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Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       08-04-2010, 4:20 PM Reply   
I'm in the market for a new truck. Most likely a 1/2 ton Crew cab 4X4. I have a thing about big car payments, so I usually draw the line around 20K and put a chunk down.

A friend has a nice Dodge 1500 with a 4.7. Sounded like a small motor, but the specs actually aren't bad. Sometimes the specs stated on paper, and reality, are very different. So I'm looking for some feedback.

It would be my daily driver. Weekends I haul dirtbikes, launch the boat, maybe pull a heavy load a couple times a year. I would love a diesel, but they're I can't justify the cost, or afford to fix it if it breaks.

One thing I HATE is being underpowered. Has anyone bought a 4.7 and regreted it? I would be interested in hearing from people that don't live in the flat lands! :-)
Old    Aaron Ware (99_slaunch)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-04-2010, 4:36 PM Reply   
We had a 4.7 Dodge quad cad 2wd and it did lack power. We never towed any thing with that truck. At the same time I'm glad I never had to. We live in the flat lands to so hills/mountains would only be worse. It would get 13-14 mpg regardless how we drove it. Will it tow? Yes. Will it be under powered? IMO yes.
Old    Andy Graham (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-04-2010, 4:47 PM Reply   
I had a 2000 Dodge Durango with this engine in it and it SUCKED. Fine most of the time, but in hot temperatures and on mountain grades, managing the engine temperature was a constant worry. In the end, this is what killed the vehicle. Up the grade from Parker to Havasu after a margarita at dinner, maybe 95-100 degrees out. Didn't see the temp until it was too late: Blew a hose, warped the head. The Druango was dead & buried there in Havasu that weekend. After that, I bought a used Yukon Denali with a 6.0 engine. Tows like a dream and that temp gauge never moves!

Since you're in California also & likely to do mountains, I'd get something with a different engine.

Last edited by ottog1979; 08-04-2010 at 4:50 PM.
Old    SamIngram            08-04-2010, 4:57 PM Reply   
I had a 2005 Dodge 1500 2wd Crew Cab with the 4.7 in it. It do ok towing the boat the 60 miles to the lake. That was with minimal hills though. If you put a hill in its way it would bog down to about 30 mph while towing my SAN.
Old    Who Cares (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       08-04-2010, 5:35 PM Reply   
wow! I am sorry to hear all the poor reviews. I had a 2002 quad cab with a 6" lift running 37" tires. I geard her down to 4.56. and that truck made me a believer in Dodge. I put 180k on her with nothing more than oil changes she towed my boat (07vlx) and work trailor(5k+) constantly and never had an issue. I live in the northwest so there is no such thing as flat land in my world. on realy hot days I would have to keep an eye on the temp but only once did I have to turn off the ac.( grants pass in the summer towing the boat and all our camping gear). In my opinion I would do it again and not look back.

Last edited by liljohn; 08-04-2010 at 5:44 PM.
Old    Aaron Ware (99_slaunch)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-04-2010, 5:47 PM Reply   
That sir is a whole lotta gear for that truck. Don't miss understand the truck was fine. No doubt though they are under powered end of statement. You should test drive one and put your boat behind at the same time. Get on the Dodge forums and read what bothers have to say.
Old    Who Cares (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       08-04-2010, 6:08 PM Reply   
Aaron while the gearing was low running 37" tires and towing 5-7k around 5 days a week it was great. I would not under estimate the 4.7L. I would be willing to bet most of you are running 3.53 gears wich are bad for towing no matter what motor you have. 3.73 or 4.10 gears are minimum when towing witha stock rig regardless of motor. I currently have a 04 tahoe with the 5.3L and 3.73 gears and it does NOT tow as well as my dodge did.
Old    Aaron Ware (99_slaunch)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-04-2010, 6:17 PM Reply   
Any 5.7 or 6.0 will tow like a champ with 37's and 3.73's. The 4.56 gear is making up for lack of power. Put a 4.56 in your tahoe and it will tow the same as your truck did. A 4.7 and a 5.3 are verry comparable with each other. No replacement for dissplacement.
Old    Blake Hughes (blake_hughes)      Join Date: May 2004       08-04-2010, 6:20 PM Reply   
I had an 2005 4dr 2wd 4.7L... I hated every minute of it. It looked great, but had no power and got terrible gas mileage... And I never towed with it.
Old    Jeff DeVeer (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       08-04-2010, 7:04 PM Reply   
I have an '04 5.7L hemi and it tows my 23' MasterCraft with tandem trailer pretty well. I do get beat up on MPG with the boat back there though. I've only owned the boat and the truck for a couple of months now though.

On the 4.7L I would steer clear of the manual transmission even if you do like a manual. I was very close to buying an '05 with manual and then I checked with Dodge and found out that it only could tow 4,300-5,300 depending on the rear end ratio. The same truck with an auto could tow over 2,000 lbs more. That must be one weak manual trans they put in those.
Old    RM (RPM_DLX)      Join Date: Jul 2010       08-04-2010, 11:33 PM Reply   
I have a 05 Ram QC with the 4x4 and hemi. I couldnt imagine not buying the hemi with this truck. The hemi has 110 more hp, 80ft-lb more torque and both engines in this truck get nearly identical fuel economy. To me thats a no brainer. In my case I bought my truck new and it was only an 800 dollar option. The hemi seems to be gaining a reputation for great reliability on the dodge forum and seems to have less issues than the 4.7L. I can say that I am at a little over 70k on mine with zero issues. This truck is making me a believer in Dodge.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       08-05-2010, 6:20 AM Reply   
I wouldn't want to tow with that small of an engine, unless maybe you're talking small utility trailers and such, but certainly not a heavy boat. I've towed with half ton Fords and half ton Chevys and towing just plain sucks in any half ton. Small blocks don't make torque, and if the truck is a short wheel base it can be a pain with a heavy trailer yanking the truck around. It was bad with my F-350 when it had a 351w in it. I built a 460 and put that in it and now it tows fine. It was either build a new 460 for it or swap in a used 7.3 diesel. I probably would do a diesel if I were to do it again, for the extra torque and additional MPG when towing. I only get about 10 MPG towing my boat on the highway vs 12.5 unloaded on the highway.

But yeah, if I were you I'd scrap the idea of a small gas engine in a half ton truck, or any Dodge automatic trans and look at 97 and older Fords. You can find them in nice condition for under $10k (presumably that's in the ballpark of what you'd put down on a new/newer truck) with either a 460 gas engine or 7.3 diesel. Just avoid the non turbo diesels as they are dogs without a turbo. Or just pony up and get a new 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck if you want something brand new. Just my two cents.
Old    Jeff DeVeer (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       08-05-2010, 7:26 AM Reply   
I towed my 5,000+ lb Mastercraft from Pensacola, FL to Baton Rouge, LA on the interstate at 65 MPH with my dad's 4.8L Silverado and although it wasn't in much of a hurry to get moving it did fine. My 5.7L Hemi does a bit better.

My neighbor pulls his Super Air Nautique 210 with a 4.8L Tahoe and he says it does fine too.

It depends on what your expectations are and how much towing you will actually do. In my case the 4.7L would have been sufficient since I will rarely pull the boat out of town and I live 4.5 miles from the launch with only one hill to climb. The 5.7L just happened to be what I found the better deal on.

I'm a real paw paw on the highway when pulling the boat. Usually 65 MPH is the fastest I'll go while towing a significant load. It's easier on the equipment, saves gas and is safer vs. pretending like nothing's back there like I see a lot of people doing. If this is your style when pulling a boat then I'd think the 4.7L would be fine especially if you're talking about a lighter boat with a single axle trailer.

That said don't get the 4.7L unless it's just a killer deal. You can find a good deal on a Hemi if you're digging the dodge. I just got an '04 SLT Hemi, quad cab, 2wd, w/ 47,000 miles, new tires, etc. in above average condition for $10k even. It's not 4x4 but it's got a limited slip differential so I've had no problems with wet launch ramps.
Old    Bhyatt (bhyatt_ohp)      Join Date: Oct 2007       08-05-2010, 8:03 AM Reply   
The problem with most of you guys is you think you have to have a TON of power to tow wake boats that truly do not weigh all that much (unless its an x-80 or something 24ft+). I see it all too often on this forum. If its not a diesel, a hemi, a 6 liter, etc. people bash it. The fact is the 4.7l motor is great and the Dodge makes a great chassis for towing. Another fact is, some people dont want to spend $20k+ on a tow vehicle, which is respectable. Depending on production year, It puts out about 230hp and 290lb.-ft. Yeah, the hemi is much more powerful, but the 4.7 puts out respectable numbers. Plenty enough to tow J-Rod's x-star.

We have an 2004 Durango 4.7l, 2wd with 3.55 gears (fiance's) that we tow a 4,500lb travel trailer with alot and occasionally our 08 VLX. It does bog down to about 60mph occasionally on LARGE hills on the interstate, but otherwise rock and rolls at 70mph+ towing. It does have tow/haul button and tranny cooler. Being a Chevy guy, I didn't know about it at first. Now after all summer of towing, I'm very happy with its performance. Even happier than the vehicle cost under $10k and has 60k miles on it. When not towing, we get about 18-19mpg on the highway.
Old    Andy Graham (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-05-2010, 8:30 AM Reply   
Hey, don't get me wrong. I LOVED the look of my Durango and drove it 205,000 miles. It was reliable and never left me stranded (until the day it died).

Most of the time it towed just fine. BUT, long grades were manageable, but you had to manage them. Add to that any amount of heat, in my case about 90-95 degrees or better and I had to be vigilant about watching and managing the engine temp. Not once or twice but ALWAYS in these conditions. It was not fun. Look, the 4.7 is 283 cubic inches - NOT a big engine.

To replace it, I bought a used 2004 Yukon Denali, 6.0 engine, with 64,000 mile on it for $14,000. Tows like a dream and gets better mileage both towing and not than the Durango.
Old    Colin P (PictureMeRollin)      Join Date: Apr 2010       08-05-2010, 10:07 AM Reply   
I tow my 21 foot ski boat with the previous generation engine, the 5.2 magnum and I think its great. My Dakota has 3.90 gears and original tire size. 180k miles and still going strong. The downside is it gets about 10mpg while towing, not so good. Yeah I cant to 80mph through the mountains but I'm OK with that!
Old    Dave Kiehl (dave27)      Join Date: May 2005       08-05-2010, 10:29 AM Reply   
My best buddy pulls my 05 sanger V-215 with the 4.6 liter 1997 F150. It does great. But it won't gain MPH's up a steap grade, other than that its great. He has towed to clearlake a bunch of times. He has over 200K on it and has the same tranny.

I wished J-rod, you had asked this question about 2 months ago. My other buddy sold his perfect condintion 2000 F250 7.3 diesel 4X4 crew cab with a banks kit on it for 15K. That would have been perfect for you.
Old    Matt (mattscraft)      Join Date: May 2009       08-05-2010, 11:46 AM Reply   
I have a 2007 RAM 1500 Quad Cab 4X4 with the 4.7 (318) motor, purchased with about 20,000 miles on it. I have put 10,000 tow miles on it so far, really only use it to tow, with no problems. (5,000 lbs or so) We tow 1 to 2 trips a year 600 miles round trip and local. Road trips through the mountains. I also have an old 94 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 318, 140,000 miles some towing and I will say this motor is pretty much bullet proof, been in the Dodge line for many years. As long as you tow with overdrive off, keep the RPM,s up and the tranny from constantly kicking out of overdrive you should be fine. I have also towed with an Ford Explorer V6, same boat, of course this was a company truck so I really didn't care if it was thrashed, but it performed remarkably well.

I rented a Ford 2500 Super Duty to tow my boat home from Norris to Cincy once and felt it was not a whole lot better in the mountains; you still had to "Down Hill" it to keep from running it hard on the up-hills. The gas mileage according to the computer was 8.4 vs mine averages about 11.2, again if you tow, not a big deal.

With all of that said, I would prefer a bigger V8 5.7 or a Diesel is your ideal option for towing any kind of load, but on a budget, the 4.7 will do the job with common sense applied to towing.
Old    Colin P (PictureMeRollin)      Join Date: Apr 2010       08-05-2010, 12:51 PM Reply   
The 5.2 is considered the 318. 4.7 liter = 287 cubic inch.

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