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Old 10-17-2010, 03:58 PM   #1
HCR
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Cost of switching out rear axle?

Have been looking at 2010 F150 w/ 3.55 and have been told that the 3.73 will be better for towing my Safari (GVRW 7300 lbs.). But, that the 3.73 (hope I have these numbers correct) will reduce my non-towing gas mileage. This matters as my truck will be a daily driver and my only vehicle.

I will tow my trailer only about 2k per year and want to minimize my overall gas costs. But, if the 3.55 (with 5.4 gas engine) proves inadequate, wonder what the cost would be for upgrading the rear axe.

As always, thanks in advance for sharing your experience and knowledge.
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:05 PM   #2
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Doesn't make much sense. I have a 2011 F250 with 3.31 rear end and tow my 2010 25' with no worries. Same GVWR. But you are talking f150,..I have a f250.

BUT with the LOWER gear your mileage would actually drop.

Shane
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:20 PM   #3
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You say you "have been told"... Is this by the Ford dealer selling you a new truck? There are a lot of variables that you haven't provided details on:

* Are you buying a 4WD?
* Does it have a "towing package"?
* Will you be driving primarily in the mountains, or commuting to Denver or elsewhere (up- or down-hill) regularly?

Some of these choices may be moot, if you get the towing package; since the engine, transmission, rearend and suspension may be predetermined. Also, you didn't mention which engine you are buying.

In any case, 2,000 miles a year isn't very many miles. If the truck you have chosen is rated to tow the trailer, and it otherwise meets your daily driving needs, I wouldn't change the rearend. However, that being said, you may find that the 2,000 yearly mileage, with your Airstream in tow, may grow in time; if you enjoy it as much as most others on this site. But, living in South Fork, you may not have to drive as far as some of us, to get to the best camping spots -- they are right in your own backyard!
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:08 PM   #4
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The lower the number the higher the rear end. I'm learning, also. Which is suppose to equal better MPG. I'm more savvy on the f250, though.

If I can help you in anyway let me know.

Shane
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HCR View Post
Have been looking at 2010 F150 w/ 3.55 and have been told that the 3.73 will be better for towing my Safari...
the 3.73 MIGHT result in a tad better acceleration while towing,

and a tiny bit better shifting pattern going UPhill.

but those differences are tiny, probably NOT noticeable to most drivers,

and not worth the $$ price of swapping out a brand new rear end with a factory warranty.

the mpg will be a TINY bit better with a 3.55 if all other driving factors are equal...

and all the other factors r NEVER equal...

the 150 with 3.55 will work fine with a modern 25 footer, save yer money for real upgrades.

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:51 PM   #6
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I just re-read my post, and I must have had a senior moment. I thought HCR lived in the mountains above Denver. Thus, my comment about South Fork and driving in the mountains.

If you live in Texas, the difference will probably be very little, except for possibly slightly lower fuel mileage.

Quick question (don't mean to hijack this thread): We would like to drive across I-10 to Florida with our granddaughters, to see Disney World; but we've heard it takes 2-3 days to get across Texas. Is that true? I hope I'm not offending any Texans, but is this an interesting drive, or should we consider a more scenic route a little farther north. My wife and I don't mind the drive, but the grandkids need some interesting stops to make that long roadtrip bearable.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:12 PM   #7
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I10 across Texas is about 875 miles. The eastern portion, to the hill country, is interesting. The western portion is not very exciting, but then most car scenery for children is not.

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I just re-read my post, and I must have had a senior moment. I thought HCR lived in the mountains above Denver. Thus, my comment about South Fork and driving in the mountains.

If you live in Texas, the difference will probably be very little, except for possibly slightly lower fuel mileage.

Quick question (don't mean to hijack this thread): We would like to drive across I-10 to Florida with our granddaughters, to see Disney World; but we've heard it takes 2-3 days to get across Texas. Is that true? I hope I'm not offending any Texans, but is this an interesting drive, or should we consider a more scenic route a little farther north. My wife and I don't mind the drive, but the grandkids need some interesting stops to make that long roadtrip bearable.
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCR View Post
Have been looking at 2010 F150 w/ 3.55 and have been told that the 3.73 will be better for towing my Safari (GVRW 7300 lbs.). But, that the 3.73 (hope I have these numbers correct) will reduce my non-towing gas mileage. This matters as my truck will be a daily driver and my only vehicle.

I will tow my trailer only about 2k per year and want to minimize my overall gas costs. But, if the 3.55 (with 5.4 gas engine) proves inadequate, wonder what the cost would be for upgrading the rear axe.

As always, thanks in advance for sharing your experience and knowledge.
Hi, here's the deal; With older tow vehicles, with a four speed transmission, I would definately recommend 3:73 gears. And if you have the factory tow package that's what you would get. Now the 2010 F-150 has a six speed trans with completely different ratios and the higher gears are fine in those. Bottom line, you don't need to change gears in this truck. Leave it as is.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #9
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HCR, you'll not notice a whole lot of difference between 3.55 and 3.73 with an automatic and a 5.4L. I'd say, if you like the truck, get it and start towing!

In my experience, 4:10 gears would however be a nice upgrade eventually. I towed our 25' Safari for quite a while with a 4.2L F-150 before I finally changed out the 3.55 gears for 4.30 (with 33" D/E range tires). Big improvement towing and the gas mileage improved. Daily driving mileage was down a tad but well worth it.

Local speed shop put in Ford Racing gears including a racing limited slip for about $900. Super heavy duty parts.
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