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  #1  
Old 02-05-2011, 09:22 PM
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JayBarthel
F250 Engine Size Question

Hi all,

I've posted this question on another forum and the only answer i keep getting is "Get a diesel". Well, that ain't happening, so I thought I might throw it out to the experts.

Time has come to think about trading up from my current rig (150 XLT 4.6). We bought a toy hauler last year and it's time to get a truck better suited to pulling the hauler. It's 19ft, 4700# empty but has a 10K loaded rating.

We're currently looking at 97-03 F250's, but I'm wondering about whether to get the 5.4 V8 or the 6.8 V10. Most would automatically think the V10 would be better for towing, but I didn't wan to "assume"

Am I going to be better off with the V10 than the 5.4? I know the V10 mpg is gonna suck, but will i get the towing power out of a 5.4? My mpg sucks now towing it with the 4.6.

Thanks in advance,

Jay
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2011, 09:31 PM
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If you are going to be pulling 10,000 pounds, I would go with the V10. Neither one really gets good gas milage. When you are not pulling anything the V8 gets 12-13 mpg, and the V10 gets 9-10 mpg. The V8 can pull it, but the V10 will do it a little better. My 2 cents. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2011, 09:36 PM
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Get the V-10 or get the diesel. You will be much happier towing with one of them in comparison to the 5.4.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2011, 09:41 PM
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I think either would do just fine for what you're towing. The 5.4 is a good workhorse, but so is the v10. Is budget a big concern for the trucks in this category? If not, I would look for a v10 only. But for me personally, I would shop for a truck that is better taken care of, over what's under the hood. Meaning, If I found a 5.4 250 in excellent, well maintained shape, I would choose it over a v10 250 that may need some work,and they are both the same price.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:47 PM
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I asked this question on various forums a couple years ago and all I got was "diesel, diesel, diesel" But like you I knew I didn't want a diesel for a variety of reasons. I got an '04 Lariat with the V10 and couldn't be happier. It's powerful, quiet and dead reliable and the mileage really isn't all that bad. I mean our '09 6.4 diesels at work get 12-ish all around and my V10 gets 11.5 all around and 13mpg all around with summer blend gas. It also gets mid-15's on the freeway only.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:00 PM
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I have towed with the 5.4, the 6.8, and the 6.0 PSD. I have towed with the 5.4 in an F-150 and the F-250...and in the Excursion and F-250/350 with the 6.8 and PSD. I consider myself a patient driver while towing, and considering what you want to tow I would not want the 5.4. It will have to work very hard to pull that toyhauler on flat terrain, and in the hills would be an even worse scenario. The V-10 would be the way to go as far as gas...and they can be economical with fuel too...that depends on your driving habits and the amount of lead in your right foot.
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2011, 10:05 PM
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I came VERY close to buying a diesel. I did some research on the truck/years that i could afford and it narrowed me down to 2004-2007 wich would put me with a 6.0L Powerstroke.

NOW, im not trying to **** off 6.0l owners, but that diesel has some issues and some own ones that are entirly trouble free...some good, some not so good.

I went with the v10 and could not be happier. As far at the milage, i get 14.4mpg hwy and 11mpg city. (3.73LS rear end ) torque is good enough for my needs and the cost $$$ of keeping it on the road i am betting will also be better. That said, i drove a F350 with a 5.4 and IMHO, i thought it was a slug.

Just glad i got the v10.

YMMV
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2011, 10:08 PM
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These are AWESOME answers guys, thanks SO much. This is exactly what I'm looking for.

Towing the trailer with my 150 4.6 is do-able, but I probably get worse milage than the V-10 at the moment. People were telling me to get the 5.4, but that didn't sound right to me. The '02 5.4's only tow about 1200#'s more than the 4.6.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:12 PM
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lets put it this way:
they will all do the job.
one of them will do it faster, one of them wont be working as hard, and one of them will be more economical when you arent towing.
pick which one you want.

the v10 will do the job faster, the diesel will do it easily, and the 5.4 will be better on gas when you arent towing but still want a truck. the 5.4 will also be more happy with higher gears if you want to tow comfortably. it will get the job just fine thogh
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:14 PM
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I think either one would be fine for your trailer I'd lean towards the V10,but if you get the 5.4 I'd get a tranny cooler from a newer 6.0L diesel and maybe a tranny temp gauge.I think the V10 has a larger cooler on it already.
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  #11  
Old 02-05-2011, 10:17 PM
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my 5.4 already has a tranny cooler on it. i also already have a "gauge" but i dont know how accurate it is.

i agree however that if you are going to be seriously towing not just driving around, a V10 will be more comfortable with the load than the 5.4
as far as being better than the 4.6 you currently have, i dont know.
you are going to be going to a heavier truck with a bigger motor.
if you can take the trailer behind the 4.6 then i see no reason to think you need 2 more liters.

my intuition says that unless you have your 4.6 nearly floored towing, that your mileage will only go down with a bigger heavier truck and more power available
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:04 PM
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Just my .02 worth.... Engine size isnt going to affect your towing that particular trailer very much You could probably pull it with a ranger. My word of advice is definitely a bigger truck, hence stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, more weight anchoring the trailer. You are on vacation make sure you get there safely not quickly. I traded up this year from a 250 to 650 pulling a 39ft hauler. My 250 pulls it faster down the highway the 650 pulls and stops it more stable and safer..... i'll quit ranting now.... one more piece of advice someone gave me once...i dont know your age or marital status but think down the road a piece if your family grows your trailer can grow with it if you have the v-10 or diesel 5.4 is cheaper in short run but may end up having to be "up sized"
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:38 PM
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Gordon,
Appreciate the input. The 4.6 does pull the trailer but it strains if it's on anything other than level ground. It pulls it, but not comfortably, and of course the hills concern me. Most of the places we go involve a few steep climbs. I;m in 3rd gear on flat land, 2nd going up small hill and sometimes 1st on the steep ones. It's not a question of doing fast, more of doing it well.

F250, I'm 45 and my kids are teenagers. Right now we carry 2 quads but would like to be able to carry 4. They'd fit, but I can't afford the weight. It has a 130gal water tank but I only carry 30 or 40 gals due to weight concerns. We're gonna have this trailer for a long time as it's pretty much perfect. My need to step up to a better towing vehicle is due to capacity pure and simple.

We only pull the trailer occasionally now due to the strain I feel it puts on my 150, i suspect if we had a truck that would handle the load better we'd tow it more.

I really appreciate the input guys, thanks so much.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:45 PM
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I pull an 8000 pound 28 foot enclosed car hauler with my '07 5.4L F-250 with 3.73 gears. I am very satisfied with the combination, but it won't be enough for your expected 10,000 pound load. An '05+ 5.4L with 4.10 gears would work OK. An 05+ V-10 or even a new 6.2L V-8 would work better. An 05+ V-10 with 4.10 gears would be ideal.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:49 PM
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I hear you on weight. Im 38 and its just me and my other half..... oh and the chihuahua. Carry 2 raptors but i still only take 25 or so gal of water and very little fuel. Even towing it with the 650. I figured its easier on the already taxed trailer suspension. Just fill up and buy grocieries when i get close to where im going. Ever since the folks rolled their diesel pusher im all about safety.... Theirs was under designed brakes not speed. Hell its a vacation I just wanna get there.
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