Little bit of Heavy(ish) towing with the Ranger (Towing Review)

ctechbob

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your 26 looks really similar to the double axle 24 bunk I pulled with the tundra. Of course I want to ask about how the 4T responded under load, but more than that - and you mentioned it, how did the chassis feel with the trailer behind it?

the 10r80, as we know shared with a bunch of ford and Chevy half tons, is certainly up to the task. Did you basically feel like you were driving the turbo once moving on the highway?

m
Well, I readjusted the WD hitch today. The dealer had it massively over-distributed. It drove fine yesterday, but you could tell it needed some adjusting. I took it for a loop today and it was much much better. Don't get me wrong, wind and trucks still move things around a bit, but otherwise, everything is fine. I'm used to vehicles moving around under me, and understand how they react, so it is nothing that causes me a bit of concern. You'd feel it even with a 150. I did toss the factory shocks in the bin and am running Bilstein in the rear. With the factory FX4 shocks it would be a nightmare, those things are valved so soft and squishy that you'd have a right to be scared.

I've got to do some more highway driving to get a good feel for it, but I'm not using as much boost at 65-70 mph as you would think. Looks to be in the 3-5 psi range. I did drive a route today with some fairly steep hills just for fun, the 10R80 downshifted and the truck pulled everything up the hill while accelerating to 65 with no problem. On an interstate, even on a grade, I don't think you'd have any problem keeping up with traffic, on a twisty mountain 2 lane, you're going to be a lot slower, so the lower gears help out a lot there.

It looks like at highway speeds I'm going to be getting about 10-12 mpg, which is about what I expected. Can't fight physics.

--edit--

In tow/haul, the 10R80 doesn't necessarily lock out 9 and 10, but you have to be on pretty flat land at steady speed before it will go into those two gears. Most of the highway work is done by 8th. Can't remember what the engine is turning at 65, my brain is saying somewhere around 2500rpm which would make sense since the torque peak is right around 3k. I'm sure that is probably engine dependant, I'm sure the 2.7 and 3.5's get into 9/10 more often under load.

--edit edit--

I was thinking I'd immedately want the Ford Performance tune, which tacks on something like 45hp and 60 lb/ft. I still might do it in the future, but......I'm not in a burning hurry for it. The truck really does run that well with everything stock. Do I think it is better than a 'fullsize' truck. No, that would be silly, bigger truck, more capability. Fuel mileage probably isn't that much better, but. It is easier to drive and park, fits in my garage, and is 'enough' for what I needed/wanted it for.
 
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In my 2.7, 9th and 10th don’t see use with a trailer - I think 8th is the top gear for t/h. Without a trailer, if you fiddle with manual shifting, you may find 9th and 10th are effectively torque-limited to 1/3 or 1/4 of the throttle travel. So yeah, even the 2.7 hangs around in the same rpm range, maybe 2200?

no worries with full-size vs 3/4 size - the ranger is IMO outstanding and very worth having. DD the full-size gets old when I need to just get around. It sounds like you definitely have a feel for pulling a load, so I get what you are saying. Not everyone requires a diesel 3/4 ton to maintain 70 up a mountain pass.

so- which bilsteins did you use? I put 5100s in the rear around 20k, and am about to pull them out for something else. They were a little soft for my taste when I installed them, and have started to float and bob constantly on the highway within the past 6 months, like there is totally no rebound damping at all. I’ve got about 27k on them. Bilstein is supposed to be the gold standard and they are still buttery under 35, but I think the digressive damping is loosening up too much on the interstate. I’d like something adjustable but that’s $$. I’ve ordered the simple monotube Fox units to see if they do ok. I’m afraid they will be a little stiff at first and will hopefully loosen up. It was them or Kyb, which I’ve had good experience with before.

edit: one more thing- with my 19’ TT, I never see 12mpg. Maybe 11 on the best days. IDK if the smaller frontal area of the ranger means anything with the TT behind it, but if you’re seeing 12 mpg that’s a bonus!
 
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ctechbob

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In my 2.7, 9th and 10th don’t see use with a trailer - I think 8th is the top gear for t/h. Without a trailer, if you fiddle with manual shifting, you may find 9th and 10th are effectively torque-limited to 1/3 or 1/4 of the throttle travel. So yeah, even the 2.7 hangs around in the same rpm range, maybe 2200?

no worries with full-size vs 3/4 size - the ranger is IMO outstanding and very worth having. DD the full-size gets old when I need to just get around. It sounds like you definitely have a feel for pulling a load, so I get what you are saying. Not everyone requires a diesel 3/4 ton to maintain 70 up a mountain pass.

so- which bilsteins did you use? I put 5100s in the rear around 20k, and am about to pull them out for something else. They were a little soft for my taste when I installed them, and have started to float and bob constantly on the highway within the past 6 months, like there is totally no rebound damping at all. I’ve got about 27k on them. Bilstein is supposed to be the gold standard and they are still buttery under 35, but I think the digressive damping is loosening up too much on the interstate. I’d like something adjustable but that’s $$. I’ve ordered the simple monotube Fox units to see if they do ok. I’m afraid they will be a little stiff at first and will hopefully loosen up. It was them or Kyb, which I’ve had good experience with before.

edit: one more thing- with my 19’ TT, I never see 12mpg. Maybe 11 on the best days. IDK if the smaller frontal area of the ranger means anything with the TT behind it, but if you’re seeing 12 mpg that’s a bonus!
I used the Bilstein 5100 as well, although, to do it over again I would have done the 4600's as a conversation with the Bilstein tech revealed that the 4600 and 5100's are valved the same. Only difference is the 5100's are designed for altered ride heights. I'm completely stock, so when I get around to doing the front's I'm going to use the 4600's. Either way, it is a massive upgrade over the Ford 'FX' shocks which were just a loose bag of mushy damping across the board. Not surprised, they were the 'offroad' package shocks, although I hear that most all of the Ranger shocks across the board are pretty squishy damped. The only reason I got the 'Offroad' package on a 2WD truck is that I wanted the locking rear diff, and it was the cheapest way to get it at the time.

9/10 isn't locked out on mine in T/H, but you have to be on pretty flat ground at a steady speed before it goes there.

As for mileage, I'll have a better grasp on that mid-July which is the first trip with the camper. It is a mostly interstate drive from our place to Lake Hartwell, so that will be the true test. I'm expecting no more than 10-11. Although there is a big stretch of I85 under construction that direction which will probably slow us down to 55 or so for a stretch since it is super bumpy through that section and has really close barriers, even the ballsy 18 wheel guys are having to pull back through there, so that will help with the 93 guzzling.
 
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