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Old 10-22-2003, 01:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by rluhr
Now the question is performance. What kinda hp and torque does that V6 put out? Is it the 3.0 or 4.0 liter? I had a 3.0 V6 Ford Ranger and it was a gutless thing that could barely get out of its own way, whereas my 3.5 V6 Honda Pilot is a joy with 240 hp and 222 ft-lbs of torque. (Not all V6's are lame, which is why I always shudder when people on this board rush to say you MUST have a V8.)

-- RL

Sadly, I agree. Even being a ford fanatic, I think the Ford 6s are pretty weak. Rluhrs Honda is a whole different beast. When we were tow vehicle shopping I found lots more evidence of trouble with the Ford 6s than with the v8s. Howver, that doesn't mean yours won't do just fine, especially now that you know you're in line with the tow capacity. Just go easy on it in the mountains.

Now you can spend your time looking for the perfect trailer. Warning: you might never want to go back to tent camping again!
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Old 10-22-2003, 01:54 PM   #16
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I have very good friends that tow their Bambi with a similar vehicle, an 02 4.0 V6 Explorer with factory tow package and V6.
They camp all over the place, and have absolutely no regrets. Some of the very steep mountain passes slow them down a bit, but the same goes for my rig.
I have not tried it myself, so this is second hand information.
Just make sure you have the right gearing and cooling capacity, along with good towing equipment, and it should be no problem.
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Old 10-22-2003, 02:10 PM   #17
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Everyone will do what they want to and that's the beauty of a free society....however everyone has opinons and when asked, you'll get a wide range.

I have an'03 Bambi and I tow it with an Impala SS. I have made several modifications to the car to enhance it's towing ability and performance and I will clearly say that I could not imagine towing my Bambi with anything less. I feel the Impala SS, even as modified, can at times be lacking, not often, but I have seen it's limitations.

I will simply say that I feel the Explorer, even with a V8 is a poor choice for a tow vehicle due mostly to the fact that the wheelbase and it's center of gravity is all wrong.

Can folks do it and get away with it. Sure. Is it wise, not from where I am looking at it.

The V6 issue is one we can go round and round on, but in the end, a bad day with a V8 beats a great day with a V6 when it comes to power and performance.

Case in point, how many hot rodders out there have Chevelle SS, Malibu SS, Impala SS, Camaro SS, Corvettes or any other mucscle car and have suped up V6s (outside of the new junk coming off the GM line that has SS badges on it)? The answer is few to none. There is a reason for it. The V8 small or large is the standard for power and performance.

Are there sorry excuses for V8s, sure. Are there really good V6s? You bet, one that comes to mind is the supercharged 3.8L V6 that was installed in the Grand National and a few other higher performance cars. But I believe you will find those cars in the minority among car nuts. To that end, you can see why V8s are more widely used. When I go camping and see trailers and look at the tow vehicles, I see far more V8 tanks than I see Intrepids (sorry) or Hondas, etc. I see either V8 wagons, V8 sedans, V8 Pickup trucks, Suburbans, Tahoes, V8 Vans, Excursions, Expiditions, etc.... there is a reason and it all boils down to the fact that most V8s don't have to work as hard to get the same performance....

Heck as much as I give him hell about it, Roger has a very nice (besides the fact that it's a Ford ) V-10 (then again he's towing a 34' rolling living room)!

To each their own.

Eric
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Old 10-22-2003, 02:37 PM   #18
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The Explorer is a compromise vehicle - it is a bit small, light and weak for the job. It gets good mileage when not towing (20 mpg on freeway for my V8), and reasonable mileage when towing (11-13 mpg). If I had bought the trailer first, and was looking for a tow vehicle - I would not choose an Explorer. But if you already have one, it does work.

Comparing the Impala SS to the V8 Explorer (apples and oranges?):

96 Impala SS Wheelbase: 115.9", Rear Overhang 56.5", towing cap 5000 lbs, 260 HP
03 Explorer Wheelbase: 113.8, Rear Overhang 44.1", towing cap 7100 lbs, 239 HP

Not much difference in wheelbase. Long lever arm for the hitch on the SS!
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Old 10-22-2003, 02:51 PM   #19
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Ya know.....

If your wife loves the Bambi and you find that your Explorer is not quite up to snuff in the long run..... it seems that the only resonable choice would be to upgrade your vehicle. After all, you wouldn't want to get rid of the Bambi.... Seems like a win-win situation to me.

Just a thought.
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Old 10-22-2003, 03:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmac


Comparing the Impala SS to the V8 Explorer (apples and oranges?):

96 Impala SS Wheelbase: 115.9", Rear Overhang 56.5", towing cap 5000 lbs, 260 HP
03 Explorer Wheelbase: 113.8, Rear Overhang 44.1", towing cap 7100 lbs, 239 HP

Not much difference in wheelbase. Long lever arm for the hitch on the SS!
Center of gravity is much different and that is where the final wheelbase issue is coming from. If you have a short wheelbase and the car sits several feet higher, you run into issues as the car even when not towing is LESS stable than a car that has a much lower center of gravity. The Impala is rated at 2500lbs, the Caprice is rated at 5k. My Impala SS is a modded out Caprice. Reason cops loved the Caprice/Impala is that you could drive it like you stole it. Very stable, low center of gravity no rollovers. Solid suspention for the Dukes of Hazzard manuvers that law enforcement make. Remember when the older Explorers had the tire issues....more issues with the older Explorers than other brands or models with the same tire. If recall, the Explorers (older) had a higher than normal rollover rate. This is due to a short SUV wheelbase and the SUV sitting as high as it does. Now add about 5000lbs to that equation? To me it simply says trouble.

Now you can modify the SS futher to get 8000lb tow capacity, but I think that's just as bad as using an Explorer to tow anything more than 3500lbs.

That said, I am sticking with the wheelbase comments basing it on the same center of gravity of other SUVs (as eluded to in my last post). I never compared the Explorer to the SS, I simply said, here is what I have, I could not imagine using less (which the Explorer is) 239HP vs. 260hp. And those numbers are achieved in an SS far easier than that of a V6 or that of the Ford V8 (esp if it's that sorry 4.6L engine 5.x liter is a different story, but I don't think that is an option for the Explorer). The 4.6L has been a total disgrace in Ford performance circles. So much so that Ford is tinkering with placing the V-10 in crusiers to replace the weak 4.6L they have....even the Maruder with it's tweaked 4.6L was marginal at best.....

I'm not beating my chest here about the Impala or the Ford vs. Chevy thing....personally, I think Ford can make some good stuff, it's just that I feel that the Explorer although a good vehicle, is a poor choice as a tow vehicle when exceeding 3500lbs (as I am sure most here do agree). As I've said the Impala/Caprice line has it's limitations too, just a heck of a lot fewer than a short wheelbase SUV sitting feet higher with an engine offering that is not up to the task. Can it do it, sure, do some do it, yup...I'm simply saying that I wouldn't be one of them......

Eric
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Old 10-22-2003, 04:06 PM   #21
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The 03 Explorer features are completely different from what is being used as reference in previous posts. according to Ford USA, the 03 is a new vehicle, with a new and much superior independent rear suspension, and also a lower center of gravity overall. ( perhaps not in the 4x4 version)
It uses 16" tires, wide rims and disc brakes all around on most models.
I believe that some of the statements in this tread are poor advice with not enough research to back up the statements. The 4.0 V6 by Ford is a tried and true engine, with great performance and durability. The vehicle also has a new automatic transmission with multiple improvements. Let's not scare off new member Marek for no reason. After all, we're talking a Bambi here, not some behemoth toy hauler.
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Old 10-22-2003, 04:13 PM   #22
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I'm with uwe (get it? "Uwe" - you, oh, never mind). The 4.0 V6 is an excellent motor with decent torque. The irs in the new Explorer is a real plus. Sounds like a good match to me.

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Old 10-22-2003, 04:25 PM   #23
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So maybe I can consider towing my 71 Safari with my old & reliable 94 Explorer V6 which I love more than my 99 Silverado 5.3 with it's knocking engine

Hart
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Old 10-22-2003, 04:31 PM   #24
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Sorry, Hart....
That's precisely the vehicle we're worried about. The tall, tipsy Explorer, with the Exploder transmission......
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Old 10-22-2003, 04:33 PM   #25
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As "ewe" stated, the new Explorer is significantly different from prior models. One correction though - it came out as a 2002 model. It is 2" longer, lower, 2.5" wider, has a lowered frame, and independant rear suspension. The IRS is significant in towing as it is much more solid side-to-side.

Again - although not my first choice for towing (I'd love a 3/4 ton Suburban) the 2002+ Explorer does pretty well.
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Old 10-22-2003, 04:44 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by uwe
The 03 Explorer features are completely different from what is being used as reference in previous posts. according to Ford USA, the 03 is a new vehicle, with a new and much superior independent rear suspension, and also a lower center of gravity overall. ( perhaps not in the 4x4 version)
It uses 16" tires, wide rims and disc brakes all around on most models.
I believe that some of the statements in this tread are poor advice with not enough research to back up the statements. some behemoth toy hauler.
I just don't agree uwe. You can place a nice little bow on too and it won't convince me that the Explorer, with all the good stuff is a respectable tow vehicle (paticularly with a V6), for a Bambi or unit of more than 3500lbs. Far superior indepedent suspension compared to what, what it had, not really a good comparison as the old one was a recall in the making until they changed the Explorer after the issues it had back then.... I can tell you right now that there are even limitiations with the big boxy modded out V8 Impala SS. Those limitations will not be cured by an independent suspension or a new trans and surely not by the V6 and with 4600lbs of weight on the back, I don't feel the stability (even with the independent) will make much difference (esp when you get in a good wind and that boxy higher truck with a short wheelbase gets thrown around the lane with the additional mass behind it).

I know the vehicle has more nice things in it, but it is not as stable as an SUV with a longer wheelbase. I by no means suggest that Marek go out and buy a 3/4 Suburban, but the V6, although respectable will show signs of struggle much sooner than later, even with a 4600lb Bambi. I know because I've seen first hand how the single axle Bambi behaves on the road....it's not as easy of a cake walk as some make it out to be. The Bambi is a heavy vehicle.

You know, folks seem to take great comfort in the props the auto industry claims. If you bought everything they said, pickup trucks would still have the gas tanks on the outside of the frame, Pintos would be the econobox of choice and the Corvair would have been king.

In the end, as I said to each their own. Some folks are just living in never, never land...those same folks use Intrepids too to tow RVs that weigh 9000lbs.

Eric
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Old 10-22-2003, 06:11 PM   #27
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Eric,
I see what you're saying.
My preference, however, is to go by facts, not suspicions or hearsay. My friends are very responsible people, and they pull their 2003 Bambi for many thousands of miles ( not just short hops) with great gusto and safety, and love every minute of it. I helped them hitch up, and watched things while doing so, we drove a short while in a caravan when i still had the Dodge van, and I talk to them quite a bit. At the end, the 03 Explorer does do a fine job towing the Bambi across country. Surely a high power V8 will pull harder, but that's not the question. The question was: Can a 03 Explorer safely pull a Bambi; and all specs, ratings, experience, and evidence says YES.
Will it do a land speed record? NO.
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Old 10-22-2003, 07:20 PM   #28
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Uwe,

I hear what you're saying...but.....

I'm not asking it to cover any land speed records..... Why then does the Crown Vic, with the same 4.6L V8 engine only rate at 1500lbs?

You really think it's the indepenent suspension, the trans or it's frame?

Wake up, it isn't.

The fact that it's an SUV makes it no safer or powerful than the Crown Vic with the 4.6L. The V-6 is even less attractive. After the engine, it's all chassis and frankly the Explorer doesn't have it....I don't care what the rag sheet say. I've been dealing with cars for over 10 years and towing for almost 11 working on most of my cars myself. I don't just rub a rabbit's foot and come up with this stuff, I go based on others feedback and my own exp. and I am telling you, that at times, I feel that my car is not totally in control under some specific circumstances with the same Bambi under the same conditions....and I can assure you and others that it's not cause I underengineered the mods I made to tow, in fact I made it about 100% better than what the factory gave me to work with....seriously!

The answer that you accept is that which is on paper, and just because you have a friend does this, does not make it either right nor acceptable. You friend surely can do it, but I am telling you that for me, it is just not the right way to go.

I tow a Bambi and I will tell you flat out that you are wrong. When you have a Bambi and get the feedback from the chassis, I might believe you, until then, I will tell you that without breaking any land speed records (as you appear to think is my objective), a V-6 is just NOT up to the task, period, nor is the chassis, regardless of what Ford tells you.

If you disagree, hey that's entirely up to you, but I do tow with a V8 and will tell you first hand that the Bambi is NOT the cake walk you and others make it out to be. I have a good V8, solid chassis so I do qualify my remarks. Just cause folks you know refuse to acknowledge that fact, I can't help, but there is a reality and a perception and I'm talking reality here.


BTW, here was the actual questions asked not what you posted:

Before going to a dealer I needed to know if anyone is using a v6 suv with a 19' Bambi and how does it do? We have '03 Explorer V6 4x4 with class 3 hitch. The manual states towing limit is around 2500 lbs for this model?



My response and my opinion (which I believe I am entitled to) is not to do it based on my understanding of the mechanics, the post and my exp towing and with tow vehicles. I do however respect, very much your opinion and feedback on the topic, we just have to agree to disagree.

Regards,

Eric
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