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Ford F-250 Owners

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  • 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.
  • Just found out my 03 F250 has 3.73 gear in front and 4.10 gear in rear. Plan on trading it in tomorrow. Worried about further damage. Any recommendations
  • This can't be a factory job, is it??? If it were, I'd make them fix it!!!! As far as any damage to the drivetrain, there shouldn't be any unless you have engaged 4-wheel drive on dry pavement or any other non-slick surface. Even in mud or some other slick surface, do damage should have been done.

    Walt: I sent the guy an email. I didn't know if Edmunds would allow me to post a website address. I got my hand slapped by the host over in the Jeep forums for doing that. Didn't want to take a chance a do it again. Bob's place there really is a very good one also.
  • I am in the process of ordering an 04 F250. I plan to get the King Ranch package, Diesel, auto, 4x4. I plan to tow my boat several time per year and may pull it up to 1K miles. My wife and I have talked about getting a 5th wheel some day but who knows. The majority of the time this truck will get me back and forth to work in the winter.

    The dealer has recommended that I go with the standard suspension w/o heavy front springs or stabilizer bar. He thinks I'll prefer the better ride on a daily basis over the slight improvement in towing behavior.

    Any advice who be appreciated.
  • Get the heavier front suspension. The diesel engine is very heavy, at least my 7.3 is. I've added airbags to my front as I have noticed a slight drop in the front. And I can point you to several PSD owners on another website that has upgraded their front springs as they are also sagging from the weight of the engine. Also, get the camper certification package. That probably will give you the heavy front springs, but it will also give you larger sway bars front and rear. I have them on mine and body roll in a corner is almost non-existant. When you get that 5'er, you'll appreciate that extra stability. However, if you off-road your truck very much, then you might not want the stabilizer bars as they do limit the amount of articulation in the suspension.
  • bpetbpet Posts: 16
    Does anyone know where to find Technical Service Bulletins for a 2000 F-250 SD 4x4?
  • jf067jf067 Posts: 17
    I bought a ‘04 F250 SD SC with the 6.0L 6spd auto. My truck came with a 3.73 limited slip rear axle. About a week ago I was parked with my pass side rear tires in a small snow bank on the side of the road. When I went to leave, the pass rear tire started spinning. I could see my driver's side tire in the mirror, it wasn't moving at all. I was not hammering on it at all, just gently accelerating. I had no load, and no trailer, just the empty pickup. I thought a limited slip was supposed to push from both tires? I asked my dealer about it, they claim that the factory has told them the rear end is supposed to break free at 53 ft. pounds of torque, so this is normal. What the H_ll good is that when you have 504 at around 2k RPM?? I figure I could have saved the 300.00 and had a standard rear-end for that matter. Anyone have/had a similar experience, or input on this?
  • There's a little trick with a limited slip rear end to get going when you're in situation where one wheel is spinning.

    Push the parking brake in part way. Not a lot, but just enough to put some drag on the wheel that has no traction. This will shift some of the torque over to the side that's not spinning and allow it to start going.
       It's a "limited slip" rear end, so it only will divide the torque between the two sides up to a certain point. (Like the spec the dealer mentioned.) If you want power equally distributed to both wheels, you'd have to get a "locking" differential. Lockers are great for mud bogging, and can get you out of really deep snow, but they're impractical and possibly dangerous for normal driving. A great compromise is an "air locker" - a pneumatic control on the dash allows you to momentarily lock the differential when needed, then release it. Unfortunately, they're $$$.
       Lot of folks complain about the Ford LS rear end. I think it's fine - applying the brake has always worked on my F350. It takes a while to get a feel for it, but then it's second nature.
  • jf067jf067 Posts: 17
    Thanks for your reply. I have heard of that trick before, but It didn't occur to me at the time I guess. I think I was too upset over what I was observing. I have had limited slip rear-ends on several cars I've owned in the past, they never acted this way. I read your explanation, but what I don't understand is why we should have to be "tricking" the rear-end to do something that it should do normally? Their explanation of a 53 ft. lb. breaking point seems awful low to me. You could almost go past that just putting the truck into Drive! I mean, my old Camaro would do better than that - I guess I may be stuck with it, but I'm not going down quietly as far as the dealer's concerned.
    Have you, or anyone else had trouble with door-alignment on the Super Cab? Mine knock and shift when on a bumpy road (normal speed). If I'm at a complete stop, turn the wheel hard in either direction, then accelerate, it (driver's side)shifts so loud it scares you. (First time in happened, I thought I ran something over pulling out of a parking space) Luckily nothing/no one was there!
    Thanks again for your help.

    Jim
  • jf067jf067 Posts: 17
    Sorry to be hitting you guys up for info again. I'm being told be another 04 6.0 diesel owner that the Hyper-chip is the way to go. I realize my warranty would most likely be voided to do something like that. This guy is telling me that the computer can be rolled-back to factory default settings before you have it serviced, and the performance boost is well worth it. Now mine has already been re-programmed once by the dealer a week after I bought it, due to an emissions recall. Has anyone tried this Hper-Chip? Is any of the talk true?
  • I heard from a person who installs the boxes and changes exhaust that the 6.0 is really awsome, but i also heard from a guy who worked at the ford manufacturer that you should not install anything, don't change exhaust or add a box, it will decrease the life of your pickup and increase problems later on, those trucks are built to last like they are from the factory. For the other person wondering about the tacs on the new 6.0 mine reads 2 at 70 mph.
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