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Old 04-10-2011, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,718 posts, read 59,579,994 times
Reputation: 26823

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In my never ending quest for an affordable 4x4 vehicle that will hold our family and some canoes, tents, etc., get me to work and elsewhere in the heavy winter days, and plow out our driveway in the winter, I have come across a possible bargain on a ford 2001 F-250 with a powerstroke diesel. I do not know much about them other than what I found on the internet, which is not much.

We do not really need an F-250, but it is cheap. Diesel fuel costs more, but diesel egnines apparently get better mileage. At todays' prices the added cost of diesel fuel (5% - 8%) is not as high as the added mileage (about 15%). So that could work out Ok. It has 125,000 miles on it, but supposedly diesels last forever, so the engine should be OK.

Does anyone know these vehicles well?

Is it hard to find someone to service them?

Do they have good (tough) transmissions?

Is there anything that they are known for having fail?

Is it a PIA to find diesel fuel? There are several places around us that carry it, but what about elsewhere? Is it hard to find in rural areas?

Intrenet sources indicated that mileage is about 17-18 MPG without a load. Some people claim that they get 19 and even 22 MPG. Anyone have any experience with mileage in one of these?

Some internet sources claim to improve mileage by adding a filter of some kind, some sort of chip, fuel additives (including transmission fluid), or special tuning. It this for real, or is it another gimmick. Some people claim to have increased mileage by 5 mpg by putting in a K & N air filter, I know that is hooey. Are there things that actually increase diesel mileage?

This is a supercab (with 2 little suicide doors) instead of a supercrew (4 regualr doors). It looks reasonably comfortable in the back seat, not bad, but not great. (it appears about the same as my 1998 F-150 which our kids had no problem riding in, but they were smaller when I had that truck). Anyone use a supercab with teens or adults on a long trip? How uncomfrotable was it?

anythign else that I should know/consider?


Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:57 PM
 
52 posts, read 48,271 times
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1. You won't get that kind of mileage out of a Ford diesel. A truck with a 12 valve Cummins will get high teens to low 20s pretty easily, but the Fords lose a lot of efficiency because they run at higher RPMs.
2. Whatever you do, DON'T buy a truck with a 6.0L Powerstroke.
3. In general, older diesels get better mileage and are more reliable than the newer ones.
4. Unless you have a heated garage or plan to plug it in all winter, you might not be happy with a diesel during a Michigan winter.
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:23 PM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,409,188 times
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7.3 psd turbo as good is as it gets.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:21 PM
 
52 posts, read 48,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
7.3 psd turbo as good is as it gets.
Until you have to take the cab off to work on the engine.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:08 PM
 
30,881 posts, read 24,210,085 times
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a few things i learned when i had my diesel, and 84 F250 6.9/four speed.

1: i averaged 21 mpg all the time pretty much. the worst mileage i got was 16, and the best i got was 24.

2: the truck was quite reliable, but if you didnt change the glow plugs on a regular basis, you would have a very hard time trying to start the engine in cold weather. the nice thing was i could change out 3 glow plugs and the engine would then start though it would run like crap for the first minute or so.

3: keep an eye on the oil cooler, if it leaks you will run through oil faster than a blown out oil well. the "O" rings get hard with age and lose their ability to seal.

stay away from the 6.0s especially the early ones, and the 6.4s. they tend to have serious issues. the 7.3 powerstroke was an excellent engine, but dont expect the same fuel economy i got as the later trucks were heavier. you should however at least approach 17-18 mpg overall.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Great Plains
25,584 posts, read 30,500,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missed View Post
Until you have to take the cab off to work on the engine.
Are you talking the 6 liter? Yes removing the cab is often the quickest and easiest way to access the engine. Why do you think trucks larger than pickups have hoods that fold forward? Gee it makes servicing a lot easier. The safe money says the average owner will be taking the pickup in if it requires taht sort of service.

The 7.3 is one of the best engines on the road.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:07 PM
 
52 posts, read 48,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD4020 View Post
Yes removing the cab is often the quickest and easiest way to access the engine.
The engineer who made that decision should be shot. There's absolutely no reason that you should have to pull the cab on Fords to do things which should be minor maintenance

Quote:
The safe money says the average owner will be taking the pickup in if it requires taht sort of service.
My point is that they shouldn't be forced to take it into the stealership to have the cab removed for the simple jobs like changing out lift pumps, turbos, injectors, or in the case of gas engines, the rear spark plugs and coils. Its just bad engineering.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 35,415,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missed View Post
- snip -

4. Unless you have a heated garage or plan to plug it in all winter, you might not be happy with a diesel during a Michigan winter.
I only plug in my diesel when it gets to -20 or colder. Anything above that and it starts just fine. No garage.

My son has a 7.3, no garage and doesn't plug his in either.

Both of us life in Northern Wyoming.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,484,624 times
Reputation: 4846
Quote:
Originally Posted by missed View Post
The engineer who made that decision should be shot. There's absolutely no reason that you should have to pull the cab on Fords to do things which should be minor maintenance

My point is that they shouldn't be forced to take it into the stealership to have the cab removed for the simple jobs like changing out lift pumps, turbos, injectors, or in the case of gas engines, the rear spark plugs and coils. Its just bad engineering.
An '01 7.3 Powerstroke F250 will not need the cab removed for minor or major maintenance. I don't know WHAT you are smoking.

My neighbor has a fleet of these, and F350s and F450s of the same age. He's getting 400-500k miles out of them and they are in great shape. Solid, reliable vehicles, and yes, 17-20 mpg is normal in mixed use. Hell, I get that sort of mileage in mixed use with my 6.5 turbodiesel Chevy.

The '99-03 Ford 7.3s are probably the best all around used diesel pickups. The engine isn't as good as the Cummins, the styling and amenities arent' as good as teh GMs of that era, but in overal ability and reliability, they simply cannot be beat. Which shows in their high resale values.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:46 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,776 posts, read 14,138,585 times
Reputation: 11850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
An '01 7.3 Powerstroke F250 will not need the cab removed for minor or major maintenance. I don't know WHAT you are smoking.
I think that is the excuse the Dodge owners use when they buy a Dodge diesel. They know they have the best engine but they also know thy have the worst truck so they slam the Ford.
You might call it superiority insecurity.

My brother's Dodge was so lousy he tried to return it to the dealer they day after he took delivery." What a POS" were his words.
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