1989 Ford Truck Towing Specifications

by Robin Cochran
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camping,trailer image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com

Although Ford built its first truck in 1900, its first factory truck rolled off the line in 1925. In 1948, Ford launched the F-Series truck line, the beginning of an empire of popular trucks. As of November 2010, they remain the best-selling line of trucks in the United States.

1989 Ford Trucks

In 1989, Ford produced three truck models: the F-150, F-250 and the F-350. It offered the option of 4.9-liter V-6, 5-liter V-8; 5.8-liter V-8 and 7.5-liter diesel V-8.

The 4.9-liter V-6 can achieve 145 horsepower and 265 ft.-lbs. of torque at 2,000 rpm. The 5-liter V-8 has 190 horsepower and 275 ft.-lbs. of torque. The 5.8-liter V-8 has 210 horsepower and 310 ft.-lbs. of torque, and the 7.5-liter, diesel V-8 has 245 horsepower.

Towing Capacities

The 1989 F-Series pickups all came with a towing package, which included a heavy-duty cooling system and a 2-qt. expansion tank used to keep the oil, transmission and engine from overheating during heavy tows.

In general, a vehicle can tow 35 lbs. of gross vehicle weight for each horsepower its engine has. To calculate your maximum towing capacity, simply multiply 35 by your truck's horsepower rating, then subtract the total weight of the trailer you want to tow. The sum, the maximum amount of weight your truck will pull, will vary depending on your gear ratio.

For example, an F-series truck with a 5.8-liter V-8 with 210 horsepower and a stock gear ratio of 3.73 towing a 2,000-lb. trailer would have a maximum capacity of 5,350 lbs.

Gear Ratios

Determining your gear ratio will give you an exact tow capacity. To do so, contact Ford directly with your vehicle identification number (VIN) ready, as this is how they will be able to determine exactly what is in your vehicle. If you are mechanically inclined you can find the ratio by counting the number of teeth on the ring gear and the pinion gear. Then simply divide the number of teeth on the pinion gear into the ring gear. This sum is your ratio.

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