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Towing For questions about towing or to show off your tow rig.

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Old 01-26-2018, 11:20 AM   #1
cstarbard
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Default Need help understanding tow capacity

Hey all,

Just got a 96 2.3 4x4 Ranger and I'm wondering how you go about calculating towing capacity. I'm sorry if this is beating a dead horse but I did some searching and didn't find solid answers. I don't have an owners manual to consult.

Is there a formula to calculate towing capacity?

In terms of equipment it has, I have a 4.10 7.5 open rear axle, Dana 28/35 hyrbid axle up front, 5 speed trans, brake code D (9" I believe?), spring code BTB (2+1 leaves).

I will be replacing the rear springs for 1750 lb 5 leaf springs in a few weeks and I think the front springs are from a 4.0 Ranger, they look to have been swapped in and the front sits a bit higher than my brothers stock 97 3.0

I'm not looking to tow anything crazy, I really just want to know if pulling a small light duty landscape trailer with a mower and some other tools is safe and legal, lol.

Thanks
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:01 PM   #2
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The owners manual would likely have the information you need...

You can get pretty close though by subtracting the stock unladen weight of your truck from the GCWR figure found on your door sticker (unladen weight is probably between 3300-3500lbs for yours if it has a standard-cab).

Given the specs you gave, I would guess your truck's trailer rating to be around 1500lbs, but I suggest verify that just for legal reasons (if there's ever an accident, you don't want it to be determined you were over the rated limit).

Regardless, a small low trailer hauling some landscape maintenance equipment should not be an issue for the truck to tow (as long as it doesn't have a large wind-drag profile).
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:57 PM   #3
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GVWR - vehicle weight will give you what you need. Remember you have to subtract passenger weight, and anything else you've thrown in the cab or in the bed.

A 4 cylinder Ranger isn't really going to have much of a towing capacity, maybe a couple thousand pounds and with that little engine that would really be pushing it. The Bronco 2's were rated I think for like 2500 pounds and I don't think I'd want to try that either.
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:48 AM   #4
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Bronco II max tow ratings were in the 5K pounds (but did vary depending on trans & gear ratio options).
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:39 AM   #5
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I used to drive a 2002 which was rated for 2300 lbs which is what you are rated for legally although you will probably find someone who has towed 4000 with your setup but I would not recommend it.
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:31 AM   #6
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When in doubt, RTFM.

http://www.therangerstation.com/manuals/ '96 version, p.207

Trailer capacity 0-1,300lbs. For legal purposes, the 1,300lbs is minus any options (a/c, radio, big tires, heavier springs, etc) or stuff in truck.

I did a quick google search: Lowes 5x8 trailer is 375lbs empty, gives you about 900lbs for mowers etc.

Don't even think of something like a BigTex landscape trailer, the baby one weighs over 1,100lbs empty which would allow you zero payload for all intents and purposes. Nice wooden deck adds 170lbs; 15" wheels weigh 2X the 12" ones do; 50% higher capacity (and quality of construction) adds weight; front jack (@13% tongue weight, you would have ~400lbs on hitch - more than I care to lift anymore); you get the picture..

The 2.3 Lima in '96 isn't as powerful as the '02 2.3 Duratech (by a significant margin). The older TTB trucks aren't rated as high as the newer IFS ones.
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