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What Can You ACTUALLY Tow? Payload -Tow Capacity


sgtsandman

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Eddo Rogue

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When I was a kid, a lot. Nowadays not so much. Also it depends on speed, weather, distance, terrain, assistance and equipment.
 

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Manual transmission = you can't tow anything
Automatic transmission = you can tow whatever you want is what it seems automakers are doing now....pretty soon you'll be able to tow the space shuttle behind your Prius LOL
 

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Yes, that's why most over-the-road semis have automatics..... NOT......

A transmission can be built for whatever the manufacturer wants it to be.
 

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Yes, that's why most over-the-road semis have automatics..... NOT......

A transmission can be built for whatever the manufacturer wants it to be.

Eh, there are two fundamentally unavoidable facts to why automatics are stronger for towing in regular passenger vehicles. Planetary gears used in automatics are much stronger than standard gears used in manuals, and torque converters can take more abuse than a similarly sized clutch.

Notice I said similarly sized, yes auto makers could make their manuals capable of towing more but they would need to be much bigger, and heavier. This doesn't make much sense for an automaker because one of the last redeeming selling points of a manual transmission when compared to an automatic in the same vehicle is a marginal boost in fuel economy.
 

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If you want to increase your towing capacity, you can also upgrade your wheels at the back by adding 2 more. Dually trucks can handle a bigger sum of payload weight and offer more towing capacity compared to SRW.

 

sgtsandman

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They stopped making retail sale available dually conversion kits for Rangers. My guess is too many people were breaking axles hauling loads they shouldn't. And it's been said that Ranger campers and what not that had the conversion had reliability problems.
 

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They stopped making retail sale available dually conversion kits for Rangers. My guess is too many people were breaking axles hauling loads they shouldn't. And it's been said that Ranger campers and what not that had the conversion had reliability problems.
More likely because it is an expensive way to force yourself to buy 6 tires for your oddity and they never sold well.

Automatics are stronger, the Ranger GVW thing is silly IMO but it is what it is.

If you want a manual Ranger that is rated to tow well... 5 speed swap an automatic truck. GVW can not be changed one way or the other so play the game in your favor... play nice and you will probably be ok. If you tear out your trans or fry you clutch don't cry to Ford (or me) about it though.
 

sgtsandman

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More likely because it is an expensive way to force yourself to buy 6 tires for your oddity and they never sold well.

Automatics are stronger, the Ranger GVW thing is silly IMO but it is what it is.

If you want a manual Ranger that is rated to tow well... 5 speed swap an automatic truck. GVW can not be changed one way or the other so play the game in your favor... play nice and you will probably be ok. If you tear out your trans or fry you clutch don't cry to Ford (or me) about it though.
I personally don't care about either. I have no over whelming need to make either truck into a dually not do I have any plans to pull anything heavier than my current utility trailer. I may eventually get a pop up but that will only be if my body forces me into it. I like tent and hammock camping just fine.
 

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I tried my best to bite my tongue and ignore this but you're twisting my arm or was that tail 🤬

Putting dual rear tires on SRW F-350 (or F-250/F-150/Ranger/Excursion/Expedition/Explorer) does NOT, repeat NOT increase the LEGAL amount the truck can tow. In fact it decreases it, because the extra rim/tire/fenders increase the empty weight of the truck reducing the delta between empty weight and GVWR/GCWR.

A DRW F-350 may have a higher GVWR/GCWR if correctly ordered from Ford. But you can order a 9,900lb GVWR/20k GCWR DRW F-350 that has lower capability rating than F-250 SRW with 10k GVWR/25.7k GCWR.
A point to ponder: Replacing dual rear wheels on OTR trucks with "Super Singles" increases payload/trailer capacity as they are lighter (by as much as 400lbs/axle). Replacing the DRW on F-350 with SRW of sufficient capacity should do even better as you could get rid of dually fenders.​

Swapping cab from a 4x4 payload package #2 Ranger onto a 4x2 frame would technically get you the higher GVWR of the 4wd with the lighter 2wd empty weight, so increasing payload by couple hundred pounds (weight of transfer case/front driveshaft/delta of Dana 35 front axle versus TIB/SLA). But you are dancing on the edge of legal - the VIN of the cab will not match that of the frame.

The aforementioned swap does NOT change the amount you can tow - the LEGAL GCWR information is found in owner's manual. Opposition lawyer would be able to rustle one up if you had accidentally misplaced yours.

There are 6 primary items which define strength of gears.
1. Pressure angle: But 90% of industry used the standard, so no difference between automatic and manual there.​
2. Diameter of gears: Manual wins big time, enjoying about a 3:1 advantage between M5ODR-1 and Ranger Automatics.​
3. Size of teeth: You can make 2 gears of same size with 10 teeth of module 1 or 20 teeth of module 2 or 40 teeth of module 4, etc. The individual teeth just get smaller as the module increases. More, smaller teeth makes for smoother gear interaction, but the smaller teeth are able to transfer less power - Manual wins big time, enjoying about a 3:1 advantage for M5ODR-1 versus Ranger Automatics​
4. Thickness of gears: Automatic sun/planet/ring tend to be thicker that manual Advantage about 2:1 for 5rxx for M5ODR-1​
5. Number of gears used. Most manuals only use a single counter shaft, while most automatics use their planetaries with multiple planets i.e. 5r44 has 4 planets, while 5r55 has 6. But due to manufacturing tolerances, etc, all the planets do not support equal load. Still advantage Automatic 3.5:1 to 5.5:1 versus Ranger Manual​
6. Gear tool material. While I know M5ODR-1 gears are made of 8620, which is 2nd strongest common gear material, I don't know what automatics gears are made of. 9310 is strongest gear material, but it trades strength for wear resistance...good for drag racer, no so good for transmission which needs to last to end of warrantee period. So, probably no difference.​
From the raw numbers, the M5ODR1 is fractionally weaker than 5R55 but considerable stronger than 5R44. But there are a couple other components in drivetrain; paraphrasing @Dirtman: torque converter is more wear resistant than clutch in manual. But automatics are full of bands and clutches and they are very suspect to wear - especially if allowed to get hot. No real difference in the long term strength of either.

So, while I am willing to concede that a 4.0/auto might have slightly higher GCWR from a pure engineering perspective, it would be about the weight difference between the transmissions. And the 3.0 with 3.73 gears should have identical rating. Therefore, there is some other rational for rating automatics higher.
Note: The 2020 trucks use electronics to limit power in lower gears to ensure parts aren't broken. Electronically limiting power is MUCH easier for engineer to do with automatic than manual; so, for new trucks automatics can be rated higher without going to heavier transmission.​

At the end of the day, it is what is in the owner's manual that defines LEGAL limit, and Ford rates manuals much lower in the owner's manual.
 

sgtsandman

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The same goes with upgrading tires and/or suspension on a trailer. The max GVWR and GAWR hasn't changed even if the axle and/or tires are rated for higher. If you are over weight and get busted for it or get into an accident, arguing that your suspension and/or tires can handle more isn't going to mean squat.
 

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Don nailed it pretty good.

I believe the lower GCWR ratings for manual-trans Rangers are a leftover relic from the days when Ford used crappy manuals (TK-5, FM145/146, etc.). They don't handle sustained loads well. It would seem Ford didn't bother to do the testing or whatever is required to bring the ratings up to date when they switched to the Mazda M5OD trans, because the M5OD trans itself is well-capable of it (they used a very similar version of it behind the 302 V8 in the F-150... A Ranger's V6 isn't gonna cook it's lunch as long as there's fluid in it).

FWIW, Toyota rates their manual-trans trucks the same GCWR as their automatic-equipped ones.
 

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Yes, that's why most over-the-road semis have automatics..... NOT......

A transmission can be built for whatever the manufacturer wants it to be.
Sadly its not the case anymore many new semi-trucks are now automatics, why? Because stupid drivers. My uncle hates the new trucks LOL, he prefers to shift gears and I don't blame him, especially for long haul, even for local it gives you so much more control, and he says the automatics are never in the right gear when you need them to be either LOL.

A transmission can be built, yes...however, depending on the loose nut behind the wheel it may or may not perform as built...one oops is all its gonna take to grenade that pretty little slush box in any vehicle.

Go take a look at an owner's manual/spec sheet for a truck with a manual/auto transmission, look at the huge towing capacity difference between the 2. Its all in how they're built....you may think there's not much that can go wrong with that manual transmission, but when you are trying to pull additional weight, you are crunching gears if you aren't doing it right, the automatic is more forgiving due to its components, the torque converter is able to absorb a lot, where with a manual you are slipping the clutch, trying to get moving while applying too much throttle at the same time slipping the clutch, creating heat, burning up the friction material on the clutch disc, and putting a lot of stress on the gear train inside the transmission with the additional load. The automatic's planetary gearing is a lot stronger than the input and output shafts and gears in a manual, so they rate the automatics much higher than a manual.
 

wildbill23c

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Don nailed it pretty good.

I believe the lower GCWR ratings for manual-trans Rangers are a leftover relic from the days when Ford used crappy manuals (TK-5, FM145/146, etc.). They don't handle sustained loads well. It would seem Ford didn't bother to do the testing or whatever is required to bring the ratings up to date when they switched to the Mazda M5OD trans, because the M5OD trans itself is well-capable of it (they used a very similar version of it behind the 302 V8 in the F-150... A Ranger's V6 isn't gonna cook it's lunch as long as there's fluid in it).

FWIW, Toyota rates their manual-trans trucks the same GCWR as their automatic-equipped ones.
Except its not just Ford, its every automaker out there. Transmission type dictates what you can tow, just by how they're built mostly. The dumb automatic can absorb more of the stress from the load than the smaller gears on the input and output shaft of a manual transmission, plus the clutch as well that you are burning up trying to get the load moving as you are just slipping the clutch the whole time you are trying to move off the line from a stop and applying too much throttle at the same time. I see it all the time, pulling with a manual is a long lost art...you sit at lights or stop signs and as that truck/trailer in front of you takes off all you smell is burning clutch LOL
 

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Except its not just Ford, its every automaker out there. Transmission type dictates what you can tow, just by how they're built mostly. The dumb automatic can absorb more of the stress from the load than the smaller gears on the input and output shaft of a manual transmission, plus the clutch as well that you are burning up trying to get the load moving as you are just slipping the clutch the whole time you are trying to move off the line from a stop and applying too much throttle at the same time. I see it all the time, pulling with a manual is a long lost art...you sit at lights or stop signs and as that truck/trailer in front of you takes off all you smell is burning clutch LOL
Did you read the very last sentence of my post? (that you also quoted)
 


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