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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have experience trailering their Mustang with a 4.0 V-6 Explorer? I have access to a friends trailer. I want to attend the Nashville MCA show in May which is over 250 miles away, but my dual-redlines are 8+ years old. Although they still look brand new, I don't trust them on a long interstate trip. I've never towed anything with the Explorer, so I need some suggestions.

65GT
MCA #15474
 
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Discussion Starter #2
I am a true believer in only towing with a REAL truck with heavy duty leaf springs and a tow capacity/payload that amply exceeds what you're towing. I've always towed with at least a 3/4 ton truck, but realize that for a little Mustang on a light open trailer, less may be just fine. The 4.0 would definately be put to hard work, but that's not what I would really be concerned about. I work in an office that overlooks the interstate. I can't tell you how many folks I've seen towing travel trailers and car trailers with mid-sized sport-utes and light-duty 1/2 ton pickups "lose it" and go off the road (or wind up jacknived right in the middle of it!), many times with tragic results and damage. If you don't have a substantial enough vehicle and a sturdy enough chassis in the front, then the combined weight of Mustang and trailer in back becomes in essence "the tow-er" and your Explorer could be "the towee". The old tail wagging the dog effect. Does your friend have good proper tie-downs?? I think the tow/no-tow decision depends on the distance you're traveling. 250 miles is kind of on the bubble. But, I've had the same set of repro polyglass Goodyears on my '69 Mach 1 for almost 7 years now, and I must have put over 10,000 miles on 'em, and they're still doing just fine. I've never heard of a blowout or tread seperation on the repop tires, so even though they ride awful they seem to be sturdy. It may be safer to drive on your old tires than it is to tow the car with an Explorer.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I towed my 65 from Augusta, GA to Chattanooga, TN., with a 2dr Sport Explorer. That's through downtown Atlanta by the way. I didn't use a full trailer, I used a tow dolly. This makes a world of difference in the handling. Make sure to tie your steering down if you go with the dolly though. I had no problems at all on my 400 mile tow. Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
The Explorer is TOO Small a vehicle Yes Ford rates it for 4700lbs but I will tell you from personal experience its not a wise thing to do ,you will be towing right at the limit. The wheel base of the Explorer is too short,the springs too light, it has passenger car tires(load range D or E tires should be used) The motor will be straining on the grades and unless the trailer has electric brakes you will be in for quite a time trying to stop her on a downhill or in a Panic stop.
I tow a 2 horse 16' trailer(2 horses 1200-1300lbs each)So we are right around Mustang weight. I would only use an Explorer for a few mile transport in town and then never over 30MPH. Never on the Highway. You need a real truck, F-250 class, nothing less if you want a safe tow

Greg B
 
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Yikes!!! Those rental tow-dollys are SKETCHY!!! I would never put my car on one. I've heard sooo many horror stories of cars scootching out of the straps and heading into the woods, or dragging from one wheel sideways, or ramming into the rear of the tow vehicle, or the dolly flat falling apart from lousy construction, abuse, and disrepair. Plus, the car's right there on the ground, getting just as dirty, with the rear tires spinning just the same as if you just drove the thing. The whole purpose of towing is to keep your car safe, clean, and to have a reliable incident-free trip in the comfort of a larger vehicle. Dollying defeats most of these purposes, your car is much safer and better off driving under its own power.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I'll be the odd man out here. I haven't towed my mustang, but I regularly tow a '57 T-bird and a compact tractor on a 16' flatbed I have, and I also tow a 16' travel trailer. I bought my Explorer with the tow package, and the towing capacity is rated as 5600 lbs. I don't have passenger car tires, I have range D LT tires. I have a class III weight distributing hitch, and electric brakes. I drive defensively and make sure the electric brakes are set up right to keep the trailer behind the car on fast stops. If I was trailering every week, I'd probably get a "real" truck, but I I'm comfortable with this setup for towing 5-10 times per year.

Gene Zierdt
'65 Conv.
302/roller cam/valves/ported
T-5 w/3.55
negative roll, progressive front, 4 1/2 rear springs
Front & rear anti-sway bars
 

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I have to agree with the others, use a real truck! I haven't had a lot of experience towing though. Last year my wife bought a 69 Grande, we towed it on a dolly with my brothers 94 4X4 extended cab Ranger with the 4.0 and 5 spd. I went up and down hills for awhile in our 150 mile drive, it was o.k. but I fealt that it was at the limit and if I had my choice again, I definately wouldn't use it again, I'd go with a bigger truck like others have said. Play it safe, use a real truck with real brakes!

Tom
You can do anything you want to......ONCE!
aka "my 66 coupe"
http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1575517&a=11977890&p=44194856.jpg

Hale Boppe comet shot off my roof. See you can use 100 iso at night with no flash!
 

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My wife and I just finished towing for about 11 hrs last weekend -- with a V6 Ford Explorer Eddie Baur using a Class III hitch. We had no problems whatsoever, the truck pulled just fine and gas mileage was great. We used a tow hitch unfortunately, which I do not recommend (use a dolley or trailer if possible).

You should not have any problems at all ... I'm not sure what ppl are talking about here, and since we've done it with no adverse effects -- I'd say go for it.

The tow was from Calgary, AB to Shelby, MT and back again. It was a 69 mach 1, without the engine but otherwise complete.
Chris

+--------------------+
1969 Mach 1 ( M-Code)
+--------------------+
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Is the engine the SOHC version or the OHV? The SOHC motor was only available after '96 in automatic equiped trucks. We're talking 160hp versus 210hp here. I'd only do it if you absolutely had to. I've towed a couple of vehicles with my '90 F-150 (5.0/A4OD) and did not feel comfortable. Accelertion sucked and stopping was a nightmare and the truck is in excellent shape. When you hook a 4,000 lb load to the back it becomes a whole 'nother world.

John

[color:blue]'68 Coupe
250/C4, 221 Argentine Head
Breakaway Converter, 9", 3.50's/T-lock</font color=blue>
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Everybody's had "no problem" and that's great. Here's why I think it's nuts: What happens when you DO have a problem, like a blowout on your trailer, heavy wind gust, emergency manuever, emergency braking. When something DOES pop up, your goose is flat cooked, well done, in that short wheelbase light duty truck (even with the "towing package" these are very light duty trucks). It's just a matter of time until you have a situation like that. I trailer 5 to 10 times per year, and I have been in numerous situations with cut tires, accident avoidence, etc. where if I had not had my 3/4 ton or 1 ton vehicle holding things on the road, I would have lost the truck, the trailer, the car and maybe me. There's a picture in this month's Mustang Monthly I believe of a '67 GTA 390 that was flat mangled on the way to the 35th anniversary Mustang show in Charlotte a few years back. They were towing with a light duty truck, I believe they had to brake and manuever fast for an accident ahead of them, and lost control.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Good point! I was at the 30th Anniversary show at Charlotte when Wendy's car was damaged in the trailering accident.
They were traveling along in the right lane when they were passed by a tractor-trailer. The wind gust upset the trailer causing it to whip and send the truck trailer combo off the road the trailer flipped over on its side. had it not have been an enclosed trailer the car would have been a total.
Two years ago a friend who insisted that he could tow a 2 horse trailer with his Explorer found out the hard way. Passed by a tractor-trailer on the interstate his trailer was upset by the wind gust. That rig went back and forth across 4 lanes of highway at one point the trailer was off the ground.
Only by the grace of God did they come out ok.
By the way he now has an F-350

Don't Tow With A Toy Truck!!!

Greg B
 

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Now you guys have me worried a little bit. I was thinking about trailering my 66 vert up
to my folks instead of driving it. It's about 160 miles, and I didn't want to put the miles on
the stang. I would be using my 99 Durango, which has a 5.9 L motor, and towing package
and 31 X 10.5 tires on it.

You are all talking about 3/4 or 1 ton trucks, how would this Durango stack up?
Seems like there would be enough mass in the truck to handle it.

thanks,


'66 289 2bbl. Sauterne Gold Connvertible

Shaummy
 

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Flat-towing, 2- wheel dollies and trailers all load the two vehicle differently with the level of difficulty increasing in the list. For your application, the Explorer is over edge, in my opinion. I use a 2WD Suburban to tow our Mustang/4-4-2 and have head tense moments with it. My daughter/son-in-law almost lost control of it at 30 mph when the left rear tire blew. As others have mentioned, the semi truck wind gust can be treacherous. The addition of a weight distributing hitch to the reciever made an incredible difference. Personally, although I've done simialr to what you are asking, I wouldn't recommend it.

Jim Gates
72 Mach 1 - 460, C6
65 Olds 4-4-2, 400 ci, 4-sp
71 Dart Swinger 340 - Project in the queue
 
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Discussion Starter #15
when i was showing my fastback all over the place I had a '97 F250 HD with a 7.3L powerstroke diesel. Of course, I was pulling a fully enclosed 20' trailer. as a reference, i could set the cruise control at 70mph on flat highways and steer with one hand. it was almost like nothing was behind me. Also, with the HD suspension you hardly feel the big trucks sucking you in. Really only happens when pulling an empty trailer. On my F250 I had a class 4 hitch with a weight distribution setup... only Reese equipment.

Compare this to the first time I pulled the trailer with my father-in-law's F150 with a 302, it was like a '96 model. 4x4, regular bed, no ext cab. This was the worst experience i have had trailering. the truck was all over the place and i was tensed up the whole drive from NC to FL and back. The F250 was like night and day between the F150.

The moral of the story, always use the right equipment for the job.

Charles Turner
MCA Gold Card Judge(64.5-65, 66)
'65 Fastback
'00 GT Conv, triple black


Check out my 65 [color:blue]fastback!</font color=blue>
 
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Discussion Starter #16
I once towed a 2-axle trailer (rented it from U-haul) with a 1970 torino GT behind a GMC Jimmy from my home (Southen Illinois) to Kansas City, Mo.!!!!

Can you say wild ride?!

The car is a heavy car, and the trailer wasn't light either. :)

that poor Jimmy was at 70 MPH the whole way...and all over the road. I will NEVER do that again.


Full Throttle
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