: Fleetwood towing options



Alscad56
08-21-11, 10:03 PM
Hi, newbie here. I own a 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood and was wondering what can I do to make the car adequate for towing a 3000 pound camper trailer with dual axles and electric brakes? I'm planning on putting air bags in the rear springs and a hitch with torsion bars. Can the running gear handle the tow?
Must I change the diff. axle ratio? I have the base Fleetwood model.
The car does not have the towing package.
I have some people telling me the car is fine. On the other hand, I get opposite feedback from others. Any experts out there?
Thanks!

sven914
08-21-11, 11:52 PM
I personally wouldn't want to do it, but the stock Fleetwood should have no problem towing 3000lbs. The towing package could handle 7000lbs, and the only real upgrades were in a slightly stiffer suspension, a heavy duty cooling system and a different differential. The transmission and engine were vertically identical (the towing package may have used the mythical 4L60e-HD transmission, which was supposedly designed with stronger gear sets, but it's still the same gear box).

One thing I would do is get a coolant and transmission temperature gauge. Towing a trailer is going to stress any dirveline, and you need to have something to monitor it.

csbuckn
08-22-11, 01:13 AM
I'm with Sven, get a gauge for the coolant, especially if you plan on doing this a lot or have to go up and down hills. Maybe get the expensive brake pads also.

turbojimmy
08-22-11, 05:09 PM
If you do it, get a big external trans cooler too.

outsider
08-22-11, 05:32 PM
yeah you'll have no problem in the power department, but as all said, may want to do some extra cooling precautions. gauges and tranny cooler for sure.

Alscad56
08-22-11, 06:21 PM
Thanks guys, much appreciated. The car does have a stock outside trans cooler in front of the rad. Not adequate enough? Getting gauges is a good idea. Thanks! I plan on towing the trailer maybe 3-4 times a year. If I cannot use my Fleetwood, I'll either have to sell it, or hook up the trailer behind my '56 Deville. ...and selling my Fleetwood is not an option. I love the car too much!
Will post some pics soon.

Cadillacboy
08-23-11, 03:56 PM
Yup, that's a wiser choice to keep your Fleetwood , you have got a gem :)

N0DIH
08-24-11, 08:35 AM
I have a detailed post on here from about 2006 or so that has everything the V4P Tow Package is.

In a nutshell
RPO V4P, 7000# towing = 3.42 gears, HD 4L60E (essentially what the TransGo 4L60E-HD2 has), 140 amp alternator and mech fan, larger cooling capacity, unique PCM Tune
RPO V92, 5000# towing = 2.93 gears, std 4L60E, 140 amp alternator, and mech fan, possible larger cooling capacity
std towing (2000 lbs?) = 2.93 gears or 2.56 gears (I really would avoid towing with 2.56's) and std electric fans

Yes, electric fans are good, but mech has much much more capacity, it can draw on the full power of the LT1 to cool down the engine.

And never tow in OD! Even with 3.42's. It isn't good at all on the 4L60.

Alscad56
10-09-11, 11:33 PM
Update. Got the tow bar installed, sensa-trac load adjuster shocks, heavy duty trans cooler. Next step, the diff ratio.
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier that I'd post some pics...well here they are...
81444
81445
81446

Cadillacboy
10-10-11, 10:46 AM
That's nice :)

jayoldschool
10-10-11, 11:07 AM
That car will tow 3000lbs like it is pulling a box of air. However, I'm not convinced that a dual axle trailer with electric brakes is only 3000lbs.

Alscad56
10-10-11, 12:23 PM
That car will tow 3000lbs like it is pulling a box of air. However, I'm not convinced that a dual axle trailer with electric brakes is only 3000lbs.

The trailer is 19ft. with the tongue included and the specs say it is 3079lbs. :)
81463

Rick James
10-10-11, 04:30 PM
Alscad56 or anyone else - what hitch are you using. Does one look better than another or should I just go down to U-Haul?

Alscad56
10-10-11, 09:07 PM
Alscad56 or anyone else - what hitch are you using. Does one look better than another or should I just go down to U-Haul?

I have a friend,who owns a bodyshop. He ordered my hitch bar through his company name so I would get a discount. Basically, I have a class II hitch, with a 2" opening, towing capacity: 3500lbs or 8000lbs with weight distribution, which I will use. Max. tongue weight: 800lbs
The brand is "Draw-tite".It was easy to install. It came with all the hardware and instructions to install.

Rick James
10-11-11, 02:16 PM
Thanks. Draw-tite was the one I was going to select. It's good to know it has an ease of installation.

Alscad56
07-11-12, 09:09 PM
Update..
I had the diff. ring and pinion changed from 2.56 to 3.23 a few days ago. Wow! What a difference in power and acceleration! I'm pretty sure I'll have no problems towing my trailer! The only down side of this is my speedo is way off now. Anyone out there know if the ECM needs to be recalibrated, or do I just change the speedo gear in the tranny? :confused:
Thanks!!

csbuckn
07-11-12, 09:18 PM
You should reflash the ECM so you can do other mods like tranny shifting or air delete.

jayoldschool
07-11-12, 09:21 PM
There are a few guys in Montreal that can reprogram it for you, and there are a few of us in Ottawa that can handle it, too.

Alscad56
07-11-12, 09:38 PM
Okay. Reprograming sounds good. Now, to find someone who does this locally...Jayoldschool, you said a few guys in Mtl. can do this...does it mean you know who they are?
:alchi: Lol! I'll have to temporarily use my GPS to get an accurate speed reading, until the ECM gets updated!

jayoldschool
07-11-12, 11:12 PM
Don't forget the shift points are now screwed up, too. Don't drive too far. I'll talk to the MTL guys and see if I can hook you up.

Alscad56
07-12-12, 06:57 PM
Don't forget the shift points are now screwed up, too. Don't drive too far. I'll talk to the MTL guys and see if I can hook you up.

I thought the shift points were related to the engine rpm and torque? Because the car seems to shift fine. Thanks for your input! I hope you can get in touch with your contacts for the tuning. Very much appreciated!!:worship:

jayoldschool
07-12-12, 07:19 PM
No, the shift points are based off a table in the PCM values.

I've put a request on the Impala board for a Montreal programmer to contact me. I'll keep you posted.

drmenard
07-12-12, 10:08 PM
I have a PCM out of a 94 with a towing package.. The code for the rear is GU6 so thats a 3.42 ... If you want to trade , I will do that as long as you pay all the shipping...This PCM was out of my sons car that got crushed by a tree branch..Still got the car...I stripped off many parts , Its got to go by by soon...

Alscad56
07-14-12, 02:07 PM
Well, I just did a trial run with my Fleetwood, pulling my 3000lbs trailer. Drove it for 1.5 hrs. Today was a good time to test because it is very hot and humid! No problems,though. The car behaved very well and the coolant temp. never exceeded 185 degrees F. going uphill and down,etc. Glad I had a GPS, so I can know what speed I was doing!

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g171/RaBCadillac/IMG_0963.jpg
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g171/RaBCadillac/IMG_0965.jpg

j2rossit
07-14-12, 04:19 PM
are those buick Ralleys?
They look an awful lot like my Wildcat's!
http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj580/j2rossit/Wild%20Kitty/compDSC03497.jpg

MrHolland
07-14-12, 06:39 PM
Buick, maybe Pontiac. They look good. I never wouldve thought about those rims.

talismandave
07-14-12, 07:35 PM
Buick baby...old school. Mine under the Cadillac crest was a Riviera logo!
They look great on that newer body style.:thumbsup:http://i1153.photobucket.com/albums/p519/davidpraedel/talismandave/caddyInOnThePark.jpg

csbuckn
07-14-12, 08:01 PM
If I was going to be towing a lot, eventually I'd run the rear shock air fill lines to a scrader valve so I could adjust it better than the level ride system. Doesnt seem to be able to compensate. Rims do look good with that color.

Alscad56
07-15-12, 12:19 AM
If I was going to be towing a lot, eventually I'd run the rear shock air fill lines to a scrader valve so I could adjust it better than the level ride system. Doesnt seem to be able to compensate. Rims do look good with that color.

It was my first time towing with weight distribution bars. I most likely did not set them right. As for the air ride system, Cadillac recommends to disable the rear air shocks while towing loads (based on the owner's manual). But I have replaced the shocks with Sensa-Trac load adjuster shocks, as the air ride system was non-functional.

Alscad56
07-15-12, 12:20 AM
Yup! They are Buick rims. Got a good deal on them from a buddy of mine.

MrHolland
07-15-12, 12:29 AM
It was my first time towing with weight distribution bars. I most likely did not set them right. As for the air ride system, Cadillac recommends to disable the rear air shocks while towing loads (based on the owner's manual). But I have replaced the shocks with Sensa-Trac load adjuster shocks, as the air ride system was non-functional.
Is disabling the air ride a simple process??

MrHolland
07-15-12, 12:31 AM
Buick baby...old school. Mine under the Cadillac crest was a Riviera logo!
They look great on that newer body style.:thumbsup:http://i1153.photobucket.com/albums/p519/davidpraedel/talismandave/caddyInOnThePark.jpg
Thats sharp!!!

Aron9000
07-15-12, 12:46 AM
[QUOTE=MrHolland;3026286]Is disabling the air ride a simple process??[/QUOT

Pull the fuse.

I was going to suggest that while you had the diff apart that you put in a set of 3.73's and a posi unit in there. 3.73's will hurt your gas mileage a little, but I've heard they'll gain you over half a second e.t. in the quarter mile. From the butt-o-meter perspective it'll feel like a new car.

talismandave
07-15-12, 12:52 AM
Yup! They are Buick rims. Got a good deal on them from a buddy of mine.
Now he just has to find some off a compact of that era to fit the trailer!:rolleyes: Did Buick have a Monza/Sunbird model then?

MrHolland
07-15-12, 01:28 AM
^^^Thats a great idea!! I love the look when a trailer matches the tow vehicle rims. Its the small things^^^

Alscad56
07-15-12, 10:22 AM
Is disabling the air ride a simple process??

Yes. To disable the air ride, you simply remove the "Maxi" fuse #9 (30amp) in the engine compartment,passenger side.

Incidentally, for those who may not be aware, you can get the full 1994 FWB owner's manual online at:
http://www.manualowl.com/am/Cadillac/1994-Fleetwood/Manual/179

Alscad56
07-15-12, 10:24 AM
Now he just has to find some off a compact of that era to fit the trailer!:rolleyes: Did Buick have a Monza/Sunbird model then?

That's a good idea!:thumbsup:

Alscad56
07-15-12, 10:39 AM
[QUOTE=MrHolland;3026286]Is disabling the air ride a simple process??[/QUOT


I was going to suggest that while you had the diff apart that you put in a set of 3.73's and a posi unit in there. 3.73's will hurt your gas mileage a little, but I've heard they'll gain you over half a second e.t. in the quarter mile. From the butt-o-meter perspective it'll feel like a new car.

The reason I took 3.23 was so that it would not hurt the fuel mileage too much. Gas up here is over $1.30 a litre. Anyway, the new gears already gave the car a massive increase in power and acceleration! I have a cold-air intake which adds to the power increase. I'm tempted to go to the local dragstrip to test my quarter mile capabilities...:alchi:

MrHolland
07-15-12, 07:28 PM
Dont race it!!! The clock is reality, put there to hurt your feelings. The "seat of the pants" clock will always read faster.

talismandave
07-15-12, 07:41 PM
Amen brother, I undefeated bench racing!:bouncy:

MrHolland
07-15-12, 07:58 PM
As long as we never meet, we'll both stay undefeated!!!!

talismandave
07-15-12, 08:34 PM
I would gladly take a lose if we ever get the chance.:highfive:

jayoldschool
07-15-12, 09:07 PM
If it hooks, I'll guess... 15.4 at 89mph. Sanair and Napierville are both pretty close...

MrHolland
07-15-12, 10:23 PM
That's respectable for a luxury liner!!!! And if someone breaks, you can always put them on the trailer and tow them home.

cadillac_al
07-17-12, 08:19 AM
It doesn't make sense to me to disable the level ride while towing. That will make the rear very soft; just the opposite of what you want for towing. I would do some experimenting. 3000 lbs isn't very much weight to pull; it should pull very easy. Those U haul car trailers are 2000 lbs empty and you can hardly feel that.

Alscad56
07-18-12, 08:33 PM
It doesn't make sense to me to disable the level ride while towing. That will make the rear very soft; just the opposite of what you want for towing. I would do some experimenting. 3000 lbs isn't very much weight to pull; it should pull very easy. Those U haul car trailers are 2000 lbs empty and you can hardly feel that.

For light trailers, you don't need to disable the air-ride. But for heavy trailers with more tongue weight, the weight could damage the air ride system. So they recommend to use a torsion bar,leveling system with your hitch, which would prevent the car from sagging.
Besides, my trailer weighs 1379kg = 3040lbs dry weight. Which means no water in the tank, no propane tanks,no A/C on top,etc. So my trailer weighs more like 3300lbs (no water). Plus you have to take into account the load you put in the trailer, in the car + passengers. Now we're approaching 4000lbs to pull. Add water in the tanks, and we pass 4200lbs. Unless your car has the proper diff. ratio, going up hill with that weight could kill your transmission and overheat the engine.

Alscad56
08-10-12, 02:22 PM
Update...
The ECM is finally tuned. Everything seems in sync. Car runs great! Now I'm ready for my 2000 mi. round trip to SC! Hope all goes well...:bouncy:

SilverCoupe
08-10-12, 04:33 PM
Have a good trip Alscad... Good info and helpful info on this read. P.S. your rig looks awesome, I like to see FWB's doing work.:bouncy:

talismandave
08-10-12, 05:16 PM
Glad to hear it is all a go for the trip. That is the rig to do it in.
I wish for you smooth sailing, fair skies, and following seas!(er...winds, following winds!)

Alscad56
08-21-12, 08:53 PM
Thanks guys, for the well wishes! We are back from our 2000mi. trip. And the Fleetwood performed flawlessly! No problems whatsoever! no, we did not tow the trailer there because we have decided to book an oceanfront room. Needless to say, we averaged 23-25mpg doing 65-75 mph! Not bad, considering the diff. ratio is at 3.23!!
I gotta say, it was damn hard not to floor the accelerator because the power is amazing,to say the least!
I guess what helped was the cold air intake, and tuning done on the ECM.
As for the trailer, we're going to start out by going to campsites which are more local...until I get the total confidence to do long trips with it. (It is my first camper trailer)

jayoldschool
08-21-12, 10:07 PM
Glad to hear it worked out!

BigCadMan_1
08-22-12, 02:42 AM
Did you say "I guess what helped was the cold air intake"?

Alscad56
08-22-12, 10:31 AM
Did you say "I guess what helped was the cold air intake"?

Yes, I did! Because ever since I installed the CAI, the car's performance and economy has increased. No foolin'! Of course, when the diff. ratio was changed, it added better acceleration to the already improved performance.

BigCadMan_1
08-22-12, 01:30 PM
Is your cold air cone behind the grill or in the engine bay?

jayoldschool
08-22-12, 01:37 PM
You can get engine bay intakes that use a fresh air box to avoid sucking in hot air. For example, the K&N FIPK. Using scanning software, you can monitor intake air temps, and it makes a huge difference.

Alscad56
08-22-12, 09:02 PM
Is your cold air cone behind the grill or in the engine bay?

It's in the engine bay, right where the original air filter box was. Okay, I know, the air is not as cold there. But there is a markable increase in performance as it is. Since I installed the CAI, by fuel mileage increased by 2-3 mpg/hwy. Of course I try not to race it....(as I discovered it to be a challenge, sometimes,lol!)

BigCadMan_1
08-22-12, 10:04 PM
If your cold cone is not in a fresh air box as Jason has pointed out & the PCM not updated to reflect your upgrade, your probably pulling more hot air than cold.......& you may be suffering from the placebo bling effect.

BigCadMan_1
08-22-12, 10:05 PM
You can get engine bay intakes that use a fresh air box to avoid sucking in hot air. For example, the K&N FIPK. Using scanning software, you can monitor intake air temps, and it makes a huge difference.

This is where I was going.

jayoldschool
08-22-12, 11:40 PM
Build a cold air box out of plastic or sheet aluminum! You can get a piece of aluminum from Home Hardware really cheap. Just ask them for "flashing". Make your template for the box out of cardboard.

Alscad56
08-23-12, 09:56 AM
If your cold cone is not in a fresh air box as Jason has pointed out & the PCM not updated to reflect your upgrade, your probably pulling more hot air than cold.......& you may be suffering from the placebo bling effect.

When I had the stock air filter box, I was lucky if I did 350kms (hwy) in a half tank. Ever since I put in the CAI, I averaged 400kms/half tank(hwy). Driving habits the same. Then I recently had the PCM tuned, and the mileage jumped to 435kms/half tank(hwy driving). (we use the metric system up here).
If I'm suffering from placebo bling effect, lol! Then my odometer is way off track!:rolleyes::duck:
But, I may try out the suggestion on putting a box. Who knows, I might get even better mileage!