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Old 08-26-2012, 12:57 AM   #1
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Default Advice on buying a truck that would be good for towing.

This is my first post here and I apologize if I am asking things that were already discussed. Instead of getting a truck and then asking questions about its towing capabilities, I want to get some advice on what to look for while buying a used truck.


Basically I am looking to replace my 1994 Ranger, which I have been using as a spare vehicle for some home depot runs and such, with something that I can occasionally tow my project car, Subaru Impreza. What I have been looking at is 1997 Ė 2004 F150. I have a budget of $4,000 which I am sure that is going to limit me somewhat, but I have found a tons of trucks in that price range. Itís just matter of choosing the right one.


I know that I should be looking for automatic trans rather than manual, because automatics have higher towing rating for one reason or other. I am obviously looking at V8s. I am seeing a lot more 4.6L than 5.4L, probably because of my price range. But the ones that I am seeing, a lot of 4.6L have what seems to be tow package judging by the hitch, and a few 5.4L that I have found donít hitches, and therefore I assume tow package. How easy would it be to add tow package to a truck that didnít come with it? Should I try to stick with 5.4L and add towing package, or would it be better to get a 4.6L with tow package so I donít have to mess with it.


Also, what other factors should I look at? 4x4 vs 2x4? My Ranger is 4x4 but honestly I have never used it in about 8 months that I owned it. Anything else? I also found couple of F250 in my price range with 5.4L. Would they be better for me or just be heavier that F150 given that itís the same engine?

Thanks for advice,
Alex
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:53 AM   #2
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the 5.4 in the F250 is a little slow...truck weighs too much IMO

also take a look for some old 7.3 Powerstrokes they run forever and the older ones can be had pretty cheap now
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:32 PM   #3
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IMO the 4.6s are gutless. My girlfriends dad has a 09 f150 with the 4.6 and it struggles to pull his 17ft aluminum boat up any grade. I mean it will get the job done but it will be hard on the truck.

On the other hand my 03 with the 5.4 does great towing. It will tow anything that I throw at it. And there isn't a big differance in mpg between the two engines.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My03fx4 View Post
IMO the 4.6s are gutless. My girlfriends dad has a 09 f150 with the 4.6 and it struggles to pull his 17ft aluminum boat up any grade. I mean it will get the job done but it will be hard on the truck.

On the other hand my 03 with the 5.4 does great towing. It will tow anything that I throw at it. And there isn't a big differance in mpg between the two engines.
my 10 work truck has 3v 4.6(it's not gutless)And it's avereging 19.6 for the last 5 tanks. But it is huge difference to 06 work truck which was a 2v 4.6.(it could be called gutless).
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply's so far. It sounds like I am going to focus on hunting down one with 5.4L engine.

If I end up getting the one without the tow package, what components will I need to get and install to make it a good truck for towing?
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:22 PM   #6
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hitch and trailer brake controller
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:58 PM   #7
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You might want to think about a Trans cooler, if your going to be towing the car for an extended period of time.
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