What is true difference in towing capacity for '03 Expedition with 4.6L vs. 5.4L engines (for 4x2 models)? Would I need a weight-distributing hitch (WDH) at lower weights for the 4.6 than the 5.4?
(1) Expedition brochure shows 5000 for 4.6 and 8950 for 5.4.
(2) Ford towing brochure shows several things:
(a) 6,050 for 4.6 and 8,900 for 5.4; and
(b) in another section, 6,000 w/o WDH, and 8,900 w/ WDH, with NO DISTINCTION for different engine sizes. My luck calling Ford for similar clarification in the past was unsuccessful (A: "Please ask Dealer"). Dealer was less than helpful today.
Assuming difference is about 6,000 vs. 8,900, what causes the difference? Is is something besides the 0.8L displacement increase? I have a loaded boat + trailer (towed infrequently) that goes about 6,000 and might want to get the 4.6L to keep from having to spend $2000+ to get the next higher model. Any explanations? Thanks in advance for any help you might have.
Thanks, Collosus, but boat and dealer are far apart, and I'm not sure I could tell in a short test whether the 4.6 was overloaded or not.
Ford help line still unhelpful; anyone with expertise would be appreciated. Ford said they needed a VIN; otherwise, policy prevented them from disclosing towing capacity. Called back later with VIN, then they said "Research" could help only if I was the owner. Told them I was trying to make a buying decision based on towing capacity. Then they said Research would call me within 10 business days but no promises ... Tough way to sell cars. All I want to know is the towing capacity, with and without weight distributing hitch, for 4.6 and 5.4 models, and why there's a difference. Would also be nice but not critical to know what the cryptic "properly equipped" wording means.
I have found the 5.4L to be barely adequate for towing anything over 4-5k lbs. It does fine on the flats, but loaded w/gear in the back as well as a trailer struggles in the mountains. Nothing too bad, but i've been at 4grand and barely able to maintain 55, but it's something I can live with.
If you tow a reasonable amount, spring for the 5.4.
ACtually,, the butt gears makes more difference than .8 liter. 3.73`s will pull 1500 more lbs than the 3.55`s
but yea.. add the wd hitch. I did with my 5200 lb boat/trailer and it made a big difference. tow rig has a 5.0l
Have an 02 SuperCrew with the 5.4 and just towed a 6000 LB trailer from AZ to WA. On the flats of Utah and Nevada it was ok, and mileage was around 9. As soon as I hit any grades at all it was like an asthmatic old woman and mileage dropped to 6. I have added a K&N FIPK and Gibson exhaust. Not sure I could have climbed some of the mountains in Oregon and Washington if I hadn't.
If you're going to tow over 5000 Lbs for ANY distance and over ANY hills, scrap the Expedition and buy a crew cab SuperDuty with the PowerStroke. You'll have more power than you need as well as a truck that is DESIGNED to tow and haul. Expeditions were designed to haul kids to soccer and groceries to the house. Another thing of note is the overall strength of frame and suspension when towing. Again, the tremendous strain placed on the tow vehicle is what the SuperDuty was designed for. Over 5000 Lbs you should ALWAYS use a load leveling hitch of some sort, and hopefully your boat trailer is equipped with surge brakes. Remember, when you're towing there's a big red sign on the front of your rig that invites every idiot on the road to pull in front of you and hit their brakes.
Colossus, I agree with you for your truck. However, try this. Get a straw and try to breath through it while you are running up hill. That's what the new engine designs coming out of Detroit are like. The FIPK has added noticeable power and mpg increase for my '02 5.4L. Gotta compare apples to apples.
BTW, I'd give my eye teeth if Ford would start selling a truck with a good ole high cube engine like they used to build. Had a '77 F350 with the 460 and a granny gear, and that thing could pull your house up the side of a mountain at idle.
I agree with the FIPK. Colossus is right about the hot air, but even if it's hot air, it's getting a crap load more than what it was. I had a '99 Expy, put on a FIPK and the engine was a different engine. The thing wasn't gasping for air anymore.
Back to the question, the 5.4L would handle a 5k boat, but the problem is, in my opinion, the suspension. I towed a 2250l. boat with mine and it was a stinkin yoyo in the back. Definitely get some sort of air bags or something that will help stiffin the ride when hauling the boat...
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