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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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Old 08-30-2004, 11:50 AM
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Towing capacity - 4.9L 6 cyl

This is kind of a generic question...I am sortta in the market for a mid 80's to mid 90's Ford half ton extened cab...nothing fancy, just something to get me by until I get my '69 is complete. My question is this: What is the towing capacity of such a truck with the 4.9L inline 6? I would prefer a manual tranny but might opt for the auto. I want to pull my 21' Baja boat...don't have to go fast...I am not in a hurry when I pull my boat. The boat weighs about 3000 dry, plus trailer, plus fuel, plus all the other crap you take boating....safe to say 5000lbs when everything is loaded up. Will it safely tow this amount?
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:37 PM
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The Mazda 5 speed wouldn't be a good choice. Either one of the granny low four speeds would be much better.

As long as you have a low set of gears in the back, it'll pull fine. At least 3.55's, 4.11's would pull better. As long as you're not in a hurry, the 300 will do just fine with that amount of weight.
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:48 PM
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Mazda?!

I was aware of the Mazda 5 gear in the Rangers....not the F series! Anyone have any #'s for actual GVW for a F150 with the 4.9, 2wd?
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:54 PM
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It depends on gear ratio and transmission as well. And also if the truck was equipped with a towing package.
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:59 PM
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This is true....
Did ford actually use a Mazda tranny in the F series?
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:01 PM
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Do a search for 'mazda 5 speed' in this forum. Trust me.
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:17 PM
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Hey...I believe ya! Just something I had never heard of.....
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:40 PM
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The Mazda 5-speed in the Ranger, Bronco II and Aerostars is the M5R1 while the Broncos, F150, and F250 Light Duties have the heavier duty M5R2.
I am assuming a 6000 lbs loaded weight boat and knowing you want to spend very little, I picked out the least expensive extended cabs for this list. Just to give you an idea of how craptacular towing is with the M5R2, here are some numbers from a 1996 owner's manual:


1) 1996 F150 Extended cab short bed 2WD with the I6, 5-speed M5R2 and 3.08 gears:
Max trailer weight: 2000 lbs. GCVW: 6450 lbs.

2)1996 F150 Extended cab short bed 2WD with the I6, 5-speed M5R2 and 3.55 gears:
Max trailer weight: 3300 lbs. GCVW: 7800 lbs.

3)1996 F150 Extended cab short bed 2WD with the I6, automatic and 3.31 gears:
Max trailer weight: 5000 lbs. GCVW: 9500 lbs.

4)1996 F150 Extended cab short bed 2WD with the I6, automatic and 3.55 gears:
Max trailer weight: 5500 lbs. GCVW: 10,000 lbs.

5) 1996 F250 HD Extended cab short bed 2WD with the I6, automatic and 4.10 gears:
Max trailer weight: 6000 lbs. GCVW: 11,000 lbs.

6) 1996 F250 HD Extended cab short bed 2WD with the 351, automatic and 3.55 gears:
Max trailer weight: 6400 lbs. GCVW: 11,500 lbs.

7) 1996 F250 HD Extended cab short bed 2WD with the 351, automatic and 4.10 gears:
Max trailer weight: 7900 lbs. GCVW: 13,000 lbs.

8)1996 F250 HD Extended cab short bed 2WD with the 351, 5-speed ZF S542/7 and 3.55 gears:
Max trailer weight: 6300 lbs. GCVW: 11,500 lbs.

9) 1996 F250 HD Extended cab short bed 2WD with the 351, 5-speed ZF S542/7 and 4.10 gears:
Max trailer weight: 7800 lbs. GCVW: 13,000 lbs.


It looks like its borderline with 4 and good with 5,6,7,8, and 9 which are your best bet. You're better off with an automatic F150 and I6 or an F250 HD with the I6 or the 351, manual or auto. The 351 is goind to be easier to find in an F250 HD.
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Last edited by n578md; 08-30-2004 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:54 PM
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Would you look at that info! You are da man. Thanks a bunch!
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:45 PM
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The other thing to consider is that Ford gives lower tow ratings to manual transmissions because most people don't know how to properly drive a manual. Most people argue that you can tow just as much with a manual as you can with an automatic.
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:49 PM
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I personally prefer towing with a manual...have always driven a stick and find it easier. Most people think I am nuts but that is me. I also find it easier to pull a boat out of a lake on slippery ramps with a stick. The ability to slip the clutch and easy the truck out of slippery conditions helps much....although, like AndyM states, not many people are comfortable doing this. I personally find driving a manual tranny in snow and ice is better too....
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Old 08-30-2004, 04:53 PM
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My dad has a '78 F100 with a 6cyl, 3-speed manual on column, and 3.55 gears in the rear end and it pulled a 22' foot travel trailer. Higher gear ratio would not be suggested. I talked with my dad he said it came with 2.??(I thought he said 2.79 but that doesn't sound right.) and the wind coming over the cab and hitting the front of the camper caused LOTS of drag and max speed was around 45MPH, after putting the 3.55 gear ratio in the truck he had no further problem and could pull as fast as if no trailer.
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Old 08-30-2004, 07:27 PM
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with mazda 5 speed you are not supposed to use gear 5 when towiing also keep that in mind when choosing.
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Old 08-30-2004, 10:35 PM
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I have a 89 with 4.9 4 speed manual w/ granny gear. I had only pulled my motorcycle and trailer when a buddy of mine called needing help. He had broke down in his chevy while pulling his race car. Anyways the truck pulled it like a champ. Also let my buddy borrow my truck to get pull his truck back home. Come to find out when he went back to work he told a bunch of guys how much better my truck pulled than his. Thats Ford tough. Picture it a ford pulling a chevy.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:13 PM
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96 F150 Inline 6 Towing ability and Gears

I just purchased a 96 F150 to replace my 87 Jeep Comanche with 4.0.
The F150 has the inline 6 4.9litre 300. It's Automatic. How do I find out which Gears I have? and how much I can tow as well as max payload? Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:13 PM
 
 
 
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