Pre-owned F250-kicking the tires

   #1  

flusher

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After thinking about my needs for the past few months and following several very informative TBN threads in this forum, I've settled on an F250 PU, 2000-03 model, to tow a 10K GVWR GN twin axle flatbed for carrying my parade tractors. Checking the local ads, eBay and craigslist, it looks like I have another decision to make--buy a relatively expensive ($12-15K) relatively low-mileage (<150K miles) truck or find a low-cost ($5-10K) F250 with a ton of miles (>200K miles). I probably won't keep the truck longer than 5 years and won't put more than 5K miles per year on the vehicle.

From the recent TBN threads, I understand that the 6.8L V10 gasser is a better choice than the 7.3L PSD. Since I won't be putting a lot of miles on the truck, the better gas mileage with the 7.3L is not a very big plus for me. What does concern me when buying a high mileage PSD is the higher cost of repairs (I'm thinking injection pump, injectors, tranny) than for gassers. On the other hand, the PSD life expectancy (250-300K miles) is probably 50% higher than for the V10.

So, how do you size up such an F250 during a walkaround and a test drive? What should I be looking for in the way of potential problem areas? Is there a way to spot problems in the fuel system, in the engine (low compression, etc), in the tranny and rear end from a test drive? How do you size up a candidate truck when you're getting ready to pull the trigger?
 
   #2  

Diamondpilot

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Here is what I would do.

First, do not rule out the F-350. They can be had for the same money usually, especially the SRW.

Second, the gas v-10 may be a better choice for you but its not a better engine. Also the V-10 did not get the torque shift tranny till 2005 while the diesel got it in 2003 so that is a big plus for the diesel.

Third, get someone who knows these trucks to look at it if it meets your approval first. I have gotten a few dinners paid for by people, especially clients of mine looking for trucks and them calling me saying "hey come look at this with me." Some were nice trucks others I found things instantly they overlooked. A good example of this is a friend brought out to my house a 2005 F-350. I could tell it had been worked hard and chipped at one time. He passed and got his Dmax and a co-worker of his bought it. 2 weeks later that F-350 I knew had been worked hard had to have the rear end rebuilt. I have owned Dodges, Fords, and GM all since 2004 so I know these trucks pretty well.

If not my local Ford Garage for example offers a $50 oil change, Safety check, Tire Rotation. The same guy above who almost bought that F-350 was looking for a Lincoln Aviator for his wife. I went with him to look at it but they said we could take it for a test drive. We took it to the Ford dealer and had them do this. While they had it on the lift we went back and looked it over and asked the mechanic what he thought. They also ran the Vin for recalls, damage, previous problems, ect. Pretty good deal for $50. It got the clean bill of health approval from the service guys so he bought it. Worst case he would have been out $50 and they guy selling it would have gotten a tire rotation and oil change on his dime.


Chris
 
   #3  

Bill_C

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There isn't an injector pump on the Powerstrokes. They are hydraulically powered. And IMHO, injectors should last well over 250,000 miles.
 
  
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#4  
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flusher

flusher

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Here is what I would do.

First, do not rule out the F-350. They can be had for the same money usually, especially the SRW.

Second, the gas v-10 may be a better choice for you but its not a better engine. Also the V-10 did not get the torque shift tranny till 2005 while the diesel got it in 2003 so that is a big plus for the diesel.

Third, get someone who knows these trucks to look at it if it meets your approval first. I have gotten a few dinners paid for by people, especially clients of mine looking for trucks and them calling me saying "hey come look at this with me." Some were nice trucks others I found things instantly they overlooked. A good example of this is a friend brought out to my house a 2005 F-350. I could tell it had been worked hard and chipped at one time. He passed and got his Dmax and a co-worker of his bought it. 2 weeks later that F-350 I knew had been worked hard had to have the rear end rebuilt. I have owned Dodges, Fords, and GM all since 2004 so I know these trucks pretty well.

If not my local Ford Garage for example offers a $50 oil change, Safety check, Tire Rotation. The same guy above who almost bought that F-350 was looking for a Lincoln Aviator for his wife. I went with him to look at it but they said we could take it for a test drive. We took it to the Ford dealer and had them do this. While they had it on the lift we went back and looked it over and asked the mechanic what he thought. They also ran the Vin for recalls, damage, previous problems, ect. Pretty good deal for $50. It got the clean bill of health approval from the service guys so he bought it. Worst case he would have been out $50 and they guy selling it would have gotten a tire rotation and oil change on his dime.


Chris

Earlier in my quest I was focused on the F350 DRW. As my education progressed on F-series trucks, I found out that the F250 and F350 are essentially the same vehicle--the F350 has a rear spring setup to handle somewhat larger loads in the PU bed than the F250, but the towing specs of the two vehicles are the same. Since I'm interested in towing more than in toting big loads in the bed, I figured the F250 is the way to go. But it's good to know that pricewise these two models are nearly the same.

I like your idea for getting a candidate vehicle checked out by a pro. It looks like the thing to do is get acquainted with an experienced garage guy in my neighborhood who's willing and able to do a decent inspection.

One of my problems is that this is the first time I've shopped for a high mileage truck. All of my previous purchases have been either new or low mileage vehicles (30-40K miles). I'm a complete newby when it comes to purchasing these 150,000+ miles vehicles.
 
  
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#5  
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flusher

flusher

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There isn't an injector pump on the Powerstrokes. They are hydraulically powered. And IMHO, injectors should last well over 250,000 miles.

Thanks for the info. Now that you mention it, I did read about the 7.3L hydraulically powered injectors in the big coffee table book. Now I understand what I read. Those hydraulic injectors appear to me to be more complicated than the usual diesel injectors, which probably accounts for the high cost to replace them. But that cost is offset, I suppose, since there's no injector pump to worry about.
 
   #6  

saltbranch

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Since your in N. Ca. I am assuming your in mountains, but if your trailer is going to be rated for 10k I would not rule out the 5.4, yea you will be passed on the inclines. Thats what we run in our 3/4 ton F250's pulling 12 k rated bumper pulls on flat land/Tx hill country. If your going auto tranny, I'd go with a bigger auto tranny cooler thats available aftermarket and have it installed.
Buying used and high mileage, find a good mechanic and I would also find a good oil analysis place nearby. Take samples of engine/tranny/dif. and send in. Might cost ya some $$, but well worth it. I'd run a carfaxx on it too.
Dont forget trailer brakes.
 
  
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flusher

flusher

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Since your in N. Ca. I am assuming your in mountains, but if your trailer is going to be rated for 10k I would not rule out the 5.4, yea you will be passed on the inclines. Thats what we run in our 3/4 ton F250's pulling 12 k rated bumper pulls on flat land/Tx hill country. If your going auto tranny, I'd go with a bigger auto tranny cooler thats available aftermarket and have it installed.
Buying used and high mileage, find a good mechanic and I would also find a good oil analysis place nearby. Take samples of engine/tranny/dif. and send in. Might cost ya some $$, but well worth it. I'd run a carfaxx on it too.
Dont forget trailer brakes.

Thanks for the input.

Actually, I'm a flatlander (live on the floor of the North Sacramento Valley--elevation about 250 ft above sealevel). But my antique tractor club attends events (parades, barbeques, tractor rides, etc) in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and around the Mount Shasta area. So I need enough grunt in the tow vehicle to get into and out of those areas. I'd feel confortable with a 6.0L engine or larger for that type of towing.
 
   #8  

saltbranch

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The 5.4 has the grunt for 10k payload, granted its not going to pass the PS or V10s. I sent a truck to Wy last year from south Tx, an 08 F250 with 9k loaded on a 12 k bumper pull. Figure the trailer weighs in at 3200lbs empty, plus the load, averaged between 8 and 10mpg up and around 12 on way back. For pulling 5k a year at that weight rating, the small block ford can do it with no problems. Good luck.
 
   #9  

Diamondpilot

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I have a 2004 F-250 4x4 and a 2006 F-350 4x4 SRW. Both are 6L powerstrokes but the F-350 handles a trailer much better. Yes, they have the same engine and tranny but the suspension and overall handling is much nicer in the F-350.

Chris
 
   #10  

windy acers

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ON THE 99-2003 POWERSTROKES WITH AUTO TRANS,WHEN WARMED UP AT IDLE IF YOU HEAR A RATTLE LIKE A COFFEE CAN WITH BALL BEARINGS.THE TORQUE CONVERTER IS BAD AND SENDING METAL FILINGS TO THE TRANSMISSION.THE RATTLE WILL GO AWAY ABOVE 1500 RPM'S.AT 110,000 MILES I HAD MY TORQUE CONVERTER REPLACED FOR $1500.00.HOPEFULLY I SAVED THE TRANSMISSION.
 
 
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