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Can I safely tow a Ranger with a Ranger?

rusty ol ranger

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Ok then.

This is also why automatics make a poor choice for towing if we are compareing apples to apples.

All im saying is...
1- in two comperable vehicles used for towing a manual is going to be significantly cheaper and more trouble free over the life of the vehicle. Also, when installed in a similar vehicle a manual should be able to tow just as much as the auto version, unless the auto is significantly stronger then the offered manual. Rarely is this tht case ever, and certainly not in the RBV world.
-
 


don4331

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On original subject; U-haul trailers/tow dollies have surge brakes, which allows anyone to hook up, not just those of us with brake controllers in our vehicles. At ~2,000 lbs, for trailer, U-haul won't rent you one to tow a Ranger with a Ranger, but tow dolly is only ~750lbs which they would allow with 4.0/auto.

Rusty, you appear to need someone in your corner. :cool:

Let's "do the math" as suggested:

Output of Harv's 4.0 is ~240 ft lbs.

Manual M5OD is ~3.3" center to center of gears, so about 1,750 lbs force at pitch circle diameter (assuming same size gears)
5R55E as tiny gears with ~1.1" center to center, which would be 5,250 lbs force at pitch circle diameter, but we have 3 planetary gears , so force per gear is 1/3 of that - 1,750 lbs... darn that's close to manual.
But wait, we didn't compare that the M5OD has only ~3/4" wide gears versus the ~1-1/2" wide gears of 5R55E; but the teeth of M5OD are ~1/4" deep while those of the 5R55E are 1/8"...darn 3/4 * 1/4 = 3/16 in^2; 3/2 * 1/8 = 3/16. Son of gun, same number!

So, M5OD is remarkably close in strength to the 5R55E - as though Ford's engineers were designing them for the same application; who knew?

A torque converter multiplies torque to transmission, by "slipping" at lower revs. But by time you are at peak torque, it is "stalled" and no longer providing any multiplication. And while it is slipping, it generates huge amounts of heat. But then slipping the clutch does the same. Again, you should only be slipping clutch to get load moving, thereafter, it should be locked up.

So, I be in Rusty's corner, backing him on the opinion that it is Ford's corporate bean counter, being concerned that the "average" driver can't operate a manual effectively and truck might be back for warranty repairs (clutch) and corporate lawyer, being concerned accidents from the same (consequences of missed shift) that results in lower towing limits for manual.

If it was strictly the strength of transmission, limits for 2.3/2.5 & 3.0 should be same with either transmission, with only lower ratings on the 4.0 - where the higher power of larger engine would actually be limiting factor.

Note: For both manual and automatic, majority of driving would be in 4th (not supposed to use OD when towing) which doesn't use any gears.

p.s. Rusty, if you need help with the nurses while your finishing with the waitresses, i'm there for you, too. :ROFLMAO:

Edited to add the detail that I had indeed considered that the automatic's planetary indeed divided the power over the 3 planets.
 
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RonD

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You forgot to multiple the number of gears transferring power in the automatic, so its at least 3 times as strong as manual

Not bean counters, engineers recommend towing weight capacities
If left on there own, the sales department, would rate everything with 20,000 TON tow rating :)

Same trucks one with manual, one with auto, automatic will be rated for at least twice as much if not more towing weight

The maximum weight, even with auto is set by GCWR(gross combined weight rating), this is why its not automatically(pun intended) 3 times the weight of manual

While trailer brakes are required in most places, stuff breaks, so GCWR will take into account axle and braking capacities
 

racsan

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the torque multiplication of a tourque converter is something else to consider when towing (starting a load) im a fan of manuals all the way , but the torque converter can really act like a lower 1st gear. Case in point: one time I was in my gf’s hhr . its a 2.2 4cyl they are available as a manual or automatic. well- I had parked at a cemetery, there was a rock in front of the left front tire, I had forgot about it when I went to leave and ended up driving (climbing) right over this rock that was big enough that vehicle high-centered and I had to put the spare underneath to put a jack on to raise the car enough to put more rocks under tire to be able to drive off (I couldnt move rock I was stuck on, too much of it was underground) I hadnt even gave it much gas and it just went right up and over it, a manual would of stalled out or required much more effort. but on the flip side, this same car 2 years ago lost all forward gears on a out of town trip. It had slipped a couple of times before leaving town, 25 miles later I came to a stop sign. went to go again and nothing, only had reverse. Got a ride back to town and flat- towed it home. ( with a ranger )
 

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I think the main take away from that story is to never drive an HHR. :ROFLMAO:
 

don4331

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The max GCWR for M50D is 7,800 lbs; the max GCWR for 3.0 is 7,500 lbs (with 5R44E) - so, strength of transmission isn't the limiting factor for the 3.0/M5OD which has a max GCWR of 6k lbs. Only difference between the auto and manual Ranger being transmission; only difference between M5OD with max rating and 3.slows being bell housing.

Bean counters make the decision that the 9" clutch* saves ~$2.50 over the 10" found in 4.0. Then, the engineers did the MTBF (mean time between failure) calculations; and limited the 3.0/manual to a value 1,500 lbs lower than that of 3.0/5R44E to meet required numbers for warranty purposes. Was it the engineer or the bean counter that limited GCWR? (Hard for sales to justify a substantial premium for 4.0, if it gains <200 lbs more towing capability - the 4.0 with required 8.8 and heavier receiver hitch weighing ~100lbs).

Most of the torque converter's 1.8:1 increase is needed to overcome difference between the 2.47:1 5R44E 1st compared to the 3.72:1 1st in the 5MOD. Yes, the result is a little lower at ~4.44:1 - the equivalent to slipping the clutch about 20%.

The sales department tells whatever story is required to get the signature on the bill of sale - physical and legal law be darned.

Just giving you a little hard time RonD as I'm sensitive to "engineering" getting blamed for decisions that they were given no option in making. Hopefully, no hard feelings. :) I'm seeing 20% GCWR increase towing for RBV with autos.
 

RonD

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Well the 3.0l has limited power and yes GCWR is 6,000lbs for manual or auto and the towing weight is the same for manual or auto, manual actually adds 20-40lbs lol

The 4.0l is a different story
4.0l Auto has GCWR of 9,500lbs
4.0l Manual has GCWR of 7,000lbs, so 10" clutch added 1,000lbs???
Same truck, 2,500lbs difference, which almost doubles towing weight, because of the automatic

Info from 2005 Ford Towing guide
 
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rusty ol ranger

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Tell ya what....

You take an 5r55E truck. 4.0/4wd, all stock, no aux coolers, etc.

Ill take an M5OD truck, all stock, 4.0/4wd.

Lets say 2005 model year.

Find a 5000lb trailer for each and meet me out west in the rockys. Letts see whos truck is belching fluid and sitting on the side of the road first.

What works on paper doesnt always translate over to actual conditions.
 

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They both have good points Rusty, but, let us know how that goes!
Under load I've learned to shift in much higher RPMs, as opposed to poking around empty which I mostly do
 

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I've got to agree that paper doesn't equate to real life.
My 94 4.0 X Auto was terrifying to tow with. The auto really made it a snail in every way. I never maintained it- didn't drive it much either- but I did receive it from friends who bought it new and I'm sure followed maintenance to the letter.
The lack of control is the real bugger IMO. Same complaint in my Superduty auto. Anybody can drive it because it just does what it wants and up/downshifts-often pointlessly and counter-productively, albeit "safely" for the tranny and load.

Up here in Montucky no one cares. See some wildly un-responsible shit going on at 80 mph but very few issues.

To the OP. Get a dolly and tell em you've got the 4.0 Auto. Drive smart. Slow starts, slow stops. Slow in general, Rangers are small and not terribly stable.
 

rusty ol ranger

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They both have good points Rusty, but, let us know how that goes!
Under load I've learned to shift in much higher RPMs, as opposed to poking around empty which I mostly do
I know that last post came off kinda peckerish, and no offense to ron who ua way smarter then me. However i knew no other way to get my point across lol.

Back in the day i had a roughly 6x8 trailer made from an old ass pop up camper. With 5 or 6 ft sides. Id heap that with firewood, as well as the bed on rusty#1, had the ass end begging for mercy numerous times and would tow it 45 miles home pretty regularly.

The TK5 never gave a whimper, towing it in 5th at that (i didnt really know better, this was back 92/93 ish), i doubt an A4LD would of taken it.

Also, guess how many times i changed the fluid in that TK5?

That drain plug is in exactly the same spot as it was in 1987.
 

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My 93 with a tow package tows like a champ. Mt trailer must weigh upwards of a 1000 pounds, empty, and it's short, very hard to back up until you learn the trick, but tracks straight and true.
Shortly after buying it in 2006 I fully loaded the truck and trailer, and hauled it at 70-75mph exactly 600 miles, and made 4 trips this way over 2 months time.
Never a bit of an issue in any way.
A half ton may not be as stable but this is rated 1550 pounds, that's 3/4 ton, and never sways or nothing.
The 87 I drove before was a half ton, and might have had problems, but it had a 2.9, and had problems pulling in overdrive when totally empty

If yours is a half ton maybe get some overload springs added on, that should add some amount of stability
 

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I take no offense to any of this :)

I think we are all in agreement on which is more reliable, manual trans

Only difference of opinion is on WHY an automatic transmission has a higher "legal" towing capacity on most vehicles

I say its because an automatic is just physically stronger than manual
Other's says its because "Ford" worries about unskilled drivers using manual transmissions and ruining the clutch or getting into a bad situation
 

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I think they're more afraid one might spill his coffee when he should be trying to grab another gear.
That is one major drawback of a stick shift, you need both hands and both feet at all times
 

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I think one thing to consider with all arguments about which is stronger and why they are rated the way they are aside...

God forbid something goes wrong, the police and the insurance companies are only going to care about the vehicles specs and not your personal opinion. You tow thousands of pounds over what the specs are and regardless of whether the truck can do it or not, you've just taken full liability in the event of an accident.
 

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