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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
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    5,241

    Default F-150 suspension issues?

    I have a 2011 F-150 that's rated to tow 9500lb. It's not the one with the highest tow rating, but it's still supposed to be able to handle a good but of weight.

    So if I drop a 1600lb trailer onto it, empty, and it's just a little flatbed so 1600lb is a high guess, why on earth does the back end of the truck drop 12", sending the headlights pointing up? That seems less than normal. Now I do haul everywhere with a WDH, but with any kind of load at all, I have less than 4" clearance with the bars on the hitch.

    I'm taking it into the shop as soon as I can, but can someone help me understand why it's doing this? The Chevy rated to tow less doesn't drop at all, even with a plain hitch and 7k pounds on it.

    I bought the Ford cause it handles so much better, but I'm starting to wonder if I made the right choice. The suspension really worries me.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2011
    Posts
    1,288

    Default

    Towing capacity has to do with power of the drive train. It sounds like the truck is not equipped with the suspension usually associated with a heavy duty tow package. I have a 2011 F-250 and the truck doesn't drop at all with the flatbed or horse trailer attached but it has the HD tow package.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    42,512

    Default

    None of my F150s have dropped more than just a hair with the 16' steel GN.
    Definitively the front has not pointed up.

    Do go see what the mechanic has to say, it may be the pickup, or something about the trailer hookup?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2008
    Posts
    739

    Default

    If the ~200# tongue weight from a 1600# trailer is causing a 12" drop, there is really nothing to "understand", something is baaaaad broken.

    Hell, I can sit on the trunk of my Nissan Altima and it won't squat 12".
    Disclaimer;
    Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
    Not in the 42% or the 96%



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2008
    Posts
    739

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FitToBeTied View Post
    Towing capacity has to do with power of the drive train. It sounds like the truck is not equipped with the suspension usually associated with a heavy duty tow package. I have a 2011 F-250 and the truck doesn't drop at all with the flatbed or horse trailer attached but it has the HD tow package.
    If that little trailer crushes it to the ground, sounds like the truck's suspension is not associated with a road worthy vehicle.
    Disclaimer;
    Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
    Not in the 42% or the 96%



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2010
    Location
    Gum Tree PA
    Posts
    1,304

    Default

    Tow capacity is a generic term used by the manufacturer. Generally it means the truck, if set up properly can tow X amount. Towing means the weight being pulled not the amount of weight put on the tongue/hitch. If it does not have the “tow package” it most likely does not have heavy duty shocks/springs among other things. Some trailers, not necessarily horse are heavy at the tongue but can be compensated by balancing the load. Double axel trailers take care of this for the most part. Bumper hitch horse trailers are designed for “good balance” most good GN too. This is a new truck but if it doesn’t have a tow package and or your trailer/s are heavy “tongued” this maybe the problem. Or you have a broken spring/s and or under sized shocks. Take it to a good trailer repair shop and have them take a look at it. Upgrading shocks is not too expensive but springs can run into $$$. We tow a 2 horse with a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee, V8, with tow package, along with a 16’ dual axle farm flat bed with a heavy but balance loads and it tows and rides like a champ.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2010
    Location
    Amsterdam, NY
    Posts
    309

    Default

    A good weight distribution hitch can make a big difference, too. The trailer place will also be able to tell you if that would help. Any trailer place, (horse, camper, utility) should be able to evaluate your truck.
    IF YOU THINK YOUR BRAIN IS NOT WORTH PROTECTING WITH A HELMET, YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT!

    Damrock Farm



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    9,247

    Default

    Something is not right.

    This is a bumper-pull trailer? At 1600 lbs.? If that's true and it is balanced like most bumper pulls you should have 10-15% on the tongue. That's 160-200 lbs. (more or less).

    What happens if an average male steps on the bumper? If the nose points at the sky you've likely got a truck problem. If it doesn't then you likely have a trailer problem.

    It's also possible that you've run into one of the real-world limitations of the F-150 (a half-ton truck). Assurances of capability by truck salesmen or spokesman (sorry, Mike ) to the contrary not withstanding.

    Something just isn't right.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
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    Default

    I don't have time to read all the responses, but a little clarity.

    This happens with several different trailers. The 1/2 ton, similarly-equipped Chevy doesn't do even close to the same thing. This one is the next to highest tow-rating for the F-150. The only way to get higher was to have the 6.0L engine.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
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    5,241

    Default

    Oh, if my 160-lb self stands on the hitch, it does move around a decent amount. No clue how much it sinks though since I happen to be standing on the hitch, and thus cannot look at the truck from the side



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hampton Bay View Post
    Oh, if my 160-lb self stands on the hitch, it does move around a decent amount. No clue how much it sinks though since I happen to be standing on the hitch, and thus cannot look at the truck from the side
    Two possible solutions:

    First, put a yardstick in the ground and note the reading at a convienient point. Then stand on the bumper and read the yardstick again.

    Second, have a friend stand and either measure, photograph, or just comment on the amount the vehicle changes.

    Simple, yes?!?!?!

    That this is happening with multiple trailers suggests a vehicle issue.

    In any event, take it to the shop for inspection.

    Or, another alternative, call Click and Clack!!!!!

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
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    Default

    Who are click and clack?

    Will check out how much it sinks with me or my friend when I have some time this week, assuming I get home from work before dark. I'm not un-clumsy enough to make the yeard stick thing work without falling off the hitch

    The hitch is one of the WDH that's adjustable and rated for 1k tongue weight. I aimed high because loaded, my trailer is 7k, and 650lb tongue weight seemed like a low guess. If I put the trailer onto the WDH and drop the jack, the whole mess sinks quite a bit. Jacking it up after grabbing the ball, then attaching the bars, does help limit the drop some, but it still drops more than the 1/2 ton 2004 regular-cab Chevy did.

    This truck definitely has the factory towing package. I bought it new at Thanksgiving specifically to haul with, and I did my research into the tow ratings of all the different options. This one is rated at 9300 or 9700lb, somewhere in there, I just can't remember specifically since they don't put it on the sticker. But it shoudl easily handle a flatbed BP trailer empty, IMO, without the back end dropping like it does. My friend who has hauled his whole life went "WTF?" when he helped me hitch up that trailer. It pulled it fine, once we got a forklift to raise the bars on the hitch. Unfortunately, now said bars will not come out of said hitch.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,438

    Default

    Click and clack, from "car talk" radio show. Diagnose and help car owners. Very amusing and educational, I think they are on NPR.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
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    9,247

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chall View Post
    Click and clack, from "car talk" radio show. Diagnose and help car owners. Very amusing and educational, I think they are on NPR.
    Spot on!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.cartalk.com/

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,870

    Default

    Towing specs 2011 F150 http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/specifications/towing/ (pay attention to the notes at the bottom)

    The suspension on the 2011 F150 is soft (the bed is much higher) but I do not have problems with a 2 horse steel gooseneck and 2 big horses. It seems that you must have too much weight on the hitch, or no towing package.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2011
    Posts
    1,012

    Default

    This will solve all your issues...


    http://www.suspensionconnection.com/...g-springs.html


    .



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2003
    Location
    Orlean, Virginia
    Posts
    2,980

    Thumbs up it's a hitch problem?

    You may be confusing hitch types. Sounds like you are using a class 2 hitch with this trailer. Class 2's are bumper pull where the ball is on the bumper and all the weight is on the bumper or rear end/tires. Hence there are severe weight restrictions for what the bumper can handle. No horsetrailers should ever be pulled with a class 2 hitch. Only boats, 2 wheel carts & such.
    A class 3 hitch is bolted/welded onto the undercarriage of the trucks frame and distributes the weight evenly over the 4 tires. It's also got to be level when the empty trailer is hooked up. You should never trailer anything that isn't level. Excessive tire wear and overheated tires can result.
    I have had a coupla F150's and only had a sagging problem with an old one after I'd gotten into the habit of leaving it hitched to my horsetrailer and eventually the rear springs sagged. Just needed some replacements which I bought stronger. Always leave trailers/trucks UNHITCHED.
    Whenever there's sag you need to adjust the ball height on the hitch. Not possible with a class 2 but easy with buying a new ball for a class 3.
    Just sayin'!!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2008
    Posts
    739

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wateryglen View Post
    You may be confusing hitch types. Sounds like you are using a class 2 hitch with this trailer. Class 2's are bumper pull where the ball is on the bumper and all the weight is on the bumper or rear end/tires. Hence there are severe weight restrictions for what the bumper can handle. No horsetrailers should ever be pulled with a class 2 hitch. Only boats, 2 wheel carts & such.
    A class 3 hitch is bolted/welded onto the undercarriage of the trucks frame and distributes the weight evenly over the 4 tires. It's also got to be level when the empty trailer is hooked up. You should never trailer anything that isn't level. Excessive tire wear and overheated tires can result.
    I have had a coupla F150's and only had a sagging problem with an old one after I'd gotten into the habit of leaving it hitched to my horsetrailer and eventually the rear springs sagged. Just needed some replacements which I bought stronger. Always leave trailers/trucks UNHITCHED.
    Whenever there's sag you need to adjust the ball height on the hitch. Not possible with a class 2 but easy with buying a new ball for a class 3.
    Just sayin'!!
    Somebody certainly is

    http://www.etrailer.com/faq-hitchclasses.aspx
    Disclaimer;
    Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
    Not in the 42% or the 96%



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,870

    Default

    This will clear things up for EVERYBODY;
    http://www.hitchinfo.com/index.cfm?e...ntpieceid=5145
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



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