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Old 09-11-2004, 11:17 PM
ContinentalBreakfast ContinentalBreakfast is offline
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4.6 vs 4.7 vs 4.8

Of the small gasoline V8s offered in the big threes' light duty trucks, which one is the best (gas mileage, longevity, power, etc)? GM's 4.8L Vortec seems to have the worst low-rpm power, but probably gets the best mileage. Dodge's 4.7L Powertech sounds cool and pulls great, but I question its reliability. Ford's 4.6 is smooth, quiet and should run forever; the only drawback is it seem weak when compared to the others. What do you think?
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Old 09-11-2004, 11:25 PM
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It is my opinion that the 4.6 is a decent proven motor (it is the oldest design). I like the dodge 4.7 better of the 3 as I think it will be relyable as well (mopar engines sem to be very durable for the most part, but the auto trannies are weak in some cases) The 4.8, I am not really impressed with. I really see very few of them, and I'd rather have the 5.3.
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:06 PM
wnorman1192 wnorman1192 is offline
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As it stands right now, I think the 4.7 has the edge. It has plenty of low and mid range power (especially the HO versions), and has proven to be quite reliable. It has been out since 1999, and you don't hear of many problems, even with the tranny's that are behind it. The 4.7 was introduced with a different tranny than was behind the 5.2 and 5.9. I look for Ford to even things up soon, by adding the 3V heads to the truck 4.6. The 4.8 is a strong runner in the lighter versions of the silverado, but I've heard it's not too great when you add the weight.

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Old 09-13-2004, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalBreakfast
Of the small gasoline V8s offered in the big threes' light duty trucks, which one is the best (gas mileage, longevity, power, etc)? GM's 4.8L Vortec seems to have the worst low-rpm power, but probably gets the best mileage. Dodge's 4.7L Powertech sounds cool and pulls great, but I question its reliability. Ford's 4.6 is smooth, quiet and should run forever; the only drawback is it seem weak when compared to the others. What do you think?
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Old 09-13-2004, 12:50 PM
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We all know what the 4.6 can do performance wish but i dont think its that great of a working truck engine. its like the 302 in a truck, good for highway crusing and light work.

the cheby votech 4.8 seems to be a potent performance performer but as other said, not so well when it has some weight behind it.

the 4.7 in the dodge seems to be the better of the 3 IMO, good numbers and decent milage.
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Old 09-13-2004, 05:54 PM
ChevmaninaFord ChevmaninaFord is offline
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My family has/is owned all 3 of these engines. I'll start with mine, 4.6. Decent low-end torque, but could use alot more, doesnt get good pull til around 3000. My dad has a quad cab 4.7 2WD, mileage stays around 18, this engine likes to rev not alot of low-end, from about 3000-4000 pulls pretty good, sounds like a car engine to me. Last of all the Chevy 4.8, as with the 4.6, I think its a bulletproof motor, ours went 143,000, never skipped a beat, it was in a 4-door 4x4 chevy. On a trip to Va. we averaged 22mpg on the freeway. Before you start saying "these engines dont belong in trucks", look at the buyers intended use of the truck, probably just wants something that will function occasional 4x4 use, mostly highway work. The only gripe I have is with the 4.6, I see 5.4s getting same or better mileage as the 4.6, so really there wouldnt be a benefit to getting the 4.6
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevmaninaFord
My dad has a quad cab 4.7 2WD, mileage stays around 18, this engine likes to rev not alot of low-end, from about 3000-4000 pulls pretty good, sounds like a car engine to me.
I have to completely disagree with you on that. The 4.7 was designed specifically as a truck motor, and it's torque curve reminds me of the 3V 5.4. I owned one in the past, and it pulls like crazy on bottom end, but runs out of steam a little once you pass 4000 rpm. The regular output version creates 240hp at 4800 and 300tq at 3200 rpm, and has a little more torque at a lower rpm than the 4.6 or 4.8. The HO version likes to rev a little more and makes 265hp at 5100 and 335tq at 3600rpm. The 4.8 creates 285hp at 5200 and 295tq at 4000, and the 4.6 creates 231 hp at 3750 and 293 at 3500. They are all good engines, but I would choose the Ford or Dodge in a heavier vehicle, or if I towed often. The 4.8 will be faster and probably get better mileage, but will feel a little more sluggish during normal driving. I know, as I drive a 4.8 silverado every day at work, and owned a 4X4 dakota with 4.7, which is a little heavier than the silverado. I have driven a friends 2004 F150 with a 4.6 several times, but the F150 is much heavier than the other two vehicles, so it was hard to really compare. The 4.6 did pull fairly well for such a heavy truck, though.

Last edited by wnorman1192; 09-13-2004 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 09-19-2004, 04:07 AM
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The 4.7 is reliable and it's got a decent hp and torque output, although it does have to rev kinda high to get there. It's gets great mpg although that shouldn't even be a factor for trucks, if you buy a truck, gas mileage is not something you should be concerned with.

As for towing, I wouldn't use any of these motors on a vehicle that was going to be primarily for towing anything bigger than a boat. Diesel's are the way to go for towing.
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Old 09-19-2004, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by doosky2k
...if you buy a truck, gas mileage is not something you should be concerned with.
Huh? There's a HUGE difference between 8 mpg and 16mpg...one doubles your fuel budget for the same number of miles, the other is decent highway mileage for a truck. Besides, horsepower and mileage are not mutually exclusive. Not when vehicles are about 25% efficient at best.

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Old 09-27-2004, 08:05 PM
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The 4.6 in my 97 F150 has just gone over the 163k mark and it has been nearly flawless. The only repair has been a new EGR valve. Not alot of power, but since I rarely tow, it's more than adequate.
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:50 AM
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First: I do not have a great deal of experience with the Ford or Dodge engines in question.

With that said: My folks have a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 4.7 (235 horse, 295 lb-ft) in it. Currently, it is sitting at about 70,000 miles, and has been entirely trouble free. It is very, very snappy off the line and pulls hard to redline. It also tows a 4000 lb boat/trailer excellently. I've done all the tuneup work on it, and have been very impressed with it. As for mileage, I don't drive it often enough to know, but I believe they said they get about 17 mpg... with full-time 4wd.
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Old 10-01-2004, 10:38 PM
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My wife bought an 02 Dodge Dakota 4x4 NEW, and the mileage was 13.5 to 16.5 at 70MPH. I spent alot of time on Dakota Forums tring to find a way to increase mileage, I replaced the stock muffer with a TURBO, and added a K&N with no increases. What surprised me was the Dakota guys were telling me we got good mileage stop complaining.
This year I told her that the Dodge had to go, this wasn't telling you of all the rest of problems we had with it. She bought an 04 Chevy Trailblazer 4x4 4.2L I-6. She gets 20-26 MPG, and not one single problem with 11,500 miles. The 4.2 Chevy will outrun the 4.7 Dodge not to mention get far better mileage.
Fords 4.6 I know nothing about, except the 4.6 in the Mustang, and I'm sure there is a difference.
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Old 10-02-2004, 11:29 AM
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I'd have to say that after driving all 3 of these I would choose them in this order-Dodge 4.7, Chevy 4.8, and Ford 4.6. The Dodge like said before has a lot of power for a small powerplant and is a very smooth engine. I will say that mileage isn't great but having a smaller engine pushing a bigger truck, you won't get much. My buddy has this in his quad cab ram and it can move, and haul whatever he needs with good power. Next the Chevy is a nice engine if you want a performance truck to race with. In a Short bed, short box 2wd version I think it would be a very fun truck. Its a high RPM horsepower engine that loves to rev. But when being used in a larger truck it becomes a dog, especially in low end torque. Also a very good engine on gas mileage and is very smooth. As for the Ford 4.6, I'm disapointed. As mentioned before the gas mileage is no better than the 5.4 but is way underpowered in comparison. I know for a fact that this engine has potential to make great power for a truck application, but it seems that Ford doesn't want to take that route to overshadow the 5.4. Its a reliable, smooth running engine, but I'd take the 4.2 six over it for its low end torque. These are all from my personal experiences.
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Old 10-03-2004, 07:50 PM
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Well I have no personal experience with the GM 4.8 so I can't say anything about it.

As far as the 4.6L Ford vs. the 4.7L Dodge....the 4.7L will eat it's lunch and get the same fuel economy. I know that from recent personal experience.
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Old 10-04-2004, 07:52 PM
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Maybe once or twice, but from current personal experience, you can change nothing but oil in a 4.6 for over 140,000 miles, never look at the coolant or the tranny fluid or plugs or fuel system, and let it sit in a field for 18 months, then gas it up and get it running about 19 hours a day again, logging more than 75 miles each day in 4x4 low range, and STILL not check or change any fluids in it (besides the oil and filter), and it will perform like it did when it was new. I don't think the 4.7 or the 4.8 could do that, nor do I think the trannies behind them would hold up as well as my 4R70W has so far.
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