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Old 06-28-2018, 06:42 PM   #1
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Diesel or Gas

I think its finally time to get my first Sportsmobile. I like the Ford van versions and was wondering if its better to go with gas or diesel. In my price range (55-60k) it looks like I can get an older 03-07 diesel with 120,000 plus miles or a newer 2010-2014 gas V10 (or maybe V8) with much less miles. My question is should I go with the older diesel and all of the potential problems that could come with it or should I go with the newer gas model. and why. Towing really isnt an issue for me. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:52 PM   #2
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V10 but if I were you id go transit.
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:48 PM   #3
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Taking a fair and balanced test drive in each will teach you much.
The infamous 7.3 is incredible. No doubt.
Have doubts about the 6.0
Triton series motors are Ford Tough, but for a med to heavily loaded van go big or go home . 6.8 V10 w/ 5R110 Rocks.
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:21 PM   #4
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No brainer. I'd go with a high-mile V10 ovor an any mile 6.0 any day. Finding a low mile v10 is just a bonus, but certainly not necessary for reliability.
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:28 PM   #5
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Here's something I wrote on the general topic of powerplant tradeoffs about a year ago. If you want to read the entire thread, you'll find it here: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-4l-19397.html

I'm going to be a fool and wade into the engine comparison. Y'all can feel free to berate me and scream, "Off with her head!"

1. There are folks who love each one of the four motors--7.3L diesel, 6.0L diesel, 6.8L V-10 gas, and 5.4L V-8 gas. And there are folks who have the same level of feeling--except in the opposite direction--for each of these powerplants. What is right for one is dead wrong for another. YMMV.

2. The diesels generally get better fuel mileage than the gassers--especially offroad. YMMV.

3. The diesel motors tend to be more expensive than gas with respect to maintenance. YMMV.

4. The diesels are louder than the gassers. Whether this is good or bad or meaningless is up to each individual.

5. The 6.0L diesels have something of a history of issues. An internet search will provide you with tons of information on this. There are various approaches to "bulletproofing" to address these issues. YMMV.

6. The 5.4L gasser is the least powerful of the four. Most of the 5.4L rigs also have the 75R trannie, which is the lightest duty of the group. Some folks want the additional grunt of the V-10 or the diesels; for others, it makes no difference. YMMV.

7. Generally speaking, the 5.4L gasser tends to get better fuel mileage than the V-10. YMMV.

8. Some folks consider the 7.3L diesel the holy grail of Econoline powerplants. YMMV.

9. Other folks do crazy-a&& stuff like stick a Cummins diesel and Allison transmission into their Econoline. But I digress...

Read, talk to people, drive a bunch of rigs, ask questions on the Forum, and figure out which tradeoffs are best for you. Match the rig you buy with the uses you will put to it. The right rig for you is going to be very different from the right rig for someone else. We all use these vehicles differently. Daily drivers have one set of priorities; weekend rock crawlers another; desert racers still another. Think carefully about your use case, and match accordingly.

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Old 06-29-2018, 09:34 AM   #6
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My take having driven them all and owned two...


7.3 diesel: Loud, great grunt, a little "lazy" unless you toss a mild tune at it. gets decent mileage but not the hyped "I get 20+ MPG" that some will say. Expensive to maintain but very long lasting. These are getting to be old rigs, even if you find one with "low miles" the last one was built 15 years ago.


6.0 diesel: A bit quieter than the 7.3, better emissions (less smoke and stink), better mileage (slightly). A little more "get up and go" than the 7.3. Has known issues which if not addressed can lead to engine failure. These are great motors if they've had the issues addressed. Find one that's been "bulletproofed" and thoughtfully maintained or write the big check and have it done. Once setup, they're great and drive much better than the 7.3. (They have the sweet 5-speed transmission too)


6.8 V10: Only a little less "oomph" than the diesels but much quieter. Very durable and dependable. VERY thirsty. (you don't buy it for the mileage) Personally I would only buy a later V10 with the 5-speed. (this is a great combo)



5.4 V8: Adequate. So long as you're not towing or in a hurry this is a great little motor. Mileage will likely be somewhere between the V10 and the 7.3.




If you plan on towing, go with one of the diesels or the V10. Otherwise buy the newest van you can find in the best shape you can find with a layout that suits your needs.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoidiot View Post
My take having driven them all and owned two...


7.3 diesel: Loud, great grunt, a little "lazy" unless you toss a mild tune at it. gets decent mileage but not the hyped "I get 20+ MPG" that some will say. Expensive to maintain but very long lasting. These are getting to be old rigs, even if you find one with "low miles" the last one was built 15 years ago.
.
I actually used to get a hair over 20mpg freeway in my '03 7.3 when it was empty and had no work done on it. Obviously as soon as you build out the interior and get a lift and bigger/offroad tires everything changes. I got around 15mpg on my last trip fully loaded up.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:13 PM   #8
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I'll clarify...
With an empty van, going ~55-60 mph on level ground it is completely possible. It's just not realistic to expect that mileage with any kind of build out, lift, 4x4 or normal speed.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:33 PM   #9
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Recently went camping with 2 buddies families, all of us in Ford E350's. All of us had bikes and camping gear for a trip up to Yosemite.

One is a 2003 7.3, tuner, 4x4, 35's, gears, high top, built out interior
Another was a 2003 7.3, 4" lift 2wd, 31's, minimal interior
Mine is a 2012 5.4, 2" lift, 32's, and at that time, a minimal interior

We all ran the same speeds, filled up at the same places and used within 1 gallon of each other every 300 miles (the 4x4 had a 300 mile range with it's smaller tank)

This last week our 5.4 and the 4x4 7.3 went up to Crescent City, CA on another trip. This trip my interior was built out similarly to the 4x4. One tank the 7.3 got 13 MPG and my 5.4 got 13.4. Another tank the 7.3 got 14.8 and my 5.4 got 14.4. Each time we stopped for fuel it was that close.

When we all tow our Jeeps to the desert is where the Diesels beat my 5.4, as their mileage doesn't really change and mine drops to 12 MPG.

But on the steep hills like the Grapevine, momentum is the diesels friend, otherwise their EGT's start climbing, where my 5.4 doesn't seem to care.

When I was searching for a van I looked for a diesel, but quickly realized I could get a 9 year newer van for 10 grand cheaper than any diesel I could find, and have my pick of vans.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:36 AM   #10
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it looks like I can get an older 03-07 diesel with 120,000 plus miles or a newer 2010-2014 gas V10 (or maybe V8) with much less miles. My question is should I go with the older diesel and all of the potential problems that could come with it or should I go with the newer gas model.
my experience with the 6.0 diesel is substantial.

i've got numerous posts on here as to PM and bulletproofing the 6.0. dealing with the 6.0 is the apollo 13 of the automotive world.

i have one with 175k on the clock, that is absolutely as good as it can get.
85k since it's rebuild.

i was looking at converting it to FWD, and by the time i did it the way i wanted it to be, it'd be $35k, all in. paint, dana 60's, arb lockers, arb air, second tank, fox shocks, aluminess, bead locks, 37's, yada, yada, yada. it would be a pretty cool ride.

bear in mind, it's paid for, sitting there, ready got go. all the bugs worked out. zero issues since bulletproofing.

so.... would i take it to the maze in canyonlands? knowing that motor as well as i do, and having one essentially for free at my disposal, the answer is...

fork no. there are too many itty bitty things that can stop it dead in the water, that CANNOT be fixed on the trail.

so, find out what it would cost to extract it from the maze. add in finding someone locally that is a good 6.0 guy to fix it. they are few and far between. i have ONE guy i trust, and i've TOWED my 6.0 151 miles to him to have it worked on when it broke. he's that good.

you are two days into the maze, and your bulletproofed 6.0 has a hairball and stops running. injectors. or ficm. if you really know what you are doing, you can fix injectors trailside. if you are a dork, you can swap out a ficm trailside. if you have a spare.

pulling that beast out of a really remote area can push $3k. then you have to get it fixed nearby.

so.... what to do? offroad a 6.0 or not? i went and bought a '18 JL rubicon.

want a fully done 6.0 E-350? it's sitting in the driveway, ready to go.
$24k in upgrades. $36k new.

$10 k takes it.
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