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Ford F-250 Owners

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,960
Enjoying your F-250? Need to find out what F-250 owners think about their truck? Then this is the place!

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  • I am considering buying my first Ford Diesel And was wondering if this year make and model had any know problems? Like does the automatic Transmission not work well, or is the turbo a head ache? Questions like that. Any info on mileage or anything would help. I dont know enough about this make and model to make an informed decsion.
  • Well, the key to that truck, just like any other used vehicle with some age on it, is the maintenance. How well maintained was it? I don't know of any particular problems relating to that truck. Of course I don't own one either. I do know of lots of guys that have F-250's and F-350's in the '94 to '97 range, and none of them seem to have any particular problems.

    The engine is pretty much bullet proof. So is the tranny IF it has had regular and frequent fluid changes and has never been allowed to overheat. Overheating and burning the fluid is especially easy to do with a diesel since the engine produces so much torque at very low rpms. Also, since it is a diesel, chances are it has towed some heavy loads. If the fluid has been changed regularly then the tranny should be ok.

    However, you didn't mention the trucks mileage. And as we all know, trannies and most other components have a finite life. What are you going to do with the truck? Give us more details about the truck and we'll try to give you more detailed answers.
  • fordtuffordtuf Posts: 101
    I have an 02 with K&N and a set of JBA headers, Flowmaster in the works.

    Anybody done injector changes, chip, airflow changes(throttle bodies/mas air flow ?) or anything else?
  • The truck has 60,000 miles on it and was used by a local home builder. So it has probably towed some loads. The dealership where it was traded in is a local Ford dealership that I do buisness for and the owner is very loyal to me as a buisness associate so he said that it was owned by a friend of his and he was actually the one who told me that it was owned by this builder. I know the builder by reputation and he has a very good one. That doesn't necessarily mean that he changed the fluids though. I could ask for some records at the dealership because I am sure thats where it was serviced. Local small town. Does the truck get alot less miles per gallon when you are towing something. Also I was thinking of using the truck for plowing. Is that a really bad idea in relation to how long the truck will last? I mean if its a difference of 40-50,000 miles or should I trade it in in two years if I do buy it?
  • 60,000 miles ?!?! In 9 years?!?! Most builders I know of will put at least 40,000 a year on their trucks, and most of that is pulling a load.

    Yes, ask for the service records if there are any. If that is the correct mileage, then the two biggies that I see with this truck are regular oil and filter changes and coolant additives. The tranny will go that far without a fluid change as long as it hasn't been allowed to overheat and cook the fluid. But back to the oil changes. These trucks use a second high pressure oil pump to hydraulicly actuate the injectors. So not only will old, dirty oil wear on the engine, it will also wear out the injectors prematurely. The coolant additive is IMO the BIG one you should ask about. Diesel engines require coolant additives. This is due to the high compression ratios. The high compression will actually cause the cylinder wall to bow out during the compression stroke creating an area of high pressure around it. As the piston then retracts after the combustion process, then that cylinder wall will very quickly flex back in to its original position, which creates an area of low pressure around it. The coolant will have a tendancy to form air bubbles, boil if you want to call it that, in this area of low pressure. When the piston begins its next compression stroke, the cylinder wall flexs out again. Only this time those air bubbles formed from the last cycle will implode due to the incredible pressures created by that rapidly expanding cylinder wall. When those air bubbles implode, they can, and will, eat away at the metal of the cylinder wall. Over time holes will form and the engine is shot. This whole scenario is called cavitation. That's where the coolant additive comes into play. It prevents cavitation from happening plus it helps the water to draw heat from the engine metal more efficiently.

    The reason why I have gone into such an discussion of this is because most dealers aren't even aware of this additive. I don't know about the '95 model year owner's manual, but I'd bet it doesn't even mention it either. My '99 model year manual does, otherwise I wouldn't have ever known to ask about it from other diesel owners.

    Again, if that is the correct mileage, that truck has set for long periods of time or has only been driven a few miles a day. Unless something else jumps out at you, the condition of the coolant would be the thing I would be most concerned over.

    Have you test driven this truck yet? If you do, take it on an extended test drive, not 10 or 15 minutes either. I'm talking about a couple of hours. I test drove a '95 dually, crewcab with the 5-speed back a few years ago. Once it was up to full operating temperature, I drove it hard. I'm not talking about redlining every gear, but at least taking it up into the 2,200 to 2,600 rpm range with the throttle to the full. You won't hurt a diesel that way. These engines are designed to work hard and enjoy it, not like a gasser. Anyway, I had made a couple of stops, one being at my house to see if the truck would fit into my garage, and on the way back to the dealer I noticed the truck started smoking lightly under acceleration. Not the typical black sootie smoke, but it had a white color to it. I took it back to that dealer and didn't buy it. Turned out to be a good decision as I later happened to mention it to a reputable diesel mechanic. He told me he was familiar with the truck and that the smoking would have gotten worse the longer I drove it. All in all, he said about $2,000 to fix it. So if you've read this far, take the truck on a good long test drive.

    Your mileage will be considerably different running empty and towing. Remember, my point of view on mileage is based on a '99 F-350 Supercab, long bed, 6-speed, 2wd. I get around 18 mpg when empty and 11.25 mpg when towing my camper. I have a 16' flatbed on which I use to tow my offroad Jeep. I'll get around 16.5 mpg with that trailer behind me.

    I've been told snowplowing is one of the hardest and most abusive things you can do to a truck. I don't know from personal experience as we don't get much snow where I live. I personally wouldn't want one that has been used in that manner. I would imagine the tranny wouldn't last long.
  • connonconnon Posts: 52
    Have an 04 f250 with the 6.0 deisel just coming up on 1500 miles.I always changed the oil on a new vehicle at or before 2000 miles.This is my first deisel, should I go the mfr recommended 5000 miles or do it sooner.I do almost exclusively short hops with this truck(5-10 miles).No towing either. thanks.
  • I did what you suggested and when I took it home for the weekend I realized that it had some electrical problems and also left a really big oil slick under the truck the next morning. Thanks for the advise.
  • You're very welcome. You mentioned electrical problems, could that be the reason for the seemingly low miles? I'm skeptical of that one.
  • Diesel engines need several miles of driving before they reach full operating temperature. In your case, I'd change out at 1,000 or 1,500 miles and then every 3,000 after that. Lots of contaminants can build up in the oil when it is not allowed to stay at full operating temp for some length of time. These contaminants will "burn" off when the oil is hot enough. Another piece of advice is to take that truck out on a long run at least once a week. That Navistar engine reallys likes to be worked hard.
  • connonconnon Posts: 52
    Guess I will do it now. As far as working it hard , I am running it down to Tallahassee from North Jersey for Thanksgiving. Should be a decent shakedown cruise. Getting around 14.6 mpg locally so it will be interesting to see where that goes on a long high speed haul.BTW, 04,King R.,4x4 cc.
  • Long runs are good for these engines. Your mileage should go up. Right now it seems that yours is low, however these diesel may take 20k miles or more to break-in. You should get into the upper teens to around 20 mpg when broken in. My truck, an F-350 XLT, DRW, SC, 6-speed, 2wd with 3.73 gears gets around 18 empty(mixed city and highway) and 11 towing a 31' camper.
  • connonconnon Posts: 52
    Kind of strange, my last Ford, an 01 F150 screw was very specific on what oil to use,5-20 synthetic blend an nothing else. My 04 deisel according to the Power Stroke supplement just refers to a climate chart to determine what weight oil to use and nothing else.So I went with standard 10-w-30 seeing that it rarely goes -10F around these parts. Last thing I need is to void a warranty through inability to read the owners manual correctly.Still I am happy not to have to go synthetic at 15 qt's per change.I will however go with the severe duty change schedule with all the short runs I make. Thank you Mullins87 for the input .I have had this truck since mid August and would like to think the low milage(1350) is because of the weeks it sat back at the dealership correcting problems that should have caught during the so called "dealer prep", however I know I just dont drive it enough.
  • Assuming the oil recommendations are the same for your 6.0L as those for my 7.3L, 10w-30 is OK for cold weather use only. When the temps get over 40 degrees F, or some temp close to that, you'll need to switch over to 15w-40. However, the most important issue here is to make sure you use high quality oil rated for diesel engines. Diesels place much greater stress on the oil than gassers. You can use oil rated for diesel engines in a gasser, but not the other way around.

    What brand of oil did you put in it? I have only used Rotella-T in my truck. Walmart sells it around here for about $6.50 a gallon. I got familiar with Rotella-T when working for a trucking company. That's what they used, and still do today. Several of their trucks had 1 million miles on the odometers when they were sold. They were never rebuilt either. The company choses to buy a new truck at that point rather than chance a truck on the road that might break down. I have 140k miles on my truck now and can tell you the inside of the valve covers are clean and sludge free.

    Obviously I'm a Rotella-T fan. Others really like Chevron Delo, and there's another major brand but I can't think of it now. Ask around at the truck stop when you fuel up. You'll get lots of good information from the guys that know what they're talking about and far more opinion than you want.

    Welcome to the Ford diesel club. If you're like most of us, you'll find out it's a love affair.
  • connonconnon Posts: 52
    I had the shop put Valvoline 10w30 in even though they tried to get me to go with 15w40.I even tried Ford Cust. svc for a clarification but the operator in Dearborn did not know what the Hell was up. After 20 min. on hold he comes back and tells me to go with 5w20. I told him that that wasn't even listed in the Diesel power stroke supplement. So much for going to the top.I will go back tomorrow and compare the ASI specs from the manual to the specs on the Valvoline drum(bulk oil) and if it does not agree I'll dump it and go 15w40.Rather waste the money then ruin the engine.
  • Good grief!!! That should prove to you that you need to read that manual thoroughly AND talk to both highly respected diesel mechanics and diesel truck operators in your area. The machinery they deal with may be larger, but the same knowledge and products usually apply.

    Since I may run afoul of the Edmunds membership agreement, I'll send you an email with some information on another website that you'll find very helpful.
  • Man what a truck!! This is my first diesel. I've been reading the owners manual and talking to some friends that have diesels. In particular, I have a friend that has the 7.3L and has added a K&N system and a 4" tailpipe plus the 'program'. My question is "Is all of this necessary?". This truck has great get-ee-up and towing ability as is. I use mine to travel w/ the family and towing my 4000lb boat to the lake and sometimes out of state. And like I said - MAN WHAT A TRUCK! right now planning on keeping this one til the wheels go square.....
    I posted this exact message on another post and was directed to put it here - ANYWAY - my truck is awesome - I went from a ranger to a f150 4.6 v8 to this 6.0L diesel - WOW!
  • rrichfrrichf Posts: 212
    connon,
    Generally speaking, the diesel class of oils are intended to keep the carbon particles suspended. The carbon particles are the result of burned diesel fuel and blown by the piston rings. This is much more prevalent in a diesel due to the higher compression of the engine. Usually the commonly available oils in 15-40 are diesel and have the API ratings to support use in a diesel engine. Using a 10-30 weight oil may not harm the engine from a lubrication perspective, however the lack of the ability of the 10-30 oil to keep the contaminates suspended could be disastrous and very quickly.
  • that 10w-30 oil is rated for diesel engine use.
  • connonconnon Posts: 52
    Changed the 10w30 out and went with the 15w40. I should have let the techie put it in the first time. all better now.Drove the monster from No. NJ to Tallahassee three fillups. The third was really just a topoff because fuel in Ga. is cheaper than Fla. avg on last tank was almost 20mpg! Gotta love it.almost all the way doing 75-85 mph in cruise.beautiful ride with almost no traffic.almost as smoothe as my 01 f150 screw.too bad the trip computer really doesn't reflect mpg accurately. it's still reading 16.5mpg. 525 miles to empty on the last fill! this truck is fantastic. 04,cc,4x4,King Ranch.6.0. I think the Pace Edwards roll top helps with the mileage as well.
  • Have a 02 F350 CC 4x4 with 14000 mi. The Problem is when comming to a stop the engine will stall. It will start right back up but when you put it in gear it stall again. I'll let truck sit for a few min. it starts up and runs fine for a week or so then happens agin. Have had truck to dealer four times and can't find problem. I sure could use some help on this one.
  • V8, V10, or PowerStroke Diesel?
  • I'm looking to buy a diesel '99 or '00 Ford SD crew cab and most of the ones up for resale seem to have 60 - 100+ miles on them. I've never owned a diesel before. Assuming the engine has had it's routine maintenance - how long should the truck last? I plan to use it for everyday life with some towing of a jeep sprinkled in here and there adding up to between 20 - 30k miles a year. Thanks!
  • I haven't seen Jim Mulliins comment yet, so I'll take a stab. At 60K the PowerStroke is finally broken in. With care the engine can easily go 300K without a rebuild. Other parts of truck will probably start falling apart long before the diesel gets tired. If possible try to find a truck with maintenance records.
       From what I understand one of the few things that can compromise the longevity of a diesel engine is coolant cavitation. Cavitation occurs when microscopic bubbles momentarily appear in coolant - when the bubbles pop (implode) near the outside of the cylinder wall they cause microscopic erosion of the metal. Over years, it can cause $$ problems. If previous owner used anti-cavitation coolant additive then great. Unfortunately a lot of diesel owners don't know about this phenomenon or the additive. I don't know how fast cavitation will cause damaged, my guess is at 60K, it's probably not worrisome. Maybe Jim can add his knowledge here.
         Some '99 and '00 Powerstrokes exhibited a noise called "the Cackle". Supposedly a funny noise akin to pinging in a gasoline engine. Had something to do with a shortcoming with an injector on cylinder 5 or 6 (?). Supposedly, the noise doesn't damage the engine, but a lot of folks with the cackle complained of sluggish engines, or mediocre mileage.
        Diesels require a bit more maintenance than gassers - bigger oil capacity, more expensive filter. Bit finicky on quality of fuel too - watch out for fuel with water in it; buy your fuel where the big rigs go to ensure it's fresh. Need to be religious about changing fuel filter, and learn how drain any water out fuel line separator. Also, have to be mindful of cold weather - starting is a bit more complicated than a gasser. Need to wait a minute while glow plugs warm up the cylinders before trying to start. Depending on how cold it gets in your area, you may have to use the engine block heater too.
        By and large Super Duties are pretty solid trucks. They have a tendency to warp brake rotors, and can be rough on ball joints, etc. But you can beat the snot out of them on a daily basis and they'll keep going. Though, personally I'd stay away from one that had been used to plow snow, or one that had towed a really heavy trailer for a living.
      Disclaimer: I own a V10 F350 4x4, and have two very good friends with '99 and '02 Powerstrokes. However, I'm the one who has a heated 30x30 garage with 8 ft doors. So guess where everybody's winter maintenance gets done? All my diesel knowledge rubbed off from them.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    has hit the nail on the head again!! :) The cavitation is something I wouldn't worry about on a 60k mile engine. However I would make sure that I put that coolant additive in it. It's called "FW-16" and is available at your friendly Ford dealer for about $15 a pint. I order mine online for half that. That online place will even send you the test strips so you can test the coolant in order to add the appropriate amount of additive. Email me if you want that address.

    The cackle can be a bit worrisome. Ford says there's no damage to the engine, but the ones I have talked to that have cacklers feel differently. I think the problem lies in part in injector #8. At some point Ford started putting in an injector stamped "LL8" (long lead?). This supposedly fixed the problem according to them. But the Ford abandoned the LL8. I don't know why unless new computer programming fixed it. I have an early '99 that has the regular #8 injector, code "AB" I think. To my knowledge I do not nor ever had a cackler.

    Rotor warpage, IMO, seems to be related to drivers rather than the truck itself. That SD CC is a very heavy truck. But with that said, I have 142k miles on mine and they are just now beginning to exhibit very slight signs of warpage.

    Even if you do your own oil changes, look to spend about $35 to $40 for oil and filter. Fuel filters are available at the dealer for just under $50, or online for $15. Same filter too. :) Maintenance is VERY important. You are going to pay extra for that engine, so you'll want to make sure it lasts a LONG TIME.

    Starting in cold weather has only been a problem on those occasions, like last week when the temps suddenly went to near zero, when I got caught with my pants down by not having my usual winter time fuel additive in the tank. I use Stanadyne, in case you're wondering.

    Fresh, water-free fuel is of great importance. About this time last year I got some water-laden fuel that ended up costing me $900 for two new injectors. These injectors don't cost $450 each, that $900 included labor, testing 4 injectors and replacing 2 with rebuilt ones.

    With proper maintenance, that truck should go 300k with no real problems. Give us a few more details about the truck you buy, we'd love to hear about it!
  • Thanks for the information on the engine...I would not have had a clue what to look, listen and ask for/about when I go to buy one. When I get one, I'll be sure to let you know the details.
    Thanks again!!

    Andy
  • rscott6rscott6 Posts: 20
    Anyone out there with a 6.0..When going 70 MPH what does the Tach read?
  • i own 2 7.3 diesels and considering buying a new truck with the 6.0 diesel but don't know if it is as good and strong as the 6.0. does anyone have the 6.0 with over 150000 miles on it and still like it.
  • I own a 2004 6.0 and at 70 mph mine shows about 2100-2200 rpms. Also to give a heads up to anyone who should have the following problem: Going do steep inclines my cruise control will shut itself off. On 2 occasions, the engine has cut off too. The dealership has diagnosed the problem as a switch in the telescoping brake and throttle pedals. Part ordered and problem solved!
  • Jim (Mullins87) (or anyone with knowledge on this),
    What online sites do you use to get your parts, filters, additives and such? Wife just got a new 04 F350.
    Thanks!
    Dave
  • Well, I gave Jim more than 24 hours. He must be on vacation. I think this is one of the sites that Jim would recommend anyway

    http://www.dieselsitetoo.com/store.asp

    Good luck with the new truck.
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