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Old 01-18-2014, 07:47 AM   #1
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Ford V-10 vs GM 8.1ltr.

Looking for opinions. Pros & cons and any other considerations, it will need to tow a small toad.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:13 AM   #2
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Oh boy, on most forums these type questions usually start an opinion "debate", but although I've never owned either engine, I have friends that have both. Not surprising that each thinks theirs is the best. They are both good, but the GM 8.1 has more torque, and is rather detuned getting it, while the V10 owners claim it's smoother because of more combustion cycles per revolution. They are both capable of using lots of fuel. The earlier V10's had a history of spark plug threads stripping in the heads and shooting spark plugs out. Hope this is of some help to you making your decision.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
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Are you buying new or used?. The GM 8.1 engine has not been available for a while. From what I have read, the Ford and GM have similar power, but the Ford runs at higher RPM, and some people complain about this.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:49 AM   #4
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We love our V10. Lots and lots of power. It's a bit loud though. Our only complaint is cruise control related. The cruise control will keep whatever speed you set it on even if going through rolling hills. That means that it will downshift...down low...and loud, instead of letting the speed bleed out a bit.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:54 AM   #5
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I used to be a V-10 man, then I purchased Itasca Suncruiser with the 8.1! No comparison, 8.1 run lower RPM's. Way more power, better mpg too!
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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I have owned both; a 2004 coach with a 8.1 and now have a 2012 Ford F-53. The GM 8.1 on the Workhorse chassis coupled with the Allison 1000 transmission was a great engine. It was powerful, was not overly noisy for a front end gasser, pulled most hills with little problem and was not too difficult to work on for me. The 8.1 did not downshift on small grades and highway overpasses as the Ford does. I did not like the location of the air filter located behind the right front wheel as it easily got wet. Finally, the 8.1 was slightly better with gas mileage than my Ford is.

My current rig, the 2012 Ford is a solid engine so far.....I have 15000 miles on it. It is powerful and does everything that I want it to do. I really like the Ford transmission with tow-haul. It is a bit louder than the 8.1 and really screams when going up a steep grade if the RPM's get too high, but that it was it was manufactured to do! Gas mileage is not quite as good as the GM 8.1. The worst part of driving the Ford is the constant down shifting out of 5th gear or cruise control on rolling highways and overpasses. I can and will fix this issue with a 5 star tune.

The Fords are the main show when it comes to big block engines at this time as the 8.1 is no longer manufactured. I ran my 8.1 for 9 years and had problems with burnt plugs and wires as well as wet air filters. I fixed that issue with increased air flow over the plugs and changed out the air filter. The Ford has been problem free so far.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:04 AM   #7
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I agree with the above replies. The one thing I like about the 8.1 is the Allison transmission. It is great. It also has a grade brake which I use all the time.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:10 AM   #8
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+1 on the 5 Star Tune. We don't have it yet, but I hear it's a must have for the V10. We bought our coach a bit late last season and have only managed to do a few mods. That tune is high on the priority list for next season.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:00 PM   #9
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We are all at a different state regarding our motorhome knowledge, and this great forum allows discussion and dissemination of such knowledge. My opinion (mine only) is that someone who just sets the cruise and drives along oblivious to what is happening can improve their knowledge. What follows is my experience with a 1999 29ft Safari Trek with 454 gas engine, overdrive transmission, and gently rolling terrain (steeper hills require different technique).

The cruise control performance of either 8.1 or V10 engine can have a significant effect on mileage. If you just set the cruise and travel along, it will downshift when required to maintain, or try to maintain, the set speed - and use full throttle do do this. I assume the Ford cruise control has the equivalent of my GM version's "pause" function. When approaching a grade that I think might require a downshift I do one of two things:

1. Turn the cruise OFF. This is a no-brainer unless you want to suck a lot of gas and hear lots of engine roar.

2. Jog the "pause" button (on the end of the lever). Depending on the slight grade. this allows the transmission to stay in overdrive - with the resulting (slightly) better mileage and less wear on the engine. My scanguage indicates mileage every two seconds, and I jog pause when the reading gets down to 7MPG. Depending on the grade, I sometimes do several jogs.

I find that this technique doesn't require a lot of concentration. Very occasionally I do get caught and hear the roar of an unanticipated downshift and give myself a mental demerit. My usual setup is towing a 5000lb car trailer, and speed is 60-62 MPH. Anything other than a slight grade will prompt a downshift unless I do the pause sequence. Usually, speed doesn't drop more than a few MPH, and I get the satisfaction of knowing I tried to maximize fuel efficiency (assuming any motorhome is "fuel efficient").

Quote:
Originally Posted by al2ride View Post
We love our V10. Lots and lots of power. It's a bit loud though. Our only complaint is cruise control related. The cruise control will keep whatever speed you set it on even if going through rolling hills. That means that it will downshift...down low...and loud, instead of letting the speed bleed out a bit.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WReeder View Post
I used to be a V-10 man, then I purchased Itasca Suncruiser with the 8.1! No comparison, 8.1 run lower RPM's. Way more power, better mpg too!
X2. I have owned both. No comparison. The 8.1 with an Allison 5 speed with OD is a much better combination.
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Schweikle View Post
We are all at a different state regarding our motorhome knowledge, and this great forum allows discussion and dissemination of such knowledge. My opinion (mine only) is that someone who just sets the cruise and drives along oblivious to what is happening can improve their knowledge. What follows is my experience with a 1999 29ft Safari Trek with 454 gas engine, overdrive transmission, and gently rolling terrain (steeper hills require different technique).

The cruise control performance of either 8.1 or V10 engine can have a significant effect on mileage. If you just set the cruise and travel along, it will downshift when required to maintain, or try to maintain, the set speed - and use full throttle do do this. I assume the Ford cruise control has the equivalent of my GM version's "pause" function. When approaching a grade that I think might require a downshift I do one of two things:

1. Turn the cruise OFF. This is a no-brainer unless you want to suck a lot of gas and hear lots of engine roar.

2. Jog the "pause" button (on the end of the lever). Depending on the slight grade. this allows the transmission to stay in overdrive - with the resulting (slightly) better mileage and less wear on the engine. My scanguage indicates mileage every two seconds, and I jog pause when the reading gets down to 7MPG. Depending on the grade, I sometimes do several jogs.

I find that this technique doesn't require a lot of concentration. Very occasionally I do get caught and hear the roar of an unanticipated downshift and give myself a mental demerit. My usual setup is towing a 5000lb car trailer, and speed is 60-62 MPH. Anything other than a slight grade will prompt a downshift unless I do the pause sequence. Usually, speed doesn't drop more than a few MPH, and I get the satisfaction of knowing I tried to maximize fuel efficiency (assuming any motorhome is "fuel efficient").
I've tried all that plus speeding up a bit before the hill. My point is that the system needs to be less sensitive. I love the cruise control in my Ram pickup. I can drive the same exact same hills and the Ram bleeds off speed without downshifting. It's all in the programming. On the V10 it seems like it's programmed to keep the speed within +/- 1 MPH. On the Ram is seems to be more of +/- 5 MPH. I hope the 5 Star tune allows for an adjustment.
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:17 PM   #12
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Ive had both. I loved the 8.1 and if we could have bought our new bounder on a workhorse chassis, I would have. 8.1 had more power and I loved the Alison transmission. I always refered to our super c with the 8.1 as the dragster of motorhomes. It pulled a 10k 24 ft long race trailer and I hardly knew it was there. In the smokies I would pass semi's going up the mountains like nothing. The Ford is loud and revs too high but I do like the mode it goes into for descending hills. 5 star tuning is definitely in my future. How does the current ford chassis's ride compare to the last workhorse chassis?
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:41 PM   #13
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Wow everyone thanks for the overwhelming response. I look fwd to even more! So when did the 8.1 stopped being used and what replaced it?
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:55 PM   #14
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I don't want to get off the v-10 8.1 conversation but I have a 2012 Canyon Star 3911 with a v-10 and am looking to increase power and so have looked at the 5tar and a Banks setup, leaning to the Banks as you get a more complete kit, any thoughts?
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