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Towing questions

JazzMat

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May 6, 2005
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City, State
Defreestville, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
'96 XLT
First of all, thanks for the terrific forums. As you can see, I'm a brand spankin' newbie. I've searched and searched this site for previous threads about my specific questions, but I haven't found any threads devoted to my questions. So...

We're just about ready to pull the trigger on a deal for a 2004 Explorer Limited. We currently have a boat-trailer combo that totals approximately 4K lb. We expect to buy a heavier boat in the next couple of years -- long before we're ready to trade in the upcoming Explorer.

To date, we've found no used V8 Limiteds with the towing package: Tranny-cooler, Class III/IV hitch, 3.73 rear ratio, etc.

Questions...

1. Can we get a dealer to install the Class III/IV hitch & tranny cooler, & how much should it cost?

2. We live in the east and only tow our boat through moderately hilly country (no Rocky Mountain passes or high altitude towing in our future), so do we really need the 3.73 ratio or can we get away with stock if we install the heavier duty, class III/IV hitch? (Any future boat would be a max of 5K to 5.5K lb).

3. Will the resulting combination of Class III/IV hitch, tranny cooler and stock rear ratio split the difference in towing capacity between the basic-Jane, stock towing capacity and the 7K lb. capacity Ford quotes for a fully outfitted towing package?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
 



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blichy

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City, State
Naperville, IL
Year, Model & Trim Level
'13 Explorer Sport
If you find an '04 Ex with the Class III/IV receiver, it has the factory tow package. Without the package it has the Class II receiver. I know that in the order guides, it wasn't possible to get the '03 Ex (and I think '04) with the 3rd row, DVD, and tow package all together (yet it was okay with the Mountaineer...).

A few people have looked at installing a Class III/IV on the new Explorers, and it was pretty costly, or mounted below the Class II hitch.

Good luck in your search!
 






MonumentalX

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January 3, 2005
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City, State
Grand Junction, Colorado
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 XLT NBX
I have the '03 with 3rd seat and tow package. No DVD. Yes, you can get someone to install the receiver and tranny cooler and be a long way to pulling that boat easily. I would also check that the tires are load rated for what you are going to pull or like me you will have to shell out $800+ for some that will do the job. The P series without enough plies will have you weaving all over the road. LT series are the best but will compromise ride quality when not loaded. The problem I see is if you upgrade your boat and still want to tow easily. If it was me I would just get a bigger vehicle now and then not worry period. Don't forget all your stuff and people etc. in the X when you tow 'cause it all adds up. By the way my boat was 3500lbs and we live at 4600' towing was not a problem with the 3.73 once I swapped out the treads for Michelin Cross Terrains. Have you tried www.cars.com for a search?
 






airjeff

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July 28, 2004
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City, State
White Bear Lake, MN
Year, Model & Trim Level
'04 Eddie Bauer 4.6
I picked up an '04 EB with the V8. It didn't have the tow package so I bought the class III/IV hitch and wire harness for the 7 pin connector for under $250 (from the dealer). You have to pull off the rear bumper cover and then take off a few large bolts and the hitch pulls off. Then you just put on the new one! :)

I've done some looking and my EX has a good sized tranny cooler between the engine radiator and the A/C radiator. Also has a P/S cooler. All stock. So, unless they put in a bigger one for the tow package I think It's set.

3.73's would be nice, I've towed a 4000lb boat and there is no chance of using OD (not that you should) Held well at 70mph with a 30+mph crosswind. Looking to pick up a Hellwig helper spring/sway bar to help the ride. I'm sure LT tires would also make a difference.

So far I'm happy with the way it tows, but I don't expect it to drive like there is nothing behind me. If I towed all the time this would not be the right vehicle. If I ever want a bit more out of it I could switch the gears and do some engine upgrades. :)

Hope that helps!
 






007

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City, State
Midwest
Year, Model & Trim Level
04 XLT Sport V8
What does the tranny cooler look like? A normal radiator-type or is it a plate-type?

I have tow prep package with the 3.73 LS, Class III/IV receiver and the PS cooler but haven't seen a tranny cooler...is it under the black plastic shroud above the radiator?
 






airjeff

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White Bear Lake, MN
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'04 Eddie Bauer 4.6
Right now my EX is out of town, but if I remember right I got a look at it from the bottom. But it was hard to see, there was a plastic shroud blocking the view. Since it was well below freezing I didn't look any more than that. I think it was a normal radiator type, but I'm not 100% sure.
 






Claus

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January 21, 2004
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City, State
Ames, Iowa
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 V8 Eddi Bauer AWD
I thought the towing package of the V8 only included the Class III/IV hitch. Only the V6 got the transmission cooler. At least that's what I remembered when I purchased mine.

I had a Class III hitch mounted under the smaller stock one, mainly to get away from the 6 inch drop receiver I needed to keep the trailer level.

I also recommend getting a bigger towing vehicle for 4,000+ pounds trailers. If you do the math you really overload the Explorer. I'm close to the limits with my 1,200 lbs trailer.
(see: http://www.niesens.com/hobbies/cars/2003-ford-explorer/towing-capacity.en.html )
 






airjeff

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White Bear Lake, MN
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'04 Eddie Bauer 4.6
That is pretty much what I figured out. The towing package on the V8 gives you the receiver and 3.73 limited slip. The other goodies (trans cooler, ps cooler) are standard.
 






Claus

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January 21, 2004
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Ames, Iowa
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2003 V8 Eddi Bauer AWD
BTW, 3.73 limited slip = worse gas milage.
 






Chuck S

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May 4, 2003
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City, State
Broadview Hts, Ohio
Year, Model & Trim Level
'02 XLT 4-door V6
Anyone installed an aftermarket transmission cooler like the B&M SuperCooler? I'm pushing GCVWR towing a 4800 pound trailer and know the transmission needs to run cool.

Transmission temperature gage anyone?

Thanks,

-- Chuck
 






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