Hey yall here's the deal. I have a 2001 Superduty SRW, 4dr, 2WD with the 7.3 and I use it to pull my 3 horse trailer with a living quarters. It hit somewhere around 170k on it now and with the prices of trucks now going to hell, Im thinking of upgrading. This truck does just fine but the 2WD and SRW is a little deficient for the trailer. Im thinking of a 2007 or newer, 4WD and DRW (but can be a SRW) and slightly used. Now I have been told to keep the 7.3, its an amazing engine and much better than what i have heard of the new diesels.
So what do yall think? Stay with what I have? Or upgrade? And if I upgrade, what to?
The F-450 is more of a status symbol and is overrated. Unless you plan to tow 20K with it on a regular basis, the harsh ride will hurt your body after a while and you'll want to sell it.
If your 250 is serving you well with no issues, I'd keep it. Run synthetic oil where possible (rear gear oil, engine etc) as it will prolong component life. I'd keep the 7.3 diesel as well. If it's not the best diesel that Ford has got from International, it's in the top two. It has the least amount of problems than the 6.0L and the newer 6.4L twin turbo. The 6.4L eats more fuel even though it's a smaller size. This is due in part to the twin turbo design, as one of the two turbo's are always giving boost, which eats more fuel. A magazine recently tested a Harley Davidson 250 with the 6.4 and they achieved 15mpg highway and only 11 around town. For a diesel, it could be MUCH better.
If the rear of your truck seems to sag from age of the springs, etc, then you can get air bags for a smoother ride and assist the springs to keep the truck level, or install helper springs over the OE springs.
If you're hard up with getting a new truck I'd go for a SRW F350. If you don't need the 4x4 system, skip it, as it'll be a maintenance hog in the future. If you want used and don't tow the trailer often, get the V10 engine. It has nearly the same torque as your 7.3L, eats a bit more fuel but costs significantly less to own and operate than a diesel.
We use the Ford ONLY for towing. I use my Dodge for eveything else. About the SRW, the lady has complained on occasion of wanting a dually saying the single wheel deosnt provide enough stability or something like that.
The woman went ahead one day and added an AAL without first consulting me, which I would have said no to. I would have done airbags. The AAL brought the back end up (looks ugly) and makes the back end a HORRIBLE ride. Bouncing like its a damn bouncy ball. BUT, we do get 20 mpg on the highway now, which I cant complain about! lol
On the the 4wd. I would say we need, solely for these instances...we have gotten the truck stuck in the pasture, on wet dirt roads...and even our back yard lol so the 4wd is something I think we could use.
One option is to get a rear air locking differential. It'll allow nearly the same traction in light off road situations that a 4x4 can do. This would be similar to what's known as a pre runner truck. The air locker can be manually selected. A PowerTrax is another option. It's a mechanical locker that locks as soon as you apply power the wheels. The only downside is you have to be cautious turning tightly with the go pedal pressed as it'll allow some wheel hop, which won't hurt the vehicle, but it'll give a bad swaying sensation...like towing a trailer up a mountain in HIGH winds! One benefit is the cost, roughly $700 for an installed unit as there's no front axle to worry about. As I don't think you plan taking it into mud pits, a locking axle would do nicely in your case.
AAL's will increase ride harshness. I find they work best for those that use campers that slide into the truck bed so it'll keep the vehicle fairly level while providing a smooth yet capable ride. These slide in camper folks also generally tow a boat or something similar as in some US states you can't tow a trailer behind another trailer on interstates.
A dually can provide better stability, but this is the key: When you use a proper brake controller and configure it for the load, and use a proper hitch (WD/WD+sway control) will make a significant difference on how the trailer will tow. If your trailer is a 5th wheel, that's a whole different story. A 5th will tow better on a dually so the weight is more evenly distributed. What I mean here is that an average 5th wheel can have up to 1500lbs of tongue weight empty.
When you turn sharp enough with a SRW truck you'll feel the weight transfer more to the opposing side than you would with a standard hitch trailer, as the tongue weight is on the back of the truck, not directly over the axle.
Oh, if you do decide to stick with the 2wd and get a locking differential, DO NOT I repeat DO NOT get mud terrain tires installed or you'll dig yourself into holes before you know it. A moderately treaded all-terrain tire or more aggressive all-season tire will work best on wet/puddled/lightly mudded roads and on wet grass as you mentioned. It's too easy for someone to be over-tired as much as they can be under tired for any given situation. If you planned on going off road, in which one or more wheels will be off the ground at any given time then mud-terrains with softer rubber compounds would be the way to go.
I've driven past Jeeps that fully off road equipped in my utterly stock Dodge Durango with simple but slightly aggressive BFG Long Trail T/A tires installed. It's amazing what a great combination can do.
I hear. To clarify, yes our trailer IS a 5th wheel. And the modding aspect is probably not going to happen, even the locking rear. I do a lot of modding on my dodge but would like to keep the truck stock. I tried a programmer and it messed up the computer. So modding is kind of out the window. Except for maybe an intake.
Now I need to add something that I forgot to mention; Even though you are ford people, would you suggest getting a Dodge or Chevy as opposed to what I have? In my mind the Cummins is by far the best production diesel in the 3/4 tons. Now the trans that goes with it, im iffy about. If I got a Dodge it would be a megacab dully with the Cummins. If a chevy, a 4 door with the dually and durmax.
What do you say about those trucks? Any experience with them?
If I got a Dodge it would be a megacab dully with the Cummins.
My brother in law swears by a Dodge 1-ton dually. I once saw him drive one of his till the wheel literally fell off. After a day or so under a shade tree he was back on the road again. I don't know how many miles are on it now but back then it was over 200k. He still hauls cattle to the auction & tractor equipment with that truck.
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