or how much can my truck tow?
Determine How Much Your Bullnose (1980 - 86 Ford Truck) Can Tow
Ford put the towing capacity info in the owner's manuals, but many of those are missing today. In addition, in the early manuals the tables containing the info were quite long. For instance, in the 1981 manual there are 27 pages of complex tables. But, by 1985 someone at Ford had simplified things dramatically - there are only two tables covering the F150's, F250's, and F350's. So, those two tables are what I've put on the 1985 tab. However, by 1985 the F100 was long gone so the tables don't cover them. Given that I'm also including the two pages from the 1981 manual that cover the F100's on the 1981 tab. In addition, Bill Vose has supplied the 10 page towing section from the 1986 owner's manual, and they appear on the 1986 tab.
But before we get to that we need to discuss terminology. The 1985 manual says:
Last, if you have the axle code off your certification label on the door jamb then use the tables on the Axle Ratio page to determine the gear ratio.
1981 Owner's Manual
1985 Owner's Manual
1986 Owner's Manual
1986 Towing Guide
The following is from the 1986 Ford Full Spectrum Recreation Vehicle & Trailer-Towing Guide, and provides more detail and in an easier-to-read format than do the owner's manuals.