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EcoBoost (3.5L, 2.0L) 3.5L Twin Turbo EcoBoost V6 and 2.0L I4 EcoBoost Engines

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  #1  
Old 04-16-2011, 12:39 PM
RoyalFord RoyalFord is offline
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Ecoboost Extended Test Drive w/ 7,000# Trailer

I convinced the dealer to let me bring home a 2011 Ecoboost FX4 when I told them I wasn't buying anything until I could take it home and hook it up to my trailer for the day and tow it around to see how it does. This model doesn't have the Max Tow package... which I would want but it is still the 3.5 w/ 3.73 rear end so same diff I guess.

Trailer weighs around 7,000# ... yes I know they say it will tow 11,300#... but they also said the Titanic wasn't going to sink. I'm going to be getting some MPG estimates, watch the factory trans temp gauge, and see how it pulls highway and city.

Right now I'm towing this trailer with my 1998 5.4L E4OD and I'll do some comparisons to it.

Attached are some pics and I'll keep you guys updated on how it does.
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:20 AM
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I'm very excited to see what you have to say. I'm sort of looking at the '11 ecoboost, but I'm hauling horse trailers with 3-4 warmbloods in them with my F250, and I'm doubting the F150's ability to do so.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:36 AM
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Time for a stupid question, does the FX4 only come in 4WD? If so, I've been waiting for some good data on a 4WD EB with 3.73 gears since the PUT test was 2WD. Thanks for posting your findings.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:03 AM
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First of all the info below is just my opinion.

The truck we were driving is pictured above: 2011 3.5L V6 Ecoboost FX4 20” wheels 3.73 shortbed. It had navigatin and a sunroof too. It did not have the max tow package. I would not have bought this truck, I just wanted to see how the ecoboost felt with a load. I would have bought an XLT 18" wheels with max tow package... that's about it. The trailer is a 20ft.

We hooked up the 7,000# trailer and it sunk the back of the truck down a lot compared to what it was without a load. This truck only had three leafs in the back and they already looked maxed out (flat). So nonetheless we hit the road. I turned on the trailer/haul mode and out of the gate 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gear are a beast compared to my 98 5.4L. Then we realized we had three more gears left. We got on the interstate and got up to the 65 MPH speed limit effortless. Once we were up to speed it wanted to stay in 5th gear primarily. A couple of times going down hills it shifted into 6th but even the slightest uphill grade and it went back into 5th. I thought it was kind of odd it was going into 6th because for some reason I thought with the tow/haul mode it wouldn’t go past 5th… maybe I’m mistaken. Let me emphasize this… the ecoboost does not have a power problem! It is a beast. No turbo delay just perfect low end torque like a diesel.

On the interstate is where we saw our biggest issue. The truck would not sit still… its rear end was all over the road . If anyone was keeping up the weather here in NC yesterday is was very very windy. So this was definitely a worst case scenario, but when the wind hit the truck and trailer the back end would move around a ton. It definitely did not feel stable. We had a terrible time keeping the truck in the lane and twice the truck brought up a “WARNING: trailer sway detected” and it automatically slowed the truck down… I finally figured out how to turn that setting off in the driver controls. This is a huge issue for us because we tow long hauls through the mountains. If we constantly have to battle the truck for 4-6 hours long, that won’t be fun. Also, the back of the truck felt bouncy (that’s a technical term) with all the weight. I could feel the trailer bouncing the back of the truck . Once we got off the interstate I looked down and saw the MPG… We were only on the interstate for probably 10 miles and just had it on cruise control but it only did averaged 10MPG. Which surprised me a lot because we just had it on cruise control the entire time and the interstate was flat. So I don’t know what the deal was maybe because it wasn’t broken in or if the factory MPG gauge was off.

The brakes… wow the brakes… I could stop a train with the brakes. No issues here.

The reason I decided to test drive this truck is because it would be an excellent daily driver with the possibility of towing a heavy load frequently. As far as the truck without a load… it is amazing and would be perfect for a daily driver for me.

In summary, the dealership lost a sale on their 2011 F-150. I wasn't right for me and what I planned to do with it. Plenty of power, awesome braking, great handing, but I would be careful on what this 11,300# tow rating means. It might pull it, but if you are towing a lot, do what I did and make sure you are aware of what you are getting into. If you tow only a few times a year then go for it... you know it is a Ford you can't really go wrong!
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:15 AM
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Royal, great review, thank you. Although this wouldn't address the rear end wander/load issue, I would love to see this same review with the 5.0 just to see what the towing experience difference is, including MPGs. What's interesting about your test is that i don't recall anything about the rear end issue in the PUT 5.0 tow test, and they were pulling 9K lbs, IIRC. PUT gave the truck a pretty solid review.

My dealer has agreed to bring the 5.0 & EB to my place so I can hook up a 5K boat and do a similar test with both vehicles. I'll post that review when complete.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:50 AM
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Great review.

I would guess that a WD hitch with some type of sway control would have helped the issues you experienced. From the pics above, it didn't appear that you had a WD setup.

Also, with the transmission in manual mode, you can lock out certain gears in order to keep the engine in its "sweet spot" and help keep it from downshifting as much.

I would guess also that the MPG average you were seeing isn't that far off. In the pickuptrucks.com review, they reported fairly dismal fuel mileage when towing. They were towing on some pretty steep grades though.

I read in the PUTC review that they also found fault with Ford only having a 26 gallon tank available with all of the EcoBoost configurations. Maybe Ford will make the 36 gallon tank available in 2012.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jweidert View Post
Time for a stupid question, does the FX4 only come in 4WD? If so, I've been waiting for some good data on a 4WD EB with 3.73 gears since the PUT test was 2WD. Thanks for posting your findings.
Yes it does. The 2WD equivalent of the FX-4 is the FX-2.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerstroke72 View Post
I read in the PUTC review that they also found fault with Ford only having a 26 gallon tank available with all of the EcoBoost configurations. Maybe Ford will make the 36 gallon tank available in 2012.
This is the same thing the 6.7 SD short bed guys are saying....not happy with the small tanks that come in those trucks. Doesn't make sense to me why Ford would only offer such a small tank for a towing vehicle. At 10mpg or less towing, a ~250 mile range is pathetic and requires much more planning and vigilance in terms of not getting stuck on long stretches between stations.

This is one of the reasons I'm considering the 5.0 over the EB
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:12 PM
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You need a heavy duty WD hitch with sway control for a trailer that size and weight. I would never go down the road with a light weight hitch and no sway control like you are using! That setup is an accident waiting to happen!
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:18 PM
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A superduty and that trailer are very close to the same weight so the trailer wont throw the truck around as much. The F150 is at least a 1000lbs lighter than the trailer, so without the proper hitch the trailer will over come the truck and throw it around. Use the right equipment and that truck will easily handle that trailer.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:43 PM
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Royal, awesome review sir and much appreciated as well.

I think the most important thing to remember is to ensure that the truck is properly equipped from the factory and that all the proper / correct towing equipment is used.

Even though ford has rated the F-150 with an 11,300 lb tow capacity, I sincerely believe that they are in super duty territory.
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:45 AM
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Looks like I won't be buying the Ecoboost after all...
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxwut? View Post
Looks like I won't be buying the Ecoboost after all...

Based on one man's review of an ill equipped truck? It's no secret that a gasser does poorly on mpg's while towing compared to a diesel. It's also no secret that a half ton truck get my squirrelly in the rear while towing than a superduty.

Why all the amazement? Royal's assessment only stand to confirm what we all knew anyway. Buy the truck you need for the job your doing.

Peace.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
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Based on one man's review of an ill equipped truck?
No. I've been tossing the idea around a lot lately. I'm looking to buy in August of this year when I'm home.

I've got three warmbloods. Their weights are 1300lbs, 1250lbs, and one at 1400lbs and climbing as she's still young. They will all be hauled in a 4 stall, aluminum body, steel framed trailer with living quarters in the front for us with kitchen, shower, bathroom, etc. I'm just feeling more and more that I need to upgrade as our farm continues to grow with my wife's horse clientele growing.

The ecoboost looks pretty great if I needed a second truck though for hauling lighter loads. Horses fidget a lot too, so that's another concern I have with the F150. I just don't think it's going to do the job I need it to. Seems to be a real nice truck though. No need for you to get bent out of shape over my choice
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:42 AM
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No need for you to get bent out of shape over my choice
I really don't care what your choice is, just asking the question since you did after all put it out there for a response.

Be safe and thank you for your service sir.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:00 AM
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Maybe see if the dealer can let you borrow a 2011 F-250 with the 6.2l for a test with the 7k lb trailer.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:00 AM
 
 
 
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