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Old 05-15-2004, 12:36 AM   #1
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Question MPG of F350 Diesel Dually???

Right now I have a 1991 F250 Diesel (non-turbo) 4 x 4 manual transmission that gets 17 mpg on the highway unloaded and gets 12 mpg towing my 34' Airstream. That's with bad upper and lower ball joints and with it seriously out of alignment!

I need to upsize to a 1 ton dually because I want to get an 11 foot truck camper. I want to get an F350 diesel DRW with supercab and an automatic transmission. I know many people sware by a manual transmission for towing but that's out for me as my wife needs to be able to drive it with an automatic. If I can find a 4 x 4 in my price range I'll take it. I'll probably be looking at a year range of 95 to 98.

I've spent literally hours searching the internet. Among others I've checked car review.com and thedieselstop.com and I can't get any reliable numbers on what this truck does in terms of mpg. Some people say as low as 14 mpg unloaded. I think that is coming from people with a lead foot. Others say 17 and still others say 18 and 19. One individual even claimed 23 MPG unloaded! I've seen figures anywhere from 8 to 14 mpg towing heavy loads.

I would be glad to hear from anyone that has one of these trucks or knows someone who does and who can give me some accurate MPG info.

Any other useful info and facts on these trucks would be appreciated. For instance I'm wondering which gear ratio would be best for towing/hauling and what effect ratios have on fuel economy? Does having a 4 x 4 lower the mpg?

I'm also wondering if anyone thinks mileage effects mpg. I don't know for sure the mileage on my truck because it only has 5 digits but it APPEARS to have 178,000 on it from what I can see on the title. I've heard the turbo F250 diesels produce better fuel economy. I've consistently seen people saying 19 mpg on turbo F250s. My 91 getting 17 mpg in it's condition and being a non-turbo seems to be consistent with what it would have done when it was new.

One other thing I haven't been able to find. What is the GVWR of a F350 like I'm looking for? What would it weigh empty? I'm guessing 9000 LBs.

By the way I was surprised to see the figures people were posting for the V10s--12-14 mpg loaded and 18-19 mpg unloaded. I wouldn't be without a diesel myself but I'm impressed if those numbers are true.
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Old 05-15-2004, 02:01 AM   #2
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F350 Diesel Mileage

Mike,

I used to own a 2002 F350 Crewcab DRW 2WD with a 275 HP Powerstroke diesel, 4.10 gears, and a 6-speed manual transmission. The same year truck with an automatic would have had 250 HP and a bit more torque. My truck empty never got better than 17 MPG and that was driving 65-70 MPH MAX. I averaged just under 16 commuting with it on CA freeways. Hauling my 10' Lance camper (about 4,000 lbs. loaded) I managed 12-14 with a worst tank of 10 MPG. Keep in mind that it takes fuel to produce power and my truck had enough power to climb a 6-7% grade at 65 MPH at 11,500 lbs in Colorado topping out at over 11,000 feet.

The older Powerstrokes (pre 1999) had less HP and should use less fuel.
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Old 05-15-2004, 06:04 AM   #3
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Hi -

I have a 2000 F250 PSD 4x4 with about 65,000 miles on the odometer, and just checked my mpg towing my new 30' Classic across the PA turnpike (west to east) while bringing it home after I purchased it 2 weeks ago. Then, I checked my mpg on a trip driving empty (south to north) that I made in the middle of last week. Both distances were about 250 miles between fill-ups.

My figures were approximately 11mpg towing and 18mpg empty. About 90% of this driving was on the turnpike and interstate highways at speeds of about 65-68mph. I have found in the past that my mpg does not vary considerably if I drive 5mph + or - from those speeds.

I was especially interested to see how my towing mpg with the Airstream compared to what I got towing my previous SOB which was approx. 2,000# lighter than the Airstream. Although I could definitely notice the added weight, I don't think my mpg was noticeably different.

Although this is somewhat off the subject of your post, the current Airstream literature states that Airstreams requires approx. 20% less fuel than pulling a square-type trailer. I'd like to see this proof - I'm skeptical of that statement. -- Maybe some improvement, but 20%?

John
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Old 05-15-2004, 10:16 AM   #4
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Mike, finding a pre 99 model F350 supercab in 4WD,will be difficult. To the best of my memory,there was only a 4WD option on the 250 model,and being single rear wheels.There are plenty of 96-97 supercab F350 duellies 2WD,out here on the west coast.As for mileage,apples to oranges with our 97 crewcab 4WD shortbed 4spd. auto,4:10 gearing, compared to a similar F350 supercab duelly,4spd.auto 4:10 gearing but there weights are about the same. As we average empty: City 15-16mpg,Highway 17-20,and towing 14 mpg.These era trucks are getting cheaper to purchase, easy to modify hp/torque ratings ,without lossing mpg.Ours is modified with these mpg figures.California trucks had a stock hp rating of 275 and a torque rating of 475lbs.(Bigger injectors,than other States)An additional note,our other 97 F250 supercab shortbed 2WD,with the 4spd. auto and 3:73 gears,and completely stock ,has continously had lower mpg figures.(she sits alot)Good luck with your search to upgrade.Jeff
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Old 05-15-2004, 11:12 AM   #5
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Jeff, I know what you're saying. I was looking in the auto trader and didn't find ONE 4 x 4 (or is it 6 x 6?) in the F350 dually. Did find plenty of 2 x 4s (or 4 x 6?). From what I understand they also only generally come in the 4:10 flavor (or is it 3.73?).

Re the 20% figure. Here's some math: if you get 12 MPG towing an SOB you would supposedly get 14 MPG towing an Airstream. That's feasible. Reminds me that most of the people I see giving fuel economy figures elsewhere are towing "fivers" which must be something like running with an open parachute behind you.
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joossens
Jeff, I know what you're saying. I was looking in the auto trader and didn't find ONE 4 x 4 (or is it 6 x 6?) in the F350 dually. Did find plenty of 2 x 4s (or 4 x 6?). From what I understand they also only generally come in the 4:10 flavor (or is it 3.73?).
Ford never built a F350 Dually prior to 1999. If you see one it is a conversion.
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:31 PM   #7
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If that's the case there are an awful lot of conversions out there. Do a search on autotrader in the 95 to 98 range and you'll get a half dozen pages with about half or maybe one third DRWs. I do see several that say "conversion." I would have thought conversion had to do with the interior. What I don't find are 4 x 4s in the F350 DRW.
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Old 05-15-2004, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joossens
If that's the case there are an awful lot of conversions out there. Do a search on autotrader in the 95 to 98 range and you'll get a half dozen pages with about half or maybe one third DRWs. I do see several that say "conversion." I would have thought conversion had to do with the interior. What I don't find are 4 x 4s in the F350 DRW.
Sorry, I should have said that Ford never built a F350 4X4 Dually prior to 99. They obviously built 2X4 F350 Duallys.
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Old 05-15-2004, 03:09 PM   #9
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Ok so I'm back wondering what they mean when they say "conversion." Does that mean they've redone the interior?
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Old 05-15-2004, 04:14 PM   #10
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Most conversions of this era truck,were done by Centerion,and many were custom interiors,all though some were converted to 4WD. Pulled out my sales brochure for my 97,and they didn't offer a F350 supercab,or crewcab dully 4WD.
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Old 05-15-2004, 06:28 PM   #11
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My Conversion E/F350 Dualie Diesel

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Old 05-15-2004, 06:31 PM   #12
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Mileage on the '92 "Beast"

Bought it as is about 3 years ago. Mileage is general purpose - some light, some towing, some loaded REALLY heavy.

Use it about once a week to commute to work (26 mile round trip).
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Old 06-13-2004, 01:16 PM   #13
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Question

I just took delivery on a 2004 F250 Super Duty 4x4 fully loaded with V-10 4 speed automatic 3.73 ratio. 29 gallon tank, etc. My dealer says I will get 12 mpg around town and 20 mpg on the highway. What can I really expect running empty and towing my '74 31' Excella 500 Center Bath?
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Old 06-13-2004, 01:55 PM   #14
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My '96 F-350 Diesel Crew Cab with 5 speed manual and 4:10 rear end got 16.2 average over a 2200 mile trip through Colorado and back to Central Texas pulling my 31' Limited. It now has 130,000 miles on it. However, around here taking short trips, idling through the pasture, pulling a cattle trailer, and performing whatever needs to be done on the ranch it probably doesn't average 13 miles a gallon, if that sometimes.

I don't know when they changed, but when I ordered mine, the F-350 dually only came with 4:10 rear ends. A 3:73 would give noticably better mileage, but performance would suffer on grades. With the 4:10, as a previous post stated, the truck will maintain 65 MPH up most any slope in Colorado regardless of altitude. The newer ones supposedly have even more HP and torque.
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