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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Ford F250 Superduty 5.4 ??

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Posted: 02/20/12 09:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have found an 04 Superduty Extended cab 4x4 automatic for sale. It is much cheaper than an equivalent V10 model and significantly cheaper than a Diesel of the era. The only thing I do not know yet is the Axle. If it is a 3.73 (probably is) then I will pass no matter how cheap. The 3.73 model only has about 7200 lb tow rating, while the 4.10 has 8600 lbs tow rating.

I am "budget deficient" so a V10 or a Diesel just isn't happening right now. I didn't think any decent 3/4 ton was obtainable, but then this truck came available.

Three things have kind of surprised me

1) The payload of this truck is about 2800 lbs, which means I gain over 1100 lbs payload vs my current F150

2) The Tow rating is TINY, a 3.73 diff doesn't even cover the GVWR of my trailer and is 800 lbs less than my F150.

3) 5.4 equipped Superduty's are much more affordable than their v10 and Diesel brethren.

I am not a racer so me and the 5.4 in a superduty could get along just fine, but wow.

Anyway, there is no real question, just kind of musing.

I already know that if the gear ration is 3.73 I will walk, if its a 4.10 I will strongly consider it.

I just find it funny that I could gain 1100 lbs payload, go from 3.55 rear to a 3.73 rear end and LOSE 8000 lbs in tow rating. LOL..

Even the 4:10 only gets me about 600 lbs more tow rating.

in the end, its the payload that I am after, I just don't want to give up the tow rating.


No wonder SuperDuty 5.4's are so cheap

(no doubt they are good trucks, I own a 5.4)


Tow Vehicle- 2014 Town & Country, Pentastar V6- Awesome TV
Trailer- 2008 Flagstaff MAC 228D- AWESOME POP UP

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible"
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North Florida

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Posted: 02/20/12 09:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used an 03 and an 05 SuperDuty with a 5.4l and 3.73 rear. The 05 had the 3v version and had a significantly higher rating than the 2v version. Both were very good trucks and I pulled 7500 with the 03 and up to 9k with the 05 comfortably. It would not win any races but it could safely and effectively handle a load. I always felt the 03 was way under rated. Those trucks develped all available torque very early in the rpm range and did a fine job for me. depends on how much weight you will pull and the terrain. The 5.4 is a solid albeit small motor.

This member is not responsible for opinions that are inaccurate due to faulty information provided by the original poster. Use them at your own discretion.

09 SuperDuty Crew Cab 6.8L/4.10(The Black Pearl)
06 Keystone Hornet 29 RLS/(The Cracker Cabana)


Fulltime, CA, USA

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Posted: 02/20/12 10:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator


My work ruck is a even smaller 4.6L V8, and it sees to have plenty of power. WHy walk away from the truck because of the 3.73 rear axle ratio? The 4.10 axle ratio means for any given road speed, the engine RPM will only be about 200 - 300 RPM higher, and that does not mean it will make an extra 100 HP or something, only about a 15 HP increase for a given road speed while in that gear.

In other words if the maximum horsepower at 60 MPH is say 200 at 2,100 RPM in overdrive, switching to 4.1 rear axle ratio will give about 2,300 RPM and max HP of about 220 HP at that same speed.

So with the 3.73 rear axle ratio, you might spend a little more time out of overdrive, but overall, you will get about the same mileage while towing, and a little better when not towing.

The truck will still pull the load fine.

It was 2005 that the GVWR was upgraded about 500 - 800 pounds, depending on the package, so that the cargo rating hovers around 3,000 pounds. The GVWR goes up with heavy options like crewcab, 4 wheel drive, each bringing up the GVWR by about 400 pounds in the 2005 and later models. However if you are looking at the base V8 and extended cab, you will have close to the same cargo rating as a 2005 and later.

I would say get the 3.73 rear axle ratio and enjoy the improved mileage while not towing.



Central Illinois

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Posted: 02/20/12 10:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a 2003 F-250 with the 5.4 and 4.10 rear axle ratio. It had good payload numbers, as noted. However, I found it pretty doggy towing my 6,000 pound travel trailer at the time. Some on here are more than satisfied with that level of performance. I was not. Mileage was in the 8-9 MPG towing, 10-13 empty.



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Posted: 02/20/12 10:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My present truck is an '08 F-150 5.4 4X4 3.73 gears and 20in tires...I pull a trailer that weighs 7200# when it is loaded for camping...

Towing capacity is no issue..I wish I had a bit more load carrying capability..but I like the mileage of the F-150 and gearing when not towing...when towing I get 9.5mpg on average.

The 3-valve Triton engine is a great power plant.


Kodiak, AK

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Posted: 02/20/12 11:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I currently own a 2002 F350 CCSB 4x4 with the 5.4 2V and the 6spd manual. I have the 4.10 gears. It is used to pull my Boat and to haul my camper, as well as it is my daily driver, work truck, firewood hauler and snow-plow truck with a 7.5 Western Ultra-mount. So it is a very versatile truck. Like others have said, it would win any speed races, but it is a very very capable set-up. I especially like the 6spd manual. It takes abit to get used to when plowing, but is really nice when hauling the camper or pulling the boat to use granny gear. Sometimes I dream of adding a supercharger from a Lightning or a Harley, but it is just too reliable for what I need, as it is. 14-16 on the highway empty. 12-14 commuting/city. 8-10 snowplowing. And 11 with a family of 6 camping in the Camper in the winter of Alaska.
Good Luck,
Garry in Kodiak, AK

Garry K
Wife + 4 kids
Retired Military Family.... Alway's on the move....
2002 F350 CCSB 5.4 6spd 4x4 in AK
1966 Avion C-10 Truck Camper


Way up north eh

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Posted: 02/21/12 06:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Forum member "Hannibal" has an F250/5.4L truck. Maybe he will chime in...

2010 Cougar 322QBS 5er
01 Dodge 2500 360 gas, 4.10
02 Dodge 2500 5.9L Cummins, 3.55
07 Dodge 3500 SRW Mega 5.9L Cummins, 3.73
2014 RAM 2500, 6.4L Hemi, 4.10, auto

10000# GVWR, 5500# FGAWR, 6500# RGAWR, 3040# payload, 15470# tow rating, 22500# GCWR



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Posted: 02/21/12 06:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator


Not to hijack the thread, but Ive come across a similar setup in a 2001 Excursion XLT with the 5.4l and 3.73 rear end with only 24000 miles. My only concern with the 5.4 and the size/weight of this vehicle, would adding a 5400lb camper to this setup make for a hard/struggle tow??


6.7 tow rig


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Posted: 02/21/12 07:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are set on a 5.4 I would really try to wait to find the 3 valve. I had that version in my 06 f150 and I thought it did an acceptable job pulling the trailer. Just out of curiousity have you checked on the price of regearing? If you are getting a really good deal maybe you could spend the saved money on that. Just dont forget if its 4x4 both front and rear diffs need to be about the same gear

2012 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins H.O 4x4 3.73 rear end
2013 Primetime Lacrosse 318bhs

Dr Quick

M'boro, Tn

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Posted: 02/21/12 08:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2004 F250 5.4 with the 3.73. I have had it for almost 4 years. I got it used with 34,000 miles and paid about half what it cost new. My 5th wheel trailer weighs about 6,600 empty. Since I have had it, I have pulled trailer about 25,000 miles, and I feel truck has done a great job for me. I have been to Alaska, and through out the south west in a lot of mountains.

By the way, Ford does recommend that you tow with overdrive off. I drive 55 to 60 and have encountered all kinds of mountain grades, up to 14% in Utah. Truck will shift down to where it wants to be. Engine may get up to 3,500 or even 4,000 RPM, but engine is red lined for 6,000. Pulling trailer get 10 to 11 MPG, empty 14 Around town, at highway speed of 60 have gotten over 20.

If you are from East Tennessee, you should know about Mt. Eagle. I have pulled the trailer over Mt. Eagle abut 9 times, and when the grade increases, I drop down to 2nd gear. Truck will hold a steady 55 at about 3,400 RPM, and I will pass all the semi's going up the grade that passed me just a while ago.

Dr Quick

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