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Thread: Your opinion on an 04 Navigator as tow vehicle!

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    Senior Member e5pr1t's Avatar
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    Default Your opinion on an 04 Navigator as tow vehicle!

    OK, I need some advise on a tow vehicle/DD for myself. Ever since I drove my Spec Miata to the track last month w/no AC in the summer heat. I started looking for an SUV that can tow. I have to convince the wife that it'll be a family car, so SUV is a must. Full size is also one of the requirement. Wife doesn't justify why I need 4 cars so I'm going to have to let go one of my car, and that should be my beloved STI.

    Anyhow, I found this 2004 Lincoln Navigator for around 8.5K - 9K with approximately 100K miles. I know it's pretty much a fixed up Expedition, but the price is good & wife likes the Navigator. I did a little bit of research and I'm aware of the air suspension problem, I plan to do the coil spring conversion if I pick up the car. 04 Navigator has the 4 speed automatic tranny (changed to 6 speed in 05), and towing capacity shows 8300 lbs from spec sheet. Overall the car seems quite nice & the auto check report looks good. Of course I have to look at the car in person to determine the condition of the car.

    My question is, is there anything else I need to be aware with an 04 Navigator? Can you guys give me your opinion on this car as a tow vehicle / family car?



    BTW I have 30 days of unlimited Auto Check from today, so if you need to run a VIN please email me at at0227@gmail.com & I'll shoot the report back to you. Many Thanks.

    Alan
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1991 SuperMiata, 139 rwhp - My SuperMiata Race Car!
    2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S - Daily Driver / Weekend Cruiser
    2015 Dodge Durango R/T - Family Car / Tow Vehicle

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    I admit my bias toward GM trucks, but I honestly believe a Suburban or Tahoe in the same year would be a better pick. I have towed with an '03 Expedition and I didn't think much of it.

    I admit I liked the independent rear suspension when I wasn't towing a trailer, but I really didn't like the way it felt while towing. Maybe a Denali would appeal to your wife?

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    Senior Member e5pr1t's Avatar
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    Thank you ucfbrett. The problem with GM trucks is wife only likes the 07+ style, which the prices are still quite high at this time, almost twice as much. Can you share with me if you had the 4.6L Expedition or 5.4L? Thank you.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1991 SuperMiata, 139 rwhp - My SuperMiata Race Car!
    2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S - Daily Driver / Weekend Cruiser
    2015 Dodge Durango R/T - Family Car / Tow Vehicle

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    I don't remember what engine it was, but most likely the 5.4 since press vehicles tend to have the preferred equipment. The engine worked well, but the rear suspension is what detracted from it as a tow vehicle.

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    Señor Member b3d3g1's Avatar
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    I have a '99 Expedition w/ 5.4L engine that I tow my miata with on an open trailer and daily drive for the past 1.5 years. My trailer is an old heavy carson and has surge brakes that weren't working until 2 months ago but it never felt out of control or dangerous. You shouldn't have a problem with an '04 navigator but make sure it has the complete tow package with trans cooler. I average about 14 or 15 mixed driving, 18 freeway, and 12 towing but I accelerate from stop slowly, coast downhill, and try not to accelerate uphill. I wanted a sequoia but this was $4700 including tax and registration, eddie bauer trim too.

    I thought the rear air bags were supposed to be better for towing as long as they work? Mine have never had a problem and it levels out nicely when loaded. I'm at 161k on the clock currently.
    -Anthony
    1991 Miata - Trogdor SuperMiata
    2011 Ram 2500 - all the torque
    2016 Kawasaki Versys 650LT - commuter
    2016 KTM 690 Duke - parked at the dealer

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    Senior Member granth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b3d3g1 View Post
    I I average about 14 or 15 mixed driving, 18 freeway, and 12 towing but I accelerate from stop slowly, coast downhill, and try not to accelerate uphill.
    ditto here but with my Villager Minivan, accelerate from stop slowly, coast downhill, and try not to accelerate uphill.

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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    I rented a Navigator last year at the T25 when I landed in SFO. It was alarmingly large, but I thought it handled surprising well. I could stuff a lot of gear and crew members in there to shuttle them back and forth for showers. The car had good hustle despite it's bulk. The heated seats were awesome after lifting and moving stuff all day at the track.

    The only thing I didn't like was the automatic step bars. They were flush as rocker panels when retracted, and would deploy when the car was unlocked. I kept slamming my shins into them all weekend.

    I know you can get them cheap, should be less to insure than an Escalade.
    Yer pal,
    Force

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b3d3g1 View Post
    I have a '99 Expedition w/ 5.4L engine that I tow my miata with on an open trailer and daily drive for the past 1.5 years.
    Yours is a completely different model, with a live axle at the rear, which is better for towing.

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    Señor Member b3d3g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    Yours is a completely different model, with a live axle at the rear, which is better for towing.
    You're right. The change in generations was 2002 for the expedition and navigator. At least the engine is still the same underwhelming v8 between my 99 and the 04.
    -Anthony
    1991 Miata - Trogdor SuperMiata
    2011 Ram 2500 - all the torque
    2016 Kawasaki Versys 650LT - commuter
    2016 KTM 690 Duke - parked at the dealer

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    Yours is a completely different model, with a live axle at the rear, which is better for towing.
    You have to try the X5 sometimes and we can discuss that afterwards

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    I bought a 2004 chevy silverado 5.3 with tow package with just over 100k on it, needed a transmission with in one year. Trans shop says they just dont make them like they used to. I would suspect any vehicle which is not a heavy duty tow vehicle will need a trans right around 100k. Figure ~2k for trans rebuild.

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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Op bought the Navigator.
    Supermiata S1, SuperMiata S2, Supermiata S3
    13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
    17 GT350 !!
    08 M3 - Carmax warranty !!
    96 NSX
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    ^^^William bought the farm . . .
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
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    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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    dirty smack talker hakeem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    Yours is a completely different model, with a live axle at the rear, which is better for towing.
    I've heard this statement alot, but for my 20' enclosed I can't tell any difference with my '12 Durango vs a live axle truck. I've towed with an F150, F250 and Dodge 3500 before owning the Durango and aside from the ride being about 200x better than any truck, I can't detect anything worse about the independent rear.

    What is better about the live axle?

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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakeem View Post
    I've heard this statement alot, but for my 20' enclosed I can't tell any difference with my '12 Durango vs a live axle truck. I've towed with an F150, F250 and Dodge 3500 before owning the Durango and aside from the ride being about 200x better than any truck, I can't detect anything worse about the independent rear.

    What is better about the live axle?
    Do you have the tow package with air suspension on your Durango? That's how most SUVs with IRS get better towing results. I haven't towed with a vehicle with IRS but I believe the issue is when braking and turning, the IRS suspension does something weird.
    99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
    '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
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    My understanding of live vs. IRS is that you have to make sure with IRS you either have auto-level or a suspension that has zero bump steer to avoid tire wear -- whereas a live axle maintains camber/toe even if sparks are flying from your bumper....

    Steve

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    dirty smack talker hakeem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    I haven't towed with a vehicle with IRS but I believe the issue is when braking and turning, the IRS suspension does something weird.
    This is probably why I haven't noticed any issue. I drive my tow vehicle the way I drive my racecar; flat out.

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakeem View Post
    I've heard this statement alot, but for my 20' enclosed I can't tell any difference with my '12 Durango vs a live axle truck. I've towed with an F150, F250 and Dodge 3500 before owning the Durango and aside from the ride being about 200x better than any truck, I can't detect anything worse about the independent rear.

    What is better about the live axle?
    I think all Durangos come with air-adjusted suspension because without it, towing feels weird and sometimes scary. I have towed with the Durango and it works great because of the air suspension.

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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    ^^ Air suspension is part of the towing package on the new Durangos. At least this was the case a year ago when I was shopping for a tow vehicle. Not a single Durango at Crown Dodge in Ventura had the tow package and they had at least 10 on the lot.
    99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
    '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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