I'm confused about towing capacity - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 32 Old 07-08-2017, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
sujane80
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I'm confused about towing capacity

1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. I had a transmission cooler and trailer brake controller put on recently. Getting ready to tow a 2000 lb fiberglass trailer. But I read that I need to take the GCWR into consideration, which is 5300. The Jeep itself weighs 3825 (curb weight). That only leaves 1475 left for the trailer. How can it be rated to tow 5000 lbs then??

Note: Edit: The figure of 5300 was the GVWR not the GCWR which I assume will be higher. I just can't seem to find out what that is anywhere. Anyone know a good source to find out what it is?


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post #2 of 32 Old 07-08-2017, 04:23 PM
vlackattack
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Where are you getting that 5300 number from? This website: http://www.automobile-catalog.com/ma...1gen/1998.html shows a GVWR of 5300 for a 4.0 and 5500 for a 5.2. The GCWR should be well above that.
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post #3 of 32 Old 07-09-2017, 09:10 PM
Pugulis
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You're making things too complicated. ZJ's equipped with a factory towing package were rated at 5000. That's the tow weight of the object being towed. They rated it lower, if you had an aftermarket hitch, because the gear ratio was different on jeeps with a tow package. And if you have a 5.9, it's rated higher, because of the higher HP. These are all general numbers. Personally, I wouldn't worry a bit about towing a 2000 lb trailer, unless you're loading more than 3000 lb of stuff in it.

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post #4 of 32 Old 07-09-2017, 09:19 PM
wingless
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Welcome to the forum.

Press the OD OFF dash switch when towing.


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post #5 of 32 Old 07-09-2017, 09:46 PM
kg6mov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugulis View Post
You're making things too complicated. ZJ's equipped with a factory towing package were rated at 5000. That's the tow weight of the object being towed. They rated it lower, if you had an aftermarket hitch, because the gear ratio was different on jeeps with a tow package. And if you have a 5.9, it's rated higher, because of the higher HP. These are all general numbers. Personally, I wouldn't worry a bit about towing a 2000 lb trailer, unless you're loading more than 3000 lb of stuff in it.
The 5.9 is actually rated lower than a similarly equipped 5.2 because of the efan.

Any 98 should have an aux trans cooler added before being used as a tow vehicle as they did not have them from the factory.


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post #6 of 32 Old 07-09-2017, 10:37 PM
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I think the OP already caught on, but GVWR is the gross vehicle weight rating, which is what sits on the two axles of the jeep, including tongue weight of any trailer.
GCWR is gross combined weight rating, and that is the vehicle, cargo, and trailer. When they give you a tow rating of "5,000 pounds", there's an asterisk or two with that. It assumes you have a certain amount of cargo, but not the limit.

In any case, you're fine at 2k. When you get to the limit, you need to start looking at each part, but well under the limit is no concern.

Just for fun, my motorhome chassis is rated at a GCWR of 18,500 pounds. The GVWR is 13,500. When I pull on the scales loaded for camping, I'm about 12,500. That leaves me with chassis towing capacity of 6,000 pounds. The stock hitch was only rated for 3,500 pounds, so in order to use the capacity I had to upgrade the hitch.

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post #7 of 32 Old 07-10-2017, 05:24 AM
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..and regarding the weights, the exact same ZJs are rated for lot heigher tow limits here across the ocean: 4.0/ 5.2 have a maximum tow limit of 3500kg, 5.9s at a slightly lower 3360kg.
Thse are roughly 7800lbs. and 7500lbs. in your figures. Any trailer above around 1600lbs requires trailer brakes by law here.

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post #8 of 32 Old 07-10-2017, 06:06 AM
jeepjeepster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
..and regarding the weights, the exact same ZJs are rated for lot heigher tow limits here across the ocean: 4.0/ 5.2 have a maximum tow limit of 3500kg, 5.9s at a slightly lower 3360kg.
Thse are roughly 7800lbs. and 7500lbs. in your figures. Any trailer above around 1600lbs requires trailer brakes by law here.
Always amazes me when you post that. Think I say this every time you post that but my 4.0 wouldnt be able to touch that here.

Not sure I would want to tow that much with my 5.9 even if it had a mechanical fan....

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post #9 of 32 Old 07-10-2017, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepjeepster View Post
Always amazes me when you post that. Think I say this every time you post that but my 4.0 wouldnt be able to touch that here.
I gotta agree that trying to tow 7800lbs. with a 4.0 would be just about miserable even on flat land But that's what they are rated for here. People usually stick with maximum of about 5k loads with the 4.0, but I've seen people tow heavier stuff with smaller engines.
One thing you gotta keep in mind is our speed limit if you're towing a trailer is 50mph (80km/h).


Quote:
Not sure I would want to tow that much with my 5.9 even if it had a mechanical fan....
Dodge full size pick-ups had exactly the same powertrain on them as a 5.9 ZJ, and those 5.9 Magnum- powered trucks were rated for almost 10k tow limit and up to 15k lbs. GCWR
ZJ niner certainly has the oomph to pull 7500-7800lbs. - which it does pretty damn easily - and you're not gonna damage the tranny if you install a large enough tranny cooler. I've pulled 7k+ loads with my niner and you don't even necessarily need to disengage OD on flat land

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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #10 of 32 Old 07-12-2017, 07:12 PM
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My 4.0 on 31's and 3.55's struggles to get 2000lbs moving up a grade from a stand still.. I live in a very hilly area, and its horrible.

5000?! No friggin way!

'98 ZJ 4.0/242, Locked d30/d35, 31x10.5x15, 2" BB w/ Bilstein 5100's
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post #11 of 32 Old 07-12-2017, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8v-of-fury View Post
My 4.0 on 31's and 3.55's struggles to get 2000lbs moving up a grade from a stand still.. I live in a very hilly area, and its horrible.

5000?! No friggin way!
Did yours come stock with a tow package? My 96 did, and I could tow a 3500 lb camper with no problems at all. Plenty of power. But the tow package gives a better gear ratio.

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post #12 of 32 Old 07-12-2017, 07:27 PM
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3.55s on 31" tires is a bad combo for towing; they are 2.5" taller than the OE tire size. It will tow 4500 ok on stock size tires because when I first bought our boat that's how I towed it. With 31" tires you would want at least 4:10s for towing...

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post #13 of 32 Old 07-12-2017, 07:48 PM
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No tow package, thus the 3.55's lolol. She needs some 4.56's! LOL

Honestly though, every "Truck" or "off roader" has a minimum of 31's round here. I highly doubt stock tires would really make it any better though, although the math is there.

Lets put it this way, my 1.9 tdi swapped 84 Jetta tows the same weight better than the Jeep... lol

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post #14 of 32 Old 07-12-2017, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8v-of-fury View Post
No tow package, thus the 3.55's lolol. She needs some 4.56's! LOL

Honestly though, every "Truck" or "off roader" has a minimum of 31's round here. I highly doubt stock tires would really make it any better though, although the math is there.

Lets put it this way, my 1.9 tdi swapped 84 Jetta tows the same weight better than the Jeep... lol
Tires make a huge difference. You had 3.55 gearing with stock tires but the larger tires effectively reduces that further. It's a struggle for the transmission.
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post #15 of 32 Old 07-16-2017, 09:49 PM
AlamoJeeper
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Look in your owner's manual for the towing equipment requirements (engine size, axle ratio, etc.) at different towed weights. The factory claims that '98 ZJ's had better transmission fluid coolers in the radiator so didn't need the transmission fluid cooler in front of the radiator. An auxiliary transmission fluid cooler is probably good insurance if you are going to be doing much towing. You can get a factory auxiliary transmission fluid cooler from 97 and earlier ZJ's from the junk yard.

You can check my signature for how to get a listing of your ZJ's equipment and options as it left the factory.
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For an equipment list, go to
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. Under "YOUR VEHICLE", click "Equipment Listing". Then enter the VIN (all caps). Despite what they say, it will work at least to 1993.
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