Thanks for the replies to my previous post. I just purchased this 99 e/b 5.4l and i'm very excited about it what a beautiful vehicle. Anyways, I bought this espy with the idea of towing my 19 foot Champion bass boat. I am concerned about the tow capacity after reading some of the posts. It seems I dont have the factory tow package like i thought. The vehicle is a 2wd has a factory hitch, load leveling rear suspension and 16 inch rims, but the door panel axle reads 17, which i've learned is a 3.31 non-limited slip axle. What kind of towing ability can I expect, and what is the difference between a limited slip and non? Also where would the trans cooler be if so equipped?
You appear to have the package. The optional towing package did not spec a particular axle ratio for 1999. On 1999 4x2 Expeditions, the rear LLS could only be obtained in concert with the optional towing package. Take a look at the 1999 Expedition Ordering Guide found over at www.xpedition.net
Having an Expedition with a semi-automatic 4wd system doesn't give me much insight into the kind of towing experience you will have, but I would be a little concerned about traction if you have to pull your boat up a slippery, steep boat ramp on a regular basis. Make sure you have a good tire on the vehicle. When tire replacement time rolls around, I would look at an all-terrain tire with a more aggressive tread than the typical SUV all-season tire.
My 1999 Ford Expedition workshop manual confirms your translation of the axle code. A limited-slip differential is intended to divert power to the wheel that has the most traction. A non-limited slip differential tends to work in the exact opposite manner.
If you have some loose change tucked behind the cushions of your sofa, this may not be a bad time to have a limited slip setup installed. You may also want to consider installing a lower gear ratio at that time if your trailer is on the heavy side.
Probably the best thing to do is tow your rig a few times and see how it does before you start making changes.
Any idea how much your boat/trailer and the gear you stow in the boat while towing and launching weigh?
Your axle ratio is okay for the rig you have. The two most important things you need to consider if and when you encounter wheel slip on old seldom used ramps, are A: tires and B: limited slip in that order.
Premium wet weather, softer compound tires like Pirelli, Michelin or Bridgestones will probably be enough. If it isn't then consider getting a limited slip mounted in the rear differential. That will cerainly take care of it. I used to launch and retrieve 3K lbs of sailboat from the back end of a 3K lb Ford Faimont two door... but it had Pirelli P77s and they stuck like glue to wet ramps while wild and wooly looking pickups and SUVs with aggressive treads spun their wheels and got nowhere.
Simple getting all terrain tires is not enough, they must have a good soft wet weather compound with lots of sipes. Open agressive treads just mean less rubber on the ramp to give you traction.
If you have 17" wheels, then it looks like a choice between Bridgestone Dueler Revos and Michelin LTX M/S or Crossterrains.
You can see which one I bought below.
Oh, and one final tip... always have a full tank of gas when you are launching or retrieving... it puts more weight over the rear wheels.
I think you would be much better served with a 3.55 or 3.73 Limited Slip if you can afford to change it out but like the previous post says, tires are very important . . . a good soft rain tire can't be beat.
Your's could be a late 1999 build with some of the 2000 specs. in it. Because the 2000 owner's manual states: 4x4, 5.4L with 3.55 and 16 in. tires has a GCWR of 13,000 lbs. and a trailer weight range of 0-7,400 lbs
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