My wife and I have been talking about this for a long time.
I knew that I was pushing my half ton F150 pretty hard with my TT. It really does tow very well.
Last year when I bought my F150 the boys fit pretty well.
My oldest son has gained about 20 lbs so far in the last 14 months and to put it bluntly, he has to turn sideways to fit in the back seat of the extended cab.
Tomorrow, as long as everything works out, I am selling my F150 extended cab, and we are going on the hunt for a 3/4 or 1 ton something. (want some growing room for future trailers, and possibly a golf cart in the bed)
We got to keep the price around $7000.00 so we will be looking at mid to late 90's to early 2000's models with some higher milage.
Probably going to look for a 7.3 PSD Crew Cab, or a V10,
We found a 97 F350 Dually crew cab 7.3 PSD XLT for right around 7k asking price. We also found a SuperDuty crew cab, Lariat, v10 with high miles for about 5900.00.
Anyway, the post should have a point or a question and not just an FYI ramble so here it goes.
Anything in particular to look out for with an older HD truck that may be unique to HD use?
I know how to check the oil, fluids, etc. I understand that for the 7.3 diesels I need to check for electrolysis in the coolant system. I know nothing about the V10's, except they are functionally similar to the 5.4 I have now (cop's, modular design, etc)
I have not ruled out a GM or a Dodge,
For Dodge I just do not expect to be able to afford an 03-up crew cab diesel, maybe a Hemi, not sure.
GM, I know a bit about the 6.0 and the 8.1, but the reality is that I will probably be looking at 454 Crew cab dually's (seen quite a few in our price range that look pretty decent)
I didn't mean for this post to get so long, just kind of excited to be on the hunt again, hopefully, I will get it right this time.
In the years you are looking, frankly, I would not call the dodge a crew cab. I would call it the longest ext cab, or the shortest crew.....reality is, not a true crewcab until the mega cab came out.
Reality is, a V454 or 8.1 v8 gm would serve you well, as will the Ford 7.3 or V10. The V10 is a 5.4 with two more cylinders! Nothing more or less, other than thirstier and a bit more power.
With ford, i would get the newer rounded body vs the old square body if possible, the 7.3 has an inner cooler to it and more HP/torque. IIRC the trans is a bit beefier too. GM's 4l80E is a crapshoot to a degree too, as all of the 4 sp trannies seem a bit week with lots of power in that time frame vs todays auto trannies.
While I had one, with fewer issues than most, I would probably stay away from the GM 6.5TD, unless you find one that is a 97 or newer. If you like cranking tools etc, then these can be cheap diesels to work on, you can get some decent power out of them too, but find a manual 5 sp over the auto, the NV4500 versions are really rare, I had to order my 96 that I had.
My sons outgrew my 88 GM ext cab at 9 yrs old, they were 6' on their 13th B-days. If you have taller kids, go to a CC sooner than later, along with a rig with the MOST payload you can get, as I have said on here a few times, kids seem to grow at a rate of 10-20 lbs a year in the early teen years! You can out payload a half ton really quick with growing kids etc.
05 Chev CC D/A LS Dooley
92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
00 Chev C2500, V5700, 4L80E, 4.10, base truck, no options!
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer
3 Single axle utility trailers
I weighed my rig a few months ago after I got the Dual-Cam sway control installed, My truck was weighed with me and my boys and the TT, (almost fully loaded, but missing bikes and cooler)
The truck weighed in at something like 6080 lbs without the DW and my boys have probably put on 5-10 pounds between the two of them since that time frame. With my DW were are right at or just over GVWR.
Looking at that cat scale paper was a reality check for me. Ironically, the TT only weight 5500 lbs everything hitched up. It's probably about 6500-6700 fully loaded for camping. I am simply amazed how fast these half tons run out of payload.
Tough call between the trucks you described (97 PSD, Super Duty V10); assuming they are both in equivalent condition, I'd go V10-- only because you'd be getting, IMO, a better overall chassis in the 99-up SD vs. the 97.
Economy-wise, I'm thinking that it'd probably be a wash...the older 7.3L probably gets better MPG, but diesel costs more than 87 octane.
Don't think you'd "go wrong" with either, frankly. Less to go wrong on the V10- no turbo to replace, for example- and it's been a remarkably reliable gas engine. Best the haters can do is point to spark plug issues, which appear to be quite rare at that.
Nothing wrong with looking at GM & Dodge either; I would second the notion, though, of giving careful thought to if the Dodge crew cab back seat is going to be big enough for those growing kids (sorry Dodge guys). You may decide it is big enough and then you have another horse in the race to consider.
New truck time is always very exciting! Have a blast!
BManning baking in Phoenix
-2008 F250 XLT 4x4/CC/SB
5.4L 300/365 V8 Torqshift 4.30AAM
9400lb GVW 11200lb tow
-2007 Volvo XC90 AWD V8
4.4L 311/325 V8 6sp Aisin loaded
6100lb GVW 5000lb tow
-1999 Land Cruiser
4.7L 230/320 V8 4sp A343 loaded
6860 GVW 6500lb tow
about 15 mpg for the 7.3 vs. 10 for the 6.8. Diesel isnt 50% more in cost so you'll actually make out better in fuel cost.
I bought a 02 f350 ext cab with the v10 in it last time I was in fl last xmas. I really wish I had the time to find a 7.3 as the v10 just doesnt have the torque that the diesel does. Torque is pretty much all that matters when towing. The v10 doesnt really start to make power until 2500 rpm and with 373 gears it's only doing ~1750 rpms at 60. So it's always under performing and using more gas than it should because of it.
My options at this point are to get some gale banks headers and downpipe, and re-gear the axles or look for a diesel. I'll be looking for the diesel.
IIRC Bryon who has a dually E350 van swapped some 4.56 gears or equal into the van, and gain both some power to the ground and better mpgs's. Not sure the mpg's paid off in the long run.......or how long it will take at 1000-1500 per axel for 8 lug truck gear set change overs, including labor and depending upon the who does the work, ie gear shop vs dealer.
I would do a gear swap before engine work frankly. OR, you could go to a smaller tire by 2" and that will effectively change you out from a 3.73 to a 4.10, or do a combo there of, ie gear set and smaller diam tires. 1" will change you from 3.73 to ~3.95.
As far as the old body Fords, '97-down, avoid the E4OD 4-speed auto. It is a terrible shifting tranny and is very costly to rebuild.
The ZF 5-speed manual is the much better choice.
The C6 3-speed auto is a good tranny too. Only problem is it lacks an overdrive gear, which causes greater fuel use at highway speeds with 4.10 or lower (numerically higher) gearing. With 3.55 gearing my gas mileage was quite good without an overdrive gear.
4.88 with overdrive is about the same overall gear ratio as 3.55 without overdrive, 4.88 x 0.71 = 3.46. So a ZF 5-speed OD with 4.88's is a very good choice, compared to a C6 with 3.55's. You don't find very many C6's in '94-'97 trucks though. The E4OD had pretty much replaced it by then. Plenty of C6's in '93-down trucks.
If you want an old body Ford with the diesel, make sure you get a '94.5-'97, which will have the 7.3 DIT Powerstroke diesel. Ford used 3 other diesels before the Powerstroke, which were much less powerful. The non-turbo 6.9 and non-turbo 7.3 were both dogs. The 460 gas engine is a much better choice than those non-turbo diesels. The 7.3 turbo IDI was available in '93-'94 and a bit better, but the 7.3 DIT Powerstroke is really the one you want.
Old body Fords were offered with 2 factory gear ratios in F250/350 with the 351 gas, 460 gas or diesel engines: 3.55 and 4.10. Do not even bother with a 3.55 truck, unless you fully intend to swap the gears. The 3.55 trucks are dogs, with any engine. Get the 4.10 truck instead, if you don't plan on changing the gears.
In the old body trucks, Ford unfortunately did not offer the dually pickups with 4wd. They were 2wd only, except for the cab/chassis trucks. The F350 cab/chassis is DRW, but only available with a regular 2 door cab, and of course no pickup bed. A flat bed is easily built though.
The old body F350 4wd front end from '86-'91 is bullet proof. A very strong Dana 60 solid front axle with heavy duty king pins and very simple leaf springs makes for a very reliable front end that doesn't eat tires or give any other problems. Ford switched to ball joints from '92-on. The factory ball joints on the pickups were not greasable, so they don't last long. I replaced the non-greasable factory ball joints in my '92 gas F350 with quality Dana-Spicer (now made by Ray Bestos) greasable ball joints. My '97 diesel F350 cab/chassis 4wd came stock with heavier duty greasable ball joints.
The old body Fords are much easier to work on anything in the engine compartment than the '99-up Superduty body trucks. The engine is under the hood instead of smooshed back under the windshield and dash of the truck in the Superduty body trucks. Much easier to access anything on the rear half of the engine in the old body trucks. That is one reason I wanted a '94-'97 7.3 diesel instead of a '99-'03 7.3 truck.
Where the '99-up Superduty trucks shine is their higher weight ratings than the old body trucks, except for the F250's, which had the same ratings in both bodies.
The other I thought of on GM's, If you can find an 01+ with the 8.1 that will have an allison behind it vs the 4l80E, and MUCH better trans. Or even a dmax for that matter in the 01+ rigs. I do admit, personally, I prefer the look of my old 88 and 96 truck body styles to my 05.
Also remember, as your kids grow, they might bring a friend, then you will be like me, a family of 6! with 4 adult size teens and parents, you are in the 900-1200 lbs range for just people! add in some bikes etc, you will be left with about 600-800 lbs maybe 1000 for HW, at 10%, that is generally speaking, a 6000-8000 lb trailer with a typicaly SW 25 series rig. My 96 was at 9000-9500 ready to go with a 6500-7000 lb trailer with 700-750 lbs of HW. Going up in gvwr size will not always net you more trailer lb max. You will have to be 1-2 gvwr sizes larger than some of the older couples only on here to carry the HW, toys and kids!