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Can a 5.4 gas F250 tow a Fountain 31?

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Can a 5.4 gas F250 tow a Fountain 31?

Old 03-13-2019, 12:56 PM
  #21  
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Easily. Will it win tractor pulls? No.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:57 PM
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I’ve owned a 5.4 powered Expedition since bought new in 1998. I like the truck and the engine still runs OK with a variety of issues but that truck can’t tow it’s way out of a paper bag and never could even brand new. Truck drives just fine, totally adequate power to move the truck itself but as a tow vehicle it has been embarrassingly WEAK since day one. I wish I had a $1 every time a 1/2 Ton Chevrolet Pickup or SUV equipped with the venerable GM small block 350 roosted the snot out of me pulling a similar load. I remember seeing a few F250s with that Triton 5.4 in them and feeling sorry for the owner.

That 5.4 is a decent car engine and OK in a light truck, if towing isn’t in the game but when it comes to torque that engine just doesn’t have any. I’d get real comfortable with the plan to run in 2nd with the hazards on and your foot to the floor if your tow route features any significant hills.

Last edited by Mpellet; 03-15-2019 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:17 PM
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I had a 5.4 in a F-350 with 4:10 gears. It pulled trailers of firewood and a 25' Mako just fine. That being said, it was pretty limp.....
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:57 PM
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funny enough when he asked me if i could help him out and tow his 31 fountain down to the ramp I said I didnt know if that was a good idea. To which he replied that his mechanic towed him from the ramp one day with a 6cyl E-150 loaded up with tools lol
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:54 PM
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5.4 Triton = Won't pull a greasy string out of a cats azz..

Glad for those who have and love them, honestly I do! I hope they all go 1M miles while whistling zippitydoodah out their hind ends & I hope their next vehicles, whatever they may be, are equally as pleasing! I had 3 of those miserable POS motors ('04, '07, '10 Expeds) and I've never been happier than the day my wife came in from the garage after 4yrs in that 10 Exped and said, "Will you buy me a Suburban?" )

To the OP, I hope (and fully expect it WILL) your truck pulls your load fine wherever you need it to go. I just recall the miserable experiences we had with out 5.4s, so yes I'm a little more than "anti" on that front.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan_F View Post
We had a 6.2 diesel Chevy pickup when I was young. We pulled all kinds of stock trailers, travel trailers, and equipment trailers with it, sometimes for 1,000+ mile trips. I believe it had something like 165 HP. I find it kind of funny that today people think they need 300 HP so that they can roll with their 10,000# trailer at 70mph uphill...
LOL, I had a 6.5L diesel from Chevy, it wouldn’t pull a wet noodle out of a cat’s ass or miss a repair shop on the way to get a fill up.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:59 PM
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I pulled my 31 Fountain from Orange Beach to Birmingham several times with my 5.7L 1/2 ton Tundra.
I would imagine your experience would be about the same....truck will pull it fine and stop it fine if your trailer brakes are good, but she will drink some gas!
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:33 PM
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I have the same truck. I've towed a Mako 261 without any problems. The worst part is the programming of the transmission and downshifting all the way to 2nd when going over overpasses. Otherwise it's okay.
I wouldn't hesitate to make the trip you are planning.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BoatPoor2 View Post
I pulled my 31 Fountain from Orange Beach to Birmingham several times with my 5.7L 1/2 ton Tundra.
I would imagine your experience would be about the same....truck will pull it fine and stop it fine if your trailer brakes are good, but she will drink some gas!
I’d bet that 5.7L has considerably more torque then a Triton 5.4....
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:10 PM
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I have a 2003 Super Duty F250 extra cab 8 foot bed. It has the 5.4 2 Valve motor. I Snow plow with it all winter. Then haul my 26' enclosed race car trailer the rest of the time. Weight is about 8000 pounds. It tows at 70mph easy all day long. A little slow on the takeoff, that's all.
Good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:59 PM
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If you plan on keeping it a long time, have 4.30 gears installed. It will make a huge difference in how it tows a heavy load. You’ll like it better in town unloaded too. With 3.73s you will constantly be flogging it to maintain a steady speed.

I’ve had 2 gas Super Duties. Both 3v V10s. The first had 3.73s and it always seemed like I had to flog it. The 2nd had 4.30s and it was a great truck. Pulled my 24’ Key West with ease. Never struggled with any other trailer. I got 11-12 empty and 9-10 towing the Key West from San Antonio to the coast and back.

Now, the 5.4 never set the world on fire, but it was a truck engine and did it’s job fairly well. It sucks down just as much fuel as a V10 when loaded, but will do the job. You may want a new truck when the trip is done.

Now, lets not speak of cam phasers, leaky injectors or spark plug issues.

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Old 03-15-2019, 03:57 AM
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I would love to have my 5.4l F250 back! Mine had a manual 5 speed and 3.73 gears (I had to order than combination), and it cost just ever 21K OTD in 2001. Tell me where you can get anywhere close to that much truck for that kind of money today, even adjusting for inflation. While it certainly was not overpowered, it did every job I needed it to do. With the manual I know it would be able to haul the OP's boat and be within towing limits--just don't expect and speed records. Not sure how the auto would affect it, but I would lock out the overdrive.

I ended up selling the truck after getting a smaller boat, and curtailing my motorcycle racing hauling needs to two bikes. Now I drive an old Ranger. It has it's charms, but I sure do miss a real truck.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:01 AM
  #33  
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I towed a Mako 261b (triple axle trailer) from Tampa to Cape Cod with a 2004 F250 5.4 crew cab 4x4. I eventually made it in one piece but I couldnt go over 55 and it got 6 mpg.
Around town, no problem at all.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:51 AM
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I had a 99 350 4x4 with 5.4 and 3.73 gearing, "Supercab" and 8' bed. Only difference between 250 and 350 was and extra leaf spring in rear and badging.

Back then emphasis was on payload, which was very good. Seems like towing capability was an afterthought.

The MAX loaded trailer weight was 7400lbs. The 250 had a max of 7600 since you lost 200lbs by loosing the extra leaf springs.
Additionally, the receiver was rated at 500lb max/10k with weight distribution. So, in my mind, if you want a 10% tounge weight, you need a weight distribution hitch for over 5k or a beefier receiver.

I never towed heavy with it at highway speeds, since I was very concerned with it at lower speeds. Heavy was around 7500 +/- and I didn't realize I was probably at/over max since 7.5K is so low by today's standard, until I researched it. Truck really struggled and bounced in local traffic.

One of the main reasons I replaced it was because of its really poor performance in towing heavier loads - it just wasn't meant for it. At the time ford offered the 4.10 rear with the 5.4 to give you about a 9K max, and the v10 with a 4.3 to get you to a 10K max trailer weight.

Towing guide: Ford-1999-Towing-Guide-Partial.pdf Ford-1999-Towing-Guide-Partial.pdf
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan_F View Post
We had a 6.2 diesel Chevy pickup when I was young. We pulled all kinds of stock trailers, travel trailers, and equipment trailers with it, sometimes for 1,000+ mile trips. I believe it had something like 165 HP. I find it kind of funny that today people think they need 300 HP so that they can roll with their 10,000# trailer at 70mph uphill...


my 6.2 w/ gear vendor o/d ...... pulled good
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:16 PM
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Admittedly, it's not going to win any speed races. I had a 2007 F250 with the 5.4, and had no issues pulling 7,500 lbs. It wasn't exhausting, as the truck did the work and I just had to keep putting gas in it.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:31 PM
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real world experience....05 f250 5.4....pulled an 8000 load 600 miles...never again...the motor had plenty of power to roll along at 60-65...except...even in tow haul mode. it would eventually upshift to 5th gear...the revs would drop, the speed would drop, foot goes down, transmission overheats and spews atf down on the exhaust pipe...google it...pretty common...SMOKE!.....it's not the motor, its the trans...if you have a later model when you can lock it into 4th...WAY better and totally acceptable on the highway....
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:53 PM
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4.30 gears make all the difference in a gasser, especially the OHC engines.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:41 AM
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Isn't this the 5.4 motor that makes 750 horsepower in the GT 500??? Asking for a friend.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by slickster View Post
real world experience....05 f250 5.4....pulled an 8000 load 600 miles...never again...the motor had plenty of power to roll along at 60-65...except...even in tow haul mode. it would eventually upshift to 5th gear...the revs would drop, the speed would drop, foot goes down, transmission overheats and spews atf down on the exhaust pipe...google it...pretty common...SMOKE!.....it's not the motor, its the trans...if you have a later model when you can lock it into 4th...WAY better and totally acceptable on the highway....
I have the same truck and engine and towed the same load and close to it now routinely. My transmission usually stays in 4th. When going up and over an overpass it will up shift to 5th on the down side until I get on the flat again then back to 4th. The thing I hate is that going up the overpasses it will down shift to 3rd and routinely to 2nd making the RPM jump close to 4K. And these are the overpasses on I-95 in Florida. The Tow Haul mode just makes the shifts quicker. I think 4:11 gears would be a big help.
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