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Old 06-17-2011, 10:56 AM   #1
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An Ecoboost Story

I have enjoyed the discussion about the F-150 Ecoboost, enough to consider buying one. We have a Salem 26TBUD and had an 05 Silverado LT. The Chevy had the all aluminum 315 hp motor, GM tow package with 3.42:1 rear gears. I added a larger trans cooler, deep trans pan and an aftermarket computer tune. The truck did the job, but...it wasn't very comfortable doing it. The power curve on this motor was above 2500 RPM, so the slightest grade would force the tranny to downshift to move back into the power. All of this makes perfect logical sense, but in the real world of driving it, it was a pain. We decided to buy a new truck.
I immediately found a 2011 Silverado LTZ with the max tow package and the 6.2L engine. The torque numbers were good, payload was good, a Camaro motor in a truck -how can that NOT be good? We drove it and its a nice TV overall. Then we test drove the Ecoboost. The numbers met or exceeded the Chevy, it gets better gas mileage, the interior is just a tad nicer and the on-board technology is in a league of it's own. I wound up buying a Ford for the first time in my life!
Yesterday was the first time I hooked the new truck to the TBUD. The goal was to connect and tow over to the grocery store to stock the trailer for this weekend's trip. Before I could connect, I had to drop the ball on my WD hitch 1.5" to get it to the same height of the old truck. Not a problem. I backed it in using the rear camera and virtual guides and that will change your life! Sliced bread does not compare!!! We connected and pulled out and drove through some neighborhoods to get comfortable. I stopped in a school parking lot to do a safety check and everything looked good. I set the display to monitor the trans temp and off we went. In residential traffic, at 35, stop and go, the tranny spiked to 201-202. Once I hit the 45 mph zone the temp dropped down to 195 almost immediately.
On secondary roads, in typical town traffic, the truck was responsive in both power and steering. At 45 mph, the trailer didn't even feel like it was there. The integrated brake controller worked perfectly without any adjustments. My wife made the comment that she thought I was driving fast but noticed that everything was under control.
We did the grocery store and then headed for a stretch of 55 mph roads. Again, very agile and responsive. Plenty of power, no distracting down shifts. If the motor needed a lower gear, it took it but there wasn't a 1000 RPM jump, so no one noticed. My youngest fell asleep in the back seat.
This truck is a crew cab with the short 5.5' bed. I did notice a little extra sway, but I can tune my sway control to compensate that. We went to Walmart and I got myself in a parking situation that was a little uncomfortable. (how are going to get out of here?) I found that the shorter wheelbase made the truck's turning radius much smaller and we pulled out like I had it all planned from the beginning! Again, logical in thought, but you have to drive it to experience it.
The shorter wheelbase did make backing into the driveway a bit tougher. The truck is more maneuverable and I couldn't see as well. I boltered three times and had to go around the block, making me feel like Maverick in Top Gun. I eventually got it lined up and landed it without a problem. I just need to tune my trailer driving skills a bit.
Overall, the truck absolutely proved itself and I am looking forward to tonight's 200 mile pull. The sales manager at the dealership kept telling me that I wouldn't feel the trailer. You know how that goes - sales BS, but he was right! The little trip to the grocery store really helped my wife relax, she hated the towing part of the trip. If Momma is happy, we all will be happy!
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:23 AM   #2
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That's great to hear. Anytime a manufacturer comes out with something new there's always some speculation as to how well it will perform in "real life" situations. Your story tells us alot. Thanks for sharing. Now only time can tell us more.

Congrats on the new truck and welcome to the world of FORD!

Hope you have a great trip out this weekend. Post some pics of that new truck while your camping. You know how we are.......
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:55 AM   #3
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Great report. Anxious to here how the Ecoboost does on the trip.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:54 PM   #4
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Great report! Thanks! Your review emphasizes the importance of torque at real world towing RPMs. e.g. 2,000 RPM versus the 4,000 torque peaks of most naturally aspirated engines. You will also be a lot happier at elevations where the turbos can compensate for the thinner air. Liter for liter, the Ecoboost is approximately as torquey as a diesel.

By the way, YOU'RE KILLING ME!! I want one.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
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On another note, those trans temps are apparently typical of the new 6 speed tranny. F150 Online Ecoboost owners are regularly reporting temps over 200 degrees. It probably means that owners will need to "adjust" to a different normal trans temp; higher than past models. I rarely see anything above 160 when towing ('05 with 4 speed) but it seems the "new normal" is 200+. I would be interested in hearing about trans temps when towing from owners of the new Fords with the 6 Speed auto. I don't think it will matter whether it is an Ecoboost or not.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:31 PM   #6
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Thanks

I enjoyed reading your post since I just bought an F150 Ecoboost last Thursday. I have not had a chance to tow any distance yet but I did hook up to see if the hitch needed adjusting and towed a short distance. It seemed fine. Our first trip is 4th of July weekend so that will be the real test. I love the truck so far and feel pretty good about how it will perform. We'll compare notes in a couple of weeks. Congrats on the new truck.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:12 PM   #7
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Great write-up!

My '05 F150 would normally run tranny temps around 180-190, unless it was really hot out, in which case it would bump 200.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordmantpw View Post
My '05 F150 would normally run tranny temps around 180-190, unless it was really hot out, in which case it would bump 200.
Hmm, my 2006 F150 is close to Bob's, with temperatures usually in the 150s and 160s. It will top 205į topping a local mountain here in 2nd gear with the torque converter unlocked.
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:07 PM   #9
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i noticed the temps to when i test drove one. assumed its normal for them.

anyhow, you lucky bugger!!
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:46 PM   #10
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2010 F150 I haven't hooked my scan tool to it but the temp gauge never moves from not towing to towing and it is on the cooler side of half. I know it doesn't tell you much but it's gotta mean something. Normal operating range is normally mid gauge. I am traveling next week so I'll hook it up and post my temps.
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