Originally Posted by tugboat95
Two things for you. I have a 165BH. Weighs 3050 loaded with a tongue weight of 415lbs., actual weights from CAT scale. I pulled it with a V6 Ford Escape. 3500 lbs tow capacity. This pulled it ok but not great. Really strained to reach 60mph. Fuel mileage went from close to 30 to 12. I bought a cheap Chevy Suburban. (Only get 9mpg towing) What a difference that made towing. No more white knuckle towing and a whole lot less bounce going down the road. Towed 900 Miles each way a few months ago with no issues. Almost forgot it was back there at 65mph. I'm not afraid to use the Escape for short trips (less than 100 miles) but ain't no way I would use it for a long haul or in mountains. These smaller vehicles will do it but be careful. They are at their limits. Watch all your temps and use whatever device Toyota has to keep it out of overdrive. Limit the gear hunt. Rather run it higher RPM than constantly shifting gears.
Next, how hard was the axle flip? Been thinking about doing it for a year now. Do I need any special tools or kit to do the job. How long did it take? I'm pretty handy(marine engine mechanic) but I've never messed with suspensions before. What would I need to look at for trouble issues? What gave you trouble?
the escape V6 has 203 hp, vs the rav4's 269hp, those exta 66hp make a big difference since I have no difficulty accellerating. the transmission oil temperature is the only problem I found, with even with the towing package and it's extra oil cooler, I was seeing over 200F with my scangauge. Installed a 14.4btu cooler and temps without towing dropped by 35F (should be the same when towing).
the axle flip was pretty easy with the dexter kit, took about 2 hours to do the actual job. took me more time because I decide to change out the nylon spring bushings and I damaged one of the eye bolts. you don't need to weld the spring mounts, but for peace of mind, they recommend doing a couple of spot welds to make sure they never move.
just don't make the same mistake as me when you re-setup your wd hitch after the axle is flipped, I messed up the angles when raising the hitch... reason I started this thread originally