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hey guys i got a question about pulling a 8ft. popup camper with my 96 3.8L thunderbird..will it pull it? do they make a hitch to fit the car? car runs great and trans. has the new filter and mercon v fliud. has anyone pulled anything with there bird.also if would pull it ok, would it be a good idea to buy a aftermarket performance chip to help in the power area? if so what would be a good plug and play chip that would work well with this car...thanks for any info...
 

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I once passed a 20?? Buick Century towing a F350 dually on a tow dolly..... Yes, the Buick was towing the F350…. There was smoke pouring out of the Buick’s transmission!!! :beek:

So yes you “can” tow it…

As long as you don't load down the car/trailer with a lot of weight, it should pull it. Not the best vehicle to tow something, but it should be ok.

I would recommend going slow and locking out the overdrive (keep it in third). And I would definitely recommend you install the largest transmission cooler you can fit prior to towing.

But I'm anal when it comes to towing things.... :D
 

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Your 96 is rated as a light duty towing vehicle, and 2000 pounds is the rated limit. A popup camping trailer that small not only should be light enough, but with a small frontal area, should be fine.

Besides the transmission cooler as suggested, you need to get an isolation/powered setup for the trailer lights, not just tap into the circuits for brakes and clearance/park lights.
 

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hey guys i got a question about pulling a 8ft. popup camper with my 96 3.8L thunderbird..will it pull it? do they make a hitch to fit the car? car runs great and trans. has the new filter and mercon v fliud. has anyone pulled anything with there bird.also if would pull it ok, would it be a good idea to buy a aftermarket performance chip to help in the power area? if so what would be a good plug and play chip that would work well with this car...thanks for any info...
I had a 3.8L V6 90 Thunderbird (Base) and I managed to tow a tandem axle u-haul trailer with about 3500lbs (a FULL 2BR apt) from Wisconsin to Tennessee. I also towed many other really large things without issue.

As others have said, a trans cooler is a must.

Turn off overdrive.

Turn off overdrive. (in case you missed that before)

Go slow, take your time, and I would add a trans temp sensor. Call me paranoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i read alot about trans coolers but dont these cars have the trans coolers hooked to the radiators..im guessing that isnt enough..
 

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i read alot about trans coolers but dont these cars have the trans coolers hooked to the radiators..im guessing that isnt enough..
If you saw how warm these transmission run, you'd be constantly panicked! :eek:

Auxiliary coolers are cheap insurance, and the #1 killer of transmissions is thermal breakdown of the fluid.
 

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I use mine to tow my utility trailer and motorcycles, occasionally my boat. I prefer using it over my truck, its just more comfy to drive!

I agree - no OD, and trans cooler.

Also, keep in mind the 300lb tongue weight, this includes crap in the trunk of the car, so be sure everything is balanced properly!

Jim
 

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I've also heard a few people mention that the airbags that go in the rear springs help out a lot when towing. (I was wishing I had those a few years ago. Took a camping trip with 4 people and a trunk full of gear. Can you say overloaded?)

If memory serves UHaul or Reese has a light duty hitch designed for tbirds.
 

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Uhaul sells Draw Tite 3500 lb Class 2 hitches for these cars. Most pop-ups aren't that heavy- less than 2000 lbs. If you plan to go long distances, get a transmission cooler.
 

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A pop up trailer shouldn't add too much drag to the the car. You should be able to roll down the interstate in OD in and have no problems. If you're in the hills and find the car hunting for a gear then you need to take out the OD. To kill OD just because you're towing is a waste of gas.
 

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By all means, this is an internet forum so feel free to disagree; however, even with a 1000lbs trailer at 55mph on the interstate, thats a huge difference in transmission temperature. With my old AOD it was about 50 degrees or so warmer.
 

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Stock everything-added a trans cooler, and the Draw-Tite hitch. No need for an isolator-regular tapped wiring is fine on these cars.
Car had 18-20K miles on it at the time, and would tow most of the time in OD without any issues,but i did lockout OD when it wanted to downshift some in the hills. That pop-up weighed around 1000 lbs.
JL
 
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