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There is absolutely nothing cheap about owning a diesel. The buy-in is a lot more, fuel costs more and maintenance is way more. You will have to drive a heck of a long way to get the costs of a diesel to equal gas in a new vehicle. Just wait until you have to replace your injector pump once. Ouch. The flip side is that nothing will touch the power of the diesel.


You really need to evaluate how you will use the truck to determine if you really need a diesel or even a three quarter ton. A properly equipped half ton is a lot less money and can tow a pretty significant amount. My 2016 1500 GMC with a towing package can tow 11,000 pounds really well. It is also a real pleasure to drive around town.
First I guess is OP looking for older or new F250?

As far my son's 2001 F250 7.3 diesel, General maintenance has been very cheap other than turbo rebuild which isn't hard or big $$$. Yea diesel cost few $$$ to do oil change, more oil. I think towing anything decent weight, far out weighs oil cost. Exclude tires and brakes, both gas diesel same.
Diesel has glow plugs, go long time
Gas has injectors/ O2 sensors, don't last a long time.

Diesel fuel mileage towing or not much better than gas. Plus almost double the life.
Pickup acceleration, diesel is very torquey and think quicker.

How much abuse can a gas transmission take over time. The diesel designed for that purpose.

Now if looking at new diesel/gas, no experience there.
Best then to test drive each.

I just know having to pull out into traffic with a trailer or heavy load, diesel is awesome.
My experience.
 

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I went through this decision two years ago, I went gas. If you calculate out how far you get to drive for free due to the differential cost between gas/diesel. Factor in higher running cost and you really need to put that diesel to work to justify it. I only use my 2015 F350 to pull and haul. Several times a year I pull my car haul trailer over the rocky mountians with no issues near max truck rating for axel and trailer weight. (verified at local scale). I also do a lot of sledding with two sleds on the truck deck and never seems to lack power. For me the gas is working. I have found that diesel trucks past warranty drop significantly in value.
 

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Check insurance rates for 150/250/350, my F350 is drastically cheaper to insure than 150 and 25% cheaper that a 250. Insurance rep says its all about statistics........
 

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Diesel all the way Jack ! Meet WONTON the soup burner(the red truck). And the Mexican truck(the blue and white truck). And FATCOBRA(the white truck in front of the loaded trailer). All are 3 diesel and loving it. All 3 will out pull and out last a gasser any day. All 3 get about 17 mpg on the highway at 65 mph and about 14 mpg pulling a 10,000 loaded trailer at 65 mph. All 3 are really quiet inside and dont smell and dont smoke and dont vape and dont get high either. I have made many 4000+ mile rounds trips over the years in each one. I am 2000 miles from home now in a motel room with WONTON. WONTON is in the parking lot and I am alone in the room just so you dont start thinking things. I dont have the Mexican truck anymore , last month it went home to a new owner.
 

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I was going to post this P.S. in my comment ab ove but I got a message saying that we CANNOT edit after 4 minutes so I will use up more space and post my P.S. here.


P.S. A diesel will hold a higher resale value over a gas burner. 2 months ago I paid $21,000 for the red 2002. It had 84,000 miles on it and came from the original owner. Other 2002 diesels just like that with 100,000+ miles are selling for $25,000 and up. I got a great deal. That 7.3 will easily go 1,000,000 miles and so will the truck. The auto trans will need to be rebuilt about every 250,000 miles and a stick just once.


P.S. Why 4 minutes ? Why not 5 minutes ?
 

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I was going to post this P.S. in my comment ab ove but I got a message saying that we CANNOT edit after 4 minutes so I will use up more space and post my P.S. here.


P.S. A diesel will hold a higher resale value over a gas burner. 2 months ago I paid $21,000 for the red 2002. It had 84,000 miles on it and came from the original owner. Other 2002 diesels just like that with 100,000+ miles are selling for $25,000 and up. I got a great deal. That 7.3 will easily go 1,000,000 miles and so will the truck. The auto trans will need to be rebuilt about every 250,000 miles and a stick just once.


P.S. Why 4 minutes ? Why not 5 minutes ?

The edit function was screwed up for me earlier as well. I say diesel all the way too. I’ve had both. I also suggest a low mileage 7.3 (99-2003) is the way to go, not as much emissions stuff to go wrong and they are easier to work on.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The edit function was screwed up for me earlier as well. I say diesel all the way too. I’ve had both. I also suggest a low mileage 7.3 (99-2003) is the way to go, not as much emissions stuff to go wrong and they are easier to work on.


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And the 2002(maybe 99-01 also) with an automatic trans did not come with a cat to clog up. Sticks came with a cat. And avoid the late 2003-2010 6.0 and 6.4. The 7.3 was the best and is better than the cummins overall. the cummins has more off idle torque but the dodge truck is junk.
 

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SOLD my 96 4wd f350 7.3 and purchased a 86 f350 dualy with a 460. got tired of the smell, the noise, fuel prices jacked up like a year after purchase, Oil changs about every 3000 to 4000 miles 14 qt plus 10.00 or more for a filter. total wt of the above set up about 21,000 lbs with tanks full. about 1 mile per gallon difference loaded. not a big fan of using a truck other than for work of some sort. also after owing a dually much better stability towing with over SRW
 

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SOLD my 96 4wd f350 7.3 and purchased a 86 f350 dualy with a 460. got tired of the smell, the noise, fuel prices jacked up like a year after purchase, Oil changs about every 3000 to 4000 miles 14 qt plus 10.00 or more for a filter. total wt of the above set up about 21,000 lbs with tanks full. about 1 mile per gallon difference loaded. not a big fan of using a truck other than for work of some sort. also after owing a dually much better stability towing with over SRW
something must have been wrong with your 96. my 95 7.3 was quiet and didnt smell and all the diesel i buy across the country is cheaper than gasoline. i changed my oil every 6000 miles.
 

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Diesel has been consistently between 30 to 60 cents higher a gallon than 87 octane unleaded where live for the last 15 years at least. (I bought a diesel 15 years ago) Locally currently 2.35 versus 2.68. You can verify the ACTUAL prices of what's local to you by this website: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/gasprices/states/SC.shtml

I've never heard a "quiet" 7.3 (nor any "quiet" IDI diesel) and I've driven more than a few. The newer 6.2's do a nice job of being fairly quiet for what they are. Some of the TDI VW's fairly purr.
 

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If you do less than 20% towing you're ahead with gas even if you only get 11mpg towing.
I would like to try a V10 for the heck of it. Ive heard rumors they do better than a V8 with the right gears.

If you get an under 20' ATC aluminum trailer you can pull a ~3200lb car rather easily, yes 1/2 tons and big SUVs do it regularly. Instead of spending on the heavy truck or diesel you can spend it on the trailer.
 

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something must have been wrong with your 96. my 95 7.3 was quiet and didnt smell and all the diesel i buy across the country is cheaper than gasoline. i changed my oil every 6000 miles.
tHERE WAS nothing wrong with the 96. there issue was they boosed up the engine ol to like 2000 psi to fire the injectors. with hydraulic thats ok but it destroys motor oil. How long the oil lasts can be determined in the 7.3 by exiting a highway and if the engine starts rattling and shaking its time to change the oil. It can be plus or minus that depending on loads your running. first year i owned it did like 600 / 700 dollars worth of oil changes. 460 change oil 2 times a year whether it needs it or not. got bugs in the fuel at some point during a trip to or from fla. trip there and back might need an oil change.
burned up one turbo, ford replaced it but didnt set the tension the the valve correctly, burned out the solenoid for the glow plugs, crappy design of the lock out hubs destroid a set of front tires and broke first time need to rock it to get out of my yard. had to pull my 78 4wd 150 into the street hook the winh on the front of the 350 and hook it to the 150 to pull it out. a YEAR LATER installed HD WARNERs. 250 lbs toq on the nut instead of the 60ish lbs for the auto auto locking hubs reason the tires went bad they kept coming loose.
the 460 has also whooped srt8, srt10s, their srt suvs, some while hauling a empty 18' car hauler. economy hauling that boat 10 to 13 mpg. both have 4.11 gears and 5speeds. Worked at ford engine design at the time and ordered the truck based on recommendations of the head engineer behind the diesel truck calibration and mods he recommended. one was dont order the auto trans.
mods to the 460 was installing the zf 5 speed, hooker headers, dove marine heads i ported, modified orig torker and tried a rpm then a torker II ( it worked the best).
a mild cam, 780 QF carb. 3" exhaust working the best so far. also running 19.5 rims and e load range tires. With the torker II it will pull empty from a stop in 4th gear
 

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If you do less than 20% towing you're ahead with gas even if you only get 11mpg towing.
I would like to try a V10 for the heck of it. Ive heard rumors they do better than a V8 with the right gears.

If you get an under 20' ATC aluminum trailer you can pull a ~3200lb car rather easily, yes 1/2 tons and big SUVs do it regularly. Instead of spending on the heavy truck or diesel you can spend it on the trailer.
The 5.4 in my 04 Navigator is QUICK when not towing (for a large SUV), and it's not when it is towing. With the trailer, you put your foot down and wait for the acceleration to start, and then wait as it slowly, slowly builds while that 5.4 is roaring.

The 6.8 in the 04 Excursion is not quick when not towing, nor when towing. But it will take my 24' 6k lb enclosed trailer up to expressway speeds way better than the 5.4 in the Navigator. It's not a push you back in your seat torque type acceleration, but it immediately starts its pull and keeps it going till you take your foot out of it (around 65mph for me). No long distance for me and the Excursion yet, so I can't comment on that. It roars as well, but at least it's not an idle threat.
 

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Well, since we all have opinions, elbows and rear holes, I'll add my 2 pennies.


Past: I just got rid of my '13 ecoboost 4 door F150 for a used '17 diesel F250. The number one reason was stability of towing my 32ft travel trailer. I didn't lack power, capacity or anything else (though payload was nearly an issue). It was simply a matter of physics and the length of my trailer. Anything over 30ft is hitting the limits of a 1/2 ton with a short wheelbase. I did all the upgrades possible to the F150 and while they all improved the situation they never left me feeling completely safe on a windy day or on the interstate.


Current: Since I only tow once a month or so I also debated the gasser and it was all I was looking at initially. But in the used market I was finding the diesels to be about the same price (options on the available trucks were also a limiting factor). I ended up with a certified truck with 26k miles and all the options for less than what the gassers cost. I'd been looking for over 2 months so I knew exactly what all the prices were for the different levels and options. I also did the math and ended up buying a maintenance plan as well. I've got 8 years and another 100k miles to use it up. It'll be the first time I'm not doing my own maintenance on a vehicle. Aside from the expensive oil changes and fuel filter changes, some of the other scheduled maintenance does add up. I wouldn't have bought it with a gasser. The only thing that sucks is I can't do a delete on the truck since my powertrain warranty is also good out to 7yr/100k miles.


Mileage: my F150 got about 16mpg as a daily. More stop and go would drop it down to 14-15. Towing was 8-10. I had a 5* tune on it. My F250 will get nearly 20mpg on straight highway cruising and 15-16 daily. Stop and go really kills the F250. I haven't towed with it yet (next month) but expect to get about 12-13mpg (based on similar truck/trailer combos). The same F250 gasser gets about 13-14 daily and 9-10 towing (again, based on people with the same trailer). I ran 91 octane in my F150 so the slight increase in diesel gas isn't terrible. I have a 35 gal tank (long beds get the 48 gal). My F150 had a 36 gal tank.


Noise: My neighbor has an 11-16 F250 and it is significantly louder than my truck. He may have done some work on it but I can't tell. The only time I can tell I'm driving a diesel is when I hit the gas hard. It is a very quiet truck. I also like all the torque. Very similar feeling to my F150. I wasn't impressed with the off the line and mid-power of the gasser. You definitely need to test drive both, that is one of the things that sold me on the diesel. The gasser will downshift more and makes its torque in the 3k-4k range, so it will try to go there more often while towing. It is all completely normal and it handles the higher RPMs fine. The 6.2 is proving to be a very reliable and sturdy engine, with regular maintenance.


Driving: I went from daily driving a mustang to daily driving an F150 and now daily drive an F250. Each step took some time to get comfortable. I thought the F150 was huge and it took me forever to get comfortable parking it. The learning curve is smaller with the F250 since I've already mastered some truck skills. Doing lane changes is still a bit of a challenge, even with the BLIS and big mirrors. I'm still adjusting to the extra length and height. Parking isn't terrible. I don't even bother with small parking lots. I just go straight to the back. The overhead 360* camera is really nice for both front and rear parking. Makes a world of difference. The F250 is just as comfortable as the F150, if not more so (but after my mods). The stock F150 was a softer ride and of course easier for everyday driving and parking. I love all the bells and whistles on the F250. I purposely wanted one with all the gadgets and I'm really liking them. The adaptive steering is a must as is the BLIS. The reactive cruise control is awesome and will be really nice while towing. I love all the cameras (7 total-not including the 2 lane assist cameras). As a pilot, I really appreciate the extra situation awareness. I wish all of them were standard as everyone could benefit from them. The legroom in the back is amazing!


Future: There is a likelihood of eventually going to a small 5th wheel trailer in 5 years or so. Having the diesel will give me flexibility when shopping. My limiting factor will be payload since I didn't get an F350 (they all were more expensive than the F250s) and because the heavy diesel eats up a bunch of the available payload. You'll notice most gassers have higher payload capability in the 3/4 ton trucks. I will probably end up added 350 springs or some sort of helper system when the time comes. I plan on keeping this truck for 10-15 years minimum. It may someday become a tow only vehicle, we'll see.


My experience aside, I know some people are very happy with their gasser SD trucks. It will do you just fine if that is what you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Thanks for all the comments and personal experiences. I would like to get a new truck and could get the F-150 without a big cost concern. A new F-250 diesel would be difficult, but I could probably do it without hurting us. I will (now) consider a used one but would want a fairly new one. I was a bit surprised that the diesel got better non-towing fuel mileage than the gas. Thinking the gas would have been better is why I was uncertain of which to choose. Now the question looks to be the extra maintenance associated with the diesel. If I can accept that I will probably go with the diesel.
 

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I love the sound of my 94 turbo-diesel. Still has its original exhaust system.

It sounds tough!!! Slow as hell but I love driving it.

It gets the same mileage as my 2014 F150 with the 5.0
 

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Thanks for all the comments and personal experiences. I would like to get a new truck and could get the F-150 without a big cost concern. A new F-250 diesel would be difficult, but I could probably do it without hurting us. I will (now) consider a used one but would want a fairly new one. I was a bit surprised that the diesel got better non-towing fuel mileage than the gas. Thinking the gas would have been better is why I was uncertain of which to choose. Now the question looks to be the extra maintenance associated with the diesel. If I can accept that I will probably go with the diesel.
iF YOU do go diesel with the weight you would be towing the 3.55 gear would be best also a rear wheel drive will get better economy than a 4wd.
 

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I bought my 2011 F250 XLT diesel crew cab back in 2013, and it's been a great truck. I don't drive it daily but could see myself doing so if it weren't for parking it. Absolutely no problem with comfort or visibility, etc, but it's annoying not being able to maneuver it in tighter, more urban parking lots and spaces. But the truck itself is very enjoyable to drive. When I first started looking, so many recommended the 7.3, but I never found a clean one for a reasonable price by the time I needed one. I am happy with the quieter 6.7 and more modern interior. It's been pretty good as far as reliability goes, only having had an egr cooler (leaking) and a sensor of type for the heater replaced - however I still have under 70K on it. Regarding 2wd or 4wd, I personally would only want 4wd. It's saved me several times aside from snow, especially when pulling the trailer out of mud/wet grass.
 

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Well, since we all have opinions, elbows and rear holes, I'll add my 2 pennies.


Past: I just got rid of my '13 ecoboost 4 door F150 for a used '17 diesel F250. The number one reason was stability of towing my 32ft travel trailer.... QUOTE]


Wow- thanks for all the info! I'm in EXACTLY the same boat- looking to upgrade from my '13 F150 4 door sb Platinum to an F250 SD. I've got a 20' 10#lb trailer and tow cars, trucks, and a skidloader on a somewhat regular basis. The truck will pull it, but the trailer tongue bounces something fierce when it's empty (which is 1/2 the trip). I don't know if it's a short truck long trailer issue, or if I need a bigger truck, but for now it's a great excuse to give for a new truck to SWMBO, right? LOL. What I've been finding around here is like others have mentioned- 90% of the trucks are diesels. What differs, is that I'm actually finding the gassers to be more expensive than the diesels. I was leaning towards a gas, but back on the fence after this new info. I've got plenty of other things to drive, so it wouldn't necessarily have to be a daily (my '13 is now), so that leaves the door wide open. What's really hanging me up is that I'm spoiled with the Platinum I have now- I can't go back to a plain XLT, right? I'm looking for an upper end truck with leather (2 labs- cloth would get destroyed), a center console instead of the 60/40 bench with console, and it's got to be black (or a dark color). It seems like the majority of trucks out there right now are all benches with cloth, and worse yet- white. In the rust belt here, white is no bueno! :shrug:
Again, thanks for the info!
 

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Not everyone wants an Excursion, but here is what I have. And yes, I have a photo gallery for it. http://redshost.com/2004excursion/

2004 Eddie Bauer V10 3.73 Limited slip. 2nd row captains chairs. Purchased Dec 2017 w/143k miles. All factory/stock, looked to be a kid transporter from Orlando Fla.

Added extra Trans cooler (highly recommended for the V10), extra capacity Trans pan (7 extra quarts), TowMax Analog/digital trans temp gauge (one on the dash is cr*p), and an Add-a-leaf rear spring set it raise rear ride height 2.5 " (needed when trailer is attached).






 
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