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Which hitch should I tow with?


This is a discussion on Which hitch should I tow with? within the Towing & Hauling forums, part of the 1st Gen : 1981 - 1993 category!
My hitch came stock on the bumper (like everyone else). Should I keep the hitch and use it attached to ...


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Old 09-13-2013, 12:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Which hitch should I tow with?
My hitch came stock on the bumper (like everyone else). Should I keep the hitch and use it attached to the bumper or would it be less stress on my truck to have a third party hitch and bolt it directly to the frame? I was considering adding just a REESE towpower Class 4 hitch and removing the metal plate below where the license plate is that the stock hitch is hooked up to.

My dad grills and makes barbeque for football games, church, and for selling/personal use. We have a HUGE grill that he tows which weighs a ton (not exaggerating) and a trailer that we put cars on, but his '96 Explorer only has a v6 and has trouble towing so we're switching to the Dodge for pulling

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Old 09-13-2013, 12:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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If it literally only weighs one ton, then the bumper will suffice as long as it's rust free and strong. If you're pulling a loaded car trailer, I'd want a class three or four!
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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i don't know about your 90 but the bumper on my 91 is rated for 5000 lbs and 500 lbs tongue weight according to the info stamp on the bumper. i would guess your bumper should have same tow capabilities. do you know how much the grill weighs?


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Old 09-13-2013, 01:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Chewy View Post
If it literally only weighs one ton, then the bumper will suffice as long as it's rust free and strong. If you're pulling a loaded car trailer, I'd want a class three or four!
Yeah, there's a huge amount of rust on the bed, so it's like not actually attached at the rear to the chassis, so I don't really trust the bumper that much on towing a car trailer.

Originally Posted by crazzywolfie View Post
i don't know about your 90 but the bumper on my 91 is rated for 5000 lbs and 500 lbs tongue weight according to the info stamp on the bumper. i would guess your bumper should have same tow capabilities. do you know how much the grill weighs?
It weighs about a ton from what I can tell, he used to tow it with a 91 Pathfinder and it stressed the hell out of that engine, which I think eventually led it to die on him.

I'll have to find the stamp on the bumper to see what it's rated at, but I don't think it can manage a car trailer. I've towed the grill before with no problem, my worry is the trailer if we put a car or two on it. The 90 Ram is rated at 9000 lbs, but I think that's with another hitch and not the bumper.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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the stamps should be below the license plate. i missed the part about towing cars. you might be able to tow 1 car on trailer with the stock bumper but not 2 cars. you would need at least a class 4 hitch to tow 2 cars and even then the trailer better have it s own brakes because i would not rely on the truck brakes to stop that much weight. stock bumper is about equivalent to a class 3 hitch. also if you have the overdrive transmission you want to make sure to turn overdrive off when you are towing or you may damage your transmission.


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Old 09-13-2013, 02:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by crazzywolfie View Post
the stamps should be below the license plate. i missed the part about towing cars. you might be able to tow 1 car on trailer with the stock bumper but not 2 cars. you would need at least a class 4 hitch to tow 2 cars and even then the trailer better have it s own brakes because i would not rely on the truck brakes to stop that much weight. stock bumper is about equivalent to a class 3 hitch. also if you have the overdrive transmission you want to make sure to turn overdrive off when you are towing or you may damage your transmission.
Yeah, I wouldn't try breaking with two cars on :P I need to have the hitch wires redone since I actually don't have a wire for lights or brakes, but I know a guy that's big on electrical work which I suck at right now.

I wish my transmission had overdrive so I could save on gas, but it doesn't. I'm thinking about installing one if I have any money leftover from all my originally planned upgrades/refurbishing. Honestly, with what I want to do with my engine I'll need to replace the tranny anyway with a 5 speed since the torque I'll get from the rebuild (planning on doing the Hotrod 400hp build) with absolutely shred the teeth on my gearbox, so putting on an overdrive won't hurt my restore time or my budget that much.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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if you do go for upgrading your engine you may want to stick a newer magnum multport fuel injected engine in your truck. best bang for your buck as far as gaining power goes. i know i wouldn't mind sticking one in my 81. just need find another truck to take the engine and trans out of.

i think the stock transmission might be able to put up with 400hp.


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Old 09-13-2013, 02:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by crazzywolfie View Post
if you do go for upgrading your engine you may want to stick a newer magnum multport fuel injected engine in your truck. best bang for your buck as far as gaining power goes. i know i wouldn't mind sticking one in my 81. just need find another truck to take the engine and trans out of.
I've heard this a lot, but I want to keep with the original engine block at least. It's just special to me, I wouldn't be able to part with it, just like the truck. I want it to be like a family heirloom.

i think the stock transmission might be able to put up with 400hp.
You think? I should put money aside for a new tranny if it can't handle it just to be safe.



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Old 09-13-2013, 05:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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in the end it is really up to you. i just don't know if you will get the 400hp out of the stock engine even if you start building it. i know with magnum engines you are starting at 230hp instead of 170hp. the engines are just designed a bit better. i know i like the 318 magnum in my 93 a lot to the point where if i found another one it would go into my 81 as soon as i could get it in. plus most magnum engines are usually bolted to a overdrive transmission. just have to search for a 92-95 truck or van.

if you can afford it it would be a good idea to put money aside for a new transmission it it can't handle the power.


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Old 09-25-2013, 06:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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it is easy to get 400+ hp and torque out of a 318. I would always use a reese hitch if given the opportunity. it spreads the load out better on your truck and you will notice that hauling a trailer will be significantly easier to handle (not just for weight distribution along the trucks frame, but also how the trailer turns and such).
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