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How to Increase Nissan Frontier Towing Capacity & Towing Performance?

Increasing the Nissan Frontier towing performance is possible by adopting the following methods:

  • Set up an upper-class hitch
  • Get the hitch distributor
  • Improve the radiator
  • Replace the brake
  • Install axles
  • Adjust the body frame
  • Upgrade the suspension
  • Change the program

The existing towing capacity in the latest Nissan Frontier is up to 6,720 pounds. Modifying the pickup with the above techniques will definitely allow an improvement in the towing performance.

However, the heavy modification demands a professional touch. Any single mistake risks both your vehicle and your life. Hence, you need to bring changes in the towing capacity, keeping safety and state laws in mind.

Let’s explore the upgrade of Nissan Frontier towing performance in detail.

Key Takeaways:

  • The towing capacity of Nissan Frontiers can be upgraded to a maximum of 12,000 lbs.
  • Upgradation in the hitch, brake, suspension, radiator, and axle is mandatory to increase towing performance.
  • Towing more than the capacity can wear the engine and transmission.

Nissan Frontier Towing Capacity & Towing Performance

Nissan Frontier has quite a name for its towing performance. In fact, the latest Frontier models give the other existing brands hard competition in the towing feature.

I have made a chart indicating the towing capacity for recent Nissan Frontier models,

Nissan Frontier GenerationPick Up ModelTowing Capacity
2022 Nissan Frontier King CabS 2WD6,720 lbs
SV 2WD6,670 lbs
S 4WD6,510 lbs
SV 4WD6,470 lbs
2021 Nissan Frontier Crew CabSV 2WD6,530 lbs
SV 4WD6,330 lbs
S 2WD6,570 lbs
S 4WD6,370 lbs
2022 Frontier Crew Cab Long BedSV 2WD6,460 lbs
SV 4WD6,260 lbs
2022 Frontier Crew CabPRO-X® 2WD6,470 lbs
PRO-4X® 4WD6,270 lbs
2021 Nissan Frontier King CabSV 2WD6,720 lbs
SV 4WD6,510 lbs
S 2WD6,620 lbs
S 4WD6,370 lbs
2021 Nissan Frontier Crew CabSV 2WD6,720 lbs
SV 4WD6,510 lbs
S 2WD6,620 lbs
S 4WD6,370 lbs
2021 Nissan Frontier Crew CabPRO-4X® 4WD6,290 lbs
Midnight Edition 4WD6,380 lbs
Long Bed SV 4WD6,250 lbs

So, the 2023 & 2022 Nissan Frontier King Cab S 2WD has a maximum towing capacity of 6,720 pounds. All other models from other generations have a towing performance closer to or lower than this.

Imagine having a 2021 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab S 4WD of 6,270 pounds towing capacity. How can you upgrade this towing performance without switching to the latest models?

The below section answers the exact question.

What Can I Do to Improve My Nissan Frontier Towing Capacity and Performance?

We already know that improving the towing capacity in Nissan Frontier is indeed possible. But it requires a heavy modification of the pickup.

The reason is pretty straightforward!

Your Nissan Frontier is manufactured to maximum towing performance. Though your vehicle can handle weights up to that load, you can’t go beyond that point. Otherwise, the pickup will break down.

However, upgrading the brakes or modifying the rear tires allows the pickup to carry more weight.

Here is how you can increase the towing capacity of your Nissan Frontier:

Set Up An Upper-Class Trailer Hitch

A hitch on a Nissan Frontier is installed to ease the connection between the vehicle and the tow. The hitch couples the additional weight perfectly to the Frontier.

Currently, 4 different classes of trailer hitches are available for the Nissan Frontier. While class I can carry a low load, class IV has a high towing capacity.

Therefore, switching class III from class II will help you upgrade the Nissan Frontier towing performance.

But here is the deal!

The latest Nissan Frontier models come with an installed tow hitch. If you still want to replace it, make sure the pickup model is compatible with the expected load.

For example, you shouldn’t tow a 20,000-pound weight with a Nissan Frontier pickup. It is not only illegal but also risky.

Hence, stay within the limit. Upgrading the towing performance up to 12,000 pounds may be okay with the trailer hitch. But I would recommend it within this range.

You may like this article: Nissan Frontier low accelerating problems

Get The New Weight Distribution Hitch

The weight distribution hitch is similar to the traditional trailer hitch. But the former comes with an extra benefit.

Weight distribution hitches have an in-built spring to distribute the towed load evenly on your pickup. As a result, the rear axle suffers less potential damage, and the damping is reduced too.

The weight distribution hitch comes at a reasonable price, under $400. Comparing the cost, this hitch trailer offers improved towing performance in the pickups.

Improve The Radiator Capacity

Well, a radiator doesn’t directly help in increasing towing performance on the Nissan Frontier. But it definitely has an indirect effect.

When you tow an additional weight, your pickup stresses the system. As a result, the transmission and engine can get overheated.

Installing a bigger radiator will keep the transmission and engine system cool. So, now you can pull more weights without worrying.

On another note, adding lubricant to the engine and transmission is necessary when towing.

Replace The Brakes With a Larger One

You will need a more powerful brake when you tow a heavyweight. Otherwise, there is a risk of brake failure and major accidents.

Replace the existing brake pads and rotors with larger ones. This way, you can stop the pickup more effectively. Also, the additional stress and friction heat won’t affect your driving.

Adjust The Frame & Chassis

Nissan Frontier pickups are body-on-frame type. It allows you to modify some parts to adjust the extra weight effects on the vehicle. So, there will be less risk of the frame breaking down due to towing.

Install Stronger Axles

Axles or shaft rod that supports the heavy weight of your vehicle. Hence, set up upgraded axles in your Nissan Frontier to enjoy an improved towing capacity.

The new axle installation can cost you up to $4,000. But considering the ease of load management, the money is worth it.

Upgrade The Suspension System

The Nissan Frontier suspension system manages the pressure you put on the pickup. So, installing a greater suspension allows you to carry the extra weight without causing strain on the system.

After upgrading the suspension, you should also consider replacing the intake and exhaust system. It will improve the overall performance by adapting to the new torque and horsepower.

Change The Program

The Nissan Frontier program is set to tow a certain weight. When you plan to increase the load, make necessary changes in the setting. It will boost the towing performance by air-fuel-ratio, transmission shifting, air flow rate, etc.

FAQs

What is the 80/20 rule for towing?

The towing 80/20 rule says the extra weight shouldn’t exceed 80% of your towing capacity. It is a safety rule and leaves room for human calculation errors. Also, following this method, you can avoid brake failure, the vehicle breaking down, and other inconveniences.

Does adding a leaf spring increase towing capacity?

Leaf springs don’t really increase the towing capacity. Instead, the springs act as a support system for the hitch. However, the springs do allow you to carry a little extra weight, but the amount is negligible.

Does towing hurt your engine?

Towing has an adverse effect on your engine. For example, the additional weights strain the vehicle, wear the engine, and reduce the brake efficiency. Towing more than the capacity speeds up the damaging process, making you spend hundreds on the repair.

Conclusion

The above tips on how to increase Nissan Frontier towing capacity & towing performance are safe. Among all the techniques, installing a hitch trailer and upgrading the brakes are the most popular.

But yes, the other methods will equally help you enjoy improved towing performance.

While working on towing capacity, don’t mistake it for payload weight. The former is the maximum load a vehicle can pull. On the contrary, the latter is the weight your vehicle can carry on the trunk.

You should consider the safety and legal towing limit before starting modification. Otherwise, you may get into inconvenient situations. Hence, consulting a mechanic is always recommended to be on the safe side.

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