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Old 08-03-2007, 06:56 AM   #1
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Diesel tv with 250K miles - should I buy?

Tomorrow is the day we bring home the 2003 22 ft International CCD. We have decided to take the advice of those on the forum and many others we have spoken to and will not tow it with our V6 F 150. We will borrow my son's bigger truck for the trip home.

We have spent the week looking through the paper, internet and dealer lots for something that will do the job and stay within budget (under $20k - ideally $10K). The tv will only be used to tow the AS maybe 2 - 3 times a month 8 months of the year and will sit unused most of the time.

Question for the group - we test drove a gas powered Ford Excursion and realize it will do the job, but the price was out of the budget range. I have found another Excursion 2001 diesel, but with 250 k miles on it for less than $10K. Most advice has been to get a diesel, they last longer and tow better, but should I be concerned with such high mileage?

Mary
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:21 AM   #2
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Hi Mary,

Congratulations on your new AS. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do mine.

The 2001 Excursion's diesel is the old 7.3 liter that, as far as I know, had a pretty good reputation. People will tell you that diesels will last up to 500k miles. While that may be true, it does not apply to everything around it. Transmission, turbo, hoses ... You should check out the maintenance history to see when/if the tranny has been rebuilt/replaced, brakes everything If those things fall into line, then I'd get it with the caveat that things are going to need to be replaced. You should also check to see if it has a rear anti-sway bar. If it doesn't you shoulc plan to put one on at some point. Towing a 22' AS will be light enough that you should be able to wait awhile to make this addition - they aren't that costly.

The diesel Excursion is a great tow vehicle, I own one and love it. You have the engine, transmission and frame to tow anything up to 10k pounds with no problems. With the limited use that you plan for your TV, the existing mileage should not have much of an impact if it has been cared for. You can expect to have fuel mileage of 21 - 23 mpg hwy, non-towing; 11-15 mpg hwy, towing; and 15 - 18 mpg, city.

I'm sure others will add to the list of things to consider. You'll get some good, solid advice here that will help yo make up your mind. Best of luck, and happy camping.

_________Tom
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Old 08-03-2007, 08:05 AM   #3
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Thanks Tom.

I have a call into the seller and your comments will certainly help me sound more like a 'gearhead'!!!

Mary
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:17 PM   #4
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Update - we bought the excursion

As a follow up to some of the conversations about tow vehicles, I want to share what we ended up doing. We bought the 2001 Ford Excursion diesel with 242K miles on it. The price was right for us, $9K, but the good old state department of revenue said the price was too low. When I registered the SUV, the clerk at the DMV said the State of CT estimated the value of the vehicle to be $18K according to their "blue book", so I ended up paying sales tax on two times my purchase price. This in spite of the fact that I had a bill of sale from a corporation, not a private owner. (The vehicle was leased by a business for an employee as a perk.)

The kind clerk at the DMV was also in disbelief and was good enough to tell me about an appeal process with the state to try to get a refund of part of the excessive sales tax. Of course I filled out the paperwork.

I am thankful that I sometimes tend to procrastinate about important paperwork, because here is 'the rest of the story'.

We used the Excursion to tow the new AS just a couple days after purchase. It pulled like a dream, but my hubby was a little concerned that the transmission seemed to slip when he put it in reverse. We finished our first weekend outing without any major problem, but Monday morning he made a call to a diesel repair shop to have it all checked out. Three days later, they said they would give us the keys to the SUV in exchange for $2K. The SUV needed rear brakes, upper and lower ball joints and transmission servicing. We were assured that it was in fine running order.

Well we know there is no such thing as a free lunch and are happy we didn't over pay on our initial investment. After the shock of the final repair price I realized we had still only invested $11K for the vehicle, still within our budgeted amount. The repair bill was added to the paperwork to be submitted to the state as proof of the actual 'blue book' value. I hope the state official who reviews my appeal will see that this particular vehicle was not worth $18k and refund part of the sales tax.

I just might need that refund to pay for more repairs.

Mary in CT
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Old 09-10-2007, 06:57 PM   #5
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Thumbs up

In 2001 a Diesel Excusion was 40K give or take new after dickering. Just keep the oil changed every 3k miles and get the radiator flushed and filled this fall and every year thereafter, same with the transmission fluid and filter. Every second oil change replace the fuel filter and every third replace the air filter. The 7.3 isn't a good engine--its a great engine. In 2001 it was in its final form and it should last another 100,000 miles or more depending on maintenance it has had. Mary, my maintenance recs are more frequent then Fords but remember they can't sell as many new vehicles if the old ones are lasting 400,000 miles. Excursion is a heavy duty vehicle and will give great service.
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:06 PM   #6
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Thanks Brad, that's a great report on the diesel Excursion. We are fairly confident that the SUV was well maintained because it was a 'company owned vehicle' and therefore the guy who drove it was not footing the bill.

With the limited use we plan for it, it sounds like we may have gotten a good deal. Shhushhh....Just don't tell the tax collector for the State of Connecticut!

Mary
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rettoc625
Thanks Brad, that's a great report on the diesel Excursion. We are fairly confident that the SUV was well maintained because it was a 'company owned vehicle' and therefore the guy who drove it was not footing the bill.

With the limited use we plan for it, it sounds like we may have gotten a good deal. Shhushhh....Just don't tell the tax collector for the State of Connecticut!

Mary
The engine should be good for at least another 100K easily. I would still have our diesel F250 (Excursion is an F250 with different rear suspension) if the body hadn't started rotting out from under me. When I got rid of it, it had almost 300,000 on the clock, and still ran like a new one.
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:55 PM   #8
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Sounds like you miss that TV!!
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rettoc625
Sounds like you miss that TV!!
I have a soft spot in my heart for the F series with the original diesels, I had a small part in their design.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:12 PM   #10
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Nice buy on the TV, Mary. I'm amazed at the tax bill! They can't play those games in Ohio, what ever amount the Bill of Sale shows is what the tax is figured on. My Mom wanted $1 for our 86 Sov. 27, I gave her a $2 bill. (I'm a big spender ) The BMV never blinked an eye, though she did make sure I paid, she knowes my Mom. Have a great time on the road. LJH
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Old 11-03-2007, 05:12 PM   #11
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Transmission issues

OK, so we "knew" it was coming. This otherwise great TV, 2001 diesel excursion, that we bought in August for $9K, is showing indications of transmission slippage. Of course only when towing. We barely got the AS to our storage area across town and back. I guess we are lucky we did not get stranded anywhere while camping.

Including other repairs (and a transmission service/check) we have $11K invested in this vehicle. Our best guess is that a rebuilt transmission could cost another $3K.

Does it sound reasonable to invest that much money into an Excursion that is only used as an occassional TV, or would we be better off looking for something else with fewer miles?
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rettoc625
Does it sound reasonable to invest that much money into an Excursion that is only used as an occassional TV, or would we be better off looking for something else with fewer miles?
That's a tough call not knowing the condition of the engine etc. I had mixed luck with transmission rebuilds in my previous Chevy diesel TV. It was hard on torque converters. The person & shop doing the rebuild is a huge variable. One tranny was pulled and rebuilt 3 seperate times due to the shop not knowing diesels and tow vehicles as well as they thought they did.

If you decide to put a new tranny in, consider a "factory" remanufactured one or, one rebuilt by a shop that specializes in rebuilding diesel trannys for towing and big motorhomes. The quality control will at least be a known quantity. drivetrain.com advertises 3 year 75,000 mile trannys remanufactured by Motorcraft for about $2k.

Based on past experience I'd have them bolt on a new OEM Ford torque converter or upgrade to a super duty torque converter like this one: DTT Performance Diesel Transmission and Power Accessories

and hey........if you still have the F150, it's probably rearing to get off the bench and show you it can pull that lil ole Airstream along just fine.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:23 PM   #13
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Well that is great advice! And yes the F150 is still sitting around with nothing to do!
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:40 PM   #14
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If you have a good WD/sway set up, it's worth giving the F150 a try . If it seems OK - check the rear end gear ratio on your f150. 3.55 gears will pull it OK but if you decide to do a lot of towing you will eventually want 4.10 or 4.30.

I finally swapped out 3:55s for 4.30s in mine and it made a huge improvement!

Post back if you do not know where the rear axle code is for your truck - I've got that the info somewhere.

................Scott
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