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.
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 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).
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
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.
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.
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!