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1989 Ranger Payload & Towing Capacity???

Ranger305

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Over 3000lbs these days generally come with brakes. In my home state, law is anything over 3klbs. This was an older rig I had for years that was made before brakes. I think most Rangers say anything over 2k needs brakes.

I think older Rangers, esp those before the dual piston calipers in '96? were really marginal on brakes for any load, then mix in the smaller 9" rear brakes on std cabs..... 2k way really marginal.
 


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Danger ranger360

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Had a goose kneck trailer 20 dove tail loaded with 990 john deere and equipment
 

wildbill23c

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1988
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Ford Bronco II
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2.9 V6
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Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
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Depending on your axle ratio, you may find a 2,000-4500lb towing capacity. However with a manual transmission its legally rated to only tow 2,000lbs. As far as payload a lot of that will depend on how worn out your suspension components are.

I had 557lbs in my 87 Ranger last weekend hauling a load of scrap to the recycler....truck handled it without any issues, no sag in the rear, and really couldn't tell I had anything back there which I wouldn't think so at only 557lbs it shouldn't make a huge difference in a truck that doesn't have worn out suspension components and a properly running engine only issue I still have is it cuts out at higher speeds randomly. However, if the truck is running right, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 1,000lb load in the bed of a Ranger and it handle the load fine. Stopping is the biggest problem. The brakes are ok, but all that weight is really taxing them to death...for towing, anything over about 2,000lbs needs trailer brakes, its cheap insurance anyways, the more brakes you got the better your stopping power, who cares how well and how fast your truck can get a trailer moving, if it doesn't have the ability to safely slow it down and stop it.

When I got my Ranger I really wanted to install a receiver hitch and tow a small travel trailer, but after finding out it really only has a 2k towing capacity it don't leave much for trailer options...I may use it to tow a little 4x8 trailer but that would be about it.
 

wildbill23c

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1988
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2WD / 4WD
4WD
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Can you explain this? Is this a state law or something?
No, its what Ford rated the manual transmission equipped Rangers to tow. So in a way yes its law, get in a wreck and you are towing more than your vehicle is rated for it'll cost you. In an accident they look at what the manufacturer rated the vehicle to tow, which in my case is 2,000lbs. Funny my Bronco 2 is I think rated at like 4,500lbs towing capacity, I can tow more legally with my Bronco 2 than my Ranger....not that I'd ever want to try and tow 4k+ pounds behind that poor little Bronco 2, and the A4LD automatic wouldn't like it anyways LOL.

In reality, the limitation is the driver's ability to operate a manual transmission, somewhat. I cannot recall who mentioned it in another towing related post said it has a lot to do with how the manual transmission's internal gears are, they're a weak link as well as the clutch. Lots of stress on those parts and the gears in a manual transmission are a lot different in how they mesh together than those in an automatic transmission. That's why automatics are rated to tow more than a manual. Its not so much the driver's ability to operate it, its more of a structure issue with the manual transmission and clutch themselves that limit the towing capacity.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Ford rates all manual vehicles low. Even the fullsizes. Its because ford didnt want to replace clutches under warrenty.

IIRC the tow capacity for my 97 F250 HD (460/auto/4.10/2wd) is like 12500 on a gooseneck, if it had a manual it would drop to like 8000lbs. You cant tell me a E4OD is stronger then a ZF5.
 

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There is also the liability issue that manufacturers are concerned with an how trailers are equipped in the US. My CR-V was rated for 1,000 lbs towing. The same vehicle in Europe was rated for 2,000 lbs if the trailer had brakes. Something you don’t see much, if at all in the US. Plus there is the inexperience factor. Since people in the US are willing to suit for just about anything, the manufacturers are covering their butts.
 

wildbill23c

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Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
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2WD / 4WD
4WD
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My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
Ford rates all manual vehicles low. Even the fullsizes. Its because ford didnt want to replace clutches under warrenty.

IIRC the tow capacity for my 97 F250 HD (460/auto/4.10/2wd) is like 12500 on a gooseneck, if it had a manual it would drop to like 8000lbs. You cant tell me a E4OD is stronger then a ZF5.
The clutch and the way the gears mesh in a manual transmission are one of the large limiting factors from what I've been able to decipher from other's comments around the forum regarding manual VS automatic for towing. The gears in a automatic transmission are always in contact from what I gather, where you are moving gears in and out of each other in a manual transmission that due to how they're designed are easier to be damaged or broken than the gears in an automatic. The torque converter in an automatic takes up a lot of the sudden stress from towing, where with a manual transmission your only buffer is the clutch so you are putting a lot of sudden heavy stress on a manual transmission internally that an automatic doesn't get because the torque converter can absorb a lot of that initial jolting stress and weight.
 

rusty ol ranger

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The clutch and the way the gears mesh in a manual transmission are one of the large limiting factors from what I've been able to decipher from other's comments around the forum regarding manual VS automatic for towing. The gears in a automatic transmission are always in contact from what I gather, where you are moving gears in and out of each other in a manual transmission that due to how they're designed are easier to be damaged or broken than the gears in an automatic. The torque converter in an automatic takes up a lot of the sudden stress from towing, where with a manual transmission your only buffer is the clutch so you are putting a lot of sudden heavy stress on a manual transmission internally that an automatic doesn't get because the torque converter can absorb a lot of that initial jolting stress and weight.
I would think though the automatics sensitivity to heat and less durabilty in general though would make it a wash.

All i know is ive never tore up a manual, but ive burned up plenty of O/D autos.
 

don4331

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The clutch and the way the gears mesh in a manual transmission are one of the large limiting factors from what I've been able to decipher from other's comments around the forum regarding manual VS automatic for towing. The gears in a automatic transmission are always in contact from what I gather, where you are moving gears in and out of each other in a manual transmission that due to how they're designed are easier to be damaged or broken than the gears in an automatic. The torque converter in an automatic takes up a lot of the sudden stress from towing, where with a manual transmission your only buffer is the clutch so you are putting a lot of sudden heavy stress on a manual transmission internally that an automatic doesn't get because the torque converter can absorb a lot of that initial jolting stress and weight.
Unless you are driving a transmission from '30s or earlier, the gears in your manual are all in contact, all the time*. They are not however connected to the output shaft, but rather the synchronizers allow locking of a specific gear combination to the output shaft:

It's more than just the torque converter which eases shift in a slush box from one gear to another - the hydraulic pressure is slowly (relatively) increased from one set of bands/clutches to another in the automatic while the other is decreased. Which while easing the shift, creates wear and heat.

An engineer and/or experienced user can ease the speed at which the clutch engages easing the shifts. If your double clutching/matching revs on shifting there shouldn't be any output speed difference between one gear and next. But how many double clutch their Ranger?

In newer vehicles, automatics with their multitude of sensors allow OEMs to easily back off power in lower gears so as not to hurt the transmission (and rest of driveline), but that is more difficult to do in a manual. e.g. RAM backs off power from the Cummins in 1st gear to avoid breaking things.

*There are a few transmission still out there with non-synchonized 1st and/or reverse, but not in Rangers.
 

rusty ol ranger

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In newer vehicles, automatics with their multitude of sensors allow OEMs to easily back off power in lower gearsso as not to hurt the transmission (and rest of driveline)


Add that to the list of why modern vehicles suck.

IMO the C6 was the best auto ever put into a truck. The FMX the best in a car.
 

wildbill23c

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2.9 V6
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4WD
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The
Add that to the list of why modern vehicles suck.

IMO the C6 was the best auto ever put into a truck. The FMX the best in a car.
The C6 in my 88 F250 460 4x4 has 690k on it and still going, very large auxiliary cooler, and 35k trans fluid changes and its had no issues at all...the whole truck has been extremely solid with very little issues other than normal wear and tear parts and regular maintenance....doesn't pass many gas stations but it'll move whatever you want it to.
 

rusty ol ranger

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The


The C6 in my 88 F250 460 4x4 has 690k on it and still going, very large auxiliary cooler, and 35k trans fluid changes and its had no issues at all...the whole truck has been extremely solid with very little issues other than normal wear and tear parts and regular maintenance....doesn't pass many gas stations but it'll move whatever you want it to.
Ive never had a C6 fail, even under abuse.
 

wildbill23c

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4WD
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Total Drop
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Tire Size
235/75-R15
My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
Ive never had a C6 fail, even under abuse.
I think I heard somewhere that the C6 has been used in racing applications, so I'd assume that if it can handle the stress of racing, it shouldn't have issues handling normal consumer duty use. Course they say the 460 V8's have a pretty good racing following too but have seen neither so I can't say personally.
 

4x4prepper

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> it seemed like it might have been a bit too much

Part of that might have been the sloshing water.

If your springs are worn or the bushings hogged out, it will be a not so pleasant ride. Usually replacing the rubber, along with newer springs or a help spring will do it. Air shocks might help, but, they tend to make it feel squishy (in my experience) without a load.

You might want to check the bed mounts and bolts. Try lifting the bed up and see if it moves.
 

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