Re: How does your SMB take on hills and mountain passes?
I have an 05 E350 with a Quigley 4x4 that I drive from So Cal to Idaho a few times a year. Tow my 6k lb boat most of the time. The van does not do well going up the grade to Tahoe or up the Grapevine. Slows down considerably. But, it is also a pig just running fown a flat freeway. I am sure many are happy with the performance, but I hate it. I switched from a 04 Excursion to the Van for the additional room it offered. The Excursion had MUCH better performance under all circumstances and managed double the MPG. Both are 6.0 PSD's. I was surprised at how much performance and economy I lost when I made the change.
Another problem is the lack of performance upgrades you can do on a van, due to the space issues. A tuner and bigger exhaust are about it. Tuners turned up to high are what lead to turbo problems. Bigger exhaust might bet you 1 MPH in perfomance gain if you are lucky.
As far as 6.0 PSD issues go. I think everyone is making a much bigger deal than it is. I beat the hell out of my vehicles. During the drives to Idaho the only time they get shutdown are to get fuel and we drive straight through for 16 + hours. No turbo cool down time at the gas stations. I treated the Excursion the same. Over 100k miles between the two and no issues. Sure, you read all about the problems on the internet, but you are not reading about all the non-problem owners. From what I can see, it is significantly less than 0.5% that have problems.
Most of the time, I wish I stuck with the Excursion.
06 Ford E350 6.0 Diesel Quigley 4x4
95 H1 Hummer HMCS