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Towing Package - how do I know which class?

NJExplorerFan

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2015 Limited
Guys - I found this great link which shows towing capacity of Explorers. In particular, I'm looking for a 2003 - 2005 model. It seems that only the 3.73 gear ratio will tow a car. As explained to me by a Ford Rep., the GCWR weight is the total weight the engine/transmission can tow. The truck weighs 5,560 lbs. So an example, lets' take a 4.0L with a 3.55 gear ratio with a 8K lb. GCWR. Take the 8,000 lbs. minus 5,560 lbs. of the Explorer, and you can only tow 2,440 lbs. with an Explorer with a 4.0L V6 with 3.55's.

For me to tow my Mustang, it appears I will need to get either the V6 or V8 with a 3.73 gear ratio class III/IV. It's max. weight tow is 10K lbs minus a 5,560 lb. truck gives me an ability to pull 4,440 lbs.

https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/rv_trailer_towing/2004/2004RVTrailer_Escape_Explorer.pdf

The question now is this... As I shop around for a 2003 - 2005 Explorer, how will I know what class towing package it has? Or, can I just see somehow the gear ratio on the door panel label? If I just see a 3.73 package, I know it will be the Class III/IV package which will handle towing my Mustang on an open trailer.

Your input is greatly appreciated.
 
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sjr033

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You can look at the door tag to find the axle ratio. But for the easiest way, just look at the hitch. If it is the 2" it should be the 3.73 and if it is the small one, it is the 3.55
 
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NJExplorerFan

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Thanks. The Information Center at Fleet.Ford.com also mentioned to just call them and supply the VIN #, or I can contact any dealer. I'm not really certain if the door tag has an axle ratio listed.

I'm glad I found out this information before buying because I was just going to see a V6 I was going to potentially make an offer on, but it will be of no use to me since it only has the 3.55 gearing.

I guess I can just eyeball the hitch and guestimate 1" vs. 2"? Maybe I should bring a tape measure. I would also think that a V8 with 3.73's vs. a V6 with 3.55's would be a big difference in power.
 
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skeeter123

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jrford

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Your best bet is check the door code. Code '45' is open 3.55's. With the '02-05 models the hitch was a bolt on, its unlikely you find one but you can swap hitches for $100 to a Class III. So the Hitch is not 100%, just so you know. One way to tell quickly is look for the round plug which should be a 7-pin and a Class III hitch. Smaller strait plug 4-pin comes with the class II hitch. But double check the door code to be sure.

On a side note the V8/3.73's is rated for 7k lbs. how often do you plan on towing?
 
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NJExplorerFan

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I'm told by the Ford Rep. that it's the total GCWR minus the weight of the truck (5,560 lbs.). So in the V8 3.73 gear package, the engine and trans would pull 11,600 total lbs of truck weight/trailer weight etc.
 
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