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Old 06-06-2010, 03:05 PM
JefFZ6 JefFZ6 is offline
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Ranger 4.0 pathetic towing capacity?

I've got a 1994 4.0 Ranger Supercab w/ auto, 2wd and 3.08 gearing.

In the past I've towed single axle U-Haul trailers, a double personal watercraft trailers and what not on the highway without giving it much thought since they were light loads. I've even pulled a 18' I/O runabout boat around town (Not highway) without issue.

I'm looking at getting a 21' inboard boat and decided to take a look at the towing capacity and according to the manual I'm not supposed to exceed 2,700 lbs with this rear end (The boat is about 3,900 w/ trailer). The chart shows the same truck with 3.55s can tow up to 6,000 lbs!

In the towing section of the manual it says you "may wish" to operate the transmission in drive, rather than overdrive, in hilly terrain (I'm in Southern Louisiana so there is not really any hilly terrain). So, are these figures based on operating in overdrive on flat highway at speed?

1) Could I just run it in drive on flat ground an accomplish the same goal (at cruising speed) as the 3.55s?
2) Would this be legal?
3) Would it be relatively easy to pull a junkyard axle with 3.55s in it, swap it with mine, then sell the 3.08 rear end for a few bucks to offset the cost? If I did that would I still potentially be illegal because the officially published GCWR would still show 6,000 lbs rather than 9,500 like the factory 3.55 trucks?

I'd rather not buy a new truck since they're expensive, this one only has 110k mi on it, and it belonged to my deceased grandfather.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:29 PM
g_k50 g_k50 is online now
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Simple answer, sell the 21' boat and buy a smaller one.


I'll be over here laughing.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:58 PM
JefFZ6 JefFZ6 is offline
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Originally Posted by g_k50 View Post
Simple answer, sell the 21' boat and buy a smaller one.


I'll be over here laughing.
I haven't bought the boat yet.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:45 PM
g_k50 g_k50 is online now
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Well then you don't have a problem, don't let your eyes overload your truck.

Hahahahahaha.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:11 PM
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id go with the 3.73 rearend. 3.55 would be better than 3.08's but 3.73's will put the engine in a better rpm range in direct drive. i wouldnt pull anything over 500# in o/d. save o/d for when your running empty to save fuel. unless you really did something stupid, i doubt anyone would ever look at your factory tag for gvwr ratings. the biggest thing to worry about when you tow with a ranger (after you have correct gearing) is brakes. a boat that big should have working surge brakes. regear, be sure you have brakes and you should be good to go.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:11 PM
pawpaw pawpaw is offline
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More things to consider than just the differential.

Does your 94 have the factory tow & payload package option????

If not, with that much boat behind your Ranger, you'll likely want to consider adding at least that & maybe a cushioned ball mount & class-3 frame mounted hitch & seeing as how we have to Stop what we tow, maybe consider a brake upgrade too.

If your gonna have to do all that, maybe just trade the Ranger for a F-150????

More thoughts for pondering.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:31 PM
JefFZ6 JefFZ6 is offline
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Originally Posted by pawpaw View Post
More things to consider than just the differential.

Does your 94 have the factory tow & payload package option????

If not, with that much boat behind your Ranger, you'll likely want to consider adding at least that & maybe a cushioned ball mount & class-2 frame mounted hitch & seeing as how we have to Stop what we tow, maybe consider a brake upgrade too.

If your gonna have to do all that, maybe just trade the Ranger for a F-150????

More thoughts for pondering.
Yes, I'd plan on adding a hitch.

All of the boat trailers I've been looking at have brakes of their own.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:09 PM
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Every now and then the electrical connection from the truck to the trailer brakes does fail. I can assure you, you don't want to be in that small truck being pushed down a hill or around a curve by that much trailer with only the truck brakes.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:09 PM
pawpaw pawpaw is offline
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The factory tow & payload packages included heavier shocks, rear spring up grade & tranny cooler, all of which you could make good use of, dragging around the larger boat in your hot weather, if the 94 doesn't have those options intalled.

Convert-A-Balls "cushioned ball mount" has worked good for me & with your larger & heavier boat, the 94 driveline shure would appreciate it's rounding off & reducing the jerks & jars of towing that heavier load.
I've used mine for the past 10 years & it's holding up well.

I meant to say a class-3 hitch, not class two.
Don't try to tow that large a boat with a bumper mounted ball. It's not rated for that kind of load & won't be a safe tow!!!!

I orderd Fords factory installed frame mounted class-3 hitch & prefer it's safety chain hook up arrangment, it too is holding up well.

The newer Rangers have up sized brakes, which they needed imo, as I'd hate to have to try & stop a 5000 lb boat with my 99's OEM brakes!!!!

At least your in the flatlands, so that'll help on the Tug part & that with the boat having trailer brakes will help on the Stop part.

So if the 94's brake system is in good repair & has been flushed with fresh Morotcraft PM-1 Dot-3 brake fluid, you'd be good to go there!!!!

If you change the differential ratio, don't know, but maybe the computers programmed shift points may have to be changed too, so look into that also.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:14 PM
JefFZ6 JefFZ6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nite Ranger View Post
Every now and then the electrical connection from the truck to the trailer brakes does fail. I can assure you, you don't want to be in that small truck being pushed down a hill or around a curve by that much trailer with only the truck brakes.
The ones ive looked at are all inertia brakes, not electrically actuated.

I have the trans cooler and just flushed the brakes last month.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:26 PM
g_k50 g_k50 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nite Ranger View Post
Every now and then the electrical connection from the truck to the trailer brakes does fail. I can assure you, you don't want to be in that small truck being pushed down a hill or around a curve by that much trailer with only the truck brakes.
Or in a big truck being pushed down hill around a curve.
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:27 PM
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aubreydavis0416 aubreydavis0416 is offline
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pulling a boat

I have a 2003 edge with a tow package 3.0 and mine has no problem pulling anything i put behind it, but i also have a 4.10 rear end and quite a bit done to it. I have pulled a lifted jeep on a car hauler and a 18 foot car hauler with a 4 passenger mule with 2 4 wheelers on it. I would recommend a 4.10 gear in your truck. i also get 24.2 mpg with that gearing.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:45 AM
Nite Ranger Nite Ranger is offline
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Or in a big truck being pushed down hill around a curve.

Oh man! You've got that right!
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:13 PM
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A 4,000lbs 21ft boat?..........with a Ranger?
If you are upgrading to a boat of that size, upgrade yourself to a F-150 at least, maybe a F-250.............remember, you have to be able to STOP that load too.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:33 AM
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It shouldn't be too hard to do anything to the rear end. There is no reason that you can't have 4.10's either. The mileage between your current gears and them may be noticeable but probably isn't that great between 4.10 and 3.55 and especially 3.73's but the pulling most definitely IS. Differential swaps are normally not hard at all but as previously stated you need the suspension to support the weight. Adding a leaf is easy as well if you are a little mechanically inclined. You said earlier that you pulled the 18' boat around town and not on the highway. Is that what you plan on doing with the larger boat?
Stopping can be an issue in many conditions. For example, in ice and snow if you drive like a moron and haul butt around and expect to stop on a dime then you will be in for a rude awakening. Same thing goes for towing. Solution to the problem---SLOW DOWN and BE CAREFUL. If you are in town where you have the luxury of driving slower and giving yourself a nice cushion in front then problems decrease significantly. And the inertia driven brakes don't hurt at all. You probably don't have an F150 or 250 because you don't want one or don't have the means.
That ranger is capable of pulling every inch of a 21' boat if rigged properly. It is a truck for goodness sake. You will be surprised what it can do if you just try but be smart about testing its limits. Don't hook up to a mobile home and run 80 on the interstate your first time out.
Seems like you are doing your research and have a good idea of what you need to do. Just be informed about your decisions.
For the doubters: A guy in Delware took his 2wd Ranger and converted it to a 7.3L Powerstroke 4x4 dually Ranger. That's an extreme case of one guy doing something incredible and EXPENSIVE but that's all it takes is one to prove something can happen. Now does JefFZ6 wanting to tow a bigger boat seem so outrageous?

Either way, good luck. And sorry to all for being so longwinded. I normally live in the Powerstroke forums but browse here because I LOVE Rangers. It's is kind of sad to see that the guys here often shoot down great ideas instead of encouraging really cool prospective projects.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:33 AM
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