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Old 03-09-2015, 08:37 PM   #1
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Thinking of 4x4, or should I say towing it?

So I have a 98' EB 350 w/ a V8, I was thinking of towing a light 4x4 to use around town, light wheeling say around Moab and around the PNW. I am no speed demon and was looking at the Zuki being just over 2k lbs or a Wrangler. My preference is a Wrangler, I have had three Wranglers, two CJ's and a 42'. Here's some pictures,





Thoughts? Whats the most you have towed with your v8 SMB?
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:17 PM   #2
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Re: Thinking of 4x4, or should I say towing it?

My previous SMB was an E-250 RB (2WD) with the 5.4 V8. I towed a boat on a tandem axle trailer, with an all-up weight of around 4,600#. At the same time I had the van loaded up for long trips - around 7600# scale weight. Since it was not a "four down" car type of tow, I had tongue weight (~350#). When I measured for the hitch (i.e. for the ball height on the receiver), I figured it would sag under that weight and planned accordingly - then I actually had to exchange for a different receiver because the van barely budged in the rear (maybe went down an inch or so) and so the trailer tongue ended up too high with the original one I bought.

Power wise I thought it was fine, but I'm not really a "more power!" type of driver. On the big passes (Homestake, Siskiyou, etc.) I was definitely slowed down (truck lane), but then I don't spend most of my time on those, so I found it acceptable. The engine didn't seem fazed at all, temp stayed consistent, etc. Transmission temperature (E40D, stock cooler) would get up in the high 180's toward the top of a pass (Scan gauge), but nothing scary.

I'd get around 15-16mpg average on the highway not towing, and around 12 or so when towing.

I did have trailer brakes, and wouldn't have wanted to run without them (also would not have been legal).
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:31 PM   #3
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Re: Thinking of 4x4, or should I say towing it?

I recently towed our Jeep Cherokee to Cabo behind an E250, 5.4L, 4x4, SMB PH on 285/75 R16's with 4.10 gears. The Jeep had four BFG 315/70 R17 tires mounted on wheels in the back and a whole bunch of other supplies - so there was at least 1500 lbs in the Jeep. The SMB was also loaded with at least 1000 lbs and two 225 lbs guys in the seats.

Now problems and towed great - even over 25 miles of dirt roads.

P.s. Don't forget to look at the Cherokee. I saw so many great Cherokees at the Tierra del Sol event this last weekend.
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:48 PM   #4
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Re: Thinking of 4x4, or should I say towing it?

I have a soft spot when it comes to the Wranglers - body on frame and tough to beat. I have enjoyed each one I owned for various reasons. Except for the one that got hit before I put the plates on it in front of the house. Brand new no doubt!
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:09 AM   #5
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Re: Thinking of 4x4, or should I say towing it?

Ouch. I've towed my Jeep a lot behind my 7.5 (460) SMB. It hardly knows it's back there UNTIL it comes time to stop. Increase your following distance a little and keep your mind clear and you'll be fine. I say that because I don't know anyone who would bother with a buddy-brake setup on a light little Jeep (3k) behind a 10k van. I certainly won't spend the money for one, I just try to be careful. I'll probably edit this post after I get a ticket for it someday.
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:22 AM   #6
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Re: Thinking of 4x4, or should I say towing it?

Consider upgrading your front brakes to the bigger and better 2008+ E-van setup. Easy to do and will definitely improve your stopping power over your 98 van (I did it to my 98 and it was night and day, really, when stopping).

Plenty of threads on the forum if you aren't familiar with the swap.
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Old 03-10-2015, 03:55 PM   #7
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Re: Thinking of 4x4, or should I say towing it?

I towed a TJ all over with a 97 5.4 and like 86scotty said you've got to drive and not sight see. I found a small trailer that was just 2 ramps that tilted over the axel and a tongue made just for a jeep it had electric brakes. I am not sure who made it. That made those long down hill rides much easier on the van and avoids those situations that are going to happen where you cant back up with a tow bar. This also cuts out the possible overheating of the transfer case or driveshaft disconnects or having to remove it or the chance of T-case bouncing into gear if you tow it in neutral.
Just my 2 cents
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:05 PM   #8
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Re: Thinking of 4x4, or should I say towing it?

Can't beat a TJ Wrangler, 2nd best would be an XJ Cherokee. Jeeps are awesome because for like 30 years most models you can basically just shift the t-case into neutral, unlock the steering and go.

The tire size and weight on the vehicle being towed has a real impact, moving from 32s BFG to 35" Toyos I could really feel it, even with my Diesel 6.0L. Not that I couldn't tow it, but the rolling resistance and overall weight increase really made a difference. And you should always get a brake buddy... I've been meaning to for many years...

I also rigged up (had professionally welded) a Falcon II tow bar to attach to my d-ring slots and that's been a godsend.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:25 AM   #9
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Re: Thinking of 4x4, or should I say towing it?

Great,
I have my eye on a Wrangler but the guy hasn't responded. It's CL go figure. If anyone knows of a Wrangler around the 3-4k mark let me know. This one has 4.0 about 140k mild lift and that's about it. Can't fly and drive though so it's got to be in the PNW. Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:18 AM   #10
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Re: Thinking of 4x4, or should I say towing it?

It shouldn't be hard to find a Wrangler, you've just got to be fast. My last one sold to the first looker in one day for the price listed. I think I'm in the wrong business!

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