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Ford Question...ZF 5 speed

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 78Buford, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. 78Buford

    78Buford 1/2 ton status

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    I'm in the process of building a 1988 F-250 4x4 with a built-for max-torque 460, C6, and 4.10 gears. Over the weekend, I stumbled across a 1993 F-250 4x4, freshly rebuilt 351 (runs strong), 5 speed, headers, flowmasters, with crappy 3.55 gears for a cheap price. I picked it up this morning. The truck needs body work. Anyway, I'm going back & forth between parting out the '93 F-350 & finishing the current tow-rig in progress vs. regearing the '93, fixing the body, and using it as the tow rig. I also plan to use it as a part time DD. Some people don't like to tow with manual transmissions, but I'd personally prefer it over an automatic.

    I'll be towing about 9000 lbs of combined trailer & trail rig once per month in the winter, twice per month in the summer. The average trip is 100 miles each way, but I would be taking it out of state a few times per year…up to 500 miles each way.

    I've had one other F-250 with the ZF 5 speed, but I didn't tow with it. I've heard that some 5 speed transmission aren't meant to be used under heavy load in 5th gear. The reason I ask is because if I go with the '93 F-350 as a tow rig, the 3.55's definitely have to go. If the ZF isn't meant to tow in 5th gear, I'd use 4.10's & tow in 4th gear. If the trans is meant to be towed with (obviously if the engine has sufficient power to pull 5th gear) I'd slap a set of 4.88's in it and be able to use 5th gear most of the time while towing, and have increased low end power. Here is what I want to know:

    Is the ZF trans designed to be able to use 5th gear while lugging 9K lbs behind it?

    Anyone else towing a lot of weight with a 351 5 speed?

    Thanks,
    Roy
     
  2. Jishory

    Jishory 1/2 ton status

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    what tires are on it? with stock size i think it would be ok with 4.10's, id downshift when climbing hills and what not though. i googled it and never saw anything about a weak 5th gear like a nv4500. seems like zf's are really tough, they primarily make really heavy duty drivetrain parts
     
  3. 78Buford

    78Buford 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks Jishory. I'm not a manual trans expert...never researched them too much as I've had automatics in most of my trucks. I was under the impression that the Ford ZF 5 speed is a stout trans, but that it was "a notch below" an NV4500 in terms of pure strength.

    Roy
     

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