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How Does Axle Ratio Affect Towing

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Can you explain how axle ratios work?
I've been looking at trucks and they have different axle ratios. They have like 3.16 3.46 and 4...etc. I want a general understanding on how they work. Which would be better on a truck for a daily driver.? No towing. Thanks.

An engine transfers it's energy to the wheels through a series of gears in the transmission and in the rear axle. The gear ratios on cars refers to the number of full revolutions the engine must turn, before the gear will turn one full revolution. For example, 3.16 engine revolutions to 1 gear revolution. Smaller gears take more revolutions to turn and bigger gears take less revolutions to turn. Think of your car like a 12 or 18 speed bicycle. You are the engine, the pedals and cranks are the engine's crankshaft. The front sprockets are the transmission gears and rear sprockets are the rear axle gears. You could have a bicycle with only one, very big gear in the front and one big, equally sized gear in the back. Let's say it took one full pedal revolution to turn the wheels one revolution. This would be a 1.00 to 1 gear ratio. It would be very hard to launch the bicycle from a dead stop because you would have to crank the pedals very hard for one complete revolution, before the rear wheel on your bike would turn. A lightweight little guy with very strong legs might be OK launching a bike like that, but a 350 pound guy would struggle to launch his heavy body and the bike, with a 1.00 to 1 gear ratio. However, once you finally reached top speed, the bigger gears would be good, because you don't want your to be pedaling like crazy to maintain top speed. This is why modern bicycles have three front sprockets and at least 6 rear sprockets of various sizes, so you can have small gears that take multiple turns to rotate the wheels, for easy launches and pulling hills. The larger gears that take less turns to rotate the wheels are meant for pedaling at higher speeds on flat ground or when going downhill. Launching a car from a dead stop is quicker if it takes more gear turns to rotate the wheels once. Street drag racers and people who tow boats like gears with ratios like to use 4.10 or 4.56 to 1 gears for quick and easy launches. But what would happen if you wanted to cruise for several hundred miles, at 90 mph, with 4.56 to 1 gears? Your engine would be screaming (imagine peddling like crazy on small gears to maintain top speed). You would also burn more gas, beyond about 75 mph with 4.10 gears. Using bigger gears, which take less revolutions to turn, like 2.73 to 1 or 3.10 to 1 are not very good for taking off at stop lights, tossing you back your seat for drag races, towing a boats or a trailers up steep hills or for a lot of city driving. It takes longer to launch and build speed, but they are absolutely great for cruising at freeway speeds of 75 mph and higher and for keeping your engine RPMs nice and low at higher speed. They keep your engine quiet and happy at freeway speeds. Smaller gears, which take less revolutions to turn, like 3.73. 3.90, 4.10 or 4.56 to 1 gears are great for street drag racers who want quick launches and don't mind hearing the engine scream at 115 or 120 mph for several seconds. They are also good for city driving and towing heavy loads, where you are constantly launching from a dead stop, but they kind of suck at freeway speeds, because your engine has to turn faster to drive the wheels. They would require your engine RPMS will be higher at freeway speeds and the engine will be louder. For daily driving your best bet is to pick a gear ratio that is somewhere in the middle, like 3.31, 3.46, 3.55 or just stick with freeway gears like 2.73, 3.15 or whatever the manufacturer offers for fuel efficient freeway gearing. The 4.10 gears would increase your city gas mileage, but they would hurt your freeway gas mileage. You need to decide what you want to do with the truck and then you can pick the right gears. The gears won't affect your gas mileage that much if you always keep your speed under 60 to 65 mph. But, make no mistake, if you drive faster than about 70 to 75 mph hour, the gearing will affect your gas mileage by as much as 3 to 6 miles per gallon, depending on the gears you choose.

I look up most trucks and they only allow a 9600 lb towing capacity for 5th what truck allows 14000lb?
I search a lot of the big trucks and cant come up wiht a single brand to pull this weight in a fifth wheel, I have a ford f350 diesel, dualy and it is only ranked at 9600 what the heck does one need?

Ford chevy and dodge 1 ton trucks can hand 14,000 with the right options. You are probably looking at hitch ratings. Fifth wheel capacity is very different and very complicated because the weight is split between bed weight and tow weight. basically you have to look at the GCWR this is basicly what the max weight the vehical can handle not including its own weight. (you have to subract the weight of the vehicle and all its passanges gear) This should be in the door jam of every truck. The rear axle ratio can greatly affect its GCRW. You also have to make sure that the Bed of the truck can handle weight of the 5th wheel which is normal 15% to 25% weight of the 5th wheel. which is up to 2800. this is not including the hitch and any storage. You can very easy max out just about any 1 ton truck. I am sure many people exceed these rating but a cop can serious ruin your vacation if he wants too not to mention being sued if you where in an accident. Here is some specs on Dodges. ford

I need to know the horse power of a 2003 ford transit 2.3 Petrol minibus?
Its a 2.3 litre petrol engine 16V DOHC engine I need to buy & tow a large caravan so want to know if the minibus can tow it, What weight will this minibus tow comfortabley, I dont want to burn the clutch out every month

LOL oh but it is so much fun burnin clutches. First and foremost, if you have the Owners Manual for your caravan, it should have a Towing Capacity noted there. You have stated the engine 2.3 Petrol and that it is manual transmission. There might be other things that affect it such as optional axle ratios, lower gearing (higher numeric) can tow a bit more. Google on "2003 ford transit 2.3 Petrol towing capacity" finds the link below that provides the following estimated capacity... Towing Capacity: Brake(2000kg), Unbrake(750kg)

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