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Should the overdrive be on or off when I am pulling a trailer weighing approximately 4500 pounds

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Hello kking.

I would run with overdrive off with that.
You may be able to flip it on when going on a downgrade. That's what I do to save a little fuel and reduce engine RPM.
When in drive the link between the engine and the driveshaft is the same speed,so there is less heat being generated inside the transmission.
More heat is developed in overdrive.
The overdrive gear is not designed to pull loads in many transmissions as well.

Hope this answers your question.
Thank you for using FixYa.
KL

Posted on Mar 13, 2011

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Here is more than you expected on hitches and vehicles ... all for free and in under 30 minutes.

These are general hitch comments. I am not familiar with your particular vehicle. You have not listed the year, for one thing. Further, I don't know where you are located, different countries have different standards and vehicles are built for the standards where the vehicle is expected to be sold. Ratings vari year to year and also due to installed equipment - automatic or manual transmission for example. Typically, manual transmission vehicles have a lower rating than automatic transmission equipped vehicles. If your vehicle has overdrive, still another rating and/or restrictions apply. Additional weight may require additional transmission cooling capacities as well as engine oil cooling. You may need bigger tires and possibly, different rims.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating should be posted on the driver door pillar as well as in the owner manual and maybe under the hood on a lable. Full particulars for your vehicle can also be found at www.ford.com. The label you find is the rating for your vehicle as it came equipped from the manufacturer. The label you find in your neighbor's truck in his or her driveway may be different.

For 'lighter' reading, checkc this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_vehicle_weight_rating

You will find lots more information than the average person needs. It all boils down to this:

The vehicle weighs something ... lets call it curb weight. No fuel, no oil, no passengers, just the vehicle, straight off the assembly line - nothing added.

The vehicle will weigh more when you fuel it up, put in passengers and cargo; the owners manual, a box of tissues, a DVD player, Big Mac and fries - ANYTHING YOU PUT IN. You can load your vehicle up to the Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. and expect it to oplerate safely.

The NET weight is the difference between the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and the Curb Weight --- the NET is the combined weight of the passengers, fuel, tissues, ink pens, electronics, etc, stuff you added. Dont exceed the MVGWR.

Your vehicle has a TOW capacity. I have seen "limits" up to 15,000 punds depending upon the hitch. Your vehicle may have a lower or higher "limit" and there may be other factors involved.

Tow capacity will come in two categories, first is a simple trailer. A simple trailer will not have a weight distributing hitch nor will it have any stopping ability on its own. I would suspect the simple weight rating would be limited by the bumper mounted ball and probably around 1,000 pounds. The limit should be stamped on the bumper near the hole whre the ball will be mounted.

Your vehicle may be capable of pulling a large trailer commercial or non commercia, camper, utility, what ever. If you have a PickUp, it will depend if you have a 5th wheel arrangement or a frame mount arrangement. A 5th wheel arrangement (hitch will be in the bed of your pickup) will have one rating and a frame mount will have another - and I am talking about a weight distributing hitch, with springs, anti-sway, etc, not a simple ball mount. Typically, such a hitch is limited to about 1,000 pounds, posibly up to 1,500 pounds which will be called HITCH weight what the hitch would exert downward if the jack (hitch) were placed on a scale.

A frame mounted hitch will come in two parts, the actuall ball (including trunions for springs and anti-sway device) and a "Receiver" which will bolt directly to the frame. The hitch may be adjustible or welded. The hitch is inserted into the 2 inch square receiver and secured with a special hardened steel pin itself secured by a "safety pin". Expect to pay around $600.00 or more for such a hitch. Don't save money by installng a used hitch or one not designed your your vehicle. It must be adjusted to your truck and your trailer to assure proper distribution of the load.

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Another consideration is the tires on your truck. In my example, you just put 400 more pounds IN your vehicle. Can your tires each handle the additional 100 pounds??? Again, read the side wall of your vehicle tires. ASSURE YOU MAINTAIN APPROPRIATE TIRE PRESSURE ALL AROUND INCLUDING THE TRAILER for maximumm safety.

Thank you for your interest in FixYa.com

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