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Old 04-28-2014, 08:49 PM   #1
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simple engine explanation please...??

This is fairly new to me: can I get a simple pro/con and expected miles on the various engine options?

Diesel 7, 6 and 5
Gas v10

I've read that original 6 had issues, can this be explained? Is it a huge problem or just and easy modification to fix. Thank you for any helpful info!!
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:34 PM   #2
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Re: simple engine explanation please...??

The main reason to get a diesel is because you want a diesel. If you don't know much about them, you probably don't want one. Exception: if you plan on foreign travel, diesel can be easier/cheaper to find. Also there are some really nice diesel appliances available.

The V10 has quite a bit more power than any of Ford's diesels, however it comes with about a 20% fuel economy penalty. It also has to turn at higher RPMs to make its power, while a diesel can pull hills typically one gear higher. The high RPMs don't bother me one bit, but some people don't like that.

The 7.3L was a noisy diesel and also felt sluggish IMO, but was generally reliable (but not necessarily the transmission that came with it).

The 6.0 had much better driving characteristics, when it's running. That can be a pretty big if however, and when its not running plan on spending upwards of $3,000 per dealer visit. Besides being more powerful and smoother than the 7.3L, it also came with a very robust transmission that rarely causes problems.

Either the 7.3L or the V10 can go a million miles if not abused and maintained properly. A 6.0 is lucky to hit 250k.

That's my $0.02 ... I know other may have a more favorable opinion of the 6.0 and there area few folks who haven't had any problems. I got to see the problem ones, so my perspective is a little skewed.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:01 AM   #3
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Re: simple engine explanation please...??

There are several threads on engine choice, gas vs. diesel and the mostly cons of the 6.0, it was a problem child and when researching my own engine choices, knowing I wanted diesel, found a nice low millage 7.3 SMB right down the road. Most will choose diesel for any towing because of available torque or for long hauls or high millage duty and longevity, at least with the 7.3, or there are some that just like diesels and the ability to run bio fuels. The 7.3 is very reliable, but also as said, loud, although you can add dynamat or sone other sound deadening material to help out and adding a performance chip but a gasser is much quieter.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:26 AM   #4
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Re: simple engine explanation please...??

Keep in mind that a diesel costs more initially and then costs more to maintain. Diesel fuel is also more expensive although mileage is better. I think Mike posted a comment a month or two ago that, now with over 100,000 miles on his diesel, he finally broke even (initial cost plus fuel vs. gas costs)...
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:35 AM   #5
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Re: simple engine explanation please...??

There seem to be a few factors that always come up with a "which engine to get" thread. I've read a lot of them since I was in your shoes not too long ago.

What I have gathered from all the threads I have read is that if you buy a diesel van/smb, you should think of it as a piece of heavy duty machinery. The motors are work horses and maintenance isn't something to take lightly. A "simple" oil change on a diesel motor is something like 15 quarts. You should change the fuel filter every 10k miles. You need to test the radiator fluid every oil change and add supplements to it if need be. Some of the O rings start to deteriorate due to the Ultra Low Sulfer fuel. The biggest hurdle for most people is the additional upfront cost the diesels come with. Find a low mile/clean 7.3 and you're looking at a HUGE premium. Over the last several years diesel fuel has cost more than even premium gas, but lately in my town, diesel costs less than regular gas.

If you are planning to drive your van daily, you should consider how long your commute is. I've read a lot of back and forth about short commutes in a diesel and how it could shorten the lifespan of them. Again, everything that I mention is based on what I have read on many different forums.

I really wanted to find a passenger van with a 7.3 and came close to purchasing one, but I ended up with a V10 passenger van instead. It definitely has plenty of power and drives very nice, but its thirsty...very thirsty. But I only drive about 7,000 miles a year so it wasnt a deal breaker for me.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:34 PM   #6
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Re: simple engine explanation please...??

MK RACER - I could have driven 36,000 miles in a 10 mpg V10 @ 4.25 gal for what I spent on engine only bullet proofing and repairs last year. Ten years after their release I can't imagine why anyone would ever consider a 6.0 PSD powered vehicle if long term reliability was any type of factor.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:55 PM   #7
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Re: simple engine explanation please...??

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatO
MK RACER - I could have driven 36,000 miles in a 10 mpg V10 @ 4.25 gal for what I spent on engine only bullet proofing and repairs last year. Ten years after their release I can't imagine why anyone would ever consider a 6.0 PSD powered vehicle if long term reliability was any type of factor.

Yeah the 6.0 wasn't ever on my radar to buy. I was too scared of them since there are many horror stories on the web. I did the math on fuel savings and it would have taken me a VERY long time to break even on the mileage benefit of the diesel. Since I don't usually keep a car that long (2 years seems to be the max), I would have never reached the mileage benefit. The "cool" factor of a diesel van is absent with my V10, but at least the V10's are reliable!
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:19 PM   #8
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Re: simple engine explanation please...??

Ty, very helpful. I don't plan to tow, not even looking for a true smb, just looking for a started 4x4 van that I can camp in. So, I think gas engine is my target. I'm learning these things are not as easy to find as I had anticipated. :/
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:50 AM   #9
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Re: simple engine explanation please...??

The V10 engine is also simpler, so easier to fix on the side of the road, and it is a LOT quieter.

Note there is also a 5.4 V8, but I think it is a bit underpowered for this application but may be worth a look if gas mileage is a concern.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:10 AM   #10
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Re: simple engine explanation please...??

Knowing what I do now I would have gone with the V-10 and just carry extra fuel. But I was surprised when we did a fuel comparison between my 6.0 and the V-10 on the trail. Highway mileage tests are always thrown out there but slow trail speeds are another. There might be other factors such as whether or not our fuel gauges read the same but in a side by side test with a friend, I was able to go much further mile wise than my buddies V-10. We both filled up at the same time, same tanks, same speed, and the same trails. Average speed was under 30 MPH, most about 20 and a lot of downhill stuff. At the end of the runs, he was worried about going 15 miles to the station and I was able to travel about 100 miles further. Worth the headaches, NO. But I enjoy my van...err, when it's running.
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