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Old 01-15-2019, 02:56 PM   #21
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What altitude are you talking about b.rock?

Are you towing?

Seems you are overthinking it a bit. There are only a few choices and you get the one that is most optimized for your regular use. You can't plan for everything.....
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:59 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by b. rock View Post
Currently doing the same evaluation (aka, banging my head against a wall). Also would be a high top 4x4. My thoughts:

-Test drove a later PI (post '00) V8. Already gutless at altitude in 2wd form.
-Test drove a 6.0. The clear winner in the power category, but that engine bay gave me nightmares should I have to work in it.
-Test drove an early non-PI V10. Not significantly different from a later V8.
-Can't find a later PI V10 to test drive.
-Can't find a 7.3 to test drive that isn't an ambulance.

After dealing with a Land Cruiser and a Vanagon, my patience for doing 50-55 up the passes and topping out at 70 on the flats is behind me. I'm leaning toward a V10 or 6.0 just for the transmission. The extra low 1st gear means you can get away with taller gears in the diffs for highway cruising, but keep the low crawl ratio for offroad control. Also the easiest to convert to 4x4. However we also want to use it in the winter, so the V10 has an edge for cold weather starts.

Edit: Also in my mind the 7.3 vs 6.0 is largely a wash. Factor in the price of a new trans for the 7.3 vs EGR + studs for a 6.0, it's the same in the end. Course the first tow due to a bad FICM would likely change my mind.
In your shoes, I would go 6.0 and just pay to get the motor done right from the get go. If you are going to be at altitude regularly, you can't beat forced induction.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:27 PM   #23
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Weird, my whole reply just got wiped when I hit submit.

Anyhow - I live at 8500' and need to drive up 6-7% grades up to 11k'. It takes some decent power to do that if your rig is 8k lbs or more.

Both my daily and my wife's daily have some kind of forced induction, but a strong n/a motor can do well out here too. I've had a coyote powered F-150 before and that was fine (although much lighter). There's also a simplicity benefit in an off road/expo vehicle where I've been leary of taking a turbo vehicle into the boonies, although I'm certainly willing to make that trade off for the extra highway capabilities.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:56 PM   #24
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Yeah my normal vehicles are turbo as well. I've found the big block engine to be fine over the passes. I'm passing the semis but the Audis go around me. It is middle lane worthy at best, not left lane. Not an issue for me, I'm too big and heavy to be in the fast lane. Plus if you know this, the right lane is the faster and less stressful lane in the USA, the sheep hang out in the left lane.

Anyway my buddy has a 7.3. If I had a choice I would have a V10 with 5 star tune. His 7.3 costs too much to run and is disgusting to be around. Loud and black smoke isn't worth the higher cost of entry. My opinion.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:02 AM   #25
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Living in Golden you know the deal. It's not that you just have to pull speed up the pass, it's that someone is going to cut in front of you at 45, then you'll need to regain that speed (as best you can).

I was thinking the same. A v10 with a tune, and maybe some headers, might be the ticket. The money saved on not bulletproofing the 6.0 buys a high top conversion.

Side note, are there any local 4x4 van groups? I found the local cruiser folks and vanagon folks helpful, wasn't sure if there was a similar group for SMB's and similar vans.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:33 AM   #26
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Exactly!

Rather than headers a magnaflow exhaust and k&n filter. You'll get great flow that way.

I don't know of any clubs sorry. I'm not on Facebook but search there for something.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:44 AM   #27
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Ah gotcha. There are some expedition-ish clubs, but it's predominately jeeps/toyotas. The only van I've come across in those circles was a Nissan NV.

Do you find you can push 75-80 fairly easily on the 'flats'? I'm talking the smaller rolling hills, i.e. 285 south/west of Monarch, I70 west of GJ, or really even Monument Hill? Right now with the land cruiser we take Google's estimate and add an hour for ever 5 hours of travel purely to accommodate for the hills. I'm really trying to get away from that so we can reach a little farther and a little faster.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:58 AM   #28
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B.rock - Sounds like your really looking for a high roof eco boost Transit. I have a mid roof and with the eco boost I am never lacking power.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:09 AM   #29
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75 to 80? I may sound old saying this (I'm not) but I generally stopped driving over 65 years ago. Too many speeding tickets and MJ isn't legal everywhere.

With how big the 4x4 E350 is I go no faster than 70 mph (i25) and normally just set cruise at 65 and chill.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:10 PM   #30
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Well in areas where the speed limit is 75 or even 80, yes - it's greatly beneficial to take advantage of that. Hell my vanagon pushes 70-75 and it's a high top, so I figured something with triple the horsepower could do the same.

I was shying away from the transits due to the IFS and inability to fit even 33s, which really limits where it can go offroad, or at least with any room for error. No DIY 4x4 swap kits (yet), but quadvan is $13-14k. I do like those ecoboost engines though, have one in my daily (SHO).
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