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View Full Version : Thoughts on towing with a Ford Explorer


mustangboiler
03-06-2012, 01:19 PM
I found a good deal on a 2004 Ford Explorer w/ 4WD and has a 4.0L V6. I have a '91 Prostar which weight roughly 3200 pounds, the hitch on the back is rated for 3500. Anyone have any experiences on towing with something similar? I would prefer something with a V8, but this is a pretty good deal that would be more than worth while.

Thanks!

thatsmrmastercraft
03-06-2012, 01:26 PM
Power wise it will get the job done. Braking can be another issue. If you trailer has brakes, and you upgrade the brakes on the Explorer, you would be OK, but just OK. Now if you want to load down the boat and truck with gear, now you are in the grey area. Just my :twocents:

jdl xstar
03-06-2012, 01:51 PM
I found a good deal on a 2004 Ford Explorer w/ 4WD and has a 4.0L V6. I have a '91 Prostar which weight roughly 3200 pounds, the hitch on the back is rated for 3500. Anyone have any experiences on towing with something similar? I would prefer something with a V8, but this is a pretty good deal that would be more than worth while.

Thanks!

You're good to go. That explorer will pull that thing with no problems. I had an 03 explorer 4.0 ltr 2WD for many years and it pulled my old X2 with no problems ever. With 4x4, its a non issue in my opinion. Disclosure, I live at sea level with no hills.

That rating you mention is for the class II hitch that comes standard on those explorers, so just get a Class III installed from Uhaul and you're good up to 5000 if you want to alleviate any worries.

Kevin&Annie
03-06-2012, 02:28 PM
We towed our 88' prostar for years with our 2002 Explorer. No trailer brakes and up and down steep hills. I was worried about the class II hitch at first, but it handled it just fine. The 4 wheel factory disc brakes were more than enough.

Larry M
03-06-2012, 02:50 PM
The most important thing when towing with an Explorer that age is to not tow in Overdrive. The tranny will last a lot longer if you tow in Drive.

FourFourty
03-06-2012, 02:53 PM
The only suggestion I would make, is to see if that explorer has super cooling (Larger radiator, and Trans Cooler) Which comes as an option with tow package.

If it doesnt have that, you should add an upgraded, external transmission cooler...... Especially if you have long distances or big hills to pull.

Other than that, there is no reason that the Exploder cant pull that boat.

bturner2
03-06-2012, 05:10 PM
OK I'm finding myself negative a lot lately or maybe I'm just seeing posts where I've personally had issues. Let me start with I think I had a lemon on our Ford Explorer. That being said we had a 04 Eddie Bauer Explorer with everything on it including the V8 and the 7000 tow package. What a POS that truck/SUV turned out to be. I bought the 5 year 100,000 mile warranty on it because of all the electronics on it but it was the drive train that was absolute crap.

The dealer install 5 rear ends in four years. In that time period I was only pulling the boat 5 to 6 times a year with one trip each year 300 miles round trip the rest under 150 miles. The boats being towed where a Maristar 200 VRS (maybe 4500 lbs at worst) a 03 X2 (got to be about the same weight as the Maristar) and a 07 X2 (I'm thinking this one could go as high as 5500 lbs). The engine and trans did fine. The trouble was that the rear end on these Explorers is IRS. This leave the weight borne on the axle half shafts instead of being supported by leaf springs and the beef of the axle tubes on a live rear end. The result was that the inner and or outer bearing supporting the short axle shafts would get hot, the bearing would freeze then start cutting their way through the axles. This happened almost after every pull over 3 hours. The last time it happened the axle collapsed and the wheel almost sheared off while backing the boat into the drive way. I was never able to get Ford to replace the rear end as a unit so I really don't know why I had all the problems but after many letters to Ford I was offered a enhanced trade in and bought the wife a Milan. I then purchased a used 06 F150 FWD with a 5.4 V8 that I couldn't be happier with.

I'm hoping that mine was a lemon, the dealer told me that they hadn't seen one as bad as mine but they did have a lot of issues with rear ends when people where towing anywhere near limit on these Explorers.

I just did a quick google search and found this.....

http://www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2004/drivetrain/rear_differential_failure.shtml

Apparently I'm not the only one. Based on the review there are no good deals on old Explorers unless you like to spend a lot of money on repairs. I'd do a couple of searches on 04 Explorer. Not to many people recommending them. IMO you'd be a lot better off with the same year Expedition.

FrankSchwab
03-06-2012, 05:44 PM
I've spent the last five years towing my MS200 with a '98 Explorer 4x4 with the 4.0 SOHC. 60 miles each way to the lake once a week, and a 5 hour tow up to Powell once a year. Put the Class III hitch on it, and it worked just fine.

Sure, it only went up the 6% grades around here at about 50, but I never felt that it was undersized for the job. Didn't have any problems related to towing - had plenty of problems with the vehicle, but no axle/drivetrain/engine problems. Never got hotter than normal (Considering I was towing in Phoenix in the summer, that's a miracle). If the A/C hadn't died at 180K miles, I'd still own it.

/frank

bturner2
03-06-2012, 10:47 PM
The 98 was a completely different vechile with a live rear end. I had two, two door Explorer sports for 3 years a peice and never had an issue with them. At least not towing. Oil leaks and rust yes, towing no. Both had the 4.0 engine and the live rear end.