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Old 01-24-2004, 10:34 AM   #1
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Exclamation Seeking Ford Excursion advise...

Hi, all!

I'm seeking some opinions here... I have a 2000 Excursion V10 4WD with 54k on it with a 3.73 rear-end. There is a local dealer who has an identically colored and optioned 2002 Excursion with the 7.3 diesel in 2WD with 36k on it. The dealer is willing, as part of the deal, to swap out the 3.73 standard rear-end for a limited-slip. The dollars are approximately a wash for trading up two years and 20k miles, but losing the 4WD.

Questions: Is the 7.3 diesel a significant enough incentive to lose 4WD? Would the limited-slip rear-end be as effective as 4WD in wet grass/loose gravel conditions with the 34' attached? If I swap out the rear end for the limited-slip, should I stay with the 3.73s or go to 4.10s? Any idea what the fuel mileage difference will be either with the 3.73 or 4.10, and how it will vary from my gas V10 with 3.73s?

Thanks guys!

Roger
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Old 01-24-2004, 10:42 AM   #2
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my two cents...

roger

what are diesel chevys selling for out in iowa?

just kidding!

seriously, i'd keep the 4 wheel drive.

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Old 01-24-2004, 10:46 AM   #3
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First, I'd get a Chevy...

That aside, here is what I know FWIW:

Diesel will have better HP and torque at lower RPMs and get better MPG than gas (actual number for a Ferd I don't know but compared to a Chevy 8.1 vs the Duramax, folks have reported between 3-4 mpg on average higher with diesel). You can get by with the 3.73s with a diesel as the torque is far greater. Having a gasser, the 4.10s make more sense, esp when you have the 34' Luxo Barge! Diesel fuel is in a lot of places too, but some places don't have it, so you also need to find a local source as well as keep your eye on fuel as you go through some rural places......

Diesel will be better for larger hills and mountains, but similar results can be had with your gasser and 4.xx gears.

Having limited slip is nice and for wet grass and gravel you should have few problems, if any. I have limited slip and do just fine. The added hitch weight really pushes those rear wheels to the ground whatever that surface might be...

The real question I think is how many times have you actually used 4x4. If the answer is many times, than going to 2x4 might not be a good idea. If the answer is few times I am unsure in a 4x4 if you swap out the rear gears on your gasser to 4.xx gears what you'd need to do to the front gears??
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Old 01-24-2004, 10:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
First, I'd get a Chevy...

The real question I think is how many times have you actually used 4x4. If the answer is many times, than going to 2x4 might not be a good idea. If the answer is few times I am unsure in a 4x4 if you swap out the rear gears on your gasser to 4.xx gears what you'd need to do to the front gears??
I have only used the 4WD on a couple of occasions; but then we've only had the truck since last May. I'm looking at the 2WD/4WD issue predominantly in towing out of slimy top surfaces in campgrounds, as here most of our campgrounds are grass/gravel combinations. I'd presume that a gear change to 4.xx gears in the rear would neceessitate a similar swap in the front. The issue with the gas is that the already abismal gas mileage would drop even further (although it's REALLY not all that bad for a 7,000lb truck...)

John, Although I haven't checked on the similar-setup Subs since last May, the Chevys then ran several thousand more than the Excursions. It was enough of a difference to be a deciding factor in buying the Excursion then. I'm VERY pleased with the one I've got. The question for me is whether the diesel option is of enough significance to merit trading for it.

Roger
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:00 AM   #5
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Rog,

Depending on miles driven, if the Fords are like the Chevys, then if 3-4 MPG adds up to something for you depending on miles you add, in current gas prices, that could mean upwards of positive $6 in the diesels court even if diesel is also a few bucks a gallon. I would however get the limited slip if the diesel did not have it.

Eric
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:09 AM   #6
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BTW, not to beat the Ford/Chevy thing to death, but I too have looked into diesel several times. I particularly like the new Duramax diesels, matched with the Allison transmissions. I've done some serious homework on that combo and found for me it best fits what I'd like to do. Besides the few more miles per gallon benefit (which can add up quickly), I'd also suggest that you find a Powerstroke forum and lurk around at what folks using these have to say. I lurked at thedieselplace.com thanks to Pick's suggestions here on the forum and learned very quickly the ins and outs of the Duramax. I would think that Powerstroke enthusiasts have similar places.
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:21 AM   #7
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As it turns out, thedieselplace is not just for GMs.....

http://dieselplace.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=23

Happy reading!

Eric
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:33 AM   #8
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You don't NEED a diesel. You should know if you NEED a 4X4.

I didn't think I needed four wheel drive either, it just happened that the truck I found had it. As it turns out, it has been an enormous help an several occasions.

That said, the diesel Excursion would be one terrific combination. And as noted, the 3.73 is plenty of rear end with that engine.

Mark
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:53 AM   #9
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roger

unless something at chevy has changed lately, i do not believe you can get a duramax in a suburban.

i was thinking along the lines of a 4 door siverado like mine.

i recall you haul your bicycles everywhere you camp. a pickup with a camper shell would probably give you the same service as your present rig.

recently, a coworker of mine was able to find a 3/4 ton silverado with duramax 4 door for around 20 to 22K.

there are some good 01 and 02's coming in on trades now for decent prices.

keep shopping and skip the gear change out.

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Old 01-24-2004, 11:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by j54mark
You don't NEED a diesel. You should know if you NEED a 4X4.

I didn't think I needed four wheel drive either, it just happened that the truck I found had it. As it turns out, it has been an enormous help an several occasions.

That said, the diesel Excursion would be one terrific combination. And as noted, the 3.73 is plenty of rear end with that engine.

Mark
Hi, Mark! Yeah... I know... I don't REALLY need EITHER a diesel or a 4x4. However, I have used the 4WD on a couple of occasions, and it's nice to have; however over the (hopefully) 250,000 mile life of my truck (yeah, dream on, right?) my question is whether or not the diesel with posi would meet my needs, have adequate power for my application, and save dollars in operating expenses. Having done a little more research, one of the long-term tests averaged the diesel out at about 15.7 mpg vs. my V10s approximately 11mpg after 34k miles. That's a difference of about $1200 in fuel costs in 34k miles calculating an average of $1.49/gal for both gas & diesel.

I'm having a tough time motivating myself to go look at this diesel Excursion, but if I don't I'll probably kick myself later... I'm still torn...

Roger
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Old 01-24-2004, 12:01 PM   #11
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Nope..you are 100% right only the Silverado so far has the Duramax.

I'm still adusting, (but hopeful the Burb will get it) to the thought of being a possible future pickup truck owner. Either way it's a long way from my sport car mentality.

Admitting that is the first step!
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Old 01-24-2004, 12:07 PM   #12
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roger

mileage is not the only cost benefit of the diesel/gas question.

consider the additional cost of oil changes for diesels.

also, cold starting/operating is an issue in places like wisconsin and iowa in january. number one diesel costs about the same as mid grade gasoline. the electricity you need for the block heater costs money too!

for me it kinda seems like a wash in the end.

go get an oil burner if ya want one!

john
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Old 01-24-2004, 12:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
Nope..you are 100% right only the Silverado so far has the Duramax.

I'm still adusting, (but hopeful the Burb will get it) to the thought of being a possible future pickup truck owner. Either way it's a long way from my sport car mentality.

Admitting that is the first step!
eric

is it the gun rack in the back window, or the hay bales in the bed that's giving ya trouble?

chicks dig trucks!

john
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Old 01-24-2004, 12:13 PM   #14
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I thought most of those old problems were dealt with (at least in the Duramax, but also the Powerstroke). Some of the hard starting was fixed by adding an inline fuel heater. Plus I also thought that the Duramax had an advanced glow plug design that made plugging it in not as needed as once was the case with the older diesels. Also, I didn't think that the Duramax (or the Powerstroke) required more frequent oil changes, just that the crankcase had 2-3 more quarts.

True, the cost of fuel is close to the same, however if you get about 3 more MPG and travel the average 10k per year, I would think the cost of the additional oil for oil changes would clearly be overcome by the savings in fuel, not to mention more power and torque at the lower RPM band.

Also, from what I have been reading, diesels now also are coming with EGR valves and converters so the black belching beasts are starting to be tamed as well?

Eric
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Old 01-24-2004, 04:20 PM   #15
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Ford Excursion

I have a 2000 Ford Excursion V-10 (gas) 4x4 which I use as my tow vehicle (65K). I have used the 4WD countless times while hauling my trailer around here (Montana). Slick (paved) roads, slick/gumbo gravel roads, unpaved roads, you name it and I have driven it with the trailer in tow. I find that 4WD makes a big difference when driving the Excursion since the handling of this vehicle is not great to begin with.

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Old 01-24-2004, 04:50 PM   #16
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Go Diesel! Go old Ford!

we only have a minute but could not miss out on this one!

We did a lot of investigating before purchasing our tow vehicle and we're very VERY - extremely - happy with our choice: 2000 Diesel Excursion 7.3 lt, 2x4, 4.10 ratio.

With a 34" we believe the 4.10 is mandatory but have no personal experience. RKMoe would probably better answer that.

Ours is a 2x4 and that gives us some extra towing capacity over the 4x4. Sure when you're not towing you lose on the 4x4 advantage but as a few experienced (jeep fond) members have repeatedly said here: 4x4 help you get to those places where you inevitably need help to get out of!

The diesel option especially when towing many miles is a great advantage, we have 2 friends who tow a boat and an sob (9mpg at best!) who don't have the diesel and their gas/cost when towing is almost double ours!!
We average 15-16mpg at 65mph with a 25"AS.

Roger,
we're not sure of the weather conditions in your area but if it does get bitter cold be ware that diesels get finicky in the winter.
If this would be your primary vehicle then make sure you: have a closed garage with an outlet to plug him in at night and that you use the correct diesel additive everytime you fill up, never go below 1/4 tank in cold temps.
Aside from this it's all advantages, DO IT!!

As for Ford versus Chevy let's be objective. They're both good vehicles although the new Chevy diesel engine has definetly gotten better reviews than the Ford.
So when considering a 2002 any of the two is good but if you want to go with a new 2004 then yes we suggest the new improved Duramax. Pahaska just raves about it's performance and you can't beat his mpg!!
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Old 01-24-2004, 05:06 PM   #17
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FYI

Our local Chevy dealer said he could "special" order us a Burb with the new duramax but starting at...$55K!!

3 months and a 3 hour drive later we found our excursion!
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Old 01-24-2004, 06:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
I thought most of those old problems were dealt with (at least in the Duramax, but also the Powerstroke). Some of the hard starting was fixed by adding an inline fuel heater. Plus I also thought that the Duramax had an advanced glow plug design that made plugging it in not as needed as once was the case with the older diesels. Also, I didn't think that the Duramax (or the Powerstroke) required more frequent oil changes, just that the crankcase had 2-3 more quarts.

True, the cost of fuel is close to the same, however if you get about 3 more MPG and travel the average 10k per year, I would think the cost of the additional oil for oil changes would clearly be overcome by the savings in fuel, not to mention more power and torque at the lower RPM band.

Also, from what I have been reading, diesels now also are coming with EGR valves and converters so the black belching beasts are starting to be tamed as well?

Eric
Powerstroke is a 12-14 quart oil change, depending on truck model.
As far as the sooty black garbage coming out of the tailpipes, that has virtually been eliminated with Catalytic converters, and electronic fuel injection. The 7.3 could be counted on to go 300,000 miles before overhaul, barring unforeseen calamities. Parts generally cost more for the diesel, but they need replacing much less often. Also, with the noise of the Powerstroke, you would know if someone is stealing it in the night... The Duramax IS much quieter, if you like Isuzus.
Terry
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Old 01-24-2004, 07:30 PM   #19
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Being here in Texas I would jump off that V-10 and into the diesel in a heartbeat!!

The only thing I would worry about is that white stuff up there they call snow. Just ask yourself if you really need the 4 wheel drive. I would guess it knocks a few mpg's off so be sure to factor that in as well.

If the dealer does the rear swap be sure they swap the entire rear end over and not just do a differential swap, setting the gears up correctly is best left to a professional driveline shop, a heavy truck dealer preferably. I am not sure what effect the non-posi rear axle would have in the V-10 after the dealer ended up with it but I guess you could really care less.



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Old 01-24-2004, 07:49 PM   #20
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I wanta talk~!~!

KIMILI
Quote:
Our local Chevy dealer said he could "special" order us a Burb with the new duramax but starting at...$55K!!
MAN OH MAN, I wanta talk to your DEALER`!~!lol~!~
I've been after my local GM dealer for several yrs now abt a new diesel Burb~!! PLSE...PM me the name and number~

ciao~!
BTW, cold weather start is no big deal~! for example, yesterday it was -11 degrees here and, my burb sat out in the open, unplugged..started right up~! the secret is to keep your vehicle in top shape and, use excellent fuel blend~ I've been known to put a blend of K1 with the diesel as well as a shot of additives to prevent jelling~ works every time~those who run a diesel soon learn quick~! good luck on your choices~
T7~~
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