Last post on Nov 26, 2006 at 9:18 PM
You are in the Ford F-Series
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Ford F-150, Ford F-250, Ford F-350, Ford F-100, Truck
#450 of 2180 Bumpy ride + towing question on the F150 SC
Aug 03, 2003 (3:21 pm)
3 weeks ago, I bought a 2003 F150 Supercrew. The ride turned out to be very bumpy from 20-45, but the dealer/tire co said that everything is fine. Personally, I think General tires are horrible. The truck used to shake but since I got the tires balanced, it is just bumpy. Any suggestions and reasons for this?
Also, I stupidly got the 4.6L engine and was wondering if it still would be okay to tow a small horse trailer. I can't believe I didn't get the tow package. The 4.6 is terrible on gas, so I can imagine what the 5.4 would be like, and I think the bigger V-8 is what the tow package usually comes with. But, Ford suggests that I only tow a max of 2000 lbs., which I find hard to believe. Would it be worth it for me to get the auxiliary engine cooler and heavy duty shocks added?
#451 of 2180 body seams leaking
Aug 03, 2003 (4:44 pm)
I own a 2000 f-150 4X4 with the 5.4, 38000 now. After several trips to my selling dealer for water intrusion into the cab and having the GEM module replaced and the fuse panel and the starter (shorted due to the GEM module)The dealer said it was due to a windsheild leak , I had the windsheild resealed even thow it didn't need it after water testing the seals. and yet another trip to the dealer this time they said it was the seal at the top of the fire wall where the wiper motor panel meets the fire wall. does anyone have a clue on how to seal this seam , their is only very limited access to this seam , and for any of you that have "gremlins" in your f-150 , this may be your problem also as the GEM module is very sencitive to water
#452 of 2180 Bumpy ride + towing
Aug 04, 2003 (5:18 am)
The SCrew is only rated for 2K lbs? It's gotta be more than that! Is the 2K rating for a bumper hitch? How about for a real frame mounted hitch? My Honda Odyssey can pull 3500 lbs. with proper hitch, and that's only a moderate sized 6 cyl.
Do you know what the gear ratio is in the rear axle? If you've still got the new car sticker, it should show it on there somewhere. It should read something like 3.23:1; that's the number of revolutions the driveshaft makes for each turn of the rear wheels. Small number = less torque & less towing capability. Higher number (4.30:1) = loads of torque to rear wheels, increased towing capacity. F150s typically have smaller numbers.
If you're going to tow with it, definitely upgrade the engine cooling. Will it take a bigger radiator? You can add fans, etc.. Also get an auxilliary cooler for the automatic transmission - tranny takes biggest beating when towing, overheating. it can be extremely expensive. Better shocks would help too. Look into at getting (at least) a Class III hitch and a wiring harness. Depending on how heavy trailer is you may want to also get an auxilliary trailer brake controller.
You should be able to do a single horse trailer reasonably well. (1200 lb trailer 1000-1500 lb horse plus tack & gear.); think you'd be overly ambitious to try to pull a double. Either way I probably wouldn't want to be stuck behind you when you're pulling that trailer up a steep hill. It'll get there, but it won't be quick.
As far as bumpiness. Is this your first truck? It's not gonna ride like your car. Is this a 4x4? Four wheel suspension may be a bit less compliant and feel bumpier. Only other thing I can think of is possibly they put extra air in the tires when they shipped truck to dealer. Make sure tires are at the proper pressures as recommended by the sticker on the pillar inside the driver's door. Don't underinflate though - that can cause blow outs from excessive heat build up.
Aug 04, 2003 (6:15 am)
My father has an F-150 with the 4.6 and he pulls a small boat with it, probably in the 2,500 to 3,000 lb range. His truck is probably a little lighter than yours, his being a supercab 2wd shortbed. I can tell you from personal towing experience with his truck, the boat all but disappears behind his truck. Few dealers under estimate towing capacity, but I think yours did, unless of course he was referring to either the bumper capacity - which I believe is 5k - or he's trying to selling you another truck.
The 5.4 won't be much worse on mileage. I don't have one, but everyone that I know reports about the same mileage as I get when driving my dad's truck, 15 around town and 17 on the road.
Walt's post above covered most everything about the ride quality not being carlike. However, let me throw one more suggestion as to the bumpy ride. The wheelbase length and the spacing of any frostheaves in the roads you travel could be setting up an oscillation in the suspension when you drive 20-45 mph. You can try different tires and shocks and some improvements may be noticed, however you could make the ride worse.
You mentioned the "horrible" General tires. A lot of people don't like them, but I have been using them for about 20 years with only one blowout to date.
#454 of 2180 250 Diesel MPG
Aug 04, 2003 (2:30 pm)
I have a '03 250 Crew Cab 4X4 XLT Long Bed. My engine is the 7.2 Diesel and the rear end on it is a 377 with positraction. I now have 16000 miles on it and I am disapointed by 14 mpg. I was expecting closer to 19 and am concerned about the cause of this low mileage. I am worrying about nothing or do you have suggestions? Thanks in advance for your input.
Aug 05, 2003 (5:10 am)
I've heard a range of mileages for the 7.3L PowerStroke - your's is closer to the bottom end, but still reasonable. Keep in mind you've got just about the heaviest F250 there is. The 4x4, crew cab, long bed with the diesel probably make you almost 600-700 pounds heavier than a reg cab, 2wd, short bed, diesel. Also are you carrying anything in the bed - tool box, etc? The 4x4 drivetrain, even when it isn't engaged incurs some friction losses as well. It all adds up to reduce mpg. I've got F350, 4x4, CC, Longbed, auto with 3.73 LS with a V10 - I'm lucky if I coast down a hill in neutral with a strong tail wind to get 14 mpg.
Other thoughts on the 7.3 - cleaned/replaced your air filter yet? Could be getting dirty at 16K miles and robbing you of a bit of mpgs. Does your engine have the "cackle?" There's some small design flaw with injector #7(?) that makes funny noise and robs some mileage.
Aug 05, 2003 (11:15 am)
I'm not sure if the 03's were cackle pigs or not. 16,000 miles on a diesel really isn't broken in yet, it may take up to 30,000 miles. Walt's right about the weight of your truck, it's the heaviest one out there. The only thing heavier would be if it were a 350 dually. I've been told every 500 lbs extra will cost you 1/2 mpg. You are in the range of typical mileages. Keep the air and fuel filters clean.
#457 of 2180 250 MPG Diesel
Aug 07, 2003 (7:06 am)
Walt and Mullins:
Thank you for your information. I will remain calm for 20,000 more miles. I appreciate your help
#458 of 2180 6.0 Diesel Problems
Aug 17, 2003 (3:44 am)
Anybody hear anything good about a fix for the 6.0 liter diesel? From what I've seen it appears to be glitches in the electronic control rather than the engine itself. Anyone heard any different?
Aug 17, 2003 (4:07 am)
I get lots of static and weak reception on the AM radio side of my 1993 f-150, 4.9 six equiped trckk. new wires and plugs. any ideas?