Upping GVWR

good_guygood_guy Member Posts: 11
edited March 2014 in Ford
I have a 99 F-150 SC 4.2l that's used to haul
frozen fish all around in my family's import
business. The problem is that the payload capacity
is lacking. It is equipped with a Glasstite
campershell so volume capacity is respectable at 48
boxes worth inside the bed plus about 8 more in
the cab if needed. But the weight is the actual
limiting factor. With the shell, full tank of gas
and me inside, I get about only 1200 lbs of fish to
work with which equates to 30 to 40 boxes only.
Sometimes, my mom would insist on joining me so
that takes out 5 boxes. We made a mistake of not
getting the F-250LD so we have to live with the
F-150 for now. I am seriously looking at the
Hellwig helper springs but I hear sayings that it
won't up my GVWR, if that is so, why would I
consider buying it? Anyways, I saw that the 4x4 and
ORP's have 500 lbs more on GVWR and I am imaging
this is due mainly on the extra leaf springs. I
would really like to be able to handle 500+ lbs
more so any suggestions short of trading it for a
heavier duty truck is very much appreciated.

99 F-150 SuperCab, 4.2L Triton 4x2, 6K GVWR,
Glasstite Camper Shell, all stock except for K&N


  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Member Posts: 4,157
    Yes it won't increase the GVW.....cuz the frame/springs/etc...are not getting any stronger. However it will help...due to the fact the springs will not sag and slap as much. It will add some capacity...but won't transform it into a new truck.

    good luck

    - Tim
  • good_guygood_guy Member Posts: 11
    Would it atleast give me 500 lbs more to work with? I know the 4x4 offroads get 500 lbs more GVWR than mine (6K) and the only thing I see is the extra leaf spring. Besides, 4x4's have lower payload. Dang, I should've went with the Tundra or an F-250ld.

  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Member Posts: 4,157
    Tundra??....Don't ever say the T word!

    I don't see why 500 extra would hurt. I loaded 2800 lbs in my half ton lots of times before...it sagged something terrible...but that was about 700 over the Official load rating.

    if you are going to be doing this all the time...Get a 250 or add a leaf or two in the rear.

    - Tim
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    There is another factor concerning the GVWR and that is tires! In addition to the helper springs you'll need to be sure that the tires have enough weight carrying capacity and air pressure.

    Be careful,
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Member Posts: 4,157
    Oh yeah

    You want LT series 6 ply tires

    Good input!
  • good_guygood_guy Member Posts: 11
    Since, I can only go so far as the next weak link, I am thinking of just beefing up the rear springs, cause anything after that is like the point of diminishing returns. Anyways, for a safe no lag 500 lb overload's I am thinking of getting a Superior Rear Coil helper springs, I tried it before but I can't install it since the u-bolt won't fit the axle so I returned it. It cost $40 and I might need to have it professionally installed which may add $100, or should I get the Hellwig LP-35's which I think I can install myself for $250. Which do you think is a better buy in the long run? The Superior is a coil spring that bolts on to the axle and rest on the frame, encircling the rubber stopper. The Hellwig's bolts on to the leaf springs and in effect become extra leaves and only does it's charm when loaded (which I am almost always). If I need to haul more, I should probably look into towing it instead. Will the F-150 handle 4K in tow? I have a 99 F-150 SC with 4.2l and 3.55 gears, the max is 5K+ but I want to know if the truck can haul 4K in tow and in bed up the Grapevine slope (north of LA).

  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    The rear coil would be fine and so would the helper springs. One thing to keep in mind is that the truck will be ok hauling 2000 to 2500 pounds. The catch is that half-tons don't have beefy axel bearings or springs to help the load along. This in turn means that if you hoss this poor truck down all the time--you will ruin the beast sooner than necessary. I would advise trading it in now on a heavier-duty truck with an eight cylinder to avoid the headaches in the future.
    Tires? No. You will have no worrys for the stock tires due to the extra 500 lbs. They are the same Firestones on the F-250ld. When driving under load over limit will tax your vehicles bearings and brakes prematurely. It will cost less now to do away with the F-150 for heavier duty.
    Keep in mind that the major difference between the F-150 and the F-250 Light Duty is simply: heavier leaf springs, heavier bearings, stronger axel(by 5mm), six instead of five wheel lugs, and a stonger stock motor(4.6v8).
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    Brakes are also upgraded when the GVWR is raised. They are only rated to stop so much weight.

    So, to carry more weight the 3/4ton truck has beefier frame, bigger axles, bigger wheels, heavier tires (same size, different load range), bigger brakes, bigger motor, and stronger bearings. Nothing a set of overload springs won't compensate for!

    If you check Hellwig or AirLift sites, you will see the reccomend you use their products to level your truck, never to exceed the GVWR.

    You can cause a lot of problems that will show up later. Later maybe next week. Don't do it. The manufacturers design limits are there for a reason.

  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    The F-250LD shares the same frame of the F-150. Not all 3/4 tonners are rated higher because of frame or tires. Springs, axels, bearings are the major differences between those two models.
    It would still be prudent to trade in that F-150 because otherwise, the truck will be beaten and worn compared to it's counterparts and won't be worth much later in sale or trade. Get rid of it now while you can.
  • rick63rick63 Member Posts: 10
    I have a 99 Dakota CC SLT 5.2 with all the heavy duty options available. Right now they quote a 2000# payload, the question is I am looking at getting a self contained camper for this rig and the one I'm looking at is around 1400# dry. by the time I throw all my junk in and fill everything up I'm close to or over the limit slightly, that doesn't count the toungue weight of my future boat as well. So if I run 2500# in it say 5-8 times a year am I at any perceptable risk for failures or is it all just theoretical additional wear and tear ???

    Additionally what would be some reasonable upgrades to help it handle the overload ??? I'm not planning on trading it in for a 2500 or equivalent, to large for my needs most of the time.

    Also, I belive my GCVW limit is in the 11000 # range, regarding the braking aspects of being over my payload capacity, does the GCVW rating consider braking for this much weight or is it assumed that whatever your towing will assist in the braking ??
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Member Posts: 4,157
    Isn't that like Jumbo Shrimp??
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    You kill me!! LOL

    If you were to push the envelope 5-8 times a year then I wouldn't sweat it. However, with that said, you might want to trade in your Dakota for a heavy half-ton instead and with all of those goodies on your truck--you should make out alright. The first problem will be the wear and tear on the axel bearings and then you'll notice that notoriously bad Dodge tranny giving out and then you'll have problems.
    If I were you, I would consider any Dodge, Chevy or Ford half-ton. Hell, it would probably end up costing less than that Dakota!
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    Two concerns here.
    1 - I can't imagine a fully self contained at 1400 lbs. Are you sure?
    2 - There is a misconception about the load carrying ability of a truck. Weighing your truck and subtracting that weight from the GVWR does not always calculate your payload. You have to consider where the center of gravity of your load will be placed. This is almost as important as the total camper weight itself. Both your camper and Dodge dealer should have the documents that explain how loading of the vehicle should be done. You will have to follow both manufacturers guidelines.

    In my mind a Durango seems a bit on the light side for carrying a camper. If I were you I would be looking at the larger RAM, Chevy or Ford vehicles. I think that if you choose a larger, more capable vehicle, your overall costs will be less. And as a bonus, you'll not be trying to solve a problem with after market accessories that should have been solved in the selection of the correct vehicle.

    Let us know what you decide,
  • BrutusBrutus Member Posts: 1,113
    Manufacturers also publish GAWRs, which is the max rating for each axle. This ties in to what Rich was saying. If you add the two GAWRs, this exceeds your GVWR. That doesn't mean that the manufacturer is saying that they approve of your exceeding GVWR as long as you don't exceed the rating for each axle. It has to do with load distribution. You could be under GVWR, but still exceeding the rating for one of your axles if the load is not properly distributed.
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    As a result of 30 or more days of inactivity....

    this topic is being "frozen." It will be archived or deleted in the next 10 days or so.

    Front Porch Philosopher
    SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host
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