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Old 12-06-2018
Geo Jeep  Geo Jeep is offline
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Default Towing with my JK - modify or replace?

Morning all.

I have a 2011 JK CRD Auto 4 door and it has recently taken on the additional task of towing a 1.8 t pop-top caravan. I realise that whilst this is well under the max towing capacity of the truck it is still not ideal as JKs weren't really designed with towing in mind.

Anyway so whilst it has the power/torque to tow really well to the extent that it is easy to forget that you have the van on the back the main issue as I'm sure you will already have guessed is overheating of the transmission and engine.

Reading through these forums a lot of people recommend a transmission cooler, mine already has a stock one but I still get issues with the transmission getting too hot. Are the standard ones just rubbish or am I just asking too much of it? Are there better after market ones out there and can they be safely positioned elsewhere i.e. not in front of the radiator?

Speaking of radiator the water temp also gets hot, if I move the transmission cooler elsewhere will this solve any overheating problems completely or will it still be an issue for the CRD? Is one of those MOPAR bonnets with the vent on top any use to reduce engine bay temps or does it just look good? Would a heavy duty fan solve both the water and transmission heat issues?

I am running stock suspension and whilst I haven't noticed any issues as yet people have complained about suspension sag over time so is this something else that needs to be addressed?

At the end of the day I love my Jeep and have been on some great adventures with it - it has been to every mainland state and capital city (bar Syd) but as my life has changed so has it's role, there is now less camping and off-roading and more towing a caravan. Is it worth making a stack of mods to a truck that is over six years old to assist it in a role that was way down the list of considerations when it was designed or is it time to change vehicles?

You advice on this please. Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-06-2018
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How often are you towing?

2014+ Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 8 speed and 3.0 diesel make great tow cars.
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Old 12-06-2018
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People get mixed results with all the things you have mentioned.

I would highly recommend moving the transmission cooler away from the radiator. A lot of people mount them under the rear diff. Mine is behind a custom bashplate down below the chassis crossmember. Get one with a massive fan if possible. My cooler doesn't keep the trans icy, but it does remove the heat source from the main radiator, and keeps it cool enough

The Hayden 2905 clutch fan might help with engine temps once you move the trans cooler.

I don't think fancy bonnets will do much good, I have vents and didn't notice anything drastic.

How are you reading your temps, do you have an OBD port reader of some sort to give a digital read out?

For suspension, if you're happy with stock height, I highly recommend getting airbags, you can pump them up when towing, and deflate when you don't need the firmness. Get ones that entirely fill the coil, bumpstop to bumpstop (you can measure this height with the car unloaded. Airbags come in 1 inch increments so get the next full inch to make sure you can totally level out the jeep. (mine are from air bag man and they seem decent, they provided the exact size I wanted.)

Keeping these CRDs cool is something we are all trying to do, and basically it comes down to just managing it unfortunately.

I would say get a OBD reader, move the transmission cooler, and get some airbags. Keep it in a lower gear, don't be tempted to try and reduce your engine revs with higher gears. Then find a driving style that keeps the engine temps under 100degC.

There is always the Peter Pauli power lufter, a $2500 electric replacement radiator fan. Not sure anyone in Australia has tried one yet.

Sam
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Old 12-06-2018
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Def get a aftermarket trans cooler and thermo fan and ideally move it away from the radiator.

Upgrade the stock clutch fan to a heavy duty item.

Make sure you have the best aftermarket coolant possible (factory Mopar stuff is garbage) suitable for your 2011+ CRD.

After the above, you shouldn't have any overheating issues unless there is something wrong or faulty. And being a 2011 model you would see temps between 95-105 degrees towing and this would be acceptable.

Also monitor your coolant and trans temps via a OBD2 reader of your choice for realtime figures. The dash is too vague.
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Last edited by Turismo07; 12-06-2018 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 12-06-2018
Geo Jeep  Geo Jeep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turismo07 View Post
Def get a aftermarket trans cooler and thermo fan and ideally move it away from the radiator.

Upgrade the stock clutch fan to a heavy duty item
Are the 'thermo fan' and 'clutch fan' the same thing by a different name or are they two different fans?
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Old 12-06-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo Jeep View Post
Are the 'thermo fan' and 'clutch fan' the same thing by a different name or are they two different fans?
Thermo fan typically refers to a elec fan that is controlled by a temp sensor. For the auto trans cooler, it is ideal so that the fan doesn't come on until the trans fluid rises above operating temp otherwise you'll be constantly driving with cold trans fluid which is not a good idea either. You can buy complete aftermarket kits with a trans cooler and elec fan attached, it would be up to you then to install a temp sensor to activate a switch to turn the elec fan on and off at certain trans fluid temps.

Clutch fan refers to a fan that has is activated by a clutch. The main cooling fan on JK's is a clutch fan. The clutch in clutch fans typically engage (therefore drawing air through the rad) by the temperature changing of the hub, which then allows a certain amount of viscous fluid to pass from one half of the hub to the other half which then causes the blades to spin at increased rpm. This is the most typical style of clutch fan and are often referred to as viscous fans or viscous clutch fans. On the JK, the stock clutch fan is fine when the vehicle is stock and not towing on the hwy etc, but can be easily and cheaply be upgraded to a unit that will engage earlier and draw more airflow which solves nearly 80% of JK owners 'overheating' issues.
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Old 13-06-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeDoctor View Post
How often are you towing?

2014+ Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 8 speed and 3.0 diesel make great tow cars.
Towing the caravan every couple of months on average.

Jeep Grand Cherokee would certainly be a consideration if I did decide to replace the Wrangler.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo Jeep View Post
Towing the caravan every couple of months on average.

Jeep Grand Cherokee would certainly be a consideration if I did decide to replace the Wrangler.
Towing a 2t trailer 6 times a year i'd definitely consider a replacement.

Unless of course I go places that a Grand Cherokee wouldn't go.
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