Mods to raise my towing capacity??? help! - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Mods to raise my towing capacity??? help!

Ok, fellas, I am new to this page and need some advise on what mods to make to my stock '02 f-350 4x4 psd with 125,000 miles. I want to be able to tow in the 20,000lb range with reliable power and breaking. I tow a 33ft 5th wheel toyhauler that's about 14,000lbs when fully loaded with no problem. I'm in the process of getting my class A so that I can tow my '71 big block bronco that I use for sand drags behind my 5th wheel. The standard upgrades are easy, cold air intake, bigger exhaust. Going to add a progarmer but not sure which one. My truck gives me zero problems, but I'm sure it will not handle the 20,000lb range. I know the torque converter must go, but not sure which one to go with and can I do stuff to my ford tranny to deal with that much weight or do I have to go with an aftermarket tranny? I'm going to say an exhaust brake is a no brainer, but again are they all the same? I know that some motor mods have a higher risk/higher reward thing going on, but my family will be with me and I don't want to be stranded anywhere, so I'll need the additional power, but nothing too risky or unnecessary. This is my first smoker and I need help guys!!! My ears are open.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 10:57 PM
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You are on the right track. Get and intake and exhaust on that thing for starters. Then before you add any more power you will need to get some gauges. EGT, Boost, and trans temp. Now you have the basics that are necessary for good reliable power with a chip/tuner. I would recomend a chip from one of our site sponsors such as elite diesel, dp tuner, ts performance or from Tony Wildman (he's not a sponsor but has a great product).

As for the transmission you could put a good TC and a shift kit such as a Transgo Tugger but I think you would be better off in the long run by spending the money on a good built trans. now since your stocker has 125,000 on it already.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 11:49 PM
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I'd think a good aftermarket turbo would help too. I don't think the stocker will hold up with all the surge issues.

I built my truck for towing heavy, and it is a pure joy to tow with.Jody from DP Tuner designed what he thought would work well with reliability being first and I have not been disapointed.
I can play or I can work with just a push of a button.

Welcome to the Garage!! Just remember it's only money.

'00 cc f 350 a few mods, and a bts tranny.

Wet concrete, Hot Asphalt And Life Wait for no one
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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They got you set-up with the power, now for the braking and towing part...

Firestone ride-rite airbags. Relatively cheap addition to your F350 that make a huge difference when pulling the weights you are talking about. For that heavy I would consider them a must have item.

The superduty brakes are "notoriously suspect" so pay close attention to them and their braking capacity - depending on how much braking you are going to get from your trailer. While you are contemplating turbo upgrades I would keep in mind an exhaust brake. If your stock brakes don't seem to hold up then there are some upgrades that can be done to make them more reliable if not stop the load better.

Oh, and I would ditch the "soon-to-be-dead" tranny for a BTS and call DP Tuner for the power. But that's just me...
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:07 AM
 
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...and a Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller if you don't have one already...
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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The exhaust brake and air bags are a for sure thing, and everyone seems to like the dp tuner, and if I buy a new tranny, bts seems to be the ticket, but the reason that I bought this particular truck (when it had 100k) was that it wasn't set up for a goose neck, 5th wheel, nor did it have a brake controler set up on it, infact the original ford wire plug-in for a brake controler was still in the plastic in the glove box. All of this lead me to believe that this truck had not pulled anything real heavy. In fact it had a camper shell on it when I bought it. I would be pulling that 20,000lb load about 3 or 4 times a year (about 3 hours each way). I guess my question is will a new tranny be a must, or can I safely get away with modifying my current tranny with a new torque converter?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 02:02 AM
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I'd say that is a toss of a coin. Do you want to spend the cash to up grade the TC and VB only to have the tranny puke when you are counting on it? You did say reliability was a key factor. My tranny had 111k on it when we pulled it apart and it was not pretty on the inside. :shrug:

'00 cc f 350 a few mods, and a bts tranny.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 02:03 AM
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By the way, the air bags are awsome!! I have pics of the install in my gallery.

'00 cc f 350 a few mods, and a bts tranny.

Wet concrete, Hot Asphalt And Life Wait for no one
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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As far as the trans goes. I can make the same comment as Diesel Dog. Mine had 124,000 on it when Brian took it apart and it was on its last leg. It had less than 10,000 miles on it with a BTS valve body and DP-Tuner tunes. I took my neighbors trans with me, out of his 02 F-350 with 365,000 on it and when Brian took it apart it was the original Ford trans, never been apart, per Brian. My neighbors truck had pulled a single car, car trailer, all its life. Florida to Penn and back to Florida. Brian's comment was it had been in OD with the TC locked and the trans wasn't doing any work, so to speak. Mine on the other hand had the VB installed before Jody did the live tuning on it. After that it had been drove hard and the trans was giving up with only 10,000 miles of use. When I ordered the VB Brian said that I was sitting on a grenade...

If you drop the money on a converter you wont be able to reuse it when you get the trans rebuilt. Just another thing to consider.

One word of advice would be to replace the flywheel while it is apart. Not expensive but just problem preventive. My neighbor, while thinking his converter had torn up, found the center broken out of his flywheel. After the trans was reinstalled... Its 4wd too.... You could not actually see the crack but if you sprayed some WD-40 on one side it would show up on the other side...

As far as Brake controllers go I purchased a Brake Smart and have been extremely pleased with its performance. I can pull 12,000 with my dump trailer and pull off after its dumped and never touch the control. It works the same empty or loaded, without question. Every time. Its pricey but its sweet.

FOMOGO
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:39 PM
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Firehunter brings up a very valid point. Your truck will tow 20,000+ pounds all day long, with nary a whimper from the engine. But...getting that load to stop...especially in a panic situation...is where stock parts will fail. I would seriously consider upgrading to PowerSlot rotors and Hawk pads. A few of our vendors carry them...KT Performance, DPPI, LIPD, just to name a few. I'm sure there are other. Better heat dissipation, less warpage, etc.

As for trannies...this can be a real touchy issue as everybody...and I do mean everybody...has their favorite builder who's stuff is the best and nobody compares. I will offer my experience. My early 99 was making the "marbles in a coffee can" sound...which is the TC going out. Early 99's were known for that. I opted to replace just the TC and was assured that what was going in was the best. I greneaded that TC in 9 mos...with it sending crap through my tranny...crapping that out as well. My advice...if you plan on keeping this truck until the wheels fall off, do the tranny and TC at the same time. Don't upgrade one without the other. Total cost will be around $4k...give or take a few $100's either side.

But remember...no matter what you do to your truck...you can't raise the GCVWR set by Ford.
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