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Old 02-26-2013, 09:28 PM   #1
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Regearing Tow Vehicle

Alright, where to start... we have a Salem T25 (~5200# camp ready) and we tow it with a 1998 F150, 4.6 with 3.55 gears, and WD Hitch. It tows pretty good on flat land, but when we hit some of the hills it struggles all the way up. Struggles as in 35 MPH with the engine screaming.

So, we started thinking about upgrading the truck to a F250 (gas or diesel - we're still stuck on that decision). Someone suggested regearing the 150 to 4.10 or 4.30, a viable option. Here, the regearing runs $775 for 4.10's and ~$50 more for the 4.30's. So, now I'm thinking should we spend the cash to regear the truck (and a few more $$$ for maintenance on a couple of things) or use that as part of the down on our original idea, an upgrade. We're not looking at doing 70 up the hills - just keep up with traffic. I would just hate to do the regearing only to find out we've only gained a little more power up the hills.

We're thinking the diesel or V10 because we'll be upgrading the trailer in 4-5 years and don't want to buy another truck at that time, too. We're also looking at used trucks - don't want to spend $35K-45K on it (we're towing with it, not living in the thing ). Has anyone done this regearing on a 4.6? And was it worth it while pulling the trailer up hills?
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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If it were me, id jump to a 250/2500 or maybe even 1T. Reason being, usually the engine has the grunt, but the transmission, brakes, etc are really lacking. After replacing a transmission in our old suburban, and then still having a 1/2 truck with a fresh suburban, i switched to a F250 with a V10. Love it
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:07 PM   #3
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switched to a F250 with a V10. Love it
I know it's not a Prius, jt, but was there mileage shock with the V10? I kind of keep going back and forth between the diesel and V10. Diesel because of mileage and longevity, V10 because of less maintenance. The 6.0 PSD's rep scares me as does the V10's mileage rep.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:10 PM   #4
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You didn't mention if you truck is 4x4 or 4x2. 4x4 you will need to regear both front and back to match. Regearing will make a big difference, less load on trans and engine. Also take in account if your truck will be used as a daily driver, that will effect you gas mileage not towing. 4.10's would be good. 4.30's might be too much.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:23 PM   #5
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My 1/2t burb got 16mpg at best and 7-8 while towing. The V10 gets 13 hwy and 9 towing. I have a fiend that was pushing me to get a diesel, but the upfront cost and age id be looking at in my price range, made me look to a bug gasser. I really wanted a gm 8.1/allison, but struggled to find a decent one and found my 05 F250 V10 CC Lariat 4x4 at a semi local dealer and have really loved it. I did a comparison of mileage of 20 with a diesel vs the 13 with the V10 and it would take many years to make up the cost difference.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:26 PM   #6
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I put a 4.10 rear end in my E-150 to tow my 5500# boat. It worked great. But, I had the 5.0. I now have an 08 F-250 V-10 and I'm tickled pink. Towing I get only 1 or 2 mpg less than the diesels. for me it's a no brainer.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:27 PM   #7
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I actually changed the gears on a 2008 GMC 1500 with the 5.3 engine. It came with 3.42 I believe if I remember correctly and went to a 4.10. While it did help some, it didn't give me the satisfaction I was looking for and eventually ended up buying an F250 a couple months down the road. The stability of the heavier truck along with its pulling capabilities made it easily worth it in my opinion. Just upgraded a month ago from our TT to the Columbus 5er and the same F250 does the job just great.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:57 PM   #8
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It's a 4x2, pkurek. And it has been a daily driver for 13 years now without a lick of trouble. Well, I did blow up a pinion bearing in '04, but I had hauled more than it's rated for a few times. I kind of have a feeling our original idea is how we should go. The 2 best options that we had that were in our preferred price range were these two.

2004 F250 V10 [Sold]

2004 F250 6.0

Well, I stopped at the V10 lot this morning and it appears to be sold. Snoozed too long. The V10 was real nice but basic (hand cranks , rubber floor, spray out interior, etc). The 6.0 is very clean with more bells and whistles. I listen to V10 owners and they love their trucks - the big hit is the mileage. The 6.0 owners complain about the engine's reliability but they love the power and the mileage. This is a tougher decision than naming our first child!
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:27 AM   #9
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It's a 4x2, pkurek. And it has been a daily driver for 13 years now without a lick of trouble. Well, I did blow up a pinion bearing in '04, but I had hauled more than it's rated for a few times. I kind of have a feeling our original idea is how we should go. The 2 best options that we had that were in our preferred price range were these two.

2004 F250 V10 [Sold]

2004 F250 6.0

Well, I stopped at the V10 lot this morning and it appears to be sold. Snoozed too long. The V10 was real nice but basic (hand cranks , rubber floor, spray out interior, etc). The 6.0 is very clean with more bells and whistles. I listen to V10 owners and they love their trucks - the big hit is the mileage. The 6.0 owners complain about the engine's reliability but they love the power and the mileage. This is a tougher decision than naming our first child!
I have a 2004 F250 / 6.0 knock on wood I have not had any major problems. Not all the 6.0 were bad and I have 120,000 miles on it, just starting to break the engine in..........
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:53 AM   #10
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We were in the same boat for a while. We bought a TT of about 5,000 lbs fully loaded. We have been towing it with a 2000 F150 with the V6. Same thing, great on flat but hard on hills. We towed the TT up and down Washington and Oregon last summer but it was tough. Some steep hills on the interstate forced us over to the right with the semis and we could barely make 35mph. I found on the flat it was almost as tough at times when there was a crosswind or headwind. Not fun at all. The V6 worked so hard, we were only getting around 7mpg. No savings there for having a V6.

I really would not bother spending money on modifying your truck. It's still going to be underpowered anyway.

So, after struggling with the old truck, we just bought a 2009 F250 with the V10 and sold our old F150. I have to say that they are worlds apart. There is no way we could justify the extra initial capital expense on a diesel and the long term increased maintenance costs. We heard so many bad things about the Ford diesel engines too. The V10 is a pretty good alternative and it's a pretty good engine. Unless you want to pull a monster TT or 5er, the V10/F250 is plenty. It's rated up to 12,500 lbs. The newer Fords also have so many great features now as well. You might find that the V10/F250 are hard to find where you are. It was for us. We spent a lot of time on CL, googling and phoning around. It was harder as well since we wanted the supercab and a longbox which shrunk the availability more.

If you upgrade to a 3/4 ton truck, you are going to get beefier brakes, suspension and chassis. You'll find it's more stable in wind and fast turns. We were able to upgrade to the new truck for about $11K plus we got a truck 9 years newer. Now we are in the market for a TT about 8' longer and weight will not be an issue.

The only thing to find out now is what towing a longer TT is like with a longer supercab truck (with longbox) and what the turning radius is like. We have a circle driveway at home to get around to be able to back the TT into the carport. May have to widen the driveway out this summer....
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:48 AM   #11
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I agree with all the posts. Hard decision. If and when the time comes, I will be going f250 with the 6.7 diesel. Maybe f350. But if you go diesel, the fords 6.0 has had issues with head bolts stretching and head gaskets. If you can go newer to 6.4 or even todays 6.7 which is unbelievable. Quiet and strong. The 6.4 and 6.7 use 2 turbos, one at low end and the other kicks in at the higher end. If you need to go older, try to find the 7.3. It is louder but is a workhorse and has been pretty much indestructible. Good Luck.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:20 AM   #12
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Agreed, gljurczyk. I believe for every 6.0 poster complaining on a forum, there are thousands of happy PSDers out there. I aslo don't believe every V10 get 6-7 MPG like so many V10 owners would have you believe.

Reading your post, myredracer, brings vivid memories of climbing a couple of hills we regularly travel with the 4.6 seemingly begging to stop. I know the Tritons don't mind the high revs, but I can't help but think it's overworking. The V10's here (Northern CA) are quite abundant if you don't mind the entry level truck, crew cab, or a 4x4. We're looking for another 4x2 SCab with at least the PW & PL (not sure if i remember how to operate one of the window cranks anymore ). We'll keep looking. I spent 9 months looking for our current truck. We didn't have a trailer back then, so we weren't in any big rush. But, spring & summer's coming so we do need one soon. We're running to Comanche in April and it's mostly flat. So, the 150 will do that - we still have a little time...

Pkurek, I've been looking for a decent 7.3 without 250K-300K miles. I have a mechanic friend who owns one and swears by them. He also says don't be afraid of the 6.0's - keep them stock and maintained and they'll go for quite some time.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:20 AM   #13
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I agree with all the posts. Hard decision. If and when the time comes, I will be going f250 with the 6.7 diesel. Maybe f350. But if you go diesel, the fords 6.0 has had issues with head bolts stretching and head gaskets. If you can go newer to 6.4 or even todays 6.7 which is unbelievable. Quiet and strong. The 6.4 and 6.7 use 2 turbos, one at low end and the other kicks in at the higher end. If you need to go older, try to find the 7.3. It is louder but is a workhorse and has been pretty much indestructible. Good Luck.
Only the 6.4 uses 2 turbos (sequential). The 6.7 has a single turbo.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:45 AM   #14
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I don't buy the "there are thousands of 6.0's out there for every one with problems" for a second. The problems with them were NOT random and rare. Of the 6 or so Ford 6.0 owners I've known and talked to about them, they ALL had major problems. I would say it is rare to meet someone that has had no major problems. I've heard a few accounts on the forums here, but have yet to meet someone with a 6.0 that would say the same. Do what you want, but I'd advise to avoid them like the plague.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:01 AM   #15
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Hand-calculated fuel mileage with our V10 pulling a 8500 lb 5W is 8-9 mph. Non towing mileage is 12.5 - 14 mpg dependent on city/highway mix...running 87 octane all the time.

A key thing when looking at purchasing used diesel trucks, is finding one that hasn't been 'tuned'. If you check out the 6.0 section of the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum, there'll be suggestions to make the 6.0 reliable such as head studs and coolant filter. I also understand that some of the the much discussed issues with the 6.0 were less evident in the later productions years...2006/2007.

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Old 02-27-2013, 10:21 AM   #16
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Agreed, gljurczyk. I believe for every 6.0 poster complaining on a forum, there are thousands of happy PSDers out there. I aslo don't believe every V10 get 6-7 MPG like so many V10 owners would have you believe.

Reading your post, myredracer, brings vivid memories of climbing a couple of hills we regularly travel with the 4.6 seemingly begging to stop. I know the Tritons don't mind the high revs, but I can't help but think it's overworking. The V10's here (Northern CA) are quite abundant if you don't mind the entry level truck, crew cab, or a 4x4. We're looking for another 4x2 SCab with at least the PW & PL (not sure if i remember how to operate one of the window cranks anymore ). We'll keep looking. I spent 9 months looking for our current truck. We didn't have a trailer back then, so we weren't in any big rush. But, spring & summer's coming so we do need one soon. We're running to Comanche in April and it's mostly flat. So, the 150 will do that - we still have a little time...

Pkurek, I've been looking for a decent 7.3 without 250K-300K miles. I have a mechanic friend who owns one and swears by them. He also says don't be afraid of the 6.0's - keep them stock and maintained and they'll go for quite some time.
Your mechanic friend is correct. I know your feeling. Nobody wants to part with 7.3's. We have 3 at work along with 2 6.0. we tow boats alot and all trucks have min 250 grand on them. My boss just traded his 6.0 in for the new 6.7 and if it didn't cost so much, that would be my choice hands down.
Runs as quiet as my 5.4.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:27 AM   #17
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A key thing when looking at purchasing used diesel trucks, is finding one that hasn't been 'tuned'. If you check out the 6.0 section of the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum, there'll be suggestions to make the 6.0 reliable such as head studs and coolant filter. I also understand that some of the the much discussed issues with the 6.0 were less evident in the later productions years...2006/2007.

Dave
I agree with you Dave about the tuner issue- and I've also heard reports of the later 6.0's being better. But who wants to pay the kind of price dealers are asking for 6.0's just to turn around and invest a few thousand dollars on head studs, coolant filter, EGR delete, and, from what I've seen, a myriad of other upgrades that are needed to actually get a 6.0 to function reliably? If you look you can find a lot of low mileage 6.0's out there. My guess is they were in the shop more than they were being driven. And this is coming from a "Ford guy". I still would be very leery of anything with a 6.0. I'm just not sure I could ever bring myself to own one having seen the unbelievable time and expense some close relatives and friends have had to spend dealing with them.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:40 AM   #18
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Hand-calculated fuel mileage with our V10 pulling a 8500 lb 5W is 8-9 mph. Non towing mileage is 12.5 - 14 mpg dependent on city/highway mix...running 87 octane all the time.
And I could probably live with that, Dave. It's not a whole lot less then the 4.6 gets me (15-16 mixed). I just need to find a good, non-commercial, non base model, 4X2 model around here.

Dustman, maybe the "thousands" was a little bit of a stretch. I'm just saying that I don't believe everyone that owns a 6.0 has had major problems with it. And I think there are a lot of good ones out there. I have a contractor friend that drives a '04 every day and hasn't really had a lick of trouble with it. He keeps it maintained and has kept it bone stock. But, I get on line and you would think every single 6.0 owner has mortgaged their house just to keep it on the road.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:44 AM   #19
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And I could probably live with that, Dave. It's not a whole lot less then the 4.6 gets me (15-16 mixed). I just need to find a good, non-commercial, non base model, 4X2 model around here.

Dustman, maybe the "thousands" was a little bit of a stretch. I'm just saying that I don't believe everyone that owns a 6.0 has had major problems with it. And I think there are a lot of good ones out there. I have a contractor friend that drives a '04 every day and hasn't really had a lick of trouble with it. He keeps it maintained and has kept it bone stock. But, I get on line and you would think every single 6.0 owner has mortgaged their house just to keep it on the road.
You do have to take what you read on here with a grain of salt. The people around you have apparently been much luckier on the ones they got than the people I know.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:50 AM   #20
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Alright, where to start... we have a Salem T25 (~5200# camp ready) and we tow it with a 1998 F150, 4.6 with 3.55 gears, and WD Hitch. It tows pretty good on flat land, but when we hit some of the hills it struggles all the way up. Struggles as in 35 MPH with the engine screaming.

So, we started thinking about upgrading the truck to a F250 (gas or diesel - we're still stuck on that decision). Someone suggested regearing the 150 to 4.10 or 4.30, a viable option. Here, the regearing runs $775 for 4.10's and ~$50 more for the 4.30's. So, now I'm thinking should we spend the cash to regear the truck (and a few more $$$ for maintenance on a couple of things) or use that as part of the down on our original idea, an upgrade. We're not looking at doing 70 up the hills - just keep up with traffic. I would just hate to do the regearing only to find out we've only gained a little more power up the hills.

We're thinking the diesel or V10 because we'll be upgrading the trailer in 4-5 years and don't want to buy another truck at that time, too. We're also looking at used trucks - don't want to spend $35K-45K on it (we're towing with it, not living in the thing ). Has anyone done this regearing on a 4.6? And was it worth it while pulling the trailer up hills?

You mentioned that you were thinking of "upgrading" which I figure means you have 2ft Itise....the need for 2 more feet longer. Then trow in what the wife would really like and it will grow....lol

If you are thinking about upgrading your next issue your going to run into is GVW maxing out or over weight. Your F150 is not going to cut it rear end gears or not. Do some long term thinking and a serious look at what you think your going to get next?! Then look at the weight "wet" and then start looking at what you need for a truck to pull that.

I tried the same way as you, bought a 2500 chevy thinking I could haul my 5er....I am so glad I upgraded my truck..

Hope that help..!
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