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How to install a factory tow package on a 2016 XLT


luc

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2016 XLT 4WD
First, we all agree that the best and cheapest way is to buy a EX with the tow package option.
But, for those of us, like me, that got an EX without it and want to duplicate ( the only unknown being the 60 VS 65 tranny) the factory tow package, it is possible and Ford already did a lot of the work for us by having the truck wired for it
I just finished doing mine and i thought that a post listing all the parts and best way to do it could be helpful
Keep in mind that there is an argument made on the tow rating ( 2000 VS 5000) if it is not installed by the factory
We can all make our own decision on it
Obviously the following was done on a 2016 XLT with the, 3,5 NA engine and only apply 100% to this truck

The good news is that all the electrical, and by that i mean, wiring, connectors, fuse, relays, software, etc is already there for the 7 pins .

The tow/ haul function only need the switch to be enabled and the connector for the brake controller is already under the dash
List of parts needed with price and description and qty

Trim piece for tow/haul switch ( black for mine) FB5Z-7804338-BA. $90
Tow/haul switch BB5Z-13D730-EA $16
Hitch GB5Z-19D520-A $250
Bumper wiring harness 4/7 pins + back up aid GB5Z-15K868-R $65
Under bumper air duct FB5Z-7810494-A $54
Clips for above (qty 3) W716006-S439 $ 3,5 X 3
Adapter oil cooler AT4Z6881-HA $54
Oil cooler 8A8Z-6A642-A $90
Bolts for above (qty 6) W503277-S437 $.85 x 6
Lower radiator hose BB5Z-8286-N $25
Oil cooler hoses BA8Z-6A715-A $30
Rear bumper fascia ( black) GB5Z-17K835-AA $90

Total part price : $ 780

Labor:
For me it was an easy project and all together I spent about 5 hours on it. Taking my time
Couple of notes
The front lower bumper valence need to have a hole cut in it to provide air to the duct but Ford was nice enough to outline the cut on the back of the valence
The most time consuming part was to remove the original rear fascia from the bumper and replacing it with the new one. Lot of rivets to drill out and fiddly tabs
 
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peterk9

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JAPeterson

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The problem is that you still only have the factory tow ratings, you can never change that.

However if you want it to look factory then by all means do it this way. I just added a class IV hitch from a supplier. Granted it doesn't look factory but it will tow just as much as a retrofitted factory one will.
 




Summers22

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The problem is that you still only have the factory tow ratings, you can never change that.

However if you want it to look factory then by all means do it this way. I just added a class IV hitch from a supplier. Granted it doesn't look factory but it will tow just as much as a retrofitted factory one will.
I agree but most will caution that by simply adding a tow hitch (I added the Draw-tite and wiring) that you are neglecting to protect the transmission in the form of a cooler and air-duct. I plan to use mine for a luggage rack and light hauling with a 6x12 single axle trailer. Most it will see the trailer is 1 or 2 times a year as I have a F150.
 




reserved50

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The tow/ haul function only need the switch to be enabled and the connector for the brake controller is already under the dash
List of parts needed with price and description and qty
There doesn't need to be any programming, it just works after plugging in? I've never played with mine but does it change the shifting.
 




luc

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Correct. The icon in the IC light up and the shifting pattern change
 




Italianbuca

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thank you for the detailed writeup with the parts list. I have been going through the parts diagrams to try to assemble this list but never had enough time to finish haha. Its been on my list to do, as I purchased a CPO Limited and finding a preowned with the factory tow package is damn near impossible so I gave up. With having a limited I will double check the parts list to make sure, only difference I can think of would be the rear bumper cover.

and yes, to others already posting about this, I understand that it wont have the factory rating of 5,000 lbs, but I hate the way aftermarket hitches look, and would much rather use factory parts anyways. I have other work vehicles I can always take and use at my disposal for actual towing needs, this is just on my list for the factory look and option for carriers, bike racks, and a small motorcycle trailer.

thanks again for doing the hard part haha.
 




luc

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thank you for the detailed writeup with the parts list. I have been going through the parts diagrams to try to assemble this list but never had enough time to finish haha. Its been on my list to do, as I purchased a CPO Limited and finding a preowned with the factory tow package is damn near impossible so I gave up. With having a limited I will double check the parts list to make sure, only difference I can think of would be the rear bumper cover.

and yes, to others already posting about this, I understand that it wont have the factory rating of 5,000 lbs, but I hate the way aftermarket hitches look, and would much rather use factory parts anyways. I have other work vehicles I can always take and use at my disposal for actual towing needs, this is just on my list for the factory look and option for carriers, bike racks, and a small motorcycle trailer.

thanks again for doing the hard part haha.
If you have a limited, you already should have the trim piece for the switch since i believe you have the electrical liftgate?
if so, you just need a switch but should be another part # for yours
the bumper wiring harness should also be another part # since you have the electrical liftgate
Finally, the bumper fascia for yours should be silver and the part # GB5Z-17K835-BA
Most of those fascias are listed as "discontinued". including your silver but I have a couple of brand new if you can't get it from a dealer
Ebay seems to be the best place for those
 




MikB

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I would suppose adding the components listed will give you the ability to do light towing activities and if that is all you going to do, you probably don't need the ability and strength of a beefier transmission and the lower gearing of the differentials used in the 'tow option'. Since the Ex has two options for towing, one for 2000 lbs. the other for 5000 lbs., the former being an Ex with the lighter transmission and higher gearing, the parts listed may be what is needed for the 2k option only. Since the 5th gen Ex is basically a FWD vehicle with the added option of having FWD/AWD, it can not be treated as if adding a limited amount of components for towing will change the towing capacity beyond 2k pounds. After all, you wouldn't pull something with a string where a rope is needed, would you?
 




luc

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"the lower gearing of the differentials used in the 'tow option'."
Oh really, my XLT has 3.65 gears...... What would be the lower ( higher numerical ) gearing used on a NA 3.5 with the factory towing option????
We know your opinion, you have made it clear many, many times. Maybe more than enough times???
I guess that i need a thicker radiator also???
Darn, the towing option seems to be using the same radiator and same gearing than my 4WD!!!!!!
 




MikB

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"the lower gearing of the differentials used in the 'tow option'."
Oh really, my XLT has 3.65 gears...... What would be the lower ( higher numerical ) gearing used on a NA 3.5 with the factory towing option????
We know your opinion, you have made it clear many, many times. Maybe more than enough times???
I guess that i need a thicker radiator also???
Darn, the towing option seems to be using the same radiator and same gearing than my 4WD!!!!!!
I have 3.65 gears in mine. I don't recall you making that claim before. Maybe I missed it. Do you also have the 6F55 tranny? I'm sorry if my point doesn't resonate with you. If you are only looking for a certain point of view, you should say that up front. That way, I can reserve my considerable experience for one that would appreciate it. Take care.
 




luc

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i did not start this thread to ask for opinion or point of view but rather as a list of parts and what need to be done on a specific 2016 XLT to add the towing package.
There is a lot of wrong information on this forum because some peoples assume that all years and models are the same and therefore if your 2015 ( as an example) had a different radiator and gearing for the towing package, a 2016 HAS to be the same.
Well obviously that is not the case for my SPECIFIC truck
I have been around cars/trucks/bikes all my life ( and raced 650hp, tube-frame cars, for many, many years) so I also have "considerable experience", certainly enough to decide what I can tow or not
Frankly I know what I am doing and I don't need "adult supervision" Thank you
 
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2017Limitless

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Hi there, I know this is an old thread but I'm looking to do the exact same thing as OP did with my truck. Mine is 2017 limited, 3.5L NA engine.

OP thanks for the parts list and install details. I had a couple questions- Did your radiator have the inlet/outlet ready to accept the oil color lines? Or did you install new radiator as well? Do you have pictures of the install, I'm looking for how the oil cooler and adapter go, as well as the airdam?

Thanks!
 




peterk9

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Hi there, I know this is an old thread but I'm looking to do the exact same thing as OP did with my truck. Mine is 2017 limited, 3.5L NA engine.

OP thanks for the parts list and install details. I had a couple questions- Did your radiator have the inlet/outlet ready to accept the oil color lines? Or did you install new radiator as well? Do you have pictures of the install, I'm looking for how the oil cooler and adapter go, as well as the airdam?

Thanks!
Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
Not sure how much weight you are looking at towing but with the aftermarket hitch the Explorer is rated at 2000 lbs. A picture of the air dam cooling duct opening is pictured here; Lower grill cutout? The cooling duct itself is held on with fasteners and it seems it has to be removed for oil changes. I don't see the lower panel with the cutout, FB5Z-17626-BA listed in the parts in post #1. It is shown as costing 198.89 Bumper & Components - Front for 2017 Ford Explorer | Auto Nation Ford White Bear Lake Also in reading a previous post, the radiator itself is thicker.The transmission that is in the Explorer with the factory tow is a 6F55.

Peter
 




2017Limitless

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Thank you for the info and pointing out the location of the air dam. I’ll have to see if mine has the cutout already.

I’m only looking for the ability to tow occasionally, utility trailer or occasional uhaul rental.

I bought my 3.5L ‘17 limited used. Was the tow package ever offered in this vehicle as factory option? Is the 6F55 transmission the standard one, or upgrades for the turbo engines?

Thanks again!
 




peterk9

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Thank you for the info and pointing out the location of the air dam. I’ll have to see if mine has the cutout already.

I’m only looking for the ability to tow occasionally, utility trailer or occasional uhaul rental.

I bought my 3.5L ‘17 limited used. Was the tow package ever offered in this vehicle as factory option? Is the 6F55 transmission the standard one, or upgrades for the turbo engines?

Thanks again!
The cutout is only there on Explorers that have the factory tow package or have the Ecoboost engine. The Tow Package has always been an option but is now standard on the Platinum and Sport. I'm guessing that you may have the 6F55 transmission but can't be sure. I guess the previous owner didn't leave a copy of the Window Sticker in the glove box. The dealer should be able to look up your VIN and see which you have. I think there may be a site where you can also do it but that seems to change so often I've lost track.

Peter
 




Brian Lindsay

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First, we all agree that the best and cheapest way is to buy a EX with the tow package option.
But, for those of us, like me, that got an EX without it and want to duplicate ( the only unknown being the 60 VS 65 tranny) the factory tow package, it is possible and Ford already did a lot of the work for us by having the truck wired for it
I just finished doing mine and i thought that a post listing all the parts and best way to do it could be helpful
Keep in mind that there is an argument made on the tow rating ( 2000 VS 5000) if it is not installed by the factory
We can all make our own decision on it
Obviously the following was done on a 2016 XLT with the, 3,5 NA engine and only apply 100% to this truck

The good news is that all the electrical, and by that i mean, wiring, connectors, fuse, relays, software, etc is already there for the 7 pins .

The tow/ haul function only need the switch to be enabled and the connector for the brake controller is already under the dash
List of parts needed with price and description and qty

Trim piece for tow/haul switch ( black for mine) FB5Z-7804338-BA. $90
Tow/haul switch BB5Z-13D730-EA $16
Hitch GB5Z-19D520-A $250
Bumper wiring harness 4/7 pins + back up aid GB5Z-15K868-R $65
Under bumper air duct FB5Z-7810494-A $54
Clips for above (qty 3) W716006-S439 $ 3,5 X 3
Adapter oil cooler AT4Z6881-HA $54
Oil cooler 8A8Z-6A642-A $90
Bolts for above (qty 6) W503277-S437 $.85 x 6
Lower radiator hose BB5Z-8286-N $25
Oil cooler hoses BA8Z-6A715-A $30
Rear bumper fascia ( black) GB5Z-17K835-AA $90

Total part price : $ 780

Labor:
For me it was an easy project and all together I spent about 5 hours on it. Taking my time
Couple of notes
The front lower bumper valence need to have a hole cut in it to provide air to the duct but Ford was nice enough to outline the cut on the back of the valence
The most time consuming part was to remove the original rear fascia from the bumper and replacing it with the new one. Lot of rivets to drill out and fiddly tabs
I just got a 2016 limited planning on doing this just was wondering if you have had any issues and how heavy of a load you haul with it
 
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peterk9

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Welcome to the Forum Brian.:wave:
luc was right about the towing capacity of an aftermarket tow hitch. It is 2000 lbs. A factory install has more items added including a different transmission, tow/haul switch and bigger radiator, engine oil cooler as well as the cooling duct.

Peter
 




Korax234

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Just an FYI my 2016 4wd with the 2.3 eb has the cutout and cooling duct to the transmission. And I don't have a tow package. It also has the puny 6f35 transmission. I do want to get a hitch to haul a bike rake and small trailer though.
 


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peterk9

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I believe in your case the cooling duct is for the turbos.

Peter
 




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