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Old 10-09-2007, 05:37 PM   #1
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PowerStroke 6.0 Diesel or a Gasser?

I am trying to make an engine decision for an EB-50 I hope to order later this year. My plan has been to buy a diesel, thinking that would give me better mileage and engine durability. I don’t plan to do a lot of towing so the increased torque would be nice, but not an absolute requirement.

But a quick review of the Ford PowerStroke 6.0 engine history is really frightening. Owner after owner complains about serious problems with their engines. Ford and Navistar have been suing each other over warranty claims. Reliability has seemed to improve over the past couple of years but there still seem to be a lot of issues. On the other hand Ford sells over 300,000 of these each year so how bad can it be?

My questions are:

Are Sportsmobile diesel owners having/had similar problems to all the Ford pickup owners?

Does an EB Sportsmobile really benefit from a diesel if you are not going to be also towing a trailer?

Why buy a diesel if it is going to cost significantly more and be unreliable … seems like a gasser might make more sense?

Should I wait for the new 6.4 diesel introduced in 2008 into F-Series pickups to be available in vans?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:21 PM   #2
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At about 26,000 miles, the turbo had to be replaced on my '06 6.0.

With an '02 7.3L, the rear main seal was replaced at 25,000 miles, and again at 35,000 miles.

It is generally accepted that the 6.0L is considered less reliable than the 7.3L, but also keep in mind that the forums are a place for people to vent their frustrations, and not many people post that their alternator is still working fine.

Gaser vs. diesel, is a topic that's been discussed here and on other forums ad nauseum. Take all points with a grain of salt, and go with your gut (or pocketbook). Financially, the return on investment is a long time coming. I tow close to 7,000lbs, and prefer the diesel low end torque for that reason.

As for the 6.4L, I'd wait for at least the second or third model year the engine is available before buying a vehicle with one, to make sure the initial bugs are out. I think it's been out for about a year and a half now. This really holds true for any new engine, and even the 7.3L didn't have the greatest track record at first.


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Old 10-09-2007, 07:08 PM   #3
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Herb has pretty much said it all. You only hear about the problems with something. You add up all the negative comments compared to all the engines that are out there and it's a very small percentage. I do feel that the V-10 is probably more trouble free then the 6.0, but I still went with the diesel. I've got 11,000 miles on my '07 with no maintenance issues. The low end torque is great even thou I don't tow much. The great thing is that the horsepower and torque curves max out at around 2,000 RPM and that's where the RPM sits at 65-70 MPH. The V-10 has lots of torque and horsepower too, but at a much higher RPM. The diesel is better then my old gasser when crawling around in the dirt. Touque at low RPM is hard to beat. As Herb sez, just go with your gut. It was a tough decision for me too, but I'd sure go with the diesel again.
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Old 10-09-2007, 10:47 PM   #4
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Gas vs. diesel

Herb, my alternator is still working fine.

Opps, sorry, we weren't supposed to post that.
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:52 PM   #5
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It really does boil down to what you like. All reliability issues aside, do you like diesel engines? Have you driven a diesel SMB? Are you ok with the noise? If it weren't for the noise factor I would choose diesel hands down. My SMB will be the V10. For my wife and I the noise factor was the main issue.
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:27 PM   #6
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I like the 7.3L Diesel in my F250. It's a 99 so it's rock solid. Only 37K miles and I can't bear to get rid of it (the engine that is).

I think there is a 99 7.3L in used....

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=431

If you want reliable diesel that's the way to go!
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:05 PM   #7
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PowerStroke 6.0 Diesel or a Gasser?

As has been said there are pluses and minuses to each engine choice.

I've owned 3 Ford vans, each a little bigger than the previous (I don't think I could get any bigger without going to a cutaway chassis at this point.)

-The original had a 350 motor, trouble free till the transmission went out at 110k but it always needed more power.

-The second one had a 460 motor. It had gobs of power but fuel mileage was terrible -- 10 MPG in town and 11 MPG on the highway. It had it's fair share of issues, air conditioning, alternator, water pump... It's a fact of life.

-I opted to go with the diesel for this van (see signature) and it's my first ever diesel. Love it. Approaching 50k with no issues.

My reasoning: better fuel mileage (I can get 20MPG on the highway if I take it easy); great power in the lower RPM's, where it's needed; less maintenance; ability to get the Espar heat, which draws diesel fuel right from the tank (I went with no propane.)

Whatever you choose, I'm sure it will be the right decision for your needs.

-Joey Dude!
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:22 AM   #8
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I love this topic, ad nauseum as it is. I wanted the diesel, drove one, drooled over them. Wife cant stand the noise and the smell. Since she was an important consideration, I opted for the V10. Since then have actually come to appreciate it more. Here are some of the arguments and counter-arguments worth considering.

Longevity: The diesels last forvever, dont even get broken in for many thousands and can easily go 300,000+ with proper care. But wouldnt you want a new SMB with all the other latest designs and technology by then? I would.

Tow capacity: Edge to diesel, esp heavy haulers. But the 10 is now slouch and wont even feel a small boat or trailer.

Gas Mileage: Big Perception, and reality edge to diesel. BUT wait. Sure some of the 6.0's and 7.3's have seen 20, maybe 22 in a tailwind. But realistically its more like 16-18 and in some cases maybe a hair less even. In which case, you are only off the V10m by 3-5mpg. They get a consistent 11-12 no matter what (loaded, up, down, backwards, headwind), and maybe can see 14 on a good day with light load. So you gotta ask yourself, for the extra cost of the diesel (in my case close to 6grand at the time), you can buy a lot of gas, avoid some of the scary issues (6.0), and have dramatically lower maintence costs.

Maintenance cost: Definitive edge to the V10. Start with a simple oil change, go from there. Diesels last longer but cost of maintenance is much higher and you gotta stay on top of them.

Aesthetics: I like being able to slip in and out of campgrounds and cruise quietly through some forest areas without alerting everyone within two sq miles of my presence. Not to mention just getting in and out of the garage at home without waking up the neighborhood. Advantage 10.

Low-End Torque: I've been 4-wheelin with some 6.0SMB's and gotta say it is a thing of beauty to watch them just idle over obstacles nearly effortlessly. As mentioned, just killer low RPM grunt. Huge advantage to diesel. That said, the V10 was right there with 'em, same place, same obstacle, same trail, no issues. Slightly higher RPM yes, more fuel used, sure. Its like towing tho, no slouch, its a torque monster in its own right.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:19 PM   #9
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One more thing......there was an article in Automotive New that showed diesel truck resal value will recover 80% of the new cost to buy a diesel..that is on top of the fuel cost savings.

The question to consider, does the resale value of the diesel Sportsmobile cover the additional initial cost?
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:02 PM   #10
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Thanks BC! You have said it better than I've seen anyone say it. It's all about what YOU want. If you are about to spend $100K ++ I doubt a few thousand bucks extra for diesel will make or break the deal.
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