3rd gen vs. 4th gen towing

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CharlesP

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I have a 2012 Expedition Limited (3rd gen), with 125k miles on it. We tow a ~6800 lb trailer loaded (maybe a tad more on long trips). We've made several long trips from Florida to out west (UT,AZ,CO,WY) with it and it does pretty good. It's certainly not a speed demon going up Wolf Creek or Monarch passes, and we usually let it rest at the top, but other than that it does good.

My question is: Should we look at buying a new(er) 4th gen Expedition ? Will the twin turbo V6 work ? Or should we keep maintaining the 2012 (it's starting to have little things like blend doors go wrong) ?
 

Meeker

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When I went from my 2006/5.4L V8 to the 2018/3.5L EcoBoost it was a night and day improvement! Way more torque in the new engine, at lower rpms, and the 10-speed keeps you in the sweet spot way more often. I'm towing 7200lbs loaded in Western Canada. You should definitely look at a new one.
 

chuck s

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The only reason I even have an Expedition is to tow a camper. Well, that was the initial reason but now I'm happy to have one in general.

6500ish travel trailer. First one was the 2007 5.4 V8 with HD tow and 3.73 axles. Thought it was the near perfect tow vehicle for 10 years in the eastern mountains of PA, WV, VA, NC, etc. At 175,000 miles I replaced her with a 2017 3.5EB with HD Tow and my opinion on the '07 dropped like a stone. The 3.5EB engine is superior in every way even with the 6-speed transmission. 10-speed came out in 2018 but the controls were so different from the '07 I didn't wait. No gearshift lever for one thing.

-- Chuck
 

LG_123

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I also love our 2019 platinum for towing. Good long wheelbase with the Max length, plenty of power, and all the bells and whistles.

It’s a really great car to drive. But it might also be nice to save the money for another year or two and hope they come out with a hybrid version which would help on steep climbs in places like Cape Breton (which is far more dangerous and difficult than the Rockies).
 

Fasttimes

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The only reason I even have an Expedition is to tow a camper. Well, that was the initial reason but now I'm happy to have one in general.

6500ish travel trailer. First one was the 2007 5.4 V8 with HD tow and 3.73 axles. Thought it was the near perfect tow vehicle for 10 years in the eastern mountains of PA, WV, VA, NC, etc. At 175,000 miles I replaced her with a 2017 3.5EB with HD Tow and my opinion on the '07 dropped like a stone. The 3.5EB engine is superior in every way even with the 6-speed transmission. 10-speed came out in 2018 but the controls were so different from the '07 I didn't wait. No gearshift lever for one thing.

-- Chuck
Chuck, you and are in almost the same boat. Towing bout 7400 all over Florida and the occasional NC/TN mountain trip. Been towing with a 2010 5.4 HD tow with 3.55 gears for the last 6 years and now have just picked up a 2017 Limited w/ 7.73 gears.

I played around with the WDH this weekend and did a very brief tow on the highway to see how it was in preparation for it's fist tow trip this weekend. So far it's a huge difference in feel. Way more torque on the 17' Ecoboost, response is much quicker not just in acceleration, but also steering feel. Although I feel gas mileage may have taken a hit slightly but won't know till this weekend's trip is complete.

Going to head up to the Smokies beginning of August and hopefully I'll have it all dialed in by then. Been reading with interest about the tow haul/lock out gears procedure quite a bit for that trip up the mountains with these turbo charged motors. Not sure what I'll do. I-26 heading into NC from the south has quite the climb. Leaning towards locking out 6th gear and see how it performs.
 

chuck s

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I've never seem any reason to lock out any gears on this transmission with either the 3.73LS gears on the '07 or the 3.31 gears on the '17. HD Tow came with 3.31 that year and 3.73LS was an additional option. Have yet to miss it.

Only towing concerns I ever had was the transmission which will heat excessively if the transmission fails to lock up in whatever gear it's in and this is easily detected if it's constantly hunting (down then up shifting constantly). In this case locking out 6th could be beneficial assuming it locks in 5th. No hunting in my towing experience. Sometimes it just wants to stay in 5th though.

You can watch transmission temperature on the dash. Constant temperature above 225°F for extended (10s of thousands of miles) periods is not good.

-- Chuck
 

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Fasttimes

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I've never seem any reason to lock out any gears on this transmission with either the 3.73LS gears on the '07 or the 3.31 gears on the '17. HD Tow came with 3.31 that year and 3.73LS was an additional option. Have yet to miss it.

Only towing concerns I ever had was the transmission which will heat excessively if the transmission fails to lock up in whatever gear it's in and this is easily detected if it's constantly hunting (down then up shifting constantly). In this case locking out 6th could be beneficial assuming it locks in 5th. No hunting in my towing experience. Sometimes it just wants to stay in 5th though.

You can watch transmission temperature on the dash. Constant temperature above 225°F for extended (10s of thousands of miles) periods is not good.

-- Chuck
Ok, good to know. Do you know if there is a way to use both sides of the dash information screens for Engine information? The right side of the gauges screen has nothing of use to me, phone, audio, or navigation. If I have the info screen with the tranny temps on the left I'd love to have other information on the right like engine temps. Or is this a Forscan type of deal?
 

GlennSullivan

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We have a 2011 5.4 3 valve 6 speed with 3.31 rear and a 2017 3.5 T/T with same 6 speed and 3.31. We tow a 6500lb car trailer up to 1250 miles per trip and the difference between towing with the 2 vehicles is day and night. They both handle about the same, but the 17 has so much more torque and power and gets 3+ more mpg towing or not.The only thing I like less about the 17 is the power steering has too much assist for 65+ highway towing.
 

chuck s

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There is a giant warning for engine coolant overtemperature that fills the entire left panel when it occurs but no means to monitor this other than when the little vertical gauge that shows in some left panel modes. Just have to flip the toggle switch occasionally to see what you want to see.

Too many gauges can result in information overload. We rarely need to know engine temperature in degrees or oil pressure psi we just need to know they're in the normal range. High normal and low normal are still normal.

There are aftermarket gauge sets that plug into the OBD2 port and can display many additional items. I had one on the '07 which showed transmission lockup and temperature. Could also read cylinder head temperature which was interesting. This gauge addressed all my towing concerns.
-- Chuck
 

JasonH

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Here is part of my setup with a OBD dongle and Torque app.
 

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