Actually, the part probably is the cheapest, but Ford uses VERY expensive packaging. That has to be it because when you take an International part and put it in a Ford box, it mysteriously doubles in price.
Absolutely, some years ago I bought the heater that goes in the fuel filter head, figured it was a "Ford only" part. Cost something like $120. Opened the blue/white FoMoCo box, the heater was in a sealed IH plastic wrapper with the IH part number on it. Later I phoned the nearest IH truck dealer for availability and price, $60.
As far as the start/stop feature, the joke of fuel savings would be eaten up by going through starters at an ungodly rate. And as far as starter access, it the gas engines are anything like the new Ford diesels, you have to remove the cab to do anything much more than checking the oil. I first thought the cab removal was a phony rumor, turns out it's true.
Heavy truck and diesel mechanic (thankfully retired after 30+ yrs)
'91 F-250 SC 4X4, 5spd. ATS Turbo, 3:55 diff.