Ford V-10 vs PSD

FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51
edited March 2014 in Ford
The new issue of Trailer Life magazine has an
interesting article pitting the V-10 against the
Power Stroke Diesel for towing and cost of

They tested two F250 super dutys, one with V-10
and 4.30 axle; one with PSD and 3.73 axle. The
reason for the difference in axle ratios is that
they wanted to test trucks with identical tow
ratings (both rated at 13,800 lbs.).

Each truck was hitched to identical 6,800lb.
travel trailers. The trucks accelerated virtually
the same, and pulled grades neck and neck. The only
real difference in performance was the fuel
mileage (PSD had the better milage of course).

They figured you would have to tow for 86,000
miles for the PSD fuel savings to break even with
the additional sticker cost of the PSD ($4500).

I see that many of you bought the PSD. I was
wondering, keeping the above info in mind, why so
many folks get the PSD. Personally, I would
probably trade for a new truck when I rack up that
many miles, so it would be a wash for me. Actually
the PSD would still cost more because I would be
paying interest on that $4500 as part of the loan.

Any opinions, comments?


  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    If the facts are correct, and I don't doubt that they are...for many the decision to go with the Navistar is based more on the perception and prestige. My friend has an F250 Powerstroke, loves it of course. When I rode with him, he joked about how the loud noise really gets attention on the outside, but it was getting my attention on the inside too! I imagined the keebler elves were pounding away on the driveline tunnel with ball peen hammers! But that's exactly the reinforcement many truck buyers want, a distinctive sound that lets others know you paid extra for the top of the line.
  • FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51
    Yeah, they get a reaction from me on the outside too, the Tool Man grunts: uuuh uuuh uuooh! But on the inside it would be UUUHHH???

    All that racket inside would get to me after a long drive I would think. I drove a Ram Cummins diesel once, and it was pretty loud, I think the Ford is a bit quieter, but still...
  • FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51
    I just ran a loan calculator to find out how much extra I would pay in interest for the PSD option.

    Based on a 7.99% interest rate for 60 months it would cost $900 in INTEREST for the PSD option over the V-10. That makes it roughly a $5400 option. Wow!
  • cdeancdean Member Posts: 1,110
    you have to tow an incredible amount of miles (for mileage), AND get good resale value to make it payout. and once you get that high "break even mileage", from my experience, vehicles over 100-150K miles bring the same $$, whether they're diesel or not.
  • tnt2tnt2 Member Posts: 115
    There are some of us PSD owners that have legitimate claims for buying a diesel, not just for the sound of it or to impress others. High mileage driving 200-300k. High towing ratings 10-15k. More stable fuel costs. They should have done a real towing test and put some weight on those trucks, 6800# isn't squat. My expedition will pull that. I bet if you add the weight to those trucks, the break-even point will come sooner.
  • FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51

    I agree with you about the weight. I would have liked to see that test with the trucks towing something closer to their upper limits.

    I don't have any experience with diesels, but I have a feeling the PSD would outshine the V-10 the heavier the load gets. That's why I posted this question... I want to hear from you PSD folks! How much better is it when you're pulling those big honkin' 5th wheels?
  • FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51
    Cummins owners please feel free to jump in here too!
  • my375284my375284 Member Posts: 10
    Hey FETZ ... read the topic.
  • cdeancdean Member Posts: 1,110
    i have a good testimonial for trucks with full loads on them. Ton and a half work trucks, cab and chassis with tool body beds, equipped with 6 ton crane, air compressor, torch, sometimes welding machine, a LOTS of tools, chains, and equipment. My dad's truck weighs 14,000# going down the highway with nothing in the bed. other company's we do work and business with have very similar trucks. He's what I hear from my dad's experiences and those of our companions in the business

    Chevy 3500-HD
    Engine~454, 410 ftlb, 300 hp
    4.63 rear
    mileage mostly highway, empty: worst 8.5, best 10.5

    Chevy 3500-HD
    Engine~6.5, 440 ftlb, 220 hp
    4.63 rear
    mileage mostly highway, empty: worst 10, best 13

    Ford F450
    Powerstroke, 235hp, 500 ftlb
    5.13 rear
    mileage all highway, worst 7, best 12

    Ford F550
    V10, 275hp, 410 ftlb
    5.13 rear, automatic transmission
    mileage all highway, worst 6, best 9

    the real kicker here is performance:
    In these trucks, I rate them this way performance wise:
    1. Ford Powerstorke
    2. Chevy 454
    3. Ford v10
    4. Chevy diesel

    You can really feal the powerstrokes low end grunt when taking off from a stop. But other than that, these engines are all pretty close. Once you get over 10-15 mph, the Chevy 454 feels more lively than the powerstroke. i think the truck that had the v10 might be better than the Chevy had it not had an automatic in it (which they have had trouble with).

    The chevy diesel has good low end push, but poorer upper end horsepower than the rest of the motors.

    The 454 really does run right with the powerstroke. I advised my dad to look into getting a powerstroke because i wasn't sure the 454 had enough low end. I was surprised at the power the truck has with all that weight on its back. The transmission is geared really well on that truck, every time you downshift, you hit about 1800 rpm, feels really strong and runs up quickly if you want to put your foot into it. holds 75 mph effortlessly at about 2300 rpms. Acceleration to highway speed in the 454, V10, and powerstroke truck were all about the same.

    in these trucks, the diesel doesn't give a big advantage over gas, at all. they are no fuel savings, and in the past, the diesels have cost a couple thousand dollars more than the gas engines each in repairs up to the 200K mile mark. there is especially no big advantage now (at least in my part of the country) where diesel is the same price, sometimes higher priced, than gasoline. I think the Fords would have done a lot better in the mileage department if you could get a higher rear end than the 5.13.

    i can't argue for diesel longevity either, since i've seen several HD trucks with 350's and 454's make it all the way up to 250, 300K miles before pooping out. if the truck is still in good shape, spend 1500 bucks on a rebuild, and you still come out ahead of the diesel.
  • FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51

    I guess I should have left the "Ford" out of the topic title, since Dodge has V-10 and diesel also. I just want to figure out if I want a diesel or not in my next truck.

    So, EXCUUUUSE MEEEEE!!!!!!! But don't expect an apology.

    Like I said before, Cummins owners: feel free to put in your two cents.
  • FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51

    Thanks for the insight. It's interesting to hear from someone that has experience with several different powerplants.

    I also thought it was interesting to see the Chevy 3500 HD had a higher GVWR than the F450 and F550.
  • cdeancdean Member Posts: 1,110
    Ooops, i didn't mean that as the official GVWR, I meant that was what each vehicle weighed, as equipped for those applications.

    Factory GVWR's, Ford and Chevy are practically identical, the Ford 450 is the same as the Chevy 3500HD, and it is an option on the Chevy to upgrade the 3500HD to 19500 GVWR, like the F550. The Chevy just keeps the same badge.
  • longhairlonghair Member Posts: 72
    my reason for the diesel was use patterns.
    Diesels are nice to leave running near idle. Mine will spend lots of time sitting at idle.
    Can't turn it off because it's needed to power lighting and accessories (and air conditioning when the dogs are with me).
    Gas motors run hotter and we always end up having to pop the hoods to keep from overheating.
    In the hours per gallon comparison, diesels definitely win. (The MPG comparison will also pay by the time I rust the frame out)
  • involuteinvolute Member Posts: 17
    Why does the PSD have to tow for umpteen thousand miles to break even for cost ? Don't they get about 4-5 mpg better than the V10 unloaded also ? How many of you actually paid $4500 more for the PSD ? I upgraded from a short bed V10 with standard radio to a PSD long bed with CD player for $3000. When it comes down to it I think it is personal preference and what you plan on doing that dictates which way to go. If you don't plan on keeping a PSD until it wears out, sure get a gas engine and save the money. If you plan to keep your $30K+ ride for 300,000 miles why not get the PSD ? It should last that long I think. By no means am I trying to say it's a mistake to buy the V10 (great engine).
  • longhairlonghair Member Posts: 72
    yeah the MPG savings is there, but the oil changes eat up some of it up - more oil, pricier filter.
  • involuteinvolute Member Posts: 17
    No debate there.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516

    It was mentioned a few posts back aout resale. Depending on the truck, that resale value can be more than worth it. On my Cummins, the option price was around 4000 smackers more than the V10, but at the (nearly) three year mark, and 45K on the odo, my truck is still worth over $2000 more than the comparable V10. Have I saved $2K in fuel so far? Oh yes I have!!! Additionally, I was right-side-up on a 5 year loan in just 2 years, so the Cummins has already paid for itself. Unfortunately for Ford, the older Navistars (6.9s and pre-Powerstroke 7.3s) were not well received in the used truck market and the Powerstrokes, for all their improvements, are taking some hits for the previous versions in terms of resale.

    Maintenance is a wash. Everybody rags on the oil changes - mine cost me $40 (at the dealer no less) for an 11 quart change - pretty reasonable, and I will never have to worry about spark plugs, spark wires, distributors, caps, rotors, or "choppers" for the newer distributorless systems. Fuel price has not been an issue luckily - here in north NJ, regular unleaded and diesel are always within pennies of each other in a year-long average (gasoline is usually higher in summer, diesel higher in winter), so for me, the diesel came out ahead.
  • joejoe Member Posts: 16
    Does anyone know how to attach an excel file to these posts. Because I created a spread sheet to calculate the break even point, when I run this I come up with it taking over 115K miles. The sheet takes into account the following operating costs:
    - The first part show how much more the diesel will cost if you finance it.
    - Fuel mileage costs (this is normalized so you can enter how much of your driving is loaded and empty and your local cost for fuel).
    - Operating costs (these costs came from my Ford dealership).

  • rbpxwrbpxw Member Posts: 4
    I was able to test drive two virtually identical trucks this weekend, one with the V10 and the other with the PSD. First I drove the diesel. After letting the glow plug light go out it took three cranks to get it started. I assume this is because it was new; only 2 miles on the odometer. Driving around town the thing was very noisy. Much more so than my father-in-laws 95 PSD. It did seem to get better the farther I drove, possibly because either the engine warmed up or I was going deaf. On the highway it was relatively quiet, more like I was expecting. Even after warming up, the throttle response was slow. I expected both noise and sluggishness, but not as bad. The diesel smell from the exhaust was hardly noticeable. I could hardly tell it from the smell of the gas engine. This is much improved over the 95. Does the acceleration and noise get better with time? Does the exhaust get worse?
    The V10 was much quieter and had much better acceleration. I was a little uneasy to see the tach jump up to 4800 rpm on the on-ramp, but it didn't seem to be winding out. If I hadn't been reading this list I would have believed the saleman's claims of 13-16 mpg for the gas engine. Of course I wasn't able to drive either under load where the impressions might have been different.
    The killer for me was getting the trailer tow guide and seeing the payload for each vehicle. I need (want) the crew cab, 4x4, srw, and lwb. With a slide in camper, wife, dogs, and gear I'll need to put ~3900 lb. in the truck. This is a few hundred pounds over the V10 payload but it seems manageable. The diesel has a ~750 lb. premium and now I would be running ~1000 lb over weight. I don't want to put up with the extra cost and hassle of a dually just to carry around the extra weight of the engine and I don't want to run that much over weight ( but, I know people do it).
    I actually wanted the diesel just to have the extra power and better mileage and even in a few years add a chip and exhaust to have a very impressive machine, but I'll draw the line at the dually. Now (trying to justify the V10) I'm imagining a 300hp 430ft-lb 12mpg engine that has about the same peak torque ( but not the same torque curve ) as a pre 99 diesel, but poor mileage. With a $2000 powerpak (when it comes out) it should be more like 340 hp 480ft-lb and 14mpg, but no significant weight gain. So I would have the srw with decent power, decent acceleration and somewhat acceptable mileage. Comments....corrections...?
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    My '99 PSD is my third diesel.

    Why, you ask? One word, TORQUE!

    The joy of driving on the road with all that torque can not be put into words. The diesel is so much easier to drive.

  • FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51
    I'm leaning toward the V-10, mainly so I can afford the payments. I'm looking for the same truck as "rbpxw" mentioned in his post. I swore I'd never buy another Ford, but here I am seriously considering it, because Dodge doesn't offer a crew cab, and Chevy doesn't offer it in their new models, only on the old style 3500.

    If I did a LOT of towing or if money were no object, I might bite the bullet and get the diesel. Actually, I would like to get the diesel. But the majority of my towing is weekend trips and I just don't keep vehicles long enough for me to break even on the added investment.

    Rich, I was wondering - what is it about the diesel that makes it "easier" to drive?
  • FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51

    I would like to see that spreadsheet, but I don't think it's possible to post an excel spreadsheet here, just text.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    I don't know Fetz, I drive a Silverado, but I follow your logic, and I too think the SD V10 Crew Cab is your best choice, all things considered. Not a slam on the Navistar mind you.
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    The diesel seems to be much less affected by changes in grade. I did a lot of running from Orange county up to Fresno & Yosomite. The diesels would take the hills without much thought. I wasn't constantly adjusting the throttle (or so it seemed) like my friends gasoline Dodge. With a non-turbo 7.3L I could start in Grapevine (At 0 MPH) and long before the Fraizer Park, I was doing 85 MPH. The whole hill is about a 3300 foot gain in altitude in 6-8 miles. It feels as though the mechanical aspect of "DRIVING" is easier. I KNOW that I move the accelerator pedal much less than any of the gasoline vehicles that I drive. (Lot of rentals too.) It usually takes 3-4 days in a rental before I can keep the speed within a + or - 5 MPH. In my truck its 30 seconds and I'm + or - 1 MPH. I don't know. Maybe I'm just an old fart that can't adapt to the gasoline engine torque curves. (And no, I've never driven a big rig.)

  • FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51
    Yeah, I sure know about that Grapevine!

    When I moved north out of So. Cal. the U-Haul I rented struggled up the grade about 25 mph in first gear with my foot mashed to the floor!

    Going down the other side I was burning the brakes trying not to plow through the traffic ahead of me. That was a scary ride!

    But that's another story. Didn't mean to get off subject.
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    We're on the subject of motors. Any, long hill in hot weather is a graphic example of the old expression, "There just ain't no substitute for cubes." Except for Detroit iron, it would take about $45,000 to pass me going up the Grapevine.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Member Posts: 1,021
    Betcha almost any motorcycle would spank you up the Grapvine.

    My two cents on the diesel vs gas choice are:

    If you have any doubts about the diesel, go gas. The folks that are sure that they want a diesel are probably the only ones that should buy one.
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    Regarding your diesel and gasoline comment. I have not seen it said so eloquently in so few words! RIGHT ON!
  • stanfordstanford Member Posts: 606
    Fetz: My last truck was a '93 diesel that I loved, put 100K on it. My current truck is a '99 F350 4X4 CC DRW V10 auto 4.30:1. It took an awful lot to get me to go back to a gas engine:

    The additional cost premium on the diesel.
    The annoyance of finding diesel pumps when
    you've been careless and are running out.
    The louder noise in the diesels on long highway
    The significantly higher maintenance costs if
    the warranty runs out (valid since I'm now
    doing more than 25K/year) and you haven't
    been just doing highway runs (best use of
    a diesel).

    The mileage is annoying, I get 10.2 city (Dallas), 12 highway unloaded. If I did it again, I'd get the 3.73:1 gears. I can pull away from a light with a 7000# trailer and a full bed (2-3000#) in 2nd gear without much fuss -- the 3.73s would have given me an extra MPG or two. Towing, mileage doesn't drop much below 9-10 hwy.

    As for whoever was claiming that they upgraded from an SB gas to an LWB PSD (w/ CD) -- you were paying too much for the gas truck. Check the dealer costs listed for the PSD, and you'll see.
  • br1br1 Member Posts: 22
    I just got a PSD and love it (F250 CC 4x4 PSD 6-spd SB 3.73). I'm getting around 18 mpg so far (<1000 miles). I've heard that the Ford V10 is much better MPG wise than the Dodge (Ford dealer owner is getting between 12 to 14 mpg like said above). So overall it depends on comfort and what you're looking for.
  • FETZFETZ Member Posts: 51
    Hey, I want to thank all of you for your input. I decided on a gas engine. And it's a Chevy.

    I was looking at the Ford, because Dodge doesn't make a crew cab, and Chevy doesn't make it in the "New Silverado".

    I finally found a Ford dealership that would sell me a truck for $1,000 over invoice (that is the absolute best deal I could find here in Oregon), but I would have to order it with a minimum 4 month wait. Problem is I wanted one now.

    So, still looking for something off the lot, I checked out the GMBUYPOWER website and located a 99 Chevy 3500 Crew Cab "LS" 4X4 7.4L 4.10 axle long bed - pretty much fully loaded, but without the leather.

    After a week of negotiating, I wrangled them down to $800 over invoice on that truck. I just drove it home last night. This morning I put on some larger BF Goodrich All Terrains.

    I'm a happy camper so far, but heck - it hasn't even been 24 hours since I picked it up!

    I got a fair trade on my 96 Chevy 2500 4X4, but I felt like I left a well loved pet at the pound!
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