Ranger 4 L SOHC towing abilities - 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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Old 07-16-2011
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Ranger 4 L SOHC towing abilities

Anyone wondering what one of these little Rangers will pull when equipped with the 4 L SOHC 2WD Auto tranny, I have the answer!
My wife and I just returned from a round trip from Alliston Ontario to Valdex AK .(15,000 Km)( and varoius other locations too) back pulling our 21' Shadow Cruser 5th wheel trailer. The two weighed in at 4400 Kg ready to go. The trip took 4 weeks. It was an amazing trip with incredible scenery in the Yukon and Alaska. It did rain every day at some point but not enough to spoil the holiday.
Needless to say I am now a beleiver that Ford can once in a while put together a decent truck.
Our truck is an extended cab so our dog (border collie) enjoyed the rear area room.
Before going on the trip I installed a heavy duty rad, synthetic engine oil, and a shift kit in the tranny. I also remounted the Ford external transmission cooler from behind the sheetmetal into the main air stream to help the tranny.
The 4L SOHC has incredible torque and handled the climb out of Valdez with no problems. (We often passed diesel pushers on grades)
Our mileage was an average of 16 MPG (Imperial) (ya I'm an old guy that still uses this as my yard stick)
We did not get any flat tires or engine failure despite the incredible frost heaves and pot holes. The camper does require some screws to be retightened though!
We had many laughs with other travellers with 40' 5th wheel trailers and diesel PU trucks. There were many questions asked as to the Ranger's abilities. But it always turned out very funny and i think envious!
Cheers.
Stubby.

I replaced the front brake pads before the trip and the rears were Ok. The trailer brakes worked perfect and together with the truck brakes.
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Ranger 4 L SOHC towing abilities-dsc01426.jpg   Ranger 4 L SOHC towing abilities-dsc01470.jpg   Ranger 4 L SOHC towing abilities-img_0204.jpg  

Last edited by Stubby; 07-17-2011 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Add more photos:
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Old 07-16-2011
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sweet!, need more pics of the trip though.
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Old 07-16-2011
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How did your brakes handle?
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Old 07-16-2011
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A fifth wheel hitch in a ranger... Awesome!
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Old 07-17-2011
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Awww Yah! Nicely done man!
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Old 07-17-2011
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That's cool... bet you get quite the looks!
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Old 07-17-2011
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Some guy pulled a 25ft boat in to the Marina this morning with a blue FX4 ranger. I think you take the care for sure tho.
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Old 07-18-2011
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what rear axle ratio are you running?
I don't think my 4.0 auto with 3.08 gears in the 8.8 will haul well. It's only rated for like 2500lbs
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Old 07-18-2011
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Lol this makes me wanna load up my tractor and tow it into town for craps and giggles
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Old 07-18-2011
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Did something similar a few months ago, but not for that many miles - I only did approximately 3800km. I relocated to Alberta and filled up a U-Haul trailer to capacity (I'm not fully sure, but I have a feeling that I may have loaded the trailer over capacity). Now my '99 only has the OHV 4.0L with the 5-speed auto, & 3.73 gearing.

I did have one minor event - I managed to burn up two plug wires an hour into my trip - I still can't figure out why that happened as they were routed properly... Installed new wires, and the rest of the trip was uneventful. I must say I'm quite pleased with how comfortable the truck was (the ride did get a bit bouncy in a few places).

Like you, I had all the major fluids changed with full synthetic before setting off (wasn't sure when the trans, axle, and coolant were last done, and I only use Mobile 1 in the engine). I'm very happy with how the truck acquitted itself on the trip, although I only managed 14L per 100km though.
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Old 07-19-2011
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Thats 9700 lbs total - whats the weight of the truck ?
I don't know what your specs are, but the Edge 2wd with the 4.0l and 3.55 is rated for 5500 lbs... I pull my boat which is around 3500 lbs and, I also pull me Jeep which is just over 4000 lbs at this point, but I am used to towing and have done so for years. I wouldn't recommend towing anything over the 3000 lb range if you aren't used to it with one of these trucks...
I can't believe someone would put a 5th wheel in a ranger... but if it was setup right and you had a brake controller I could see doing it... just have to hope that the brakes don't go out on a downhill slope...
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Old 07-19-2011
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16 MPG i find a little hard to believe my boat weighs 3800lbs and i get about 10MPG going 65 mph
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Old 07-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Y2KTJ View Post
Thats 9700 lbs total - whats the weight of the truck ?
I don't know what your specs are, but the Edge 2wd with the 4.0l and 3.55 is rated for 5500 lbs... I pull my boat which is around 3500 lbs and, I also pull me Jeep which is just over 4000 lbs at this point, but I am used to towing and have done so for years. I wouldn't recommend towing anything over the 3000 lb range if you aren't used to it with one of these trucks...
I can't believe someone would put a 5th wheel in a ranger... but if it was setup right and you had a brake controller I could see doing it... just have to hope that the brakes don't go out on a downhill slope...
I'm willing to bet that someone that takes the time and effort to put a fifth wheel hitch in a Ranger would also know enough to use a brake controller.

A fifth wheel pulls 10x nicer than a bumper pull. I have the same exact size Shadow cruiser and pulled it 4700 miles this winter through all sorts of conditions. Pulled like a dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace View Post
16 MPG i find a little hard to believe my boat weighs 3800lbs and i get about 10MPG going 65 mph
I have the same camper. I would get 12 MPG pulling it. Gotta remember, he said IMPERIAL gallons, I believe they're a hair larger than a US gallon. It is a very aerodynamic camper.
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Old 07-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Y2KTJ View Post
Thats 9700 lbs total - whats the weight of the truck ?
I don't know what your specs are, but the Edge 2wd with the 4.0l and 3.55 is rated for 5500 lbs... I pull my boat which is around 3500 lbs and, I also pull me Jeep which is just over 4000 lbs at this point, but I am used to towing and have done so for years. I wouldn't recommend towing anything over the 3000 lb range if you aren't used to it with one of these trucks...
I can't believe someone would put a 5th wheel in a ranger... but if it was setup right and you had a brake controller I could see doing it... just have to hope that the brakes don't go out on a downhill slope...
You can believe it. I've towed the 5th wheel around Ontario last year and decided to add the heavy duty rad for more engine protection.
The two weighed in at 4400Kg which is below the GCWR in the owner's manual for this truck.
We have a trailer brake controller which handles the trailer brakes very well.

With some research and mods a smaller trailer can be towed by the Ranger. As a matter of fact on our trip we saw quite a few Rangers with tow behind trailers that appeared to be very large.

Mileage is in Imperial gallons per mile. Our towing speed was 95 to 105 KPH. The trailer is very aerodynamic at the front so pushing wind is reduced very well.

I test Diesel engines for a Cat dealer here in Ontario. These range from little 30 hp to 3700 hp and over 9000 Ft lb torque. I see on a daily basis what an engine will do when it goes from idle to 100% load in less than 2 seconds. It would raise the hair on your neck and you'd crap your pants if stood beside it. I've been in the diesel generator business more than 35 years and I know engines very very well!
People over-estimate what they think they need for power in a truck. I'd wager a 24 of beer (German beer) that 90% of the turbo diesels in pickups work less 50% when they pull a trailer. It's a waste of an engine!
Cheers.
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Old 07-20-2011
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Maybe I should rephrase that, I don't think its alot of weight , its including the truck weight in the figure. I don't know how heavy that truck is, but I am guessing its around 4000 lbs which would make the load only 5700 ish... on a bumper pull that would be over the limit, using a 5th wheel it's not as bad due to the distrubution of the weight, but I still don't think its a good idea. I also don't see it as legal on most roads.

The frame is only so strong. I might do it once, but not sure I'd make a habit of it.
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  #16  
Old 07-20-2011
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i wanna knoow if a 2.9 v6 can hall 3 quads :P aahah i wanna go upnorth camping but iv only got a ranger :P
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Old 07-21-2011
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^^^ Anything is possible! lol. But 3 4wheelers and a trailer shouldnt be anywhere close to the towing capacity
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Old 07-22-2011
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I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to trailer 3 quads. In fact, might even be able to put a quad in the bed and trailer two quads (pending all on the Quad's weight, and the tongue weight of the trailer).
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  #19  
Old 07-22-2011
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It's a 10 foot trailer. One quad has a weight of around 1000 father thinks the trailer is the same. So thats already 2000,
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Old 07-22-2011
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I wouldn't stick a Quad in the bed then... Best consult the capacity plate in the door jam and/or the owners manual - 3000lbs of quad + (I'll guess) 1200lbs unloaded trailer weight - your probably close (might be over), but I don't know the older Rangers overly well.
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Old 07-22-2011
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What kind of trailer do you have that weighs 1000 lbs? We have a 16 foot trailer that my grandpa build himself. He doesnt believe in "lightduty and fuel efficent". The fenders are made out of I beams off a mobile home frame lol. It only weighs around 700 pounds. And its hard to beieve a side by side weighs 1000 pounds either
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Old 07-22-2011
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There must be a plate on the trailer I'll have to look at it's weight,
I think my truck should be able too but unno my dad always say he wouldn't trust my truck even tho he had the exact same one
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Old 07-22-2011
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I don't currently own a trailer, and was taking a pessimistic guess at the trailer weight. I'd rather over shoot on my trailer weight guess then guess less then the trailer weight for safety reasons - know what I mean.

Still, 300lbs of quad on a 700lbs trailer might still be close. :-)
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  #24  
Old 07-22-2011
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If everything lines up and is with in the capacity of the truck, I'd go ahead and give it a try. My Uncle felt that way about my Ranger when I U-hauled all my stuff across the country. He had a totally different opinion 1/2 way through the trip. He still felt a bigger truck would have yielded better gas mileage - and he's likely right about that. The only thing I would advise is that it would be best to have a tranny cooler if you have an automatic.
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  #25  
Old 07-24-2011
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Believe me, if its not enclosed and is less than 16 feet, theres no way its close to 1000 lbs. And besides, the GVWR is more of a "I wouldnt advise towing more than this" type thing. Iv seen stupid loads towed by vehicles. One would be my gpa.... He had his trailer (700 lbs) and close to 5 tons of tree logs on it pulled by a F-150. It bent the frame a lil on his fully-boxed frame trailer. It hauled it just fine
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