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Old 02-19-2010, 09:31 AM   #1
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Ford Excursion (Diesel) Advice

Looks like we are going to buy the "third car" for "recreational" purposes and the FORD EXCURSION DIESEL 4X4 is the winner.

Trying to stay under $12k. I have a mechanic friend of mine that will be doing the inspections. Biggest concerns are brakes, powerplant and transmission. Average mileage avail in this price range appears to be around 175 - 225k.

A few questions:

1. Seems most like the 7.3L as compared to the 2004 and later 6.0L?

2. I've read that some have a refurb'd tranny put into these vehicles (and the equivalent F-250) around 200k? Is this a concern? Should I plan on this expense and how much?

3. Anything in particular that I should be aware of or check thoroughly regarding the 2000-2003 model years for the FORD EXCURSION?

Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:55 AM   #2
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I had a 02, 7.3 Ford Excursion. Got great milage, good ride and plenty of power. Only problem was the 4 speed transmission on this truck. It was a pain on large hills. Would not gear down. Almost had to come down to 25mph on large hills in order to keep rps's down. Go with the newer model Excursion, the transmission has to be better. Went to a 06 GM 3/4 ton with 6 speed allison and it made a world of diff.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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Also beware that for towing and stability many Ex owners have made many upgrades and improvements to the stock vehicles.

Do a search on the topic and you will finds info on upgrades as in shocks, rear springs, custom rear end stabilizers, tires, steering mods, etc.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:42 PM   #4
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Damn....am I better off with a Chevrolet Diesel 2500?

For heaven sakes what is the ideal tow vehicle in diesel for a family of four and a 25' Sovereign??!!
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:11 AM   #5
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i think the exc' is a great idea...

and don't think much suspension mod is needed for an 80s 25 footer.

nice thing abou the exc' is that it can tow your NEXT larger a/s too, all the way UP to a 34.

i've posted links here to help with your research...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...tml#post812020

cheers
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:25 AM   #6
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I've owned a 99 Ford Powerstroke F350 w/ manual trans and I currently own a 2000 Excursion w/ V10. I too wanted the diesel, but I was unwilling to take 200k miles and still pay over $15k. The only reason I sold the 99 F350 was that it was two wheel drive. Other than that, it was perfect. The manual is absolutely awesome (given that the alternative for the same model year was a 4 speed auto). If you can handle a manual trans. and a crew cab truck instead of a super-SUV, then seek out an early 00's Ford truck w/ a manual. Even if someone has "chipped it up" the engines were bullet-proof and so were the manual trans's. Worst case, you have to get a new clutch put in it.

The 6.0L diesel engine had it's issues upon introduction, but if you can find one that's still running out there today, likely it wasn't one of the bad ones. The 6.0L engine, outside of the warranty issues early on, was a good engine. It had a red-line of 4400RPM! With an automatic behind it to let it spin up...it would scream. We had a 6.0L manual trans at work for a while...always a joy to drive it, too.

Yes, the 4 speed auto. in the early '00s was OK for it's time, but it's quite behind the times now. As the torques went up and up on the diesel, Ford kept pushing the design of the tranny to keep up. It was no issue for the gassers...the V10 topped out at around 420 ft*lbs at the time which was 100 ft*lbs less than the diesel. So, the gassers had fewer tranny issues because of less torque than they were designed for. That being said, I really wish my current V10 had a 5 or 6 speed auto, now. If you get an Excursion (or F250 and heavier, for that matter) with a 6.0L diesel, then you get the 5R110W automatic which is a 5 speed. It was a drastic improvement over the 4 speed. Even the gas Excursions are much better with the 5 speed.

All of the above being said, if you can squeak out the $ for something newer with a 6 speed, even a 1/2 ton chassis like an Expedition; you're much better off. The Allison is incredible. But, you have to by a 3/4 ton Suburban w/ 6.0L gas engine to get that. No diesel option for you. But, the 6.0L gas with an Allison is no slouch. You'd probably like it better than a 5-10 year old diesel. I wish I had the $ for one...I'd be at the GM dealer today if I did. I tow my 27' Overlander with the Excursion and get avg. 9.5 MPG. I towed my trailer with a 2009 Expedition w/ a 6 speed automatic and got 10.5MPG. It really, really towed better than my Excursion, too. The ability of the trans. to downshift just 200-400RPM is amazing. My Excursion drops out of overdrive at the slightest movement of the accel. pedal. For it to go from 3rd to 2nd is about a 1000-1250RPM jump and the engine is roaring. It accelerates, then upshifts, then slows, then downshifts, accel, upshift, etc. until I'm over the hill. The 6 speed would drop one or two gears and find a happy home and stay there until over the hill.

OK. Enough opinions from me for now.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:34 AM   #7
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Best Tow Vehicle

Quote:
Originally Posted by big_john View Post
Damn....am I better off with a Chevrolet Diesel 2500?

For heaven sakes what is the ideal tow vehicle in diesel for a family of four and a 25' Sovereign??!!
The Excursion can pull a house off a foundation and the 25 Airstream will hardly be noticed, even if you bought a longer Airstream.

I do like the idea this guy used though, 2 can go in the sleeper cab.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:48 AM   #8
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I'm a former Excursion owner. I had a Y2K V10 gasser. I did the suspension mods necessary on the truck to tow the 34' tri axle I had then. They'd help for the 25'ers as well.

The 7.3 is generally held to be a better engine than the 6.0. All that said, there's really no advantage to getting a diesel in a part-time use Excursion over the V10. You'll never recoup the cost, and the V10 versions are VERY competent haulers. The downside to the 7.3 is that it's HEAVY. Several hundred pounds heavier than the 6.0 or V10, and you can really feel it in the handling of the Ex. The 7.3l equipped Excursions are really sluggish compared to the lighter-weight engine equipped trucks. I've driven versions of all three at one time or another.

But whichever you choose, go ahead and get the Excursion of your choice and do the rear end suspension mods. They cost less than $1k and turn the Ex into one of the most competent towing vehicles out there. Once you've taken care of the rear suspension issues, it's certainly the best SUV tow vehicle available.

Roger
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Old 02-20-2010, 02:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
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But whichever you choose, go ahead and get the Excursion of your choice and do the rear end suspension mods. They cost less than $1k and turn the Ex into one of the most competent towing vehicles out there. Once you've taken care of the rear suspension issues, it's certainly the best SUV tow vehicle available.

Roger
OK, ya got my attention with that one. I use my Excursion to tow the 27' Overlander with a std. weight dist. hitch and I'm pretty happy with the little bit of squat I get which I then level out with the weight dist. bars. I also use the Ex. to regularly haul my 22' tandem flatbed (2000lb empty) with 5000 to 6000 lb of firewood inside it, so 8000 lb total. When I haul that, I don't even use weight dist. because I can get the load pretty much centered over the trailer axles with just enough on the tongue to make it stable.

What could I possibly do to my Ex. to make it better?!? Pardon me for asking here rather than searching the 'net...I don't need every guy that's chipped up his truck and lifted it 4", etc. etc. to tell me what to do. I'd like to hear it from another Airstream hauler.
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:47 PM   #10
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We have a 2001 Excursion V10 with 4WD, and haven't really done anything to it to tow. Currently tow a 24 ft trailer, but towed the 31 ft Airstream home 1100 miles last spring with no problems. We HAVE done some testing with different speeds while towing to ascertain where to get the best mileage out of her, and have found that for us, 60MPG gets us about 10.5 MPG. At 55, we get 9.5, at 65, we go down to 8.
I don't speak mechanic well, but I know when we changed out the tires the first time, we ended up with something other than what was originally on the truck. We weren't happy with how it towed - huge difference! Felt very different, and we ended up inflating the tires all the way in order to be able to control the rig. After a few years we went back to original, and she tows "normally again. We tow with an Equilizer hitch set up.

Kay
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:31 PM   #11
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Getting slightly off topic...but maybe we'll talk big john into a V10

We often head up and down the I-77 corridor of Ohio, W.Va, Va., and NC. I've found that when I set cruise on 70MPH through the hills of that route that when the tranny drops to 3rd gear that it's still high enough in the powerband that it can run up the hills and never drop below 65MPH nor drop to 2nd gear. If I have cruise at 65MPH, then it slowly drops in 3rd gear until it hits 2nd, then into the downshift / upshift loop which is annoying. So, if the speed limit is 65 or less and I don't feel like speeding, then I usually bump cruise off in the hills and control the pedal myself and allow the speed of the truck to decrease without bumping down to 2nd gear. It seems like when it goes to 2nd gear that I can almost HEAR the gas surging from the tank to the engine.
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:28 PM   #12
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Before you decide to buy a 6.0, read my thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ers-54730.html

Also, be aware that the V10 had a problem blowing spark plugs out of their blocks....don't remember which years had this problem, but the issue also existed for the V8's.
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:35 PM   #13
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We ordered our 2005 Excursion just in time to get the last ones coming off the assembly line. It pulls our 31' classic as if it were pulling a feather bed - if it weren't for the groaning of the hitch you wouldn't know the trailer was back there. We towed from Colorado to Tennessee - in the winter, range of altitudes - the Ex did great. 130,000 miles later it's still running great.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:12 PM   #14
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My vote goes for the diesel. I had a suburban 1500, and it was difficult to tow my 26' over 60, the trailer swayed and generally had it's way with my TV. I bought a 2001 F250 and the difference is nothing short of a miracle. The only problem I have now is remembering the AS is back there. The weight for me is a good thing, that way the trailer does not over power the TV, like in my suburban. If it's my decision, I will never tow with anything else.
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