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My next vehicle will be standard, looking at the Regular cab 3.0l Edge. So that should be a nice upgrade in power. I'm still gonna give the new 4 valve 2.3l a chance. Plus the manual transmission means my girlfriend will never want to drive the truck, oh well! I just haven't decided if I want to wait for a redesign, or for the 2003 vehicles to come out. I love my truck and I love not having car payments, so I think I'll keep on going for a year or so.
Well, the engines are pretty much the same, with your 2.5 having a longer stroke. Longevity is mostly based on driving and maintenance habits. Since 4 cylinders have to work harder than larger engines, it just depends on how high you let the RPMs go regularly. You should expect a minimum of 100,000 miles of severe driving. I've seen about 4 or 5 of them at Autozone (one of my old workplaces) go past 200,000. Just keep on top of your maintenance, by checking replacing everything on schedule. Keep a clean air filter, fuel filter, good plugs. Run synthetic oil for better cold start protection. Put zmax(This stuff is awesome) in once a year http://www.zmax.com/. Do everything you can, and it will keep running.
Breakin is a little harder to say, as I bought mine used. Typically you don't rev past 75% of redline in the first 500-750 miles. Then the next 3000-5000 miles you try to vary engine speed as much as you can, while still avoiding red-line RPM. Older engines would receive a few valve adjustments during this time, but after 5000 miles or so, the rings should be seated and the bearings broken in.
Like the lyrics by the Stray Cats song 'Rev it up and Go'"I got a thirty nine Ford, this old heap just won't die, But I got a thirty nine Ford, this old heap just won't die, Well, this thirty nine Ford might outlive you and I..."
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