towing with ZJ -
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-02-2013, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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1996 ZJ 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: california
Posts: 357
towing with ZJ

'96 full time 4wd NP249, 318 motor. I dont remember the axle ratio, but I ordered a build sheet from Jeep, and it says rated to tow up to 6500 lbs. I am looking to tow an 19', inboard open bow family type boat, I think it weighs about 3500 lbs. I just wonder what others experience towing is. Frankly, the motor doesnt feel all that peppy. The jeep only has 86,000 miles on it.

1995 XJ 4.0
1996 ZJ 5.2
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-02-2013, 11:46 AM
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1995 ZJ 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,511
That setup should have the 3.73 gears, but to verify check the rear diff. It will have the gear ratio listed.

A couple things that can help performance: full tune up, check for a blown plenum, inspect exhaust system for leaks, and/or clogged cat, look at and test O2 sensors.

I didnt have any issues towing a full 6x12 Uhaul from MN to TX, but things that will help you tow on a regular basis would be a weight distributing receiver, and trailer brakes.

1995 ZJ 5.2L V8 318. 230,000 miles and still rollin.

List of parts not replaced yet:
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-02-2013, 11:51 AM
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1995 ZJ 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 3,480
should have no problem towing a 3500lb boat/trailer. i used my ZJ to tow a 1969 pontiac grand prix on a uhaul car trailer (~6000lb total). not bad at all, helps alot to turn off overdrive and when taking off from stoplights, start in 1st or 2nd gear.

Reliability is relative
R.I.P. Ratmonkey
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-02-2013, 12:48 PM
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1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kent Ohio
Posts: 957
Been towing my 21' open bow inboard v8 single axle trailer with surge brake for several years now, never had any issues whatsoever, load of kids ac on high. It tugs the rig out of the steepest ramp no problem, never had to use 4lo, it's got a 3.73.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-02-2013, 01:13 PM
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1997 ZJ 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Youngstown
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I would look into a good aftermarket transmission cooler if you are doing a lot of towing. B&M makes a really nice one that is priced decently.
It's really just cheap insurance.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-02-2013, 03:48 PM
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2007 WK 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 2,077
I towed a 21' Four Winns for years with my ZJ and it's only a 4.0. To make it tow better I added a B&M Supercooler, Bilstein monotube high pressure shocks, Air Lift air bags in the rear coils, LT rated tires and better quality brake rotors. And I added surge drum brakes on the trailer. Your 5.2 V8 should have no problem with that boat if the Jeep and trailer are set up right.

PS my WK Hemi tows it like its not there..

2017 JK Unlimited Sport 6 spd
2007 WK Limited Hemi QDII
1998 ZJ Laredo 4.0 Selectrac
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-02-2013, 05:20 PM
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1995 ZJ 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 3,480
Originally Posted by LouC View Post
PS my WK Hemi tows it like its not there..
well of course it does, its got a crapload more torque and horsepower and much better brakes

Reliability is relative
R.I.P. Ratmonkey
dnuccio is offline  

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