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Towing with 2wd, non-limited slip diff

Skip Hood

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Hi folks. I’m planning on replacing my trusty ‘98 Explorer with a new 2020. My ‘98 has the factory tow package which included a 3.73 limited slip differential. And even though it’s 2 wheel drive, I’ve pulled out my 22’ cabin boat many times at some pretty steep and slick ramps with no wheel slip.

It appears the Class III tow package on the 2020’s does not include a limited slip diff. I know it’s very early in this model’s history, but does anyone here have knowledge of problems with wheel slippage on launch ramps with the 2 wheel drive 2020’s? I’d really prefer not having the all wheel drive version.

Thanks,
Skip
 
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peterk9

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Welcome to the Forum Skip.:wave:
I sincerely doubt that anyone has had experience or knowledge with what you are asking. Also, I don't think any of the Explorers are rated to tow a 22' boat, depending upon its weight. The maximum rating for the 3.0L is 5600 lbs. and for the 2.3L it's 5300 lbs. when properly equipped.

Peter
 
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Skip Hood

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Thanks for the info, Peter. I expect you’re right about nobody yet having experience with 2020 Explorers on launch ramps. But ya never know.

On the tow capacity issue, I appreciate your caution, and should have mentioned that my 22 is quite light for it’s type. Boat and trailer with full fuel and water tanks weighs just 4,200 lbs. My ‘98 Explorer with a tow rating of 5,860 lbs., 205 hp and 250 ft/lbs torque hauls it no sweat. Seems like the 2020 Explorer 2.3 liter with 300 hp and 310 torque should do fine too, even though it’s tow rating is five hundred pounds less for some reason. That said, I do have some reservations about expecting a 2.3 liter inline 4 to hold up under load as well as the 4 liter v-6 I have now. If you or anyone here knows the 2020’s tow capacity is not all it’s cracked up to be, please let me know.

Thanks,
Skip
 
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I bleed Ford Blue

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The reason your 98 has a higher tow rating with less power is because it's a full frame vehicle with a solid rear axle. 2010 was the last year the explorers had a full frame, and 2001 was the last year for a solid rear axle. Look up the tow rating for a 98 with the 5.0 V8, I bet its higher then yours.
 
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Skip Hood

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Yeah, those changes in the Explorer’s design over the years are why I’ve held onto my ‘98 for 220 K miles. Built like the pickup trucks most people use to tow their boats but without the weight distribution issues that mean you either need 4WD or people sitting on your tailgate at those slippery low tide ramps. And still a comparatively economic daily driver.

I had been seriously considering spending several times my 98’s market value to replace its engine and tranny with factory rebuilt units. But on a vehicle that old, there’s always something else about to fail. So I’m pretty excited to see the new Explorers going back to a more truck-like design with higher tow ratings.
 
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