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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-18-10, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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'09 Ranger Towing Capacity

So I bought a 4.0L extended Cab 4wd last year, and because I prefer a stick I opted not to get the automatic tranny. Big mistake it seems since the auto can tow much more than the 5 speed. (+2500 lbs)

Now I am guessing that the trucks are the same in all other respects (I could be wrong of course).

So is it the manual transmission or is it the clutch that limits the towing capacity? My armchair mechanic's guess is that clutch slippage is what limits things.


If the clutch has any bearing on it, does anyone know if there are after market clutch upgrades one can install to help beef up the tow capacity? If I could squeeze another 1000-1500 or so, I could actually take a quad AND a small travel trailer. woo hoo!

Thanx in advance, Its way too early to trade her in!

BTW I know about the other necessary stuff (i.e. trailer brakes, hitch weights...yadda yadda)

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-25-10, 06:50 PM
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Re: '09 Ranger Towing Capacity

Clutch slip is the majority of why the towing limit is lower. Besides, the manual is much better to use off-road, and there, it has to hold up to the abuse of low rpm grunt at severe angles.

Just remember that in today's automotive world, most vehicles on the road (something around 95%) of light duty trucks have automatic transmissions. Manufacturers would rather put a few million bucks into upgrading a current automatic, than a put a dime into upgrading a manual that they plan to phase out in due time.

I'm sure there are options out there to upgrade clutch, bearings, add a cooler perhaps, but from a legal standpoint you'd have to get your GCWR changed to tow more, otherwise you won't be legal, and you'll open yourself up to a slew of potential problems and blah blah blah.

If it's any consolation, HD trucks are the same way. The autos can tow 16K, where the manuals with the same axle ratio can tow 13-15K (in fifth wheel applications). In terms of long(er) term reliability, I'd rather have the manual transmission. Another plus with the manual, is my wife would stay away.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-26-10, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: '09 Ranger Towing Capacity

Originally Posted by 360ci View Post
Clutch slip is the majority of why the towing limit is lower..... Besides, the manual is much better to use off-road....

Thanx for affirming my suspicion on the clutch thing, and I couldn't agree with you more on the manual tranny preference.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-13-10, 06:55 PM
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Re: '09 Ranger Towing Capacity

When towing do not use over drive except when going downhill. Try not to get into a position where you will have to start out going uphill. Downshift at the drop of a hat. It's better to buzz the motor a bit in a lower than to stress the drivetrain by using a too high gear. Consider 4.10/1 differential gears.
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