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Old 03-13-2014, 01:40 PM   #1
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Over Weight or Under Powered?

Excuse my ignorance but it's already too late, I bought the truck. I haven't been in the RV world for 32 years and things have changed considerably. In the good ole days if the truck hauled it, it was good enough, it seemed.

As I was preparing the purchase of the 36TK Mobile Suites I roamed the RV parks and noticed that most of the big 5th were using 350's, the lack of knowing that the newer trucks had a lot more power and more gears to the auto trans. I was under a lot of pressure moving out of a house. (I know! No excuses!)

Now that I'm almost settled and having time to read, I find that this 99 F350 King cab dually w/7.3 diesel 4.10 w/16" tires and 4R100 trany 68K miles w/all the bells and whistles, a Mark III..... may not be sufficient.

When I towed the trailer 10 miles down the road it seemed a bit slow getting going but it got up to speed on the flat hi-way fairly well w/o holding up traffic.
And it seems to handle well. Other then I smoked the trucks rear brakes on the first hill. Just an adjustment to the controller.

So what's the deal here?
The GCVW is 23K, so I'm right on the boarder. It this going to be OK but as slow as a snail? Obviously, I'll be avoiding the high altitudes. I prefer the coast anyway due to my allergy's. So I'll be staying in the lowlands anyway. There is no life for me East of I-5! Plus I need to stay close to the sailboat.

I've also read that the 4R100 tranys crap out in short but one can buy a HD or supreme rebuild for around 5K. The one I have now shutters between 35 & 45 after it shifts into 3rd.

I've looked at the newer 350's and the only difference is they upgraded the 5er towing in 2014 to 22600# from the 13200# in 1999. So is there any difference in the chassis or is just a stronger motor? Plus they're asking twice the money I paid for this one at the same mileage. And the 450's are rare.

So, am I screwed or can I just crawl along at my own pace?
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:57 PM   #2
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HP and TQ for the 7.3 are quite a bit lower than the new 6.7's. Also the 6sp tranny in the newer ones are more efficient. 400hp and 800lbs of torque in the 6.7 coupled with the new 6sp tranny is the biggest reason your truck feels slow. If it were me and the truck was in great shape I'd just put up with it.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:04 PM   #3
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Your set up (IMHO) should be ok at best. While the 7.3 is bullet proof it is not fast and does take off slow. But it will get you from point 'A' to point 'B' ok.

Now jump to 2014. The trucks in 2011 were really improved. More torque, HP, comfort, more creature features etc. In 1999 they were truckish trucks. Now they are much more car like. In 2011 Ford started building their own 6.7 diesel. So far so good. In 2011 Chevy improved their frame big time and tweaked their engine. Ram also made improvements to interior.

Now in 2014/15 is the next round of improvments (and price increases).
Ford is changing to a larger turbo to get more power, from 800ft. lbs torque 400HP to who knows. My guess is 850 torque and 420HP.

Oh - in 2011 Ford and Chevy have to also use DEF. The Ram has to use it starting 2013.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:08 PM   #4
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First, DRWs can be heavy especially depending on model, what you stuff into it, and options. Second, while I'm sure your truck will do fine if you take it slow and aren't in ANY hurry, that will limit where you can go. Used F450s are available, but you are right that they aren't easy to find. It's really all about what you want to do. If you're happy with staying west of the I5, don't want to go anywhere fast, are willing to take a small risk on the tranny, and really want the DRV, then go with it!


I bought our '06 F350 dually last year this time knowing the horror stories about the 6.0, because the truck only had 28k miles on it (long story), had been kept in a barn most of the time, and I got it cheap enough that I can afford a whole new motor if needed. I wanted something to tow a big, heavy 5er (not quite as much as a DRV), and would last us at least 5 years (engine notwithstanding). After finding out about flushing the coolant system and adding a filter, I'm happy with it now. Wouldn't want to go more than 65 towing, but that's OK because best mileage is around 55 - 60 (level ground is 12+).
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:27 PM   #5
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Yeah this rig was kept inside most of its idle time so it's like new cosmetically. The orig'l owner towed a 30' 5er and then it was sold to a restorer who was going to use it for towing antiques but ended up wanting to sell out the business. So I got the rig ahead of 10 other people that called.

I'll probably spend most of my time in Calif. (55 mph). But may do a trip over to Corpus Christy. This rig may grow old before it wears out.

Has anyone done or heard of motor/trans changes or upgrades. $10-15K? would be a lot less then a newer truck. That's the cost of a new roller furling genoa on my boat. Will a 6.7L fit in a 99 truck?
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:50 PM   #6
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Has anyone done or heard of motor/trans changes or upgrades. $10-15K? would be a lot less then a newer truck. Will a 6.7L fit in a 99 truck?
The cost to update your '99 to the latest 6.7L / 6R140 will be close to half the price of a new truck. The engine / transmission management system would be fun to integrate into a '99. Then there would be frame / strength concerns.

Unless you're planning to move around a lot, I would add some upgrades to the '99 and have fun.
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Yeah this rig was kept inside most of its idle time so it's like new cosmetically. The orig'l owner towed a 30' 5er and then it was sold to a restorer who was going to use it for towing antiques but ended up wanting to sell out the business. So I got the rig ahead of 10 other people that called.

I'll probably spend most of my time in Calif. (55 mph). But may do a trip over to Corpus Christy. This rig may grow old before it wears out.

Has anyone done or heard of motor/trans changes or upgrades. $10-15K? would be a lot less then a newer truck. That's the cost of a new roller furling genoa on my boat. Will a 6.7L fit in a 99 truck?
Sounds awful !! ... I'll give you $100 for it if you deliver to Florida

Seriously now ... enjoy the ride !!
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:35 AM   #8
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I am sure that in 99 the Forfs were quite capable of towing all kinds of trailers including a similar MS.
I never worry about traffic line behind me. I go about my business and mostly drive conservatively. Its my truck and I take care of it my way.
Make sure your truck don't overheat and you will do well. Gauges might help for exhaust and tranny temperatures
My neighbor has the same model truck with a Banks bullet programer that has exhaust temperature build in and loves it.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:38 AM   #9
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I am sure that in 99 the Forfs were quite capable of towing all kinds of trailers including a similar MS.
I never worry about traffic line behind me. I go about my business and mostly drive conservatively. Its my truck and I take care of it my way.
Make sure your truck don't overheat and you will do well. Gauges might help for exhaust and tranny temperatures
My neighbor has the same model truck with a Banks bullet programer that has exhaust temperature build in and loves it.
Exactly. Folks seem to forget that this was all that was available back then. It was considered state of the art compared to the gas options offered in the same truck. We thought the powerstrokes were awesome when they first came out in 94'.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:59 AM   #10
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Make sure your truck don't overheat and you will do well. Gauges might help for exhaust and tranny temperatures
My neighbor has the same model truck with a Banks bullet programer that has exhaust temperature build in and loves it.
Yep! That's the plan now, keeping it cool. Heat causes parts to expend and wear, as well as making them a bit softer. Reading the John Wood site where he upgrades the 4R100, he uses harder then factory metals for reproducing some of the major parts, which gives them that bullet proof effect. As a retired Toolmaker, I know his motive.

I may eventually exchange mine for one of his. It would be nice if I could get more then a 4 speed. But diesels last a long time so a few extra RPM's in its life won't hurt.

The old '79 diesel in my boat lasted 7000 hours (equiv't 420K miles) and was still running good after replacing it with a more modern marine setup. Which I sold the old one to someone else for his boat. If you respect your running gear, it'll take care of you!

Happy motoring!
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:16 AM   #11
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You are right, the fuel you burn is easier to replace then the transmission. Keep it in the proper gear and it will be good. A lot of tow drivers allow to many gear changes and ruined many transmissions that way.
A friend hooked on a loaded semi and ruined is transmission on the spot in low gear and hardly moved the semi.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:41 PM   #12
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That 4R100 transmission can hold up pretty well. Yes they can fail and it is not as robust as the 6 speed transmission the big three are offering. But many have made it over 100K with no issues towing. The big thing with that transmission is a good transmission cooler. Ford did update it with the 4R100 modification but extra cooling can help in city/stop go driving. When you are cruising down the highway little heat is generated. The torque converter is locked up (main source of heat). It is hard to say why you get the shudder in 3rd though. In many cases the converter is locked up in 2nd. But it may be worth having it looked at before a big trip.

That 7.3L may not be the biggest beast of towing but it can get it done. You probably wont be the first up the hill, but you will get up it. I have a friend that used to tow their 26K LB excavator on a 5K trailer for years with no issues (until they got caught and a $5K fine) with a F350 SRW.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:59 AM   #13
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Has anyone done or heard of motor/trans changes or upgrades. $10-15K?
delmarrey, with $10-15k, you could upgrade the tranny and get a lot of supporting mods to help with an enhanced towing rig.

I suggest beginning mods for better performance from your truck are:
Cold Air Intake and 4" or 5" Turbo-back Exhaust: These to make your truck breath better and helps with exhaust gas temperatures.
Gauges(at least Pyrometer, Boost, Tranny temp): To keep an eye on temperatures. NECESSITY
Computer Chip: These change fueling to the injectors and shifting points of the transmission.
Exhaust Brake: For slowing your set-up.

There's so much more, but, that's a start.

Quote:
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Reading the John Wood site where he upgrades the 4R100, he uses harder then factory metals for reproducing some of the major parts, which gives them that bullet proof effect. As a retired Toolmaker, I know his motive.
That's where my money is going when my stock 4r100 gives out. If you don't want to spend that amount of money, I understand that the Ford HD 4r100 is very stout at a cheaper price.

Good luck,
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:08 PM   #14
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I tow with a 2001 7.3, and yes, it might not be as fast as the newer ones, but there are plenty of things you can do. As stated, gauges are a must, the 7.3 doesnt like more than 1250 degrees EGT before it starts to melt the pistons. (thats measured pre turbo) A chip from a company like DP-Tuner or PHP are great places to start. Also, the factory transmission cooler on these are very small, I added a Tru-cool as well in front of everything, and now towing my temps never get to more than 90 above ambient. This is also towing with 3.73 gears and 37 inch tires, not the best towing setup. The 4r100 transmission is a 4 speed, but it shifts as if its a 5 speed. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd are all with tq unlocked. around 35 to 45 is where the tq locks up. It will feel like a shift, but you are still in 3rd. after that it will shift to 4th (overdrive)

There is plenty of info out there about the 7.3 and ways to make it more up to date for towing. Not all of those mods are that expensive. I love my 7.3.

Hope this helps.
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