Originally Posted by 96ram
So my 96 4x4 5.2 seems like such a pig. I have yet to attempt to tow anything with some real weight to it. What is everybody's towing experience with this motor and towing? Also, is there anything I can do to make it tow better?
Additionally, I would like to lift this truck but am worried that bigger tires would just make it that much worse at driving and towing.
Any advice and experiences is appreciated.
Well I don't have the ram pickup nor do I 4x4, but I have a 2500 ram van with the 5.2L. I do tow with it though.
Well my experiences with this engine has been impressive, I tow a 32' travel trailer weighs around 5000 lbs and has a tongue weight of 700 lbs. I tow without a weight distribution and without modified suspension. It does very well and because of the excessive tongue weight I don't fall victim to sway.
The van itself weighs around 4500-5000 lbs. I have a 46RH and 3.55 gears, 235/75R15 Tires, I use 105S Passenger tires.
I towed from FL to SC and was getting about 12 MPG between 60-70 MPH. The temps were high, at one point had to put the heaters on and windows down but my radiator was no good so that goes without saying. Anyways, it did very well it towed it like it was nothing and I am going to be towing again, except a little bit longer distance.
In my honest opinion, I don't think you should put a lift kit on or put bigger tires, you will change the geometry of the u joints, you also will add more drag to the vehicle and worsen the aerodynamics not that they're the best anyways. Also with a lift kit depending how high you might run into a issue with the height of the ball from the ground, you have to remember the trailer must be either level with the tow vehicle or the hose of the trailer has to be slightly lower then the tow vehicle.
Oh and since you have a 4x4 you also have more drag so that means worse MPG, especially when towing. Anyway's when properly equipped I am able to tow up to 7900 LBS. The maximum GCVWR for my vehicle is 11,500 with 3.55. If I go to 3.92 I can get 12,500. If I go to 4.1 and modify the suspension and engine I might be able to get to 15,000 Lbs but that would require alot of modifications. Anyway's my experience with the 5.2 have been the best, I had the 5.9L and it sucks no offense to those who love it. The 5.9L doesn't give you to much more HP and torque then the 5.2L and with the math I did you actually save money towing with the 5.2L then the 5.9L and you can tow basically the same weight. When you tow with the 5.9L you get worse MPG then the 5.2L both towing the same weight, why when the cam profile of the 5.2L is much better then the 5.9L not to mention the lift of the 5.2L is much better then the 5.9L. If you can increase the exhaust lift on either engine you can probably keep the temps down and increase your torque a little bit.
Like anyone, install an external transmission cooler regardless of if you tow or not, cheap insurance.