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Old 04-02-2013, 12:09 PM   #1
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Ford 250

I own a 2003 Ford 250 V10 6.8l 4x4 super cab. I always tow in Drive with over drive off. Should I be driving in 2nd Gear instead going up hills? My TT gross tow weight 8800lb.

Second Part Question. How do I know if I have a 3.73 or a 4.30 Rear Axle Ratio.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aztrailerguy View Post
I own a 2003 Ford 250 V10 6.8l 4x4 super cab. I always tow in Drive with over drive off. Should I be driving in 2nd Gear instead going up hills? My TT gross tow weight 8800lb.

Second Part Question. How do I know if I have a 3.73 or a 4.30 Rear Axle Ratio.

Thanks for the help.
Depends on the hill and the way the truck is handling it. If the trans starts hunting, shifting down then back up, you should manually select 2nd and hold a steady RPM , for max engine & trans cooling I would hold 2700>3000 on my Dodge V-10. Factory warning for sustained RPM was 3800. Check your owners manual for yours.
Just re-read and noticed you have 4X4, I doubt that any one would have paid to change both gear sets , so the original equipment should be in place.
A Ford dealer should be able to run your serial # and tell you what the original equipment ratio was. If you think it may have been changed there is a way too.
Have you checked the housing cover bolts for a tag ?
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:48 PM   #3
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Depends on the hill and the way the truck is handling it. If the trans starts hunting, shifting down then back up, you should manually select 2nd and hold a steady RPM , for max engine & trans cooling I would hold 2700>3000 on my Dodge V-10. Factory warning for sustained RPM was 3800. Check your owners manual for yours.
Just re-read and noticed you have 4X4, I doubt that any one would have paid to change both gear sets , so the original equipment should be in place.
A Ford dealer should be able to run your serial # and tell you what the original equipment ratio was. If you think it may have been changed there is a way too.
Have you checked the housing cover bolts for a tag ?
Thank you for the reply.

I'm trying to find a Ratio tag under the hood but unable to find it.

I will contact the dealer if needed. I don't think the ratio has been modified.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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I own a 2003 Ford 250 V10 6.8l 4x4 super cab. I always tow in Drive with over drive off. Should I be driving in 2nd Gear instead going up hills? My TT gross tow weight 8800lb.
Always put the tranny in "D" and let the computer decide which is the correct gear. That computer is a lot smarter than I am. And it's probably a lot smarter than you are.

But there is one exception. In hill country where you are going up and down and down and up, causing the tranny to frequently shift out of and back into overdrive, then kill the overdrive with the button on the gearshift lever until you get out of the hill country.

Some folks say to not allow the truck to "hunt" through the gears. But your tranny is programmed to not allow hunting. If you tranny is often changing gears, it's because the terrain is going up and down, not because of "hunting".

Another exception I personally used on my F-250 when towing heavy was to manually kill the OD before the computer forced the downshift to climb a grade. I could downshift out of OD smoother than the computer did it.

DO NOT lock out overdrive if you are not in the ups and downs hill country. Your MPG will take a big hit when OD is locked out. And never downshift to 2nd gear if you value MPG. If you are overloaded and towing with OD locked out, the computer is smart enough to know when a downshift to 2nd is required to climb a grade.

Quote:
Second Part Question. How do I know if I have a 3.73 or a 4.30 Rear Axle Ratio.
Look on the on the Federal Certification Label on the driver's door frame- the sticker that includes VIN, month/year of assembly, tire size and PSI, paint codes, and several other codes. The code under AXL or AXLE will be your axle code.

The 2003 F-250 3.73 and 4.30 axle codes are:

• 31 = 3.73 non-limited slip, F-250/Excursion
• C1 = 3.73 limited slip, F-250/Excursion
• C3 = 4.30 limited slip, F-250/Excursion

Another "shade tree" method is to jack uprear of the pickup, put the tranny in neutral, and mark the driveshaft. Turn one rear tire one full revolution while watching the mark on the driveshaft. If the driveshaft turns less than 4 full revs for one tire rev, then you have 3.73 ratio. If the driveshaft turns more than 4 full revs for one tire rev, then you have 4.30 ratio.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:54 PM   #5
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Axle Code is C1 so that makes it a 3.73 limited slip, F-250/Excursion /

I was hoping it was a 4.3 :(
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:43 PM   #6
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Didn't the 2003 have a tow-haul switch? If so, push tow/haul and let it do the work.

Ken
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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Didn't the 2003 have a tow-haul switch? If so, push tow/haul and let it do the work.

Ken
No tow haul switch I can find.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:29 PM   #8
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If the truck has a 5 speed tranny I would just run it in tow haul, thats all that tranny needs. As far as 4.30 gears, I had my ford dealer change my 06 truck over made a real towing machine out of it and I only lost 1 mpg. at 70 mph towing. And I was grossing about 24K. This was with a 6.0 not a V-10.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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Didn't the 2003 have a tow-haul switch? If so, push tow/haul and let it do the work.
With the 2003 5.4L and V-10 gas engines, and 7.3L diesel engines, the automagic tranny was the 4R100, 4-speed with OD button on the shift lever - and no tow/haul. With the 2003.25 6.0L diesel engine, the tranny was the new 5R110 with tow/haul instead of the OD button.

The SuperDuty with gas engines continued using the 4R100 tranny in the 2004 model year, while the 6.0L diesel had the 5R110.

It wasn't until the 2005 model year that the gas engines were mated with the 5R110 automagic trannies with tow/haul mode. Also in 2005 model year, Ford significantly increased the GVWR and GCWR of the SuperDuty trucks.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:20 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info smokey. I looked all over for a tow haul button. Low and behold I never knew it had a power brake adjustment peddle. I have had this truck for 5 years. LOL
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:37 AM   #11
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Low and behold I never knew it had a power brake adjustment peddle. I have had this truck for 5 years. LOL
Look more closely and you'll find that both the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are power adjustable. That was an option on the 2003 SuperDuty pickups with XLT or Lariat trim:
OTHER OPTIONS
Adjustable Gas & Brake Pedals.................................... option code 62M
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:05 AM   #12
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Look more closely and you'll find that both the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are power adjustable. That was an option on the 2003 SuperDuty pickups with XLT or Lariat trim:
OTHER OPTIONS
Adjustable Gas & Brake Pedals.................................... option code 62M

You are correct. Brake and GAS peddle adjustment. Thanks.
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