrees before breaking down, but that doesnít mean that the rest of the engine, like seals, can tolerate that kind of heat. The oil would obviously be very thin at that high of a temp also. According to Hayden, the optimal oil temp is around 180 degrees, and according to Mishimoto, the ideal temp is 160-180. Theyíre not a reliable source of information in my mind though since theyíre in the business of selling coolers. I have also heard that the oil should get to at least 212 degrees to boil condensation off, but some people say that 180 will evaporate water too after more time, but they say that the engine would live longer too. I have also heard that the ideal oil temp is as high as 230-260. The other thing that I canít help but think of is the fact that even if the oil in the pan is 180 degrees, the bearings, rings etc. would have to be MUCH hotter. Not sure if thatís a good or bad thing. So what is the ďidealĒ oil temp? I would guess that 170-190 oil temp would be ideal, since internal components, like bearings, would still probably be at or near 300 degrees, and I believe that in Tennessee, the worst damage to engines is from heat. Thanks.
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by D17VTECPOWER View Post
The owners manual says 0 lbs. towing.
I think that is the final word to this entire thread.

But I have a lot of upgrades too.
The ONLY thing I saw that can help the trans is the cooler.
Quick question- Is engine damage possible from the extra load? A friend said I could spin bearings from too much load. To me, engine damage seems like the least of my worries.
Sure, if it runs hot;
Not bloody likely unless it runs low of oil;
My thoughts too.

Originally Posted by D17VTECPOWER View Post
But if I use D3, the torque converter won’t lock. Right?
TCC can be applied in both D4 and D3.
I think using D3 changes the lockup points a little bit though.
(had to check a chart because not all of the trannys use the same logic...but didn't read all that close)

Therefore, won’t the torque converter be slipping and making much more heat?
Yes and no.

A regular torque converters slip ratio is much greater at lower RPM under high load than at high RPM under the same load.
Thus, lower gear/high RPM is typically 'easier' on the converter and fluid temp.

A locking torque converter changes a lot of the variables, and a TCC system that uses "partial lockup" complicates matters because the computer can allow it to partially apply the TCC on purpose......and you don't want to abuse the TCC with a high load.



Originally Posted by D17VTECPOWER View Post
Wouldn’t the oil cooler lines be HOT if the transmission was overheated?
A ATF temp gauge would tell you what it's doing while driving

Last edited by ezone; 11-16-2017 at 02:34 PM.
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Re: Did I tow too much?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
I think that is the final word to this entire thread.

The ONLY thing I saw that can help the trans is the cooler.
Sure, if it runs hot;
Not bloody likely unless it runs low of oil;
My thoughts too.

TCC can be applied in both D4 and D3.
I think using D3 changes the lockup points a little bit though.
(had to check a chart because not all of the trannys use the same logic...but didn't read all that close)

Yes and no.

A regular torque converters slip ratio is much greater at lower RPM under high load than at high RPM under the same load.
Thus, lower gear/high RPM is typically 'easier' on the converter and fluid temp.

A locking torque converter changes a lot of the variables, and a TCC system that uses "partial lockup" complicates matters because the computer can allow it to slip on purpose......and you don't want to abuse the TCC with a high load.




A ATF temp gauge would tell you what it's doing while driving
Oh, I see. I thought the TCC clutch would only activate in 4th gear, and I didn't think that it could "partially" activate either. I thought it was either on or off. So why would the PCM unlock the TCC while cruising? I thought the whole point of the torque converter was to allow you to stop in gear with the engine running without a clutch, and the TCC activates to help minimize the power being lost in the torque converter. Also, why would the PCM unlock the TCC partway? Wouldn't that basically be like riding the clutch? So I would be better off running in D3 even on flat ground? I don't know much about automatic transmissions. Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2017
  #29  
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Re: Did I tow too much?

So why would the PCM unlock the TCC while cruising?
TCC unlocks with changes in load.

I thought the whole point of the torque converter was to allow you to stop in gear with the engine running
Correct. Fluid coupling.

without a clutch, and the TCC activates to help minimize the power being lost in the torque converter.
The TCC IS a clutch.
Fluid coupling plus mechanical lock. Best of both worlds.

But it is not indestructible. Nothing in the trans is overbuilt, it was only intended to pull around the car it was installed in, not a whole extra car LOL.
Also, why would the PCM unlock the TCC partway?
Slip-lock: slow regulated engagement and/or partial engagement of the TCC.

I'd say mostly to minimize the drivetrain and driver shock of TCC apply, plus probably more reasons I don't care about.

That's how the engineers designed it.
Just know that it is something they designed it to do.

If you know what you are looking for, you might see it happen on the tach. IDK if it's real obvious on the Civic but I know I can watch it happen on some of the other cars/vans.

If you ever got to drive.... say some older GM cars from the mid 80s to early-mid 90s pops into my mind, their TCC apply was like an ON/OFF switch.....it was sudden and sometimes you definitely KNEW when it engaged. My old 1990 Park Avenue would engage it at exactly 48 MPH if you weren't deep in the gas pedal, and unlock it as vehicle speed dropped below 46.
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Old 11-16-2017
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Re: Ideal oil temp?

have you been in the miatanet?
we were recently discussing that...
If the engine parts are all working correctly, it should be around 180.
but during a heavy traffic, stop-and-go i was while crossing Atlanta, it crept up to 220.
several years ago, engine is still good.
Pressure and temp gauges on my civic. What worries for real is loss of pressure.
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