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Towing with a 2004 3.0


Stumblefoot

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tried towing a single axle 10 ft enclosed trailer empty the transmission would continually shift between OD and D. Here in Texas our speed limits are 70-75 on most roads and if your too slow people get really upset. (pass in "No Passing" zones or on the shoulder, or will use the right turn lane to get around you) Ford somehow forgot to put the TOW mode in these, and running in D at 4000 rpm isn't a good answer...so how do y'all pull/haul with these.....I know shoulda bought a bigger truck...
 


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don4331

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Well, your 3.slow likes rpms, so OD off and 4k rpms is the simple answer.

There are a few thing you can do to ease the trailer towing:
If your trailer doesn't have a V-nose, add one.​
Add boat tails to back of trailer - reduces drag by >5%​
From there it gets more complicated.
Cap on the truck helps with trailer.​
Belly pans to route air around the trailer axle helps on the road, but they hurt ground clearance.​
As you know bigger truck / smaller trailer / or slower are your other options.
I never really liked pulling bigger than 4x8 trailer with my Ranger.​
Note: Empty or loaded, if the trailer GVW is greater than 4,500lbs, it legally needs brakes (and for safety, if it should have brakes if GVWR is greater 40% of the Ranger's weight, so pretty much anything over 1,500lbs).
 

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+1 ^^^

Read up on the 3.0l Vulcan
Makes best torque above 3,500rpm, most engines do that at 2,500rpms

So the Vulcan was DESIGNED as a high RPM engine, specs seen here: https://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/3_0performance.shtml
In a 2004 Ranger 3.0l
Best torque/power at 3,900RPM
Best horse power at 5,200RPM

3.0l got nick named 3.slow because people drive them like a "normal" engine with power band in the 2,400-2,900rpm range
You NEED TO "drive them like a rented mule", keep the RPMs up, above 3,200rpms for sure, and the complaints about power AND MPG will go down

Just over 3,000rpm will be best MPG in the 3.0l, just like in a "normal" engine is just over 2,000rpm
 
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James Morse

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@RonD, does that apply to 1999 3.0L as well? My mileage is pretty horrible, just about all is in town under 50mph. Without manual trans kind of hard to stay in the better mileage range, if it applies to my engine.

Not sure what I should be expecting for stop/go driving, mostly in the 35mph average range.
 
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RonD

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Yes, drive around in 2nd
 

rusty ol ranger

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My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
What rear end gear do you have? A 4.10 can really help towing matters with higher revving engines
 

James Morse

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I have code 86 for axle, 3.73 non-LS. Don't know if LS is better (F6 code) or not, but I don't have it.

@RonD, are you being serious about driving in 2nd in town? Just wanted to make sure that wasn't offhand comment... I can do it...

All this time I thought lower RPM is better mileage now you're telling me, not so.

I'm not doing any towing at this point, it does have hitch and wired for light though.
 

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Well idle is lowest RPM and that's 0 MPG, lol, that was off handed
Or coasting downhill, but with fuel injection coasting in Neutral actually uses more fuel that coasting downhill in gear, computer will shut off fuel injectors when coasting in gear vs idle level injectors fuel flow

MPG is based on engine efficiency vs load, you need enough torque to keep the vehicle "at speed" without "lugging" the engine(RPM out of efficient range vs load)
You can use a Vacuum gauge in the cab to figure out best RPMs vs load, thats the best way to tell a specific vehicles engine, trans, axle and wind load(speed) efficiency

But generally speaking its best to be no more than 500rpm less than best Torque RPM of that engine

With the 3.0l Vulcan that varied widely by year, from best torque at 3,250 to best torque at 3,950, so year of your engine matters as well

3.0l Vulcan has a bore of 3.5" and a stroke of 3.14" so it's called an oversquare engine, shorter stroke than piston diameter, which means its a high RPM engine and will make best power at higher RPMs
Square or undersquare engines make best power at lower RPMs
 

James Morse

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@RonD that is really interesting. Now if I'm in second, it still goes into first from a stop, right?

Also I wondered if I'm in second, compared to say third or overdrive, then wouldn't it be more likely to shut off the injectors on coasting. I assume there is a sensor that knows when the trans is loading against the engine (versus normal where engine is driving tranny) that is when it shuts the injectors (?).

Of course it's not always possible to have the rpm's where you want with auto (or standard for that matter) but I sure know what you mean about the pep, once you get over about 3k rpm it seems like I have a more responsive engine versus at low rpm. Big difference. And I would have thought I was wasting a ton of fuel at the higher rpms but you are saying not at all true. Thanks, this is really good info.
 

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If engine is above 1,500rpms and speed is above 5MPH and TPS drops under 1volt(foot off gas pedal) then computer will shut off injectors......until RPMs are under 1,500 or speed is under 5MPH, or TPS voltage goes above 1volt
This is one of the reasons EFI gets better MPG than carbs, it ain't much, but ain't 0 either

The computer will open injectors periodically while coasting to keep Cat converters hot


Carbs operate on air flow and vacuum, when throttle plate is closed when coasting vacuum goes up(especially downhill) so more fuel is sucked in from idler Jets than would be at idle, so shifting to Neutral to coast was a fuel saving strategy
But not using the engine as a brake means you have to use brake pads more, so trade off on cost of fuel vs cost of brake pads wear, lol
 


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