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2003 Ford Explorer Hitch Question

95EXP4.0

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03 XLT 4x4
I have an 03 explorer awd 4.0L 4dr it came from the factory with a class 2 hitch. I'm possibly looking at towing my mustang on a full car trailer to the track twice a year and I believe the factory hitch is attached to frame to my knowledge? I have seen companies that sell a class 3 hitch that attaches to the class 2 hitch. Is this possible w/o destroying the drivetrain if I upgrade the hitch, should I put a trans cooler or can I get away with out one?
 


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C

chris's2005

I have an 03 explorer awd 4.0L 4dr it came from the factory with a class 2 hitch. I'm possibly looking at towing my mustang on a full car trailer to the track twice a year and I believe the factory hitch is attached to frame to my knowledge? I have seen companies that sell a class 3 hitch that attaches to the class 2 hitch. Is this possible w/o destroying the drivetrain if I upgrade the hitch, should I put a trans cooler or can I get away with out one?

Im not too sure with a 4.0 engine you can tow that much, mabye you can idk tho. Neways the factory hitches are part of the frame the rear crossmember has the reciever in it. (if that makes sense to you). so the class 3 hitch you saw would bolt on under that to the frame so then you would have two hitches class2 over class 3.

fire away with more questions

-chris
 




95EXP4.0

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Im not too sure with a 4.0 engine you can tow that much, mabye you can idk tho. Neways the factory hitches are part of the frame the rear crossmember has the reciever in it. (if that makes sense to you). so the class 3 hitch you saw would bolt on under that to the frame so then you would have two hitches class2 over class 3.

fire away with more questions

-chris


Anyone know the top capacity? I had an old 95 with a class 3 hitch I think my old boat & trailer was about 4,000lbs though I never really went far when I was towing it it was quite a load.
 




jrford

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For a '03 the hitch is still a bolt on. If you can find a junkyard one '02-'04 for sure you might be able to pick up a class III and grab the harness which give you a 7 plug. I paid $75 for mine, took about 30min to install, you need to remove the bumper cover. Transmission Cooler is already there, its the same if you have the Class II or Class III. If you keep the OD off when towing, you should be ok once or twice a year. Mine is '04 V8 AWD, the 4.0l might be a little underpowered, but you might be ok.
 




95EXP4.0

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For a '03 the hitch is still a bolt on. If you can find a junkyard one '02-'04 for sure you might be able to pick up a class III and grab the harness which give you a 7 plug. I paid $75 for mine, took about 30min to install, you need to remove the bumper cover. Transmission Cooler is already there, its the same if you have the Class II or Class III. If you keep the OD off when towing, you should be ok once or twice a year. Mine is '04 V8 AWD, the 4.0l might be a little underpowered, but you might be ok.

You wouldn't happen to have any pictures of the install would ya?
 




jrford

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Sorry, no write up, or pics of it. But it was real easy. The short version: Remove the taillight, to reveal a screw, two more from the bottom - 3 a side, 6 total; then remove the plastic push pins 8-9? along the top of the cover; then the cover lifts up and back, the front edges lock in place with tabs; then you got 3 bolts a side for the hitch and its off.

Install reverse of removal, only trick was the new hitch was about 1mm narrow so i had to slide and wiggle it on from the top then rotated it down to drop it into place; simple plug and play on the harness and its done. When done it looks just like the Class III.
 




95EXP4.0

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You wouldn't happen to have any pictures of the install would ya?

I meant to ask ya.......is the trans cooler standard on all v6 and v8 explorers?
 




jrford

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I don't know for sure with the V6, for the V8 yes. Its hard to see, its between the Rad. and A/C condensor on the bottom. If you tranmission lines do not go into the Rad but bypass it then yes. Its hard to see, I had to pull the plastic cover up to sorta see it, its the full width of the Rad about 12" high. When i search ford parts online i find "Oil cooler, explorer, mountaineer 02-05 $177.15 " it didn't say V6 or V8. if we have the same transmission a 5r55s/w then i don't see why only the V8 would have it and not the V6 but double check to be sure.
 




helmsa

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As far as the research that we have done looking at our vehicles, the tranny cooler is standard. I have a 2004 4.0L XLT w/ class II and have the same cooler that is on the class III and 4.6L.
 








Hitchhikingmike

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The basic 4.0 without the towing package is rated to tow at 3,500 pounds.

The trailer package added a class 3 hitch and a different gearing differential. Which increased the towing range to probably about 5,000 pounds.

If you have a basic 4.0 with no trailer goodie add-ons, I would say as long as you don't go over 4,000lbs you should be ok, just be sure you watch all the temperatures, leave over drive OFF, and install a transmission temperature gauge so you know if your transmission begins to over heat.
 




Hitchhikingmike

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Hey just to liet you know i just found out that my 2005 4.0l can tow a max of 5380lbs

I bet this 4.0 has the towing package,

4.0s without the towing package are at about 3500lbs
 




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