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Old 12-02-2012, 07:04 AM   #1
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Default f150 towing capacity ??

I bought my f150 used. It's my fault for assuming it could handle reasonable towing wieghts. By reasonable i mean 8000ib or so. The truck does not have the towing package. I had to add a 2 inch hitch reciever. I have a 540 v8, 3.73 rear axel, crew cab 4 door lariet, wih a 5.5 bed. The bumper say it can tow 5000ib and 500 tonuge wieght. I email ford and they said without the towing package the bumper specs are correct. What can i do beside buy another truck? I'd like to tow a camper.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuvok42
I bought my f150 used. It's my fault for assuming it could handle reasonable towing wieghts. By reasonable i mean 8000ib or so. The truck does not have the towing package. I had to add a 2 inch hitch reciever. I have a 540 v8, 3.73 rear axel, crew cab 4 door lariet, wih a 5.5 bed. The bumper say it can tow 5000ib and 500 tonuge wieght. I email ford and they said without the towing package the bumper specs are correct. What can i do beside buy another truck? I'd like to tow a camper.
Add a Reese hitch
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:26 AM   #3
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8000lbs is probably the max you can tow with an f150 and 5.4
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:41 AM   #4
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You can upgrade to tow more but it will be fairly expensive and some work. Without the tow package, you are only rated to tow 5000 lbs and no more.

You'll need to upgrade the radiator so that it provides more cooling (for engine coolant and engine oil). You'll need to add a transmission fluid cooler. Depending, you may also need to add a power steering fluid cooler. You may also need to add a larger alternator if you plan to use the charge line on your 7 pin connector for a camper. I was also told even with the standard tow package, Ford uses beefed up rear leaf springs.

For the extra $375 that Ford charges for the tow package, you get a lot.

With all makes and models, if you don't buy the tow package you are usually stuck with a towing limitation between 3500 lbs to 5000 lbs.

Next time, get the VIN codes so that you can check to see if the truck has the tow package and what axle gearing it has.

Good Luck
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dereku View Post
8000lbs is probably the max you can tow with an f150 and 5.4
That's the max rating on my 5.4 with 3.31 gears, with 3.55 or 3.73 it's much higher.

OP: you can spend a bunch of money to upgrade it but your legal rating will NOT go up any. It is stuck at the factory rating.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:08 AM   #6
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Pretty much covered above. My vehicle has a guage for transmission temperature as well as engine temperature. The manual basically says if it gets too hot slow down.

To go over 5000/500 or so a weight distributing hitch is in order tow package or not. Some of the logic must be for warranty purposes so make your own decision.

I can't see the gross combined weight rating on my door post, have to go to the owners manual and look at what it has for options. Really that gcwr is the number as on mine max towing capacity is with a totally empty bed and no passenger.

The brakes are another thing. How many pounds beyond max on the brake controller is safe?
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:29 AM   #7
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My understanding (I'm not a lawyer) is that tow rating is NOT a legal number.

If my truck was still under warranty, sticking to the 5000lb limit would be a good idea. Since it isn't, the legal number in question is GCWR. And since the tow package does not increase GCWR, there's no reason I can't tow up to the full 15000 GCWR for my truck, as long as I don't exceed GVWR, GAWR, hitch rating, etc.

Towing more than 5000 might lead to transmission or engine overheating since I don't have the larger coolers, but if I got in a wreck I'd still be covered.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:58 AM   #8
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It is a legal number. Call up your insurance company and ask. Hey im rated to tow 5000lbs can I tow 6000lbs?

I bet you wont be covered at all. But its your choice to assume that.

If you kill someone in an accident and its not you fault thats fine. However if you are towing beyond legal limits it is then considered man slaughter.

But you can tell people to roll those dice. Please dont give bad info on here unless you are %100 sure it is legal.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:59 AM   #9
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I want to know what year the truck is?? I am surprised that you have a 5.4 with 3.73's and no tow package?? The 2007 F150 i had with a 5.4, tow pkg and 3.55 gears only had a tow rating of 7,800lbs...
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuvok42 View Post
I bought my f150 used. It's my fault for assuming it could handle reasonable towing wieghts. By reasonable i mean 8000ib or so. The truck does not have the towing package.
Very few half-ton pickups can tow an 8,000-pound trailer without exceeding the payload capacity of the pickup. Even my 2012 F-150 EcoBoost with the towing pkg cannot do that. On a recent 4,000-mile towing trip, my travel trailer (TT) grossed 4,870 and I was overloaded over the GVWR of the pickup by 100 pounds.

Quote:
I had to add a 2 inch hitch reciever. I have a 540 v8, 3.73 rear axel, crew cab 4 door lariet, wih a 5.5 bed.
You don't say which year, so I used the specs for a 2004, which should be the same for any F-150 between 2004 and 2010 model years. The 2004 F-150 SuperCrew shorty with towing pkg, 3.73 ratio and 5.4 engine has a tow rating of over 9,000 pounds. But you don't have the towing pkg, so your tow rating is 5,000 pounds.

However, the tow rating is only half the equation. You also need enough payload capacity to handle the hitch weight of the trailer, on top of the people and stuff you haul in the pickup. You probably don't have the GVWR or the GCWR to handle a TT that grosses more than 5,000 pounds.

I had a similar problem with my 2003 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew with 4.6 engine and 3.55 axle but without the trailer towing pkg. I added a good Reese hitch receiver and the Ford tranny cooler. I was almost ready to add a "sandwich" engine oil cooler adaptor and heat exchanger when I decided that truck just wasn't intended to tow my 7,000-pound cargo trailer, even after pumping it up with tranny and engine oil coolers. That's why I'm now driving a 2012 EcoBoost. It has a tow rating of 8,400 pounds, which sounds like plenty for a 7,000-pound trailer. But I mis-guessed the payload requirements, so I didn't buy the right options to give me enough payload capacity to not be overloaded when dragging over 5,000 pounds. Mine has the towing package, but I needed the Max trailer tow pkg to get the extra 500 pounds of payload capacity.

Quote:
The bumper say it can tow 5000ib and 500 tonuge wieght.
That's the weight capacity of only the bumper. NEVER try to tow more than 500 pounds of hitch weight using the step bumper. Ignore the 5,000-pounds max trailer weight. Any tandem-axle TT will have more than 10% hitch weight, so hitch weight and not trailer weight is your limiter. You did right by installing a receiver under the bumper. But that takes care only of the hitch weight capacity (assuming you have a weight-distributing hitch). You still need to pump up the towing (pulling) capacity by adding tranny and engine oil coolers, and you need to beef up the weight-hauling capacity by upgrading the rear suspension to increase payload capacity. And note that with most receivers you need a weight-distributing hitch to tow more than 5,000 pounds.

Quote:
What can i do beside buy another truck? I'd like to tow a camper.
First is a tranny temp gauge so you will know the sump (tranny pan) temp. Never allow more than 225 tranny sump temp if you don't want to replace the tranny real soon now.

Then add a good tranny cooling system and an engine oil cooling system.

For an 8,000-pound TT, you need a huge tranny cooler with thermostat-controlled fan installed under the cab. Search for PermaCool tranny coolers with fan. (Summit Racing is one discount online source.) Then use your shade-tree mechanic skills to fabricate adaptors and mounting hardware and ATF hoses to mount it under the truck and make it work. Install the sender for the fan thermostat in the return line near the place where the cooled ATF returns to the tranny, and set it for 180. So anytime the returning ATF is more than 180, the cooler fan will run.

After you have the tranny cooler installed and working, do an ATF flow test to be certain you have adequate ATF flow through the cooling system. About one gallon per minute (one quart in 15 seconds) is adequate. Less than that is questionable. More than that is not necessary.

For the engine oil cooler, you need a small oil-to-air (OTA) heat exchanger (cooler), about one to two sq ft, mounted in front of the radiator. Use a sandwich adaptor (between the oil filter and the engine block) as your source for the hot oil. Here's one manufacturer:
http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html...-adapters.html

For the increased payload capacity, simply adding airbags is not good enough. Replace the rear suspension with parts from an F-150 that has the factory heavy duty payload option. Those are the F-150s that have 7-lug wheels and LT tires. Back in '97 thru '99 model years, those were badged as F-250s and called F-250 light duty (LD). But Ford realized that was a stupid move, so now they just call it the F-150 HD payload pkg. Also be sure you rear tires and wheels have the weight capacity to handle the payload. If your pickup still has P-series (car) tires it came with, replace them with LT (light truck) series tires.

Beefing up the rear suspension and tires/wheels may not be necessary, but probably will be. Before you spend the money, load up the pickup with all the people, pets, stuff, and tools that will be in it when towing. Include the ball mount and shank for your weight-distributing hitch, or add 50 pounds to the total below if you don't have the hitch yet. Then go to a truckstop that has a CAT scale and fill up with gas. Weigh the wet and loaded rig on the CAT scale. Add 1,200 pounds to the combined weight on the front and rear truck axles, and compare the total to the GVWR of the pickup. That 1,200 pounds (15 percent of the 8,000-pound TT's GVWR) is the max hitch weight an 8,000-pound TT should have, but many will have that much. (My TT has a bit over 15% hitch weight). So assume the hitch weight will be 1,200 pounds - until you know exactly how much the hitch weight is on your wet and loaded TT.

Don't hit the road more than a few pounds overloaded over the GVWR of your pickup. (The GVWR is on the Federal label on the doorpost, that includes VIN, month/year of assembly, tire size and inflation pressure, as well as GVWR and codes for paint, axle, etc.)
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Last edited by smokeywren; 12-02-2012 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:15 AM
 
 
 
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