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Td5 auto D2 towing 3+ ton?

Steve 90

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Just looking to buy a Td5 auto D2 and I quite like it. It has all the toys, Drives and handles very well, The auto and the Td5 seem to suit each other reasonable well, Its far from fast but goes OK and seems to change at the right time and reasonably quickly so all is good.

My only reservation is the Auto for towing. I reasonably often tow the challenge truck which is, including trailer, spares, tools etc over 3 ton. What does the auto behave like when towing heavy loads? Has the Td5 enough power to cope with auto when towing close to its max weight, Both on steep up hills and at :ph34r: motorway speed without lots of revving and the gearbox messing about? How will the gear box stand up to heavy towing?

Anybody with experience of this that can give me some idea before I part with hard earned cash?

Many thanks.


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I've never tried towing but I would think it would be hard work towing 3 tons as the standard vehicle feels underpowered to me. Anybody who says the vehicles barely notice a 3 ton trailer is talking rubbish.

Bear in mind there are "issues" with gearbox cooling on pretty much all Discovery automatics when towing heavy loads.

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I sometimes tow exactly that behind a TD5 auto - challenge vehicle on a trailer with spares etc. I prefer to tow with the Mercedes Vito (as it has 200 hp so is much quicker), but also more stable, however it's limited to 2.5 tonne.

I have found having ACE on the Disco makes it much betetr to tow with, but strangely the air suspension version seems more sensitive to nose weight than the version with coil springs.

The real thing to remember is that the TD5 does rev well - if you manually hold the gears it will do 60mph in second, so to make progress you have to use the auto box as a manual.

In a nutshell it does work but to keep moving at 60 then you have to work it hard. I don't have any experience of a tuned version, but people say it does improve them.

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get it tuned!!!

will make a massive heap of difference when towing and an obscene amount of fun when not towing :i-m_so_happy:

mines a manual, but same principle still stands. Towing a twin axled horse box with 2 large hunters in plus all their clobber. No idea of the weight - but i would imagine 2.5t possibly?

Before being tuned it was a bit of a pain, constantly stirring the stick to keep the revs up. After tuning, HUGE improvement and much much much more relaxing. With my 1t caravan on the back, it will accelerate from 50mph in 5th with ease and little drama up to highly illegal speeds.

I've been told that you can fit oil coolers to disco autos and supposedly its a worthwhile investment, as the boxes can get a bit hot under heavy loads and kill the oil.

I'm sure there is a write up on here somewhere using second hand parts and costs next to nothing.

air suspension is brilliant, so is ACE. Makes towing a dream and combined with a tune - hugely relaxing and safe tow vehicle.

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i have never towed that much max about 1200Kg. Tows very well and has enough power for the job except on steep hills when you really do slow down and reving higher in a lower gear actually takes you out of the TD5 power band

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Again, I am afraid my experience is a) limited and b) maunal only...

I towed Orange's challenge truck from Peterborough to Maidstone with Orange's stage one tuned TD5 Manual D2. Power and brakingwise, I had no problems whatsoever. I did not have to do too much gearchanging, at least I didn't feel what I did was ecessive, and I did not have to hold the revs, or overerv the engine to get reasonable perfomance. The only issue I had was with the tail end, on coils, not feeling as safe as I would prefer. This may have been down to our loading of the trailer, but my 300 Auto with Airbag helpers in the rear springs felt far safer (if woefully underpowered and hot!).

Conclusions from this would be:

a) stage one tune is well worth the money

b) airbag rear helpers are really excellent (I knew this anyway...)



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Well, I've recovered one recently off the motorway. He had a plant trailer and minidigger on tow.

Auto box had overheated and retired.

Now this may be an isolated case, but I would have expected the TD5 auto to cope better with the weight he had on (about 2 tons).

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i dont think air springs and ACE have any commonality or shared design as such - but i like the fact air suspension self levels if the trailer nose weight is high. As a by-product it also means the rear suspension gets stiffer, which is nice when towing. 'Adaptive spring rates' and intelligent ride height is all very trick in my book!

I also think ACE is excellent for towing, as it completely negates any body lean (unless you hoon about!!!) and having zero body roll is always a good thing in any situation. So having no body roll and stiffer rear suspension at the correct height when towing means all your steering and suspension geometry is spot on correct and all feels level and smooth.

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A TD5 makes its peak power at (well just before) the governor, so revving it harder is exactly what you need to do to extract maximum power from it.

People often confuse power and torque, but for pulling a load up a hill, you need power.

The best way to think of it is that torque is an instantaneous force.

To use some random figures, lets say the engine makes 230lbft at 2000rpm and 170lbft at 4000rpm (these numbers are pretty close to the real TD5 figures but rounded off a bit). This means it makes 87hp at 2krpm and 129hp at 4krpm.

To understand why the power is the more important value we'll look again at the torque and rpm figures. At the lower rpm, peak torque site, your generating 230lbft, and your doing it at a rate of 2000 times a minute, at the higher site your generating a lower peak, but your doing that twice as many times, meaning the overall output in the second instance is higher, you've done more work, and doing more work means you've turned more energy into forward motion and therefore you accellerate faster (or produce enough energy to stop the vehicle slowing down on the hill).

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Hi guys

i too am looking at buying a disco2 td5 auto as we are buying a static caravan in cornwall and we are based in manchester and was thinking of joining a cornish landy club to do some green laning with my s11a and woundered how would a td5 auto disco cope with a twin axle trailer and a s11a swb on the back.



1962 2a swb 200 tdi.

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Mate of mine has one (you know him well Steve!) with which he regularly tows 3.5 tonnes to comp-safaris (he has a heavy trailer with build in living pod!) and with various bits from his engineering work. He reckons his TD5 Disco Commercial Auto is fantastic as a tow truck. In fact his is up for sale at the mo as he is replacing it with a D3 commercial...

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one thing to note - disco autos tend to get hot centre consoles if towing or driven hard.

Father outlaws gets almost too hot to touch after cruising at 80-90 down the french autoroutes. I had a look under it and the thermal padding stuff over the autobox under the tranny tunnel had all gone nasty and dissintegrated ...

looks a proper pain in the bum to replace as well, so i told him to just leave the aircon on and have the bottom vents pointing at the console so it doesnt get too warm for comfort.

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