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Old 01-07-2018, 05:55 AM
BBD BBD is offline
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Help me decide on a truck

Hey guys,

I'm looking into getting into my first F150, after a long history with GM trucks, so I'd appreciate some help.

The truck won't be my daily driver as I have a company truck, but I'm looking for a bit of a jack of all trades truck. Because of the fewer miles per year, fuel economy isn't my number 1 concern, but reliability and capability are. I need the truck to occasionally tow a 7,000 lbs open car hauler, maybe 6 times a year, and maybe 3 or 4 hour drives max, and we have no mountains here in Ontario, Canada. Other than that, I need a truck to run to the hardware store, or take my daughter to get ice cream.

It's not worth buying brand new, but I'd like something to keep for the long haul. I'm thinking the '11-'15 trucks should hit the sweet spot. SuperCrew and 4x4 are a must, other than that I'm OK with everything else.

I was considering an older truck with the 5.4, but the 5.0 seems much loved over the 5.4. I don't want an ecoboost, as the few miles per year don't justify it, and 6.2 is overkill and really hard to find in an F150. So some questions.

1) Any years of the 5.0 to avoid?
2) The tow package is a must from what I understand? Anything over 5K will need the tow package?
3) Would a 3.55 axle ratio work?
4) If I understand correctly, the FX4 is a heavier duty towing package? Is that really necessary for 7,000 lbs?

I'll probably have more questions, but this will be a very helpful start.

Thanks a bunch
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:41 AM
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I have a FX2 Super Cab that has is 7500# for the truck and can tow 9800#. Mine has a 3.55 Axle and has no problem.
I know with the Mustangs they had a few 2011 that went south, but most of those were tuned and some but not all looked to be a lean issue. The 5.0 is a pretty stout motor but I will stick with my 6.2.
As for the FX4 being heavier duty, the truck with the best towing numbers is a regular cab long bed XL with the Ecoboost and the Max Tow.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:44 PM
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Yes the 5.4L is nowhere near as good as the 5.0L engine. Less reliable and less fun. Have only heard good things about the 5.0L engine, it's got a great reputation.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:25 PM
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Some answers below:

1) Any years of the 5.0 to avoid?
I'd try and find a late '13 or '14. A very small number of the 11, 12's and early 13's (including mine) needed a replacement engine due to cylinder distortion. Mine was covered under warranty but this can be nearly $10k out of pocket if you are one of the unlucky ones. Video on what this issue sounds like (and what to avoid) here: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...l#post17107595

2) The tow package is a must from what I understand? Anything over 5K will need the tow package?
The tow package, yes - however that shouldn't be confused with "Max" tow which you won't need to tow 7k. As a note, anything over 5k is recommended to have a weight distribution hitch. There is some more info here: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...hitch-wdh.html


3) Would a 3.55 axle ratio work?
I've towed 7k with my Scab 5.0 with 3.55s and had no issues. The 5.0 does like higher RPMs (peak torque around 4k) so don't be afraid to let her rev out. Keep an eye on your payload as trailer tongue weight @10%-15% of a 7K lb trailer is right around 700-1,000 lbs. My truck has a max payload of 1600 lbs, so with a 7k trailer I can fit myself, co pilot and gear and that's about it. Payload sticker is located in the door jamb.

4) If I understand correctly, the FX4 is a heavier duty towing package? Is that really necessary for 7,000 lbs?
FX4 is a trim level for these year trucks, and included some appearance stuff, skid plates and some "off-road" tuned shocks, Not a requirement to tow 7k

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-07-2018, 05:03 PM
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For towing purposes, the only advantage to looking for an FX2/FX4 is that the Tow Package was standard equipment on them (and the higher trim levels), while it was optional on XL, STX, and XLT.

Ford says that the Tow Package and a weight-distributing hitch is required to tow more than 5,000lbs.

If you're looking at a SuperCrew, you're probably going to want the 3.73 rear end; the 3.55 SuperCrew can tow a 7K trailer load, but you're significantly closer to the edge of the envelope on the Coyote-powered 3.55--by the time you get passengers in the truck, you might be overloaded. If you were looking at an EB35, you'd be OK with the 3.55, but the 3.73 is going to be a better bet for the Coyote.

Of the years you listed, I'd be looking at '13 and '14. There's nothing wrong with the '15, but it's the first year of an all-new truck, versus the last two years of a generation. No matter how good a truck it is, the later trucks in a generation have just had more time for them to fix any issues that sprang up during the production run.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgt View Post
Some answers below:


2) The tow package is a must from what I understand? Anything over 5K will need the tow package?
The tow package, yes - however that shouldn't be confused with "Max" tow which you won't need to tow 7k. As a note, anything over 5k is recommended to have a weight distribution hitch. There is some more info here: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...hitch-wdh.html


^^^^ This and if I am not mistaken, you cannot get a max tow package unless you have the Ecoboost engine. 3.55 vs 3.73, ya on paper there is difference and 3.73 will give you better mechanical advantage, however I doubt you will notice any significant difference in Ontario. I have 3.55 here in Alberta and get around just find when I pulled a 7k travel trailer.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gunnarGSD View Post
^^^^ This and if I am not mistaken, you cannot get a max tow package unless you have the Ecoboost engine.
That's true, at least for the '13s, but the 6.2 with Tow Package can match the tow rating of the EB35 w/Max Tow. The only difference that I could find between Tow and Max Tow is that Max Tow includes the towing mirrors and the Ford Trailer Brake Controller, which can both be added to Tow Package trucks.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:37 PM
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And the tow ratings with the 5.0 engine are quite close if you get the max payload package.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:17 AM
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Thanks guys, great info so far.

I had some time last night and went through a bunch more ads. I see some well taken care of 09/10 King Ranch trucks, with a fair bit less than a basic 12/13 XLT.

I know the 5.0 is better, but for someone like me who won't drive it a ton, and I'm perfectly happy being the grandpa in the slow lane while I'm towing. What exactly is worst about the 5.4? I've read about the spark plug issues on the older versions. I know they have less horsepower and lower fuel economy. What else?

I'm not trying to talk myself out of a 5.0 truck, but I probably shouldn't just totally ignore a good older truck if it makes sense for me.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:47 AM
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Absolutely correct that the 5.4L trucks are a lot cheaper. It's a less refined engine, and has a reputation for issues with the VCT /cam phaser /timing system which is really expensive to repair.

I drive one right now, my third one, and it's a capable engine, but I don't think I'll buy another.
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Old 01-08-2018, 08:02 PM
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5.4s aren't that bad. They are slugs compared to the newer engines but will still get the job done. 09/10's are quick as they get paired with the new 6spd tranny.

I can't remember what years had spark plug issues. I think it was 04-08, but I'd wait for others to chime in.

I used to have one of the older 5.4s (pre-2004) and those were very bulletproof as they didn't have cam phasers. I sold mine with 165k miles on it, never had any issues.

You might also consider a gas F250. Those go for CHEAP as everyone wants a diesel and they are very capable trucks. Can be had with either the 5.4 V8 or the 6.8 V10.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:19 PM
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I just traded my 2011 F150, XLT S/Crew 5.0L 4x4 3.55 axle. While the miles weren’t super high only 60,000 I only ever had one issue with the truck the entire time owned. At 58k I had a fuel pump pressure issue (in the tank). I regularly towed a 29ft 7300 pound travel trailer.
As a comparison I owned an 02 with the he 5.4 similarly equipped. Worlds of difference between the two motors. I think the latest model 5.4 put out 300hp whereas the 5.0L put out 365hp and 385 torque. The 5.0 with the six speed was much more economical and had much better pulling power. You won’t regret stepping up. Even the truck itself is much better appointed and more comfortable than the 02. Spend a couple bucks and you’ll never look back.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:16 AM
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Yeah, it definitely seems worthwhile to go for the newer engine, especially since I'll be keeping it for the longhaul.

As for the F250. I'd be all over one that was gas and in good shape. But unfortunately, whatever I can find around here is a high mileage work trucks in OK shape, and very spartan interiors.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBD View Post
Thanks guys, great info so far.

I had some time last night and went through a bunch more ads. I see some well taken care of 09/10 King Ranch trucks, with a fair bit less than a basic 12/13 XLT.

I know the 5.0 is better, but for someone like me who won't drive it a ton, and I'm perfectly happy being the grandpa in the slow lane while I'm towing. What exactly is worst about the 5.4? I've read about the spark plug issues on the older versions. I know they have less horsepower and lower fuel economy. What else?

I'm not trying to talk myself out of a 5.0 truck, but I probably shouldn't just totally ignore a good older truck if it makes sense for me.

Well, the 5.4L Triton V8:

- Is FAR more difficult to change plugs in it or to work on in general
- Has rampant issues with cam phasers and timing chains
- Less horsepower
- Less fuel economy
- Some years have plugs that would stick in the heads and break off
- Uses the older wiring harness and engine management system which is a pain
- More prone to leaks

It's funny because just yesterday I found this and this guy brings up some great points if you take the time to watch the entire video:

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Old 01-10-2018, 08:32 AM
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It's funny because just yesterday I found this and this guy brings up some great points if you take the time to watch the entire video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Avl4w_orws&t=835s

Funny enough, I watched that same video yesterday.

It did make me wonder about the difference in repair costs between Ford and GM. I know GM's well enough, but the Ford trucks definitely have them beat in interiors, features, and towing capacities typically. I can't see routine maintenance being that much different, but can anyone comment on the issue of DIY repairs being harder on a Ford? Ford outsells GM trucks by a fair bit, so the used market offers a fair bit more choice of Ford trucks.
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