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

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Old 01-28-2010, 11:09 AM   #1
ctgriffi
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Default 94 XLT Ranger 4.0 AT 3.08. Towing Capacity?

Hey guys, I've got a 2WD 94 that I've been taking real good care of since I bought it 8 years ago. I'm thinking about bolting a good hitch onto it and maybe towing a small camper around my state (TN). The owner's manual lists a pretty low towing capacity for the AT 4.0 with the 3.08 rear axle - something like 2300lbs. Does that sound right? If I drive without OD, could I reasonably expect to do better than that number?

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:42 PM   #2
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You can do better, but not guarunteed good reliability or gas mileage. I would swap in a set of 3.73's at he minimum and get a tranny cooler and you can do better than 2300. Those are mild overkill but better safe than sorry. Make sure to keep your brakes maintained as well.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:49 PM   #3
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Yeah, from what I've heard recently, your advice sounds like...good advice. But why did Ford sell so many of these trucks with the 3.08 rear? I guess it's gas mileage, right? But, who buys a 4.0L pickup for the mileage?

I'll look into the 3.73 axle and the tranny-cooler installation. Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:20 PM   #4
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you could always go to one of the ultralight tent campers that come in around 1,000# or less. i have one and it's great. just a thought.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:36 PM   #5
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you could always go to one of the ultralight tent campers that come in around 1,000# or less. i have one and it's great. just a thought.
i have one of the pop up tent trailers and my dads old nissan 2.4 4 banger handled it ok then he got the ranger same setup 4.0 w/ 3.08 rear and you couldnt even feel it on the back. its a manual trans but shouldn't make that much of a difference
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:38 PM   #6
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Keep in mind, however, that legally you're only going to be allowed to tow a certain amount. The truck may be capable of towing more than that, but if you ever get put on a scale, you not only get hit with a fine, but also you get hit with an added fee for every pound over the limit. You can petition to have the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) raised on your vehicle, but you have to show improvements in both power (engine/gears/trans/etc) and stopping (brakes/trailer brakes).

I have no idea what the GCWR would be for your truck, however.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:05 AM   #7
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Default Small Camper - Ranger Towing

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you could always go to one of the ultralight tent campers that come in around 1,000# or less. i have one and it's great. just a thought.
Yeah, I've thought about looking into one of those pop-ups before; I might do that. What I'd really like is one of those fully-enclosed travel trailers that are around 15'. Some of those actually come in under the 2300lb tow-limit stated in my manual. One decent bed with a kitchenette and small bath would be perfect for me and my wife...
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:59 AM   #8
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I have an equation for you:

4.0 Power + steep 3.08 gear + trailer = dead A4LD

I wouldn't drive an A4LD, let alone try to tow with one, without a huge trans cooler. A4LD's have no trouble cooking themselves in a 2wd 2.9 w/ 3.45 gear.

The Ranger as a tow vehicle is perfectly capable of handling a pop-up camper. But if I was going to use your truck I would get the biggest trans cooler you can fit behind the grille (www.summitracing.com is a good place to look), 3.73 gears, and a trans temp gauge (you can use a $15 engine temp gauge hooked up to the trans cooler line) that you watch very carefully. Then I would be comfortable towing with it.

Of course the ultimate towing upgrade would be the manual trans with 3.73 gear.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:45 AM   #9
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Sevensecondsuv: Thanks for the advice. I hear what you're saying about the tranny cooler, for sure, and I plan on looking into that...

So, you really prefer the MT towing setup you described, huh? I understand the 3.73 recommendation, but most people I've talked to (and my owner's manual) recommend the AT for pulling heavy loads...like it's better equipped to manage the stress of towing than a MT. But, maybe I'm misinformed...?
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:39 AM   #10
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Default Axle ratios, trannies, towing capacity

So, I don't know much about all of this stuff, but I really enjoy learning what I can. Maybe somebody can/will speak to the below scenario:

I used this calculator and this tranny info to see the implications of using a 3.73 vs. my current 3.08. I found that, driving at 66 mph - in DRIVE - my engine is revving at about 2600 with my 3.08 axle (in OD, about 1950 rpm). With the 3.73 rear-end, at the same 66 mph, my engine is turning at 2350 in O.D. and 3150 in Drive.

Based on this, it looks like it's a good idea to not use OD while towing with my current 3.08 rig. But, would there be any great advantage in towing with the 3.73 in OD versus the 3.08 in Drive? Hope I'm making a little bit of sense here...trying to understand the relationships between rpms, gear ratios, tranny reliability, etc.
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