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86 F150 any good for towing?

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Old 11-21-2006, 02:36 PM
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86 F150 any good for towing?

Trying to sell my 86 F150 but no takers yet. I'm considering keeping the truck and using it as my trailer puller and pull my 79 off the road and start working on it. 86 is currently 302 EFI with AOD trans and 8.8 rear with 3.55 gears. Truck is the light duty GVWR (ie serial number 2FTD instead of 2FTE and heavier duty like my old 87). Trailer is car/utility trailer, probably up to 12000 lbs gross including truck, trailer, and payload.

What's the weakest link? Suspension? Engine? AOD?

Option A - use truck as is.

Option B - switch to 351 & AOD.

Option C - convert truck to 4x4 (can get complete Bronco for couple hundred bucks)

Any opinions/thoughts (besides get heavier truck?)
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:51 PM
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Not the best setup for towing. I recommend a bigger motor, big block if you do a lot of heavy towing, and I prefer a standard transmission. I do alot of heavy towing and they seem to be more durable. Also, easier to replace a clutch than rebuild a tranny. If you want a project to do I don't see any problem with converting it to 4X4. Might sell a little easier if that is what you chose to do.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:03 PM
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I dont se that AOD living to long with 12k loads behind it. I'd throw in a 351/C6.
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:53 PM
must-be-a-stang must-be-a-stang is offline
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I dont mean to hijack but

Quote:
Option C - convert truck to 4x4 (can get complete Bronco for couple hundred bucks)

You can do that?! Id love more info on this. I dont know alot about these F150s

Back to the topic. I have and 81 F150 351 and thought about using it to pull my boat.....I just dont think she could.... Id rather leave that to the 250s with bigger motors.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:54 AM
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I have hauled/towed just about anything I could hook to the back of my 84 F150 4wd and it has a 300 six with the four speed creeper box in it. I am running C-rated 33" mudders with 4.10 gears. Some of the loads I probably shouldn't have hauled but did anyway, the truck hasn't given me any reason to be less confident in it. I am running an add-a-leaf in the rear with heavy duty shocks. I think the 302 would do okay but you will smoke the AOD in short order, I would at least swap in a C6 behind your 5.0. Unfortunately because a 302 is a short stroke motor it will lack the lower end torque necessary to get the load moving. For what it's worth I would try to find a 3/4 or 1 ton truck with at least a 351/ C6 or 4 spd with 3.73 or 4.10 gears in the rear. That is if you plan on doing a lot of heavy towing.
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:33 AM
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Its not just going its stopping also. Yep you can pull it now control it at 110k in a wind. IMO look for the 250 or 350 series, bigger brakes different gears, frame, tyres.
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:57 AM
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If you try it make sure you do not use the overdrive gear in that AOD tranny. Lock it into "D".
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by must-be-a-stang
I dont mean to hijack but




You can do that?! Id love more info on this. I dont know alot about these F150s

Back to the topic. I have and 81 F150 351 and thought about using it to pull my boat.....I just dont think she could.... Id rather leave that to the 250s with bigger motors.
Check the tech articles, there's a good in depth article there. Both 2wd and 4x4 use the same frame so it's pretty straight forward.

Bigger truck is out of the question $$-wise.

I guess I'll just keep towing with my 79. It's currently 351W/C6/2.75 gears. This winter it's getting upgraded to 3.50 gears, and later on (hopefully next year, but that's what I say every year) a ZF 5 speed.
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:45 PM
81-F-150-Explorer 81-F-150-Explorer is offline
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I wouldn't tow anything over a Class C trailer with that truck.

The engine, AOD tranny, and brakes are not enough to tow anything bigger in my opinion.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:15 PM
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What is Class C?
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:40 PM
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Well I should have said Class III trailers, instead of Class C.

A Class III Trailer is 3500 to 5000 Lbs.
And the 1981 Owners manual states the minimum Requirements for towing with Class III trailer with a F-150 are...


Towing Method: Conventional

Cooling Package: Super Cooling

Towing Package: HD Which includes some of the following:

A: 60 amp Altenator
B: Heavy Duty Battery
C: Ammeter and Oil Pressure Guage
D: Transmission Cooler
E: Handling Package
F: Heavy Duty Turn Signal Flasher
G: Trailer Tow Wiring Harness
H: Auxilery Light Relays


Front and Rear Stabiliser Bars

GVWR of 5250, with a 5.8L 351CID engine.

3.00 Rear end Ratio.

So Ford back in 1981 don't even recommend you towing a Class III trailer with your current setup, and I know this is the maximum your truck can handle, but it dang sure wont like it either without the optional equipment.


The Highest trailer Class Ford Recomends with your Current setup is a Class I which is a maximum of 2000 Lbs.



====================

To Tow a trailer with a maximum GCWR of 12050 you will need the following acording to Ford in 1981.


A: F-250 with a GVWR of 7800.
B: 5.8L 351M or 6.6L 400 Engine.
C: 3.73 Gear Ratio
D: Super Cooling
E: Stabalizer Bars Front and Rear
F: HD Towing Package

Etc...
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Old 11-23-2006, 12:05 PM
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Ah, I thought you meant Class III.

My wife vetoed all 3 options. Truck must go. Oh well, we could use the $$.
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Old 11-24-2006, 02:17 AM
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that's unfortunate. i woulda just tossed the 79's driveline in place of the 86's, bought a brake controller, put a goose hitch in the 86, and hauled like there was no tomorrow.

Justin
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:10 PM
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No no no no no no no no! 79 is the good baby. 86 is the red-headed stepchild.
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