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Real world turbo towing limits - chime in!

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by ComatoseLlama, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. ComatoseLlama

    ComatoseLlama Full Access Member

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    Hello,

    Whenever I look up the GCVWR for my truck I get a little sad. It's something like 16.5k# which leaves around 7k# of trailer/cargo to work with, which is around 5k# less than my dad's 09 F150 triton, which really really makes me sad. But, I've got little faith in a 30 year old rating that carries lots of legal liability for ford if they rate it too highly. I also know some people on here have towed some absolutely ridiculous stuff behind these trucks.

    Whats the max you'd but behind a your turboed IDI for a decent (5-6hr) trip, assuming proper trailer brakes and weight distribution? It'd be awesome if people posted their axle gear ratio as well, I'm undecided between 3.55 and 4.11

    Thanks,
    CL
     
  2. Oledirtypearl86

    Oledirtypearl86 Full Access Member

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    M in 86 6.9 I to my 9k camper all summer some trips 30 min some 9 hrs also I pulled a load of pond liner that was about 12 k just for the pond liner and that trip was over 3 hrs round trip but I live where we overload trucks and trailers all the time and hope for the best
     
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  3. nitroguy

    nitroguy Full Access Member

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    It's the Montana way!
     
  4. chillman88

    chillman88 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I hauled a 94 fullsize blazer through the hills in PA with mine WITHOUT a turbo. If google and my trailer title are to be believed, the trailer loaded was around the 7k mark and didn't really have any trouble. Sure it didn't like the hills, but it wouldn't scare me at all to put a couple thousand more pounds on the trailer.

    I hauled a 94 extended cab 4x4 F250 IDI on that same trailer through a few hills in southern NY. I don't know how much heavier it is than the blazer but it hauled about the same. Biggest thing is make sure you have good working trailer brakes!

    This was on my 91 F350 dually. NA and 4.10 gears, curb weight of the truck alone is around 7,300# I do have hydroboost brakes on the truck for what it's worth. Just drive like it's a truck with a trailer, and don't be stupid with it.
     
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  5. gandalf

    gandalf Senior Member

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    I've towed only occasionally with my truck, only twice with any significant load. I went once from the Bay area to Mojave to fetch a car, puller it home on a Uhaul trailer. The other trip was Bay area to the Canadian border, straight up I-5, pulling a 6x10 enclosed cargo trailer, loaded both directions. It wasn't terribly heavy, but I didn't bother weighing it because I was going anyway.

    My truck is a '92 CCLB dually, without a turbo, 4.10 gears. It didn't complain about the extra weight in any way.

    I think these trucks will tow a significant amount above their "legal" limit, if you're patient with things. The limitation, to my way of thinking, is the ability to stop in a reasonable distance. You can pull the weight, yes, but can you stop it?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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  6. Randy Bush

    Randy Bush Full Access Member

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    I pull 18k to 20k behind my 93 dually SC factory turbo, 4.10 and wide ratio ZF5 . Been doing it for 15yr now. Its the way we roll here LOL
     
  7. cozinsky

    cozinsky Registered User

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    I had a deckover flatbed gooseneck loaded with scrap and tipped the scales at a little over 20K total between the truck and trailer. I'm guessing the truck weighs around 6500 so that's about 13,500 I was pulling. That's with no turbo, a 5 speed and 3.55 gears. It wasn't happy on the hills but it handled it.
     
  8. franklin2

    franklin2 Full Access Member

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    The turbo doesn't have anything to do with the towing capability of one of these trucks does it? You may get there faster with a turbo, but that is the only difference I can think of.
     
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  9. Clb

    Clb Another old truck Supporting Member

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    Towed 6+k to ak and and back.
    Quarry scale tic. At 19k on flat ground, big stopping distance was observed!
     
  10. nelstomlinson

    nelstomlinson Full Access Member

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    Naturally aspirated '89 crew cab with 4.5 rear end and a ZF5. I drove around the state a couple years ago towing an 8,000 pound travel trailer with a 1,000 pound camper in the truck bed. Climbing the hills was slow - going across the pass to Seward, I drove at least 5 miles in third gear, for example. The engine never got hot, and there was never any doubt I was going to make it. The trailer had good brakes, so stopping distance was not much more than the stopping distance when empty. With a turbo and more power, I could have done it a little faster.
     
  11. Oledirtypearl86

    Oledirtypearl86 Full Access Member

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    Right iv been guilty of saying well shit I think we need another strap or the next best is hell it's only 2 hrs away I'll take it slow
     
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  12. snicklas

    snicklas 6.0 and Loving It!! Staff Member

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    I can't find it now, but I once say a video explaining why European Tow ratings were much higher than US Tow ratings for the same vehicle. I think the example was a Subaru Outback. Where in the US, it's rated to tow 3000 lbs, but in Europe it can tow 5500 lbs (not actual numbers, just using an example). The main reason the European rating is higher is the speeds that heavily enforced when towing. Trailer tow speeds limits are fairly slow. They do not tow as fast as we do. So slower speeds, "easier" to slow down. Same power, same brakes..... I realize this isn't a IDI, but it's still a valid comparison.
     
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  13. frankenwrench

    frankenwrench overkill is under rated!

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    LOL 3.73 gears, 91 f250 added stock 093 turbo, close range zf-s42 and I'm not sure on total weight, but the tractor I was pulling is 11,500 with all of its attachments on as well, the 24 ft. gooseneck it was sitting on is 4k empty. Drove from Mildred PA to Stillwater Ok averaging about 55mph.
     
  14. Shadetreemechanic

    Shadetreemechanic Full Access Member

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    The hoe by itself is right at 12K. Hauled that 2 hours on backroads but got on the interstate to climb monteagle mountain. Didn't win the race to the top of the mtn, but it didn't run hot.
    Factory turbo zf5, 3.55 gears. iphone download 5_18 894.JPG
     
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  15. Black dawg

    Black dawg Registered User

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    You guys complaining about stopping distance.....do you have trailer brakes.....have the controller adjusted correctly?

    Pull 15-20 gross with my truck pretty regularly with no issues.
     
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