older or not-so-old F250 - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-14-2017, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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older or not-so-old F250

Hi guys,
me again
Since I found a trailer under my Christmas tree (but don't own a truck), I am more than just casually truck shopping. However, my budget is low (I will not do payments), so I am stuck with older models...
2 older F-250 caught my eye:
1999 F250 7.3 l diesel or 2009 F250 5.4 V8 gas engine. The latter is affordable, as it is a very basic model hardly any "fancy" stuff (such as electric windows, cloth or leather seats and such) - a typical work truck...


I tried to find problems/complaints for both of those, but couldn't really find anything that would help...


What would you do in my shoes? Go for one of them or keep looking? I am borrowing at the moment an old (pretty abused) diesel truck and love it...


btw, my trailer is a 2h bp, weighing n at about 2500lbs and I haul mainly locally - flat MS - so a 3/4 ton may be a bit overkill...


Thank you!
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-14-2017, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMiss View Post
Hi guys,
me again
Since I found a trailer under my Christmas tree (but don't own a truck), I am more than just casually truck shopping. However, my budget is low (I will not do payments), so I am stuck with older models...
2 older F-250 caught my eye:
1999 F250 7.3 l diesel or 2009 F250 5.4 V8 gas engine. The latter is affordable, as it is a very basic model hardly any "fancy" stuff (such as electric windows, cloth or leather seats and such) - a typical work truck...


I tried to find problems/complaints for both of those, but couldn't really find anything that would help...


What would you do in my shoes? Go for one of them or keep looking? I am borrowing at the moment an old (pretty abused) diesel truck and love it...


btw, my trailer is a 2h bp, weighing n at about 2500lbs and I haul mainly locally - flat MS - so a 3/4 ton may be a bit overkill...


Thank you!
The 1999 Ford F250 7.3L Diesel is pretty much considered to the THE diesel engine for Fords. I had one, loved it and would buy another one in a hot second. Those engines will last until you die of old age and are dead and buried. Other parts on the truck will wear out. I won't tow ANYTHING with anything less than a 3/4 T so, no it's not overkill. It isn't the hauling power, it's the STOPPING power that matters. I wouldn't buy a gas truck for hauling. Diesels are just so much sturdier.
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-14-2017, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
Those engines will last until you die of old age and are dead and buried.

That last sentence made me laugh out loud I figured that they must be pretty good, as my loaner is a diesel from 199+ and still runs ok, despite the fact that it was started for years without waiting for the pre glow (or however you call that in English) and minimum TLC.
So you would not be worried about 300+k miles on it? A friend of mine (who is a mechanic) apparently doesn't like Fords and warned against anything with plenty of miles...
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-14-2017, 07:24 PM
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I will have to ask DH about their service records, in general, when he gets home.

Regarding a 3/4 ton --- YES every time when you're pulling a horse trailer. Better to be a little over-trucked than under trucked.

Along with better brakes, the radiator is bigger, thus better cooling for the truck.

You're likely going to have this truck "forever", so getting a bigger truck will actually be a cost savings, as long as it doesn't have any inherent problems and you do due diligence in keeping it maintenanced.

I've had my 1978 GMC heavy 3/4, 4WD since 1981. I put a 1973 454 in it, around 1985. It pulled my three horses clear across this U.S. In 1998, then back across for retirement in TN, in 2003.

It still runs like a top, albeit mostly retired because it's a plain Jane ex-logger truck with no frills. I would much rather use DH's 1988 F-350 du ally with a five speed, a radio and AC that works, lollol

I will say diesels cost a lot more to fix because parts cost more and you need to have knowledge of a top quality diesel mechanic. You need to know a good mechanic anyway but taking care of diesels is trickier. I've seen some real screw-ups come into DH's dealership for their diesel mechanic to fix someone else's mistakes.

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post #5 of 22 Old 02-14-2017, 07:24 PM
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My initial gut response was diesel. But... diesels don't like to sit and the 300k+ would give me pause. If it's only going to be driven a few times a month and 50-100 miles tops, I'd go gas. Mileage is going to be crap in a gas f 250 but you're talking maybe an additional $50-100/ year for such limited use.
If you are buying a dedicated hauling/ farm truck don't look at anything smaller than an f 250.
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-14-2017, 07:55 PM
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the 300k on the diesel may be ok, may not be.. its the engine to have.. bulletproof as all get out.. IF MAINTAINED, you would have to have someone give it a once over, if it has blowby or excessive oil consumption etc, low compression, I would pass.. it would be super expensive to fix.. then on the other hand the 5.4 3v engine is a great one to boot except for the multi coil pack system and cam phasers.. if those stay working as should, its a 300-500k engine with routine tune ups etc, its fords go to gas commercial engine
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-14-2017, 09:10 PM
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Both engines are extremely reliable as is the F250 for towing oomph as you need...more important it can handle the stop of trailer and the shift of horses in the trailer....

My concern is not the engines but the truck itself.
Have someone check the frame and all welds and "important" stuff very carefully for rust....
I would be doing a background report searching for any serious accidents and that the truck was fixed correctly and from certified repair/autobody shops.
The engines have a reputation of long life with good maintenance but you need a truck worthy of those fine engines to hold together till you finally "kill" those engines with use.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-14-2017, 09:21 PM
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Bulletproof IF maintained. Must be the universal buzz words for the 1999 as that is exactly what DH said.

He also said 300K is a lot of miles. So that goes back to the expense of replacing diesel parts and having a reliable diesel mechanic. They are much harder to come by than a good gas engine mechanic.

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post #9 of 22 Old 02-15-2017, 12:55 AM
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We have a 97 F250 with the 7.3 diesel in it and haven't had any problems with the engine at all and a few minor things that were mostly factory recalls for this or that part to be replaced. It only has half the miles on it than the one you're looking at though. Mainly because it's doing this most of the time (picture wasn't actually of the truck so you just see a small part of it in the background but it shows what it's doing LOL).
DSCF0340.jpg

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post #10 of 22 Old 02-15-2017, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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I knew it was a good idea to get some opinions here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post
Regarding a 3/4 ton --- YES every time when you're pulling a horse trailer. Better to be a little over-trucked than under trucked.

Along with better brakes, the radiator is bigger, thus better cooling for the truck.
My Swiss self was sometimes struggling with the "bigger is better" mantra... Until I started hauling myself Between the potholes in which my Subaru Baja disappears and ppl driving like they won their licence in the lottery - I just don't want to contribute to the madness, lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
My initial gut response was diesel. But... diesels don't like to sit and the 300k+ would give me pause. If it's only going to be driven a few times a month and 50-100 miles tops, I'd go gas. Mileage is going to be crap in a gas f 250 but you're talking maybe an additional $50-100/ year for such limited use.
If you are buying a dedicated hauling/ farm truck don't look at anything smaller than an f 250.
Yes, it would only get used about weekly, hauling out to the trails - most of which are withing 10 miles... So no long hauling distances - at least until the kiddos are bigger and are game for camping...
yeah, the gas one gets only about 14 mpg highway *gulp*

Quote:
Originally Posted by RennyPatch View Post
the 300k on the diesel may be ok, may not be.. its the engine to have.. bulletproof as all get out.. IF MAINTAINED, you would have to have someone give it a once over, if it has blowby or excessive oil consumption etc, low compression, I would pass.. it would be super expensive to fix.. then on the other hand the 5.4 3v engine is a great one to boot except for the multi coil pack system and cam phasers.. if those stay working as should, its a 300-500k engine with routine tune ups etc, its fords go to gas commercial engine
Funny you mention the coil packs in the gas engine! When I inquired about the gas truck, the owner mentioned at the very beginning that probably a coil pack is out... So that would need fixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
Both engines are extremely reliable as is the F250 for towing oomph as you need...more important it can handle the stop of trailer and the shift of horses in the trailer....

My concern is not the engines but the truck itself.
Have someone check the frame and all welds and "important" stuff very carefully for rust....
I would be doing a background report searching for any serious accidents and that the truck was fixed correctly and from certified repair/autobody shops.
The engines have a reputation of long life with good maintenance but you need a truck worthy of those fine engines to hold together till you finally "kill" those engines with use.
...
I am not truck savvy enough (you would have never guessed, right?) to even think I want to do this by myself. So my friend kindly agreed to come with me when I am looking at trucks and give them a thorough check...

Funny side note: DH really starts to get a kick out of truck shopping as well and while he was initially favoring smaller trucks, he suddenly is all for a big mean machine
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