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akfiredude 02-16-2012 03:35 PM

Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Hi everyone

I have been peeking at SMB's for sometime and I'm getting close to making the leap to ownership. I have have been looking at used ones and I'm curious as to others experience/opinions regarding gas vs diesel engines. I assume the diesel is more fuel efficient and more reliable. There are some V10's on the SMB website and they are of course less expensive. Are the diesels worth the extra $? How much better is the fuel economy? Are we likely to have less break downs (as I know diesels can be much more costly to get worked on)? My wife and I will be traveling fairly remotely in Alaska and the desert SW so economy and reliability is really important to us. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated regarding what to look for (or not) for remote travel.Thanks in advance. Paul in AK.

Ford_6L_E350 02-16-2012 04:12 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
You ask good questions.

It looks like the V10's get 10-14mpg and the diesels 12-18mpg. The maintenance costs for the diesel will eat up any fuel savings. And it is hard to get into a good diesel mechanic, especially when on the road. We sat in Prince George BC for 5 days with injector problems and again 5 days in Sydney, Nova Scotia for another injector failure. And towed 80km into Dawson City YT for another problem.

If I had it to do again, I'd go with gas.

That said, I'm happy with my van and engine and the 16+mpg we've averaged including 4wd use.

Mike

webbmac 02-16-2012 04:20 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
You might look at a GM Duramax. :b1: .

vwteleman 02-16-2012 04:35 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Paul,

You may find your answers here:
No more "Gas or Diesel" Threads

(Sorry, not trying to be rude, but there's some good info there.)

Brent

Tapatio 02-16-2012 05:19 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
[youtube:1qubfwyw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE4b43TkCHU[/youtube:1qubfwyw]

akfiredude 02-16-2012 05:46 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Hi Brent

Thanks for the link (I did not take it as being rude). I did look at these (of course found it after I posted) but these were all posted in 2007/2008 I'm curious now with the higher gas/diesel prices and the fact that people have had several more years of experience with these engines if there is more current feedback for a SMB newbie like me. Thanks again, Paul

akfiredude 02-16-2012 05:51 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Tapatio, that was hilarious!!! Thanks for giving me a chuckle without busting my b*lls too bad for asking the same dumb old question.....Paul

saline 02-16-2012 07:00 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Great job Tapatio!

86Scotty 02-16-2012 07:44 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
My belly is hurting from laughing so hard. I love that one. I've seen those before but that one is the best!

Ultrasport12 02-16-2012 08:13 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
When we started looking to replace our old GMC van with a newer Ford I wanted a diesel because I had a 2000 F350 with a 7.3 and a manual trans that I loved.Because we wanted to use it for long trips my girlfriend had to like it as well. We drove a 2002 van with a 7.3 and it was too loud even for me coming from the old and not too quiet GMC. Since we really wanted a newer van we decided it had to be 2006 or newer and thus a 6.0. We drove a 2006 with maybe 80,000 miles and then a 2008 with only 22,000. I hate to say it but the noise was just to much for her and almost too much for me. I know you can use sound deadener and things to make it quieter but we just thought a gasser might be better. At that time diesel fuel was about 50 more than regular and we figured it would take a ton of miles to pay for the difference in purchase price, maintenance and fuel to offset the few miles a gallon better a diesel would get. So we bought a 2008 E-350 with a V-10 and we couldn't be happier with it. It gets 13-15.5 mpg all the time (still 2wd...3.73 gears) has tons of power and it is smooth and quite.

PatO 02-16-2012 09:43 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Go GAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The stock 6.0 is an abomination. I saw a pump at $4.50/gal the other night here in San Diego. My corner pump is still $4.20 but I;m sure it will follow up. My 58K average is less that 13.5 mpg. Long highway trips are never more than 14.5 mpg. I've had 4 turbo services and multiple recalls and re-flashes all of which made it noisier and more pig like. Acceleration is pitiful and I refrain from getting to far off the road because I just don't trust it anymore. I do plan to take cares of the many issues in the next 6 months ($$$'s) and hope to have it be the vehicle it should have been out of the Ford factory. My 3 cents.

yondermountain 02-16-2012 11:11 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Tapatio that was hilarious !
I think overall the v10 turns out to be a great choice. Very good longterm track record and the maintenance is less expensive for sure. Mileage is not so hot but fuel costs are high for both gas/diesel on a yearly basis relatively speaking. My 2000 4x4 v10 gets at very best 13-14 going 55-60 sometimes, but real world driving I'm getting more like 12. I must say it's very quiet considering the motor is next to your ankles/knees. All this being said if money were no object maybe I would have a 6.0 that I spent the 5-10 k to "bulletproof",I don't know?
Bottom line for me, although i was a cummins diesel guy, when it came to the ford van smb, I went v10 and I'm really glad I did even though budget had a lot to do with it at the time.
Jas

akfiredude 02-16-2012 11:24 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Mike- Ultrasport12- PatO- Jas,

Thanks for taking the time to answer an obviously tired old question, your feedback has been very helpful. I was fairly sure I was going to go diesel but now the option of looking at a gas rig is viable in my mind. This just opens up more possibilities for me. I know there are pros & cons either way and people will have positive and negative opinions but it really does help having both gas & diesel owners share their experience both good & bad. A gasser is very appealing (we do not plan on towing on a regular basis & possible maint issues) except for the mileage issue as we will be traveling great distances. I know this has been the dilemma/decision for many before me.
Thanks again, Paul

scatter 02-17-2012 08:35 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Depends on how you plan on using it, but the low end torque of the diesel was a deal breaker for me. I have a friend with a gasser and he has trouble going places I breeze thru.
Just something else to consider....

saline 02-17-2012 08:51 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
I love my diesel by the way.

yvrr 02-17-2012 09:27 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
We have about 100K on our 2001 SMB. A few years after getting it, we heard about the spark plug issue and were concerned that replacing the spark plugs might precipitate engine block issues but they were replaced last summer without any problems. We have had some problems with the drive train which resulted in the need to replace the transmission (overheating) and differential limited slip components (twice) but those items are unrelated to the type of engine. The only problems on the engine were the need to replace the AC compressor and some AC hoses last summer, but again, those are independent of the engine type. I thought I was getting into an engine issue a couple of years ago coming home from Colorado when the engine suddenly started shutting down after restarting it when it was at operating temperature. But I talked to the Ford service manager when we got home and he said that it sounded like bad gas (water in the tank). It stopped so it sounds like he was correct.

One issue that had me concerned about getting off the paved roads was the serpentine belt. I carry a spare but wasn't sure that I could replace it if necessary. (I worked on my cars as a kid but those were Chevy inline 6s.) But, if the serpentine belt on a V10 breaks, it will keep going as a V8. (I thought the folks at SMB Fresno were pulling my leg when they told me but it is in the Owner's manual.)

I'd like the better mileage of a diesel but the price of diesel is higher than gasoline (and that doesn't look like it is going to change) and diesels are fairly noisy. I'm very satisfied with our V10...

86Scotty 02-17-2012 06:53 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Now if you could find a 7.3 diesel on the other hand.................................

akfiredude 02-18-2012 01:36 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
yvrr (or anyone else with a V10), do you do much technical off road 4x4ing with your V10 (low gear creeping over technical terrain for long periods of time)? After reading other peoples posts I'm curious as to how the V10 does in this type of situation since it does not have the low end torque like a diesel. I know I will be doing mostly hwy/dirt/back road driving for 80-90% of the time but we really like to get out away from it all with our 4x4 and that involves some fairly technical terrain at times. I know there are always compromises no matter what type of rig/engine I may get.

carringb 02-18-2012 04:17 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
The V10 only make 15 ft-lbs less torque than the diesel, but is usually combined with lower gearing to compensate.

This is a comparison with the F-series 7.3 PSD, which made more torques than the E-series version due to the intercooler issue.

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/at...6&d=1186600725

deserteagle56 02-18-2012 09:09 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Please note in the above graphs the RPM range for these engines. Pretty hard to measure any low RPM information on the V-10! Like most newer gas engines, it thrives on RPM!

That being said, you will never notice a problem in low gear or low gear low range with the V-10. There is more than enough power to get through anything you could encounter. I have many, many miles of rough terrain (not many paved roads where I live) on my rig and in fact, I would say in the rough stuff the V-10 has an advantage because it is significantly lighter than the diesel. The only time I wish I had the diesel is at freeway speeds because the V-10 shifts down (to get into its power band) on any significant grade even with the 4.56 gears I run. The diesel makes max torque by ~ 1600 rpm and so doesn't have to shift. And you may have to carry extra fuel with the gasser if you spend much time in the outback - mulitply 30 gallons of fuel by 12 mpg and then 30 gallons times 16 or 18 mpg and that's a significant difference. As far as dependability, everything I've seen or heard, the V-10 is bulletproof. Mine has never had a problem in 35,000 miles. I've not owned a 6.0 diesel but the reputation for reliability is dismal.

Pete 02-18-2012 09:38 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by akfiredude
yvrr (or anyone else with a V10), do you do much technical off road 4x4ing with your V10 (low gear creeping over technical terrain for long periods of time)? After reading other peoples posts I'm curious as to how the V10 does in this type of situation since it does not have the low end torque like a diesel. I know I will be doing mostly hwy/dirt/back road driving for 80-90% of the time but we really like to get out away from it all with our 4x4 and that involves some fairly technical terrain at times. I know there are always compromises no matter what type of rig/engine I may get.

I have done a fair amount of technical off roading with my V10, and it has performed just as well as any other 4x4 I have owned. Never thought twice about it.

akfiredude 02-18-2012 03:40 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Thank you all for the GREAT info! This has really been helpful for me and like I mentioned before, it opens up more possibilities for SMB ownership for me. Also, any info regarding 4x4 component upgrades that I might want/need for off road would be very helpful as well. I am not familiar with heavier 4x4 vehicles and their particulars/needs. Thanks again, Paul

carringb 02-18-2012 06:17 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by deserteagle56
The only time I wish I had the diesel is at freeway speeds because the V-10 shifts down (to get into its power band) on any significant grade even with the 4.56 gears I run. The diesel makes max torque by ~ 1600 rpm and so doesn't have to shift.

That was a problem for me too, so I dropped the O/D shift point way down using the Predator, so now it pretty much stays locked in OD all the time. Even at 22,000 pounds it'll pull most highway grades without shifting. I also have the Banks PowerPack though, which added even more low end grunt.

Zeta 02-19-2012 02:45 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tapatio
[youtube:30nyhn7t]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE4b43TkCHU[/youtube:30nyhn7t]

OMG I just saw this--couldn't bear to read anymore diesel vs. gas discussions before now. Spot is correct, you want a diesel. Here's why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l4L--SJ ... ata_player

They sound good in Idaho.

Z

PS: That guy needs some step sliders from Rockslide Engineering!

JoeH 02-19-2012 10:33 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
The thing about discussion forums is that generally the posts are skewed toward problems rather than success stories.

73,000 miles on my 6.0 psd and no issues. Knock on wood but starting to mull over an egr delete though. Drove by the Bulletproof diesel place and they were not open on a Saturday. :a6:

EMrider 02-19-2012 02:25 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeH
The thing about discussion forums is that generally the posts are skewed toward problems rather than success stories.

73,000 miles on my 6.0 psd and no issues. Knock on wood but starting to mull over an egr delete though. Drove by the Bulletproof diesel place and they were not open on a Saturday. :a6:

Ditto. At 70k miles on our 6.0 and it has been by far the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. No issues.

Of course that can change, but so far so good. I drive it hard and follow a cautious maintenance schedule.

R

deserteagle56 02-19-2012 03:27 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by akfiredude
Thank you all for the GREAT info! This has really been helpful for me and like I mentioned before, it opens up more possibilities for SMB ownership for me. Also, any info regarding 4x4 component upgrades that I might want/need for off road would be very helpful as well. I am not familiar with heavier 4x4 vehicles and their particulars/needs. Thanks again, Paul

I believe the best upgrade to any 4x4 is a selectable locker, at least in the rear axle if not in both. Without that when you get your rig all crossed up - with a deep washout crossing the road at an angle, for instance - you find that you really have only 2 wheel drive. One front wheel and one rear wheel will have no weight on them and spin and stop you cold. That happened more than once to me with the old van in my avatar. It had a Eaton in the rear axle but it took a lot of wheelspin to get it to engage and sometimes that only aggravated the stuck. My current rig has ARBs in both axles and seems to be pretty much unstoppable, seems like it can ease its way over any bad spot. Just locking the rear axle makes 4x4 unnecessary most times.

deserteagle56 02-19-2012 03:33 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by carringb
Quote:

Originally Posted by deserteagle56
The only time I wish I had the diesel is at freeway speeds because the V-10 shifts down (to get into its power band) on any significant grade even with the 4.56 gears I run. The diesel makes max torque by ~ 1600 rpm and so doesn't have to shift.

That was a problem for me too, so I dropped the O/D shift point way down using the Predator, so now it pretty much stays locked in OD all the time. Even at 22,000 pounds it'll pull most highway grades without shifting. I also have the Banks PowerPack though, which added even more low end grunt.

That sounds wonderful. My van will be out of warranty soon. Then I'll want to hear more about the Predator and Powerpack.

Gnarvan 02-19-2012 06:55 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by deserteagle56
It had a Eaton in the rear axle but it took a lot of wheelspin to get it to engage and sometimes that only aggravated the stuck. My current rig has ARBs in both axles and seems to be pretty much unstoppable, seems like it can ease its way over any bad spot. Just locking the rear axle makes 4x4 unnecessary most times.

Which model Eaton did you have that took a lot of wheelspin to get it to engage? Was it the True Track? I'm still trying to decide which way to go on upgrades for my van. I've narrowed the choice down to the Eaton E-locker or the Eaton True Track.

WVvan 02-19-2012 09:26 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Since you asked about economy I'll make a mention of the vans at the other end of the engine spectrum. Those of us with a 6-cylinder gas engine. I can get 19+ mpg if I'm traveling in flatland, AKA Ohio and parts west, and watch my speed. When I'm on the interstate going up a mountain, I stay in the far right truck lane and take my time.
From what I've read this model engine is about as reliable as they make them and will run forever if you maintain it.
Mine has the 4.09 gear ratio so I've never had any problems driving up even the steepest forest road grades. One big difference with a lot of the other vans here is mine is 2WD and I never tow anything. Just my bicycle on a swing away bike rack. Also I don't go off-road. Just off pavement.

One other thought. I've recently been reading about the coming "$5 gas after Memorial Day". Just wait until that hits then you might get a bargain after some current owner panics about his mileage. Good Luck.

PS. Hat tip to Tapatio. Great work on the vid!

deserteagle56 02-19-2012 10:10 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gnarvan
Quote:

Originally Posted by deserteagle56
It had a Eaton in the rear axle but it took a lot of wheelspin to get it to engage and sometimes that only aggravated the stuck. My current rig has ARBs in both axles and seems to be pretty much unstoppable, seems like it can ease its way over any bad spot. Just locking the rear axle makes 4x4 unnecessary most times.

Which model Eaton did you have that took a lot of wheelspin to get it to engage? Was it the True Track? I'm still trying to decide which way to go on upgrades for my van. I've narrowed the choice down to the Eaton E-locker or the Eaton True Track.

It's whatever GM put in their vans and pickups a few years ago. For sure it wasn't the e-locker because there was no wiring going to the rear diff. I just know it only engaged after one of the wheels spun, after which the other wheel would lock up and start pulling.

deserteagle56 02-19-2012 10:29 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by WVvan
Also I don't go off-road. Just off pavement.

"Go Off-Road" is just a manner of speaking. I don't believe any of us actually go "off-road", only off pavement. In a state like Nevada there are thousands more miles of dirt roads than there are pavement - and some of them are just two tracks through the brush leading to some abandoned mine or ranch site and can be pretty darned rough. Driving those is what we call off roading. If a BLM or Forest Service Ranger were to catch someone busting a new trail out through the brush they would be arrested.

ridintall 06-13-2012 07:18 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Man, I wish I got 16-18 MPG in my 6.0 diesel. I have a 2004 RB50 that weighs in at 9K lbs. Best I've ever gotten was 14.5 and that was only once in 7 years. I get 11-12 in town and 13-13.5 on the highway. Towing my SMB trailer gets me about 11-12 tops.

I've spent over 10K in repairs since my van went out of warranty. I've just come to accept that repairs are expensive, that my rig is a money pit. But I've had a ton of fun in my diesel SMB and honestly I love it. Yeah it's a little loud, a little stinky a little warm on the inside in the summer. But it's bad a$$, looks cool and I get a lot of use out of it. Plus, there's something nice about a single fuel source for driving, heating (and cooking as some SMB owners have done).

I almost sold it last year....until I found out I couldn't get a diesel. Lately I've been considering a new one with the V10. I may pull the trigger once Ford announces a hard date on the end of the E-Series. Seems like when you own one of these for a few years, you learn a lot about what you would like to do different the second time around. For me it would be an EB with a full height top, SMB 4x4 and full float rear w/ locker. I'd rather not deal with propane, so maybe a custom 10 gallon diesel tank so I can have my cake (diesel heater and cooktop) and eat it too (V10 reliability).

webbmac 06-13-2012 07:44 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Do the math on fuel consumption and you should find that you would more than pay for every oil change and every problem that a 6.0 could ever have by your savings in fuel over the V-10.

This is irrespective of resale value, also. The market gets to decide to which is preferable, and diesel wins, hands down and by a wide margin in every market where it competes with gasoline (marine, gensets, trucks). Not even close.

carringb 06-13-2012 09:53 AM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by webbmac
Do the math on fuel consumption and you should find that you would more than pay for every oil change and every problem that a 6.0 could ever have by your savings in fuel over the V-10.

Really? The 6.0 uses about 20% less fuel than the V10, however diesel can easily average 10% more at the pump, sometimes more in the winter. That puts the V10 at about a 10% fuel cost / mile disadvantage compared to the diesel, which would probably end up being $0.03-$0.04 extra fuel cost per mile. It would take 100,000 miles to recoup the cost of a single FICM failure which takes out the injectors. Or an single oil cooler/egr cooler failure.

Paying for oil changes, the V10 (assuming $30 oil change every 7500 as recommended) costs $0.004/mile. The 6.0 diesel (assuming a $100 oil change every 3,000 miles as most mechanics recommended to prevent HPOP failure) costs $0.033/mile.

Last I checked residual values for fleet leasing, the V10 had a slightly better residual value (%) than the diesel. But yes, since the initially cost is more, the diesel will still carry an outright $ premium after 24-months. Recently, I have looked into higher-milage cutaways. After 100,000 miles (5-6 year old), the V10 carries $ premium over the diesel.

BIGVANS 06-15-2012 06:54 PM

Re: Gas vs diesel SMB?
 
I agree with your math, Great points!
:a4:


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