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How to Find Out the Axle Ratio on a Ford Pickup

by Thomas West

A vehicle's axle ratio is determined by the number of revolutions of the driven wheels in relation to engine and transmission revolutions. Some vehicles, such as Ford pickups, are available from the factory with different axle ratios, depending on the owner's needs. A numerically lower ratio might be desirable to an owner who prioritizes fuel economy over hauling or towing capacity, whereas a numerically higher ratio might provide extra power at low speeds, but at the cost of lower fuel mileage. Find out what axle ratio your Ford pickup has in just a few minutes.

Open the front door on the driver's side.

Locate the Truck Safety Compliance Certification Label on the door pillar near the door latch.

Locate the two-digit code in the box labeled "AXLE," which is just below the bar code.

Match the code on the label to the corresponding rear axle ratio. The code "15" means your truck is equipped with a 3.15 axle ratio; "27" refers to a 3.31 ratio; "19" to a 3.55 ratio; and "26" to a 3.73 rear axle ratio.

Know that if your truck is equipped with a limited slip or locking differential, the rear axle codes displayed on the label will be "H9" for a 3.55 ratio, "B6" for a 3.73 ratio, and "L6" for a 3.73E rear axle ratio. (Note: The 3.73E designation refers to an electrically locking differential, while the other two designations refer to a standard locking differential.)

Warning

  • Depending on what engine and transmission your Ford truck is equipped with, its towing capacity is partially determined by the rear axle ratio your truck has been installed with. For instance, a 2010 Ford F-150 regular cab equipped with a 3.15 rear axle ratio can tow a trailer weighing a maximum of 8,000 pounds. By comparison, an identical truck but with a 3.73 ratio can tow 11,300 pounds. Make sure you verify your rear axle ratio and have your trailer weighed before towing, or you could damage your truck's drive train.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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