At what point do you need 4x4?

acefuture

@acecraftco
Apr 3, 2019
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Costa Mesa, CA
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Ace
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Always changing
I absolutely love my truck. It's an 09 F150 5.4 that I bought it with 80k miles and have since basically rebuilt the top end, and done a lot of upgrades like beefed rear leafs, lift and level, exhaust, wheels and tires, etc. and now has ~180k. I don't see myself ever needing anything else. But my only issue is it's only RWD. It's never really been an issue other than the fact that it limits me from where I can camp when I tow my toy hauler, and the occasional steep or slippery ramp. In my ever quest to build boats that I dig, I could for-see myself building a 22' at some point. At what point, or weight do you guys think a 4x4 is absolutely necessary? 2 weekends ago I went out to Arizona to pick up another project and trailer, and while there we took my buddies wake board boat out for the day, and no way could my truck have pulled it out of the water at that ramp at the end of the day. We had his truck (4x4) with the rear wheels half way under water before being able to load the boat. Would rather not have to buy a new truck, but a tow pig might have to be a thought in the future
 
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Mr Main22

Shoot em & cook em
Apr 18, 2014
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Open Ocean
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BajaLifeStyle
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Parker 21
I have a 4x4 f150 and have put my boat in the water/ in deep sand in BAJA. It's really worth it in that sense if you're gonna be doing that

However, you might be surprised as to what your truck can do with proper tires at a concrete ramp.
 
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Rusty123

Yep
  • Mar 7, 2019
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    Rusty
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    Bayliner cuddy
    Wow only 80k miles and heads/and or gaskets blown?

    depending on the condition of ramps you are using, steepnesss, slippery etc.
    as mr main says, tires are everything! Get tires that are meant for wet surfaces, start your drive up the ramp in 2nd gear instead of 1. More weight in the bed for traction helps.
    I would say you prob dont need 4wd unless you are on muddy slippery ramps.
     
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    Big_Tuna_

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    Aug 3, 2017
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    Bigtuna
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    Parker 2310
    Do you have an open diff? That's the real buzz kill of 2wd. Crap tires with an open diff = spinning one tire.

    My Silverado 1500 is 2wd but I upgraded the rear end with limited diff, taller gears and some beefy tires. Pulling my 23' boat out is easy but I have only tried south shores
     
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    acefuture

    @acecraftco
    Apr 3, 2019
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    Costa Mesa, CA
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    Ace
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    Always changing
    I have a 4x4 f150 and have put my boat in the water/ in deep sand in BAJA. It's really worth it in that sense if you're gonna be doing that

    However, you might be surprised as to what your truck can do with proper tires at a concrete ramp.
    As much as i'd love do, I don't forsee myself in deep sand launching with this truck
    Wow only 80k miles and heads/and or gaskets blown?

    depending on the condition of ramps you are using, steepnesss, slippery etc.
    as mr main says, tires are everything! Get tires that are meant for wet surfaces, start your drive up the ramp in 2nd gear instead of 1. More weight in the bed for traction helps.
    I would say you prob dont need 4wd unless you are on muddy slippery ramps.
    Not head gasket. Ford really blew it with these 5.4s. They made 2 versions, the 2 valve and the 3 valve. Unfortunately they didn't change the block and the oil galleys and oil pump arent big enough to supply ample oil pressure to the top of the motor, so the cam phasers (Ford's VVT) lose oil pressure and give out. So the entire timing of the motor goes to shit and it sounds like a clapped out diesel. Well it happened to me so I had to replace all the timing components, it ate a cam up, had to do phasers, lifters, rollers, etc. It was a pain in the ass. But Ford quoted me like $12k and I did it myself for $2k. So when I say "top end" it's a bit of an exaggeration since I didn't have to dick around with the heads too much thankfully.
    Do you have an open diff? That's the real buzz kill of 2wd. Crap tires with an open diff = spinning one tire.

    My Silverado 1500 is 2wd but I upgraded the rear end with limited diff, taller gears and some beefy tires. Pulling my 23' boat out is easy but I have only tried south shores
    It's a Limited slip 3:73. I also have 35" x 12.50 Toyo all terrains on it which help a ton.
    I've never slipped before, but don't want it to become an issue in the future.

    With this new whaler I'm building, I have as much weight on the tongue as I can safely which should help as well.

    Here's the rig

    IMG_7255 2.jpg
     
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    Big_Tuna_

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    Aug 3, 2017
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    nice truck. I can't imagine you will have any problems with limited slip and good tires, but only have experience only to south shores ramp
     
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    tuner

    pysgotwyr
  • May 24, 2006
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    Steve
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    260 Mackinaw
    With my F350, I pull my 26' Mackinaw out in 2wd, except for negative tides and a slimy ramp where 4wd was the only way back up. That marine growth is very slippery. I have 35" BFG KO2 tires and limited slip diff. Worst case, you may have to wait until the tide fills in.
     
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    Shewillbemine

    "should of" is NOT a thing
  • Oct 19, 2012
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    Shewillbemine
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    Chips N Guac
    Been towing my boat since 2012; have never used the available 4x4 on my Expedition. I'm also probably the only guy I know who uses wheel chocks while I'm on the ramp though.

    Our ramps are pretty friendly in Socal. But do what works for you.
     
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    flytie

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    Oct 20, 2012
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    GC
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    Out of Office - Custom Invader CC
    I have a 4x4 dually with a rear locker, all factory. Stick an electric locker in that thing and never worry again. I've only used my 4x4 in a ramp 1x.
     
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    acefuture

    @acecraftco
    Apr 3, 2019
    738
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    Costa Mesa, CA
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    Ace
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    Always changing
    Buy a Tundra! Problem solved. 🤣🤣🤣
    Ironically my buddies truck he uses to tow his wake board boat was a tundra and had me thinking. But I’m in(was) an odd position. My toy hauler is about 9k lbs loaded with my sand car. And up until this week my office was in Compton and I’m in Costa Mesa, so wanted to keep it 1/2 ton so I could get a bit better gas mileage. The tundra wasn’t anywhere near that. My truck has a cap of 11,500 making it best in class ever so it was a no brainer. I do like the tundras, but I moved offices to Costa Mesa, so having a 3/4 or 1 ton is justifiable now.

    On board compressor and air down...
    I’ve thought about going air bags and then putting in an on board compressor. But I’m trying to make things easier, not more moving parts haha
     
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    Arima-bob

    Ship faced aquaholic
    Mar 9, 2012
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    uh....
    After buying a 4x4 for the exact same worries, I can tell you that I have yet to pull my boat out in 4 wheel drive, and when playing in mud and sand, it really just gets you further into a mess. I stay out of sand and mud.

    FWIW, I only slipped on the ramp once. That was at Davies and I pulled my boat out at low tide. Went up the ramp sideways, but at least it wasn’t backwards. LOL. That was a 2000 F-150 2wd.
     
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    Dragon

    It is what it is...
    May 24, 2006
    423
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    SLO Co.
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    Paul
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    22' Pro Sport CC / 20' Skipjack Open
    I wouldn't own a truck that was not 4X. Cant remember a time I didnt have one in my adult life...? I hate getting STUCK!!! and with hunting, fishing, boating, a drive on the beach. A jaunt to the Snow. A Baja adventure, Another point break, etc. etc.

    You been living in the City too Long...I have been doing Construction all my life and Im OLD...I need it just to get around a Muddy jobsite...I have an 02 Tahoe 4X and a 04 Tacoma 4x the Tacoma will out live me. And I am going to have to replace the 1/2 ton Tahoe pretty soon. Probably a 3/4 ton GMC Truck., I have the Toyota if i need to save on gas.

    You wont go back...Like Dirty Harry said "A Man must know his limitations".
     
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    mrfishcado

    Los Panchos Sportfishing
    Mar 25, 2006
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    Pomona, CA
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    Paco
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    1996 Ranger 488VS 1980 24' Skipjack "La Cuarentona"
    2002 Suburban with an 8.1L engine 2WD and tow my 24’ Skipjack with no problem yet.
     
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    Grandpa

    Old Guy
  • Aug 15, 2006
    216
    211
    San Clemente
    Name
    Ron
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    Albemarle Express "Lily Rose"
    2005 F250 4WD diesel pulling 26’ Albemarle (approx 11k with trailer) out twice a year. Much easier with 4WD low range at the ramp. Had the 6.0 “ bullet proofed” and chipped for about 425 hp max.
    It’ll almost climb a tree...
     
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    Rjunky

    professionally unprofessional
    Sep 12, 2015
    61
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    35
    Santa Clarita CA
    Name
    Ryan
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    26 osprey lc
    my 17 f150 had 2wd and a E-locker never had a problem with my CC. my new to me f250 is 4x4 open diffs. so i use 4H when pulling the osprey up the ramp. the nitto ridge grapplers arent the best for ice or boat launch slime hahaha. elocker might be your ticket as some have already suggested!
     
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    KXKH

    Member
    Feb 28, 2018
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    19' Hobie
    4x4 with rear locker at minimum is a must for me. Then again I go places where my truck can get stuck like a seesaw. So it's 4x4 with rear and front locker now. I can't trust any truck launching and loading with RWD only, seen some very sketchy stuff out there. Had to pull one up, luckily I had a tow strap. A 4x4 with great tires like Goodrich KO2 is much more reliable, mud tires is even better at times.
     
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    Rivertrip

    Cabo 256 cuddycon
    Jun 20, 2015
    249
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    Steve
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    Cabo 256 cuddycon
    It's as easy as this...
    Having a 4x4 gives you piece of mind!
    You may not need it for years, but the time it saves your ass (or someone else's)
    it's worth every penny!
    End of story!!!
     
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