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Ford F-450 diesel - ownership experience, advice sought.

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by tomc, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
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    Wife and I are starting to think about purchasing a new truck. Based on what we have read thus far, we are converging to a Ford-450 in the King Ranch/Platinum trim level. Any advice/experience with Ford Superduty pickup trucks is most appreciated.

    Expected usage includes road trips, towing RV/car hauler, etc. Plus, to be honest, since moving to Texas 20 years ago, I have always wanted to own a big a$$ dually truck! :D

    We've never owned a diesel truck or a dual rear wheel truck either, so any advice on that front is also welcome.

    Thank you...T
     
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  3. SAFE4NOW

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  4. blkfxstc

    blkfxstc Formula Junior
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    Unless you are towing a bunch or driving crazy miles per year, get the 7.3L gas instead. Diesel is a 10k option, much more expensive to repair and maintain (not to mention all the emissions stuff on it). We have a 2015 F250 Platinum diesel which was bought to tow. We don't have anything big to tow anymore, waiting for the Bronco to come out to replace it.
     
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  5. blkfxstc

    blkfxstc Formula Junior
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    And we have an Excursion also, it is a V10 gas.
     
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  6. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

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    The missus had her eye on that. It's single rear wheel and a few more miles than we wanted, but I'd still be happy to test drive it when you get my Cali back to me!

    Thanks, Steve...T
     
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  8. VAF84

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    #6 VAF84, Feb 22, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
    2010 Ram 2500 Diesel -> 2013 Ram 3500 Dually Diesel -> 2017 F250 King Ranch Diesel SRW 4x4

    I purchased my F250 in summer of 2017 with 6k miles, and now up to 73k miles. Outside of warranty I had to replace the DEF tank for $1,200. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty upset to have to pay for that at around 50k miles, but it's not covered under the power train warranty. Then the front shocks at around 60k miles for a couple of hundred dollars. The warranty items were first the moon-roof, but it was under warranty. I had to have them tweak it 3 times because it had a weird clunk. Worked fine after the third fix, but don't bother opening it anymore. The other one of the seals in the back trans-axle at 35k.

    Costs: I've had the transmission fluid changed twice at about $450 a pop. Oil changes around $125ea every 5k miles, change the fuel filter every other oil change for $325ish? Tires every 1.5-2 years with Michelin LTX, and that's with towing 2-4 times a year and a heavy foot. . Computer says I get between 13-14.5 mpg. I fill up DEF fluid around twice a year. Windshield wipers once or twice a year.

    Towing: I frequently towed a 44' fifth wheel travel trailer weighing probably close to 16,000 lbs with no issues whatsoever. It excels at towing. In fact it just drives better when it's pulling sometimes, and I swear the truck runs better after disconnecting from a long haul. Most of my terrain was flat highway, or the low rolling hills in the East Texas wooded areas. I've sold that travel trailer, and now I just pull a 20ft cargo trailer that I haul the F430 in, as well as to use for moving us around to different projects (about 7k lbs). Again, no problems.

    Diesel Pro: It pulls for daaayysss. I mean I've hit the limiter so many times (I think it's 97mph), and it wants to keep going above and beyond. I swear you can't tell where it would end. I would love to feel this engine placed in a sports car. To me, it's just addictive to get pushed into your seat and hear the sound of the turbo. In the time I've owned it, I still haven't gotten tired of pushing it through the power band every day going to and from work (current project has empty farm roads). It will pull any reasonable trailer. I can't speak for heavy machinery, but up to 16k pounds I didn't like I lacked power or like I was hindered.

    Diesel Con: In addition to the $8k up-charge for the truck, it can be "expensive" to upkeep. As I approach 100k miles, I'm debating whether to keep it or trade in. It's not prohibitively expensive, but just sort of annoying; like getting nickel and dimed. Have to pay extra for diesel, DEF, oil changes (due to diesel fuel filters), tires (extra weight of diesel engine), less reliable emissions systems (i.e. tank I replaced at my cost). That's not as big a deal, but as I approach the end of the power train warranty I'm considering the cost of a turbo going out or replacing injectors, etc. I'd probably have to delete the emissions stuff and that comes with its own tradeoffs. Also keep in mind, I've heard that if you don't work the truck, it can have issues. They were built to be worked, and if you can't get that engine hot enough to burn off all the soot in the emission systems it could cause problems. Probably not a good commuter.

    Dually Pro: If you tow frequently, then yes it may be worth it. I did miss the added stability on my heavy tows. It really is safer and more stable. You definitely feel like you own the road; it has presence. More confidence at higher speeds too. Occasionally I had the Ram 3500 dually at 100 and it felt planted; I bet the Ford will feel even better.

    Dually Con: If you spend much time in the city (urban/suburban) it gets old. Even in the country. Everything requires added effort. Parking, driving, u-turns, parking garages. Maybe it's because I had the 8ft bed, but it got tiresome. Rotating the tires may require a more specialized place at times. Purchased one set at Costco. When I came back to rotate their manager got upset because he said they weren't supposed to do that for dually's. The first time they accommodated me, second time they said they don't do dually's. Personally, just sort of pointless to deal with 6 tires unless it has frequent towing use. Also the back tires kick up lot more rocks/mud/dust , makes it harder to keep the truck clean. Obviously not a big deal for a work truck, but a daily you plan to keep in good condition; it's just one more thing.

    Personally I've been wanting to test drive the Platinum F250 with the Godzilla 7.3L engine. If it will drive as fast, and feel as fast as the 6.7, then I'll probably make the move. I would only do this knowing I'm not planning to haul 15k+ lb trailers in the near future, and that I won't be spending much time in any place at high elevations where non-turbo would lead to power loss. However, in your case, if you've never owned a diesel, and money isn't an issue, definitely get the diesel; because why not? They're great trucks; problem is, you may have a hard time going back to a gasser truck (as I am now).
     
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  9. Face76

    Face76 F1 Veteran
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    2015 F350 diesel for us with the Platinum package. Great truck but it just got too big for us. Helps if you live in warm weather as anything like we just had here (sub and near zero temps) and you better have it plugged in and the diesel treated or you are asking for trouble. Our truck was single rear wheel which was the only option it did not have. Gorgeous truck and pulled like hell.
     
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  10. MotorMouth

    MotorMouth Formula Junior
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    If you are looking at used you definitely do not want the 6.0 powerstroke of any year, or the 6.4, or the 6.7 up to 2013. After that they are ok. But better yet just get a ram 4500 or 5500 with the 6.7 Cummins. Or as mentioned already gas trucks are much more economical unless you are an over the road hauler for a living.
     
  11. VAF84

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    Great comment, you just reminded me. If you purchase new, and don’t like the cold, purchase the supplemental cabin heater (for diesel trucks only). My only major complaint is that in the winter it’s sucks trying to get warm. Yes you have seat and steering wheel heaters, but the actual cabin heater will not heat until the engine warms up. It will not warm up idling from a cold start. I usually auto-start in the am as I’m getting ready to go, but even after 15 min the cabin will not be warm. Most mornings, my hands will be warm from the wheel, but the cabin will not be warm until around the time I’m getting to work (10-15 min). As someone with low tolerance for the cold, it sucks.
     
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  13. tritone

    tritone F1 Veteran
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    May or may not be an issue for you; I started to buy an F-450 CC DRW KR/Plat, and my insurance company would not put it on my normal policy (with 5 other vehicles) because in WA state the 450 is a "commercial vehicle", requiring a CDL, and nearly 2x insurance cost, and that's for a 'civilian' use, not truly commercial. I went with a 350 CC DRW KR/Plat and it works just fine. My tow is an 11k boat/trailer. I do try not to drive it into town......:D
    Maintenance has never been an issue.
     
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  14. Davesvt2000

    Davesvt2000 Formula 3

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    In Massachusetts any new DRW truck has to be registered as commercial.
     
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  15. Nativetroy

    Nativetroy F1 Veteran
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    How much are you pulling and how often? The 450 should have the wide track option you can get on the 350 already. Turns much tighter. But maintaining it will cost more in the long run than an equivalent gas engine. And the emissions systems aren’t perfected yet and can get expensive. 450 puts you on 19.5 tires, and the ride is pretty harsh unloaded.
    If it’s a weekend hauler I don’t think you’ll have much to worry about. But I wouldn’t want to daily a 450 unless I absolutely needed it. Or any dually for that matter.
     
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  16. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Thanks everyone!! You've given me much to think about. I need to research the issues you've raised, especially in regards to licensing and insurance...T
     
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  17. henryr

    henryr F1 World Champ
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    450 hard core out of the gate....

    250/350 ?
     
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  18. Ianjoub

    Ianjoub Formula Junior

    Dec 22, 2019
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    As stated, potential insurance issues with a 450 vs. 350.

    I had a new 2017 F350 dually, crew cab, diesel. Great truck. I got the XLT as I prefer cloth seats. I averaged about 12 mpg. The truck rode much nicer with 600-800# of sand bags against the tail gate...
     
  19. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Thanks for the continued advice. Much appreciated.

    On the insurance front, I have a quote request in with our agent. He did not think that we would need to insure it as a commercial vehicle. We'll see when the quotes arrive.

    My online reading indicates that Texas will not list a 450 or dually as a commercial vehicle. I'm still searching to confirm.

    I've done some measurements and our driveway should be able to handle this behemoth lengthwise (don't know if our other cars will also fit! Lol) and in terms of width. The real limit may be the 81" height. I gotta do some calcs; that may be too tall for our parking situation!

    T
     
  20. Ianjoub

    Ianjoub Formula Junior

    Dec 22, 2019
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    Another thing to consider: Some states you travel through may require a CDL when driving a 450.
     
  21. Face76

    Face76 F1 Veteran
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    Another thing to consider is weight which may not differ that much between 250/350/450 and how your driveway will hold up over time. A heavy truck will find every hollow cavity under your driveway and crack it if too thin.
     
  22. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Thanks for that. If you have a source on that, I would love to see it. I am seeing conflicting info online.

    From what I have read, the key # is 26,000 lb in GVWR, combined towing vehicle and towed vehicle. Of course, knowing my wide she will want to drag around some mammoth 5th-wheel RV. :D

    Another URL suggested that as long as the rig wasn't used for commercial purposes, one was oK with a normal class C license.

    https://www.escapees.com/texas-drivers-license-requirements-for-rvers/#:~:text=Texas%20operators%20of%20RVs%20for,used%20for%20regular%20passenger%20automobiles.

    T
     
  23. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Thank you. We do not anticipate doing crazy miles initially, but are hoping over the next few years to be in a position were we can travel more, pull an RV, car hauler or such. From what I have read online, a dually is more stable for towing, and I guess I wanted to err on the side of having "too much" rather than too "little truck". I think a 450 may be "much too much" truck!

    T
     
  24. Ianjoub

    Ianjoub Formula Junior

    Dec 22, 2019
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    I don't have the info, just thought it may be a good thing to check into. I know I was supposed to have a CDL when I towed my dump trailer and MTL around in FL even though it wasn't for commercial purposes.

    The RV industry has a great lobbying arm. One can operate huge/heavy/long RV's without any special license in most places.
     
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  25. Ianjoub

    Ianjoub Formula Junior

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    Dually is a much better option for towing. Those long 5th wheel RVs catch a lot of cross wind and will sway a truck easily. The dually provides a lot more stability.
     
  26. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Wow! I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write such a long and detailed response. You've mentioned factors in there that even my wife has not nagged me about!

    I guess after 5 years of Ferrari ownership, the prices you quoted don't seem so crazy! Of course, as compared to our Ridgeline, which has been totally rock solid, those costs seem high.

    Question for you and the others. In a dually truck, are there TPMS monitors for both the inside and outside wheels? I recall reading a while back that tire pressure monitors only for the outside wheels.

    T
     
  27. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Texas is generally warm, of course, although last week it was 0 F (yesterday 80 F!), but one of the trucks we looked @ had an engine block heater, presumably for starting on cold days? I am not sure, have not seen a car with an engine block heater since I lived in North Dakota.

    Thanks...T
     
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