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Old 01-22-2002, 04:07 PM
hfactor hfactor is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

OK, I've read many of the comments, replies, and statements here on this message board, but can someone out there give me advice on the towing capacity of the Ford 4.6 Triton V8? Is there someone out there that has towed with this engine??

I have a 5000-lb. boat that I want to tow. Am I crazy to think that I can tow this thing SAFELY with the 4.6 V8, including the 3.55 axle, with the factory towing package? FORD says that it will tow up to 7,000lbs, yet many of the messages here on the board say that are ridiculous!!

And will the 5.4 V8 solve my problem. Here in southern Californian, the 4.6 V8 are more available than the 5.4 V8's.

Hfactor

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Old 01-22-2002, 05:08 PM
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

Hfactor;

I don't see why you couldnt tow a 5000 lb boat with a 4.6 v-8.

I had a '97 f-150 with the 4.6 in it and I towed a 24ft 5-er AND a 16 ft fiberglas boat at the same time. I had no problems towing it eather. When I sold the truck last year it had 90,000 on it with the only repairs to it being a set of tires and a set of brakes. I was real happy with it and the only reason I traded it was I wanted the PSD.

Point of interest: I spoke to the new owner of it just a month ago, and he said he was very happy with it. He put another 40,000 on it last year and had to replace a couple of tie-rod ends on it.

Hope this helps you deside. If you have any other questions you can e-mail me.

Jim

BTW: welcome to the site.
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Old 01-22-2002, 09:26 PM
Sportdeck262 Sportdeck262 is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

Hfactor:
The first question is "is it really a 5000lb boat? Have you had it weighed?

My boat dealer claimed the manufactures web site was wrong, and the boat and trailer couldn't be over 6000 lbs and he didn't know why the trailer was pushing the back end of my Excursion to the ground. I did! When I got the boat & trailer weighed, my 4900lb boat tipped the scales at 7250lbs with 1/2 a tank of gas (100 gal capacity) and had a tongue wt of 840lbs or close to 12%. He didn't want to believe the #'s. I towed with a w/d hitch on the boat trailer and didn't like it at all. The surge brakes didn't work the way they should and I still had tooooo much tongue wt. After several attempts to "work out" the problem with the dealer, I finally bought an alluminum triple axle trailer with electric over hydraulic brakes. This cut my weight by 1000lbs and reduced my tongue wt to 400 lbs and gave me a set of brakes that I was sure could/would stop my trailer from coming through the back window.

The moral of the story is, yes I could tow the 7250 - 8000 lbs fully loaded trailer with my Excursion, but was I comfortable? The answer to that is not always. If I was trailering to the FL Keys to relax and getting there was making me tense, I was defeating the purpose. With my new trailer that balances the boat and eliminates the jerking and surging of a typical large boat trailer, I can go anywhere. I now have a 30-35% reserve on what Ford says that I can tow. I can tow in O/D and maintain 65-70MPH (2000rpm) and still get 11MPG . With the extra wt, I couldn't stay in O/D and when the road got too hilly this required locking out O/D dropping my speed to 60-65 (3000rpm) and then getting 7.5MPG .
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Old 01-23-2002, 12:41 AM
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V10man V10man is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

I used to have a 99 SC with a 4.6L and towed a 20' deck boat. I'm guessing it weighed 4500-5000 pounds. The truck towed OK. Not the greatest on hills but I got there eventually. On steep grades(6%) it would slow to 45-50mph and be turning over 4k rpms. MPG figures were in the single digits. Actually, I was impressed how well the 4.6L did. Several of my buddys were amazed too.
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Old 01-23-2002, 09:32 AM
hfactor hfactor is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

>Hfactor:
>The first question is "is it really a 5000lb boat? Have you
>had it weighed?
>
>My boat dealer claimed the manufactures web site was wrong,
>and the boat and trailer couldn't be over 6000 lbs and he
>didn't know why the trailer was pushing the back end of my
>Excursion to the ground. I did! When I got the boat &
>trailer weighed, my 4900lb boat tipped the scales at 7250lbs
>with 1/2 a tank of gas (100 gal capacity) and had a tongue
>wt of 840lbs or close to 12%. He didn't want to believe the
>#'s. I towed with a w/d hitch on the boat trailer and
>didn't like it at all. The surge brakes didn't work the way
>they should and I still had tooooo much tongue wt. After
>several attempts to "work out" the problem with the
>dealer, I finally bought an alluminum triple axle trailer
>with electric over hydraulic brakes. This cut my weight by
>1000lbs and reduced my tongue wt to 400 lbs and gave me a
>set of brakes that I was sure could/would stop my trailer
>from coming through the back window.
>
>The moral of the story is, yes I could tow the 7250 - 8000
>lbs fully loaded trailer with my Excursion, but was I
>comfortable? The answer to that is not always. If I was
>trailering to the FL Keys to relax and getting there was
>making me tense, I was defeating the purpose. With my new
>trailer that balances the boat and eliminates the jerking
>and surging of a typical large boat trailer, I can go
>anywhere. I now have a 30-35% reserve on what Ford says
>that I can tow. I can tow in O/D and maintain 65-70MPH
>(2000rpm) and still get 11MPG . With the extra wt, I
>couldn't stay in O/D and when the road got too hilly this
>required locking out O/D dropping my speed to 60-65
>(3000rpm) and then getting 7.5MPG .

Thanks for your input. The boat I just purchased was reviewed in Western Outdoor News (a Southern California sports publication), and they rated the boat fully loaded (equipment, gas, oil, etc.) at 5900 lbs. So, I'm assuming that 5500 lbs. is a legitimate weight when comparing engines.

Hfactor

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Old 01-23-2002, 09:36 AM
hfactor hfactor is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

>I used to have a 99 SC with a 4.6L and towed a 20' deck
>boat. I'm guessing it weighed 4500-5000 pounds. The truck
>towed OK. Not the greatest on hills but I got there
>eventually. On steep grades(6%) it would slow to 45-50mph
>and be turning over 4k rpms. MPG figures were in the single
>digits. Actually, I was impressed how well the 4.6L did.
>Several of my buddys were amazed too.


Hey V10,
Thanks for your input. I'm not so much worried about the performance of the engine while towing 500lbs, but more concerned about safety. I want to make sure that towing 5000lbs - 6000lbs. With the 4.6 V8, that I'm not putting my passengers and me in an unsafe condition. I have ZERO towing experience, so safely is my main concern. Here in southern California, the F-150 mostly come with the 4.6 V8.

Hfactor

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Old 01-23-2002, 09:38 AM
hfactor hfactor is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

>Hfactor;
>
>I don't see why you couldnt tow a 5000 lb boat with a 4.6
>v-8.
>
>I had a '97 f-150 with the 4.6 in it and I towed a 24ft 5-er
>AND a 16 ft fiberglas boat at the same time. I had no
>problems towing it eather. When I sold the truck last year
>it had 90,000 on it with the only repairs to it being a set
>of tires and a set of brakes. I was real happy with it and
>the only reason I traded it was I wanted the PSD.
>
>Point of interest: I spoke to the new owner of it just a
>month ago, and he said he was very happy with it. He put
>another 40,000 on it last year and had to replace a couple
>of tie-rod ends on it.
>
>Hope this helps you deside. If you have any other questions
>you can e-mail me.
>
>Jim
>
>BTW: welcome to the site.

Hey Jim,
Thanks for your input. I want to make sure that towing 5000lbs - 6000lbs. with the 4.6 V8, that I'm not putting my passengers and me in an unsafe condition. I have ZERO towing experience, so safely is my main concern. Here in southern California, the F-150 mostly come with the 4.6 V8, so this is the cheaper option vs. the F-250.

Hfactor


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Old 01-23-2002, 09:45 AM
hfactor hfactor is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

>I used to have a 99 SC with a 4.6L and towed a 20' deck
>boat. I'm guessing it weighed 4500-5000 pounds. The truck
>towed OK. Not the greatest on hills but I got there
>eventually. On steep grades(6%) it would slow to 45-50mph
>and be turning over 4k rpms. MPG figures were in the single
>digits. Actually, I was impressed how well the 4.6L did.
>Several of my buddys were amazed too.


Hey V10,
Thanks for your input. I'm not so much worried about the performance of the engine while towing
500lbs, but more concerned about safety. I want to make sure that towing 5000lbs - 6000lbs. With
the 4.6 V8, that I'm not putting my passengers and me in an unsafe condition. I have ZERO towing
experience, so safely is my main concern. Here in southern California, the F-150 mostly come with
the 4.6 V8.

Hfactor
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Old 01-23-2002, 11:32 AM
gabz gabz is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

As I have recently been made aware of, there are limits to the frame-mounted, factory-installed hitch which don't necessarily match what an F150 can tow.

The Class III frame-mounted hitch that Ford puts on the F150s is maxed at 5000 pounds and 500 pounds tongue weight. So, to tow OVER that amount, you need to go with a weight distribution hitch which has two side arms to it that attach to the tongue of the trailer. (That will take you to 8800 pounds towing capacity on the F150.)

As someone else said, make sure you know what your trailer with equipment weighs... and make sure you aren't loading the trailer full of coolers, soft drink & ice, water skis, camping gear, etc. You need to put all that in the truck and be sure to stay under your GVWR.

The trailer has to have it's own brake system.

I tow 5000 pounds (2 axle horse trailer with horses) with my 2000 F150, 5.4 XLT 4x2 (talk about HARD TO FIND), 3:55 rear end, with the Class III frame hitch and the 6300 payload group. Where I travel is very flat - hardly any hills and certainly no mountains like Tenn/West Virgina or Rocky Mountains.

When I"m stopped and the horses wiggle I can feel it. I also have different stopping factors so I'm not slamming the horses into the front wall of the trailer, and when cornering, not making them fall down.
I'm quite satisfied with my setup and I'm getting the same thing again.
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Old 01-23-2002, 11:42 AM
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horsepuller horsepuller is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

>So, I'm assuming that 5500 lbs. is a legitimate weight when comparing engines.

Hfactor, don't forget to consider the GCWR, total weight of loaded truck and trailer.

That's a pretty heavy boat for an F150. How much does the trailer weigh? I might guess at least 1800#. Now you're up to 7300#. Add a 200# man, a 130# woman, two 60# kids and you're up to 7750#. You add in the weight of an ice chest, fishing tackle, water toys, camping gear, etc...and now you are way over the weight limit. Especially with surge brakes, that load will be pushing your truck all over the road.

Another thing to think about. Do you think that truck can pull that much weight out of the water and up a steep ramp?

FWIW, my coworker has the same truck as you describe and pulls a 24' fifth wheel that's 3830# unladen weight and rated at 5600# gross weight. He says the truck is underpowered and long steep hills are down in first gear at around 30 mph. That's slow enough to put you over with the semi's, but not enough power to pass them.

It's always better to get more truck than you think you need, because you're gonna need it. I would reccomend a minimum of an F250 with a 5.4 engine and 4.10 axle. The V-10 would be even better and is only a $600 option if you buy new.
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Old 01-23-2002, 04:43 PM
hfactor hfactor is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

>>So, I'm assuming that 5500 lbs. is a legitimate weight when comparing engines.
>
>Hfactor, don't forget to consider the GCWR, total weight of
>loaded truck and trailer.
>
>That's a pretty heavy boat for an F150. How much does the
>trailer weigh? I might guess at least 1800#. Now you're up
>to 7300#. Add a 200# man, a 130# woman, two 60# kids and
>you're up to 7750#. You add in the weight of an ice chest,
>fishing tackle, water toys, camping gear, etc...and now you
>are way over the weight limit. Especially with surge brakes,
>that load will be pushing your truck all over the road.
>
>Another thing to think about. Do you think that truck can
>pull that much weight out of the water and up a steep ramp?
>
>FWIW, my coworker has the same truck as you describe and
>pulls a 24' fifth wheel that's 3830# unladen weight and
>rated at 5600# gross weight. He says the truck is
>underpowered and long steep hills are down in first gear at
>around 30 mph. That's slow enough to put you over with the
>semi's, but not enough power to pass them.
>
>It's always better to get more truck than you think you
>need, because you're gonna need it. I would reccomend a
>minimum of an F250 with a 5.4 engine and 4.10 axle. The V-10
>would be even better and is only a $600 option if you buy
>new.

Hey HorsePuller,
Thanks for the input. The boat and trailer combination both weight ~5900lbs. fully loaded (gas, water, etc.) so it's more like your friends setup at 5800lbs.

Hfactor

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Old 01-23-2002, 06:01 PM
gabz gabz is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

Hfactor - the buddy of Horsepuller also has his set up as a 5th wheel, which is not the same as a hitch. The 5th wheel attachment would be inside the bed of the truck which increases the tow capacity of the truck. And, as he said, he's down in 1st gear on any inclines.
If you try to tow the 5900 pound trailer & boat combo with the class III hitch, you'll exceed the limit and if you have a wreck or damage the frame of the truck, your warranty won't hold up.

The point about hauling that boat out of the water ... good point.
And remember, the 4WDrive will decrease your total towing and payload capacities.
There are some charts available from the "specs" pages on this site.
good luck and happy boating!
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Old 01-24-2002, 09:29 AM
hfactor hfactor is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

>Hfactor - the buddy of Horsepuller also has his set up as a
>5th wheel, which is not the same as a hitch. The 5th wheel
>attachment would be inside the bed of the truck which
>increases the tow capacity of the truck. And, as he said,
>he's down in 1st gear on any inclines.
>If you try to tow the 5900 pound trailer & boat combo with
>the class III hitch, you'll exceed the limit and if you have
>a wreck or damage the frame of the truck, your warranty
>won't hold up.
>
>The point about hauling that boat out of the water ... good
>point.
>And remember, the 4WDrive will decrease your total towing
>and payload capacities.
>There are some charts available from the "specs" pages on
>this site.
>good luck and happy boating!

OK, so to summarize all the input that I have received, the 4.6l V8 will tow the 5900 lb. boat/trailer setup that I have but not very well. It looks like the F-150 will tow this combination but at 5900 lbs. I'm on the border of the safety limit. If I want to stay with the F-150, the 5.4l V8 is a much better option for towing.
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Old 01-24-2002, 11:37 AM
larry derouin larry derouin is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability


>OK, so to summarize all the input that I have received, the
>4.6l V8 will tow the 5900 lb. boat/trailer setup that I have
>but not very well. It looks like the F-150 will tow this
>combination but at 5900 lbs. I'm on the border of the safety
>limit. If I want to stay with the F-150, the 5.4l V8 is a
>much better option for towing.


The 5.4 will give you an edge in the pulling dept. BUT! Your brakes won't be any more effective, and your axles and spring rates won't be greater. Make REAL SURE your load is balanced on the trailer correctly. Also weight distribution (equalizer bars ) hitch does wonders for stability (wander, sway, and braking wiggle).


Personally I wouldn't use a 150 for towing anything over 3000#. Too much CAR-LIKE in capacity. Get a 250 or 350. Lot more capacity and frame is a tougher too.
Larry
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Old 01-28-2002, 07:37 PM
khensley khensley is offline
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F150 97' - 2000' 4.6 V8 towing ability

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 28-Jan-02 AT 08:38 PM (EST)]I just turned in my 1997 F150 SC 4x4 with the 4.6 liter V-8. I have a 23ft travel trailer (see signature), loaded weight 5400-5500 lbs. I towed up into the Cascades twice, up and down the freeway a couple of times, and elk hunting to the east side of the state. Probably 3000 miles total. Not much, but enough towing in enough conditions to get a good feel for things.

Notice what my signature says now. I would never reccomend the 4.6/F150 vehicle as a towing rig for anything over 3k. I felt like I was fighting the gas pedal, the brakes, and the steering wheel most of the time, even though I had a good hitch, sway control, and brakes.

Will it tow it?? You betcha. Will you have problems that a larger rig (3/4 +) wouldn't?? Yep. If you keep it slow and steady, and pay attention, you should be OK. Note that you also don't have the big "sail" up there like a travel trailer, so side wind/suction from semis, etc. won't affect you as much.

Good Luck.

kyle
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Old 01-28-2002, 07:37 PM
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