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Thread: Towing with T56

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  1. #1
    Fuel Injected! CDeeZ's Avatar
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    Towing with T56

    If you search around on the internet, you will find a lot of people that claim that the T56 can-NOT tow....
    Why they say this is beyond me, but I do have some theories....

    1. A bunch of computer chair mechanics and self professed experts are simply regurgitating what they have read some other jackass post on the web.
    2. Dodge stuffed the T56 in the SRT10 pickups but didn't give it a towing rating...... AFAIK this SRT10 is the only production pickup-truck to use the T56.

    Regardless, this is an internet myth that needs to be debunked like the BS that it is......

    So I took my 1990 Silverado with my T56 from Guthrie, Oklahoma to Arkansas City, Kansas to pickup and bring back a longbed F150 for a friend. I have not towed anything this heavy this far since the T56 swap
    I did several years back. My little 1/2 ton with a T56 towed the other truck and trailer with pure ease. Torque multiplication is the key if you're going to tow with a T56 (or anything for that matter). My
    torque multiplication comes in the form of 4.88 gears in my 14-bolt semi floater.

    Now I prefer to be very scientific and quantative, but unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to run the whole rig over a scale.
    I'm estimating the two trucks, plus the trailer, ramps, tools, etc. to easily be 10,000 LBS in total.....

    With the 4.88 gears I was even able to keep the trans in 6th gear MOST of the time. I had to downshift into 5th to climb a few hills with all that weight, but all in all the truck performed like a beast.
    I drove up to Arkansas City with just my truck. In Arkansas City, we hooked up the trailer, loaded the F150 on the back, and headed back to Guthrie, OK... Round trip burned up 1/2 a tank of gas... Not bad at all...


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDeeZ View Post
    If you search around on the internet, you will find a lot of people that claim that the T56 can-NOT tow....
    Why they say this is beyond me, but I do have some theories....

    1. A bunch of computer chair mechanics and self professed experts are simply regurgitating what they have read some other jackass post on the web.
    2. Dodge stuffed the T56 in the SRT10 pickups but didn't give it a towing rating...... AFAIK this SRT10 is the only production pickup-truck to use the T56.

    Regardless, this is an internet myth that needs to be debunked like the BS that it is......

    So I took my 1990 Silverado with my T56 from Guthrie, Oklahoma to Arkansas City, Kansas to pickup and bring back a longbed F150 for a friend. I have not towed anything this heavy this far since the T56 swap
    I did several years back. My little 1/2 ton with a T56 towed the other truck and trailer with pure ease. Torque multiplication is the key if you're going to tow with a T56 (or anything for that matter). My
    torque multiplication comes in the form of 4.88 gears in my 14-bolt semi floater.

    Now I prefer to be very scientific and quantative, but unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to run the whole rig over a scale.
    I'm estimating the two trucks, plus the trailer, ramps, tools, etc. to easily be 10,000 LBS in total.....

    With the 4.88 gears I was even able to keep the trans in 6th gear MOST of the time. I had to downshift into 5th to climb a few hills with all that weight, but all in all the truck performed like a beast.
    I drove up to Arkansas City with just my truck. In Arkansas City, we hooked up the trailer, loaded the F150 on the back, and headed back to Guthrie, OK... Round trip burned up 1/2 a tank of gas... Not bad at all...

    Not saying it can't be done, but compare the gears in a T56 to the gears in a NV4500 or even NV3500 and you will understand why they say don't tow with them.

  3. #3
    Fuel Injected! CDeeZ's Avatar
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    Yes the New Venture boxes have a much shorter 1st gear to help get the load moving. If you were going to be towing a lot of weight every single day then perhaps the NV would be a better choice. I don't know for certain, but I'm going to make a wild guess that few if any vehicles came with the NV3500 or NV4500 AND 4.88 gears.... What I'm getting at is while the T56 has a much taller 1st gear, this is overcome by the short geared 4.88s I'm running. I can start off in 2nd when I'm just cruising around cuz 1st doesn't last too long.

    Honestly though, I think the consideration of only trans ratios by themselves is useless. And the consideration of just a ring and pinion ratio by itself is useless. IMO you have to look at the whole picture, being ALL of the ratios; the trans ratios, the R&P ratio, and how they compliment (or detract) from one another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast355 View Post
    Not saying it can't be done, but compare the gears in a T56 to the gears in a NV4500 or even NV3500 and you will understand why they say don't tow with them.
    um the t56 gears are at least as thick and actually have more teeth, thus more tooth contact. compared to a m-20 or 21 or even a 22, they are more heavy duty..... the 4500's are cast iron, and have slightly larger diameter gears....... it's probably more of a trade off --

    Not sure I would trade a 4500 for a t56 in a 1 ton, but just saying the t56 is a rather stout trans and can handle a bunch of power.

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    I was reading the post and found it a little disappointing you didn't at least have transmission oil temperature data to back-up your internet myth claim. Sure, it did the tow without failing, but the oil could have been running very hot (think >250*F), which won't be too healthy for the long term life of the transmission.

  6. #6
    Fuel Injected! CDeeZ's Avatar
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    I was reading all 13 of your posts and found it a little disappointing that you don't have anything of your own to contribute to towing with a T56.

    I hauled that 11,000 LB rig over a hundred miles with no issues. Could I have been more scientific? Perhaps? Could I have installed NASA spec super secret laser beam transmisssion oil temperature monitors? Perhaps. Sometimes you just got to get the job done, and stop the endless mental masturbation of trying to over analyze every little thing.

    You are right about towing potentially causing faster thermal breakdown of oils. This is one reason why we change our oils. The oil gets contaminated, and chemically and thermally breaks down, thus requiring it to be changed.

    We're working on our screenplay of this episode of T56 towing, tentatively called On The Road 2.0..............

  7. #7
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    So, since you don't like my post you attack me like an asshat???

    Good job...

    So when someone reads your claim that it's fine and tries to tow a load a 1000 miles and their transmission fails your answer will be that he should have changed the oil every 100 miles? If your transmission was cooking then you could have lowered the oil life from 10's of thousands of miles to 100's of miles.

    Overall, your post claiming that your success means any worries about towing with a T56 are mindless is just more internet drivel since you have no real data to back it up. Don't bother coming back unless you have an oil temperature reading or an oil sample.
    Last edited by lionelhutz; 12-13-2013 at 04:53 PM.

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