5.9 towing capacity vs. 5.2 - North American Grand Cherokee Association
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Old 05-28-2003, 07:44 PM   #1
JEEPS5
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Default 5.9 towing capacity vs. 5.2

I did some research on towing capacities of the 98 ZJs two V-8s. I found mixed results on what they can both tow. I figure the 5.2 is 6500 lbs. I see the 5.9 rated at only 5000 lbs. What is the deal with this? Some sites are puzzled at the 1500 lbs reduction in towing cap. I have seen 5000, 6500, and 6700 lbs for these two engines and can't find a solid answer. Can anyone shed any light on this? If this is true with the 5.9 why the low towing capacity?

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Brian
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Old 05-29-2003, 07:53 AM   #2
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I am almost certain that the 5.9 has a reduced towing capacity because of the electric cooling fan setup it has. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 05-29-2003, 08:19 AM   #3
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you are correct sir. the electric fan and the tendency for the 5.9 to run hot anyways (probably due to the electric fan) limit its towing capacity.

now i know someone is going to argue this but you have to realize that jeep recognized this problem and had to cover their ars.

sure you can tow as much as the 5.2, but you have to watch the engine/trans temp. if you overheat the engine, you will also be over heating the trans, probably doing more damage to the trans.

if you live in a cooler climate, you may have no problems at all, but just be smart and cautious.

the 5.2 is 3500 w/ a normal hitch and 6500 w/ a weight distribution hitch. i don't know the specifics on the 5.9 but i know it is a little less.

if you are going to tow near your vehicles limits on a regular basis, you probably need to do some cooling system upgrades regardless. i also suggest trailer brakes b/c the zj brakes suck anyways. it just makes towing less stressful.
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Old 05-29-2003, 11:26 AM   #4
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Both V-8's tow like a sonofa*****. Trust me, I've owned/towed with them both.
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Old 06-01-2003, 06:19 PM   #5
MJBert
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Default 5.9 towing capacity vs. 5.2

I had these same questions myself when I bought mine. I'm not 100% positive, but I've always read that the 5.9 has a lower capacity due to 2 reasons. One, the gear ratios in the transmission are different, so it doesn't have quite as much torque from a dead stop (the tranny, not the engine, obviously). The second reason is that the 5.9s don't have an auxillary tranny cooler availible, which was given on 5.2s with a towing package. I have no clue as to why they would delete the cooler on the 5.9s, as I can't see any benifit of not putting it. The transmission changes were there I'm sure for gas mileage and/or more acceleration as you got past the "off the line" stage.
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Old 06-02-2003, 06:55 AM   #6
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the key is to keep the engine/trans cool (in operating temp range).

also, a very important factor is to not use cruise control when towing especially if hills are involved. cruise often downshifts the trans which also unlocks the torque convertor. this generates more heat and usually the trans does not have time to cool off before hitting the next hill.

i used to turn OD off unless i got on the highway and needed it (over 60 mph). now that i've switched to 4.56s... i need OD all the time... :lol:
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Old 06-02-2003, 11:08 AM   #7
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Hey Dracer... How does it tow in OD with the 4.56s? What weight do you tow?

Thanks, Mike.
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Old 06-02-2003, 11:37 AM   #8
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overall i think it is about the same as 3.73s w/o OD. had a little more torque before but it is still adequate.

last week i towed a 6x12' uhaul trailer loaded pretty heavy for 30 miles w/o any problems. of course you could tell when only the empty trailer was back there but overall it did pretty well both trips.

i tell you though, i'd really noticed how much my brakes suck after going to 32" tires. they are definitely in need of some help.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:48 AM   #9
martinbrown0986
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i use mostly 6.5 basically i am towing truck driver at 24 Hour NYC Towing Services, it better then all.

Last edited by martinbrown0986; 05-08-2019 at 12:51 AM.
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