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Discussion Starter #1
I just got back from a 3 day 4th of July vacation trip that was 300 miles away and my "first tow" with our 2014 Rav4 AWD. I had 3 people in the Rav4 and a 14 foot Lund Rebel and 25 hp Suzuki. Total weight of boat motor trailer is est. 775lbs then add fishing gear, tent, and all the other stuff, add another 250lbs. Not including the 3 people and 50+lbs hitch.

I drive in manual transmission mode and NEVER use 6th gear. When leaving the Minneapolis area (85-88 degs mild humid, elevation 850 ft est.) I could use 5the gear and was towing 75 to 80 miles an hour at 2,600 rpm est. but as time/heat soak and what now appears to be elevation I had to resort to 4 gear and 70 mph at 3,200 to 3,400 rpm because of shift hunting on small hills or long/slow elevation increases mid end of trip. Est. elevation at that time was 1,300 ft. On the way home even on a 89 F day and quite a bit more humid day I could use 5th gear with no hunting when we came back to 850+ elevation even after the end of trip heat soak. I am right on the tipping point here it looks like.

Over all it towed the boat GREAT even at 80 mph "rock solid". I felt just a bit of strained and I have towed small race cars before with a Dodge/Mitsubishi D50 2.5 liter 4 banger, but with a manual trans and larger glass boats with a Astro van. So from my other towing experience there was only "low, to very very low/mild strain on the whole "tow experience". The 4th gear and 70 mph MAX just worked great with this loaded setup.

I sure wish I could see the trans temp on this run. I have all iOS phones and don't know if there are programs to watch trans temps like Android phones do, I will have to look into it.

I also drilled 3 holes in the lower air dam right in front of the oil pan to help get some needed air onto the engines oil pan. If you do this, watch the cross member that only allows you to use 1.5 inch holes below it to direct more air on the oil pan. I also just put on a transmission cooler before this trip that that I mounted a bit higher then I wanted to. I did not want to have 100% of the weight of a full cooler on the very thin A/C condenser Freon tubes or tube slates. So I mounted it vertically from the the top channel of the condenser. While driving I can only assume air will drive up and flow through the the cooler ( not near the same though as a direct flow) as there is more air pressure then can flow through the large fan holes behind the radiator. Also when the radiator fan goes on, this trans cooler is dead center on the drivers side fan so 90% of the trans cooler is getting full flow when that goes on.

I also changed out the crap WS transmission fluid at around 21,400 miles and put in Redline D6 group 5 Ester based ATF and added 2 qts of high and low viscosity Redline racing ATF with no slip agents (Type F) to get a bit less smooth shifts. A fast, less slip shift creates less heat and wear then a smooth slipping shift. That will help take the higher heat that this Rav4 is getting while towing. I also run a TransProtector in-line filter. By adding this in-line filter on all my cars I noticed on all the cars that shifting was faster and smoother because the shifting solenoids had less particulate in the oil to slow down the solenoids moving through friction. Even my 18 year old daughter noticed her 100,000 miles Honda Civic shifted better after adding the TransProtector filter. Her car had 5,000 miles on a fresh "full" change of Valvoline Max-Life synthetic ATF when I added the filter.

Rav4 motor has 4 qts Mobil1 5w or 0w 40 and 1 qt of Redline 5w-30 group 5 Ester with high moly, and a Fram Ultra engine filter.

Time will tell if the RAV's tranny will hold up. I have done what I can to help make it more robust. I will be doing Redline trans fluid replacements every 30,000 miles because of rough service.
 

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Any picture of the new tranny fluid cooler mounting points and the TransProtector in-line filter?

Any reason why you didn't use MaxLife synthetic ATF for the Rav4?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any picture of the new tranny fluid cooler mounting points and the TransProtector in-line filter?

Any reason why you didn't use MaxLife synthetic ATF for the Rav4?
I will try to get some pictures, of what I can because I am not taking off the front end nose piece for just pictures. I should of taken them while installing but did not. My wife has the car at work so hopefully I will get them up tonight/tomorrow.

As far a Valvoline Max-life....... Good enough for my older cars like my daughters 100,000 Honda, but not for the Rav4 or my 15,000 mile Hyundai that have 10 qts of Redine waiting for it in the garage.

Even though Hyundai has a group 5 ATF in it from the factory as of 2013 1/2 and later and my car was built in the 8th month. A manufacture other then super high end manufacture having a group 5 ATF is a total anomaly, but Hyundai is now building their own ATF pumpers transmissions and the engineers had enough clout to beat out the number cruncher to get to use a group 5 ATF as a factory fluid. Any transmission engineer if he had his choice, would want to run a group 5 Ester based ATF if he could.

I am a firm believer to get rid original ATF at least by 10,000 to 20,000 miles with all the break-in. Even if I add the TransProtector filter. I am willing to spend the $125 for piece of mind. Plus I miss wrenching on cars, so it's fun for me.

Redline being a group 5 (POE) Ester based oil is far superior to Max-Life which is a group 3/4 or even Amsoil's highest grade 4 (PAO) ATF that is just a high group 4 oil. All oils have some Ester in it for seal shrinking. PAOs swell seals and POEs shrink seals. Group 5 Esters can take a lot of heat, more then a group 4 can and do not varnish like PAOs do.

Understanding the Differences in Base Oil Groups


BUT I have ZERO love for Toyota WS and would by far use Max-Life in the place of WS any day of the week.


.

.
 

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So basically "add Redline racing ATF with no slip agents (Type F) to get a bit less smooth shifts" AND add " this in-line filter on all my cars I noticed on all the cars that shifting was faster and smoother".... does this cancel out each other and return the shifting to stock? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So basically "add Redline racing ATF with no slip agents (Type F) to get a bit less smooth shifts" AND add " this in-line filter on all my cars I noticed on all the cars that shifting was faster and smoother".... does this cancel out each other and return the shifting to stock? :)

No and yes, but not necessarily in that order. I was even thinking about draining 1 to 2 quarts and adding some more of the Redline Lightweight Racing and Regular Racing ATF cocktail to get to a Redline D6 viscosity. 2 qts help, but don't do a drastic change. So yes, kind of.

My Honda Fit that I just sold had nice firm shifts and that had 3 1/2 qts of Racing cocktail added.

I do some business with a retired Allison transmission engineer that now is co owner of an oil testing firm that designed a lot of their transmissions and threw the cocktailing idea that people have done for years. While from my research it is done all time I thought I would get his expert opinion on the matter and he had no problem with it. We do it all the time for various situations on different applications.
 

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I'm wondering how well my 2015 Rav4 will tow a trailer with two utility four wheelers, I'm installing a hitch this weekend. Toyota says the tow capacity is 1,500 pounds (4-cylinder engine) but i know I'll be pushing 2,000 with a trailer and 2 four wheelers. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
 

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Matthewte


Do not continue to post this same question all over this forum. I have deleted all of your duplicate posts that were in the wrong areas. Ask ONCE and wait for an answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm wondering how well my 2015 Rav4 will tow a trailer with two utility four wheelers, I'm installing a hitch this weekend. Toyota says the tow capacity is 1,500 pounds (4-cylinder engine) but i know I'll be pushing 2,000 with a trailer and 2 four wheelers. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
Large trans cooler,

Amsoil or Redline trans fluid, Redline would be a smarter choice since it is a group 5 ester based ATF that can take high heat better then Amsoil group 4 ATF that when pushed with high heat it can still varnish up.

For sure get rid of the garbage group 2/3 Toyota WS ATF (fully get rid of it by flushing it through the Toyota hockey puck ATF heater. Not just a pan change or two.

I would ONLY go as high as 4th gear and stay under 70 mph. Get some air on the engine oil pan too.


Understanding the Differences in Base Oil Groups


.
 

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....... I also just put on a transmission cooler before this trip that that I mounted a bit higher then I wanted to..........

I also changed out the crap WS transmission fluid at around 21,400 miles and put in Redline D6 group 5 Ester based ATF and added 2 qts of high and low viscosity Redline racing ATF with no slip agents (Type F) to get a bit less smooth shifts. A fast, less slip shift creates less heat and wear then a smooth slipping shift. That will help take the higher heat that this Rav4 is getting while towing. I also run a TransProtector in-line filter. By adding this in-line filter on all my cars I noticed on all the cars that shifting was faster and smoother because the shifting solenoids had less particulate in the oil to slow down the solenoids moving through friction. Even my 18 year old daughter noticed her 100,000 miles Honda Civic shifted better after adding the TransProtector filter. Her car had 5,000 miles on a fresh "full" change of Valvoline Max-Life synthetic ATF when I added the filter.

Rav4 motor has 4 qts Mobil1 5w or 0w 40 and 1 qt of Redline 5w-30 group 5 Ester with high moly, and a Fram Ultra engine filter.

Time will tell if the RAV's tranny will hold up. I have done what I can to help make it more robust. I will be doing Redline trans fluid replacements every 30,000 miles because of rough service.
.................Even though Hyundai has a group 5 ATF in it from the factory as of 2013 1/2 and later and my car was built in the 8th month. A manufacture other then super high end manufacture having a group 5 ATF is a total anomaly, but Hyundai is now building their own ATF pumpers transmissions and the engineers had enough clout to beat out the number cruncher to get to use a group 5 ATF as a factory fluid. Any transmission engineer if he had his choice, would want to run a group 5 Ester based ATF if he could.

I am a firm believer to get rid original ATF at least by 10,000 to 20,000 miles with all the break-in. Even if I add the TransProtector filter. I am willing to spend the $125 for piece of mind. Plus I miss wrenching on cars, so it's fun for me.

Redline being a group 5 (POE) Ester based oil is far superior to Max-Life which is a group 3/4 or even Amsoil's highest grade 4 (PAO) ATF that is just a high group 4 oil. All oils have some Ester in it for seal shrinking. PAOs swell seals and POEs shrink seals. Group 5 Esters can take a lot of heat, more then a group 4 can and do not varnish like PAOs do.

BUT I have ZERO love for Toyota WS and would by far use Max-Life in the place of WS any day of the week.
Mainia - Very refreshing thread, on ATF Fluids. / A link to your trans. cooler ?? (& Thks).

I've used AMSOIL engine oil & their synthetic filters, for +15 years now.
- but a year ago, switched to Pennzoil Ultra Platinum (base stock refined from Natural Gas & 99.5% pure)...5.0L jug is a 1/3rd the price of AMSOIL
- plus WIX come out with a XP Platinum filter, that is full synthetic media / same filter re-branded for AMSOIL
^^ After 10,000 Km Pennzoil oil change (6,200 miles), my oil still have 1/2 if its honey color.

Gonna take your advice on the REDLINE transmission oil, and use it in all my vehicles.
- appreciate your input

I recently bought a case of AMSOIL gear oil.
- I'll use it until something better & cheaper comes along

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil, SN with PurePlus technology is a first of its kind. Made from natural gas, it's designed for complete engine protection. The Pennzoil motor oil keeps pistons 25 percent cleaner than the leading synthetic. It lets you drive an average of 55 extra miles based on mixed city/highway miles. It also protects horsepower, has unsurpassed wear protection and gives you excellent performance in extreme temperatures. The 5W30 motor oil can be used in a variety of vehicles to obtain quality results. The unique fuel will provide you a longer performance than other brands while preventing premature breakdown of your engine components. The lubricant works well in a range of temperatures to keep your motor running clean year round.

Walmart On-Line $27.97 / 5.0L jug
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pennzoil-Ultra-Platinum-Full-Synthetic-5W30-SN-Motor-Oil-5-qt/36030481
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 5W30 SN Motor Oil, 5 quart:
Made from natural gas
Complete protection
Pennzoil motor oil keeps pistons clean
Unsurpassed wear protection
Excellent performance in extreme temperatures

http://drivinglife.net/pennzoil-ultra-platinum-5w-20-full-synthetic-motor-oil-review/
1. Formulated with PurePlus Technology
The proprietary PurePlus® synthetic base oil technology is being used by Pennzoil to perfectly blend this oil enhancing better performance than ordinary brands. This technique is patented by the company and concerns about the innovative process converting pure and pristine natural gas into high-quality motor oil unequalled by any other oil in the market.

The technology produces very clear base oil with 99.50% purity compared to crude oil. The PurePlus® technique allows for a low volatility (NOACK values of 10% or lower) which conventional oil can’t produce. The technique limits, if not totally eliminates, the evaporation rate when the synthetic oil hit hot surfaces of the engine like the piston rings.
https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1969029

WIX XP Oil Filter Review and Specs
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here are some trans cooler pics, later vs sooner. No pics of the upper mounting. There, I used one of the condenser mounting holes where there are 2 bolts per bracket (had to buy one longer bolt), per side, holding the condenser in. I had a couple of cooler radiator mounting kits so I sandwiched rubber pads on both sides of the upper mounts so the cooler has some vibration dampening. I would of put a larger cooler on that I do have but as I stated in the above post, the condenser has very fine Freon tubes that I did not want to damage by a heavy cooler filled with a large quantity of ATF adding even more weight. The cooler is dead center on the drivers side fan. So when the fan is going the whole cooler is getting air pulled through it. I still think there is enough high pressure forcing air up inside the front nose piece that the cooler is getting a mid level of cool air flowing fully through it even when only 25% of the cooler is in direct air flow. I also had to cut the drivers side black piece that is there to cover the radiator as seen in last photo.
 

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I sure wish I could see the trans temp on this run. I have all iOS phones and don't know if there are programs to watch trans temps like Android phones do, I will have to look into it.
Let's continue the quest. I have three IOS and one MacOS OBDII monitor and am looking into them now.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
2nd Trip

2nd trip same place and this time 1 less person and most of the trip without A/C. I could use 5th gear most of the time, except steep hwy hills. Better mileage this time too, of course. I tried to be at 75 mph so my rpms were higher as not to lug engine in 5th gear. If I went down to 65 mph I used 4th gear. Last time I used mid grade unleaded, this time i used 91 octane.
 

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I just picked up a 2014 that I would like to setup for some light towing....
Currently has just under 50k on the odometer so I'm going to do the trans return line flush and change out the filter as well,plan to use the Maxlife ATF and I want to add a cooler at the same time.
How big of an aux cooler do you guys recommend?
Have been reading through a lot of posts about the diy trans flush...seems more time consuming than it is complicated so I have no issues with doing it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I wanted to go bigger with my cooler and have a larger cooler that was going to go on the Rav4. But after pulling the front bumper/grill piece, I found very delicate A/C condenser tubes. I wanted the least amount of stress on that that I could, so I went with a less tubed smaller cooler. I semi-hard mounted the top part with a dual foam (front and back of cooler mount) and used 2 mounting kits to make this work. I am running Redline ATF which is a group 5 oil, so with the smaller cooler I still think I am under any threshold of stressing out my oil. Yes, get the crap WS out as soon as you can, there is nothing impressive about that oil. Maxlife is superior to that. Or tier up to Amsoil Signature Series, or even better yet, Redline D6. Good luck, you will be glad you did a full transfer of that old oil and not just a pan change.

.
 

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I wanted to go bigger with my cooler and have a larger cooler that was going to go on the Rav4. But after pulling the front bumper/grill piece, I found very delicate A/C condenser tubes. I wanted the least amount of stress on that that I could, so I went with a less tubed smaller cooler. I semi-hard mounted the top part with a dual foam (front and back of cooler mount) and used 2 mounting kits to make this work. I am running Redline ATF which is a group 5 oil, so with the smaller cooler I still think I am under any threshold of stressing out my oil. Yes, get the crap WS out as soon as you can, there is nothing impressive about that oil. Maxlife is superior to that. Or tier up to Amsoil Signature Series, or even better yet, Redline D6. Good luck, you will be glad you did a full transfer of that old oil and not just a pan change.

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I'm looking at a 12" x7 1/2" cooler on amazon.....do you think that is sufficient or should I go a little bigger? Haven't really looked yet to see how much space there is .
Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm looking at a 12" x7 1/2" cooler on amazon.....do you think that is sufficient or should I go a little bigger? Haven't really looked yet to see how much space there is .
Thanks in advance

Stay away from round tube coolers. That's size is around what I have. My larger cooler was around 12 X12. I just did not want all the weight on those "dainty" freon tubes. What you put on is up to you.
 

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I'm looking at a 12" x7 1/2" cooler on amazon.....do you think that is sufficient or should I go a little bigger? Haven't really looked yet to see how much space there is .
Thanks in advance

Stay away from round tube coolers. That's size is around what I have. My larger cooler was around 12 X12. I just did not want all the weight on those "dainty" freon tubes.
What you put on is up to you.
Thanks.
Am looking at a plate and fin type,believe that's what they are called.
Just for giggles I swung by our dealership to see what they charge for a trans service....$205 for just a drain and refill.
I'll definitely be doing it myself via the return line method after pan drop and new filter and use the maxlife atf.
 

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Thank you for the information. Next holiday I'm pulling my boat down to Alabama. I was looking at the RAV4 adventure specs and think I want to upgrade to a transmission cooler setup. I like how yours goes on. Any brand info and how difficult was it to add? Added a pic of my toys. Love how well it did to the river but that's just a 15min trip down the highway.
 

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