460 vs 7.3 - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
Towing and Hauling Towing and hauling with Ford diesel trucks and vans.

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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460 vs 7.3

Hi everyone,
First post on this forum. The whole economy/tough times situation hit us hard last year. I had to sell our 2001 F350 4x4 CC SRW to get out from under the payments. Now things are better and we are looking to replace the tow vehicle (this time no loan). After a lot of searching, I have decided to stay with Ford and I am looking for a 96-97 F350 CC 2wd DRW. It would pull a 10k lb 5er (1,950 lb king pin weight). It would be occasional and not too far to start with. I know the PSD would do it, but would a 460/auto do the job also? A gas truck can be had for quite a bit less money and with lower mileage. It would not be a daily driver, maybe once or twice a week.
Thanks in advance for your answers.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 08:27 PM
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It will do it just fine.

1996 F-250 extended cab long box five speed. Home made Tymar, 203 Stat, 60 gal in bed fuel cell, 315/75's, no muffler, ebpv welded open 3" to 3" DP, Babies. 290K, still chugging, and still smoking when cold.

UPDATED 1/1/09 Replace so far. 1 LUK flywheel+clutch, 2 thermostats, 2 set of brakes, 1 set of calipers, 5 CPS, 3 sets of tires, 2 Transfer pumps, 1 Injector modual, 1 Computer, 2 Alt, 2 sets of batteries, 1 Water pump, 6 Belts, 1 PS hose, 2 Sets ball joints, 2 set u-joints, 2 carrier bearing, 2 Speed sensors, 1 oil pres sender, 1 temp sender, 4 sets of e-break cables, 1 front fuel tank, 2 rear fuel tanks, 2 set of glow plugs, 7 Glow plug relays, Oil galley o-rings, Turbo pedistal o-rings, EBPV o-rings, 3 sets of Injector O-rings, 1 Vac-pump, 1 new carpet, 1 total paint job.Total $$$ in repairs v/s miles driven = 4.6 cents per mile. Add fuel to that it jumps to 16.5 cents per mile over the life of the truck.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 08:41 PM
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The 460 is a great motor and will pull anything the diesel would. I would look at both sides, the diesel has a higher cost of maintaining it where the 460 has a higher cost with worse fuel milage. Both are great motors and will pull anything you want it to. Let us know what you end up getting.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 09:28 PM
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imho I dont like gassers well the Ford V10 is allright but I would go with the 7.3...one of the best motors ever built...with your 7.3 you could keep it forever literally...I just sold mine with 330k miles and she was still running great. with your 460 you'll be passing everything but a gas pump and a 7.3 you'll be passing a 460 on a grade and passing gas pumps...so diesel is the way to go...plus it's just alot cooler...lol

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2003 6.0 Powestroke Fx4, Lariat, Sunroof, Heated seats.
straight exhaust. (sounds like a jet taking off)
285/75/16 BFG all terrain.
165k miles and no problems!!!
1995 F-250 2wd xl 7.3 Powerstroke 5spd.
330k miles and a straigh exhaust. Sold and missed dearly.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 09:30 PM
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As has been said the 460 will pull anything that the 7.3 will only with lower fuel mileage both loaded and unloaded. You didn't say where you live so here are a couple of other factors. In hilly country the diesel will do a lot better, if you are towing in relative flat country they will be about equal. As far as cost of maintenance and running I personally believe they are about equal. You will spend less on the diesel for fuel providing that the price is about the same as gas but you spend more for the maintenance and oil changes on the diesel. 14 quarts compared to 5 or 6 on the gas. If it was me and I was towing a lot I would get the diesel just for the towing performance alone. As far as how long the engines will last without major problems I would also go with the diesel but then I have a friend that has a 84 Ford 250 that has over 400,000 miles on the 460 and has only done minor repairs, tune ups, and oil changes but the engine is getting tired.


96 F250 PS XLT 4X4 long box, 5sp,4.10, manual hubs,pyro+boost guages, Dark Toumaline, add a leaf, Dale's TYMAR, and HX hose, downpipe, coolant filter, Luk clutch
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 09:33 PM
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The gasoline big-block truck engines such as the Ford 460, GM 454 and Dodge 440 are all good heavy-duty engines, and all are gas-hogs. When working them hard expect 5 MPG. Normal cruising without being overloaded maybe 7 to 8 MPG. Unloaded, maybe 10 MPG. The diesel engine with the same conditions should get at least 1.5 times as many miles per gallon.

Plus you can expect the gasoline engines to last about 200,000 miles before needing an expensive overhaul. The Ford and Dodge diesels should last twice that long.

My Sierra Blanca in the sig pic was a great pickup for 11.5 years. I sold it a coupla years ago. I drove a hand-me-down 2003 F-150 SuperCrew 4.6L 2V for a while, but it was unacceptable for towing more than a rowboat. Replacement is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew Lariat that tows my 5,000-pound TT like a dream.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 09:37 PM
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I will tell you my personal experience.

Fuel Economy (Empty) 460 = 11 MPG / 7.3 = 17 MPG
Fuel Economy (towing 12k) 460 = 6 MPG / 7.3 = 10 MPG

The 460 accelerated like a sports car compared to the stock 7.3 and towed the load very well.

How much fuel can you buy for the difference in the purchase price?

2008 F350 FX4 Crew, 4x4, 6.4L, Torqueshift, 4.30, tow command, leather, power everything. 75k+ miles. Built 4/17/2007 (Job 1), Purchased used 3/16/2009

2010 Mustang GT Premium - 4.6L-3V, 5 Speed, Grabber Blue - Now this is FUN!

1997 F250 EXT Cab, 4x4, E4OD, 4.10, 273k+ miles.
Modifications: Pyro & boost guage, 202 T-stat, transmission cooler & Tymar - SOLD!!!!!!!

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 10:40 PM
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Another "personal" experience

I bought an '86 F250 extended cab long bed NEW with a 460/C6. It hauled anything I put behind it as long as I fed it's healthy appetite. By the time we took our trip from Calif to Missiouri and back in 2000 I had enough mods to make 500+ HP and a shift kit in the tranny. We took the trailer I still have and we got 7.7 MPG on the flats @ 65 MPH. Hit a hill and you could allmost watch the gas gauge move. Empty I got about 12 MPG. When It was new it got about 8-10 empty. The truck in sig gets about 12 MPG on the flats with the same trailer. If you get a PSD your probably do better. Even with the maintance costs of a diesel and now the difference in fuel prices again, I would NOT return to gas for towing, given the two choices here...

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2009, 08:52 AM
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my 2 cents my da had a 73 460 with a huge lift and 44's back in the day and that thing screamed and ran like a champ (heavily modded) and it launched like a drag car off the line he pulled guys out of mud and all that never really towed but no complaints pulling guys out

he also had a 97 psd 10ft bed auto ext cab that he pulled a 38? i think foot trailer from here to maryland and back with a load the load was trailer and bed full of scrap and he still did 75 on highway 80 on interstate no problems

my idi i mostly haul with ive had the bed full of 2b mod stone and (heavily modded too) had no problems mines in my sig

all those motors did fine the diesels are still running and the gasser was scrapped long ago my diesel is hitting 600 ish right now

88 f250 96 bed 95 front clip western mirrors and big ole bumper.

7.3 idi t70, 3g, g31,

other mods, oba, warn winch, big steel goodies including a headache rack etc.

check out my site at http://ihiditech.comeze.com/
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2009, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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OK guys, thanks to all of you. You have confirmed what I was thinking, but it helps a lot to hear/read it from people with actual experience and know-how in the subject. I have obviously towed our 5er with the truck mentioned in the beginning of this thread, but that was too easy, even for a beginner like myself. But when it comes to the pre-99 truck, I don't know much about them. Not only engine wise. I am also thinking about the chassis. I realize that the DRWs provide extra stability, specially in cross-wind situations. But what about the rest? How is the steering? How are the brakes? Do the pre-99 DRW trucks have discs in the rear? How do they handle 10-11K lbs? My 2001 SD made it way too easy. I knew the trailer and its weight was behind me, but the truck handled it in a way that gave me a sense of "security". I don't think iwas evn close to its "limits". By the numbers (GVW & GCW) maybe, but driving it was a joy.
This is what like from I have found so far, after countless hours in front of a pc monitor:
1) 1996 F350 CC 2WD DRW, 7.3 PSD, 5-SPEED, 4.10 gear, 145K mi, above average condition, no rust.
2) 1995 F350 CC 2WD DRW, 460/auto, 89K mi, one owner, excellent condition.
Both interiors are equipped the same, with the gasser being just a lot cleaner.
How is the E4OD for towing assumming you start with a sound transmission?
How loud (engine noise) would the diesel get during extended cruising at 60-65 mph?
Thanks again for all your input.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:28 AM
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Either one of those would be a good towing machine. There are horror stories of the E4OD, but a sound tranny will tow fine there are a lot of them out there (I don't like to shift anymore). Mine gave out last year (over 200K miles), and I put a Ford reman in it. Need to make sure it has an aux tranny cooler to keep it cool. I'm seriously thinking of a Transgo Tugger shift kit, but haven't jumped yet. You'll like the dually, good stable towing. Parking can be a challenge with the wider truck, but I just park far away and walk. Looks like your decision is mpg's or the color of the truck!

92 F350 XLT Crewcab dually, 225K miles ATS turbo, 4 inch exhaust, fresh IP & new matched BB injectors, Holly Red pump, K&N, E40D, 2 aux coolers, A-pillar guages, 410 limited-slip rear, Rancho 9000s, towing package, full running boards, mud flaps, 94' Ford (Alcoa) aluminum wheels, Predator camper shell, 600 watts of Sony/Boston Acoustics! Complete engine rebuild at 176k miles. Ford reman E4OD at 204k miles.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you fozz. The white 95 gasser is really nice, looks like it was very well cared for. The one with the diesel is all there, but it is absolutely filthy. I learned how to drive on a stick and I enjoy shifting manuallly, I just don't find it neccessary anymore. Although I have to admit that the diesel with a stick sounds good. The current owner took me for a short ride. The truck feels quick off the line and with the 4.10 gear you are in 4th at 30mph. Unfortunately, the engine was turning close to 2,600 rpm at 60mph. Kinda noisy. An extra gear would be perfect for traveling. And I am not looking forward to backing up a 5er with a stick. I guess I am getting old, not to mention spoiled from the '01 F350 PSD. My biggest concern remains the mileage. It would cost quite a bit more to go somewhere with the gasser that with the diesel. And I wouldn't put enough miles per year for the maintenance costs to make a difference in expenses. I guess I leaning towards the diesel truck ... I'll probably drive myself crazy before I decide ...
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 05:13 PM
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If you plan to travel in the mountains, the turbo on the diesel would be a huge advantage. For years I had gas engines, they would do OK at low altitude (except for fuel economy) but when they got above 4000 ft or so, they started losing power quickly. At 6000 ft or more, gas engines were impotent.

When I got my 94 Powerstroke, I took a vacation through Colorado. I was amazed to be able to do 70 mph up Loveland Pass in 5th gear (wasn't pulling anything, nevertheless it was impressive).

'94 F250 supercab 4x4, original owner, 4.10LS, DIY elec fuel, Tymar air intake, Adrenaline HPOP, Beans tunes on 4 position VA chip, VDO gauges (boost,pyro, outside temp), Ford digital AIC, DPPI downpipe, gutted EBPV and turbo pedestal mod, Con OFE clutch, add-a-leafs front and rear, Monroe Reflex shocks, Milemarker 449SS hubs, towing 25' Mallard travel trailer

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