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Old 02-07-2009, 07:41 AM   #1
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TOWING WITH A 5.4

Hi, I recently purchased a 2004 E250 with a 5.4 and 3:73 and would like to put a lift with 285/75/R16 tires. Will I still be able to pull a 6 - 7000 lb trailer? Or am I wasting my time?

Thanks for all of your help!
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:55 AM   #2
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Re: TOWING WITH A 5.4

Will you be able to pull it? Yeah.
Will you be able to beat a VW Jetta off the exit ramp? Maybe not.

The Sporto 4x4s come with 4.11s and the tires you want, but then again mine has the 6.0 Diesel so it's hard to say how much that's a factor. Going up parts of the Rockies, flat towing a Jeep with 35s (eg heavy+drag) over 45mph is beyond even my diesel with that setup. If I put the same Jeep on a trailer though, it's no problem.

In general I have plenty of extra power though.

If it is really a factor 285s will probably fit on the rear, you could slap some used or borrowed tires on and see what happens to the performance.

Alternatively you could upgrade anyway knowing that you'll lose some power and if it's too much have to change gearing, at which point you can go taller than 4.11 to compensate.
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: TOWING WITH A 5.4

I am really confused and really like the looks of the lifted van, but not sure if the looks are worth the sacrafice. I have considered just playing it sage and going to a 1 3/4" in the front and building a smaller set of blocks for the rear and staying with a 265/75R16 tire. I will also being towing a Jeep on a Featherlite trailer, but not up the Rockies.

Jage,
Thanks for all you help, and please don't hesitate to call or email if you need anything for your Jeep.

Scott
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:48 AM   #4
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Re: TOWING WITH A 5.4

I pull 6500-7000lbs (PJ car hauler trailer with built '69 Bronco) with my 6.0L diesel SMB. Definitely does not tow as strong as the '02 F250 7.3L diesel, and I attribute that mostly to the extra weight of the SMB over the crew cab F250. So some of your situation depends on how much the SMB you're looking at weighs.

Going up to Big Bear, it does bog down, and like Jage, I probably max out at 45 mph at some parts (some of the limitation is self imposed as I'll back off dependent upon my EGTs).


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Old 02-07-2009, 09:55 AM   #5
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Re: TOWING WITH A 5.4

My F250 pulls better as well, but I attribute it more to the Diesels being detuned in the vans. The most I ever pulled was with a fully loaded truck, trailer and Jeep, itself subsequently loaded to the gills. The joys of moving, still the pickup did fine coming up from AZ through Colorado Springs.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:06 AM   #6
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Re: TOWING WITH A 5.4

I've towed a 6,000+ lb trailer with three different vans over the years (a 95 Ford E150 with a 210 hp 5.8 liter, a 04 Chevy 1500 with a 295 hp 5.3 liter, and our current 07 Ford E350 with the 235 hp diesel). Both 2WD gas vans had the 3.73 rear ends with stock-sized tires and towed the trailer fine even in hilly country. I routinely passed most all other vehicles towing things on hills and got between 9-11 mpg (at 65-70 mph). I tend to have a heavy right foot. On hills, the gassers need to rev high to make power.

I would recommend you try and keep the same final drive ratio as stock (combo of tire diameter and rear axle ratio) for best performance. If you put larger tires on and are going to tow a lot, you should probably switch the rear axle ratio lower (like 4.10). Otherwise, the 5.4 engine will likely feel underpowered when towing. There are several websites that can calculate what ratio to use. You want your cruising RPM on the freeway to be the same before and after the tire swap for best results.

I hate to admit that our diesel van hasn't turned out to be the tow monster I thought it would be (its our first oil burner). Being detuned 90 hp and 110 ft/lbs torque by the factory from diesels in the pickup doesn't help. Maybe my expectations were too high, but it doesn't fly up the hills or get any better mileage than the gas vans. In fact, I think the Chevy would beat it on steep hills. It's so bad that I'm seriously thinking about getting a tuner in spite of concerns about warranty issues, stretching weak head bolts/blowing head gaskets, and possible overheating.

Yes, a V-10 would tow the trailer better, but you have the 5.4 already and I think that will do the job just fine.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:47 PM   #7
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Re: TOWING WITH A 5.4

Switchfoot ,
Ditto on 6.0 's towing power , my little E-150 Club Wagon does it just as well and this is the one thing that would prompt me to go with the V-10 next time around !
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:45 AM   #8
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Re: TOWING WITH A 5.4

Hey, my wife's Jetta 2.0T is one fast little car, it will post a 0-60 mph time in 7.2 sec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Will you be able to beat a VW Jetta off the exit ramp? Maybe not.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:11 AM   #9
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Re: TOWING WITH A 5.4

We have an '03 with a 5.4 and are towing a 29' Airstream. Trailer is around 8000# and we do OK on the road.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:24 PM   #10
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Re: TOWING WITH A 5.4

I tow a 4500lb trailer with exactaly that configuration (3.73 and 285's) could use a little more pickup but it does okay.
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