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Old 03-24-2009, 05:17 PM
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Question How are Ford F250s with 5.4 v8 for towing?

I have been looking for a part-time tow vehicle. I have been looking around at late model used trucks and looked at several Ford F250s and F350s (I have past experience with Fords).

How would an F250 with a 5.4 L v8 do with a 7500 pound boat? Would it have enough power?

I have seen a lot of 2005 and 2006 F250s and a few F350s with 6.0 diesels. While they have gobs of power, I am afraid of them because of all the issues that those motors have (EGR valve, EGR cooler, head bolts, etc). I do not want a used truck headache or money pit. The nice F250s (king ranch or lariat) with a 6.0 diesel are going for $23-28k in my area.

There are very few F250s with the v10 for sale in my area. I think that the v10 might be the ticket for towing. What do others think about why v10 F250s are hard to find used?
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:30 PM
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we have a few of these as work trucks. The 5.4 is fine for towing that kind of weight unless you get out on the interstate much, then it is on the weak side compared to the other V8 offerings on the market. The V10 (haven't driven a new body style truck with one) has wonderful power, but it is very thirsty. If you are going to primarily use it for towing, the towing milage between the two should be somewhat close, and I would think the extra power of the V10 would be worthwhile.

Given the weight you are towing, you would be pretty well suited with a F150 or other 1/2 ton with the bigger engine choice, which would give you a more friendly daily driver or truck for around town. If it is just going to be for towing and ocational yard work, bigger is better.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:59 PM
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It should be ok But the GM 2500HD with the 6.0 might be worth looking at.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:20 PM
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My friend's 2002 F-250 has the 5.4 engine. The only modifications are heavy duty tires and air bags. We haul my Sea Hunt, a highly modified(heavy) slide in camper and tons of equipment/crap down to they Keys every year. It's slow, but it gets the job done. Passing and lane changes are near impossible in heavy traffic. The truck is built tough for hauling, but the engine lacks power when you weigh it down. Honestly, the acceleration is pretty wimpy even when the truck is empty.

Here's a picture of our load.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:10 AM
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Thanks for the thoughts so far.

Just to clarify, I am looking for a truck that can do well for long trips at highway speeds. I trailer on the highway to RI and MA (400 miles one way) as well as Virginia Beach (200 miles one way) multiple times each year. My shortest trailer is 35 miles of highway driving.

I figure that with 7500 pounds of boat/motor/trailer/gear plus three people in the truck and gear in the truck, the total could easily be approaching 10,000 pounds. That is why I have been thinking a 3/4 ton truck rather than a 1/2 ton.

I am also going to use the truck just for towing and work - I'll have another vehicle as a daily driver.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:18 AM
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in that case my vote would hands down be a 2007.5 or back 5.9 cummins truck with a manual transmission, for strictly highway use, a stick is not cumbersom to drive at all. That way you will have the best of both worlds, no tranny worries,, and diesel power for the long hauls. Also, to me the lack of needless shifting you get from a manual transmission makes interstate rides much more enjoyable.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:21 AM
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5.4 motor is a gas hog.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:32 AM
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I currently own two 6.0 F-250's. They are a 2005 and a 2006, so they have the benefit of the two years of time Ford had to fix problem areas before they were built. But bioth trucks have been great and I would not hesitate to buy another 6.0 truck. Most of the problems with the trucks have been when people start adding chips or otherwise modifying them.

One thing about instant communication and the internet: You hear about every problem and some decent products can seem like disasters when they are not. The price of aftermarket warranties (Mercury Casualty sells the best ones) reflect the real cost and problem levels and those warranties are similar in price for similar trucks. The warranty companies base their rates on experience and profit. For example, you can easily buy a warranty for an S class Mercedes - unless it is the S600. The companies won't touch 'em.

I wanted to see how much grunt the 6.0 really had. I tied a crane scale between the hitch on my truck and a tree. The truck will generate over 5000 pounds of pull with no effort at all. There is an important note here: Ford set the transmissions up to start in third if the shifter is placed in third. That is to limit wheel spin in snow, so don't try pulling a boat up the ramp with the shifter in "3". Drive or low is fine.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:36 AM
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I have an F-250 5.4 and I tow a 23-T contender. The loaded boat and trailer scale #8200 ready to fish. The truck pull it fine and when I'm not towing it gets about 14 mpg which is not bad. However if you're towing long distances, which you are from what you described, I would definetly go with the diesel.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:28 PM
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I would consider the diesel. I would stay away from 03-04 models though. The 06 6.0 was a great motor and had ALOT of the kinks worked out. I currently drive a 1500 series GMc but I am eyeing the diesel pretty hard. Also you might was to consider the idea of a 1/2 ton. The 09 F-150 has the capacity for 11,000 pounds of towing and it makes a very friendly daily driver. I would go to the DMax but they are hard to find around here equiped right or else I might steer that direction as well.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:04 PM
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The 5.4 is a dog and you are up at the upper range of the towing capacity with 7500 lbs. If you stay around half of the towing capacity for any two vehicle i think you will be happy. My dodge 5.7 hemi would blow my ford 5.4 away easily with or without my boat and get much better gas milage. The 5.4 is as much of a pig on fuel as it is a dog with a load. They say for 2009 the engine has more power and better gas mileage but i would look into that. Id look into a 2500 ram hemi with the 6 speed automatic or the 6.0 GM with the 6 speed allison. I think your best bet is an early 2007 (pre emmisions) 2500 with a cummins.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:08 PM
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I towed my 8000# boat with one and was very disapointed. The truck just came in trade so I jumped in it for the Friday night fishing trip, I was about 5 miles away on the first hill and I almost turned around. I've read other threads here where people were happy with them, to me its hard to believe. I take a lot of them in trade from people upgrading to a diesel. I would rather have the V10 if it was'nt looking for a diesel.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:10 PM
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Good advise pastaman1234 but I don't think they put an allison behind the 6.0, only the 8.1.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:24 PM
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I have a 2007 F250 with a 5.4....it pulls my boat without any trouble at all (not a dog) but as stated before, it is a bit of a gas hog....13-14MPG empty and around 9-10 pulling the boat (boat is around 7,000#)
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:47 PM
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With that type of weight & distances on the highway, & since you are going to use it for work anyway, get the diesel, the dodge with the 5.9 cummins is the ticket, plenty of power, the auto is also good, as long as you do not bomb the engine.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:25 PM
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I pull a 23' proline hardtop express with a 5.4L 2007 Expedition. This was one of the first vehicles with the 6 spd auto for Ford, now also in the '09 F150s. My towed weight is about 7500lbs (scaled), and the truck pulls it OK. I pull from Mich to the keys back and forth and have put approx. 7500 tow miles on this setup. Set the speed control 68-70 and it gets 10 mpg with no wind effect. Do like the 6spd and I leave it in drive. While no race truck, the 6 spd and 3.73 axle make it drive OK. 17-18 mpg when empty and easily driven. The tow rating is 9500lbs, a new F150 can be optioned up with this drive train to pull 11K plus.
If thinking of only driving sparingly, I would stay gas which aren't as finicky to long rest periods, be it V8 of V10. I would vote V10 if you can find one.
Good luck.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:36 PM
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Dog...tranny will downshift for the slight positive grade change.
Get the V-10 or Diesel.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bms1939 View Post
Good advise pastaman1234 but I don't think they put an allison behind the 6.0, only the 8.1.
Pretty sure i saw one on a lot when i was looking for a truck in September o8!! I thought they did a 6 speed in their 3/4 ton. Sorry if i am wrong!!
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastaman1234 View Post
Pretty sure i saw one on a lot when i was looking for a truck in September o8!! I thought they did a 6 speed in their 3/4 ton. Sorry if i am wrong!!
pretty sure the 6.0 is a 6 speed auto, but not the allison.....Also, I believe the 8.1 is gone, as are most of the huge displacement gas burners. That is really kinda sad, as they are ideal for heavy weight short distance guys or those that do big weight infrequently, and ideally suited for stuff like farm use.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:43 PM
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I pulled my 30' scarab from Alabama to NC with a 5.4 F250. I have a Chevy Duramax now and its a lot better tow, but the ford had no problems pulling the boat all the way home freeway speeds.
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