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Old 09-17-2003, 11:00 AM   #15
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Cool Re: Top Ten tow vehicles ??

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Originally posted by darkStar
Does anyone know if there exists here or somewhere else a survey of new and used tow vehicles?

It would be great if there was a 'consumer report' type of survey. For instance best SUVs with 8000 lb. tow capacities for under $15k.

We don't have a tow vehicle, we're going to try to match it to our (as yet undiscovered ), Airstream. We prefer an SUV to a pickup, maybe a van is in the middle, but it sure would be fantastic if there was one handy-dandy chart!

You know, 'how does a 350 van compare to an Excursion?'

The other key thing would be reliability - consumer reports does 'Best whatever under $14k or $10k or $20k' whatever.

I know what you mean. You buy the trailer you want....now to find a towing vehichle. We only pull a 2002 CCD and had to sell the farm (literally) to pay for the car to pull it. A Toyota Sequoia (which everyone knows is actually a Tundra underneath). Anyway, now, If I can just get on the road again with it I'll be happy. And if hubby would just learn how to make a campfire. lol.

Chris
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:17 AM   #16
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Tow Vehicle Question

We drag our 34' with a 94 Dodge V-10 (300 hp) 5 spd. manual 3/4 ton 4x4 and have had no problems except paying for gas. Around 10mpg but will be slowing down this trip that starts tomorrow. Trying to go 60 this trip. Will have to use cruise control or I'll be doing 70 to 75 before I know it.

Gary
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Old 10-14-2005, 09:42 AM   #17
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Here's an article on Half Tons from Aug '04

Probably important to note that all of these trucks have probably changed slightly since the review. I know the Tundra gained some signifigant torque & horsepower increases and the I'm sure the others have also had some changes.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...08/ai_n9455117
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Old 10-14-2005, 12:00 PM   #18
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Triton Design Defect

I had a 2001 Ford Excursion with the Triton V10 gas engine. It towed excellently. However, at 36,348 miles it spit a spark plug out of the head, blew threw the coil-on-plug ignition module on that plug, and ruined my trip.

Granted it was 348 miles out of the bumper to bumper warranty, but I had purchased a 7-year 100,000 mile extended powertrain warranty. I figured it would be covered, as the head is part of the engine, which is part of the power train, right?

The local Ford dealer where I broke down thought for sure it'd be covered. They offered to give me another vehicle to continue on my vacation and I could pick up my truck on the way back through. Sounded good. But I thought, for good measure, I'd better call the warranty line (very expensive repair; replace the head => $3K + the rental car). They had some "weasle wording" in there that said it would cover any damage to the powertrain resulting from the failure of an internally lubricated part. So if the piston flys off the end of the rod and goes through the head, it'll be covered. But if the head itself is bad, not being an internally lubricated part, it's not covered. The guy on the phone said he didn't think they'd cover it.

The mechanic on duty said he'd seen 3-4 other Excursions do this, and a whole slew of F-150's. Turns out on the V10 it's the passenger side rearmost or next to rearmost plug. On the 4.6 and 5.4 V8's it's always the rearmost plug. On my V10 it was the next to rearmost passenger side plug. There was enough thread left in the head to put a new plug in, along with a new coil pack. He loc-tited the plug in to hold it the 4 hour drive back to my house. He said no way would he trust it to FL and back (broke in Richmond VA). I get home and call the dealership I bought it from (Keystone Ford in Greencastle, PA) and told them what happened. They weren't very postive. Said bring it up, the adjuster guy has to look at it. I told them the plug had been loc-tited in with medium grade loc tite; if they pull the plug, heat it up first to soften the loc tite so as not to wreck the rest of the threads (all three of them).

Turned out the extended warranty wasn't through Ford as they led me to believe when I'd bought the thing, but rather through some third party outfit.

The "adjuster" guy came to look at my Excursion to pass judgement of if the extended warranty would cover it. He said no way. He'd seen 30 of them do this and even more of the 5.4 V8's. He said it was a known defect and they wouldn't cover it. He also said Ford won't own up to it and has shafted thousands of people. Literally, not hundreds but thousands. He said the 4.6's for some reason don't seem to blow as often. I believe it has to do with the cooling of the engine, and that rear passenger side corner seems to run hotter than the rest.

However, the real reason it happened is that Ford designed the Triton head such that it's casting is threaded to only about 40-50% of the thickness where the plug threads in. It's all over the internet, I discovered after the fact. There's like 7 threads holding the plug in. If you look at a Triton plug, it's solid shank down at least half way and then threads. Looking at a plug that goes into my old V6 Thunderbird, it's the same shank length but threaded the whole way. That spreads the load out over a greater area and allows it to hold much better.

Well, the dealership never bothered to heat the plug (easy enough to do, you get the socket hot first, then slip it over the plug and let it sit there ten minutes or so before unscrewing) and they destroyed the rest of the threads pulling it out. I'd driven it five hours up there without problem. They then refused to cover the failed head, they refused to accept any responsiblity for trashing what was left of the threads, they even refused to tow the wreck back to my house (as there was no way I was going to pay $3000 to have them put on another head of the same bad design).

I wound up borrowing a trailer from a friend who races dirt track. We bent the frame on his trailer hauling the 7000lb Excursion on it but got it home with my dad's Dodge diesel. Then had to fix the race car trailer

This is so common a failure that Timesert has a complete repair kit just for it. The tools are specially made to do the repair as the engine sits in the vehicle. (Another "plus" of the Excursion is that you have to lift the body off the frame to get the head off. No kidding! I had two Ford mechanics tell me this. Another Better Idea...) The Timesert threaded fastener is how Ford should have built the engine in the first place. It's a coated steel fastener (far superior to a helicoil, more like a bolt that is drilled and tapped on the inside as well as the outside) that has a hat shaped seat on one end, is of much larger diameter than the original plug hole. You ream out the blown plug hole, retap it the whole depth to take this large fastener and also cut a seat groove. You use permanent loctite and run this fastener in and torque it to some value like 20 ft-lbs or so. It projects into the combustion chamber some fraction of an inch. You then run a mandrel through it that expands the combustion side of the insert out so that it's locked in top and bottom, almost like a rivet. The hardened steel insert is threaded on the inside to exactly match the Triton plug configuration. It spreads the loads into the soft aluminum of the head much better as it's over a much larger area. And the steel spark plug threads into steel, so there's a much stronger connection there. That fixed the vehicle properly.

I was so furious over this that I immediately got rid of the Excursion. (The guy who bought it is happily driving it now two years later and seems thrilled by it; he'll probably never have a problem with it). I, on the other hand, will never buy a Ford product again. I could overlook the incident, mechanisms break, but Ford should have stood behind the product. They ran me around for three weeks, ruined my vacation, and in the end never did stand behind the product. If they had just told me up front they wouldn't cover it, or the truck had 150,000 miles on it, OK, I'd have just fixed it and went about my business. But I"d paid big bucks for that truck and big bucks for the 100,000 mile powertrain "warranty". They strung me on for three weeks and in the end left me high and dry.

I now drive a Dodge diesel and have had no problems of any kind. I've also got a real 100,000 mile warranty.

Anyway, my advice on a tow vehicle is do NOT buy something with a Triton series engine in it.
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Old 10-14-2005, 01:50 PM   #19
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Sorry to hear of you Triton problems! The "heads up" is just in time! I have a brother-in-law who was just about to buy one. I'll pass this on to him.
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Old 10-14-2005, 02:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59toaster
The New Duramax is a wonderful motor and the Allison is a heck of a transmission. Not much bad has been surfacing on them lately. They had some new product blues when they first came out but it looks resolved.
FYI..... they have done another performance boost on the Duramax. The 2006 has an RPO code of LBZ...it has 360hp/650 torque up from 310hp/605 torque. The LLY is suppose to be discontinued in late fall and the LBZ availible at the same time the LLY goes bye bye.
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Old 10-14-2005, 02:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
I had a 2001 Ford Excursion with the Triton V10 gas engine. It towed excellently. However, at 36,348 miles it spit a spark plug out of the head, blew threw the coil-on-plug ignition module on that plug, and ruined my trip.

...friends, don't let friends drive Fords.
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Old 10-14-2005, 05:22 PM   #22
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From Jim Golden's post:
We bent the frame on his trailer hauling the 7000lb Excursion on it but got it home with my dad's Dodge diesel.
Is there any other tow vehicle than a Cummins Dodge diesel???

Lowell Newcomer
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:41 PM   #23
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weasle wording and warranty

RE:They had some "weasle wording" in there that said it would cover any damage to the powertrain resulting from the failure of an internally lubricated part. ..if the head itself is bad, not being an internally lubricated part, it's not covered. The guy on the phone said he didn't think they'd cover it.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I am not familiar with the V10, but the head on every other overhead valve engine I have seen so far is a lubricated part. By "internal" lubricated part I guess they are defining that as, "you know, internal, like way down inside there." I am thinking a lawyer would be in order or at least some sort of arbitration. I just bought a, '01 F250 diesel(from the Chevy dealer) and bought the extended GM warranty, so they say. I hope I never have to use it, but it looks like the weasels are gaining on us.

cheers, bill b.
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowellN
Is there any other tow vehicle than a Cummins Dodge diesel???
Many that I can think of......

I kind of agree with Bill. It does seem kind of snake in the grassish to blow you off totally.
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:56 PM   #25
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I don't know how to break this to you folks, but all of the major manufacturers read out of the same book when it comes to this stuff. I've had both Toyota and Chrysler screw me around just as bad as you were treated by Ford on similar design failures. The one Chevy Astro I owned was a solid van, except for the suspension. I can't say as I've had enough other experience with GM to comment on their handling of similar issues though.

Roger
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:01 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
I don't know how to break this to you folks, but all of the major manufacturers read out of the same book when it comes to this stuff. I've had both Toyota and Chrysler screw me around just as bad as you were treated by Ford on similar design failures. The one Chevy Astro I owned was a solid van, except for the suspension. I can't say as I've had enough other experience with GM to comment on their handling of similar issues though.

Roger
Fer me, I wasn't referring to the way it's being handled....just that it it's a Ford issue (again) could be why their stock is the single digits.

But I did give you some karma for the post though.
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:00 PM   #27
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Too funny Eric! I read the Karma comment... Ford guy indeed... that must be why, in the garage next to my Excursion, sits a '92 Mitsu 3kGT VR-4, and a Honda tractor; and behind that in the driveway is a Nissan Altima, and next to that a Tundra and an '87 Toyota pickup!

Rog
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:07 PM   #28
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I saw a silver 2003 3/4 ton gmc ext cab (the extended cab has doors on both sides) on the Toyota dealer's used truck lot in Clarksville, TN last week. 30,000 miles on the 8.1 liter gas engine. $15,700 plus tax.

The silver color is the best selling point to me.
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