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Old 09 Feb 2006, 01:10 am
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Default Here's a surprise

On another forum they were talking about towing and a guy said that the PT Cruiser wouldn't be good because it only had 4 cylinders and he needed 6 cylinders to pull his boat. I did a little research and found that the 4 Cylinder PT Cruiser has practically the same HP as the Ford's F-150 V8... that's V-EIGHT, not V-SIX !!!
Ford F-150 with a 4.6 L V8 has 231 HP
PT Cruiser GT with a 2.4 L 4 cylinder has 230 HP

The F-150 has more torque (293 vs 245), but the PT Cruiser GT still beats the torque of most 6 cylinder pickups, including the Ford Ranger with it's upgraded 4 liter V6.

Torque comparison (from Edmunds.com):
Ford Ranger 3 liter V6 - 180 lb-ft @ 3950 RPM
Jeep Wrangler 4 liter inline 6 - 235 lb-ft @ 3200 RPM
Dodge Durango 3.7 liter V6 - 235 ft-lb @ 4000 RPM
Ford Ranger 4 liter V6 - 238 ft-lb @ 3000 RPM
PT Cruiser GT 4 Cylinder 2.4 liter Turbo - 245 ft-lb @ 2800 RPM

The PT Cruiser beats all of those, and at a lower RPM.

HP comparison:
Chevrolet Uplander Cargo Minivan 3.5L 6cyl - 201 hp @ 5600 rpm
Ford Explorer 4.0L 6cyl - 210 hp @ 5100 rpm
Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.7L 6cyl - 210 hp @ 5200 rpm
Chrysler PT Cruiser GT 2.4L 4cyl Turbo - 230 hp @ 5100 rpm
Ford F-150 4.6L 8cyl - 231 hp @ 4750 rpm
Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 4.7L 8cyl 235 hp @ 4400 rpm

It seems you need to go to 8 cylinders to compete with the turbo.

The only problem with the PT Cruiser GT seems to be that the towing capacity is 1,000 lbs. Does anyone know why the towing capacity is so low? I seem to recall reading that Chrysler chose a "beam" axle over independent to increase it's load carrying capacity. Can the chassis be reinforced to increase towing capacity?
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Old 09 Feb 2006, 11:10 am
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Dunno for sure, but I'd think brakes are a factor in how much you'd wanna tow. Transmission and cooling are 2 other areas that get more of a burden with towing.
I read on the UK and Aussie PT Forums that they can tow 900 Kgs - strange since a Kg is 2.2 pounds and they have a smaller engine...[:I]
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Old 09 Feb 2006, 12:36 pm
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by quicksilverdon

Dunno for sure, but I'd think brakes are a factor in how much you'd wanna tow. Transmission and cooling are 2 other areas that get more of a burden with towing.
I read on the UK and Aussie PT Forums that they can tow 900 Kgs - strange since a Kg is 2.2 pounds and they have a smaller engine...[:I]
Maybe they have different safety standards?
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Old 09 Feb 2006, 06:27 pm
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Normally, turbocharged vehicles are not recommended to towing very much. I am not sure exactly why, but I suspect that they don't really design the turbo and transmission for that sort of use.

If the turbo is putting X amount of HP to the transmission and the transmission is under a heavy load, it's not likely to last nearly as long. especially without a mroe beefed up transmission cooler.
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Old 10 Feb 2006, 09:32 am
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This is the answer I got on another forum:

"I've always read that vehicles with a separate steel frame are suitable as tow vehicles, and that so-called "frameless" vehicles are not. Most pickup trucks and some SUVs have frames. Many car-based SUVs do not. IF you check the tow capacities of vehicles from the same manufacturer with the same engine but with and sans frames, you'll usually see a big difference."

Does that seem to make sense?
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Old 11 Feb 2006, 04:37 pm
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by crazyjoe

Normally, turbocharged vehicles are not recommended to towing very much. I am not sure exactly why, but I suspect that they don't really design the turbo and transmission for that sort of use.
That's not entirely true. Most rigs, buses, fire trucks, etc. have turbo or even twin-turbo diesel engines.

The PT just doesn't have low enough gearing to be an effective tow vehicle Plus the tranny and chassis just aren't strong enough.
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Old 12 Feb 2006, 12:01 am
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[^]all are very interesting, but Mr. bluestreak is on to something. It makes sense!
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Old 12 Feb 2006, 02:12 am
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The PT Cruiser could have 800hp and 900 lb/ft of torque and it would still suck at towing. It doesn't have enough weight/mass to control anything with weight. Front wheel drive doesn't help much either.

And whoever said that a turbo engine isn't good for towing is totally wrong. Every big rid on the road has a BIG turbo on it.
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Old 13 Feb 2006, 12:45 pm
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First, a turbo diesel is a different animal than a turbo gasoline HP engine. One is designed to work under heavy loads for long periods of time, the other for short bursts of power.
Second, while HP is good, low-to-midrange torque is what pulls the trailer. Comparing typical full load numbers isn't the best way to check for this. These numbers are from a dyno pull with a load at full throttle. Sounds good, but this is very short term. It doesn't match a long hill at speed.
Weight and size make good tow rigs. You also want something with lots of cooling and brakes. These are not areas where the PT has a surplus.
Finally, the suspension and driveline must be able to support and pull the load. The suspension isn't designed for big loads, and while a few might disagree, RWD is the best way to tow. A frame is good, but necessary. Unfortunatly, darn near all unibody cars are not designed with a real strong rear area to attach tow equipment.
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Old 15 Feb 2006, 08:55 pm
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[8)]I have a 2,000 lb tent trailer that I have towed behind both my 01 PT and my 05 GT ragtop. The 01 has trailer brakes and the 05 doesn't. I've towed the tent trailer up into the mountains with both rigs and have had no problems at all other than not being able to see around the trailer.
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