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Author Topic:   trailering
Angryeel posted 11-23-2001 07:38 AM ET (US)   Profile for Angryeel   Send Email to Angryeel  
Just wondering if anyone has any experience towing with a classic bronco. I am considering buying one, will have a 302, auto, 4x4, 33" tires and all of the fun stuff. I am curious as to whether or not anyone has ever used a simaler set up to tow. Currently I have a 17' whaler, but may upgrade to an 18-19 outrage someday. I know the truck has the power to pull a good sized boat, I am wondering more about turning ability, as the truck has a pretty short wheel base, and braking. The truck will have at least front disk brakes, if not disks all the way around. Figured I would ask before finding out the hard way that it will not work. The bronco in question will be a '74-'77, current boat is a '64 17. Thanks for any input.
Jerry Townsend posted 11-23-2001 11:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Angryeel - My thoughts, from a stability and safety viewpoint - the heavier the towing vehicle and the longer the wheelbase, the better. You don't want the boat/trailer to dynamically overwhelm the towing vehicle. My 17 outrage weighs around 2100 with the engine and gear - but mine is a '96 and I'm not sure how much your boat weighs. The Bronco might be on the light and short side - but then, I don't know about your terrain and conditions of your ramps, -- Jerry
kingfish posted 11-23-2001 11:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I think I remember Chuck Tribolet, a frequent contributor here, saying that one of the tow vehicles he uses successfully with his Montauk is a smaller Japanese pickup (I hope I haven't misrememberd that too terribly). If I have this right, the weight and mass of his boat is probably similar to yours, and the weight of his vehicle may be similar to yours; your wheelbase may still be shorter, though. If Chuck reads this, he may be of some help.

My experience parallels what Jerry suggests, that depending upon your specifics in terms of length of tow, terrain, etc. you may be OK or you may be close to the edge of comfort towing your current boat, not from power considerations, but from wheelbase and possibly weight. I towed my Montauk all over creation with a Chrysler mini-van (170 hp +/- V6) and never felt any problem whatsoever, but I probably had more weight and more wheelbase. I think you may be closer to or over the edge of comfort with any bigger boat.


triblet posted 11-23-2001 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I towed my Montauk for three and a half
years with a '95 Nissan Pathfinder, 3.0L
170HP V6, 5-speed, four-wheel disks. IIRC
it weighs a bit under 4000 pounds. No
problem. At 130,000 miles, I replaced it
with '01 Pathfinder, 3.5L 250HP V6, 5-speed,
drum brakes in the back. About the same
weight. Also no problem, goes up big hills
in higher gears. More room inside for dive

I think your Bronco should be fine. It's
short wheel base for its time, but I don't
think it's any shorter than my PFs. The
short WB means nice tight turns.

Go look up what Ford rated the towing
capacity as. Stay well under it.

I once towed '68 Firebird 400 on a heavy
trailer with in my old '87 PF (pre whaler
days). That was more than I would like to
do on a regular basis.


wildeone posted 11-26-2001 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for wildeone  Send Email to wildeone     
Angryeel, I tpow my 18 Outrage with a 1978 Bronco, very full size, 4 speed, 400 cu.

No problem at all, as a matter of fact I like the shorter wheel base and turning radius of the truck, compared to a full size pickup. Brakes seem fine for the load (although this truck has hard time stopping without the boat) Just need to drive safely.
I also have large tires 33", oly trouble with this rig is gas mileage, but I get 1-1.5 mpg BETTER towing the boat! About 8-10 mpg overall.

As a matter of fact, I have towed this Outrage with a 1996 Suburban, and frankly didn't like the feeling of the boat load being "lost" behind the truck.

JFM posted 11-26-2001 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Angry, I had a 1986 E.B 302 auto O.D.. It was one of the best tow vehicles I ever owned, also very thirsty. When I sold it the buyer put a contingency that it would tow a 24' Century cuddy, he bought the Bronco. Need I say more. Regards, Jay
Chap posted 11-26-2001 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     
Great trucks except the auto hubs.
Have owned a '79 fitted like Wild's, an '85 pre fuel injected and currently own a '96 with the 5.8. Always wanted a "square" one, strong truck. You didn't find a '77 with four wheel disc brakes did you? If it is set up for extreme articulation with the 33's you might want to add an anti-sway bar for towing. 17 footer would not be a problem, you might also want a drop ball mount to level the trailer.
Angryeel posted 11-26-2001 04:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Angryeel  Send Email to Angryeel     
Thanks to everyone for the great replies.

Chap, I have not purchased a bronco yet, I have found some 74-77's with 4 wheel disks, they are tough to come by, but there are a few. Some of the ones I have found have been converted, some came that way. I think the last 3 years or so, ford just pieced them together with whatever was around. That is why there is so much variety as to what you find for a tranny and t-case as well as axles. Idealy the one I will buy will have 4 wheel disks, nine inch rear, dana 44 front, c-4 or c-6 tranny and the j-drive transfer. You are definitely on the right track about the sway bars and articulation. This will be more of an on road rig, no extreme articulation and the hitch will certainly be a drop mount. Thanks again for the info

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