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Old 01-22-2012
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Towing Often- Auto or 5 Speed?

I need to tow about 100 miles a week. (part time landscaping) the total weight of trailer is about 1700 pounds including the trailer. I do this now with a 4cyl ranger with a 5 speed and it handles it fine. I want the 3.0 Liter because it has more power without the awful gas milage of the 4.0. I would like to switch to an auto tranny and would like more power. Do you think and auto tranny could hold up to this abuse without blowing the tranny, or should I stay with a 5 speed?

Thanks,
Andrew
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Old 01-22-2012
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5 speed has a little bit more towing capacity and they will not heat up like an auto will cuz you control the shifts
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Old 01-22-2012
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Auto is better
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Old 01-22-2012
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Auto tranny has a better payload rating for towing.
IMO, Automatics tow better than 5 speeds. You only see increased heat when your towing near max payload and even with that, you can put a Transmission Oil cooler (some rangers came with them stock) to keep it cool.
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Old 01-22-2012
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I'll take my manual any day of the week while towing stuff.
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Old 01-22-2012
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Autos allow for torque multiplication and so have much higher tow ratings.

Also, most people say that in the real world the 3.0 and 4.0 get about the same mileage. The 3.0 is a much older design and will be working harder. The newer 4.0 SOHC with the 5-speed auto would be your best bet for performance.

With a trailer that light I think any engine/trans combo will tow it fine.
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Old 01-22-2012
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Idk man I own a 3.0 4x4 and I pulled a lawn trailer all summer and it pulled like crap couldn't get above 45 and ran about 3500 Rpms the whole time
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Old 01-23-2012
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^ someones 3.0L must have some problems. I towed my boat which with trailer and all was probably around 2500 pounds with my 3.0L with a 5 speed and 4.10 gears no problem.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Auto is preferred but you can do it with a manual.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayeDee View Post
Idk man I own a 3.0 4x4 and I pulled a lawn trailer all summer and it pulled like crap couldn't get above 45 and ran about 3500 Rpms the whole time
Unless that trailer weighed 10000lbs, you've got serious problems
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Old 01-23-2012
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What could be the problems??
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Old 01-23-2012
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Could be a lot of things, if it only acts like that when you are towing i'd guess your tranny is sick.

There's nothing uglier than a sick tranny!
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Old 01-23-2012
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my 3.0 gets horrible mileage. I average 15-16 in town with stop and go, 20 on the highway. If you are going to tow I would just pony up for a 4.0. The auto trans and axle is stronger, let alone more power from the 4.0. Sure, the 3.0 will tow just fine, but the 4.0 would tow a lot easier and less stress on the components since 1700 is a smaller % of its tow rating. IIRC my 3.0 is limited to 2400LBS. Which in reality is a couple of dirtbikes on a trailer and gear, jet skis, maybe a jet boat.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Ok I tow constantly with my truck. Most of the time it's in the 2500+ ranger. If you are good at driving stick I would get a 5 speed. I have never had a problem with mine but I have been driving something that was standard for over 10 years.

The biggest problem with our trucks and towing is our trucks aren't that heavy. So when u get a load behind it they tend to push the truck. With a manual transmission you can use your gears to slow you down and save your brakes some.

I have towed over 6k with my truck for long distances and never had a problem with my trans.
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Old 01-23-2012
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My 5-Speed has no problem doing it but an auto would be easier..
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Old 01-25-2012
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Get the 5spd, the auto sucks power and the 3.0 needs all the help it can get.

The few times I've towed with my truck it actually surprised me, truck had no problem cruising down the hwy at 70-75mpg in 5th gear. Even on steeper grades (5-8%), the truck had no problem cruising at 55-60mph with power to spare----using 3rd gear at about 4-4200 rpm. This is with about a 2k payload split between the truck and small trailer.
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Old 01-27-2012
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I tow a 3450 lb, when loaded, lancscape trailer with a 3.0 AT. Fuel mileage is around 11 mpg towing and 14 to 15 around town empty. With that being said, if I was only towing 1700 lbs, I would want the 4 cylinder with an automatic transmission. The handling of the truck seems to be affected by the amount I tow, rather than the powertrain. I have plenty of power but the trailer gets squirrely around 60 mph. This is due to the type of trailer. When I pull my boat that weighs about the same, it is much more stable at higher speeds.
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Old 01-27-2012
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Get a diesel with a trans break plus an economy tune. Tow whatever you want (to an extent) loaded or unloaded still get better mpg then the 3.0 or 4.0
;-P

4.0 of course. pulling a trailer with an auto is so much more kick back. Especially if you are doing manual labor and your only break is when your in the truck driving.
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Old 01-27-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04_xlt_4.0_4x4 View Post
5 speed has a little bit more towing capacity and they will not heat up like an auto will cuz you control the shifts
Wrong. Auto's rated at 5000lbs. Manual is rated at 3700lbs.

Edit: everyone beat me to it.
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