F-150 6-speed automatic

A friend of mine is looking to buy a new (2009) F-150 extended cab P/U to be used primarily for towing a 22’ camping trailer. They are available with either the tried and true 4-speed automatic or a new 6-speed automatic. No manual transmission is offered, if you can believe that…The 6-speed has a better EPA mileage rating but since he will be pulling a trailer most of the time he is not concerned with that. There is no cost difference between the two transmissions available. Does anyone have any on the road experience with the new 6-speed tranny, especially towing a trailer?

Ah, but there is a difference. The 4 speed is only available with the base 2 valve 4.6L. (Which IMO is underpowered in the F-150). The 6 speed is reserved for the 3 valve 4.6L which is similar to the one found in the Mustang GT (but is tuned for more low end torque in truck applications). The 6 speed is also the only option for the 5.4L 3 valve V8, which is the best option if he’s towing. It has gobs of torque. The 6 speed transmission isn’t new Ford has been putting in the Expedition and the Sport Trac for a few years now. It’s superior to the old 4 speed in just about every way. Due to its larger spread of ratios it offers better acceleration and better fuel economy.

If he’s towing a 22 footer, I would strongly recommend stepping up to an F-250/350.

Thanks for the info! Especially the power-train combos. He has a F-350 turbo-diesel now, an older unit he pulled a 7 ton sailboat with. He has sold the sailboat and now only pulls the camper, which may be a 20’ model, not 22’. He is looking for comfort and quiet now…I will forward your info to him…

Looks like my friend has found what he wants…F-150 extended cab, 4.6 3V V8, 6-speed, 3.55 posi, tow package, XLT trim. His trailer is 19’, weighs 5000 pounds fully loaded.

Good for him, sounds like he made a rational choice. The 4.6L 3 valve/6speed combo should handle his trailer easily.

I was looking at the tranny specs…4th gear is slightly underdriven, 5th gear is slightly overdriven and 6th gear is greatly overdriven. There is no 1 to 1 direct gear. 1st gear is a real stump-puller, 4.20 to 1, something like that…