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towing with 2003 4.0 xlt questions

fordnut96

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I have a few questions about towing my explorer it is a 2003 xlt 4.0 and 3.73 rear I am planing on towing my 27' camper (weighs around 4500 dry) and weighs around (6000 loaded) and (1000 pound toung weight) and I have a weight distribution hitch and brake controller I have never pulled this much weight with my explorer how well will it pull it? any suggestions?
 



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hobbitak

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03 Explorer 4.0L 4x4
I haven't pulled much with my '03 4.0, but the things that jump to mind are:

1 don't tow while in Over Drive (use the OD off selector switch)

2 wouldn't be a bad idea to have a transmission fluid temp guage installed to monitor conditions as you are towing

3 if you don't already have the towing package you might consider installing an additional tranny cooler

main thing I think is to make sure to not tow in OD as this can cause overheating issues which will burn your fluid and probably cause major tranny problems later on down the line
 






ImprtKllrZ28

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i towed our 27' trailer with our v6 explorer it pulled it fine.......i would rather tow with my f250 though
 






Triton8273

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I'm assuming that you have checked it with the WD hitch to see if its enough??

Because 1000lbs is a hell of a lot of tongue weight
 






fordnut96

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we usually pull it with our 02 f150 with the 4.2 v6 and it does fine but we want to tow with the explorer for longer distances and i have a husky center-line weight distribution hitch that is rated at 10000 pound trailer weight and 1200 pound toung weight.
 






D Hook

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After reading how fragile these transmissions are, I wouldn't tow that much with it. Maybe a ski-doo or something. But a 27' trailer?....no way.
 






leftlane36

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I have towed a little over 6000 with ours and I will say, it pulled it, stopping was a different story. I was lucky that the temps were around freezing when I done this. It did try to heat up some while in the mountains. I would not tow that much again with it. I do tow a 3200 lb boat all summer with it and have had no problems. Like I said it will tow 6000 but I would not say it is safe to do so even with trailer brakes cause stopping is almost an "option" with that much weight pushing you down the road.
 






joecrna

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First, let me say that I pull a 22' travel trailer that weighs about that same weight. The Explorer loaded is about 5500 lbs. Check the limits for your model, equipement and year and you will likely find you are over the trailer limit as well as the GCVWR. Mine tows fine but expect to change the trans fluid every 30k miles or so. I would highly suggest the trans temp gauge and a trans fluid cooler.

Second, I am suprised you fond a class V hitch that fits your Explorer. 1000 lbs on the hitch, even a wieght distributing one, will likely make your rear set low. Unless you crank the rods on the hitch way up. Either may make handling a little squirrely. You told us the maker of the hitch, what model. There are a few of us that this would interest.

Third, I have no problems stopping. Good controller set up correctly keeps it balanced. If the brakes on the trailer are not capable of providing for its complete stopping needs, the trailer brakes are not adequate.

As for going, if you are satisfied with the performance of the 4.2, you will likely be satisfied with the 4.0 SOHC. Remember, towing over weight recommendations will wear parts faster, decrease service intervals and require additional modifications to do it safely and minimize the wear and tear.
 






Hitchhikingmike

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After reading how fragile these transmissions are, I wouldn't tow that much with it. Maybe a ski-doo or something. But a 27' trailer?....no way.

This is false, unlike the V6 2nd generation explorer that came with a smaller, less capable transmission than the V8 2nd gen explorer, both V6 and V8 3rd gen explorers have the same automatic transmissions, making the transmission behind the V6 overbuilt for the engine it is behind.

Also, unlike 2nd gen explorers, all 3rd generations explorer came from the factor with a separate, dedicated transmission cooler, with or without the towing package.

fordnut96, you shouldn't have too worry about your transmission if it is already in good working order, but a temperature gauge of some sort would still be prudent.

It sounds like you set up your explorer the best you can to be towing that weight.

Let us know how the SOHC accelerates, shifts and handles with that much weight.

Good luck!
 






Hitchhikingmike

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Oh, and be sure you keep your over drive override switch on for certain!
 






M1911A1

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Risky...

I have a few questions about towing my explorer it is a 2003 xlt 4.0 and 3.73 rear I am planing on towing my 27' camper (weighs around 4500 dry) and weighs around (6000 loaded) and (1000 pound toung weight) and I have a weight distribution hitch and brake controller I have never pulled this much weight with my explorer how well will it pull it? any suggestions?

You would be at the edge towing that weight. Make sure you travel lean in terms of extra weight both in your trailer and truck. Change all fluids and evaluate their condition prior to embarking on a long trip. The topography and traffic pattern of your planned tours would be critical. I have used an electronic monitor called SCANGAUGE II, that works magnificently for monitoring transmission temperatures; easy to connect and use. Good luck.
 






03explorerL

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This is false, unlike the V6 2nd generation explorer that came with a smaller, less capable transmission than the V8 2nd gen explorer, both V6 and V8 3rd gen explorers have the same automatic transmissions, making the transmission behind the V6 overbuilt for the engine it is behind.

Also, unlike 2nd gen explorers, all 3rd generations explorer came from the factor with a separate, dedicated transmission cooler, with or without the towing package.

fordnut96, you shouldn't have too worry about your transmission if it is already in good working order, but a temperature gauge of some sort would still be prudent.

It sounds like you set up your explorer the best you can to be towing that weight.

Let us know how the SOHC accelerates, shifts and handles with that much weight.

Good luck!

Seeing all of the posts on here about transmissions, I find it hard to believe that they are overbuilt for the engine they are behind. Constantly failing due to poor quality solenoids and what not.
And I'm pretty sure you only got the transmission cooler if you have the towing package. My 03 Limited (no tow package(no 2 inch hitch)) doesn't have any cooler underneath besides that power steering cooler. So incorrect there.
And we have towed our 18 foot center console Scout behind the Explorer no problem. Probably weighs 3,600 pounds or so. But our bigger 25 foot center console that weights probably 5,100 pounds, I wouldn't put it near the Explorer. It probably wouldn't even get it out of the launch ramp.
 






hobbitak

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Oh, and be sure you keep your over drive override switch on for certain!

Exactly!

If you are driving in the mountains, against a headwind or much of anything more than flat land with that much weight with the overdrive on you may be asking your transmission to do a lot more up/down shifting than is really necessary. Pay attention to your tranny temp and maybe slow down a tad to keep your RPMs under control if you find that you need to keep her in 4th to tackle the driving conditions.

It all comes down to being an aware driver. It doesn't hurt your tranny to stay in 4th while cruising if you don't push the speed and keep RPMs respectable. That's one of the great reasons for having a temp gauge on tranny line so that you can see what's happening. The downside to not being in OD are higher RPMs and possible lower MPG. Of course if your truck is constantly downshifting to keep speed than you are probably getting less mileage anyways.

If you find that you can't use OD very often than consider changing differential gearing to meet your needs.

These are tough transmissions EXCEPT for the servo bores. If you ask your tranny to shift a lot more than normal you are probably going to see a servo bore problem sooner or later.
 






bikedad

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With my 2006 EB I towed my Mazda RX7 (converted with a Chevy 383 Stroker) on a 14ft tandem axle trailer with surge brakes. Approximate total weight is 4700lbs.
I have the 4.0 with 3:73 gears. I had a class 3 hitch installed underneath the OEM class 2 hitch.

I trailered my car for an annual car club event this past October. From southern Wisconsin to Indianapolis Indiana then straight to Cincinnati Ohio (Great drag strip called Edgewater) and then back to Indianapolis in one day. Then back to Wisconsin 2 days later.
I kept the trans out of O/D the entire trip. Approximately 3000RPM at 65MPH. I got 15MPG the entire trip with having the A/C on intermittently.
The Explorer ran fantastic and had no problems. (I had 68,000 miles on the odometer at the time)
I change the trans fluid every 30,000 miles.

Use common sense when braking and accelerating. Don't expect it to pull like a diesel and you should be fine.

TowRX7.jpg
 






JohnnyV1973

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Should I add Tranny cooler?

Hello. I have a 2005 V6 eddie b edition. 4dr 4x4. I have a class III/IV installed and getting Weight distribution and sway control installed.
I will be pulling a Hybrid camper wright around 3300lbs.
I had the Explorer at Ford today and they said it does not have any Aux Tranny cooler. Oh course they want like 550.00 to add one and do a flush.

I was wondering what size Tranny cooler I should get and should I get a flush or just drain?
 






rabbit91

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Hello. I have a 2005 V6 eddie b edition. 4dr 4x4. I have a class III/IV installed and getting Weight distribution and sway control installed.
I will be pulling a Hybrid camper wright around 3300lbs.
I had the Explorer at Ford today and they said it does not have any Aux Tranny cooler. Oh course they want like 550.00 to add one and do a flush.

I was wondering what size Tranny cooler I should get and should I get a flush or just drain?

Get the biggest one you can fit. 20,000gvw? the bigger the better.
 






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