Improve Towing capacity? - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > ZJ Grand Cherokee Forum > Improve Towing capacity?

ZONE 4.25" combo lift for TJ available at Rockridge4wJeep Wrangler Bushwacker Flat Fender Flare Sale at BaselinRIGID LED Light Blowout Sale - All Sizes, All Series, all

Reply
Unread 07-13-2012, 11:06 AM   #1
MN59ZJ
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lakeville, MN
Posts: 557
Improve Towing capacity?

So I rebuilt my 5.9 engine, now making an estimated 400 ft/lbs of torque... Swapped in a 242HD transfer case... I put a Ford 8.8 in the rear... IRO front & rear long arms, which add 2 beefy cross members, significantly increasing "chassis" strength... I have IRO transfer case skid, a Rusty's fuel tank skid, and obviously, the MOPAR class 3 hitch, all add to chassis rigidity...

So my question is, have I improved my towing capacity? I'd like to get an Airstream trailer.

MN59ZJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
porrsher
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Jefferson,GA, Georgia
Posts: 638
With a good WDH (Weight Distributing Hitch) you'll have no problem. Just make sure you get a good brake controller and keep an eye on the tranny. If it starts hunting gears turn OD off.
__________________
1994 Hunter Green ZJ 5.2L Quadratrac
228k Miles, 2" BB.
2002 Slate Grey Grand Cherokee Overland
161k Bone Stock
2008 Black JK Sahara Unlimited (Love it!)
porrsher is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
KingtheZJ
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 2,649
get a truck. for real.

ZJs have no business towing anything close to their 6500lb rating
__________________
'98 ZJ on 37s and tons
'97 Cummins 2500
KingtheZJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #4
Technohead
Old School
 
Technohead's Avatar
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Exeter, RI
Posts: 6,591
If anything you have decreased the towing capacity. Light duty passenger vehicles with coil spring suspensions and unbodies constructed mainly of 16 gauge (or less) sheet metal are not tow rigs.

You could reasonably tow a 3,000 lb camper if you run a weight distributing hitch and the trailer has brakes.
Technohead is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
PolkaPower
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: The Abyss, MD
Posts: 16,129
I guess my idea of having a ZJ trucking company is out the window. I was going to get a pet chimp and all.
PolkaPower is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #6
93zjer
Registered User
1993 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Humboldt, California
Posts: 302
I've towed my 64 el camino around plenty on a car trailer. Not sure what that weighed but I could tow quite a bit more as I could still fly up hills. I have a 4.0 too.
I'm pretty sure that besides your tongue capacity and load capacity it the total weight of your vehicles that really limits your towing capacity, not your drivetrains ability to actually pull the load.
93zjer is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
jtackerman28
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Flint, Michigan
Posts: 2,131
The transmission will not hold up to a heavy load like a truck, simple.
__________________
3.5 re lift, double sheer front tb, 31" wrangler duratecs
jtackerman28 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 12:57 PM   #8
Mickey_D
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: 40 3'42.36"N 112 2'16.73"W, Utah
Posts: 6,760
93zjer almost hit the nail on the head. It has nothing to do with what your ZJ can get moving as to your towing capacity. It has to do with what it can handle in a "HOLY ****!!!" situation.

First and foremost is the front brakes. Or lack thereof. The front brakes on a ZJ are the exact same part number as the front of an XJ. And I think they're also the same on a TJ. Think about that. The TJ was designed to only stop itself. A Wrangler was never really designed to tow anything, hence why U-Haul and such will NOT rent a trailer to put behind them. So Chrysler designed the brakes with that bare minimum in mind.

Then those exact same brakes were stuck on the front of an almost 4,000 pound SUV with the words "Grand Cherokee" glued on the side.

Yeah, good luck with that. The maximum I've ever towed with mine was a little M100 1/4 ton trailer (750lb curb weight) with 660lbs of scrap metal in it. And that was getting squirrely on me descending hills.

I wouldn't tow more than 2,000 pounds behind a ZJ. If some moron ever cuts you off and you have to slam on the brakes, I'd say it's a 50/50 chance the trailer's going to push you aside as it keeps right on going in a straight line (or worse yet a squiggly line with you still attached to the front of it).
__________________
1997 ZJ 5.2 Orvis, Baby!
1953 Willys M100 trailer Tagalong
________________
[_][][][][][][][][_]


Mickey_D is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
jtackerman28
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Flint, Michigan
Posts: 2,131
I've towed a 20 ft ski boat with 31" tires and a lift and trust me that I'd the most I would ever do and it was only for 10 miles tow a motorcycle or a small popup camper or maybe a small boat and call it a day
__________________
3.5 re lift, double sheer front tb, 31" wrangler duratecs
jtackerman28 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 01:33 PM   #10
MN59ZJ
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lakeville, MN
Posts: 557
Wow, 9 replies and a couple of them are actually useful! Part of the reason I don't come here that often.

For those of you who were helpful, thank you. The grand prize goes to Mickey_D though. The brakes on the ZJ are truly awful, they can barely stop a ZJ by itself. Long before I have my airstream, I'll be swapping in a HP Dana 44 with F-250 brakes (or better) so that will be taken care of. Transmission is the other issue I'll be addressing in a year or two.

For those of you who posted simply to show how "brilliant" you are, you are useless in a forum like this. Most of you have only enough knowledge to make fools out of yourselves. There is no reason to be redundant by buying a chimp, you already have that system covered!

If anyone else has USEFUL information, please feel free to give it.
MN59ZJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 01:39 PM   #11
KingtheZJ
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 2,649
wait, you are swapping in a HP44 just to have better brakes? holy balls.

if you are that set on towing with it, get the vanco kit or do a wj knuckle swap.
__________________
'98 ZJ on 37s and tons
'97 Cummins 2500
KingtheZJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 01:47 PM   #12
Technohead
Old School
 
Technohead's Avatar
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Exeter, RI
Posts: 6,591
More important than the brakes on the vehicle are the brakes on the trailer. If you are relying on the vehicle's brakes to stop the trailer then you have problems. Swapping in bigger front brakes is like putting lipstick on a pig.

Think about what happens when you slam on the brakes. Without trailer brakes all the stopping force gets transmitted through the trailer tongue. Its very unstable. Like trying to balance a pencil on its tip.

Like I said (and somebody else said the same thing), if you want to tow a small camper then use a weight distributing hitch and make sure the trailer has brakes. These are BY FAR the most important tips for SAFE towing. Beyond that you need to pay close attention to transmission fluid temperature but this is not a safety issue.
Technohead is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 01:48 PM   #13
KingtheZJ
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 2,649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technohead View Post
Swapping in bigger front brakes is like putting lipstick on a pig.
HEY! don't talk about my girl like that.
__________________
'98 ZJ on 37s and tons
'97 Cummins 2500
KingtheZJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 01:49 PM   #14
MN59ZJ
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lakeville, MN
Posts: 557
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingtheZJ
wait, you are swapping in a HP44 just to have better brakes? holy balls.

if you are that set on towing with it, get the vanco kit or do a wj knuckle swap.
No, I'm swapping in a HP44 for the same reason I installed everything else... Off-road capability. The brakes are just a side benefit. I only want an Airstream because my wife is too cheap to get a hotel room, and I hate tent camping!
MN59ZJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-13-2012, 01:51 PM   #15
KingtheZJ
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 2,649
how much lift do you have? whats your plan for the rear axle?
__________________
'98 ZJ on 37s and tons
'97 Cummins 2500
KingtheZJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools






Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.