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Old 09-13-2013, 07:03 AM   #15
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D'oh! Didn't catch that the OP is in Cali. Yeah, the older 7.3 didn't require a lot of the EPA standards (like catalytic converters and EGR) that the 6.0 fell prey to at the last moment.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:20 AM   #16
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IF (and that's capitalized on purpose) you can find a well maintained or already bulletproofed 6.0 (late 03-05) PSD in the excursion, jump on it. The bad rep these engines have is somewhat justified, but the ones that are well taken care of are absolute beasts, with more power, torque, better gas mileage, and a lot quieter that their 7.3 counterpart. Just do your research before hand.

The 7.3 is a known and proved rock solid engine, no doubt, but it'll be a LOT easier finding the 6.0, and you can use it's reputation as a bargaining chip. If you get a good one, you'll have a hard time keeping the smile off your face.

Just make sure you bring a Scan Gauge II with you for the test drive.
What does a person need to know, questions to ask, to know they are buying one without the associated issues? What are those issues?

Bex
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:06 AM   #17
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What does a person need to know, questions to ask, to know they are buying one without the associated issues? What are those issues?

Bex
There's a lot of research that needs to be done but the basic gist of it is the oil cooler clogs with casting sand and gunky Ford coolant, causing the restriction of coolant to the engine, causing the EGR to scream hot, warping heads and costing $4k to fix. That's a very vanilla version.

Questions to ask would be if the oil cooler's ever been replaced, what coolant is in it, any problems with the fuel injector control module (FICM), has the EGR been removed from the vehicle, etc.

Spend some time over at FTE.

Here's a link to the Excursion forum.

And then spend time at the 6.0 forum

There are some excellent write ups on how to buy a used 6.0. Don't be freaked out by the number of posts that are asking for help, people don't typically take to the internet forums to post about how great and reliable their engines are.

Get a $160 Scan Guage II (or equivalent) and look for the FICM voltage and the Delta between the engine oil and engine coolant. Ultimately you'd like to be less than 15 degrees off each other at 65mph for a few miles at operating temps.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:44 AM   #18
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The 7.3 is a good motor but it is hard to find a fresh one and yes you might get to 500k but then again you might spend $10k on repairs because the last owner did not take good care of it and now you have to catch up on 10 years of maintenance plus whatever the lack of maintenance did. On a diesel that gets expensive and all the other crap you have to deal with is not worth the extra mileage you get. When you figure total cost it is not much better if any than a gasser.

Perry
Still never addressed the OP question about MPG in the equation. I get 16+ you get 10? That makes a big difference in cost right there, plus your V10 will never make it 500,000. If you buy new it does take about 150.000 miles before the diesel becomes more economical but buying used takes that out of the equation. I have always pulled with gas motors until I started pulling for a living. The 7.3 was and is the best engine Ford has ever made. The new 6.7 looks very promising though but you will not find anything under 20K with that engine.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:13 PM   #19
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It takes a long time to put 100,000 miles on a vehicle not to mention a tow vehicle. So 500,000 miles is not relevent to a seldom used tow vehicle or any vehicle that normal poeple are going to use. I doubt that I have logged more than 500,000 miles on every vehicle since I was born. By the time most vehicles get to 200,000 miles other stuff besides the drive train is becoming an issue. The headliner is coming off, the paint is pealing, the carpets are shot, the seat foam is coming out etc. etc. So considering that most folks are not going to be putting more than 200,000 miles on a vehicle, gas versus diesel is not relevent. Maintenance costs are a lot higher on diesels, stuff like fuel additives to add lubricity back into the fuel, SCA for the radiator, 15-20 quarts of oil, fuel filters, higher price of diesel fuel, new injectors. So you factor all that in, and my 10mpg starts looking better. Now you figure in having to find a place that has diesel that is not a truck stop. Find a place that does not want $1 a gallon more for diesel than gas because they know they got you over a barrel. When I had a diesel I really had to plan to find places that I knew had diesel. I would usually go to Walmarts that had it but you can't get a big trailer in one of those. The truck stops would play games with prices, more for credit cards etc. The price of a set of injectors for a 7.3L would cost as much as a complete new engine for a V10. V10's have been known to go 400,000 miles which is twice as long as I will have it. My Excursion has a little over 100k on it and I will probably retire it by the time is has 200k on it. I put about 5k a year on it. I may never get to 200k at this rate before other things start being a factor like the engine etc.

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Still never addressed the OP question about MPG in the equation. I get 16+ you get 10? That makes a big difference in cost right there, plus your V10 will never make it 500,000. If you buy new it does take about 150.000 miles before the diesel becomes more economical but buying used takes that out of the equation. I have always pulled with gas motors until I started pulling for a living. The 7.3 was and is the best engine Ford has ever made. The new 6.7 looks very promising though but you will not find anything under 20K with that engine.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:32 PM   #20
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The op asked for a daily driver with good mileage, also serve as a tow vehicle. He lives in Venice, CA. What's a Ford Excursion got to do with that?

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Old 09-13-2013, 02:46 PM   #21
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My point was a diesel is not the only option. I have an Excursion but there are many other option available. The new F-150 Ecoboost would be what I would recommend if money were not an issue.

It is really hard to find anything that will tow 10,000lbs that gets more than 15 mpg empty including the 7.3L diesel.


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Old 09-13-2013, 03:01 PM   #22
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It is really hard to find anything that will tow 10,000lbs that gets more than 15 mpg empty including the 7.3L diesel.


Perry
Look at any of the new 3/4 or 1 ton trucks. Almost all of them will exceed 15 MPG but they are all well out of the 20K range. Most of your Ford and Dodge diesels can be made to get more than 15 MPG with a little work on them such as airbox, exhaust and tuners without any damage to the engine or drivetrain. You can easily expect 15-18 loaded and around 18-20 empty. They will all be rated over 10,000 pulling
capacity.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:38 PM   #23
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We're looking to balance mpg and a towing capacity of 10k+ pounds (28' Safari) for a used vehicle in the $10 - 20k range. The vehicle will be our daily driver as well TV, hence wanting to get the best mpg possible. We will be hitting mountain passes, though not that frequently. Any suggestions of make, model, and year to look at?
As I see it you there are four sensible approaches:

1) Large SUVs, either the Chev Suburban 2500 or the Ford Excursion, from 2000-2006.

2) Most 3/4 ton pickup trucks from the same era, with a cab configuration that meets your needs

3) Recent 1/2 ton pickup trucks, though some people including me believe the manufacturers are now overstating the towing capacity

4) Large sedans using a specialized hitch from Can Am.


The 'burb or the Excursion are the choice if you need a 3rd row of seats or climate controlled cargo space. The pickups are fine without.

Nothing that can tow 10,000 pounds will get good mileage nor will it be much fun as a daily driver.

People will argue diesel all day but total cost of ownership including fuel, maintenance, and depreciation is no better, you pay for the mpg savings in increased up front costs and maintenance.
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:41 PM   #24
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[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]
It is really hard to find anything that will tow 10,000lbs that gets more than 15 mpg empty including the 7.3L diesel.


Perry
I stayed out of the diesel vs gasser convo, but my 6.0 (tuned) gets 22mpg on the highway unloaded and 15 pulling my 78 Sov at 65mph.

That's much better than my 08 Expedition EL that got 18 and 9 respectively.
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:50 PM   #25
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I'm realizing that maximizing for mpg is a lost cause, there are not all that many tow options to begin with. Jammer, I think you nailed the options, and I'm debating between the 1/2 tons and the 3/4 tons. I don't trust a CanAm vehicle to ease me down mountain passes and don't need the extra seating of an SUV.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:22 PM   #26
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I would have rather had a truck but the Excursion was half the price of a pickup with the same drivetrain and same year. The wife and kiddy like the Excursion interior. I had a 92 Ford diesel crew cab long bed 4x4 and sold it for $3500 but it was going to cost me another $2000 min to keep running it. I needed something more reliable. If I was still single, I would have kept it as a farm truck. I probably would have also fixed all the problems.

Perry
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:18 PM   #27
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I do know this, a 7.3 if the antifreeze has not been maintained correctly you could spend major bucks when water jacket cavitation eats through a cylinder. A risky gamble in my book. My dollar is on a 5.9 Cummins pre 2007 or a gasser
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:26 PM   #28
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Yes there are alot of gottcha's with an old diesel. I could have spent $2000k on the old truck just to have something major like cavitation (the water jacket issue) or the transmission etc. If you get one new and keep it up they can last forever. If you get a lemon or abused lemon they are going to cost you tons.

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