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Old 09-09-2014, 10:30 PM   #1
SafetyThird OP
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'96 Diesel F250 vs. '96 Gas F350

Currently I have a '96 F250 with the 7.3, five speed, 2wd, extended cab longbed. 260k miles on it-recent tires, new clutch, rebuilt the front end and replaced the water pump. Good running truck.

My family is growing and all the kids are in car seats. For sale locally is a '96 four door longbed F350 dually. Gas, automatic-54k on the clock. I know nothing about that particular motor/transmission-in fact I'm not even sure what gas motors were available.

No clue what my pickup is worth-the prices I see are all over the place.

I can probably get the F350 for 8k.

Current uses involve towing a car trailer with various antique vehicles. Hauling gravel and the like.

Ideal uses would involve a slide in camper and taking the kids with me without having to try to put them in the back while being in the front.


The F350 strikes me as more family friendly but the devil you know....

Thoughts?
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:44 PM   #2
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I have a '94 F-350 crew cab, long bed, single rear-wheels, 4x4, 7.5 (460) gas, 4-speed auto. Manual hubs, locks, & windows, AC, cloth seats, rubber floor mat. Extra overload rear leafs, adjustable shocks, and 19.5" commercial truck wheels and tires. 197,000 miles



Back when I was in the landscaping business, it hauled my trailer every workday and a 3500-lb. slide-in camper on weekends. I mainly use it now to haul dirt bikes and tow the boat. It's also the family vacation mobile, hauling beach stuff and scuba gear under a Leer camper shell. I can carry everything and everybody.

It's the best vehicle I've ever owned. I love my big-ass truck, and she loves me.

That said, it's on its second AC compressor, and second trans. The automatics on this generation of trucks are marginal at best. Ford cut corners on them wherever they could, and as a result they're simply not up to heavy use.

But there is hope. Brian Thompson of Lead Hill, Arkansas has made a living by beefing up the big Ford automatics, substituting heavier parts for the marginal ones, and new locking torque converters with 425 square inches of clutch surface area instead of the stock 125 square inches. It came with a two-year unlimited mileage, unlimited engine, unlimited towing warranty. Break it if you can.

He doesn't just sell you a box off the shelf, he calls you on your build day asking what you use the truck for, how it's geared, how big of tires, engine mods, how do you want the trans to shift, etc. Each one is custom-built.

Five grand plus your core, but well worth it. I swapped the transmissions in my driveway over a weekend, then shipped my old one to him in his crate. I'm running a Mag-Hytec deep pan, large TCI cooler, and a temperature gauge. That was seven years ago, with towing through the north Georgia mountains and nary a hiccup.

http://www.brianstruckshop.com
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Stretch67 screwed with this post 09-09-2014 at 11:04 PM
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:15 AM   #3
Rob Farmer
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I love these enormous pickups and cars you guys have. Just not practical over here unfortunately - small roads and high fuel costs.

You'd be very popular driving down these roads

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Old 09-10-2014, 06:19 AM   #4
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When I was shopping for my F250 I called a guy with the truck I wanted: 4x4, extended cab, longbed. ...except he had the 460 in it vs the diesel I was looking for.

Asked him what kind of mileage he got. ''I get 8mpg. Uphill, downhill, towing, it doesn't matter. I get 8.'

Went with the diesel and got 14-17 around town and low 20s on road trips. 10-14 towing the ex's Camaro with my GS-Adv in the bed.

The V-10 Dodge 2500 up in the FM is the same thing: 8-10mpg in the gasser. ...on the highway! More in the diesel.

To answer the engine question: IIRC you could get the 351 or the 460 in the big truck as a gasser or the diesel.

The 4-door is 22" longer than your (my) extended cab. ...but that 22" looks like a country mile on the truck!

M
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:22 AM   #5
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I doubt I'd ever trade a diesel for a gas engine in a pickup
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:25 AM   #6
Stretch67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Farmer View Post
I love these enormous pickups and cars you guys have. Just not practical over here unfortunately - small roads and high fuel costs.

You'd be very popular driving down these roads
It's not my daily driver. But when I need a big-assed truck, I've got one.

12 miles per gallon empty, 8 loaded with the overdrive off.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:35 AM   #7
SafetyThird OP
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A 5k transmission upgrade is hard for me to swallow on a truck that doesn't cost a whole lot more, especially as i average about 3k a year right now-I only drive it to haul things, just I think the current ride might not handle a slide in camper as well, and I find four doors for four people is a bit easier, especially as this truck predates the access cab or whatever folks call it these days.

I've never noted epic mileage on my diesel but I've never kept track, either. At most it gets filled monthly.

I never thought I'd trade a smog free diesel for a gasser, but, I do like the idea of a truck with far less mileage, and four doors.

Seems moot so far-the guy with the dually hasn't called me back.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:35 AM   #8
tastroman
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I've got a 2003 f250 extended cab with the v10. Gets 10-12mpg around town, 15 on the highway.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:04 AM   #9
Neil E.
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Since you have the diesel with manual now, I think you'd be really disappointed going to the gas with auto. The convenience of four doors is nice; I recommend you keep looking. Filling up frequently with gas will really bite. Better to be patient and make the right choice.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:12 AM   #10
Stretch67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafetyThird View Post
A 5k transmission upgrade is hard for me to swallow on a truck that doesn't cost a whole lot more, especially as i average about 3k a year right now-I only drive it to haul things, just I think the current ride might not handle a slide in camper as well, and I find four doors for four people is a bit easier, especially as this truck predates the access cab or whatever folks call it these days.

I've never noted epic mileage on my diesel but I've never kept track, either. At most it gets filled monthly.

I never thought I'd trade a smog free diesel for a gasser, but, I do like the idea of a truck with far less mileage, and four doors.

Seems moot so far-the guy with the dually hasn't called me back.
I understand. It was hard for me to swallow as well. But I really loved the truck and didn't want to swap mediocre automatics every few years. I made the choice because I knew I wanted to keep this truck over the long-term. I've done a ton of upgrades to it, finally getting it set up the way I want it. She's a keeper.

I believe your 250 will handle a slide-in camper just fine. The 250 rear axle and springs are about the same as a 350 SRW. If you don't already have them, get big sway bars front and rear, rear helper springs, adjustable shocks, and E-rated tires.



There's a very helpful Truck Camper forum on RV dot net... https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...s/forum/27.cfm
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafetyThird View Post
A 5k transmission upgrade is hard for me to swallow on a truck that doesn't cost a whole lot more, especially as i average about 3k a year right now-I only drive it to haul things, just I think the current ride might not handle a slide in camper as well, and I find four doors for four people is a bit easier, especially as this truck predates the access cab or whatever folks call it these days.

I've never noted epic mileage on my diesel but I've never kept track, either. At most it gets filled monthly.

I never thought I'd trade a smog free diesel for a gasser, but, I do like the idea of a truck with far less mileage, and four doors.

Seems moot so far-the guy with the dually hasn't called me back.
I lost my PSD in the divorce.

Ex- was being a PITA about it so she kept it. Right before I dropped it off, OD went out.

...so I limped the thing from Denver to Cheyenne and waved goodbye. Its a LONG drive from Denver to Cheyenne at 45mph!

A $5k trans that is bulletproof? I'da bought one if I was keeping the truck AND hauling with it.

M
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:44 AM   #12
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I'd keep shopping...

I'm curious why you'd get rid of your PSD for a 460 in the same truck? Why not find a Gas Super Duty?

A Super Duty from 1999 shouldn't be that much more money. The Triton has a bad rap for the spark plugs but other than that they're fantastic engines. In my experience anyway the Super Duty is a much nicer truck than the OBS trucks (I have one [F150] and have driven many other OBSs and Super Dutys). You'll have to some research and run the numbers but the more fuel efficient Triton might make a Super Duty cheaper over time.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:58 AM   #13
SafetyThird OP
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I'm curious why you'd get rid of your PSD for a 460 in the same truck? Why not find a Gas Super Duty?

A Super Duty from 1999 shouldn't be that much more money. The Triton has a bad rap for the spark plugs but other than that they're fantastic engines. In my experience anyway the Super Duty is a much nicer truck than the OBS trucks (I have one [F150] and have driven many other OBSs and Super Dutys). You'll have to some research and run the numbers but the more fuel efficient Triton might make a Super Duty cheaper over time.
It's not the same truck-one is a one ton four door vs a 3/4 ton extended cab.

I want the extra doors. There are also 210k less miles on the gasser.

At 3k miles /year give or take fuel costs play minimal in terms of cost of ownership over time. I'd also contrast that with the fact that the costs of diesel repair/maintenance are likely higher than that of the gas counterparts.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:20 PM   #14
sanjoh
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Your diesel can sit and sit and sit without issue. I'll say the auto trans and gas in particular could be problematic without regular use.

Oh and how can an almost 20yo truck only have 54k?
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:48 PM   #15
Maggot12
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Oh and how can an almost 20yo truck only have 54k?
when it's a third vehicle and too expensive to put gas in it.
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