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Old 03-22-2015, 10:52 PM   #41 (permalink)
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I'm coming into this "conversation" rather late since I've never owned a diesel but I'm currently considering buying an Excursion. I'm indifferent to the 6.0 versus 7.3, so what do any of you recommend? Which is more prone to issues, easier / harder to fix commonly known issues? What are your recommendations for upgrades to improve mileage and what are the associated costs per configuration? I'm looking for a good long distance vehicle to haul a family of five and eventually a camper.
I run a 6.8 V-10 gas EX pulling a 41' 11K lbs travel trailer about 5k miles a year. With a few mods I am seeing consistent 8.5 to 9 MPG towing tank averages. The best place to be asking specific Excursion shopping questions would be over at Excursion - King of SUVs - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

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Old 03-22-2015, 11:02 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WE3ZS View Post
I run a 6.8 V-10 gas EX pulling a 41' 11K lbs travel trailer about 5k miles a year. With a few mods I am seeing consistent 8.5 to 9 MPG towing tank averages. The best place to be asking specific Excursion shopping questions would be over at Excursion - King of SUVs - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums
Good call on the gasser, especially if you are only planning a few thousand miles per year. They are muuuuch cheaper in the used market vs either of the diesels. I see them regularly for 1/2 to 2/3rds what a comparable diesel is going for. I'm not a huge fan of them myself, but only because I pull enough that the cost/mile significantly tilts in the favor of the diesel.

My buddy has had one for several years, and overall they seem to run significantly cheaper maintenance vs the diesels.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:37 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandwich77 View Post
I'm coming into this "conversation" rather late since I've never owned a diesel but I'm currently considering buying an Excursion. I'm indifferent to the 6.0 versus 7.3, so what do any of you recommend? Which is more prone to issues, easier / harder to fix commonly known issues? What are your recommendations for upgrades to improve mileage and what are the associated costs per configuration? I'm looking for a good long distance vehicle to haul a family of five and eventually a camper.
If you come across a blown 6.0 for pennies on the dollar, you can make it bullet proof and reduce some of the maintenance costs for around 8-10K. That being said, you can expect to knock off at least that much making the purchase. Since most for sale will be running, you're better off to look for a 7.3. Pre-2001 and some early 2001 will have forged piston rods, which if you plan to go over 500HP, would be a very good idea. Newer models have PMRs and those have a history of breaking under big power.

As others have mentioned about towing with the Ex, Ford designed the Ex to be a mom-mobile. Thus, it had to fit into a standard garage. To accomplish this, they went with weaker leaf springs (pre 2002/3, which have coils). These springs will begin to droop within the first 50K miles. We bought our Ex at 96K miles and the frame was resting on the bump stops. This is part of where the initial mileage benefit came from. Now, Ford would have done better to have gone with a better spring pack and a spring-under design, but that's water under the bridge. On any used <=2001 model, if the springs are still stock, plan on replacing them. To use it as a tow vehicle, a modified rear B code pack will work for a fairly light trailer, but anything of any size, I'd suggest adding bags or look into a straight super duty rear spring and add the overload horns to the frame.

For stopping, the stock rotors are weak... I went with PowerSlot rotors with Hawk pads. My diesel show sells a "big brake" package that changes out the whole assembly that doubles the number of hydraulic actuators to the caliper. Expensive, but they can get the job done very well.

I'm seeing used stock or mostly stock 7.3 Excursions going for anywhere from 8 - 15K. So, for a 20K or under investment, you can build a truck that will last a very long time. I'm at only 235K miles and she's still going strong. In fact, with the tuner set to extreme mode, she'll still leave the line smoking the tires. Exhaust blow-by is within expectations and Nothing rattles like I've seen on Dodge and Chevy with many fewer miles.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:05 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the feedback. I think both ends of the opinion spectrum have some good points. I grew up with 3/4 ton vans and got rid of the last one I owned 5 years ago and don't care to go back to 16 mpg highway mileage. I'm not expecting 32 mpg from any diesel, as my Honda Accord barely gets 29 mpg highway. I've found that on all vehicles except one, I've never had the hand calculation match the pcm calculation. Is almost always at least 1.5 lower than the on board module.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:00 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DaGuru View Post
As others have mentioned about towing with the Ex, Ford designed the Ex to be a mom-mobile. Thus, it had to fit into a standard garage. To accomplish this, they went with weaker leaf springs (pre 2002/3, which have coils). These springs will begin to droop within the first 50K miles. We bought our Ex at 96K miles and the frame was resting on the bump stops. This is part of where the initial mileage benefit came from. Now, Ford would have done better to have gone with a better spring pack and a spring-under design, but that's water under the bridge. On any used <=2001 model, if the springs are still stock, plan on replacing them. To use it as a tow vehicle, a modified rear B code pack will work for a fairly light trailer, but anything of any size, I'd suggest adding bags or look into a straight super duty rear spring and add the overload horns to the frame.
Just to clarify for a potential EX shopper, ALL 4X4 Excursions ('00 through '05 And '06 in Mexico!) came with the leaf spring front suspension, the ONLY EXs with coil fronts were 2X4s. In all 6 years of EX production the same springs were used for the fronts of all 4X4 PSDs (both 7.3 produced until mid year '03& 6.0 produced mid year '03 till end of production in '06) the factory "D" code springs were rated at 4080 lbs per set and all of the 4X4 V-10s got the "C" code 3680 lb front springs, all of them had the same rear "G" codes.
The Exs never got the 4X4 coil front redesign in '05 with the rest of the SuperDuty line as Ford knew it was the EX's last year of production so they were kept the same as previous years and only got the front clip cosmetic upgrades in '05.
My modded rear 'B" code springs (2 extra leaves) handle my 11k trailer's 1450 lb tongue weight just fine with the proper 1400 lb spring bars on my Hensley Arrow WD hitch.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:25 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandwich77 View Post
I'm coming into this "conversation" rather late since I've never owned a diesel but I'm currently considering buying an Excursion. I'm indifferent to the 6.0 versus 7.3, so what do any of you recommend? Which is more prone to issues, easier / harder to fix commonly known issues? What are your recommendations for upgrades to improve mileage and what are the associated costs per configuration? I'm looking for a good long distance vehicle to haul a family of five and eventually a camper.
Avoid the 6.Oh no like the plague.

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