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Old 09-13-2010, 03:36 PM   #1
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Engine/Axle Ratio Combinations

I'm looking at purchasing a 2010 Ford F100 as a TV. The two I'm considering have different engine and axle ratios. One is a 5.4L with a 3.31 ratio (7,700# rating). The other is a 4.6L with a 3.73 ratio (8,200# rating).

Both options are more than adequate for my needs but does anyone out there have a preference? My towing trips will be mostly weekends here and there so I will be using the truck for non-towing purposes the majority of the time.

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Old 09-13-2010, 06:43 PM   #2
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3.31 is not much of a towing gear. You'll get better towing with a 3.73 but you give up MPG. What is your loaded trailer weight & loaded truck weight? These numbers will go a long way to help some of the experts help you. Without this info my preference would be the 5.4 with 3.31 gear as long as your towing doesn't consist of mountains on a regular basis. That leaves you with a powerful truck with great gas mileage. Also, do these trucks have the tow package? This link might help too.

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Old 09-13-2010, 07:13 PM   #3
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Sorry, I mis-typed. Meant F-150. TT dry weight of 4500# and a maximum loaded weight of probably 5700-5800#. Both trucks have towing packages (transmission oil cooler, upgraded radiator & alternator).

Initial use will be Wisconsin and Michigan so some hills but no mountains.
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:30 PM   #4
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6 of one, half a dozen of the other. You're right, both are more than adequate.
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:46 PM   #5
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From what you have stated above, I am guessing you are looking at a LWB Reg Cab 4X4?

If I were you and were planning ahead on towing while you are in the buying mindset, I would opt for the 3.55 rear with the 5.4L which would put you at an amazing 9500# WITHOUT having to pop for the max payload OR Max trailer packages which would give you a healthy safety margin on your tow weights AND it would still be a reasonable gear for your everyday highway driving.
Or go with the 4.6L 3.55 and go with some drop off...

Good luck in whatever you choose!

Drive Safe, Drive Ford!

I have an 09 Screw W/ 4.6L 3V and 3.55 rear and it is good for 9500# according to the Ford man....Hope I never even sniff that tho....
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:58 PM   #6
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I have a 2010 f150 with a 3.55 rear end i think we are rated at 8500lbs
with 20" wheels,
my only complaint is i am used to my 350 deisel and it had gobs and gobs of torque
this gas burner is not what i would consider to be a barn burner in the torque arena. it downshifts from 6th quite often in hilly terrain, like over passes

i wouldn't go any higher in a ration
3.13 i beleive is one below as is a 3.08

355 or 373 is best for towing.
if your going to be close to your capacity i would opt for a 3.73 if available

remember the 2011 will get a new gas engine 6.2 litre and quite a few more HP and the tranny will have a selector to allow you to choose a gear and stay in it like 5th for towing etc, right now you can select 3rd and it stays there,
but being able to take on 5th as you wish will be great for towing

the 5.4 is a dead horse, it will be phased out by end of next years run possibly for the 150, the new 5.0 should be online by then for the trucks, keep in mind the NEW 5.0 is a new engine not related to the 5.0 of the past years except in displacement
Living in the Piney Woods of Texas.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:29 AM   #7
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I have a 2009 SCREW with the 5.4 and 3.31s pulling about a 4k camper. It does GREAT. I can go just as fast as I want, subject to the tire rating of course. About the only thing I will not do with it is pass a slower vehicle on a 2 lane road (unless it is downhill ) I get about 11MPG towing and roughly 16 non-towing (half city / half highway).

If I get another camper that is over 6k I might re-gear to 3.73 - but otherwise it is fine. I think you would be ok with 3.73s, but what if you decide to upgrade to a bigger camper?

I have heard that the 3.73 might get a bit better mileage in city driving than the 3.31 as the trans can get to overdrive easier. Not sure on that though.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:41 AM   #8
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We have 3.73s and can often tow our 5,000 pound trailer in overdrive. I would think that the 3.31s would work fine but it is more likely that you would have to lock out overdrive.

On another (off topic) note, I wonder about the new 5.0 in the F150. Horsepower and torque appear to be up from the 5.4. BUT, I notice that the torque peak is 4,250 RPM; considerably higher than the 5.4. Not exactly the sweet spot for towing. We tow mostly around 2,000 to 2,500 RPM. I wonder what the 5.0 torque is at these speeds versus the 5.4. I guess the question is this; will the 5.0 really tow better than the 5.4? I've always been a Ford proponent because of engine torque characteristics. This seems like it is going in the wrong direction to me. Thoughts?

Don't bother with brand bashing. I'm looking for honest discussion here.

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