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Old 01-31-2005, 10:18 AM
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leroys4wd leroys4wd is offline
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4.6 Liter - How much can I tow?

2003 F-150 4.6 Liter. 17" wheels, 6250 GVWR
I am wanting to put a pop-up camper in the bed and tow a trailer with some off-road vehicles. The camper weighs 1200lbs, how much weight am I afforded to pull after this? thanks, Dave
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:19 PM
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F150 are rated "1/2 Ton". Meaning that you are limited to 1000lbs in the bed. (Sheesh, my ratings are way less then that!) Sorry couldn't resist...
I had a load of wood dumped into mine about 2 months ago and after hitting the scales after the load was dropped from a big front end loader, I had 3/4 of a ton. The back end dropped a little but nothing bad as to make it look like it was overloaded. As for trailer, I believe the two options are 6400 lbs and 7000 lbs. with the 7000lbs rating being for the F150's with the 5.4 liter engine. If you are dropping in a 1200 camper, I would at least add some helper springs in the back. The 4.6 liter engine is a good reliable engine, but don't expect any real performance with the camper on there. You will be pushing it. Make sure your engine is solid before you go with that much weight.
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:38 PM
Robbywayne Robbywayne is offline
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Towing

Your towing capacity depends on which transmission, rear end , and cab configuration you have. For example the 4.6 4x4 with the standard trans and reg cab with the 3.31 rear end is rated to tow 2500 lbs. Same configuration with the auto trans is rated to tow 5800 lbs. Supercabs tow 200 lbs less.
Take the 6250 lbs and subtract the weight of your empty truck to get your truck load capacity which includes people, luggage, and your pop up camper. My guess is something in the 1700 lb range. If you have a lower ratio 3.55 rear end it increases your tow capacity by 1000 lbs.
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:48 PM
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I have the auto tranny, 3:55 gears, 4X4 standard cab, short bed, 17 inch wheels.
I was told by a rep at Ford this afternoon that the truck should pull 6200lbs. minus the weight of the camper I should be able to pull 5000lb but that sounds like an aweful lot to me. Am I missing something? I'm still afraid I'm going to toast my tranny, but I am only towing it 68 miles one way.
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:57 PM
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If one hasn't already been installed, I would strongly recommend the installation of an auxiliary transmission cooler.

What is the weight of the trailer+off-road vehicles? Over 1,500 lbs? If so, does the trailer have it's own braking system? One of the biggest advantages of a 3/4 ton over a 1/2 ton truck involves generously-sized rotors+drums.
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Old 01-31-2005, 04:47 PM
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PaulC already mentioned it, but I would like to STRESS that if you have an automatic and plan to tow, don't stop at just adding an auxilliary trans cooler, but change the transmission fluid OFTEN, and I do mean OFTEN.

The most common cause of failure in an a/t is heat. The heat fries the fluid and the trans is toast. If you will install the cooler and then drain the transmission AND the torque converter and refill after every major trip you take with your trailer, then the trans will live a little while.

BTW, people COMMONLY pull much more trailer weight than is designated. This does not make it right, but it is just fact.

Good luck,
Doc
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Old 01-31-2005, 05:24 PM
superrangerman2002 superrangerman2002 is offline
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Your max payload is ~1863lbs. Your GCWR is 11000 lbs. You mention that your GVWR is 6250 lbs. According to the link, your truck prolly weighs ~4387 Lbs

http://www.fordtrucks.com/specs/2003/2003_f150_1.html

If you had a camper in the back that weighed 1860lbs, You could tow a trailer that weighed ~4750lbs (11000 - 6250 ).

This doesn't take into account fuel, passengers, or gear.
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Old 01-31-2005, 06:59 PM
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I have two scenarios, the heaviest of which is a 2400lb trailer with a 2000lb Suzuki Samurai on it. yes the trailer has brakes on all 4 wheels. I havent added a tranny cooler, I was hoping one came stock. I will only be driving 140 miles round trip every other weekend.
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Old 01-31-2005, 09:17 PM
superrangerman2002 superrangerman2002 is offline
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You may be a bit over loaded by the time you factor in passengers and gear, assuming you are getting a pop-up that is in the #1800 lb range. The lighter the camper, the more room you have for trailer weight.

In most cases a couple hundred pounds over is not a big deal if you have some good "C" or higher rated tires on the truck.

An additional tranny cooler definately won't hurt, but I really don't think that they are the tranny life preserver that most make them out to be (pretty sure I'll get blasted on this one).

I wouldn't lose any sleep if you've been doing 20k mi - 30k mi flushes on your tranny.

As long as you aren't trying to tow in OD, you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 01-31-2005, 09:38 PM
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my pop-up weighs 1200lbs, its pretty basic. I've only got 14,000 miles on the truck so I havent changed the tranny fluid yet.
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:51 AM
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Like most lubricants, transmission fluid has an optimum operating range. Too cold, it's too viscous, and can't properly lube the appropriate components. Too hot, and it breaks down, losing it's lubricating qualities and diminishing transmission life.

60 miles of driving under the wrong conditions is more than enough to bring the fluid to an excessive temperature.
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:59 AM
superrangerman2002 superrangerman2002 is offline
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Since your camper only weighs 1200 lbs, the extra 600 lbs should leave you enough room for cargo and passengers.

If you are planning to make this trip often, and aren't going to get a tranny cooler, I'd prolly start getting my tranny flushes done at the 20K mi mark.

In all reality, 140 mi round trip every other weekend is not really a lot of towing miles IMO. I certainly wouldn't lose any sleep over this.

Heck, in my '02 F150 SuperCrew my tranny fluid stays a constant 194F on the 408 mi fishing trip I like to take every month, and I do not have a tranny cooler either. After 110K mi she is still going strong, but I keep my tranny flushed as I mentioned above.
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:26 AM
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Don't forget that the 5.4 has a 4R100 trans, which is designed from the outset to be a heavy duty trans, while most 4.6 engines are sitting in front of the 4R70W, which sees as much use behind RWD Ford cars as trucks.

Don't want to be a drone, but I would put an auxiliary cooler on the vehicle that is the subject of this thread. Tall tires, relatively high gearing, pretty heavy load + pop-up + whatever gear and passengers haven't yet been factored in: This ol' girl will work hard, even if it's only on occasion.
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Old 02-01-2005, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulC
Don't forget that the 5.4 has a 4R100 trans, which is designed from the outset to be a heavy duty trans, while most 4.6 engines are sitting in front of the 4R70W, which sees as much use behind RWD Ford cars as trucks.
5.4L/4R70W here.

Actually the 5.4L is also hooked up to the 4r70w tranny, infact there may be more 5.4L/4r70w combos in the f150 than 5.4L/4r100 combos. All F-250 5.4L's have a 4r100, which was also behind the v-10 and 7.3L at one time.

The 4r70w in the f150 is not a poor tranny by any stretch of the imagination...infact it can take a heck of a beating.

The truck 4r70w's are a heavier duty unit than the 4r70w's in cars, but for the most part they are essentially the same.

I'm not saying that the poster "shouldn't" get a aux tranny cooler, I just feel that it is unnecessary.

Would it be a benefit, definately!

Personally I feel that transmission failure tends to happen indirectly from improper radiator service intervals (if it is even serviced at all). Today's cooling systems do an excellent job of keeping the motor cool, and the transmission fluid at the proper temps (wether heating the fluid or cooling it), as long as the radiator coolant is in it's prime.
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Old 02-01-2005, 03:20 PM
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My 00 with 3.08 gears could only tow 2000 lbs. 6200 sounds good to me. I'd do the trans cooler just to be safe.
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Old 02-01-2005, 03:20 PM
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