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Old 03-04-2009
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Help with Towing a Bass Boat with my Ranger?

I own a 1996 Ford Ranger 4x4 with a 3.0 V6 Engine. I own and want to tow a 21' Charger Fiberglass Bass Boat. I believe the boat weighs 2000 lbs. or better. My truck does not have a towing package. I simply hook the boat up to the ball on the bumper.

Pulling the boat down the road seems to be fine. Putting the boat in and out of the water on the boat ramp is another story. My truck will barely pull it out. And when I finally do get her out, the smell is rancid (clutch?).

The past couple days, I have had a hard time getting the truck into gear, and the clutch feels funny. I took it in, and it looks like I'm buying a new clutch and a new slave cylinder ($700 - $800 repair). OUCH!

My question to you guys is this: Is my bass boat too much for my truck? The mechanic thinks I will be putting a new clutch in 3 times a year if I keep pulling my boat with my Ranger. Is he correct? If so, I guess I need to sell my boat, because I do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a new clutch every few months.

Any input you guys could give would be much appreciated. AC.
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Old 03-04-2009
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are you using 4l when you are pulling the boat out and do you have any idea what gear ratio you have?



PLEASE GO SPEND 100 BUCKS AND BUY A HITCH. PLEASE PLEASE
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Old 03-04-2009
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the smell probably is from you burning up the clutch. the slave's are POS's everyone here will tell you that. as far as the boat. Downey has for once given out good advice for once. get a hitch the bumpers aren't that stong.
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Old 03-04-2009
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Yep, get a hitch.

A lot of people can't keep from burning a clutch up without a boat, let alone with one. I guess try using 4lo once and see how it pulls out of the water then., hopefully the lower gearing might help you a little.

You should've seen my 98 2.5L 5spd with 3.73's pull my buddies 17' boat out of the water :)
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Old 03-04-2009
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Thanks for the help gentlemen. I have tried in 4 low. Helps a little, but not a lot. I will go buy a hitch...been needing to do that for a while. Not sure that's going to help pull this boat up the ramp, though. Thanks again!
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Old 03-04-2009
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4l will save your clutch start using it i tow 5k with 3.27s gears and i have to use 4l to get moving sometimes so i dont fry my clutch i would use it everytime you pull it out
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Old 03-04-2009
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the hitch isn't going to help you tow just is more safer than using your bumper.
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Old 03-04-2009
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Definitely go get a hitch before you hook up again.

4LO will help...but finding a shallower ramp might be better for you. Try inching and getting on and off the clutch at low RPM...TRY NOT SLIP OR RIDE THE CLUTCH!
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Old 03-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossyoak03 View Post
the hitch isn't going to help you tow just is more safer than using your bumper.
x2, the bumper is rated for what 800lbs???

The only way you are going to stop frying your clutch, is if you learn how to tow without riding your clutch. I regularly tow 3 full size atv's on a light weight trailer. It tips the scales at about 2900 lbs. Plus 3 guys in my truck, plus extra gas, food, gear, beer etc. I have 265's and 3.73 gears and a 4.0. It is still on the original clutch at 180,000 km. I got the truck with 115,000. I haven't had and problems, and I tow this almost every weekend. Its not fast, but it gets the job done. I have taken it through trails with this load, to get to campsites and bays and I haven't had a problem, except one time there the trail narrowed, and there was about a half inch between 2 trees and my trailer.

You shouldn't have any issue with your truck, just learn how to tow better.
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Old 03-04-2009
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It's not the towing, I can tow just fine, thank you. It has more to do with pulling the boat out of the water at an incline (boat ramp). If I don't ride the clutch coming out of the water, my Ranger will just sit there. Maybe with the new clutch it will be better, but not sure.
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Old 03-04-2009
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Let me try to explain a little better about pulling out of the ramp.

You can't ride the clutch or even slip it that much. You want to go in and of the clutch and in and out of the gas. Hard to explain.

Or find a shallower ramp.
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Old 03-04-2009
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Shallower ramp + 4lo + lower gears = success.

Put a hitch on for safety though.
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