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Thread: New Ford truck features to help towing

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Default New Ford truck features to help towing

    A recent thread got me wondering how many boat owners know that Ford really changed up their truck packages this year. On the off chance that there might be some folks out there contemplating a new tow rig, let me highlight some new features in this yearís Ford trucks that frankly I wouldnít have known about if I didnít decide to look at replacing my 2002 F250.


    Two new motors built by Ford:
    • 6.7L diesel that has class leading power (400hp, 800ftlbs)
    • 6.2L gas that is also leading the class (385hp, 405ftlbs)
    I went with the gas engine because of the reduced maintenance, didnít require the diesel power for my towing needs, and some new features (like diesel exhaust fluid, DEF) that need to be watched for a while. The new gasser is touted to be more fuel efficient than its 5.4L predecessor. Brand new without a cap and load, I was getting 14.5mpg mixed driving conditions. I now have a cap, about 600lbs of added weight for winter traction, and also using winter fuel that tends to reduce mileage, and Iím getting about 12.5mpg for the same mixed driving. My 2002 F250 with a 5.4L got 12mpg with cap, w/o any load, in the summer. So I moved up significantly in power and torque capabilities and improved in gas mileage.


    Another big change is a brand new 6 speed automatic transmission thatís also made by Ford. Itís standard in both diesel and gas trucks, and Ford isnít offering a standard transmission in the F250/350.
    • In normal drive mode, you can lock out the use of gears starting with the 6th gear and working back down. This is done using a rocker switch on the shift lever. Itís one way to keep the truck from shifting into the 5th and 6th gears for city driving and for driving down hills if you want to hold back a load. Then if you want to let the tranny start using those gears again, rock the same switch up to make the gears available.
    • In the tow mode (push on the button at the end of the shift lever) it holds gears longer before shifting up, and holds gears longer before shifting down. It also has a feature to force the transmission into a mode for holding back a load upon hill descent by shifting the tranny down & running the rpms up.
    • Then it also has a manual mode (move shifter from D to M), and this allows you to completely select your gear using the same rocker switch on the shift lever. Useful for picking your gear while towing and not having to worry about the tranny shifting gears for you.
    Iíve found the transmission is smoother than the old transmissions, and it puts rpms lower for normal driving which aides in improved fuel economy.

    The last new drive train feature is the electronic locking rear end thatís available as an option. Normal driving is of course without the rear end locked, but if youíre getting stuck or need both wheels pulling, you can pull out the transfer case mode selector to electronically lock the rear differential. Limited slip rear dif is still available if you donít want the locker.

    I frequent a Ford Truck forum, and so far am glad to see very few reports of problems with the engines. The transmission seems to have a few more incidents, but I think they are still pretty few in numbers and early on some solutions were hampered by poor parts availability. Nothing I havenít seen before with new vehicles in their first year. Iím at 1100 miles on the new truck, and I am very pleased. There are a lot of comfort features to choose from too, but the reason for posting here was the boat towing capability.

  2. #2
    Member NeverLand's Avatar
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    Sounds awsome. Good luck with it and keep us posted. Talk like that will force me to trade my 2002.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report. It is nice to hear that they a re putting a beefyier transmission in the gas truck. I think that may be the weak link in my 6L GMC, and I would really prefer to stay with gas for daily driving over diesel. Last summer when returning up the hillside with the boat behind us my friend commented 'remind me never to buy a used truck from you'. Hopefully I can get a couple more summers out of my current truck.
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    Is the new 6.2 a V-8 or V-10? I just bought a '10 f-150 to kick around in and its got the 6-speed tranny and it always seems like its shifting. I wonder if its the same as the'11?

  5. #5
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    It is nice to see Ford and GM beef up their frames to increase the towing capacities, too.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  6. #6

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    The 6.2L is a V-8, Ford did away with the V-10 for the most part I believe. The 6.2L was long overdue for Ford to put out, they were in need of a new powerhorse to compete with in both power and towing. I'm looking at the 2011 Crew Cab F150 SVT Raptor with the 6.2L.

    Their 6.4L Diesel was a dissapointment for the most part. Glad to see they upgraded that as well.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Default After market Modification

    I helped a buddy of mine with an easy after market modification which will greatly increase your towing capability. Make sure you don't do this when the engine is warm as the results won't be satisfactory. With the hood up and while the engine is cold, carefully remove the radiator cap and hold it approximately 10"-12" above the opening. Next, put a Dodge truck under the cap and re-install. There, now you're ready to go tow anything!!

  8. #8

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    If someone is considering a Ford Diesel for towing, might want to read this report first! http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/11...e-rockies.html I own a Ford F350, so am not biased towards GM. But, Ford got it handed to them in a real world test, numbers on paper don't exactly mean too much IMO.

    That's great that Ford has changed their "Driver Control" over the transmission, my No.1 complaint with my 2008 F350, was the transmission hunting for gears.

  9. #9

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    I have a 7L, 1999 with manual/stick, Ford diesel. I can control it going down hill by shifting (compression breaking), easier on the brakes. I haven't traded it in because of the last decade of Fords being crap in reliability and less power than my old 99. The stick shift is a must for towing in my opinion, you have the engine compression/braking control in your hand. If your brakes heat up and your engine isn't responding and you're going down the big hill, your screwed with an automatic. I tow a Sea Sport and carry a ten-foot camper, you have to remind yourself the boat is back there, that is a good truck!

    When Ford gets there $$$ together and sustains it for a few years I'll trade it in for a new one.

  10. #10
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Mine is a 2000 F350 7.3l powerstroke, 4-door, long bed, with a manual tranny. I tow a 28' fifth wheel with it and it works great. Towing the trailer I get around 12mpg with it and 16-17 empty if I can keep my foot out of it. I love the manual tranny, but with six people in the cab, the front middle passenger doesn't like getting the gearshift in the knees occasionally. (doesn't bother me though...)

    My PS is only 235hp/500ftlbs.....I sure am drooling over the new 2011 model with 390hp/735ftlbs.
    AKmud
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  11. #11
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    Mine is a 2000 F350 7.3l powerstroke, 4-door, long bed, with a manual tranny. I tow a 28' fifth wheel with it and it works great. Towing the trailer I get around 12mpg with it and 16-17 empty if I can keep my foot out of it. I love the manual tranny, but with six people in the cab, the front middle passenger doesn't like getting the gearshift in the knees occasionally. (doesn't bother me though...)

    My PS is only 235hp/500ftlbs.....I sure am drooling over the new 2011 model with 390hp/735ftlbs.
    Hay AKMUD, want more power get yourself a Superchips Programmer.



    PERFORMANCE LEVELS
    • Performance Tune: Max 99.8 HP and 160.3 foot lbs torque
    • Tow Safe Tune: Max 47.2 HP and 81.9 foot lbs torque
    • Economy Tune: Max 88.9 HP and 132.1 foot lbs torque
    Iíve been using one on my 00 F250 7.3 for 8 years with no problems, man it really wakes up the 7.3 without affecting the fuel economy. Just plug into the port under the dash and itís done in about 5 min.

    If you can find an older model they boost HP and Torque even more, think my old programmer goes up to 125hp boost. In that mode the old truck accelerates like a rocket.
    Jay
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  12. #12

    Question Frostbitten

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    I helped a buddy of mine with an easy after market modification which will greatly increase your towing capability. Make sure you don't do this when the engine is warm as the results won't be satisfactory. With the hood up and while the engine is cold, carefully remove the radiator cap and hold it approximately 10"-12" above the opening. Next, put a Dodge truck under the cap and re-install. There, now you're ready to go tow anything!!
    You should read that link that RMKAK posted Yikes! Dodge couldn't come out and play in the big boy test, but maybe with that Chevy radiator cap they won't loss the 3rd place position from say Honda or Nissan. LOL
    19' Lowe Roughneck
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  13. #13
    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    I'll try to hit the questions in order.

    Yes, like Jerod stated, the 6.2L is a V8, but no, I don't find the tranny shifting all the time and the roads in Kodiak aren't particularly flat. I will say that I anticipate some scenarios where it would shift too often if climbing and the speed is inbetween gears for optimal rpms. If that happens though, just lock out 6th gear. I have a 3.73 rear end for better fuel economy and little worry that I can pull load strong by choosing gears in the tranny. However, those with heavier loads who tow more, the 4.30 rear end gets good reports from folks towing heavy 5th wheels and other heavy loads.

    Yes, the V10 is gone, but I've heard it might be available in the larger frames (like the 450 or 550). I'm not positive about this because I wasn't interested when I read the discussion. There are some die hard V10 fans that are pissed though. Same as standard tranny fans.

    6.2L in the F150 Raptor.......OMG! Plenty of back side in an F250 so I can only imagine how awesome it'll be in a lighter truck. Bet you'll have fun!

    Frostbitten, you Dodge guys. Let me know when you're really ready to play with GM and Ford.


    Rumble in the Rockies has gotten a lot of discussion. I've included some links to the Ford Truck Enthusiasts website, and here is a link to a thread that discussed the test.

    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/10...down-hard.html

    You'll be able to pick out the crazy talk from the legitimate tech talk. It's interesting reading. From the point that the testers were GM sponsored to the point that the Ford wasn't driven properly to the talk about driving at elevation to the safety discussion about manual vs. automatic exhaust braking. You'll have to decide what you believe and what you don't. I'm driving a gaser so it doesn't really impact my rig.

    Myers, you might find this tougher auto with the three different ways to pick gears a good solution. In the Rockies test, they acknowledged that they didn't get the Ford in the lower gear (2nd) like they did the GM. So holding back a big load might work well.

    AKMud, the higher diesel power numbers I used are from the new setups with the latest computer flash. Your numbers are from earlier this year (when I was shopping), but as the months pass, Ford is putting out new flashes for the PCM that are supposedly addressing engine operations and transmission functions. The gear hunting and shifting will hopefully become resolved as Ford improves their flash loads. I have read a few times that the system learns how to function as time passes, and therefore exercising the truck by driving easy, medium, and hard helps that learning. I took that to heart and did some romping once I hit 500 miles. Boy I hated doing that . First time to 5500rpm.....holy mackeral! I rarely do so, but it was fun.

    And for you curious or inclined to shop, here are some links for you. For the 6.2L guys, I spent about 3 hours reading the one thread that started early this year where the Ford engineer participated an answered questions. Good thread. Side tracked a couple times, but tolerable. I also include the same kind of thread for the 6.7L guys, but I can't comment on this one since I didn't read it.

    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum30/ the Super Duty forum

    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum205/ 6.7L diesel forum

    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/91...oining-us.html 6.7L Ford Engineer answers

    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum206/ 6.2L gas forum

    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/92...as-engine.html 6.2L Ford Engineer answers

    My real world trials towing my boat will be limited because heck guys, I live in Kodiak. I drive a massive 3 miles to the boat ramp with a peak speed of 45mph for about 1/2 mile till I have to slow down to 35 and then less later on. So some of you guys need to go buy a fleet of new Fords and drive them to Seward and Homer to share some good reports. I have little worry that this truck will kick butt on what my 2002 could do though.

  14. #14

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    I like what Evolution Performance did with the 6.2L 2010 Raptor. They supercharged it, tuned it and call it the Velociraptor. That truck is insane!

    The Raptor also comes with 4.10 or 4.30 gears as well, so it should be plenty for towing. I changed my stock 2005 F150 3.73 gears to 4.56 for towing and performance and love it, of course I had a supercharger on that truck as well, so the 425HP and 475 Torque (at the wheels) would pull about anything. It eats up the gas a little more, but is well worth it.

    F150online is another great resource for Ford truck enthusiasts.

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    I was really surprised when I picked up my2006 F-350 Lariat diesel back in New Jersey to tow my boat back home that the hitch was only a Class III good for 5000#. I swapped it out with a Class V to be sure I didn't run into an insurance dispute if I had a problem towing my 12,000# rig north. The F-350 ought to be equipped with gear it's rated for not a wimpy Class III. I have the Class V in case anyone wants it as I swapped it back for the original when I sold the truck. I paid $300 but open for offers. PM me if interested.

  16. #16

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    Itís good to see Ford making improvements to their trucks, my first new Ford was a 97 F350 7.3 diesel I liked so well that in 2001 I bought another, it hammered so loud it drew a crowd (I think they were wondering how I put that Dodge motor in a Ford), at first Ford agreed there was a problem but after several attempts to fix it they said it was CONSISTANT WITH THE FLEET and would no longer attempt a fix . I purchased another new one in 2007 with the 6.2 diesel, it's a great truck but whenever it takes a notion it loses power, shakes and shudders, and lays out a cloud of smoke that makes it appear to be on fire, Ford agreed it was a problem but after several attempts to fix it they once again decided it was CONSISTANT WITH THE FLEET and would no longer try to fix it.


    I certainly hope your New Ford is not Consistent with the fleet and serves you well.

    I did like the change they made in the transmission between the 97 and the 01 with the Tow Haul feature and it sounds like they may have improved it again.


    POT BUILDER ... on another thread was wondering if someone would tow at 100mph if the permit set that as a max speed, no need to worry about that with me, my Ford is fuel limited at 98

    Never mind me, its blowing and raining outside and is turning to ice and snow, better get some projects going, maybe I'll go look at the new Fords.

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    Jons I agree with you. I work as a tec on trucks and cars during the off season of consrtuction. If it wasn't ford I be out of job. I'm not going to say with truck in better ford,dodge,gmc. But can tell you this I know the in and out of the powerstoke, Duramax's work on two and I have never done or seen the inside of cummings other than lift pumps,fuel pumps and tranmissions. I did here last sit thru a class that was put on by Factory motor parts a dealer from Motorcraft on the new 6.7 all I can say is this when it get cold your going to hate your motor mabye not the truck. Also keep some extra adive around and do not ever ever run it out of fuel. Fuel system is not like any other reprime and crack open this nut here. Like all trucks they will have good one and bad ones. Ps there tranny for pulling in no differant that the trannys in the chevy or dodge. good luck with your truck

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Interesting akmike30. Diesels have so many maintenance issues, and with the new DEF feature plus a brand new diesel engine, I didn't feel comfortable with it yet. My needs didn't put me where I needed the added power either. It'll be interesting to see how well the DEF handles really cold areas. I read that the DEF was kept from freezing by having coolant circulated around the tank, but what if the engine isn't running or is still cold at start? Time will certainly tell.

    Wasn't aware that Chevy and Dodge has trannys with the ability to lock out gears or run in a manual mode.

    I agree, the cummins is a great engine. Don't know of anyone who's needed repairs on a cummins either, but my Dodge friends have needed their fare share of visits to the shop for other problems with their trucks. The trim, form, fit, and reliability (other than the cummins) are where I've seen Dodges come up short. Shucks, my Dad ran his for many years and didn't really have a problem with anything, but he upgraded to the Duramax last year and couldn't stop raving about it.

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    The Truck version of Motor Trend magazine a few months back did a real world, side by side comparison of the Ford and Dodge one ton dually with long beds. Each had its plus and minus issues. Each are "new" for 2011. Both get about 15 MPG empty, and when you add 10,000# load they get BETTER mileage @ 18 MPG!!! Interesting article...the only "real" difference was in the curb side sound...the Dodge had a throaty "truck" sound while the Ford was "toooo" quiet for the author. So far, the test I respect, have not shown the Chevy to be in the same class. I typically haul at least 10,000 # loads so I am not interested in the gas models...just MHO.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Someone needs to inform me of all these maintence issues with diesels. My truck is a 2002 Ford crew cab long bed, 4 wd with the 7.3 diesel motor. Average 19-21 empty on the highway, 11-11.5 towing a 8K rig. 15 running around Anchorage.
    Only put about 5,000 miles a year on it now. Every spring I change the oil, filter, and drain the trannie pan and add 6 quarts of fresh fluid. Fuel filter and air filter are changed every two years. 4 years ago changed the antifreeze.
    81K on the truck and the only issue was a steering stabilizer replaced under warranty. Still has original brakes.
    It will start at 5 degrees, colder than that and it needs plugged in for 90 minutes or so.
    See ZERO reason to sell/trade to get a new truck for about 35K more than what mine books at. The only thing I would gain is something I would have to wash and wax more
    Tennessee

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