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Old 12-30-2015, 09:16 AM   #1
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Expedition Gears: 3.31 or 3.73

I'm in the market for a used Expedition 4WD WITH factory heavy duty tow package. I'm looking for 3.73 gears because we will be doing some mountain driving, but the problem is the selection is limited. The 3.31 gears are easier to find (larger selection). My question is: should I hold out for the PERFECT TV with 3.73 or can I SAFELY get away with 3.31 gears?

24T specs:
Dry - 4845
Gross - 6250
Hitch - 800
w/ WDH

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:31 AM   #2
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Look at the towing specs for the year of TV you are considering at:

Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine

IMO you should be good as long as it's not an Expedition EL. But this can vary depending on what year you are looking at WITH the tow package.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by dalebra View Post
Look at the towing specs for the year of TV you are considering at:

Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine

IMO you should be good as long as it's not an Expedition EL. But this can vary depending on what year you are looking at WITH the tow package.
Tow capacity is not not an issue; the Expedition is rated around 9000 (depending on the year). I'm just concerned about the gears while towing in the mountains.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:55 AM   #4
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We towed with an '03 2WD Expe with the 5.4 and I don't recall which rear end we had but suspect it was the 3.31. We never towed in any "real" mountains but I could tell that the Expe would have been "huffing" on the uphills. On the flat it's towing ability was "adequate".
Our "max tow" number was 8950# and our HTT weighed in at 4420# and we had 540# on the tongue (with the WDH) which left us 328# shy of the Rear GAWR. With just the Bride and I and a bit of gear the rear axle weighed 3100#.
My point is I think you will be close to the Rear GAWR even though you are well below the max tow #. You can see my weight #'s below.
Click image for larger version

Name:	HTT weight.jpg
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ID:	21320
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:57 AM   #5
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wait and find the 3:73 gears. If you go with the 3:31 you will be pulling your shift lever down to maybe 2nd gear burning more fuel and holding up traffic to boot. Read a article on this forum about in all aspects the 3:73 gear to be the idea gear for towing any TT other than a Ultra-Lite.
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rabalin View Post
wait and find the 3:73 gears. If you go with the 3:31 you will be pulling your shift lever down to maybe 2nd gear burning more fuel and holding up traffic to boot. Read a article on this forum about in all aspects the 3:73 gear to be the idea gear for towing any TT other than a Ultra-Lite.
can you show me that article; it doesn't show up in a search?
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by RedHorse1 View Post
We towed with an '03 2WD Expe with the 5.4 and I don't recall which rear end we had but suspect it was the 3.31. We never towed in any "real" mountains but I could tell that the Expe would have been "huffing" on the uphills. On the flat it's towing ability was "adequate".
Our "max tow" number was 8950# and our HTT weighed in at 4420# and we had 540# on the tongue (with the WDH) which left us 328# shy of the Rear GAWR. With just the Bride and I and a bit of gear the rear axle weighed 3100#.
My point is I think you will be close to the Rear GAWR even though you are well below the max tow #. You can see my weight #'s below.
Attachment 21320
I'm not quite sure what you are saying to me; please elaborate. Thanks
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:14 AM   #8
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A lot depends on the transmission gearing. I'm not as familiar with Ford transmissions, but I posted up on here before about GM gear ratios - in the newer trucks with more gears in the transmission (i.e. 6 speeds) you don't need nearly as low of a rear axle gear as you did with the older 4 speed automatics. It all has to do with the gear ratios in the transmission and how they equate to final drive ratio. Many people overlook that and think you need a 3.73 when you don't in the newer trucks...
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JayFeather24T View Post
I'm not quite sure what you are saying to me; please elaborate. Thanks
Hey Jay! I guess I was making 2 points. The first is I think you'd be better off with the 3.73 gears which seems to be the general consensus. The second is I think an Expe will be close on the rear axle weights.
Good luck with your search and let us know what you wind up with.
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RedHorse1 View Post
Hey Jay! I guess I was making 2 points. The first is I think you'd be better off with the 3.73 gears which seems to be the general consensus. The second is I think an Expe will be close on the rear axle weights.
Good luck with your search and let us know what you wind up with.
Thanks
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