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  #1  
Old 03-06-2015, 01:33 PM
Dorama1427 Dorama1427 is offline
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Default Towing a Miata with a 4x2 3.0 Manual?

Hi,

I'm looking to purchase a first-gen Miata as a toy to take to track days. I have a '92 Ranger that my wife and I are fond of, but I'm curious to know if it can tow that Miata safely. The car will stay street legal, but I expect it'll break at the track so to make sure I can get home, I want to tow it.

I've researched this pretty heavily, but I can't suss out the details. I think the tow capacity is high enough, but it seems to be close. I'd rather ask you guys before attempting anything.

Our Ranger:
4x2 3.0L, 5-Speed manual, standard cab and bed. No upgrades to anything, including suspension. Only has 150K miles, original clutch, and in great shape. I would install a hitch for towing.

Miata: First-gen, curb weight is 2,070 lbs, and I plan to use a tow bar, so there's no trailer weight. Also towing lights, of course.

Naturally I'll give the truck a tune-up and install new brake pads and shoes.

Can the truck handle it, and are there other things I should do? I plan to buy the car this fall for next year, so I have a few months to prepare.

Thanks guys!
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Red '92 4x2 regular cab. Manual transmission. Great old truck that still hauls. We inherited from my wife's grandfather. I'm trying to take care of it as well as he did.

Last edited by Dorama1427; 03-06-2015 at 01:45 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2015, 01:51 PM
Eikonic Eikonic is offline
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Default Re: Towing a Miata with a 4x2 3.0 Manual?

I tow all kinds of crap wih my bumper hitch, boat, pop up camper. You shouldn't have a issue with towing a Miata. I wouldn't try and do 2/300 miles. And I got a 170k on the odo. But I would use tow dolly and not the bar..
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2015, 02:54 PM
Dorama1427 Dorama1427 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eikonic View Post
I tow all kinds of crap wih my bumper hitch, boat, pop up camper. You shouldn't have a issue with towing a Miata. I wouldn't try and do 2/300 miles. And I got a 170k on the odo. But I would use tow dolly and not the bar..
Thanks, I appreciate it! Why not a bar? I'm not against a dolly, but a bar is by far the cheapest option and doesn't weigh anything.
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2015, 03:14 PM
cowboybilly9mile cowboybilly9mile is offline
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Default Re: Towing a Miata with a 4x2 3.0 Manual?

You really need to look in your owners manual (or find the owners manual online and read it) to correctly answer the question. Standard transmission Rangers take a huge hit on the towing capacity compared to one with an automatic. Sure, your Ranger will move it, even a Yugo will move it but there is the matter of stopping it and the potential liability consequences for towing something that weights more than what the tow vehicle is rated at by the manufacturer, should an accident occur (and maybe not even one that was directly your fault). There also states that, if they see what looks to be an overloaded vehicle, are prepared to deal with that one. So now, after learning this and realizing how a worst case scenario could be permanently life changing, you get to decide how to research the answer and proceed.
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:05 PM
Shayzar7 Shayzar7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboybilly9mile View Post
You really need to look in your owners manual (or find the owners manual online and read it) to correctly answer the question. Standard transmission Rangers take a huge hit on the towing capacity compared to one with an automatic. Sure, your Ranger will move it, even a Yugo will move it but there is the matter of stopping it and the potential liability consequences for towing something that weights more than what the tow vehicle is rated at by the manufacturer, should an accident occur (and maybe not even one that was directly your fault). There also states that, if they see what looks to be an overloaded vehicle, are prepared to deal with that one. So now, after learning this and realizing how a worst case scenario could be permanently life changing, you get to decide how to research the answer and proceed.
Agreed. Also, consider installing a frame mound receiver. Well worth the $150 or so to get it and install yourself.
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2015, 04:33 PM
cowboybilly9mile cowboybilly9mile is offline
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Default Re: Towing a Miata with a 4x2 3.0 Manual?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayzar7 View Post
Agreed. Also, consider installing a frame mound receiver. Well worth the $150 or so to get it and install yourself.
Yes. Provided that the vehicle makes the grade, use a receiver hitch. This because, and once again and with a few other reasons, in the owners manual it will be found that the bumper hitch is rated as being capable of towing not much more than very lightweight utility trailer with lawn clippings and a mower in back.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:03 PM
Dorama1427 Dorama1427 is offline
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Default Re: Towing a Miata with a 4x2 3.0 Manual?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboybilly9mile View Post
Yes. Provided that the vehicle makes the grade, use a receiver hitch. This because, and once again and with a few other reasons, in the owners manual it will be found that the bumper hitch is rated as being capable of towing not much more than very lightweight utility trailer with lawn clippings and a mower in back.
A frame mounted hitch was always the intention. I would never tow anything heavy from the bumper. Unfortunately, the owners manual was stolen a few years ago when someone broke into the truck and raided the glove box. That's all they got, so big score for the morons...

Anyway, the manuals I can find online state anywhere between 1,600 lbs to 2,300 lbs, depending on configuration, so clearly it does matter to me, but I can't find anything specific.

I take this seriously, so your warnings are definitely heard, but I was hoping you guys could give me more information about my trucks' capacity and safe towing tips since that stuff is a little hard to find on a truck so old.

I appreciate the responses and look forward to any more advice you guys have. Thanks
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:15 PM
mrmoerder mrmoerder is offline
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Idk sounds a little close. Id try it, but if you have any probs stopping, just borrow a full size, dont jeopardize safety!
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2015, 08:36 PM
Dorama1427 Dorama1427 is offline
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Default Re: Towing a Miata with a 4x2 3.0 Manual?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmoerder View Post
Idk sounds a little close. Id try it, but if you have any probs stopping, just borrow a full size, dont jeopardize safety!
It does sound close!

Here's what I've found so far...

My VIN details: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/vi...CR10U8NTA71125

And a towing capacity website:

http://trailers.com/tow-capacity/ind...emplate=normal

Seems like my little guy COULD tow up to 2,700 lbs with the tow packages, but I don't have those.

I could borrow my brothers' '05 Colorado, which has a 4,000 lb capacity, so that's a no-brainer. But I'd rather not have to rely on him every time, he lives a bit away.

Ah well, I'll keep looking. I'd really prefer to use the Ranger, since I want that to be a project truck anyhow.

Thanks again, guys.
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