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Old 05-10-2018, 06:10 AM
Hellbender75 Hellbender75 is offline
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Default Considering an excursion to buy, help me decide which engine to get!

Hi all,*
So I'm looking into buying a ford excursion and I'm looking into the 7.3 vs bulletproofed 6.0 debate.* I've read a ton of info on here and other sites regarding the pros and cons of both the 7.3 and 6.0 engines.* I don't want a v10 as I want the performance that comes with a diesel. I'm downsizing from a toyota work truck and a pleasure only 97' gmc yukon* into one vehicle and my new vehicle has to be both a pleasure and work truck.* For pleasure this truck has to have lots of room for camping and long road trips and it has to be capable enough for mild to moderate offroad use like fire roads and the like. It also has to be capable of lots of power to satisfy the performance guy in me although that part can come in stages. Ultimately I'd like to break 450-500 flywheel (so about 400-450 rwhp) horsepower someday and be extremely reliable and last a couple hundred thousand miles. This truck will never be taken to the track or street raced but I want to have some fun here and there on the street or out on the dirt and be able to be faster then most other vehicles out there when I need to be. For work I drive about a 20-25 mile commute thats about 80% fwy miles then I make about ten 20-30 min stops on my route (I'm a pool guy) before driving back home. I do this 4 - 5 days a week.* I was going to buy a lbz duramax before realizing that I could get an Excursion with a diesel! I prefer SUV's over pickups.* So what engine would you suggest for my situation and why? Do you guys consider a bulletproofed 6.0 as reliable as a 7.3? Should i consider all years 7.3 or just the 2000 that comes with forged rods? If looking at a bulletproofed 6.0 should I only look at the last year 2005 model for the most reliability possible with this engine?* Thanks for your input and helping me decide!

Aaron,
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:56 AM
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bulletproofed is a relative term, but i'd get the newest/lowest mile deal you can find
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:50 PM
Hellbender75 Hellbender75 is offline
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When I'm thinking of the term "bulletproofed" I am thinking that it has arp head studs, bulletproof diesel egr or ******d, new oil cooler, fuel water/air seperator and at least a coolant filter.
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:58 PM
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7.3s are reliable but as we all know every engine has its issues. 7.3s with some money they can be quite astounding trucks for performance. with that being said 6.0s can be just as reliable but you cant skimp on maintenance with it. they like clean oil and fuel filters every other oil change. and with less money than a 7.3 they can be astounding performance machines as well. the arp studs ******d and a coolant filter are a must though. just my two cents. I own a 2004 F350 6.0 with a 151k on it now and its only been in the shop once on its own doing that being head gaskets because of head bolts and me not having tools with me to do said job. 2007s are supposedly the best year for the 6.0 but i have no experience with that.
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:32 PM
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Default Considering an excursion to buy, help me decide which engine to get!

500hp in a 7.3 is a very decent chunk of cash. Engine rebuild with machine work, Forged rods, head studs, valve springs, HPOP, fuel system, 250/200s and a t4 turbo kit to match, not a huge price difference in turbo sizes going with the borg Warner line. Not to mention the trans rebuild and torque converter to hold it and your chip and custom tunes and whatever gauge setup you want. And shop labor if you don’t do it yourself. Since axle wrap is bad any time you would actually try to use all the horsepower add in a set of traction bars. Not to mention you’ll never get any of that money back out of it when your ready to get out of a noisy clackity truck into a newer quieter one. And I wouldn’t expect it to last a couple hundred thousand miles trouble free like that either.
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Last edited by dsberman94; 05-10-2018 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:27 AM
Hellbender75 Hellbender75 is offline
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dsberman94: I don't need 500 hp flywheel hp right away, that's more of a end goal down the road somewhere. So what do you think is more reasonable for a 7.3 that's fun to drive and will last between 100-200k miles? 300-400 rwhp? What is your build putting out?
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:10 AM
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You specifically mention reliability in the op. That says 7.3 to me, not knowing your mechanical skills or willingness. 450 hp isn't hard to get out of a 7.3, but it'll never be as quiet as a 6.0. Not terrible, mind you, but a noticeable noise difference.
As far as years of 7.3, pick one, the rods aren't going to be an issue at the power levels you want. I'd pick the latest model year and trim you can afford, but be aware, low mileage exs can get pricey quickly! Even a "fair" ex around here is 10k.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:20 AM
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Skip the 7.3. Reliability is gone now. They have past the point where you’ll be doing little things here and there.

6.0 with a tune and your done. Find a clean low mileage one, do the mods needed for reliability and enjoy the quiet 6.0 with the much better trans.

Try to get a 2005


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Old 05-18-2018, 04:11 AM
Hellbender75 Hellbender75 is offline
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Thanks everyone for all of your input, I appreciate it. Now I need to make a decision and start looking.

Jomax- why do you say reliability is gone?

Psduser1- I'm a fairly experienced backyard mechanic and I was even an auto machinist for a couple years about 20 years ago (I worked for john beck at pro-machine in anaheim, ca) but I have no experience with diesels. I definitely want to drive around in a pretty fast truck but I think 300-400hp should get me that right? Faster then most 4 door sedans and suv's out there? I don't need it to beat a corvette in a stoplight race but I want it to be quick. It also needs to start everyday for work and never leave me stranded so yes, reliability is a huge deal to me.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellbender75 View Post
I'm downsizing from a toyota work truck and a pleasure only 97' gmc yukon* into one vehicle and my new vehicle has to be both a pleasure and work truck.* For pleasure this truck has to have lots of room for camping and long road trips and it has to be capable enough for mild to moderate offroad use like fire roads and the like. It also has to be capable of lots of power to satisfy the performance guy in me although that part can come in stages. Ultimately I'd like to break 450-500 flywheel (so about 400-450 rwhp) horsepower someday and be extremely reliable and last a couple hundred thousand miles. This truck will never be taken to the track or street raced but I want to have some fun here and there on the street or out on the dirt and be able to be faster then most other vehicles out there when I need to be. For work I drive about a 20-25 mile commute thats about 80% fwy miles then I make about ten 20-30 min stops on my route (I'm a pool guy) before driving back home. I do this 4 - 5 days a week.
I've put a couple hundred thousand on my 7.3 commuting around a metropolitan area and taking it on road trips with no issues. It tows the boat or camper and 4-8 people for vacations every year. It's comfortable and turns heads, but definitely not quiet like the new trucks.

A few things to keep in mind with all excursions: they're heavy, stock suspension can leave something to be desired (especially when towing), and even the newest ones are 13+ years old so there are maintenance issues that have to be dealt with. There is a lot of good information out there about common issues with both the engine platforms and the trucks.

If you are look at leaf sprung, consider a code swap or lift to help stiffen the suspension if you're looking to do much towing and add traction bars. Air bags can help with the squat if you're towing heavy. I have a 4" SD/ 6"EX lift and run 35s.

I love mine and have taken it off-road getting back to hunting blinds and on some fire roads and the like, but I have dedicated off-road rigs that take most of the abuse. Plan that you'll be the heaviest and biggest/widest in most groups if you get stuck and know that it will sink when it's soft.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 046.ohBills View Post
7.3s are reliable but as we all know every engine has its issues. 7.3s with some money they can be quite astounding trucks for performance. with that being said 6.0s can be just as reliable but you cant skimp on maintenance with it. they like clean oil and fuel filters every other oil change. and with less money than a 7.3 they can be astounding performance machines as well. the arp studs ******d and a coolant filter are a must though. just my two cents. I own a 2004 F350 6.0 with a 151k on it now and its only been in the shop once on its own doing that being head gaskets because of head bolts and me not having tools with me to do said job. 2007s are supposedly the best year for the 6.0 but i have no experience with that.
2007 won't help him... last year of the EX is 2005.

I agree- either motor can last with proper maintenance, fixing known issues, and respecting the truck.


Quote:
Originally Posted by psduser1 View Post
As far as years of 7.3, pick one, the rods aren't going to be an issue at the power levels you want. I'd pick the latest model year and trim you can afford, but be aware, low mileage exs can get pricey quickly! Even a "fair" ex around here is 10k.
Agree that the year - or rods- isn't going to make a huge difference here.

OP- I would narrow it down by the trim level you're looking for and any other features- 4wd, etc and then look at condition and maintenance of the truck and the engine.

Rocker panels are bad for rust and the seal on the back window can go and you'll get water leaking in the back hatch- if they've had a plastic mat back there you won't have the mold issues, but some guys let the carpet stay saturated. You can check with a hose and soak the back of the truck and see if water drips in from the top of the door following the body lines. If the front windshield has leaked you may have intermittent electrical issues- try flipping down the visors and opening the mirror to trigger the lights a few times and opening the glove box. Strange as it may sound, both of these can sometimes trigger the windows/radio/interior lights cutting out. It's more of an inconvenience than anything as they come back on, but it can help negotiate price. It dropped mine significantly when I bought it 7 years ago.


Call me crazy, but my truck has almost 500k miles on it these days and I wouldn't trade it for one with 150k and questionable maintenance. I've learned to be cautious with one that has been sitting and is never driven. The low mileage is great (I saw one with 38k for the sale the other day), but once you get it out and start driving it you'll find which parts would have otherwise been replaced by now with proper maintenance or that time and lack of lubrication have not been kind to.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomax View Post
Skip the 7.3. Reliability is gone now. They have past the point where you’ll be doing little things here and there.

6.0 with a tune and your done. Find a clean low mileage one, do the mods needed for reliability and enjoy the quiet 6.0 with the much better trans.

Try to get a 2005


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Anything in this vintage will have plenty of things to do here and there if we want to keep it around and up to our standards. Keeps us from getting bored.
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