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What year was WJ the best? : for towing?

Old 11-17-2015, 09:01 AM
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Default What year was WJ the best? : for towing?

I recently was given a 1984 25 ft Sleekcraft Offshore powerboat with a 454 out drive. The only catch was that I had to locate a trailer for it. Done; found a Long Trailer Co 28ft roller all galvanized 3" box steel with double axles. The best I can fiqure the boat weighs 3200lbs and maybe 1500lbs for the trailer. I will have it weighed next month when the engine gets back in, but for now lets say it's 5000lbs. Their's no way my little 99 2WD XJ 4.0 is going to pull that thing up the boat ramp come spring. I got looking on craigslist and the 99-04 WJ 4WD are reasonable, but which one? I'm thinking V8, 4WD, or 4.0 with 4WD. Any suggestions. I've had my issues with the XJ, and this forum helped me thru, so I don't mind fixing stuff, just not everyday.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:55 AM
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I recommend getting a 3/4ton truck to tow your boat.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:55 AM
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http://www.wjjeeps.com/trailer.htm but i would find out for sure what the boat weights and trailer to see if you can pull it or need a pickup.
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:01 AM
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leaf sprung is definitely more desirable than coils for towing as I see it. I'm towing a 6000 lb boat with a coil sprung Grand Cherokee and it sags pretty good if I don't get weight distributed perfectly.

Even leaf sprung, you're pushing the limits of towing for these rigs. My Grand is rated at 6500 lbs but I would be VERY leery of putting that much weight on the hitch.

If you're towing a few miles to the ramp and back at moderate speeds, you'll be fine. just don't expect to run up and down hills safely with that much weight. Make SURE you have at least one brake axle on the trailer and make sure you keep your trailer brakes (surge hopefully) tuned up and ready to help you stop. good tires on the trailer as well.

I've got a set of air bags for my coils I've yet to install. Load leveling shocks and a few other things to up it capability, but at the end of the day, its a grocery getter with decent offroad capability. Know that it won't tow very well going into this. Also, hook whatever you buy to your boat and do a test drive with the boat hooked.

With that in mind, definitely get the V8 if you stick with a grand. Run bigger tires to help with unsprung weight as the tail will want to wag the dog at higher speeds.

Also, careful with a roller trailer. Seen dingbat owners undo safety chains/bow strap too soon. dropping the boat off the trailer well before it was backed into the water

Last edited by denverd1; 11-17-2015 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:35 PM
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My though is this; you'd be pulling 5000 lbs with a 4000 lb vehicle. I think I'd want a truck for that and the trailer equipped with brakes. Automatic trailer brakes are good, but I personally like an manual overide on the trailer brakes so I can control the trailer better.

With ANY tow vehicle, the transmission builds a lot of heat and needs additional cooling.
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
My though is this; you'd be pulling 5000 lbs with a 4000 lb vehicle. I think I'd want a truck for that and the trailer equipped with brakes. Automatic trailer brakes are good, but I personally like an manual overide on the trailer brakes so I can control the trailer better.

With ANY tow vehicle, the transmission builds a lot of heat and needs additional cooling.
good point on trans cooling, I overlooked that. I've got a trans temp gauge in my GC and have thought about adding an aux cooler. My typical tow is 10 miles or so, rarely above 45 mph. barely gets hot in those cases.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:43 PM
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My 04 WJ/4.7HO with Overland edition came with a factory towing package Class IV hitch, 3.73 gears, oil/trans/steering cooling pkgs., D30/D44 both with posi-tracks.


It hauls my XJ fine on a all steel car trailer 21' with brakes on both axles.
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:15 AM
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But i beat the boat weights more then he thinks it does.Call a boat place and ask whats the round about weight of a boat that size and style they will know.
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Old 11-19-2015, 06:13 AM
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To answer your original question, it really doesn't matter much what year you choose because they all have the same engines, transmissions and options. The WJ was just made from 99 - 04. After that they became the WK.

Fred has about the best rig in a WJ.
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewmp6 View Post
But i beat the boat weights more then he thinks it does.Call a boat place and ask whats the round about weight of a boat that size and style they will know.

I have a feeling that Andrew is right on this and the best choice would be a 99 up F-250/350 Diesels would be a better choice for that kind of weight. When we pull in the mountains we use one of our Crew Cabs to pull with they were made for that.
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:36 AM
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Maybe get on a boat forum and ask how much does the boat weight.Towing something heavier then you should can cause you problems like the trailer driving you,Or worse d.o.t. pulls you over and pulls out the scales.If over weight its a fine and they make you drop the trailer on spot and come back with a bigger truck.And really the heavier the weight your pulling the longer wheel base you want to control it.
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:43 AM
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I seen a guy in a Geo Metro pull a 16 foot fiberglass boat. It pulled the boat pretty well...until the first stop sign went right past him.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:46 AM
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Hilarious! I can see that happening!

I have a 15 ft travel trailer, registration weight 3200 lbs, that I pulled with my 3/4 ton Chevy 4x4. IDK what it actually weighs but it was a handful until I hooked up the electric brakes. Anytime I braked, it would try to push my truck and caused it to wander like it was trying to pass me. My brother gave me a trailer brake control unit that just controlled the trailer with a lever and had to be manually applied. I could stop the whole rig with just the trailer brake if I wanted to. I didn't use it much and now it sits in my back yard rotting away. Anybody want it, come and get it. It needs work but would make a good hunting camp.

It's a 75 Mitchell, built in Colorado.

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Old 11-20-2015, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
Hilarious! I can see that happening!

I have a 15 ft travel trailer, registration weight 3200 lbs, that I pulled with my 3/4 ton Chevy 4x4. IDK what it actually weighs but it was a handful until I hooked up the electric brakes. Anytime I braked, it would try to push my truck and caused it to wander like it was trying to pass me. My brother gave me a trailer brake control unit that just controlled the trailer with a lever and had to be manually applied. I could stop the whole rig with just the trailer brake if I wanted to. I didn't use it much and now it sits in my back yard rotting away. Anybody want it, come and get it. It needs work but would make a good hunting camp.

It's a 75 Mitchell, built in Colorado.
wish I was closer! need a good deer lease trailer.

I think he's close on the weight. although that big block with a trans is prolly 1000 right there. maybe 5500. depends on how much "stuff" in the boat as well. I've got 400 lbs of lead in mine. LOL

I'm thinking Fred's is a unicorn and the best WJ out of the box I've ever heard of.
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