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2016 Expy w/3.73's w/o tow pckage

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Old 11-26-2015, 12:20 PM
matemike
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2016 Expy w/3.73's w/o tow pckage

My wife and I just ordered an a la carte 2016 Expedition XLT. Going this route allowed us to pick the individual options that we want and avoid the unnecessary ones or having to move up to the next model. Price will probably come out the same as a Limited, but we get a discount through my company and again, at least we will get everything we want and nothing we don't. For instance we want 2nd row bucket seats, but don't want the auto-slide step bars. We want 20" wheels but do not need the heated/cooled seats or Sony speakers.

That being said, one thing I opted for was the 3.73 gear option. It'll make the SUV a little more peppy and nimble around town, plus we don't do very many road trips, so the long distance gas savings of going with the 3.15's carried almost no value for me. At $320 extra, 3.73's it is.

We did however avoid the upgraded $520 tow package which mostly means more options for electrical connections to a trailer, an auxiliary transmission fluid cooler and a beefed up radiator. Now this vehicle will be a people, grocery and kids in car seats carrier. I never plan to tow with it, at this time. I've got a 6.2L truck if and when I do tow.

My concern is if we shot ourselves in the foot by getting the 3.73 gears without the upgraded tow package? The 3.73's will make the engine work a tiny bit harder at highway speeds than the 3.15's, but the standard tranny cooler and radiator might be struggling to have the vehicle running properly.

My first hope is that Ford would not offer the 3.73's without the upgraded rad and tranny cooler if that setup were problematic, but you never know for sure. A salesman can unfortunately always tell you only what you want to hear.

Does anyone here have any first hand experience or better resources than my own thoughts and ideas that our Expedition option selections will be good to go? Or could a dealer throw a new radiator and tranny cooler if I ever needed them?
 
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Old 11-26-2015, 05:46 PM
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Welcome to FTE!

Wow, that is weird. You can get 3.73 axles without the max trailer tow option. Not that I doubted you but I went on the build and price to better understand your query.

In the F-150 world, the 3.73's only come with a max tow option.

The standard axle seems to be a 3.31 which is plenty with the ecoboost engine. The max tow package is only $520 above a $45-50K vehicle. While you don't plan to two with it, it will make resale somewhat better.

Anyway, my 2004 Expy also has the 3.73 axle but it's a 4.6L so towing isn't much of an option with mine. The ecoboost makes the Expy come to life in a hurry.
 
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:48 AM
YoGeorge
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Why would extra engine and transmission coolers be a problem? It will only give you more capacity if ever you needed it for longer engine and trans life.

If you sell the Expy in the next 5 years, the towing package would be a much more desirable option for most buyers. WHEN gas goes up to $4 per gallon again, the biggest market for vehicles like the Expy would be people who legitimately need it to tow.

If you keep it forever, the extra cooling capacity will maybe make it last a bit longer. You're already buying a heavy truck and for your needs you could probably get by with a minivan.

You're already spending a big pile of money. Why not a couple more bucks and set it up logically? You are asking the question already so it sounds like you know the right answer.

And if you really want it to be a light duty hauler, remember that the EB has 90% of its torque at 1700 rpm and some seriously low gears in the 6R80 transmission. First gear is probably gonna be stiffer with the 3.31 axle than the old 4 speed automatics had with a 4.10 gear. I would question why you think you need a 3.73 axle given the low rpm torque...

Good luck, George
 
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:15 AM
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The conventional wisdom I always remember hearing was the higher the gear ratio in the axle, the less the transmission works.
So following that philosophy, you are doing your transmission a favor by going with the 3.73 over the 3.31.

I have the 3.73 with the 20" wheels..... it is plenty quick. However, I know I am taking a hit with MPGs.
That being said, If I was worried about MPGs, I bought the wrong type of vehicle.
 
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone, and thankfully I was able to make the change to our pre-ordered expedition.

Originally Posted by tseekins View Post
Wow, that is weird. You can get 3.73 axles without the max trailer tow option.

The standard axle seems to be a 3.31 which is plenty with the ecoboost engine. The max tow package is only $520 above a $45-50K vehicle.
I thought the same thing! Why on earth would there be a 3.73 option (to which I said "Yes please" over the 3.15 option) then discover later that the tow package was left off!?!
It was something I simply looked over, tried to tell myself it's too late to add it now, and it won't be a big deal to live without it. I do haul stuff but always had the my 6.2L truck with trailer braking and all that. SO I tried to convince myself we don't need towability with the expedition; That is until just one time we need it, or if my truck ever becomes impractical to keep at least I can still get stuff done with the expedition IF we got the tow package. But mostly I don't want to find that something else wears out faster over the years due to inadequate mechanics on a new vehicle.

So we called the dealership and they added the $500 tow package onto the already $48k vehicle. Almost moot at this point.

Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
You're already spending a big pile of money. Why not a couple more bucks and set it up logically? You are asking the question already so it sounds like you know the right answer.

And if you really want it to be a light duty hauler, remember that the EB has 90% of its torque at 1700 rpm and some seriously low gears in the 6R80 transmission. First gear is probably gonna be stiffer with the 3.31 axle than the old 4 speed automatics had with a 4.10 gear. I would question why you think you need a 3.73 axle given the low rpm torque...
Very same reasoning we used to make the phone call to get the added package.
The other gear option for the expedition is the 3.15's. I'd find myself disappointed with those. I really wish they offered 3.55's or even 3.42's.
3.73's will be really tall for a grocery getter, kid hauler, and occasionally maybe pulling a trailer of fill dirt, corn deer feed, 4 wheelers or friends boats (because now I can), but like I said my wife and I are both spirited drivers and will like the torqy pull of the 3.73's.


Originally Posted by Beachums View Post
If I was worried about MPGs, I bought the wrong type of vehicle.
Exactly! The trick for MPG's and owning a big vehicle is to know what to expect, and then make sure you're getting what you expect. Keep the tires at the right pressure, oil and filters fresh and it'll be running well at however much gas it needs to drink. Just get used to it. (This is coming from a guy who works in the oil field and high gas prices keep me in business.)
 
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:18 PM
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Are you getting 2WD? Looks to me if you are 4WD, the 3.31 axle is standard where the 3.15 is the standard 2WD ratio.

But even with a 3.15 rear gear, the 4.17 first gear in the 6R80 gives a total first gear ratio of 13.14 and that is really stiff.

The 5R110 has a 3.11 first gear and with a 3.73 axle the total first gear is 11.60 total.

So you are gonna have a really short first gear ratio with the 3.73 and 4.17 first gear...it will be 15.55--virtually a creeper gear.

Good luck with it; especially if it's 2WD it will be really easy to bust the rear tires loose. By the way, the traditional meaning of a "tall" rear gear is a low numerical ratio--the 3.15 is the "tallest" of the ratios here.

A "couple" years ago I had a '68 Hemi Roadrunner with the track pack which used a 4.10 rear axle...but that had the old A833 4 speed manual with a 2.47 first gear--a 10.13 overall first gear and the car really couldn't hold that down very well even with street/strip compound tires.

George
 
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:54 AM
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Yes it is 2WD.
I see your points, but I'm sure we will be happy with the 3.73's over the 3.15's.

I weighed the 3.15 option and compared it to our present primary vehicle which is the crew cab truck, weighing in at ~5,600 lbs with 403 hp, (tuned to get 20 more hp to the wheels) and 3.42's behind the 6L80E tranny. That tranny has a 4.02 first gear making it crank at a total of 13.75 in first gear. It is plenty quick and we can bust the tires loose if we give it hell. We live in SE texas, so no snow to ever battle, but on wet roads especially if they're oily make the wheels bust loose just that much easier, but still we have to "try" to do it.

The 3.15's in the 365 hp ~5700 lbs expedition would have been behind the 6R80E tranny with that 4.17 first gear making the less powerful and heavier vehicle crank at a total ratio of 13.14. While this is impressive and will move the kids with ease, it's not as strong as my truck's setup and I just want to make sure that this becoming our primary vehicle will not leave anything left to be desired. So I went with the stronger gear option vs the "more theoretical I suppose" option.

Last time I had 3.73's was in a 4 spd auto 2009 extended cab with a 315hp 5.3L. I really liked the low gear take off but that truck was a slug when traveling at Texas highway speeds of 70-75 mph then trying to pass a semi I felt that 4 spd transmission struggle and make the engine rev with little increase of speed.

I'm thinking the Expedition with 3.73 gears and ecoboost with the 6 speed transmission will pair up much nicer and all around driving will be great. Technology is awesome!
 
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:14 AM
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Best of luck to you. I am thinking about an Expy but in Michigan I want 4WD for sure. Buying used (3V 5.4) or new (EBoost), I would look for the 3.31 axle for me but I would not tow with it.

I've also looked at the GMC Yukon and the standard axle in that is a 3.08 with the 5.3 (355 hp) but that would be fine for my use.

In the old smogger days I bought an '86 GMC 2500 Turtle Top camper conversion van and it had a (choke) 2.73 axle with a 3 speed turbo... I took it to an axle shop for a 3.42 and installed a posi at the same time. But that had a carbed 305 with about 160 hp... I also bought a '78 F100 pickup brand new with the old 300 inch six and that had a 2.75 axle with the 4 speed manual OD trans. That was truly stupid also and should have had a 3.25 or 3.50. So I know well about "way too tall"...but the EB has a LOT of torque.

Technology is definitely wonderful. Have a great holiday and enjoy the new Expy.
George
 
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:02 PM
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While I found 3.73 gears perfect in my 2005 4 speed Expedition, the first gear in the 6 speeds is really short, and with the steeper rear gears the truck will be shifting to 2nd before you get through an intersection. 2500 rpm in first is only ~15 mph, 4000 rpm in first is ~24 mph and 6k is ~37. For a motor that makes most of its torque at 2000 rpm I didn't like the way 3.73 gears drove as it almost immediately was on the backside of the torque curve in first gear, and am 100% happy I chose the stock gears in my non-EL Platinum. Best of luck.
 
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by johnkn View Post
While I found 3.73 gears perfect in my 2005 4 speed Expedition, the first gear in the 6 speeds is really short, and with the steeper rear gears the truck will be shifting to 2nd before you get through an intersection. 2500 rpm in first is only ~15 mph, 4000 rpm in first is ~24 mph and 6k is ~37. For a motor that makes most of its torque at 2000 rpm I didn't like the way 3.73 gears drove as it almost immediately was on the backside of the torque curve in first gear, and am 100% happy I chose the stock gears in my non-EL Platinum. Best of luck.
Goodly noted
So that's real Ecoboost+6R80+3.73 expedition experience? Great! That's exactly what I was looking for.

What are those stock gears in the platinum?
 
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:40 PM
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Non-EL 4x4 = 3:31 gears. Best of luck with your new purchase!
 
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:48 PM
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The 3.31's with the ecoboost in my F-150 are a perfect match. An Expy with the 3.73 axle and ecoboost will be a tow monster.
 
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by johnkn View Post
For a motor that makes most of its torque at 2000 rpm I didn't like the way 3.73 gears drove
Originally Posted by johnkn View Post
Non-EL 4x4 = 3:31 gears. Best of luck with your new purchase!
Oh, I thought you meant you either had or at least test drove a 2015+ with 3.73's.

Don't get me wrong, I know this thing will have a very short lived first gear for every stop then start and will take some getting used to. I wish there was a 3.31, or even better a 3.42 or 3.55 option for the 2016 XLT expedition 4x2. But it was either 3.15 or 3.73 and I erred on the side that I don't want this big truck to feel like we left something on the table when cruising from light to light around town with a car full of kids+friends+ice chests etc.

Interestingly I have not found any resources other than EL's with the 3.73's. We drove my step moms 2012 EL PLatinum with a 5.4L with 3.73's for about a week before we made our decision on getting the expy all together. Hers drove nice, not fast by any means, but it didn't scream on the rev limiter to get up to going speed in ample time either. We also test drove Tahoes and 4 runners and felt the expedition fit us best.

Who knows, maybe the ford website as well as the dealer are unaware that incorrect axle gear options appear on the "build your own" tool for the expedition. Even though he confirmed himself (going off the same site tools) that it's either 3.15 or 3.73 for all trim levels. Maybe when the vehicle is at the part on the assembly line where it gets the rear axle installed Ford will call and say they can only put the 3.73 on a 4x4 EL and I'll have the choose between 3.31 or 3.15 for the 4x2 XLT, which I'll go with 3.31's. I wont be super bummed, but will lose my excitement about these 3.73's. I'd still be excited about 3.55's or 3.42's also.

Thank y'all so much for the feedback.
 
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:09 AM
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I've owned and put 150k miles on a (4 speed) 2005
I've owned and put 50k miles on a (6 speed) 2013
I drove a 2015 with 3:73 gears but purchased a 2015 with standard 3:31 gears (21k miles since April, 2015) .






Good luck
 
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:37 AM
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Well this just in;

My parents got a 2015 Navigator"L" two weeks ago and I got to drive it for the first time last night. It has the same engine and transmission as the Expediton but the Navigator has 4.10's (axle code 41).

Maaaannnn did that thing drive smooth and zip around nicely!!! All the more confirmation to make me glad we went with the 3.73's in the expy over the 3.15's.
 
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