99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and DrivetrainDiscussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.
Hello everyone it looks like I finally will be able to get my first diesel. I was looking at 99 and up Crew Cab's and a few Excursions with miles from 180K to 240K (my price range). It won't be my daily driver but it will be occassionally driven empty to work and mainly for towing duties for my boat and travel trailer which weigh 8K and 9K loaded. I am looking for a crew cab 4x4, SRW with stock tires/rims. Some say they get 13-16 mpg's on the highway and a few say they get 20 mpg. I was wondering how can I increase the mileage to get around the 20's on the expressway around 65 mph if it is possible and not too expensive. I am replacing a gas SUV (5.4 32v) that gets 16 mpg that does the towing (6-8 mpg towing) and want to at least justify the change by getting better economy with the better power if possible.
Stock rims and tires will go a long way - especially E rated tires inflated to the upper levels. I run 70 psi in mine. Aside from maintenance issues (like brake caliper pins and good fluids all around) the biggest issue is driving style. If you get a ScanGauge II or similar that shows you instant MPG and drive to maximize this, it will really help. Keeping RPM below 2000 RPM is a big deal. Still, I've never gotten below 16 MPG on mine even towing a trailer.
2003 F-250 XLT Crew Cab 7.3L, Chrome BigTex Grille Guard, Quad pillar - 3 ISSPRO gauges (trans, pyro, boost) and DP-Tuner F6; Roush fuel pressure / temperature / oil pressure gauges, Ford Severe Duty AIS, 31 row 6.0 transmission cooler, ScanGauge II, Marinco mod, Walker BTM
"IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU’VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM"
You should get 20+ mpg empty if you drive it right. Like RT said, 2000 rpm is the majic number. I've gotten as much as 20.7 with my F350 running 55 mph on flat ground and I have 4:10 gears. Usually 18-19 though. I get between 10-13 towing 8000-15500 lbs. I do have a 4" exhaust system and a programmer though. Best I got before was 16-17 mpg empty.
My 7.3 crewcab 2wd F250 (107K) was getting 18 mpg running the interstate @ 75 mph and around 2100 rpm's.
The D-P 80 hp econo mode improved mileage to 20 mpg consistently on 4 lanes/interstates. It's quite impressive running, however.
If I was wanting just a little more mpg for a fair investment, I'd go with the 6637 air cleaner and change over to the Walker muffler for just over $100 total. A TruCool tranny cooler is also a great add on @ just over $100.
D-P's 80 hp econo program is just good for 6500 lbs. towing. You'd have to drop back to a 60 hp tow mode for what you're needing to pull. Gauges would also be required on any diesel pulling moderate to heavy loads.
03 F250 Lariat CrewCab 2wd 7.3 Diesel 102K
All stock, but D-P Tuner 80 econo flash
08 Lexus IS250
09 Honda Civic SI
99 Jaguar XK8 convertible 59K
Some say they get 13-16 mpg's on the highway and a few say they get 20 mpg. I was wondering how can I increase the mileage to get around the 20's on the expressway around 65 mph if it is possible and not too expensive.
Stay away from any truck with a 4.11 rear end - the lower gearing torpedoes mileage!
Like others mention, run stock tires/rims, keep tires aired to the max, make sure the brake caliper pins are free, and drive so stays RPM below 2K ALWAYS, and you should see 20 - 22 mpg out on the highway.
Pulling a 4,000 lb trailer with my '99 I routinely get 20 mpg on the highway running "summer blend" diesel. (Winter blend fuel drops the mileage by 2 - 3 mpg). Running empty I can get 22 or a bit more depending on the terrain.
'99 F250 PSD - bone stock.
My other diesel ride: The "Collosus of Roads": '79 Kenworth K100, tandem axle, 27' dovetail flatbed, NTC290 Cummins, 15 speed Roadranger.
Old tractors: '53 Farmall Super M, '53 Farmall Super H, '47 Minneapolis-Moline UTU.
These are good trucks in general, and mine has been very dependable to date. It is the favorite vacation travel vehicle even though other more seemingly ideal and now newer family vehicles have been available. Plenty of power going up Pike's Peak. Holds all the luggage, bikes, etc., and souvenirs purchased along way! Get one, preferably a 7.3L.
Manual transmission should yield one to two mpg advantage over the automatic.
Compare only mpg data from those who confirm that the number was calculated manually, not from the computer readout. The computer can be consistent high or low, or erratic compared to manual calculations. And if a programmer or chip is installed the computer can get extremely wild from reality.
I mostly run next to empty, but once or twice a year do pull my camper a tank or two. When I was commuting (before retirement), I consistently obtained 16.5 to 17.8 mpg traveling 75 to 150 miles daily, week after week for years. With the camper behind it seemed to run about 9 mpg. After retirement with more local driving in the mix, I am running 15 to 16 mpg empty. Several month-long cross country trips (around 7000 miles each) with luggage for two yields around 16.5 mpg, with random tanks indicating low 17s. Only one tank in 12 years have I obtained an exact 18.0. The Ford manual says to use at least 1000 miles in calculating mpg.
The overhead computer will indicate a tank average of from three to eight mpg higher than the hand calculated numbers I quoted above. I have all my data in a spreadsheet from the day the truck was purchased new.
I do have a chip that is seldom installed. When in use the actual hand calculated mpg drops about 0.5 to 1.0 mpg from above numbers running empty. However the computer displayed numbers run extremely high and wild, indicating up to 29 mpg at times. Running my Diablo chip increases the EGT too high when towing the camper or climbing mountains empty, and as I never know when I may be towing I have gradually discontinued mounting the chip.
Good luck in your selection. One last commentary.... I love diesels in general. However when I purchased diesel fuel was priced about the same as regular gas. Today with diesel priced about 50 to 70 cents higher than regular, I doubt if economy of operation is there. Fuel and oil costs are considerably higher such that I doubt I would come out even at best. My previous gas truck delivered about 18 mpg empty and 12 mpg towing. I bought in a different time and because my gas truck was nearing its service life expectancy.
Lake Norman at Denver NC 1999 250 PSD (built Sept 98) Lariat XLE7 CC Auto LWB 4WD ESOF ABS 3.73LS X-Caliber cap BFG 285E AT/KOs Jayco-TT 31BHS
I find oil changes, wheel alignment, DieselKleen additive and no lead foot helps me alot. My dually 2WD was getting 17-19 regular and 13-15 towing. Real heavy towing, 15,000 5th wheel, I could drop down to 10MPG but unlike the gassers I did not slow on every hill. I bought the diesel for the power not the MPG's/ It is nicer getting higher MPG but climbing the hills at speed is much nicer.
1986 Suzuki Samurai with VW 1.6TD 30 MPG on 30 inch tires
Early 1986 (1985) F250 Supercab stock 6.9 bought with 70,000 miles in 2008. Stock skinny wheels and stock 3:55 limited slip axles. Rebuilt trans with E40D first and second gears. SOLD
1999 F350 Dually 6spd manual trans. Banks exhaust, Modded impellor and Big Head Waste gate, DP TUNER flashed PCM, Full Force Diesel Single Staged Injectors. EBPV mod for exhaust brakes. Hutch Mod to gas tank. SOLD/TRADED
2001 Excursion Limited Auto trans many buttons I still am finding. Factory 3 inch lift low mileage. 100% stock today we will see what tomorrow brings.
If you want mileage, do not get a dually and a manual if prefered. Supposedly a dually will lose 1mpg or so over srw and automatics will lose the same from what everyone says.
I obviously did not do my homework when I got my truck. I have an automatic dually with 4:10's. Best I have gotten is 14 or so city and 17-18 hwy(empty).
If I had 3:55's or 3:73's and a manual, I would get better.
03 F350 7.3L Auto CC LB Dually 410's (LS Rear)
If you get a 2WD you will get a mile or so better MPG. If you get a 4x4 CC expect 17-19 MPG hiway at 65mph and 14-15 mixed. NOw if you drive 75mph you will see around 16mpg because you are over that 2000 rpm line. 2000RPM gets you about 65mph with 3.73's and stock tires
If you drive like a old lady you can squeeze out a little more.
You will see much better milage towing than a gasser, but expect 10-12 MPG towing your wind pushing TT at 65MPH. Dont expect 18mpg. With the boat should get 14-16
mpg depending on how well it sits behind the truck.
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