The Ford Excursion was only made for a total of five years, but it was a powerhouse when it came to towing capacity and some of the ratings I found are mind-boggling.
These came with different engine configurations and different axle ratios, which made the specs a bit different. Let’s dive in!
There were a few differences when it came to the capacity numbers, based on the different model years. The overall capacity was increased on almost every model of the Excursion in 2003 and later models.
Overview of the Data For the Ford Excursions:
Engine Choices: There were 4 different motors that came standard with these SUVs and these were the 5.4L (V8), 6.8L (V10), the 7.3L (diesel) and the 6.0L diesel engines. The 5.4L and 6.8L were used every year the Excursion was made, from 2000-2005. The 7.3L (diesel) was used from 2000-2002 and was later replaced in 2003-2005 by the 6.0L (diesel) but had similar specs as the 7.3L motor.
If you want a great breakdown of what engine options were available for what trim levels, the brochures are a great resource that lays all of that information out nicely. I recommend that you take a look at them if you are curious.
I wanted to list the different engine options that were available for these massive SUVs in order to break up the data a bit, but to also compare how the different engines from the different model years stacked up.
- 2005, 2004 and 2003 Excursions with the 5.4L (V8) engine had a towing capacity of 6,100-7,600 lbs. and 2002, 2001 and 2000 models had a 6,200-7,200 lb. range.
- 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002 Excursions with the 6.8L (V10) engine had a towing capacity of 9,600-11,000 lbs. and 2001 and 2002 models had a 9,600-10,000 lb. range.
- 2005, 2004 and 2003 Excursions that had the 6.0L (diesel) engine had a towing capacity of 11,000 lbs.
- 2003 Excursions with the 7.3L (diesel) engine had a towing capacity of 11,000 lbs., while the 2002 models had a 10,500-11,000 lb. range.
- 2001 and 2000 Excursions with the 7.3L (diesel) engine had a towing capacity of 10,000 lbs.
4WD VS 2WD Models: If you study the charts, you will see a difference in the numbers for 2WD VS 4WD models and in some cases, there was a 400-500 pound difference between the two, 2WD models having the advantage over 4WD models.
This was only true for models that had the 5.4l engine equipped and the 6.8l engine though. I even found that for some model years equipped with the 6.8l motor had the same tow ratings for both 2WD and 4WD models, so it was true only in certain circumstances.
Trim Levels: Here is a breakdown of the different trim levels that were offered for the 2005-2000 model years. Most trim levels (except Eddie Bauer models) had the option of having all of the available engine options for that specific year, which shows in the overview data that I have listed below.
- 2005 and 2004 XLS trim levels (5.4, 6.8, 6.0) with 2WD had a tow capacity of 6,100-11,000 lbs. and the 4WD models ranged from 7,200-11,000 lbs.
- 2005 and 2004 XLT trim levels (5.4, 6.8, 6.0) with 2WD had a tow capacity of 6,100-11,000 lbs. and the 4WD models ranged from 7,200-11,000 lbs.
- 2001 and 2000 XLT trim levels (5.4, 6.8, 7.3) with 2WD had a tow capacity 6,200-10,000 lbs. of and the 4WD models ranged from 7,200-10,000 lbs.
- 2003 and 2002 XLT Value/Premium trim levels (5.4, 6.8, 7.3) with 2WD had a tow capacity of 6,100-11,000 lbs. and the 4WD models ranged from 7,200-11,000 lbs.
- 2005, 2004 and 2003 Eddie Bauer trim levels (6.8, 6.0, 7.3) with 2WD had a tow capacity of 10,000-11,000 lbs. and the 4WD models ranged from 9,600-11,000 lbs.
- 2005, 2004 and 2003 Limited trim levels (5.4, 6.8, 6.0, 7.3) with 2WD had a tow capacity of 6,100-11,000 lbs. and the 4WD models ranged from 7,200-11,000 lbs.
- 2002, 2001 and 2000 Limited trim levels (5.4, 6.8, 7.3) with 2WD had a tow capacity of 6,200-10,500 lbs. and the 4WD models ranged from 7,200-11,000 lbs.
- 2002 Limited Ultimate trim levels (6.8, 7.3) with 2WD had a tow capacity of 10,100-10,500 lbs. and the 4WD models ranged from 9,600-11,000 lbs.
Overall Capacity: The capacity ratings did not differ throughout the short lifespan of the SUV and in fact, there was only a difference of between 100-1,000 pounds for all model years and engines.
The towing capacity for the 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 and 2000 Ford Excursion ranged from 6,100-11,000 pounds overall and was mainly dependent on the engine that you had equipped.
2005 & 2004 Models:
The 2005 and 2004 models had the exact same specs when you compare the charts, along with the same three engine choices, axle ratios and GCWR specs.
The average towing capacity for the 2005 and 2004 Excursion's ranged from 6,100-11,000 pounds, for all models.
As you can see below, both charts are identical in every way, except for their appearances and the specs are shown for the 5.4l, 6.8l and the 6.0l engines. The 5.4l had the lowest numbers on the charts, ranging from 6,100-7,600 pounds, while the 6.8l and 6.0l engines boasted the best figures, ranging from 9,600-11,000 pounds.
For the 2003 model year, we see that there were four different engine choices: the 5.4l, the 6.8l, the 7.3l and the 6.0l engines.
The towing capacity range for the 2003 Excursions ranged from 6,100-11,000 pounds, depending on the engine that was equipped.
Again, the 5.4l engine came up short compared to all of the other engines, ranging from 6,100-7,600 pounds and the other three engine choices offered 2,000 pounds or more overall capacity, ranging from 9,600-11,000 pounds. The 7.3l and 6.0l engines had the same tow specs for the 2003 models and the 6.0l engine replaced the 7.3l engine after 2003.
For 2002 Ford models, there were only three engine choices: the 5.4l engine, the 6.8l engine and the 7.3l diesel engine.
We can see from the chart below that the average towing capacity for the 2002 Excursions ranged from 6,200-11,000 pounds, which was slightly different from the '03-'05 models.
The two powerhouse engines for the 2002 models were the 6.8l and the 7.3l engines, having a capacity range of between 9,600-11,000 pounds, compared to models that had the 5.4l engine equipped that had a significantly lower capacity range of 6,200-7,200 pounds.
2001 & 2000 Models:
For the 2001 and 2000 model Excursions, the overall towing capacity ranged from 6,200-10,000 pounds overall and the same three engine choices that we did for the 2002 models.
The same pattern of higher capacities for the 2001 and 2000 models were seen with the larger 6.8l and 7.3l engines, but the range was not that drastic (9,600-10,000 lbs.) compared to later model year Excursions. The 5.4l models were right on par though, having a much lower rating of between 6,200-7,200 pounds.
Axle Ratios Make A Difference…
On some of the Ford Excursions, having a different gear ratio can make a huge difference in how much it can tow when the same engine is equipped.
A great example of this is with the 2003-2005 models equipped with the 5.4L engine (2wd) which has a 1,500 lb. difference between the 3.73 and 4.10 axle ratios.
There is a big difference in maximum capacity for these SUVs that were equipped with the 6.8L engines when looking at the 3.73 and 4.30 axle ratios.
The 2002-2005 (4wd) models had a difference of 1,400 lbs. when looking at the different axle ratios! The 2003-2005 models (2wd) had a difference of 1,000 lbs., still pretty significant!
How Do I Find My Axle Ratio?
There is usually a sticker on the inside of the driver’s side door jamb of most Ford vehicles and towards the bottom of that sticker, you will see the word “AXLE” and below it there will be a code. That code will signify which axle you have on your Excursion.
|Axle Code||Axle Ratio|
|C1||3.73 (Limited Slip)|
|C2||4.10 (Limited Slip)|
|C3||4.30 (Limited Slip)|
Note: Sometimes your “AXLE” code on your sticker will be blank, which is what is reported by a lot of Excursion owners, but you can also find the code on the differential as well, along with what type of fluid the differential is filled with.
What Tow Package Did The Ford Excursions Come With?
Even though these SUVs were powerhouses, when it came to towing, they had a pretty basic tow package that came standard on nearly all models from 200-2005. These standard items were:
- 7 wire harness and pin connector
- A hitch receiver (usually a class IV)
- Trailer brake wiring (feed kit)
These were the standard three things that came with these vehicles and nothing else was available from the dealer in the form of an upgraded kit, as far as I could find. The only upgrades that I could find were ones that people had done themselves or had a shop perform for them.
There weren't a lot of details in any of the manuals when it came to trailer brakes and the majority of the information I found can be summed up easily. Ford stated that the trailer brakes must conform to local and federal laws and must be installed correctly and that was about it. There was no weight rating that was specified, like there are with newer model year vehicles.
You will need to check to see what your state requires when it comes to trailer weight and trailer brakes to make sure that you comply with their requirements. On a side note, you will also need a brake controller and a 7 pin connector (included) if you are planning on using electric trailer brakes.
Resources I Used...
As always, I like to post where I found my information and for the Ford Excursions, I used Ford's Towing Guides because the information was laid out in an easy to read format and was fairly simple, as you can see from the images of the charts above.
2005 Ford Guide 2004 Ford Guide 2003 Ford Guide 2002 Ford Guide 2001 Ford Guide 2000 Ford Guide
- A resource that has all of the model year's brochures is auto-brochures.com.
Last updated on June 1st, 2022 at 09:05 am