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Old 07-13-2009, 21:37   #1 (permalink)
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confused Towing with a P71 What is the real capacity?

Ok, here we go. I have been trying to find an answer to this and can't get anything other than cookie cutter answers from other forums. My question is this.. What is the towing capacity of a 2001 P71 and why is the published capacity 2000lbs so much less than prior years 6000lbs. Does anyone know a Ford engineer that can answer this for me? They still sell class III and IV hitches for this car but according to the civilian published spec., this car can only tow a class II. I believe that with the heavy duty drive line, the oil cooler and larger cooling capacity, that this car should be able to tow a 24 foot trailer.

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Old 07-14-2009, 08:25   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Towing with a P71 What is the real capacity?

In '98 they went to a new rear suspension...a "Watt's linkage"-type. Maybe they didn't have so much faith in it?

I towed a small trailer that was about 1800lbs. and with OD off, it still would hunt for gears and would kickdown to 2nd. gear at 60mph even on only slight hills. This was with a 2000, non-PI so maybe with the extra torque and lower gearing of the P71, you wouldn't have problems. I would check the RV forums for input from those who use the CV as TV.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:50   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Towing with a P71 What is the real capacity?

Thanks for the suggestion on the RV forums. I can't believe I haven't thought of that!
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:05   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Towing with a P71 What is the real capacity?

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Tow Vehicles: crown victoria
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:50   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Towing with a P71 What is the real capacity?

older panther chassis cars had 3.55 gears when tow package was optioned to the car. 3.55 will make a faster take off and such when not towing, but lose some fuel mileage. 2.73 can get 25mpg or so on the highway.. and 3.55 would possibly catch 18-20 on highway depending on past maintenance and engine condition. there are other gears also... 2.73 was highway gears... then 3.08.. then 3.27 then 3.55 and could even swap in 3.73... going any farther will make it take off but max the speed out sooner and not have a very good top end.
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:24   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Towing with a P71 What is the real capacity?

Mine has the 3:55 gear and it still pulls a decent 23mpg on the highway. That is of course if I can keep it at 70 or below. I tend to keep it around 75 to 80 most of the time.
It still gets 19mpg at 80. Your 1987 reminds me of the 1990 I just sold. I miss it!!
Thank you for your two cents worth!
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:33   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Towing with a P71 What is the real capacity?

I'm sure the GCWR changed when the transmission was updated. HD components cost extra money. Besides, the Chrysler LX cars with the 5.7 HEMI can tow up to 3500lbs, or 2K with the 3.5 V6.

Don't forget that that 2000lb towing capacity doesn't take into account vehicle cargo and additional passengers, which you'll have to subtract from the GCWR. Class III & IV hitches are still sold so folks can add a bike carrier or scooter tray to the back, as these attachments generally require a 2" receiver, which only come on the class III & IV hitches.
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Old 07-18-2009, 13:35   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Towing with a P71 What is the real capacity?

I realize that I will need a trans cooler and air shocks or air bags for the rear. Mine is a P71 which is a bit stronger in the trans and has extra cooling capacity in the radiator. I have decided to go ahead and put the hitch on and roll with it. If a six banger mini van can pull a large pop up so can my crown vic. I have seen tons of arguments either way and I think it would be ridiculous to purchase a truck just so I can go camping a couple times every year. If I blow a trans well then the next trans will be beefed up.
Wish me luck!
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Old 07-18-2009, 13:58   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Towing with a P71 What is the real capacity?

Maybe check out the anti-sway stuff,too. I didn't have that when I towed my small trailer and experienced some pretty wild oscillations a couple of times.
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