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Old 01-20-2010, 05:06   #1 (permalink)
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confused Looking to buy a F250 - Have some Questions

Hi,

I'm looking to purchase an F250. Ill use it as a daily driver since i only work 8 miles away from home and it will be a weekend tow rig for my 18foot car trailer.

I have some questions for the expert owners who have learned all the quirks and in's and out's of the F250 platform.

Wants:
1. year model of 2003-2007 or so, not much older.
2. Four full door model.
3. short bed
4. 4x4 but last on list.

Questions:
1. Since I'm daily driving i was wanting to stick to gas over diesel, however if the diesel platforms are way more reliable then i wouldn't let it detour me at all in buying otherwise.
I did notice they offered the:
5.4 V8 - is that too under powered? I would be towing 5k lbs.
6.8 V10 - too much a gas guzzler?
6.0 V8 Diesel - Tell me more please? turbo seals go out, etc>?
7.3 V8 Diesel - Tell me more please? turbo seals go out, etc>?


2. What are the quirks and known issues to deal with in the F250. Failure of what key components along with minor ones, radio, etc..

3. due to towing, does the F250 come with a separate auto tranny oil cooler? or is it merged with with radiator.

any and all help is appreciated.....thanks so much..

if need be i wouldn't mind calling and talking to an expert owner on my dime....thanks

-J
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Old 01-24-2010, 13:56   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Looking to buy a F250 - Have some Questions

Welcome!

An F250 is a good choice as a weekend hauler. Unless you want a bit of performance, a crew cab short bed with the 5.4L V8 will easily handle 5K towing and whatever else you dare throw at it. if you want a diesel, the 7.3L is the only one I'd get at the moment, and it's been the most reliable to date. Personally, for a V8 setup I'd stick with a gas engine, or get the V10. The V10 will get slightly worse mileage than the diesel, but initial cost, more regular maintenance, higher weight all lead to costing you more money in the long run. Unless you plan to tow 9-11K every weekend, a diesel isn't worth the money.

The only problem you'll find is that the used market is flooded with the crew cab trucks with the 6.0L diesel, which has several problems, from leaks, to failing injectors. A few members on a landscaping site I'm also a part of complain of the 6.0L diesel on a regular basis. One member in particular has a 2007 6.0L V8 and has all the injectors replaced, three of which were done under warranty and the others were at 52K! Then he had a seal blow and the turbo become a problem shortly after that. He traded it in last month for a 2009 Dodge Cummins.

Another thing you'll find is that most crew cabs are uplevel trims, which means they have more things (options if you will) that will break over time and cost you money should you decide to repair them. I'm not a fan of the in-dash 6CD changer for instance, or a sunroof - after all I consider the F series a work truck. Ford only builds them in higher trim levels to increase profit and to make people who want to spend their money foolishly, look good.

To my knowledge all F250s and up come with a transmission oil cooler and a power steering oil cooler as well. On diesels, I believe you also get an engine oil cooler. My choice would still be the 5.4L V8. You won't win any races with any engine you decide to go with. A 5.4L crew cab short bed 4x4 for instance should go 0-60mph in around 11-12seconds, the V10 in about 10seconds and the diesel in around 8.5-10 seconds depending on the HP rating and block size.

As an example, my Dodge Durango (listed in signature) tows near it's limit on the weekends throughout the summer months. I'll hook up 6.5-7K and it's rated for 7300lbs, not including what's in the truck to stay within gross combined weight rating (GCWR). It has a 250hp 5.9L V8, which taking into account the displacement size the 5.4L V8 in early 2000 models was rated at 235-255hp depending on year. Newer 5.4Ls since I think 2007, are rated at 300hp. I have no problem with acceleration, passing, stopping, you name it. The F250 will weigh a good 1000lbs more than my Durango, but even with that I can't see it flinching one bit!

All told, get the newest, lowest mileage 5.4L crew cab you can find in your price range and you'll have a truck that'll undoubtedly last you 10-15 years - if you take care of it, it'll take care of you. Most F250s are used and abused, so when test driving just make sure EVERYTHING works, right down to the power mirrors (if equipped). If you see any dings/dents around the lower body panels you know it's seen some construction sites. If you can, get all vehicle maintenance history, such as oil changes, coolant changes, gar oil changes, etc. This will better give you an idea of what needs to be changed when instead of having to change all the fluids after you buy it.
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Old 02-04-2010, 18:12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Looking to buy a F250 - Have some Questions

My advice: STAY AWAY FROM THE 6.0. 7.3 is the way to go.
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Old 02-05-2010, 17:17   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Looking to buy a F250 - Have some Questions

i baught a leftover 02 f-250. a plain jane with no power anything. gas 4w drive and a/c reg.cab 8' bed. 5speedmanual bench seat. v8 5.4L. this thing had a 38 gallon tank and it lasted for ever. the mileage was a product of my easy driving and the manual tranny. best truck i have ever been in. my company has had many diesels and all they do is break down and sound like $#%@. i wrapped this truck around a tree really good and still drove home a half mile in 4 wheel drive. i will go to my grave wishing i still had this truck and one day hope to find an equall. as for the technical aspects i cant help you but others will. sounds like you want one differant than mine but really think you should go with gas.
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Old 02-05-2010, 20:11   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Looking to buy a F250 - Have some Questions

I have an '02 F250. It has the 5.4 motor. It is an extended cab shortbed. I bought it new in '02, (special ordered it). I tow a 7000lb boat/trailer without any trouble. However, I have had many problems with this motor/ tranny combo. At 35,000 mi the right side Exhaust manifold broke the two bolts at the back exhaust port. At 45K both upper and lower ball joints, sway bar bushings, wheel bearings, seals, O-rings, ABS sensor. At 49K the tranny went. At 90K it launched a spark plug, $2600 to fix, now there is a Timesert that will fix this problem for around $150. (I have heard this is a common problem from '98 to sometime in '03, If you search on the 'net for ""ford trucks" & "spark plug" & "launch"", you'll find it). Now at 105K both bolts on the back ports of both exhaust manifolds are broken. There may be others that are broken. Don't have money to fix right now. Ford dealership said this is a common problem because of the aluminum head/cast iron combo. Minimum labor cost, at dealership will be $330. Ironic that that is the size of the motor. All total over $8K in repairs already in this truck. Other than the repairs, I really do like the truck. Good luck, Rick
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:10   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Looking to buy a F250 - Have some Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockokloco View Post
I have an '02 F250. It has the 5.4 motor. It is an extended cab shortbed. I bought it new in '02, (special ordered it). I tow a 7000lb boat/trailer without any trouble. However, I have had many problems with this motor/ tranny combo. At 35,000 mi the right side Exhaust manifold broke the two bolts at the back exhaust port. At 45K both upper and lower ball joints, sway bar bushings, wheel bearings, seals, O-rings, ABS sensor. At 49K the tranny went. At 90K it launched a spark plug, $2600 to fix, now there is a Timesert that will fix this problem for around $150. (I have heard this is a common problem from '98 to sometime in '03, If you search on the 'net for ""ford trucks" & "spark plug" & "launch"", you'll find it). Now at 105K both bolts on the back ports of both exhaust manifolds are broken. There may be others that are broken. Don't have money to fix right now. Ford dealership said this is a common problem because of the aluminum head/cast iron combo. Minimum labor cost, at dealership will be $330. Ironic that that is the size of the motor. All total over $8K in repairs already in this truck. Other than the repairs, I really do like the truck. Good luck, Rick
That's quite the list. Sorry to hear! I've never had that many problems with any vehicle, no matter how much I abuse it. My Durango has around 113K and still runs as good as it did when I bought it. Balljoints were taken care of through warranty/recall, I've replaced two front wheel bearings and the exhaust, that's it in ten years. I tow a 2-4K landscaper during the summer months, and for four years I towed a 6K R/V for when I went hunting. Truck never skipped a beat. I'd still choose the 5.4L in the F250 though over the V10 or diesel, irregardless of problems as I'm sure you'll have the least problems with the 5.4L in the long haul.
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'00 Durango R/T 360ci 290hp (modded); 138,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 44,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 13,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
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Old 02-06-2010, 18:22   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Looking to buy a F250 - Have some Questions

I must say, the 7.3 Powerstroke is the way to go for reliability. Ignition and electrical problems are a cause for concern with the 5.4, the 6.0 is more fuel efficient and quieter than the 7.3, but also is very costly in repairs. The 7.3 however basically runs forever. And you're not going to get any better fuel mileage out of the 5.4. The V-10 is basically pointless if you ask me, so I'd go with the 7.3.
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