Originally Posted by wydopnthrtl
You ask about the engine.. the weak link is the tranny. The manual tranny is weaker than is the auto.
I can't agree with that. You see a lot more automatic failures than manuals. The slave cylinder is a known weakness but it is just prone to leaking and towing has no effect on that.
I tow around 3,500 lbs with another 800 lbs on the bed. I do that all over the country with a 5,000 mile round trip being the longest. I use trailer brakes and helper air spring on the rear to keep it from sagging. I think the 4.0 SOHC engine does very well. Most times when I hit a hill, it climbs right up without loosing any speed. It takes a pretty steep incline to have to shift down. I have towed over the Rockies on I-70 and only came across a couple places that needed 3rd gear.
I think the 4.0 SOHC engine is stronger than the chassis but so far with over 95,000 miles on my Ranger with much of that as towing duty, I have not broken anything yet. I hope that continues. I still have the original clutch in it. I use to tow with an 89 Ranger with the 2.9L engine. That engine had to work hard when towing but the only thing that wore out that I can attribute to towing was the rear wheel bearings and the u-joints. I also had almost 200,000 miles on that truck.
2002 FX4 Bright Red Supercab 4.0 SOHC, manual 5-spd & Tcase, 33" BFG MTs, K&N air filter, Modified air box inlet, Gibson SS cat. back exhaust, Bama flash, Hidden Hitch round receiver, Rear helper air springs, Electric trailer brake controller, Line-X bed liner, WAAG bar with KC lights and Wildernest shell.