ok ford friendly folks and wannabe’s
I drove the 2008 super duty f-250 with the new 6.4l powerstroke diesel
also crawled over the new 450 dually and the 550 dually.
the 450 is a new model with more towing capacity (gearing, axles and detuned diesel) but with 1 ton creature comforts.
here are initial impressions, some vehicle details and random puffs of soot free exhaust
front view is the obvious visual change.
the headlights have been swapped so main beams are now lower which will be good for oncoming traffic.
running lights are same height but wider set.
the grill is bigger, much bigger.
this grill is matt black on some models and body color on others and
plastic/chrome on the lariat and king ranch lariat.
‘super duty’ is stamped into the top.
the big change however is that the grill is now attached to the engine bay lid.
so when one pops the lid the grill raises along with it.
it will be easier to place a bug screen over the radiators with this arrangement
and reach up to close is easier.
the hood has a different bulge pattern and the front quarter panels are different.
on the base models the headlight molding is matte black
so from a distance the grill appears to encompass the headlights; it does not.
front chrome bumper now has an integrated composite ‘step/ledge’,
so climbing up to play in the bay is easier.
the doors and body side panels appear the same or very close to the last model.
no changes to the crappy plastic door handles or locking mechanism.
the window seals and door seals are a NEW design for noise reduction.
same color options and combos.
same body side moldings, trim, step rails and so on.
a few new wheel options especially in 20s.
along with the xl, xlt, lariat and kings ranch there is a new model...
the ‘fx4’ (black leather and techie interior and skid plates) slotted just below the lariat
head lights and tail lights are from a different mold
but the bulb technology is unchanged; no new leds 2 my eye.
side mirrors are bigger and the molding is square-ish rather than rounded.
the double extension bars are square too (this means our c-betr mirrors won’t fit)
the lower convex section is MUCH larger than previous. so this is better too.
the big change is extension and folding come with a ‘power’ option COOL!
still the best towing mirrors in the field!
the firewall and front/dash steel are reported to be thicker and better at deadening noise.
instead of the blocker beam front framing this year the frame members are lowered to near auto height.
a crash/safety issue.
same cab size options.
i looked over a regular cab, supercab and the crew cab.
seatbelts are now ‘door’ mounted on the supercab instead of integrated into the seat backs.
same bed length options and 30 gal or 38 gallon tanks.
new this year is an option for integrated step and railing in the tail gate.
this works fine but i wouldn’t order it.
also a bed extender that folds into the sides.
it can be used inside the closed bed as a ‘container’ or folded out with the tail gate down.
this would be great for folks hauling golf carts, motor bikes and so on.
the tail gate is balanced and pretensioned with struts.
so it feels very light and easily closes with one arm, whereas the last model is a beast to lift.
it now feels like the 150s and ge’em tailgates.
‘super duty’ lettering is stamped into the metal work.
the receiver appears unchanged
but the very last frame cross-member is welded so the area looks beefier.
the trailer electrical connection still offers 7pin and 4pin,
but the outlet is a cleaner, integrated design rather than 2 separate plugs.
ride height, track, width and wheel base lengths are unchanged
here the big visual change is the dash/steering wheel.
these follow the styling of the f-150 and nissan somewhat.
there are 4-5 options from base plastic/bright trim to an anodized metal...
to the trusty fake wood
we all love on the lariat and kings ranch.
air vents can be closed and have bright bezels.
the brake controller is in virtually the bottom center and just as hard to reach.
there are new stereo options with hookup for dvd and music players or satellite radio.
the box between the front seats is REALLY large now.
a laptop will fit flat or on end along with vertical files.
outlet inside the box and on the back side too.
same seat colors and options.
new is a memory option for mirrors/seats and 2 level heated seats.
cab heater has the option for a 2nd ‘rapid heat supplemental heater’ that doesn’t rely on engine heat.
cabin can be warmed in about 2 minutes.
dual zone heating is new this year.
windows, moon roof and rear slider unchanged.
the drives key/ignition now has a ‘smart chip’ and remote start option…passive theft prevention is supposedly improved
but there is still no real starter disconnect or alarm.
while there is lots of hype about the ‘new’ powerstroke…let’s break this down.
the block is still the original 6.0 i think.
with only 50cc increase in displacement per cylinder,
this increase must come from the valve design and subtle piston changes.
the bore and stroke are unchanged i think.
the crank shaft is bigger and the rods stiffened.
horse power is increased to 350 and torque to 650…wow.
a first on trucks is the dual turbos.
a higher pressure smaller one spools up for take off
and a larger lower pressure one for top end torque and towing.
the last model had variable veins to accomplish this.
the pistons now have ‘internal oil jets’ for more cooling.
a big change is the piezo electric high pressure common rail fuel injection.
i don’t know who makes this component for ford but this is fairly common on euro diesels.
basically the fuel pump pre pressurizes to 28,000 psi and the injectors squirt...
really tiny precise bursts of fuel.
think about inkjet printer technology because it is basically the same process.
fuel can be injected at a more precise compression point for better combustion.
this also is cleaner and quieter and supposedly more fuel efficient.
there are SIX cooling/radiators on this thing with one just for the fuel pump.
the main radiator is from the f-550 and much much larger that last year.
ford no longer refers to fuel warming units as glow plugs.
instead they are called something else…
and activate instantly and down to 20 below zero
along with the block heater a supplemental really cold weather heater is an option.
a 5.4 gasser and the 6.8 gasser are still options.
the v10 has the most hp and torque of any light duty truck.
the torque shift tranny has stronger gear sets and a larger torque converter.
5 final drive rear end options.
the tranny is still a six speed with 5 active gears
on the manual side is a 6 speed tranny.
front suspension is beefier and the rear leaf springs are LONGER
which is reported to improve ride with light/heavy loads and reduce wheel wrap.
towing and hauling capacities are increased across ALL models.
the frame is now ‘electro-coated’ instead of that waxy stuff from previous models.
NEW engine mounts and body on frame mounts are supposed to be quieter too.
the exhaust is stainless and includes a 2 stage ‘diesel oxidation catalyst and diesel particualate filter’
which reduces the soot 10x, to the equal of gasoline engine.
this thing is self cleaning and runs very hot.
the tail pipe is now dual and vented for the last foot.
of course ONLY ULSD fuel can be used or bio5/ulsd mix.
the engine oil is a new standard (cj-4).
so the diesel oil used these last 3-4 years (cl-4) is not compatible with the 6.4.
otoh the oil change intervals have been increased to 10,000 miles and
fuel filter changes increased to 20,000 miles.
i don’t know IF this is using a new/different fuel filter or just the result of ‘cleaner’ diesel.
well the beast fires up faster.
basically just turn the ignition on.
it is clearly quieter.
while i’m a poor judge of noise the whole think vibrates less and feels much smoother
and there is ZERO soot
the ride feels basically unchanged to me which is good.
i actually like how these trucks with the old fashion front axles ride.
it feels quicker but i didn't redline a new truck with 15 miles on the odo.
fit and finish are as good as my 05
which was very well assembled and remains so
pricing is from 20s to 60s.
the truck built as my 05 is about 2-3,000$ more.
and with a few extras like the power mirrors and memory seats, another 1000$
the new tailgate features are 3-500 bucks.
and fully integrated dash navigation system for 1800$
or the new garmin dash top options for 5-600$...
i’m sure to have missed or mangled many issues...
but the trucks are here
so let the games begin!
questions comments and the usual harassments welcome....