First time towing with 04 ranger..no REAL power towing - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech General discussion of 4.0L OHV and SOHC V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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  #1  
Old 07-09-2007
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First time towing with 04 ranger..no REAL power towing

Well, I just towed my 20ft pontoon boat behind my ranger yesterday, and was I dissapointed.

I never thought the ranger would be doing 160kms/hr uphill, but is the following normal?

I am pulling just under 3000lbs (so lets go with the weight being 3000lbs).

I accelerate like a rocket in all gear up to 90kms / Hr.

Then the engine just has nothing else to give accelorator to the floor. If i encounter a hill of even a slight grade, I slow, gear down to 4TH and can normally get up it going 60-80Kms/Hr.

My questions is this:

Looking at the performance of the truck, and the fact that nothing else seems wrong am I to go with the fact that my vehicle can not really tow this kind of weight (let alone 5500lbs, properly equipt)?

I am actually happy with going 90-100kms/hr with that extra weight, esp with some of the drivers in this province...lol, but the inability to climb a small incline I would like to improve. I have never dealt with tuners. Can I get a tuner that saves presets, then simply only use it while towing to get a few extra HP, and will it make enough of a difference to solve the lack of power in climbing a hill?

Thanks for any tips/advice in advance.

Johnny
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2007
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first turn those km/hr into mph, no one here understands that bs.

next auto or manual?

are you sure its 3000 lbs? is that dry weight?
what size tires? is the truck stock?
how many miles on the truck?
do you have OD off?
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2007
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yea convert that crap..lol
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Old 07-09-2007
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90 KPH is about 56mph

100 kph is 62 mph

140kph is 87mph

I don't think i would complain about 90 to 100kph in a ranger. I mean it is only a 6 cylinder engine we are not talking a good towing vehicle. But with some better gearing I bet you wouldn't have a problem going up hills.
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
first turn those km/hr into mph, no one here understands that bs.

do you have OD off?
haha lol

but anyway, I pull our 19ft bass boat, not sure how much it weighs but it is a double axle trailer, so.....and I can pull that thing easily 65-70mph. Never taken it through big hills but small ones don't really pose a threat.
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
first turn those km/hr into mph, no one here understands that bs.

next auto or manual?

are you sure its 3000 lbs? is that dry weight?
what size tires? is the truck stock?
how many miles on the truck?
do you have OD off?
lol i do, i dont get the mph crap who would use that anyways lol.
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger_Johnny
I accelerate like a rocket in all gear up to 90kms / Hr.

Then the engine just has nothing else to give accelorator to the floor. If i encounter a hill of even a slight grade, I slow, gear down to 4TH and can normally get up it going 60-80Kms/Hr.

My questions is this:

Looking at the performance of the truck, and the fact that nothing else seems wrong am I to go with the fact that my vehicle can not really tow this kind of weight (let alone 5500lbs, properly equipt)?
Problem 1: Frontal Area

Weight is only part of the equation. As speed increases, the trailer frontal area can become much more important than weight. I've got to believe that a 20 ft pontoon boat seriously exceeds the 50 square foot (4.64 square meter) maximum specified by Ford.

Problem 2: Driving technique

60~80 kph is roughly 35~50 mph. If you are trying to use 4th gear at these speeds uphill with a trailer, the RPM of the engine is way too low to make significant power. Use a lower gear and keep that 4.0L spinning over 4000 when you feel it slowing. If you had an automatic, it would do exactly that.
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2007
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Ya what bob said. lol

I have a 04 4.0 as wel and I have no problems going as fast as I want towing 2500lbs
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2007
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Towing with 4.0

I have towed many loads with my 4.0 4x4, my Bayliner easily weighs 3000 and I pull it fine in 5th at 75 Mph, My jeep and trailer goes at around 4000 pounds and the wind resistance included makes me run 65 in 4th, I could go faster but that seems to be the sweet spot... but I'd never be able to stop in an emergency without trailer brakes. Remember this, there are not many vehicles made that can tow half their rating without downshifting or slowing on hills, it's part of towing.

Billy
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2007
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Yeah, wind that puppy up. Sohc's like rpms, give it some love.
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2007
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LOL going up to payson I kept getting passed up by people towing boats only to look down and realize I was already going 85 mph. I kept thinking man my truck has no power with OD off either! But everytime I looked I was doing 85 up a pretty good hill and they guy next to me is wide open towing a 4000lb boat behind a F250 doing like 100 up the hill.

Anyway, everytime I tow I turn off Over drive and I do fine. My truck sits about 3-4000 going up hills but it still have plenty of power.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2007
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Odd.. theres another thread where someone with a red truck pulled a boat of 3000 lbs this week and they were stating they had no problems.

OHC engines love RPM's. Downshift another gear ( and keep doing such ) till your back in the powerband.
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2007
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The truck is a manual. I have air springs and other than that the truck is stock.

I will say the truck seemed to perform well, I just was suprised at the (what I considered) power.

I kept the vehicle in 5th the whole time towing at 90-100km/HR at approx 2000-2500 RPM. I only change gears going up hill, when speed slowed to about 65-70Km/Hr, then maintained that speed and accelerated to 5th and back to 90-100 in 5th, maintaining 2000-2500 rpm.

I know in the jeep I have an OD push button on my dash, I have nothing like this on my ranger, is this not a function that is controlled automatically in the automatic as well?? man i wish I had the ability to turn off the OD, I thought this function was done internally on all 04 rangers auto or manual.

The pontoon boat is 20'9 long and 8'3 wide. Trailer and boat weight no more than 3000Lbs while towed.

I suppose I just need to rev that baby up, keep it in 4th if i want a little more power on the flat, and in 3rd if I want any power at all towing uphill.

I have to admit, I am not that informed on the powerband for the ranger, or what to expect while towing, but after some more readin tonight, I think I actually am impressed. For a 4.0L to pull 3000lbs at 2000 rpm at 100Km/Hr is not all that bad, for what I have read since posting.

Thanks for the info all, I am sure I will have more stupid questions as I start to carry on with this lil truck

Johnny
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  #14  
Old 07-10-2007
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Over drive is 5th gear. So the way you take it out of overdrive is too shift into 4th.


The Powerband is the sweet spot of the trucks engine. When you feel the engine bogging downshift.
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2007
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GD, I thought the overdrive function was automatic on a manual.

This would mean I was driving my ranger, in overdrive for 2 hours...while towing.

man, I am going to get my lil yellow "tard" helmet soon...
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  #16  
Old 07-10-2007
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No, you can tow in 5th gear but when your engine starts struggling you need to take it out of 5th. If its still struggling then down shift till it dosen't anymore.

For example: I am pulling a 3k trailer, I take off from the stop sign, I shift and shift until I hit 60MPH then put it into 5th gear (over drive). I hit a small incline I feel my engine starting to struggle, I shift the truck into 4th. Once I hit the top of the hill I put it back into 5th.

Last edited by JoshK; 07-10-2007 at 01:53 AM.
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  #17  
Old 07-10-2007
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I must not understand the OD function.

I thought that OD should not be ingaged when towing, at least in an automatic.
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  #18  
Old 07-10-2007
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OD is just the high gear. Its made to get you better gas mileage and run the lowest RPM possible. You can run "OD/5th gear" anytime you want. Only time you need to run a lower gear when towing is when the truck is struggling
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  #19  
Old 07-10-2007
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roger that, thanks for the info

This site and people are a real great source of info.

I am able to read a mech book, change stuff out and all that.

I find that really understanding how something works is a different matter, and knowledge set all together

Pics upcoming

Johnny
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  #20  
Old 07-10-2007
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I pull my 5500 pound boat with my 4.0 manual ranger. With that kind of weight, I never use 5th, but pulling it in forth 200 and some odd miles was fine... Me personally I wouldn't use OD/5th towing 3000+ pounds unless you are on the freeway and its all flat. Remember that the 4.0 SOHC gets it peak torque at 3000rpm. So when you are climbing hills while towing, you want that motor at 3000 or more...
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  #21  
Old 07-10-2007
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A little TLC couldn't hurt, either. Maybe change the fuel filter if it hasn't been done in a while. Clean the MAF sensor and throttle body. Run some good fuel injector cleaner through the system. Put a good air filter (Napa Gold, for example) in there. Make sure your tires are inflated to specs (same goes for the trailer).

Last edited by Rockledge; 07-10-2007 at 08:22 AM.
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  #22  
Old 07-10-2007
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Just remember that the ranger, and even the F series are 'charted' for a certain weight. if you go over that weight limit by even a 100lbs, your truck aint gonna have any power. My cousin ran into this with his 5th wheel trailer and his diesel F350. if h towed the trailer with extra gear in the truck, the truck was a serious dog, but if he took out that gear and left it home or whatever, the truck ran like a champ. weight difference: MAYBE 200lbs.
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  #23  
Old 07-10-2007
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The 4.0L is a short stroke motor. The only way you'll get it to perform is to keep the rpms up. Do that either by going down in tranny gear.. or increase the ring and pinion ratio.

Rich
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  #24  
Old 07-10-2007
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Your problem is that you are letting the rpm drop to much. As was stated in a previous post, do not let the rpm drop below 3,000 when towing if you want decent power.

I tow a race car all over the country in a low profile enclosed trailer. I never tow in 5th (OD). I rarely have to downshift from 4th when climbing hills, only when they are steep and long or lose my speed with someone in front of me. I run 70 to 75 mph on the Interstates. The trailer and car weigh well over 3,000 lbs and I also have about 800 lbs of stuff on the bed.

At 2,000 rpm the 4.0 SOHC engine is only producing about 85 hp. At 3,000 rpm it is producing about 125 hp and continues to climb linearly to just under 4,900 rpm where is is producing about 205 hp. It does not hurt that engine to rev it a little and you need to do it to get good hp.

Running a manual transmission in 5th (OD) while towing a significant load is a good way to kill the transmission. OD is not designed to stand up to high loads. I severely overheated the transmission in my 89 Ranger, with a manual, by towing in OD for about a half hour on a flat area. It got so hot I could not shift it until I stopped and let it cool down. If I would have continued in OD much longer I would have fried that transmission.
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  #25  
Old 07-10-2007
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When I towed my zuk, it probably weighed about 2800 lbs (the trailer was WAY too big for the zuk, lol) and I had another 300-400 lbs in the bed. It's just a matter of understanding what you have and what you need when you are towing.

When you speak of an overdrive gear, all overdrive means is that your rear drive shaft is spinning at a rate faster than the engine. This is great for the highway because you don't need much torque to keep yourself going, and it allows you to maintain high speeds without high RPMs. Overdrive, however, robs you of torque because of the inverse relationship between torque and speed when talking about gears. The more torque you can get from a certain gear, the lower top speed you can have, and vice-versa. When you've got a trailer though, you NEED that extra torque to pull that big ol' trailer, so putting yourself in overdrive robs you of torque and makes your engine work really hard (or bog down). Because you've got a manual, you can select which gear is right for you, which can be good or bad depending on your towing ability. With more experience, you'll find your Ranger packs quite a punch with that 4.0 SOHC. Mine has impressed me more than a few times.
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