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towing / lift inquiry

nitris

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1991 Ford Explorer 2WD
Ok so today I found out the towing capacity of my truck i have the D4 Traction-Lok 3.73:1 with a 6000 lb towing capacity. Now I was told if I lifted my truck ( 4 or 5.5in I haven't decided yet) that I would need to beef up the gears... seeing that I have the strongest gears that came with my year would I still need to beef it up when lifted... and also what's a good hitch to purchase as my truck never had one put on by the previous owner
 
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2stroke

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1993 Ford Explorer Sport
First of all, I don't think any first gen ever came with a 3 ton towing capacity, although I have towed more than that. Second, Its not that a lift itself is harder on the truck, its often the bigger tires that come with it. In general, most of the lift kits available are geared to off road performance. In my experience, this hurts towing performance. You will have to give more info on what exactly you are trying to get out of the truck, but I can tell you that you need a minimum of a class III hitch to tow 6000 pounds. Re gearing can compensate for bigger tires, and depends on what size tire you choose. A lot of guys go with 4.10:1 because you can find them in stock axles if you look. One worthwhile upgrade if you do go that route is to find a rear axle with disk brakes. The 4.0 OHV makes more than enough power for towing and off road. The weak point will be the auto transmission, assuming you have one. Keeping it cool is the key. An aftermarket tranny cooler (with external filter) is worth its weight in gold if you plan to tow a lot. That said, I never ran a cooler on mine and it still works fine 220k later. Out in the country, I was always conscious enough to get up to speed and let the torque converter lock. If I lived in the city, or just did lots of stop and go, the tranny would overheat in no time. Long story short, the brakes and tranny will be the weak points. You will never ruin the rear axle, however, running too high of gearing will be harder on the transmission. If you have the manual M5OD, you have nothing to worry about.
 
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nitris

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1991 Ford Explorer 2WD
First of all, I don't think any first gen ever came with a 3 ton towing capacity, although I have towed more than that. Second, Its not that a lift itself is harder on the truck, its often the bigger tires that come with it. In general, most of the lift kits available are geared to off road performance. In my experience, this hurts towing performance. You will have to give more info on what exactly you are trying to get out of the truck, but I can tell you that you need a minimum of a class III hitch to tow 6000 pounds. Re gearing can compensate for bigger tires, and depends on what size tire you choose. A lot of guys go with 4.10:1 because you can find them in stock axles if you look. One worthwhile upgrade if you do go that route is to find a rear axle with disk brakes. The 4.0 OHV makes more than enough power for towing and off road. The weak point will be the auto transmission, assuming you have one. Keeping it cool is the key. An aftermarket tranny cooler (with external filter) is worth its weight in gold if you plan to tow a lot. That said, I never ran a cooler on mine and it still works fine 220k later. Out in the country, I was always conscious enough to get up to speed and let the torque converter lock. If I lived in the city, or just did lots of stop and go, the tranny would overheat in no time. Long story short, the brakes and tranny will be the weak points. You will never ruin the rear axle, however, running too high of gearing will be harder on the transmission. If you have the manual M5OD, you have nothing to worry about.


sorry i was going off what I found online, but that made me more curious as to what the max my truck could tow... i pulled the the owners guide and it stated an automatic transmission could pull between 2000-6000 lbs granted the max gross weight on the truck complies.... and being that i have nothing extra in my truck to weight it down aside from me (185 lbs) it seems i can pull a max of 5995 lbs my trucks weight is 2520 front and 2900 rear im sure its not exact but im just gonna go off those numbers for the sake of getting a good estimate of what it can do.Im not the greatest at math but i went off what the manual said and its how i got my number please correct me if im wrong.

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as far as the lift goes its more so for looks... i only go off road maybe a few times out of the year and its not extreme
 
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2stroke

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Wow, they must have changed the manual, my 94 states 5,200 lb's as the max. Still, you don't say what you want to tow. A boat every weekend? A car once a year? Just want the ability?
 
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nitris

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Wow, they must have changed the manual, my 94 states 5,200 lb's as the max. Still, you don't say what you want to tow. A boat every weekend? A car once a year? Just want the ability?


I just want the ability... if i needed to pull a car... or hook a trailer to move appliances etc... im just thinking of ways i could use this guy to make some weekend cash every now and then.... that way i know what i can tow if im asked....

im going to put bigger brakes, steel brake lines, transmission cooler, and change my fan, clutch or electric but haven't decided yet... any suggestions on these parts?
 
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2stroke

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My suggestion is you might have better luck in the modified first gen section. I was just reading about someone who was doing some extensive brake work you might like. Bigger rotors front and rear (obviously rear disk brake), and to top it off, brake booster and master cylinder from an F250. Braided steel brake hose will give you a firmer brake petal as well. Without a doubt go with an electric fan. The manual fan that comes stock works fine, but you loose a little power and MPG. As far as the hitch, go with the Class III as I stated. There really is no reason to get anything else.
 
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