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Old 08-02-2008, 10:04 AM
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Default 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

I am looking seriously at a 2003 Ford Excursion with the 6.0 diesel as a tow vehicle for occasional trips with my 23 Seacat (approx 7000 lbs + or -).

It has a computer gizmo that adjusts engine performance to the type of driving you do.

The vehicle is pristine w/46k miles, all the buttons and the power from the turbo diesel is outstanding.



Anybody got any good, bad or ugly on this engine & set up?
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/

Join the forum and search the archives. The early 6.0 diesels had a couple of glitches. The chip you are talking about is a great addition and the miles sure seem to be great. Just learn what to look for from the Search on the PSD forum.

My Excursion with the 7.4 has about the same torque as the 6.0 and they can both just idle up the launch ramp with any size boat. Good choice.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

Rick - Your Excursion has a 7.3 not a 7.4.

I wouldn't buy a 2003 or 2004 powerstroke. You couldn't give me one. I have a 2005 and they had the bugs worked out by then.
Buying a 6.0L is still a crap shoot. I got a good one; lots of others get awful ones.

They 05 models of Excursion would be the golden ticket. (I think thats the last year of production)
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

My 2003 Excursion 6.0 (early 03 year build) has been great for 67,000 miles. I bought used with 27k on the clock. Make sure all the updates have been done, and run the VIN number to see what warranty work has been done on it. If the warranty record shows things like the turbo being replaced a 2-3 times or major engine work like heads replaced.....run away fast. If it shows simple things like recalls and TSB work then it's probably fine. There were some early problems, but I checked out mine like this before buying and all is well.
I also had a Ford dealership with certified diesel mechanics to a pre-pirchase inspection to check everything out.

What sux is filling up the 44 gallon tank! Seen a few other X's chipped that blew the tranny, but maybe because they abused the power. Been thinking about a chip for mine to help with fuel economy, but do not want to void the 100k powertrain warranty either.

Maintenance costs are higher with this type of vehicle, with trany flush needing done at the Stealership and it uses 15 quarts of oil per change. I run synthetic from Wal-Mart and change it every 6-7k with no issues.

It is an awesome platform for towing a boat, a lot of people and stuff in the back at the same time. There are several good diesel websites out there to look at pro's/cons and thousands of little mods you can do. I like www.fordsuperduty.net and there is a wealth of info at www.thedieselstop.com and they have a forum just for Excursion owners. This is where I found out about checking the VIN on these sites before buying...

No matter how high diesel gets....I am keeping mine
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

Quote:
donkey_punch - 8/2/2008 12:22 PM

Rick - Your Excursion has a 7.3 not a 7.4.
weeelllllll, would you believe the 42 pound snapper I caught yesterday???/

You're right, of course!

About oil changes, synthetic on those engines ought to go 10K miles between changes unless you do a lot of city driving. That large sump is there for a reason. Save your money.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

I've went 7,500 before and it sure looked dirty so I decided not to push my luck, these are some expensive engines. Mine is a daily driver through the city so maybe that's why.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:52 AM
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Default RE: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

most of the problem's i have heard of with the 6.0 has been in truck's that have changed the chip's in.i know 3 people and myself that have them with no trouble's at all.now the front end shake is another story
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

It will be a lot of tow vehicle for the money and I really think it is the last of a breed. I seriously doubt if such a thing will ever be built again, unless fuel prices change a lot.

I have both a 2005 and a 2006 F-250 with the 6.0 and am perfectly happy with them. Asking if they are the best is about like asking E-tec vs 4 stroke or cat vs monohull.
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Old 08-02-2008, 12:13 PM
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Default RE: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

Quote:
kerno - 8/2/2008 10:55 AM

It will be a lot of tow vehicle for the money and I really think it is the last of a breed. I seriously doubt if such a thing will ever be built again, unless fuel prices change a lot.

I have both a 2005 and a 2006 F-250 with the 6.0 and am perfectly happy with them. Asking if they are the best is about like asking E-tec vs 4 stroke or cat vs monohull.
the e tec vrs yam is real true. I had 6.9s a 7.3 turbo and now own a 12 valve cummins with a few mods to increase reliabilaty mostly. If you put a chip in the newer diesels as a cheap power jump it will cost you in the end. A standard diesel towing a heavy boat is such a good feeling compared to using a gas engine.
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Old 08-02-2008, 01:44 PM
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Default RE: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

Quote:
Bly - 8/2/2008 12:13 PM
A standard diesel towing a heavy boat is such a good feeling compared to using a gas engine.
Amen Bly!
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

The 2003 had either the 7.3 or the 6.0, I personally would look for a 7.3. The 6.0's, mainly 03-04 models, can be problematic with turbo, EGR, and head gasket issues. The head gasket issues are usually due to performance chips but it can be an issue without one. The cost to repair the head gasket can run you the better part of 4k. I would purchase an extended warranty if you decide to go with a 6.0 model. The 44 gallon tank is painful to fill at the moment but it will get you a long way, I took one on a 700 mile trip and had fuel to spare when I got home.
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

I have a 2003 and a 2005 6.0 trucks with no problems so far. The one thing I haven't liked is the hesitation
pulling off the line in the 2003 truck, other than that it has been a good performer.



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Old 08-02-2008, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

Stay away from the first 2 years like everyone has said - the bought back almost as many as they sold. The 6.0L is a consumer built diesel by Navistar (International). The old trusty 7.3L is the real International commercial grade engine still in use today (when ever you see "VT365" on the door of an international box truck, school bus, etc. That is the old reliable 7.3L. If you want a diesel that drives like a gasser - the 6.0L and the 6.6L Isuzu in the Chevys is the way to go (they rev to 4500-5000 rpm, a commercial diesel like the 7.3L will be spitting pistons out at 3000). They also have higher power/torque bands shaped like gas engines - not the rise to 1400 rpm then a flat line to red line like the 7.3L and the Cummins ISB (5.9L) in the Dodge.

Dodge and Chevy don't make an Excursion. Get the 2003 7.3L if you can find one - D60 front end vs the D50 if you're looking at 4wd.

I own Dodges w/(5.9L and 6.7L) I6's , Fords w/7.3L V8's & Internationals w/7.6L I6's.

I was a Ford guy until the 6.0L - now I'm a Cummins guy who has to take the sheet metal wrapped around it. I now love my Dodges - seems to be a tougher truck drive train wise, the sheet metal is thin as a beer can - Ford is way better in that regard.

Lots of forums out there - stay away from TDR - too much Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge BS & who can out run who on the drag strip or tow their Airstream down seanic route 1. DTR is great if you want Dodge info - most of the guys there actuall work their trucks and make their livings with their trucks.

Excursion w/6.0L = Good truck w/bad engine IMO

Check your owners manuals - I run full synthetic in mine (3 gal in the Cummins - 4 Gal in the 7.3L - 8 gal in the 7.6L) - all are safe the run 7500 miles on conventional and 15k on synthetic. Take it from a guy who makes his living with his trucks and actually works his trucks. I start trying to find time to take the truck out of service around 10k miles - it usually gets serviced around 13-14k. I average about 1 set of tires per truck per year (minus the Int'l 4300's) - an oil change every 60-90 days per truck. We use our 4wd, we tow 20k+ lbs they will treat you as good as you treat them. Had a bunch of computer related problems with the `08 Int'l 4300 "Blue" diesel doing wacky things with that whole emission particulate filter/regeneration thing - but unless you buy an RXT or the like to tow you have no worries!
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

fastzilla, you wrote, " ....not the rise to 1400 rpm then a flat line to red line like the 7.3L and the Cummins ISB (5.9L) in the Dodge. "

I've read that the sweet spot on a PSD is 1800RPM, which is around 63MPH for my Excursion. Given that I'm going to be hauling a heavy (to me) boat 1600 miles, would you agree that the best economy would be around 1800? Time is irrelevant, so I'm playing a game with how much MPG I can wring out of the old truck.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

Quote:
bamaboy473 - 8/2/2008 7:24 PM

fastzilla, you wrote, " ....not the rise to 1400 rpm then a flat line to red line like the 7.3L and the Cummins ISB (5.9L) in the Dodge. "

I've read that the sweet spot on a PSD is 1800RPM, which is around 63MPH for my Excursion. Given that I'm going to be hauling a heavy (to me) boat 1600 miles, would you agree that the best economy would be around 1800? Time is irrelevant, so I'm playing a game with how much MPG I can wring out of the old truck.
It is all a function of BSFC (Brake Specific Fuel Consumption) when it comes to diesels. Look up the BSFC for the 7.3L or the 6.0L and you will have the absolute "optimal PRM" where you engine gets the best fuel economy for the power produced it will ever get - period. The 7.3L is around 1825-1850 and the 5.9L is around 1950. What this means is if I keep the 5.9L at 1950 rpm (about 68mph w/3.73) I'll get upwards of 23mpg. If I bump it to 2100 rpm (75mph) I get 18-19mpg. It is NOT a function of load but a function of RPM in a apples to apples comparison where only the RPM is varied. Diesel tuners (chips, Banks kits, Bully Dog) actually help shift the BSFC a tad up the rpm range and allow you better fuel economy at 70-75 (they increase the injection pump pressure about 5000 psi thus atomizing your fuel better and advance the timing a hair to let give the fuel a little longer to burn in the cylinder as well as it increases the "bang" by allowing for a tad more compression from fuel burning during the compression stroke.

To get better economy try things that keep your RPM as close to BSFC as possible. If you want to travel faster than 63 mph go from 245 to 285 tires or 305's if your truck will allow. Again these engines produce 500-600 ft-lbs of torque from 1400 or 1500 rpm straight to the rev limiter so UNLIKE a gasser, just because you drop your rpm's doesn't mean you are reducing your available power.

On the PSD I went from 245's to 265's and picked up 3-4 mph.
On the ISB I went from 265's to 305's and picked up 5 mph
(Talking about tire size - remember I also picked up speedometer error so 60 mph indicated is actually 64 or 65mph ground speed - need to remember this or get your computer recalibrated or tickets will ensue)
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

i have had to 6.0's. One 2004 excursion and a 2005 F-250. Both I have had zero problems with and both have been great tow vehichles. The 6.0's are known for headgasket issues when used with a programmer or chip, and this is an epxensive fix. That would be one hesitation. Also, diesel trucks have been taking a beating price wise. have seen some absolute steals, so make sure you are getting a great price or I woudl keep looking. Also, the warranty shoudl be 10K on the motor but could possibly be voided b/c it has a performance chip.
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

Hey thanks for all the info. I guess its a crap shoot, but I don't think the current owner has had any issues so far. He tows a Searay deckboat with no problem--don't know the weight.

The engine seems to have awsome power at this point, and the truck would suit my needs perfectly (hauling family + boat long distance) but I sure would not enjoy dropping 4k in for repair anytime soon, so I guess I'll check it out pretty thoroughly.

Anybody knows any more, I'm all ears
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:00 PM
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Default RE: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

Quote:
ScottK - 8/2/2008 4:44 PM
Quote:
Bly - 8/2/2008 12:13 PM A standard diesel towing a heavy boat is such a good feeling compared to using a gas engine.
Amen Bly!


Thats what got me started in this direction==I had planned to pull the boat from Naples about 900 miles with my Suburban with a 350 gas engine, andit just seemed such a strain I changed my mind.

I think this big diesel will pull it with no problem and haul people in comfort too.
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

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Cat-a-holic - 8/2/2008 8:43 PM

Hey thanks for all the info. I guess its a crap shoot, but I don't think the current owner has had any issues so far. He tows a Searay deckboat with no problem--don't know the weight.

The engine seems to have awsome power at this point, and the truck would suit my needs perfectly (hauling family + boat long distance) but I sure would not enjoy dropping 4k in for repair anytime soon, so I guess I'll check it out pretty thoroughly.

Anybody knows any more, I'm all ears
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:22 PM
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Default RE: 2003 Ford 6.0 diesel--Good, Bad & Ugly

I have an 01 Dodge and read a lot of the diesel web sites. fastzilla's responses were the most factual, unemotional answers that you are ever going to get on the internet.
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