View Full Version : towing with a F150
10-28-2007, 11:15 AM
I might be getting a F150 free from my brother-in-law. I think it is a 96 model with a inline 6. I have driven the truck before and he has kept in great shape. He is planning on getting a new truck and the dealer isnt going to give him hardly anything for it. I was looking to get a full size truck for my side business and something to tow my BII with. How well will this truck tow. Like I said it is a strait 6 with a 5 sp. regular cab and short box. I live in KY so I got hills to deal with.
10-28-2007, 07:14 PM
The 300 st 6 is a good motor, lots of torque at low rmp. THe book i have says wiht 308 gears, GCW is 6500, with 355 its 7800 lbs. Eather way it will pull a b2 easily
Researched it a bit (http://www.cars.com/go/crp/research.jsp?makeid=14&logtype=7&modelid=180&acode=USA60FOT111A0&superTrim=&mode=&year=1996&myid=2241&destURL=features.jsp§ion=features&mode=&aff=national).
It's not very powerful and the standard axle is a 2.73. Check out the axle tag and see what it says. It's got a good little rip off idle but there's only 257ft# there. Anyway those hills take hp to get up and you've only got 148hp. A B2 on a trailer is about 6,000#give or take. That means you'll be around 11,000# loaded. It will do the job but those long 7% Kentucky grades are going to require patience and a lot of shifting.
10-29-2007, 07:14 PM
put 3.73's in it and go, we had a 74 f250 with the 300, creeper-1st 4 spd and 3.73s and it would tow nearly anything you asked of it, got around 15 mpg if i remember right, the creeper gear was a bonus with heavy seed wagons but most of the time didnt really need it. easy to work on, lasts forever, not bad on the fuel bill, the only thing with a 1/2 ton vs a 3/4 would be braking ability, but if its a big enough trailer to have trailer brakes and they are preasent and working, no big deal. lack of horsepower can be overcome with gearing, you still have a overdrive for fuel effeciency when empty/not towing. id do it.
Model 48 (http://www.ford-wiki.com/wiki/Ford_Model_48)
10-29-2007, 08:55 PM
I thought about re-gearing it if need be. Might even put some stiffer or a helper spring on the back.I will be driving it around town most of the time and very little highway so a lower gear wont be a problem. Thanks for the link Will. I did a quick search and didnt come across that one. If taken a long trip I might just hitch a ride on a trailer pulled one of my PSD buddies.
Gearing won't make up for a lack of horsepower. The gearing will increase your torque, but since the hp can't change, the ground speed will have to decrease. Lower axle gears will help it accelerate to the maximum speed it is capable of, but it won't increase that maximum speed. The big hills will kick its butt regardless.
So a 300 will certainly pull anything, but it's not going anywhere fast with it.
10-30-2007, 08:55 PM
sometimes it aint about going fast, the '74 we had would do 75 at best, downhill. but it got the job done. time & time again. before i parked it in '92 with 95,000 miles on it due to the weight of the cab being on the steering coulmn because of rotted out cab mounts, 60 was plenty fast what with the bias-ply tires and wore front suspention/steering parts. we still have it, right where i parked it. ive thought about doing something with it someday.
Yamaha DGX-620 history (http://www.yamaha-tech.com/wiki/Yamaha_DGX-620)
10-30-2007, 09:08 PM
I followed a '89 300 F-150 home from a tractor pull, he had a 7500 lb 1950 John Deere A (that was the heaviest class he pulled in) on a flatbed trailer, he would slow down to about 45 (in a 55 zone) on a really good hill which I thought pretty good considering. When we got back he said he had problems with his clutch holding and towards the end of the 20 mile trip the heat was getting to hold better. I think the old 300 should tow a 4klb BII without too much trouble, depending on terrain. If you are getting it for free you can try it and see what you think, if you don't like it you will come out ahead calling a scrapper to get the truck, you really are not out a darn thing.
A late model 460 (curve below) with 4.10 gears and an E40D and standard tires runs 65mph at 2,000rpm. He's capable of making 395ft# at that 2,000rpm so he's running with the cruise on and doesn't even notice the hills--he has 180hp available to him at 2,000rpm.
A 300 with the same set-up running at 2,000rpm has 255ft# available and only 97hp available at that rpm.
So both trucks hit the hill that requires 148hp to maintain speed up. The 460 guy is talking to his wife on the cellphone--the cruise pushes the throttle open, the engine has has 180hp available, more than enough to spare and goes up the hill in OD.
The 300 guy only has 97hp available in OD and his truck starts to slow. He downshifts, the rpms jump from 2,000 to 2,800. He's now got 120hp available but he's still slowing. He goes down to 2nd. Unfortunately, his engine wants to shoot up to 4300rpm--he's between gears here. So he has to settle with going back up to third and letting the truck slow down to the speed 120hp will maintain on the hill. On the downhills he's running 75 to catch back up to the 460. And all that shifting kills fuel economy and massively heats auto-trannies (if applicable).
So the 300 guy wants to regear to try and make his truck keep up. To get the most from his engine he needs to make it do 3400rpm at 65 on that hill. He can go from 4.10s to 3.08s and plan to downshift to 2nd on that hill--plus he'll be running 3rd on lots of other lesser hill, and his take-off from a stop will be greatly impaird. Or he can go from the 4.10 to a 5.13, downshift only once on that big hill, have better take-off from a stop but then he's running 2500rpm at 65 and will get reduction in his fuel economy on the stretches. He's probably going to go with the 5.13 though.
So see what you are really faced with before just arbitrarily changing the gears. They can help a good deal if you are willing to accept the day to day differences. Or maybe you don't mind going slow on hills.
I did an 800 mile round trip in my 450ft# turbodiesel with Sam in his 315ft# 5.8 F250--identical trailers and loads. It was just as I described above--I left him on the hills and he came barreling up from behind on the down hills. He got 7mpg to my 16mpg and hated my guts for it. The fact he ended up with a Powerstroke after that should tell you something. It's a lot better trip if you have a lot more power available. I used horsepower in this thread because it really is the important yardstick--it's the rate work is done and pulling a trailer is work. The formula is [HP= (TQ * RPM)/5252]
11-01-2007, 10:54 AM
Sam's F-250 was also outpulled by a 4.3 Blazer, gearing can make or break you.
I know what you mean about +'s versus -'s though, I get 18 mpg empty with my 5.4, and about 7-8 loaded along with at least one downshift on anything resembling a hill courtesy of my 3.31 gears. It is really too bad nobody wants to make a two speed rear axle for a half ton truck, then I could have 4.10's when I need them and 3.31's for day to day driving. Gear Venders makes a underdrive but that is $3000.
Sam's F250 was barely outpulled. I was driving it during that competition. They were very similar.
I have a Gear Vendors on my current truck. It's the same thing in practice as a 2-speed axle as you can split the shifts. It accelerates a lot more quickly with a heavy load when you have the narrow torque band my mechanical diesel has--I lose only about 500rpm on a shift instead of 1000rpm pulling into traffic.
If I had it to do again I would have gotten another TH700R4. For $1000 i could have one built that will survive my truck and get that .70 overdrive instead of the current .78, plus have the 3.08 first gear instead of the 2.48--and best of all have the lock-up converter. The TH400 obviously doesn't have a lock-up and when you add the overdrive it uses more engine torque, which means more converter 'slip' and heat. I got much better mileage with my old trucks 3.42 gears and the .70 overdrive with the lock-up. I needed 4.10s before the turbo, now I don't--now my cruise speed is 500rpm higher and out of the 'sweet spot' of the engine.
11-05-2007, 05:38 PM
I would want the two speed rear mainly to set it on the 4.10 setting for towing or around town and the 3.31 setting for flat open highway. More or less like the high/low on a 10spd bike or a old tractor. I am not sure what my computer controlled transmission would think of me goofing with the rear end gearing while underway.
11-06-2007, 10:54 AM
a six cylinder F-150 5sp and STOCK (235/75-15) tires is perfectly happy towing a Ranger supercab up most hills.... IF you swap in 3.55 gears.
If it's a 4x4 3.73's simply aren't available
31x10.5's with 4.10's are your next choice.
the interesting thing is that in the real world a 3.08 geared 4.9 F-150
will get 18-19mpg, switching to 3.55's will usually bump the mileage up so thatyou can tickle 21mpg unloaded.
I am NOT pulling these numbers out of my ass, this is personal experience.
Now as for "hills", on my run OUT to Wyoming I was running with my friend Ed.
Ed was driving an F-450 (7.5/5sp/4.63 geared Dana80 and 265/75-16 tires)
towing an army trailer with a 40kw generator.
I was driving his F-250 (4.9/5sp(ZF)/4.10 gears and narrow 33" tires)
with conservatively 4000lbs of crap IN IT and dragging my 4800lb Ranger
supercab (stuffed with even more crap) behind it.
Except for when the fuel filter got clogged (batch of dirty fuel)
I never got dragged out of 3rd gear or below 45mph on any of the
hills across I-68 across the Maryland Panhandle and into WestVirginia
(we were in "toll avoidance mode" aa well as "chicago avoidance mode"
and planning to cross Ohio and indiana on I-70 then take I-74 out of
Indy and up to Davenport Iowa)
An F-150 (4x4) Longbox is nearly a TON lighter than that F250HD (4x4) was.
that F-250 tips the scales at just over 6000lbs EMPTY
Your shortbox F-150 should be right on 3900-4000lb with a full gas tank.
(presuming it's a 4x4)
a Bronco2 weighs nowhere near 4000lb unless you filled the rockers
with molten lead, 3500lb might even be a high estimate...
My honest recommendation is that you switch to 3.55's if the truck
doesn't already have them, and stick to 235 tires and it'll tow just fine.
ONE other recommendation for towing is find an Auto trans A/C radiator
and swap it in, or you'll get to see the temp guage go to some unpleasant
places while towing....
(you can actually get a V8 radiator in with some artistic hose manipulation)
I weighed my B2 when I was building my 2 car hauler so I could determine where to put the trailer axles. It's 4,200#--empty with a full tank and I have the weight ticket from a certified CAT scale--it's nearly 50/50 balanced as well. I believe it was 3,600 curb new with the 2.9, A4LD, D28. I'm assuming he's hauling a modified B2 to the trails not a stock one to shows.
My single car trailer is an 18' with a 5" box tubing frame and a 3/16" diamond plate deck and it weighs 2,200#. Add in tools and parts and it's well over 6,500# loaded for travel.
11-06-2007, 02:31 PM
They used to put that 300 in-line 6 in Uhaul trucks so I am sure it can do the job. Question is, was the tranny the same in the Uhaul as the pickup? New rear gear would probably help as well.
Nothing slower than an old U-Haul. I wouldn't make that the standard of measurement.
Here are the published curb weights for various 1990 RBVs:
Base SWB 2wd Ranger (http://www.edmunds.com/used/1990/ford/ranger/5355/specs.html): 2,819#
Ext cab 2wd Ranger XLT (http://www.edmunds.com/used/1990/ford/ranger/5429/specs.html): 3,159#
Ext cab 4X4 Ranger XLT (http://www.edmunds.com/used/1990/ford/ranger/5435/specs.html): 3,464#
Bronco II 4x4 XLT (http://www.edmunds.com/used/1990/ford/broncoii/5440/specs.html): 3,385#
1991 Explorer Sport 4x4 (http://www.edmunds.com/used/1991/ford/explorer/5946/specs.html): 3,824#
1991 Explorer XLT 4dr 4X4 (http://www.edmunds.com/used/1991/ford/explorer/6005/specs.html): 4,012#
11-08-2007, 07:05 PM
I tow my b2 on a 16' car hualer that is about 1100 pounds and I have a 1995 E-150 van with a auto. I go up some good hills and it is slow but has all the power I have ever needed.
I think the back axle is the weak link on the mid 90's 150 I have had to redo the axles seals a few times other then that it's been a great tow rig.
For me the 4.9 or 300 is the best tow motor they ever put in a truck.
mine has over 500.000 on the chasie and over 250.000 on this motor and still going stong.
I know a deisel guy will hate me but a poor boy can't have it all and I never did think a deisel was better dollar for dollar.
If all you need to tow is one rig the 4.9 is as good as it gets to me.
rusty ol ranger
11-08-2007, 10:19 PM
When i had my 83 with the 300 straight 6\4sp\4.11 gears I pulled my 4100lb LTD II on a 1500lb trailer, didnt even know it was back there. I used granny to take off just because i didnt see a point in ripping the clutch up if i didnt have to.
The only bad thing about the M5OD in that truck is the Odd Ratio 1st gear, its to high to be a "granny" gear, but to low to really whind out and acclerate.
Either way, that 300 should handle it just fine. 300's are slow, but they never stop chuggin'. A 300 will pull just as well as most small block V8's, untill you get into 55-70 runs.
But considering the 300 is at a 2 cylinder disadvatage, and a straw can move more high RPM air then a 300's head, they dont do bad.
My dad pulled a all steel gooseneck horsetrailer, with 4 horses in it, all over with a 94 F250 with a 300\auto\3.55 gears. It wasnt fast, but it pulled it as good as anything, even with the air on.
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