Towing capacity of 5.9 Limited... -
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Unread 10-01-2001, 01:53 PM   #1
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Towing capacity of 5.9 Limited...

Forgive me crowd if this has been addressed in an archive somewhere; if so, please point me in that direction.

Anyhow, having just purchased a 98 G/C 5.9 Limited primarily for the purpose of towing my race car (damn, should have bought the Ram / Cummins diesel...), I've run into a small problem.

It appears as though the 5.9L is rated at 5000lbs towing capacity, while the 5.2L is rated at 6500lbs?? Now, I'm not sure if Quadra Trac is the culprit behind this, or perhaps a cooling issue. I fail to see how it's that much of a problem, seeing as the chassis is the same, braking should be equivalent or better, and HP/TRQ are significantly increased. So why would the capacity be decreased by 23%?

And if it is cooling, can this be corrected though a larger (2 or 3 core) radiator, and /or the combination of engine oil cooler and tranny cooler?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

PS. The total weight I need to tow will be roughly 5000lbs (2700 lbs for race car, roughly 2000 lbs for trailer). Add in fuel, spare tires, tools etc, and I don't want to push my luck unneccesarily.


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Unread 10-01-2001, 11:41 PM   #2
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When I inquired about towing with my 5.9 I was told something completely different......8000 pounds. I was advised that if towing such a heavy load that the trailer should have a braking system. I do not tow with my vehicle, so I cannot support this claim, however it'll be interesting to hear what people have to say.
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Unread 10-05-2001, 06:55 PM   #3
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I can't see that it would be a problem. Unless you have a problem gettin' up and going. From what I have read, the towing capacity is 8500 pounds. But if you are still having problems I would suggest buying a supercharger. Helps power by 75 horespower in some cases. And it helps fuel economy, which can be good towing 5000 pounds.
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Unread 10-03-2002, 11:21 AM   #4
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the towing rate is 5000 lbs., and yes it is due to the cooling (elec. fan vs. standard for the 5.2's). However, I tow my cj all over the country and have no problems EXCEPT towing through the mtn.s of CO. Other mtns. (NC for example) have no effect, just the big ones in CO that are at the high altitude. I also installed a tranny coller which didn't seem to help much. Next will be an oil cooler, new thermostat (185) and some of that cooling system stuff that drops the temp ~25 degrees!!! Anyhow, good luck, but towing should be no problem for you. Also, mine is lifted with all kinds of aceesories that add even more weight. later.
1998 5.9L ZJ, 4.5" Lift, locked F&R, custom rails and rack, etc. built for Rocks used for towing
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Unread 10-07-2002, 12:40 PM   #5
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I don't see how a tranny cooler would be of no benefit on a vehicle like the 5.9limited with chrysler's corporate tranny. Honestly that would be the first thing I would do if you plan on towing 5000 lbs because these same trannys when behind a 5.9 Dodge Ram are what make these trucks known for having a high tranny failure rate. I would at least do the basics such as flush out the tranny fluid every 25k and put a cooler of the biggest size that will fit. If you ever have cooling problems then start with the little stuff like a thermostat and if that doesn't help much then go to bigger cooling fans. I would personally get a bigger radiator before getting an oil cooler. These 360's aren't reverse cooled like the LT1's in the mid 90's camaro/firebirds and won't have as hot an oil temp most of the time. If you are worried about having high oil temps just use Mobil 1 synthetic oil. But I think your biggest concern is keeping the transmission healthy. Every that knows cars knows the 360, 318, etc etc are virtually bulletproof motors.
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