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Old 07-18-2011, 09:31 PM   #1
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Brought home Beauty--How to treat Beast?

Hello fellow 'streamers,

Iím crazy in love with my new (to me) 2004 25í Classic and the 2004 F250 TV that came with it, along with a Reese hitch. She pulls like a dream. (pics in my profile). Getting to know every inch of my Beauty.

Right now my biggest insecurity (besides backing, which will take practice and patience.. ) is how to properly care for my F250 aka Beast.

Reading the forums is educational and also scary. Based on what Iíve read here, I expect a range of opinions. I know some think F250's are nothing but trouble. However, itís what Iíve got. And I gotta admit, I love love driving her. So my goal is to make the most of it.

Part of whatís intimidating me is the suggested modifications and highly technical talk about ďtuningĒ and such. Listen, fellas and gals, itís highly unlikely that Iíll even change the oil and filter myself. (Working on and crawling under the Airstream is a different matter!).

Keeping in mind the fact that Iíll likely be paying for most, if not all, of the service to my TV, and given the wealth of info and experience on this site, Iíd appreciate your input on any of the questions below.

1) What kind of oil? Synthetic or dino?
2) Additives to oil?
3) Additives to fuel?
4) Miles/hrs between oil changes?
5) Miles/hrs between fuel filter changes?
6) Biggest issue/problem to watch out for and best way to prevent?
7) Other advice, warnings, suggestions, good wishes?

Haha, Iím only asking for the moon, but I must be in the right place as y'all made my AS research and lucky purchase possible. I'm so grateful for the tremendous help I've gotten as a newbie and as an Airstreamer wannabe. And now I are one!
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:37 AM   #2
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For questions about service on your truck, open the owners manual and make out a chart to post on a wall. Alternatively, download and print the same information about time & miles & considerations from the manufacturer website. I'd also print out (to carry) part numbers. As you do not wish to learn the details, I'd invest a good deal of time in finding the best Ford dealer in your area. Keep things simple.

There are enthusiast sites for all brands, and a great deal can be learned from them. Only showing up on them when a problem occurs may mean spending more money in the long run. It would be good to know what problems, what possible solutions, etc, beforehand. That takes time and homework. Otherwise, a good dealer is the way to go, IMO (unless one can find a highly recommended independent). Factory parts only, is my rule of thumb, and brand-new, NEVER re-built.

Start by having all fluids changed, as well as any filters pertaining. Check alignment, steering wander, and brake drag.

Good luck.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
... make out a chart to post on a wall. .. I'd also print out (to carry) part numbers. ..finding the best Ford dealer in your area. Keep things simple.

There are enthusiast sites for all brands, and a great deal can be learned from them. Only showing up on them when a problem occurs may mean spending more money in the long run. It would be good to know what problems, what possible solutions, etc, beforehand. That takes time and homework. Otherwise, a good dealer is the way to go, IMO (unless one can find a highly recommended independent). Factory parts only, is my rule of thumb, and brand-new, NEVER re-built.

Start by having all fluids changed, as well as any filters pertaining. Check alignment, steering wander, and brake drag.

Good luck.
Rednax, thanks for the great advice. I'd made a fluid and service chart on computer and printed out for the glove compartment--should probably put on my calendar too--now that I've got three vehicles' maintenance to track! I hadn't thought about making list of part numbers--and factory parts makes sense.

Oil change is due, and I guess I'll spring for fuel filter too. I'll price tranny and coolant change--might have to budget for them. I've been checking out related topics on these forums and some diesel forums. It's overwhelming but I guess it's like eating an elephant. Start with one bite!

I've been asking around and think I've located a good local mechanic who'll help me understand the issues and maybe encourage me to do the stuff I can. I may first give our local dealer a try, because they're sometimes good, but as they're pricey I want to know about what I'm asking them to do.

Okay, I feel better now--thanks for the pep talk!

I'll post pics of Beast when I get her cleaned up a bit. She's awesome, and well worth the trouble.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:08 AM   #4
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Scooter,
Rednax got it right. I'm just learning to speak "diesel" because of our new-to-us TV. Like you, I will not service it. I have a great shop nearby and I trust their advice about fluids, change intervals, etc. Everyone I talk with stresses the importance of keeping a clean fuel filter in it. I'll probably spring for one more often than the computer tells me to do it. Hit the road and enjoy your new rolling home as we have.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gheuer View Post
Scooter,
Rednax got it right. I'm just learning to speak "diesel" because of our new-to-us TV. Like you, I will not service it. I have a great shop nearby and I trust their advice about fluids, change intervals, etc. Everyone I talk with stresses the importance of keeping a clean fuel filter in it. I'll probably spring for one more often than the computer tells me to do it. Hit the road and enjoy your new rolling home as we have.
gheuer, you're right it's a new language--one I can read better than I can speak it! That's not saying much haha, but I'm working on it.

Today I realized that the manual classifies use of biodiesel as heavy duty service, like towing. Guess I'll wait awhile before trying it, though there are groups here that gather and prep vegetable oil for reuse, and the cost is pretty close to diesel. I'd thought I'd use 20% bio diesel in summer but now I'm having second thoughts. And third thoughts. Especially considering the fuel filter considerations...what do you think?
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:52 AM   #6
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Keep it simple. Weird fuel brings it own problems. The replacement cost of one of these engines is in excess of $16k. Injectors, alone, several thousand $$$.

Use branded fuel (not "grocery store" or "super box store" fuel) from a station that is known to pump a lot of diesel. Keep several spare filters aboard the truck and know how to change them. Older diesel engines had to be re-primed (a real PITA), but newer ones are easier. Again, consult manual. Buy the tools necessary (even if you own them: this is a dedicated use), keep some fuel-resistant gloves and keep all in a good place (under back seat for me). Buy only FLEETGUARD, DONALDSON or BALDWIN filters (of any type).

While on the subject, make a calendar (as in above post) that shows service type and intervals. On oil changes my year model engine spec allows me from 7.5-15k miles. I change oil twice-yearly or at 6-mos/6k miles. I change oil, oil filter, air filter and fuel filter at the same time. Runs me about $150 (someone else does the oil change, I do the rest). I use SHELL Rotella 5W-40 as this partial synthetic shows excellent numbers through analysis. (The "best" oil will not be Amsoil or some other boutique oil, but MOBIL ONE Delvac 5W-40 (can find at truck stops); any of these are expensive and unlikely our trucks are good candidates for what high-zoot oils can do).

.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Scooter241 View Post
gheuer, you're right it's a new language--one I can read better than I can speak it! That's not saying much haha, but I'm working on it.

Today I realized that the manual classifies use of biodiesel as heavy duty service, like towing. Guess I'll wait awhile before trying it, though there are groups here that gather and prep vegetable oil for reuse, and the cost is pretty close to diesel. I'd thought I'd use 20% bio diesel in summer but now I'm having second thoughts. And third thoughts. Especially considering the fuel filter considerations...what do you think?
"Greasel" and pump biodiesel are NOT the same thing. Biodiesel they sell at the pump is more processed, with additives for climate, etc. There are people who burn filtered vegetable oil (usually in older diesel engines) but they often have to modify their fuel system to do it.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:13 PM   #8
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Not much for doing it myself anymore either. The dealer I bought the truck from is 2.5 miles from home. (Dodge) I use dino oil and have the dealer change it every 3500. And the dealer sometimes points out things that need attention. Lots of very happy Ford diesel drivers out there. dealer or trusted shop, bottom line is to service it regular.
I have to back my trailer about 200 feet down a dead end street and then 90 degrees into my driveway. After about 20 times of this I feel somewhat comfortable with backing. Hardest thing for me to do is back in a straight line. On turns I can see a trailer wheel and that makes it easier.
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:00 PM   #9
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Good advice above. If you take good care of the truck and it wasn't pounded by the previous owner, you will get several hundred thousand miles of life out of it. I just ran in to a guy in Tennesee with a F250 (I neglected to ask him the year) with 550,000 miles on it, original engine, and it looked brand new!

If I were you, I'd stay away from "tuner" stuff. You don't need any more torque or horsepower than you've got to tow that trailer, and most of the "tuner" or "chip" mods will void your warranty. There's a reason for that.

Change the fluids and filters per factory spec, don't drive like a demon, and you'll drive that truck until you're tired of it!
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:26 AM   #10
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Okay, I'm getting more bold with considering what I might be willing (and able) to do. Can't imagine getting tired of this Beast! I'll do some research, buy a few (dedicated) tools and keep y'all posted on how it's going.

Many many thanks for the ideas and experience--the support gives me an incentive to learn and try new things.
Kathy
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