96 f-150 towing TJ - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-16-2010, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: louisville, KY
Posts: 998
96 f-150 towing TJ

Well I bought my 96 f-150 not too long ago with plans to use it as an occasional tow rig. I planned on getting a tow dolly or flat towing. However, I just found out I will have access to a full trailer with electric brakes that I can use. I know that the 4.9 in the f-150 isn't going to have a ton of power with all that weight behind her but will it be doable? I know a lot of people are going to say why not just buy a bigger truck? First off I have this one cleaned and fixed up and don't really have the time to sell this truck and buy another and get it fixed up. I only plan on towing a few times a year so buying a huge truck is kinda silly. Just wanted to get some opinions.

1996 F-150
4.9L Inline 6
5 speed
Short Bed
Standard Cab

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post #2 of 5 Old 06-17-2010, 09:33 AM
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
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Location: co springs
Posts: 534
that 4.9 i 6 has balls thay pull like a train i think u will be fine
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-17-2010, 09:49 AM
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
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I've heard the 4.9 I-6 has more torque than a 5.0 V-8. The problem is without the trailer, the wrangler weight puts you right around the max towing capacity. The trailer having brakes will help with this, but you will want to make sure they are working.

I hesitate to advise someone to tow over the recommended towing limit, even though I think they reduce the capacity numbers at the factory to be safe. If it were me, I would try it for a short distance, just to see how it behaved. I absolutely wouldn't exceed the limit if I were in hills or mountains.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-22-2010, 08:33 PM
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
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Check out the tow ratings in your owners manual. If it has the Mazda M5OD transmission, you may want to give it a second thought. That is the tranny in my 94 F150 and its rated to tow about half that of the manual (3500 compared to 7000 for the automatic of the same era). The manual transmission ford put in these trucks is light duty and not intended to hold up to these kinds of loads. I can't say when or if it will fail but I don't plan to test mine. I'm already on my 2nd tranny and that wasn't a fun job. (the tranny failure was the previous owner's fault.. (I believe that he was towing too heavy.)

My 94 has the 302 V8 and I towed my Jeep on a trailer one time for a round trip of about 80 miles. It did, OK but was a little under powered and I got about 6 mpg. I've read that the 300 I6 has better low end torque and will tow better. They did put the 300 I6 in F250s at some point but they used a heavier duty ZF transmission in the 250s. You could find a ZF transmission out of a 250 and I believe it will bolt right in and be strong enough to tow your jeep. This is what I would do if my engine wasn't so tired but there is no way my 302 can handle the ZF gear ratios.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-29-2010, 06:36 PM
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1995 ZJ 
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Location: Clarksville
Posts: 352
I had a '95 F150 extended cab short bed truck with a 5-speed and 5.0. It pulled my CJ on a flat trailer, but it wasn't an enjoyable drive in my opinion. The truck did it but man was it rough. I now have a Dadge 2500 with a 5.9 Cummins and pulling the Jeep is a breeze. The heavier duty springs handle the load much much better, the brakes are stronger and of course the desiel has gobs of power to spare. My point? The F150 will do it, but if you have the means, a HD truck is better, and more safe.

Proving daily that I have gears for brains!
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