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Old 05-08-2003, 12:10 PM   #1
jackwrx
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Default Towing capacity

Ok, so go ahead and flame me, but does anyone know the towing capacity on the STI?
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Old 05-08-2003, 12:13 PM   #2
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most likely 2000lbs, just like all other Imprezas

someone with a 2004 wrx manual should be able to verify this
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Old 05-08-2003, 01:32 PM   #3
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Default Tow

jackwrx posted:
Quote:
go ahead and flame me, but does anyone know the towing capacity on the STI?
IMO, an excellant question. First, I tow a race trailer full of tires and tools to the track. Second, I was hoping maybe to tow my other Suby lightweight racer with the STi. That would be cool, but it is probably to big of a stretch.

Mike
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:40 PM   #4
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It's my understanding you should not be towing anything with a turboed car.......
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Porsche914boxer4
It's my understanding you should not be towing anything with a turboed car.......
Ditto!
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Porsche914boxer4
It's my understanding you should not be towing anything with a turboed car.......
I guess that kinda depends on the car. I certainly wouldn't tow a lot with a WRX or STi, but in my case a 15' cat shouldn't tax it much. OTOH, a lot of diesel trucks, big and small, are turbocharged. They, of course, are designed to tow - so now we are back to it must depend on the car. I would agree that most turbo cars are NOT set up to tow much at all.

About towing a race trailer with a car, that really isn't a great idea although some do it. Even if the car can pull it, and stop it, it almost always isn't safe from a handling standpoint. That thing gets to wagging, and the next thing you know you'll be balled up in the ditch. That's why duallies are such a good idea even if not necessary due to the weight. Even just a 24' race trailer can get really exciting in a bad way with a normal 3/4 ton Pickup. I saw a full-size Blazer just about lose it on the highway with a 35' powerboat last week.

Everything else being equal, AWD cars are a lot better than others in handling a trailer, but still not good enough for more than the lightest trailers.
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:20 PM   #7
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Subaru has already said 2000lb with trailer brakes, 1000lb without, just like the WRX.
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:59 PM   #8
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Why is towing with a turbo vehicle any different that a non turbo? If anything the turbo should be better at it, when traveling over high altitudes the turbo can keep the amount of air to fuel the same as lower altitudes, instead of dumping extra fuel into the engine as it retunes itself for the new air density.

Sometimes I think people post just to increase the post count.

Towing with an Impreza has a problem, you have to install a tow receiver. This is a good amount of weight that is on the edge of the vehicle. Does some type of quick disconnect receiver exist?
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Old 05-08-2003, 04:52 PM   #9
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from www.subaru.com....

Maximum Towing Capacity (pounds)** 2000

**When properly equipped. See Owner's Manual for detailed instructions you should follow when towing a trailer.
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Old 05-08-2003, 06:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Porsche914boxer4
It's my understanding you should not be towing anything with a turboed car.......
Hilarious! Turbo car bad but turbo truck good????
Duramax, Powerstroke, and Cummins owners were duped...

2000 lbs worth of trailer full o tired and tools... Lots of WRX owners do it now. Many a sports car is seen every Sunday towing tires to the races....
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Old 05-08-2003, 06:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by MonoSki


Hilarious! Turbo car bad but turbo truck good????
Duramax, Powerstroke, and Cummins owners were duped...

2000 lbs worth of trailer full o tired and tools... Lots of WRX owners do it now. Many a sports car is seen every Sunday towing tires to the races....
yes.... I think it has something to do with the load and killing your tubo faster... ill find the info somewhere.
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Old 05-08-2003, 06:41 PM   #12
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It wouldn't put extra strain on your turbo. They run at the same rpms as they would normally. The engine itslef would be under more load, but not the turbo.
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Old 05-08-2003, 06:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by MonoSki


Hilarious! Turbo car bad but turbo truck good????
Duramax, Powerstroke, and Cummins owners were duped...

2000 lbs worth of trailer full o tired and tools... Lots of WRX owners do it now. Many a sports car is seen every Sunday towing tires to the races....
Whatever dude.
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Old 05-08-2003, 06:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pre-diddy
It wouldn't put extra strain on your turbo. They run at the same rpms as they would normally. The engine itslef would be under more load, but not the turbo.
I am afraid that is incorrect. Turbos are load dependant beasts. If you tow enough to put the engine under significant strain, the turbo will be working much harder indeed. Up to a certain point, the turbo itself may not mind too much. The problem comes with extended duration. The high temperatures that the turbo is used to start to spread to the rest of the engine bay. Likely victims are; the manifolds/piping between the heads and turbos, fasteners, and any rubber hoses etc. that are heat sensitive - including under the car near the exhaust.

I have had downpipes come apart at the welds, exhaust manifold bolts shear off in the head, exhaust manifolds crack, rubber hoses sag and collapse. This is just due to time at temperature over the years without towing. Towing can cause all of that in very short order. Turbo diesels run VERY low EGT's compared to gasoline turbos.

Towing a small trailer with race tires is one thing, towing a race car is quite another. The numbers SoA puts out seem properly conservative, I wouldn't push them by much.
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:39 PM   #15
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I don't think I would want to tow anything in a vehicle with such a short wheelbase. I remember my buddy towing a very small boat with his V8 Jeep Cherokee. Even though it had adequate power, things still got interesting at times...
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:47 PM   #16
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With that rational I couldn't use it or a WRX for that matter to go skiing...

4 people 700lbs + gas 100lbs + gear 100lbs ect....
Certainly heavier than a trailer with tires, or a jet ski for that matter...
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Old 05-08-2003, 11:03 PM   #17
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This seems to be a subject of much speculation and little proof!

The only thing I could see as being a big factor on the turbo is exhaust gas temperature. Yes, under load the EGTs go up but probably not enough to make any noticeable decrease in life expectancy of a turbo. Going WOT between apexes will boost the EGTs a hell of a lot higher than towing 2000lbs at 65MPH. If somebody is gonna kill a turbo in the STi, it will likely be from not idling down after driving. Second likely would be overuse of the loud pedal.

Case in point: for grins, I instrumented my 150HP cavalier while towing my rocket (700lbs w/ trailer) at 75MPH for 4 hours. I was seeing a about a 50 degree (F) increase across all 4 cylinders...pretty small, and insignificant to a turbo. This is a 2.4L, (the STi being a 2.5L) and it seems to handle the extra load with grace (they seem to have enough cubes to handle towing well). I'm sure the STi will too. As long as you're not trying to smoke a Cobra with 2000lbs out back, the turbo probably won't care.

Besides, as long as you tow <2000, Subaru will have to replace your turbo under warranty. So I highly doubt they would offer a towing capacity/hitch if they found it hurt their turboed cars.

Uhh, almost forgot to include the disclaimer: if you tow 2000lbs in New York traffic, you will see dramatic increases in EGT and underhood temps....but these skyrocket anyway even without anything attached. I guess same goes for Arizona. Anyway, it might not be a good idea to tow this much weight in these conditions and expect the engine to last 200,000 miles...

Last edited by archmanzREX04; 05-08-2003 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 05-08-2003, 11:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by MonoSki
With that rational I couldn't use it or a WRX for that matter to go skiing...

4 people 700lbs + gas 100lbs + gear 100lbs ect....
Certainly heavier than a trailer with tires, or a jet ski for that matter...
Towing are carrying are completely different things though. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) on the inside of the B-pillar tells you how much you can carry.

Towing is about much more than power; even though my buddies F-150 has less power and torque than the STi, the much longer wheelbase and added weight make it a far superior tower.

If you want to tow, buy a truck IMO.
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Old 05-08-2003, 11:17 PM   #19
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Back in the day a buddy of mine and I used to tow a fully race prepped & gutted 'CRX' to Auto-X events behind a box stock Civic three door and had zero problems (engine, tranny, chassis, handlig, or brakes). The Civic would of course go through brake pads prematurely but that was just considered a maintenance item.

We used a U-Haul style front wheel load 'dragger' and packed all the tools, spares, wheels & tires within the 'tractor' and 'trailer' being careful to distribute the weight low and evenly so as not to over tax the Civic.

We drove as far south as Norfolk, VA from MD in all manner of weather and not once did either of us as drivers ever have a problem. Though we would at times have fun by slapping the front tag from the Civic onto the backof the CRX, remove her from the trailer and take it for a quick spin & dart along the highway.

Man, those were good times...

Anyway, I was thinking of rigging up a tow trailer for my STi to bring all manner of crap. As long as you are careful and not taking exit ramps at 50MPH and have _good_ and well maintianed tires on the trailer things should be okay.
Remember to stay within load limits as specified by SOA. They are stated for a reason...your saftey.

- Janq
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Old 05-09-2003, 09:51 AM   #20
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When it comes down to it, the WRX is limited by the hitch class it can use, if nothing else. The U-Haul/Draw-Tite hitches that are made for the WRX are only rated up to 2000lbs, period.

FWIW, I towed a non-braked U-Haul trailer across the US with my WRX. I never had it weighed, but I suspect it was "too much". I didn't have any "problems" but as to the long term effects, I guess we'll have to see. I do seem to go through oil at a pretty good clip, but I'm not sure if that's from aggressive driving or what.
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Old 05-09-2003, 10:49 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Corn-Picker


Towing are carrying are completely different things though. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) on the inside of the B-pillar tells you how much you can carry.

Towing is about much more than power; even though my buddies F-150 has less power and torque than the STi, the much longer wheelbase and added weight make it a far superior tower.

If you want to tow, buy a truck IMO.
I don't get your logic. How is the tourque required to get a car with 4 passangers (800 pounds) moving different than the tourque required to get a car with the driver (200 pounds) and a 600 pound trailer moving?

The only limitations I see are the frame and trailer hitch being able to handle the different stresses that a trailer puts on the rear of the car? To the engine, it should make no difference!

800 pounds of cargo are 800 pounds of cargo!

-BrianK
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Old 05-09-2003, 01:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by briank


I don't get your logic. How is the tourque required to get a car with 4 passangers (800 pounds) moving different than the tourque required to get a car with the driver (200 pounds) and a 600 pound trailer moving?

The only limitations I see are the frame and trailer hitch being able to handle the different stresses that a trailer puts on the rear of the car? To the engine, it should make no difference!

800 pounds of cargo are 800 pounds of cargo!

-BrianK
well the drag of a 600lb trailer would play a big part...

Quote:
It wouldn't put extra strain on your turbo. They run at the same rpms as they would normally. The engine itslef would be under more load, but not the turbo.
hmmm tubo runs on hot gasses.... motor = hot gas generator.....

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Old 05-09-2003, 01:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by briank


I don't get your logic. How is the tourque required to get a car with 4 passangers (800 pounds) moving different than the tourque required to get a car with the driver (200 pounds) and a 600 pound trailer moving?

The only limitations I see are the frame and trailer hitch being able to handle the different stresses that a trailer puts on the rear of the car? To the engine, it should make no difference!

800 pounds of cargo are 800 pounds of cargo!

-BrianK
I'll bet you have not served time in the military.

Sometime this weekend go home and pack an old back pack with about 100lbs. of stuff. Have someone help it up on to your back and then go for a brief jog up the street and back. And pick a road/street that has a slight incline/decline to it. A short distance is all you'll need.
Then, put that same pack with 100lbs of stuff into a pull cart (i.e. a baby stroller) and drag it behind you the same distance (after a brief rest).

You'll find that even with the cart having wheels it requires more effort (energy) to pull the cart the same distance at the same speed than it did to 'hump' the pack.

Let us know your findings...

- Janq
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Old 05-09-2003, 02:39 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by totoherbs

well the drag of a 600lb trailer would play a big part...
Yes, you are correct, the trailer will have some drag from airflow and the wheels. That's why I was only talking about getting the car moving.

Quote:
Originally posted by Janq
I'll bet you have not served time in the military.

Sometime this weekend go home and pack an old back pack with about 100lbs. of stuff. Have someone help it up on to your back and then go for a brief jog up the street and back. And pick a road/street that has a slight incline/decline to it. A short distance is all you'll need.
Then, put that same pack with 100lbs of stuff into a pull cart (i.e. a baby stroller) and drag it behind you the same distance (after a brief rest).

You'll find that even with the cart having wheels it requires more effort (energy) to pull the cart the same distance at the same speed than it did to 'hump' the pack.

Let us know your findings...
Janq, not sure why'd I'd have to serve in the military to understand this. Must be physics are different in the military! (sorry for the shot at you, but I couldn't resist).

You example barely relates to cars and trailers. If you're back packing the stuff, you have expend energy in different ways. Getting the heavy pack and youself moving forward with every step, plus you have to support that weight above the ground with your shoulders, back and legs.
With a wagon/trailer behind you, that wagon is supporting the weight of the 100lb pack. They only energy you have to expend is getting that weight moving forward. Sure you'll use your hand muscles to grip that wagon, but you could cancel that energy out by roping the wagon to your belt (a strong one!).

And I've personnaly experienced this. I was never capable of carrying 200lbs of brick all the way around my house, but when putting them on a wagon and pulling them behind me, I was able to carry them all in one trip. So I disagree with what you're saying.

In a car towing scenario, all weight is on wheels. It doesn't matter that much which wheels the weight is over. There isn't much rolling resistance from 2 extra trailer wheels from a start, and drag in a non factor. So if a car can get moving with 800pounds of extra people in the car, it can get a trailer with 800pounds moving. I stand by this, but if someone can prove me wrong, please do so.

Now at speed, drag becomes a factor and you will definately see more stress on the engine than if you had that same weight in the cabin. But tow ratings are more about starting and stopping weight on a trailer. They don't rate a car's towing capacity based on the drag from the trailer. Its much more stressful to get the weight moving (force required to build inertia, and strain on the frame and trailer hitch), than to keep it rolling.

-BrianK
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Old 05-09-2003, 05:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by archmanzREX04

Besides, as long as you tow <2000, Subaru will have to replace your turbo under warranty. So I highly doubt they would offer a towing capacity/hitch if they found it hurt their turboed cars.

Kind of like SOA giving out free SCCA memberships then refusing warrantee work on motorsports related breakages.....
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