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Old 05-25-2006, 02:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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F550 mpg, gearing etc.

Time to start looking into a new tow rig for the race car. Recently used a friends 1 ton srw duracrap and it was terrible. Would barely pull 75mph at times and got from 7-10mpg. This is a stock tired, crew cab, 4x4 with stock 3.73 gears and auto trans. Combined with the 26gal tank that thing is pretty much useless.

Trailer is 28ft, double axle, only stands about 8.5ft high, loaded with car and all the required b/s it's right around 12k max.

I've seen some good deals on 550's but wondering if they are overkill. 4.88's seem like it's going to kill hwy mileage and isn't totally necessary with such a relatively light load. I have always liked having more truck than was really needed for the stronger brakes, tires, cooling, etc.

I've searched the site but can't seem to find much on mileage, maintenance, cruising speeds, etc. for the 550. Seems like a 350 6 spd with more normal gearing and some 19.5's or 22.5's might be more reasonable for pulling our car?

Also how reliable are the PSD's? either 6.0 or 7.3?


Sorry for the long winded post but I'm new to ford land.
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

Both engines are reliable at this point, but that will always be debated. you want a dually with that weight. I would think a 450 would be fine. 4.30 rear end. You will not get good mileage with that kind of weight and being enclosed trailer and all.
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

An F350 with 4.10 (23,500 lbs)or the TowBoss, 4.30 gears (26,000 lbs)would be just fine with a 12K load. Both are Dullys
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

Rogue:

Excuse our manners!

Welcome to the best enthusiast's website on the internet. Hope you will get as much enjoyment and information here as so many of us do.

To begin with, a 250/350/450/550 are identical engine/trans (as you seem to be aware) and cabs. Only the frame/wheels/axles/springs set them apart. However, when it comes to towing, there is a BIG dividing line: 450/550 have different brakes from 250/350, and the difference is considerable.

The 450 (earlier) has a Dana 80HD axle, and gears, diffs, axles, etc. are widely available. '99 - '00 trucks came only with 4.88s, and I thing it was '01 when 4.30s became available, so if this is your choice, look for the ratio or be ready to spend the $$. I drag 24k tailer all over on 4.30s, PLUS 0.8555 OD, so you don't need 4.88s for anything. It is a dumb ratio. The 550 used a Dana 135 (much, MUCH heavier) in the earlier years, and it is nearly impossible to change gearing or differentials.

The 7.3 is a lot more proven, and for moderate towing duty (say 300 or so HP) it is pretty good. The 6.0 is just a 4 valve engine using the same obsolete injection technology (CAT HEUI) which has been...er...a little less than stellar in performance and reliability.

You must be VERY careful about clutches and pilot brgs in ZF6, or they will take out the gearbox.

My recommendation: get the latest model 450, 7.3, 4.30s with Dana 80HD you can find, &/or wait until the new 6.4 with HPCR is available and proven.

Regards - Pat
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

[ QUOTE ]
Trailer is 28ft, double axle, only stands about 8.5ft high, loaded with car and all the required b/s it's right around 12k max.

[/ QUOTE ]

So with a wet and loaded tow vehicle weighing around 10,000 pounds, you need a GCWR of 22,000 pounds.

The new F-350 DRW with 6.0L diesel engine and 3.73 or 4.10 rear end has a GCWR of 23,500. So that should be about perfect for your needs. The same truck but with SRW and 3.73 rear end has a GCWR of 23,000, so it world work too but wouldn't be nearly as stable on the road dragging that trailer. Add the TowBoss pkg to the F-350 DRW, which means a rear end ratio of 4.30, and you jump the GCWR to 26,000 = maybe a slight overkill for your needs.

[ QUOTE ]
I've seen some good deals on 550's but wondering if they are overkill. 4.88's seem like it's going to kill hwy mileage and isn't totally necessary with such a relatively light load.

[/ QUOTE ]

You're right. F-550 is a lot more truck than you need, and you'd hate the 4.88 rear end when unloaded. You can now get the F-550 with a 4.30 rear end, so if you want a lot more truck than you need, then maybe go for a new F-550 with 4.30 rear end.

[ QUOTE ]
I have always liked having more truck than was really needed for the stronger brakes, tires, cooling, etc.

[/ QUOTE ]

With a load around 22,000 GCW, then the F-350 Dooley will be the truck you "need". If you want "more truck than was really needed", then add the TowBoss pkg to the F-350 DRW and you'll have 26,000 GCWR.

If you really would prefer the bigger brakes and tires and wheels, then go to the F-450 with the 4.30 rear end. The std GCWR is 26,000. They make F-450s with more GCWR, but only with the 4.88 rear end.

[ QUOTE ]
Seems like a 350 6 spd with more normal gearing and some 19.5's or 22.5's might be more reasonable for pulling our car?

[/ QUOTE ]

I suspect you'd be a pleased as a pig in slop with the new F-350 DRW with 4.10 rear end and stock-size 17" tires. If you really want to spend a lot more money, then pump the rear end up to the 4.30 ratio and then bring it back down with taller tires. But warning: taller tires than stock will require new wheels to match the tires and prevent tire contact between the duals, so it's not an inexpensive proposition. I suspect you'd be disappointed unless you are willing to pay for the bling bling "look at me!" factor.
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

Thanks for all the info guys. As I suspected the 550 would be overkill and maybe to the point of being uncomfortable. We are going to check out some 350DRW 6 spds and see if there is a 450 with 4.30's.

Truth be told I do like the look of the 19.5's on the 550. Might just have to look into some 10 bolt converters and what not.

If I come up with any other questions after we check out a few trucks I'll post up.

Thanks again [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

Check out rickson.com (I think that's it). They make replacement upsized wheels that look nice and have higher load limits. I'm not sure how they would work on a 350 dually, but I'd like to have a set for my SRW truck. Maybe Santa Claus will bring them this year if I'm really good.....not a chance!
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Old 05-26-2006, 01:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

[ QUOTE ]
Time to start looking into a new tow rig for the race car. Recently used a friends 1 ton srw duracrap and it was terrible. Would barely pull 75mph at times and got from 7-10mpg. This is a stock tired, crew cab, 4x4 with stock 3.73 gears and auto trans. Combined with the 26gal tank that thing is pretty much useless.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi Bill,

Well I don't understand what you expect a truck pulling 20kGCW to get in fuel mileage at 75mph [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif[/img] That's right at 2150rpm with a 3:73 and using a .72OD gear. At 2150rpm your using a good amount of turbo which is great for making power but loosey if your going for fuel mileage numbers. On the 7.3, I've found great fuel mileage comes at 1600rpm which puts you back down too 56mph with the above gearing info. Then there's the wind resistance at 75mph and that alone will not let you make great fuel mileage.

So does the 7.3 have enough torque at 1600rpm to regear for 75mph while pulling 20kGCW to regain some fuel mileage back? Yeppers it does.


[ QUOTE ]

Trailer is 28ft, double axle, only stands about 8.5ft high, loaded with car and all the required b/s it's right around 12k max.

[/ QUOTE ]

You must be talking about using a tag trailer (bumper pull). Just consider with 12k load weight your running right at the tire maximum weight rating. This is fine as along as every thing goes correct at 75mph but what happens when you hit a side wind from a mountian "V" that try's to push your trailer side ways? Tire blowout???

I think I'd want to use a trailer with dual tire axle, GN or 5'r hitching, for stability and control under all conditions at 75mph. This type of trailer also wouldn't have too much of a concern about where the load weight was placed in the trailer.





[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smokin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-26-2006, 04:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

[ QUOTE ]


Hi Bill,

Well I don't understand what you expect a truck pulling 20kGCW to get in fuel mileage at 75mph [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif[/img] That's right at 2150rpm with a 3:73 and using a .72OD gear. At 2150rpm your using a good amount of turbo which is great for making power but loosey if your going for fuel mileage numbers. On the 7.3, I've found great fuel mileage comes at 1600rpm which puts you back down too 56mph with the above gearing info. Then there's the wind resistance at 75mph and that alone will not let you make great fuel mileage.

So does the 7.3 have enough torque at 1600rpm to regear for 75mph while pulling 20kGCW to regain some fuel mileage back? Yeppers it does.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah we were running anywhere from 65 to 75mph on the flats, but with this chebby it didn't really make much difference. The part that shocked me was it's indability to pull beyond 75mph. Flat road, no head wind, and it was spent. I have pulled some big loads with other vehicles (cummins ram) and it would sit at 75mph all day long, kicking it up as fast as you want to go. I'm hoping the 7.3 will do the same


[ QUOTE ]

Trailer is 28ft, double axle, only stands about 8.5ft high, loaded with car and all the required b/s it's right around 12k max.

[/ QUOTE ]

You must be talking about using a tag trailer (bumper pull). Just consider with 12k load weight your running right at the tire maximum weight rating. This is fine as along as every thing goes correct at 75mph but what happens when you hit a side wind from a mountian "V" that try's to push your trailer side ways? Tire blowout???

I think I'd want to use a trailer with dual tire axle, GN or 5'r hitching, for stability and control under all conditions at 75mph. This type of trailer also wouldn't have too much of a concern about where the load weight was placed in the trailer.

[/ QUOTE ]

Interesting point, I hadn't put much thought into the trailer. Yes it's a bumper pull, with the fancy load leveling hitch and all that. I personally would prefer a gooseneck, but we'll have to see what the budget allows for. 28+ ft GN, fully preped car haulers aren't exactly cheap these days. Though I did see a couple nice rigs that are purpose built for the GN with a bunch of side boxes... hmmm
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

If you wanna run high speeds and still get half decent fuel mileage, maybe you should be looking into a "Gear Vendor" or "US Gear" auxillary tranny? That way you have the best of both worlds, use the lower gear in the rear end, but double overdrive in the tranny.

I'm considering one myself, some of the guys on here are using them, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to tell you all about them!
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Time to start looking into a new tow rig for the race car. Recently used a friends 1 ton srw duracrap and it was terrible. Would barely pull 75mph at times and got from 7-10mpg. This is a stock tired, crew cab, 4x4 with stock 3.73 gears and auto trans. Combined with the 26gal tank that thing is pretty much useless.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi Bill,

Well I don't understand what you expect a truck pulling 20kGCW to get in fuel mileage at 75mph [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif[/img] That's right at 2150rpm with a 3:73 and using a .72OD gear. At 2150rpm your using a good amount of turbo which is great for making power but loosey if your going for fuel mileage numbers. On the 7.3, I've found great fuel mileage comes at 1600rpm which puts you back down too 56mph with the above gearing info. Then there's the wind resistance at 75mph and that alone will not let you make great fuel mileage.

So does the 7.3 have enough torque at 1600rpm to regear for 75mph while pulling 20kGCW to regain some fuel mileage back? Yeppers it does.


[ QUOTE ]

Trailer is 28ft, double axle, only stands about 8.5ft high, loaded with car and all the required b/s it's right around 12k max.

[/ QUOTE ]

You must be talking about using a tag trailer (bumper pull). Just consider with 12k load weight your running right at the tire maximum weight rating. This is fine as along as every thing goes correct at 75mph but what happens when you hit a side wind from a mountian "V" that try's to push your trailer side ways? Tire blowout???

I think I'd want to use a trailer with dual tire axle, GN or 5'r hitching, for stability and control under all conditions at 75mph. This type of trailer also wouldn't have too much of a concern about where the load weight was placed in the trailer.





[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smokin.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]


Dont know what super specail 7.3 you got... but there aint no way in hell you'll get a 7.3 to pull 20k at 75mph at 1600rpm. I know mine wont. And i had more then stock HP
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Time to start looking into a new tow rig for the race car. Recently used a friends 1 ton srw duracrap and it was terrible. Would barely pull 75mph at times and got from 7-10mpg. This is a stock tired, crew cab, 4x4 with stock 3.73 gears and auto trans. Combined with the 26gal tank that thing is pretty much useless.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi Bill,

Well I don't understand what you expect a truck pulling 20kGCW to get in fuel mileage at 75mph [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif[/img] That's right at 2150rpm with a 3:73 and using a .72OD gear. At 2150rpm your using a good amount of turbo which is great for making power but loosey if your going for fuel mileage numbers. On the 7.3, I've found great fuel mileage comes at 1600rpm which puts you back down too 56mph with the above gearing info. Then there's the wind resistance at 75mph and that alone will not let you make great fuel mileage.

So does the 7.3 have enough torque at 1600rpm to regear for 75mph while pulling 20kGCW to regain some fuel mileage back? Yeppers it does.


[ QUOTE ]

Trailer is 28ft, double axle, only stands about 8.5ft high, loaded with car and all the required b/s it's right around 12k max.

[/ QUOTE ]

You must be talking about using a tag trailer (bumper pull). Just consider with 12k load weight your running right at the tire maximum weight rating. This is fine as along as every thing goes correct at 75mph but what happens when you hit a side wind from a mountian "V" that try's to push your trailer side ways? Tire blowout???

I think I'd want to use a trailer with dual tire axle, GN or 5'r hitching, for stability and control under all conditions at 75mph. This type of trailer also wouldn't have too much of a concern about where the load weight was placed in the trailer.





[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smokin.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]


Dont know what super specail 7.3 you got... but there aint no way in hell you'll get a 7.3 to pull 20k at 75mph at 1600rpm. I know mine wont. And i had more then stock HP

[/ QUOTE ]


Hi CG,

I based my opinion off of experience of pulling 31kGCW for 1250 miles. I stayed in OD at 60mph, about 1800rpm, for about 50% of the time for the trip. Any small rise caused me to down shift too 5th gear and use the turbo to run at 2200rpm to regain speed. I ran between 50mph to 60mph using this method.

So yes I can't see a problem other than having to shift a few times with a gear box of more than a 6spd. A gear box with a 17% spread between gears would work great.




[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smokin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

Hi

I have a 2006 F550 CC 4x4 with a Manning conversion truck bed, and auto with 4:30 gear ratio.

Just got back from a 400 mile trip draggin a 26 foot tag with about 7k behind me, we averaged 11.3 MPG average speed 70 MPH. The 6.0 can't lug down to 16-1800 like the old 7.3, but it is much quieter in the cab, and the 5 speed auto is much better for me.

The gear ratio is a little steep, so my GV OD will be transplanted soon-especially nice for those 75-80 mph empty jaunts.

FYI-find the LOWEST load capacity you can-your rear will thank you. Even with a Kelderman two bag rear air ride, the bumps are unnerving. Hopefully the gooseneck will ride a litte better.

BTW-if you want attention, the 550 will deliver. I get asked "what is that" every time I fuel up.

And the brakes are exceptional-integrated brake controller is a nice addition, as is tow haul mode. MY .03.
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

we run f-550's with the 6.0 at work they tow great but average 9.5 to 11 mpg empty to loaded and at 70 she's screamin around 3000 rpm but hey we dont pay for the fuel oh and when i say empty thats about 9750 with body and tools
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: F550 mpg, gearing etc.

I have a '06 450 that I am pulling a 13k fifth wheel camper with. It is taller that the trailer you are pulling so I have more wind resistance. When towing I get about 9.5 MPG at 65 MPH on mostly flat ground. When unloaded I can get about 14 MPG on mostly flat ground. Both of these are with the cruise control on. I have the 4.88 gears and the 6 speed manual transmission.
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