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Old 09-04-2006, 12:04 PM   #15
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hello lamar,

I realize i am not using the standard method of stated figures from ford and such ,I agree that when purchasing a new airstream or used, weighing them
is an important thing to do for certain ,however ,published figures for this
topic vehical ,don't add up as you pointed out with the GCWR .The numbers
can be a starting point ,and while my example sounds simplistic or not
numerically figured using all the data ,it does represent the real on the road
test of this vehicals abilities if we want to get down too it .Agreeably we do
need to look at what the tow ratings are if we want to purchase a new tv
and other data ,but if a vehical is claimed to tow 9000# and its really a 1/2
vehical ,Im going to look alot further than these calculations tell me.I believe
this discussion is a benefit to readers as it covers alot of questions and
gives out some things to think about .Its more than the math that need to be understood.

Scott
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:29 PM   #16
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ignore the stats.... use common sense

Coning from a background of long hauling horses from two-horse trailers up to 10-horse bob-tail rigs, I've come to think that all of the manufacturers calculate their load/tow capacities in different ways. Even vehicles within the same manufacturer seem to be calculated differently. We all know that there are three issues; tongue weight, load and braking. Tongue weight affects the rear drive train and suspension. Anything beyond 500lbs tongue weight needs fully floating rear axels and heavy duty springs. Load compensation helps but even with it, the rear end still bears most of the verticle load. Load, gross weight of the vehicle and trailer affect the drive train. Engine, transmission, u-joints, differential and axel bearings have to be the right duty for the job. You can tow a 5,000 trailer with a V6 automatic Toyota but maintenance and breakdowns become the issue. The more heavy duty the drive train, the more trouble free the towing. Terrain should be a consideration here too. Consistent hilly terrain is harder on drive train than flat land towing. Fully independent braiking - the trailer brakes being able to stop without demand on the tow vehicle eliminates braking as a concern but my rule of thumb is to have a tow vehicle that can stop a trailer with broken brakes from 45mph in a reasonable time. Brake fade is the real issue when using a tow vehicle to compensate for poor trailer braking. Okay that said - (sorry for the diatribe) common sense should rule the day. An expedition is built on the Ford light truck chassis genreally spanning the 1/2 ton to 1 ton range. Depending on the build out of drive train and suspension, a well maintained Expedition should be able to do 500-600lbs tongue weight - load compensating hitch would be nice, with 6000-7000 gross tow weight for moderat duty cycles. It is relatively easy to put 3/4 springs and a fully floating axel in an Expedition but that may tend to affect ride when there is no tongue weight. One man's opinion
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Old 09-04-2006, 02:20 PM   #17
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Hi, Scott,

I was disappointed that I could not find more information about the Expedition's capabilities on the web or even on the Ford site.

I did get the impression that one could equip it to be an overgrown, plush station wagon, or one could equip it to be a truck.

Even Ford would not tell anyone to pull 8,200 lbs on a 6,750 lb vehicle with a 11,000 lb GCWR. This suggests to me that something's WRONG in these numbers. I think that GCWR ought to be up there around 13K or so, just based on the other numbers.

I also suspect that if it has the 5.4L OHC V-8 engine and a numerically high rear end, it just might be a towing beast after all. Maybe even a comfy one.

Lamar
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Old 09-04-2006, 02:48 PM   #18
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Well, I'm working today doing product support, and it's basically a whole lot of nuthin' going on. So I decided to use the force and search for "Ford Expedition" here on the website. And I have been doing some reading.

Found some folks getting 25-footers and decididing that their Expeditions were too antsy. Found some upgrading to the diesels and finding happiness. I even found someone saying that the tow ratings of the Expedition came from the marketing department and the lawyers somehow missed it.

So this is so much more non-answer, but I'm guessing if it has the tow package and the big engine/low rear end, it can pull around 4500 lbs. Okay, the next question will be wheelbase.

Lamar
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Old 09-04-2006, 03:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkR
1998 Ford Expedition.....Did I get it right? Does 3400# seem a little light to anyone else?

Thanks, MarkR
hi markr....
yes 3400s is low.....but pretty accurate.

your equations are close.
f+r axle rating don't exactly equal vehicle rating...
someone else can explain this.

best place to get the correct numbers are from the actual vehicle...
or ford, but that may take months...

it looks like back in 98 these numbers were harder to find...

here is an easier way to look at the formulae...

a=gcwr.....................that is tv, trailer, hitch, people, gear, gas,the whole sheebang.
b=gvwr.....................that is the max weight for the loaded tv.
c=curb weight............that is tv weight. sometimes includes driver/gas. usually b4 options.
d=payload.................that is b-c. hitching gear is included in the payload or options
...............................options usually change payload.
...............................most reduce it but suspension or engine/tranny options could increase it.
e=towing capacity......that is a-(c+d) usually.
...............................there may be figures for with w/d or without,
...............................and for each tranny/engine combo.
f= front axle rating
r=rear axle rating
t=tire rating

so 'safe towing' would be 80% of a-(c+d) or

.8 x e = a - (c+d)

without exceeding b or f or r or t......or receiver/hitch limits, or trailer carrying capacity.

is that clear as mud?

now the 98 expi appears to have....

gcwr of 13-14.5k
gvwr of 6.7-7.2k
curb weight of 6-6.5k
payload of 1.8-2.1k
and towing capacity of 6.7-8k

so 80% of the above suggests towing capacity of 5.4-6.4k with minimal payload....

so IF the tv payload was MAXED out at 2k, yes that only leaves 3.4k for the trailer.....IF 80% is your goal.

add another 1k or so if towing up to the limits...
from the forumula e=a-(c+d)

towing at/near/over the limits
might prompt adding a tranny cooler, different gearing, springs, tires, axles...
or other heavy duty tricks...

2k is a LOT inside the tv, but a realistic value for EVERYTHING 2-3 people might carry in the tv AND trailer while camping....

i carry that much in beer and cheetos!

cheers
2air'

a 1998 is unlikely to have the stock tires so checking tire load rating would be important.
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Old 09-04-2006, 03:49 PM   #20
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Adding fuel to the fire...

Okay here goes. This a story of five Ford trucks My company (who shall remain nameless) bought a whole fleet of Ford pickups. All of them were in the 97-99 year range. Most were new with one or two as demo/repo units( under 20k miles on them). They were all V-6 (don't ask ) most of them were XL base models, 4.2 V-6, plus cab, 6' bed, 3.05 rear end, automatic tranny, no towing package. They were rated to around 3500# towing capacity. One was a 5sp rated to tow 2500#. Mine (for some unknown reason) was a XLT straight cab, 8'bed , but was equipped with 3.55 rear end, factory tow package (oversized radiator, auxillary tranny cooler, frame receiver hitch, and 7 pin wiring to the rear) it was rated to tow (drum roll please ) 5400#. All of the trucks were used pretty much the same. We typically towed a small 5x8 cargo trailer with a GVW of around 2200#. FWIW my 97 was the only one to survive. Most of the trucks were dead on the road before 200k miles with high maintenance bills. My truck hit 300k in January and is still going strong. It had a tranny replacement at 176k. The only other replacement item was new radiators every 100k for some reason. These trucks were all on the same maintenance schedule. FWIW I did tow my 6000# Airstream with mine, about 125 miles in a pinch. It did great, but I wasn't in a hurry and took it easy. And before someone starts a Chevy vs Ford war, another division in the same company purchased Chevy's in 2000 and not a single one went over 125k without major problems.

Aaron
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:51 PM   #21
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Expedition tow vehicle

Hi, Mark R. I see a lot of numbers. but without more specs, I can only guess that your Expedition has the 4.6 L engine and that comes with a smaller trans and an 8.8" differential. Therefore lower tow rateings. There is quite a bit of difference in Expeditions with 4.6 L engines and those with the 5.4 L engine.

Bob
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:17 PM   #22
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Wahoonc ,how many of your 4.2 v6s had the intake gasket leak ,water fills
the front cylinder most always grenades the rod failure?Those engines were good ,but that main problem killed plenty of them .

Scott
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:21 PM   #23
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you know 2air ,that post of numbers ,although well done ,is just as confusing
as ever ,Its way too much to go thru ,Im never gonna weigh people and
the cooler and the dog and all of that ,just buy a tow vehical that is plenty
capable in the first place ,the expedition isn't it.

scott
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, Mark R. I see a lot of numbers. but without more specs, I can only guess that your Expedition has the 4.6 L engine and that comes with a smaller trans and an 8.8" differential. Therefore lower tow rateings. There is quite a bit of difference in Expeditions with 4.6 L engines and those with the 5.4 L engine.

Bob
Bob
I don't own an expedition, just looking, and I'm mostly looking at low mileage 98 or 99 5.4L Tritons w/factory Tow Package (which I'm hoping means more than a hitch). Are you saying the 5.4 comes with a better transmission and differential.
MarkR
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:19 PM   #25
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Hello MarkR , you will want to google sparkplug threads blowing out on 5.4
triton and the v-10 if you are looking at those .I have replaced one engine
with 100k due to the plug threads and bottom end noise.the last V-10
the heads were pulled to replace all the threads ,ford has specified special
inserts that repair the heads ,and gives full thread length ,not the 4to5 thread count they have from the factory.they are big money to fix and if they have been done properly ,the problems are solved with the threads.
Interestingly ,I have never seen the 4.6 do this or heard of any .Again its
a thing to look at on the triton engines.Ford now supposedly has found a way
to fix these heads on the vehical ,they wont tell you there is a problem
so don't expect to get a response from ford if you ask except "they never heard of it happening."

Scott
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:34 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
you know 2air ,that post of numbers ,although well done ,is just as confusing as ever ,Its way too much to go thru ,Im never gonna weigh people and the cooler and the dog and all of that ,just buy a tow vehical that is plenty capable in the first place ,the expedition isn't it.

scott


hi scott
yes it's a lot of numbers....
some folks like that stuff....
for others it's like garlic to a vampire...

markR started with lots of figures
and even a formula!
and by using the figures,
figured out the expedition
doesn't have big time towing capacity
and that it is heavy even empty...

couple of days ago campadk
was sortin' through the same issues
with a yukon...
again, heavy empty and smaller engine...
means modest towing limits...

without figures,
you figured
one was ok
and the other not...

neither the yukon or expi
have great towing capacity
when the engine is a petite v8

how'd ya figure?
by brand name...
i hope not!

my point is that people decide in different ways.
and learn in different ways.
but without rolling the tv or trailer across a cat scale...
learning may only come the hard way...
and using a few figures,
is the only way to figure...
i figure.

not markR is shopping tow rigs...
understanding the ratings is important...
reading the reputation for various tow rigs is too.


cheers
2air'
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:41 PM   #27
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2air I absolutly agree as many like to figure it with the numbers and that
is fine,some will buy even with info saying no ,but getting it figured out is
the first thing before buying anyway you figure it .

go figure chuckle chuckle


Scott
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:58 PM   #28
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hi scott...

sometimes your posts keep me laughin' for days...honest

like that loose gravel thing... "it's already loose, that's why they call it gravel"

i'm still laughing at that one...

now i got to add 'go figure' to the best hits...

if we can't laugh at each other what's the point?

cheers
2air'
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