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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 06-28-2012, 12:56 AM
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whiteboyslo whiteboyslo is offline
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How to read GCWR chart in 91 Owner's Manual

Not that I need to tow anything right now, but I got curious as to what my rated for. According to the Owner's Manual, the max trailer weight is calculated by subtracting the weight of the truck fully loaded from the GCWR listed on the chart(s) on Pg 157. OK, that makes sense, but I can't interpret the chart.

So, there's a column for the engine size (7.3L for me), another for rear gear ratio (3.55 for me), but after that I get confused. The next column is titled 'Max GCWR', but for my engine/rear end combo, there's one block that says 11000lbs and one that says 12000lbs. Huh? Well, which is it? I would GUESS 11000lbs is for a F250 and the 12000lbs is for a F350, but it doesn't come out and say that anywhere. But then it gets weirder

The next column is titled 'Trailer Weight'. For the '11000lbs Max GCWR' block, there are two 'Trailer Weight' blocks. One says 0-2000lbs, the other says 2000-3500lbs. For the '12000lbs Max GCWR' block, there is only one 'Trailer Weight' block and it says 3500-7100lbs.

Then there's a column titled 'Max Frontal Area', and I have NO CLUE what the hell that means.

I know this is probably super-confusing to read. I'm hoping someone else also has their 1991 Owner's Manual (I would think other years close to this would be the same) and can help me interpret it.

The way I read it, it's telling me that my max GCWR is 11000lbs for my F250. Is that right? Seems awful low IMHO, since I would guess the truck to weigh 5-6000lbs unloaded, which means the max trailer weight would be the difference between the 11000lb GCWR and whatever the actual truck weight is.

Side question: I know that LEGALLY I have to respect the GCWR, but I am curious what sort of additional weight I can safely tow given the Banks turbo system on the truck. Anyone have the GCWR for a comparably equipped IDI-T?

Mike
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:10 AM
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Yeah the charts are a bit confusing, it doesn't say anywhere but I suspect the two different blocks under each section are for bumper loads vs receiver loads, a 2000lb maximum is awfull low for even an F150 so something else is the limiting factor here. Now as for the max trailer weights you're right, your truck is only rated to haul a 7100lb trailer, it's not so much what the chassis can carry or the engine can move as it is what the brakes can stop, and the transmission plays a role here too as you'll notice there are seperate charts for auto and manual gearboxes. And frontal are is the area of the front of the trailer referring specifically to enclosed work trailers and RVs which typically have a large blunt face that will produce wind drag, in your case the max is 60 square feet.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:19 AM
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So, when I see 1/2 ton pick-ups advertised with more towing capacity than my truck, what's different? Has there been that many advances in truck technology in the last 20ish years, or is GCWR somewhat analagous to tire treadwear ratings where the manufacturer is left to their own devices to decide how to calculate the number?

Mike
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboyslo View Post
So, when I see 1/2 ton pick-ups advertised with more towing capacity than my truck, what's different? Has there been that many advances in truck technology in the last 20ish years, or is GCWR somewhat analagous to tire treadwear ratings where the manufacturer is left to their own devices to decide how to calculate the number?

Mike

yes there have been signifigant advances in technology. For one Brakes on new trucks are much larger than older trucks. The new auto transmissions are much more robust and able to handle more load and torque than the older stuff. Engineering advancements in the manufacture of truck frames. i am sure there are other factors i am forgetting but they surely have advanced over the years

matt
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by whiteboyslo View Post

I know that LEGALLY I have to respect the GCWR
This is false.

GCWR is not a legal limit, just the manufacturer's recommendation.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:33 PM
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This is false.

GCWR is not a legal limit, just the manufacturer's recommendation.

However if you cause an accident are found to exceed GCWR or GVWR it will be easier to hold you criminally and civially liable. Plus in most states if you are checked by state DOT and are found to be in excess of the GCWR or GVWR you can and probably will be ticketed and possibly have your vehicle impounded.

Jus sayin

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Old 06-28-2012, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by norfolknova View Post
However if you cause an accident are found to exceed GCWR or GVWR it will be easier to hold you criminally and civially liable. Plus in most states if you are checked by state DOT and are found to be in excess of the GCWR or GVWR you can and probably will be ticketed and possibly have your vehicle impounded.

Jus sayin

Matt
This is all internet rumors. (I used to think the same thing until I did some research)

These laws vary by state, but I'm not aware of any state that uses the manufacturer's GCWR as a legal limit. There are legal weight limits, but these are usually based on how much weight you have your vehicle registered for, and also maximum axle and tire weights. If you aren't breaking any laws, you can't be ticketed or have your vehicle impounded.

If you cause an accident, you are going to have civil (and possibly criminal) liability no matter how much weight you are hauling.

There are plenty of guys out there that use their trucks for commercial hauling and are well over their GCWR on a daily basis. However, they have no problems when they go through weigh stations or get stopped for DOT inspection.
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:37 PM
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You are correct that the laws vary fro state to state, here in va they do not normally target privatley regestered vehicles, but if business is slow the roving Va DOT guys will stop you for inspection. I know a frew state troopers so I know this to be true. I used tohe wrong terminology when I say impound, but they have been known to make people drop a trailer and have it towed by a wrecker or other wise slowed by haveing to unload part of your load to another vehicle.

matt
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:26 PM
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Going by memory, the 2000lb trailer weight rating was for trucks with standard cooling and no towing package.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboyslo View Post
So, when I see 1/2 ton pick-ups advertised with more towing capacity than my truck, what's different? Has there been that many advances in truck technology in the last 20ish years,
Simple answer is yes. The new F150(for example) is not a 1/2 ton truck anymore, it's cargo and towing capaicity is on par with an F250HD from this era, and incidentally so is the vehicle weight. Frames are now several times stronger and more rigid, engines are roughly twice as powerful, brakes are bigger, the standard axle in an F150 is 9.75" now. And on top of all that they have a pile of technology that increases control.. ABS, trailer sway control, integrated trailer braking, hill decent control. You get a lot more truck now but it's also a lot more complicated so I don't know that these things will have the same useable lifespan that our older trucks do because it's usually all those electrical gadgets that are first to go.. especially up here in the rust belt.
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1990 5.0HO AOD XLT X-Cab F150 3.55LS, 1994 3.0L 5-sp x-cab Ranger 3.45, 2004 3.0L 5-sp X-cab Ranger Edge 4.10, 2004 2.5L 5-spd Subaru Legacy
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:34 PM
 
 
 
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