LUXURY DIESEL TOW VEHICLES FOR VANS OVER 22', THE OPTIONS:

 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:27 pm    Post subject: LUXURY DIESEL TOW VEHICLES FOR VANS OVER 22', THE OPTIONS: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

This is about specialty tow vehicles, long wheelbase safety, and power for larger vans... Japanese tow vehicles run out of wheelbase steerage for safety on the highway in the extreme accident avoidance move and recovery reaction at some point, and that is where the American luxury trucks take over for safety... This is about larger vans...

You might gather I have been watching on the sidelines, the full import Ford F Series and had finally taken the plunge in 2006. I sold my F-250 and went for the top of the line... The level of current luxury car appointments is amazing. At first I was not going to Post just how it really is. But then I realized, hey: Some of you can afford the very top of the line… Is it necessary, no; but it sure is nice! I can afford it because it is tax write off and R&D. At first I thought it was a bit self indulgent, and I did not want to tell you just how great it really was, not only in the Luxury appointments, but also the Engineering. I did not want those with the Brazilian built Fords to feel they were missing out, or those going to buy a good second hand one for $65,000 or $75,000 to think they HAD to spend more, BECAUSE YOU DO NOT.

If you are on a bit of a Budget, STOP READING NOW.. The reason I am writing this is people are spending a lot of money doing up the Brazilian Fords, with $20,000 canopies, and some have spent $30,000 on toys, and they are getting up close to what they could get a full Import Ford, that is literally twice the truck.. Shocked Shocked

In all fairness, I was not going to tell you, but then I thought, what a shame not to know, if you could afford the best and this level of Luxury.
The new Range Rover diesel will be over the $120k mark, the new Twin Turbo Cruiser probably over the $85 k mark, Lexus Cruisers are up there over $125 k… And they will all do the job up to about a 22’ van. But over that and you should look at the bigger “Luxury” tow vehicles. Some are spending upwards of $85,000 on second hand Brazilian built Fords, and then adding a huge amount of toys on board; YOU should know just how good the Full Import American Ones are: It is about the same difference between a Standard Government Landcruiser and a Lexus Sahara, as the Brazilian Ford to the full import American Ford.. For those of you that can afford the very best, you should have a look at the current Fords and Chevrolets and Dodge Trucks. You get massive power and luxury and better fuel economy as the big engines are not working as hard. All three of the “Big Three” for instance, get better fuel economy than do Toyotas towing.

On Chevrolet: We have maybe 15 towing Bushtracker vans, and they are very nice.. Myself I do not care for the Chevrolet independent front end and low bonnet design of the body, but I can see how it would be attractive for some.. The independent front suspension gives a soft ride, but it can be vulnerable and why many Government Agencies do not opt for the Chevrolet. A majority of Oil Service, Construction, Forestry, Fish and Game Wardens and Rangers, Logging, Hunting, and the like want the solid moonbeam front end. The Chevrolet Silverado has usually been more of a town and country Gentlemans truck, with the independent front end. The mechanics and engine and transmission are all good, and the front end can be beefed up with Tie-Rod end sleeves and such kits for off-road. It is very successful as a luxury 4x4. Ladies driving would be far more comfortable in the Chevrolet as they can see over the bonnet, and the independent front end is nice and soft riding. Chevrolet does outperform the Fords right now, in terms of 0-100 luxury car acceleration sort of values, but to be fair it wins as a luxury car, and not for hard off road work in the opinion of the majority of the Market. Ford still outsells Chevrolet about two to one, more than Chev and Dodge trucks combined when it comes to Super Duty type vehicles, but you should go see both.

On Dodge: Look, the Cummins Diesel is the strongest and best engine of the “Big Three”… But the rest of the truck is not as popular. They are also very rare. If you can get one at a reasonable price, go for it. I like Dodges, always have, and would love a big Dually with the Cummins engine, but they are rare, very rare. Tracy waited a year for his normal shortbed Crew Cab 4x4.. Confused Confused Mad

You buy a Chevrolet for luxury town car appointments, fast acceleration, and because you like the looks. You buy a Ford for Off-Road, a monobeam front diff, a robust tough truck and the Worlds number 1 workhorse. But to be fair have a look at both.. I chose a Ford, because I want an extreme truck, and here is some of what you get:

On the Fords, the 7.3 PSD engine we have ended in 2003 in the U.S. I was not impressed with some sporadic problems in teething in the 2003 and 2004 models 6.0 Powerstroke engine, with a few of them having problems with the Turbo or EGR valves. Most of the problems appear from the motor builders, to actually be from not running the engine HARD enough. The motor is self is brilliant at a stock 325 horse, and romps happily up in the 425 HP range to romp and stomp with the Edge Juice Platinum with Attitude performance module. But there were problems that have been worked out now, as follows: Turbo clearances were too tight in the 03-04 to almost 05, and if left in bad weather and corrosion occurred there were problems with a few in the variable pitch vanes freezing up.. It was fixed by machining to bigger tolerances. Fixed permanently in late 05 ones with additional clearances from Ford on the inner turbo housing itself, according to my studies. EGR valve had sporadic problems, sort of like the CPS problems with the 7.3 and again was replaced with a better design in the 05 to 06 models. So, disregard the rumour mills, I mean if you look for it, you will find problems with about 2%. The same goes for Chevrolet with the record being 6 transmissions in one truck, and Dodge with two complete fuel delivery systems fitted.. These are freak incidents, not the norm, so forget the rumour mill. We have had Toyotas with similar problems, but again, you are talking about the 2%, not the bulk norm. The new Fords are doing extremely well and outsell the others 2 to 1, with Chevs and Dodges combined. And don't forget you get Ford Australia in every major city, they are better than nothing...

The American imports have a TorqueShift 5R110 transmission, that from all accounts is bulletproof, it has performed wonderfully and is long lasting. Transmission Shops in the U.S. report sending out transmissions and kits for the Chevrolets and Dodges, but almost non and in fact some report NONE for the 5R110 new Ford Transmission. You just cannot get this level of power and comfort and fuel economy and safety with a BIG van, in a Japanese tow vehicle… Not even close… Shocked Cool It is a 5 speed, but also has a TOW/HAUL mode with engine braking, and at low temperatures has an addition torque converter lock up from stock in the mid range that makes it a functional 6 speed of fluid acceleration.. This transmission is so good, some Ford shops have not seen one fail in the three years it has been out. The extra gears give it a smooth feel and constant acceleration and superior performance. It runs with synthetic fluid by design, and a much larger transmission oil cooler. These are recommended additions to the 7.3 PSD Fords here in Australia, now incorporated as the norm in the new Fords. And one of the biggest things is a coil suspension with 1/3 less turning radius. A BIG PLUS…

The full American import Fords, now have a coil front suspension, bigger disc brakes, and discs all around, and as I said tighter turning radius, and a lot of other improvements like lights on the outside and indicators built into the extending mirrors. They also have a superior fit and finish in addition to the better drive train and engineering. They also have rear seats that fold up, with a fold out tool tray; or the back of the seat folds down for a bed base to sleep in the back of the Crew Cab. Wink And, luxury appointments to rival any luxury car, climate control and CD Stereo control on the steering column with cruise control, auto dimming lights and mirrors, power back window, and a whole lot more… Mine is the King Ranch addition, saddle leather interior and FX4 package of skid plates and Rancho Shocks.. Mine also comes with a insert in the Hitch Receiver, that slips out, and you can get a Reece Tow Ball Mount Gooseneck that goes to 15,000 lbs and 1500 lbs ball weight.

Anyway, long story short, if any of you want a new one, your only choice is a second hand Brazilian Ford or a full import. I just fell in love with a 6000 GVM Dually, a “King Ranch” top of the line model. The “Full Volume Compliance” Mob is V.D.C. in Melbourne. Mind you there are a half dozen major importers, in all major Cities… My F-350 has a larger towing capacity, larger GCM of almost 10 tonnes, and larger GVM of 6 tonnes. This is the big time, and you can go to a F-450 or F-550 and go ridiculous if you want more, for about the same money..! This truck will tow 15,000 lbs /6800 kg, 1500 lb ball weight with a 2.5 inch drawbar tongue. And here, I put my money where my mouth is, so to speak: I bought the “King Ranch” F-350 4x4 Crew Cab as featured in our DVD, because I wanted a Dually, and wanted to overload it. Climate control all over the interior, leather front and rear, 8 way power adjustable front seats, also with dial up Lumbar support and heaters in the leather seats. A 6 Stacker CD player in the dash, Alcoa big truck alloy wheels, stereo controls on steering wheel, tranny temp gauge and boost in instrument cluster, lights on cab and mirrors, luxury appointments everywhere you look, like power rear window, everything a luxury car would have. Tow/ Haul, back up proximity alarm, all the goodies of a Luxury Vehicle. Yes it did cost big $, but the second hand market of Effies is higher now, and I think it is WELL worth the difference. You are going to pay over 100k for a new Dodge, Chev, or this American Built Ford, so you might want to check out what the best really is…. Just another option, but I can tell you from the ones I have just seen, driving one back as far as an 04, the 6.0 TorqueShift with Tow /Haul mode, bigger brakes and all the rest; I think it is the tops for one tough truck, and you can have the luxury too.

What has prompted me to write this is that at the time there were two Fords in here at Bushtracker, that had spent big money on them with full custom suspensions, one with a $24,000 Canopy!!! Look, if you are going to spend big money on the Brazilian Fords, maybe you better go take a look at the full Import trucks. Several people have spent over $100,000 on the Brazilian Fords adding toys to them, and to be fair they are not even half the quality and luxury of my new 2006 full Import Ford. I did not realize how far things had progressed, and this is impressive! For a little more they could have it all and TWICE THE TRUCK. And the biggest issue is the tighter turning radius of the coil front end… About 1/3 less room needed to do the U turn…

Look, this is not necessary, unless you want a Bushtracker over say 21’… But at about 22’ and up, the difference in tow vehicles between Japanese and Ford is dramatic leverage on the van at high speed, more comfort, more safety, and better fuel economy. I think the full imports are an option now, because you cannot get new ones any more from Ford.

This might be the nicest and best engineering conversion of them all, and someone has already said it but “King of the sandbox” Tonka Toy. I would check it out… You will find one here at Bushtracker, to see the superior fit and finish and engineering; it will be here on display…

Regards from the Ranger, with his new toy, (and tax write off for the next few years, Ha!)


HERE IS MINE, WITH A 2" LIFT IN FRONT, AND 16,000 lb WARN WINCH


INTERIOR FRONT, HEATED 8 WAY ELECTRIC SEATS, LUXURY


HERE IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WITH A LONG TON IN THE BACK, ABOUT
1 1/2 TONS ACTUALLY...


HERE IS ONE THAT IS OVERLOADED... JUST.... Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing


Regards, Ranger


Last edited by Bushtracker on Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:30 am; edited 7 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chevrolets can even get through the smaller drive through windows.... Laughing

And being a Ford driver, I can say the Chevy driver was only following the signs... "Drive Through".... Shocked



Or maybe they did not fix his coffee right the last time.... Laughing Laughing
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Rosco



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:57 pm    Post subject: Cost of importing a US truck Reply with quote

Steve,
I would be interested to know the costs associated with bringing one in.
The USA Ford site gives me the prices of the various models however you may be able to answer how much is freight, tax, RHD conversion, insurance, etc?

Thanks
Rosco
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Rosco...

Look, if you pick up a magazine called 4x4 Trader, there are about 12 major Importers of American trucks, Dodge-Ford-Chevrolet... In about every major city there are one or two...

I bought my Ford from V.D.C. in Melbourne. Now my truck is the very peak top of the range, and loaded with goodies. It would be about 60K in the U.S. Figure about $75 A $, then about $15k transport, $20k conversion and compliancing.. You are up to about $110k in expenses, then parts and insurance and time... Hey do it for a profit and mine cost $135k here. Now you can get a good Chevrolet, Ford, or Dodge, for about the $120 mark. Mine just cost more as a Commercial F-350, Long Wheelbase, FX-4, 4x4 Crew Cab, and then the leather King Ranch luxury edition, as well as a Dually. It all adds up, and to be quite honest mine is way overkill. I then added about 10 k more in 16,500lb winch, 5 and 6mm plate steel reinforced bullbar, and a lift kit and traction bars... And more goodies... Waaay overkill. Shocked
But at the time I was contemplating a 34' gooseneck horsefloat and this would have been THE BEST tow vehicle... Wink

Now this is expensive, but I would expect the Landcruiser Twin Turbo to be in the $80-85 k range, and then you could do tow bar, bull bar, winch, suspension and on and on and get real close to the $100 mark. The issue is that for full time travel the long wheelbase American trucks are more power, safer, better fuel economy, more comfortable, less driver fatigue, and a HUGE storage area in the bed with a canopy over the top...

Overkill for a smaller van 19' and under... But at 20' and up? Full time travel? Certainly over 21', it becomes THE safest way to go.

They all usually have a few vehicles in stock, or it is about a 5 month wait.

Regards, Ranger
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By Request, My "One Year Later Report" on my Full Import Ford (two requests just this week), and how Chevrolet and Dodge trucks are going.. This is just for you Owners that want larger vans over 21’ or 22’, and the storage in the back canopy….

My 2006 F-350 full import has been perfect… Or nearly so, 27,000 kms, had a low output on the alternator that we discovered, it worked but just was a low output and not the 135 amps called for… Factory defect on the voltage regulator we believe.. Warranty replaced that, sent me a new one, no drama. I have an additional extended Warranty for two years, and VDC in Melbourne have been great to work with.

The coil front end suspension on the full import, has a turning radius that is a dramatic improvement over the basic work truck Fords assembled in Brazil that we get here. I mean how tight it turns is astounding. This is a different animal altogether, more of a difference you can see between a Standard Government basic Landcruiser and the luxury end of a Lexus Sahara sort.

Things I did not value as much when I first got it, I now value much more now that I have gotten used to them. This is a full Import, Built in the Kentucky Truck Plant, and it is a joy to drive even after a year, it is a daily highlight. The Climate controls, Stereo controls, and Cruise Controls on the steering wheel, are really nice. I did not realize how much of a convenience it was and I truly appreciate it… It is the little things I now appreciate.. And the 8 way position electric seats with Lumbar support and seat heater are a real joy. When I am sore or tired I often turn down the Temperature on the Climate controls just so I can turn on the seat heater even in hot weather… Just for pure joy. There are many more toys on board, leather interior, AIS filter style, back up radar perimeter alarm, power rear window, on and on I am spoiled and not tired of it yet… The truth? It is the highlight of my day driving back and forth to work… Fair Dinkum. Wink

Look, before I spent $135,000 on this truck and then put on upgrades of gear with a lift and traction bars and big winch and all, TRUST ME, I did my research for years, on and participated in many Forums. I have over 500 Postings on Forums, researching all the big three trucks… And am now doing research on the new generation of engines coming this year running super low emissions on ULSD diesel.. In the first years of this 6.0 motor for instance, they had problems with the sensors on Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and Turbo vane variable pitch, and they have updated all that. That is why I bought the Blue Brazilian built F-250, to continue the research until sensor problems were sorted out… And then finally bought my King Ranch Dually in 2006, (2007 year model in American) … And for those of you that ask and wanted the one year report: My truck has been perfect.

The transmission is undoubtedly the best in the light truck market now, based on two years of research and wide consensus among the Professionals in the U.S. On calling transmission shops, the general report was they send out less kits and rebuilds for this new 5R110 TorqueShift than for the Chevy Allison or the Dodge Ram transmissions. Even though there are three times as many of the 5R110 transmissions out there. The Transmissions Shops and aftermarket supply people overall think it is the best one on the light truck market. I took a pet survey and that was the results from about 20 top sources. The Chev Allison is a close second, but there are three times as many 5R110s out there with less problems and less kits sent out than with the Allison even though there are three times as many 5R110 types running. The Ford TorqueShift is a 6 speed auto, that goes to five speed when hot, and runs on full synthetic only, and comes with heavy duty clutch packs from new and a Super Duty “tow haul mode” that you can select. Even with my 22’ Bushtracker, I have not found it necessary. Only when towing 6 tons on a tri axle 20’ rubbish trailer, did it feel nice with more engine braking.
Now my analysis of all the top three, and mind you this will make me unpopular with some that own the opposition, but this is a little more than a personal opinion. I study them as part of my Profession. I was raised with the top three, owned them all, and am an enthusiast and here is a scientific opinion on them. Still a personal opinion, but in all fairness I am not swayed by personal subjectivity and try to compare everything scientifically. Look, all three of the top three are great trucks on the luxury end of things. You would not go wrong with any of the three choices… The Dodge has the best engine in the Cummins, the Chevy has the softest ride with the independent front end. But the Fords still out sell them more than 3 to 1, for all serious work and for good reasons. The Bodies and parts in general on the full import Fords are the best of the top three, made to last a lifetime.

Those of you with the Brazilian built Fords, have only the very basic vehicle and that is not a fair comparison to the full import Chevs and Dodges. Chevrolet is and still appears to be, the town and country vehicle, with a complex independent front suspension that rides very soft, but I would not want to repair or do maintenance on or rebuild it. The plastics in the Chevrolet interior are widely regarded as not very strong or long lasting. The motors and transmissions are very reliable and widely respected. However, in the wider opinion, Chevrolet does just not have the longevity and durability in the general chassis and body. They just do not hold up as well in severe duty, being more of the town and country gentlemen’s truck. They are favored by the ladies, for a low bonnet profile and dash, but not widely regarded as a heavy duty 4x4, and are not that common in the severe duty environment of Government, Oilfields, Construction, Forestry, Fish and Game Wardens, Logging, Paramedics, Fire and Emergency vehicles. The front suspension has too many moving parts being independent, and they bend tie rod ends and such off road. If you do get a Chev, buy a kit to sleeve and reinforce the front end. They are more of a luxury 4x4 car and they have a lot of plastic bits and light duty luxury components that are just not as robust as the Ford. The Ford body and chassis and components are made to last a lifetime. They have always been that way and still are. The Dodges have undoubtedly the strongest and best motor in the Cummins, but come less regarded with respect to the transmission coming in last of the big three, and the rest of the truck is about a second place compared to the Fords. However, note that both are VERY nice vehicles and I doubt a Bushtracker Owner would wear out either…

Look, REALLY for most Bushtracker Owners the truth is you would be hard pressed to wear the Chev or the Dodge out.. On first impression, the Chevrolet is the nicest luxury feel and look to drive, and as I said the low bonnet profile is kept as a favorite of the ladies as it is not so intimidating to drive. Don’t get me wrong, all three are very nice trucks..!! I myself just want a monobeam front diff and front end, and enjoy the Ford for quality of components and chassis and running gear, and regard it as the best as do most Government agencies, oilfield, mining, all severe duty is a majority: Fords. The Brazilian built Ford we got here is not representative of the true American full import… The feel of my Ford is that going across the roughest parts of Australia until the Chevrolet broke, the Ford would haul it home. Laughing Laughing Now I don’t mean to be disrespectful, the Chevrolet is a fine vehicle, it is just more of a sport luxury vehicle than the Super Duty Fords, and that is its appeal. Wink It might even be better suited to most Bushtracker Owners. Wink Don’t take me wrong, I am trying to give a fair analysis. The truth is you would not go wrong with any of them, and while you cannot beat the longevity and reliability of Japanese tow vehicles, they just lack the wheelbase and horsepower for larger vans…

Overall a summary would be that all three are good vehicles. The Super Duty Ford has the best reputation for overall truck and life of service, made to last a lifetime. You hear more whinges about them, because there are more Fords out there than Chev and Dodge put together by a wide margin. But overall they are still the first choice for severe duty in Government Agencies, Contracting, Oil Field Service, all go for the “Super Duty” Fords by a wide margin of more that 5 to 1 … With regard to the Brazilian assembled Fords: It is just unfortunate we got the lowest end of the Ford product here in Australia, as it does their reputation no good. We have only ever gotten the F-100 and F-150 here, that were not even Commercial Trucks, just a town pickup with 5 stud wheels and light duty gear; and then all we got was the bottom of the range with the Brazilian built Fords. It gives Ford a bad reputation it does not merit… The full imports are twice as good..

ON SERVICE TO THE VEHICLES: I am not happy with Ford Australia, charging a Customer a reported $2400 for an alternator that can be bought from the Ford Fleet Service outlet in America at www.powerstrokeshop.com for $185 and say $50 airfreight here in two or three days… Shop around, as I do not think Ford Australia is doing the right thing with regard to their reputation either. We did a complete rebuild on the front end of an F-250, tie rod ends, knuckle joints, bearings and the works for about $2400 and did not even get the parts in cheaper from the Powerstroke Shop, instead paying higher prices at “Super F Truck Parts” here in Australia… And Ford wanted an estimated $7000 to $9000 to do the job?? Rolling Eyes

I have gotten in cases of oil and fuel filters at substantially lower prices from America. And after your Warranty is run out, you can get the same filters and parts aftermarket branded for even less, same spec, just not Branded…

But now, one year on, my feelings about my King Ranch Dually 4x4 at one year as I have gotten requests to report?? It is love, just pure love. As it turns out, I do not need the 10 tonne capacity, as I am not going to go to the big Gooseneck horse float after all. As long as I am in Bushtracker I should tow my van behind the Mack 4x4 horse truck. So my F-350 is a bit of overkill for me. That would be the ONLY reason I think I would sell it, is to go back to a short 6’ bed and SRW (single rear wheels) as it looks like I am going to do almost all of my towing with the Mack, and not get the big Fifth Wheel set up after all. I have too much truck for my purposes of a general farm and business run about. If I sell it, it would be for a smaller version in SRW or possibly the new Toyota Twin Turbo if it works out really well, and tow a trailer when I need to move a heavy load, but that decision of “to keep or not to keep the King Ranch Effie” is at least 6 months off.

I will await the performance of the 200 Series Toyota in the Bush next year…. And await the Twin Turbo version of the current Fords being Complianced by VDC right now, before making a decision on advice to Owners. I might go a smaller SRW (Single Rear Wheel) version of my truck, as I cannot see me in a Landcruiser again with a fridge and tools and dogs in the tiny back space??? Or the most probably outcome is I might just stay with my King Ranch as it is a case of True Love… Laughing Incidentally, chipped up to Level 5 on Edge Computer with Attitude Module, the Platinum addition, was not only sanctioned for Warranty by VDV, and installed by them with a four way readout of Boost, Transmission Temperature, Engine Temperature, and Exhaust Gas Temperature with safety features built in…. But it also gets the best fuel economy on Level 5 with more torque to shift early and run around on torque with 425 hp. You just have to keep your foot out of it, which is hard when Hoons try and pass you on the ramp and such…Ha! And by the way, in the past few years it seems like it is good for the motors to romp on them now and then as it cleans the sensors. According to popular consensus of Technicians the motor is meant to run and work, babying them too much caused sensor problems in the past. They are made to work and self clean.

On the new 6.4 twin turbo coming, it is made to run on the ULSD diesel we have, and the idea of the engine is to eliminate some of the electronic sensors with more ducted cooling in from the front end. It may be a great new motor style getting back to basics. Mine 6.0 is perfect, and I am not likely to buy anything until it has been on the road for a while… VDC is working on it now and estimates Compliance by the mid 2008, and by then we will see what the performance is on the new Landcruiser 200 Series as well. Fuel economy seems to pick up about 5-10% on most new diesels as they loosen up, my F-350 King Ranch is getting better now at 27,000 kms. A Dual Cab, Long Wheelbase, Dual rear wheels, loaded, long 8’bed, 200 litre tank in bed, fridge, third battery, tool boxes, heavy 6mm plated bulbar and 16,500lb winch, and bed loaded; it gets about 6.5-6.8 km/ litre combined city and highway. Not bad for a dually that can go to 6 ton GVM… and 10 ton GCM.

Regards, stg


Last edited by Bushtracker on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:52 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:17 pm    Post subject: Full import verses Brazilian fords Reply with quote

I dont know much about the ford F series but how do you tell which is full import ford and a brazilian ford.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Russell,
The difference is readily apparent. First of all the Brazilian built Fords are all the 7.3 litre PowerStroke diesel... Which is an excellent motor.. But they are basic on the inside, and a leaf spring front end...

The full imports are a 6.0 and twice a strong a transmission that has a track record of being the best mid sized truck transmission in the world the 5R110 TorqueShift. The 6.0 litre PowerStroke engine is higher horsepower and performance, out since 2003. The most obvious thing besides a flasher interior, is the full imports have a coil suspension front end and a dramatically tighter turning radius. Look for the coils and 6.0 and you will know if is a full Import, built in the U.S.A. They are fairly rare, but trust me, if it is a full Import it will be advertized as such as they are a better truck. The 6.0 had sensor problems on the engine in 03 to 04 mostly worked out by 05, not dramatic but some.. The later model ones have been pretty good from research on the Powerstroke Forums.

Regards, stg
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Steve,

Would you please share a little more of your undoubtably vast knowledge of the F250 SD SRW range of trucks? I am asking about the fully imported 2008 models which are converted from L/H to R/H drive and fully complianced here in Australia. The diesel engine is 6.4L, V8, twin turbo chargers (in series), 350hp @ 3000rpm, 650ft/lb torque @ 2000rpm. There is an automatic 5 speed TorqShift transmission with overdrive available for the diesel engined utes.

1. Do those Ford F250-350 vehicles optioned as 4x4, or purpose built as 4x4's have lockable/free wheeling front hubs like the Toyota utes? Or are they full-time four wheel drive?

2. The final axle ratios of the 250 SuperDuties are given as either 3.55, 3.73, 4.1 and 4.3. With the horsepower available from the 6.4L twin turbo diesel, I expect the 3.55 axle ratio would be sufficient .. but I plain don't know.

If I purchased a F250 SD SRW, the heaviest work it would do would be to tow a 20' Bushtracker, plus maybe 700kg in the box. I understand that the 3.55 option would give longer legs when not towing, which would be great for general tripping about. Would you care to share an opinion on a suitable rear axle ratio, for the above type of duty?

I've been reading the forum since early August '07. Like everyone else who comments on it .. I think it is terriffic. And thankyou for it.

Regards,
Davef
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the kind words Dave,

I will endeavor to add to it and even expand this Forum for your benefit, and the words of appreciation get me through the bad days when I am short of time to dedicate to the "cause" Laughing

I am going to expand this to do video links, to help with demonstrations on how to put up the Aussie Traveller awning and things like that.. So thank you again for the encouragement..

Now on your your specifics: The truth is, we have no experience with the 6.4 Twin Turbo..... I have 500 postings in years of research on Ford Forums, and have owned the past two models before my current 6.0.. However we do not have them approved just yet here. I am one waiting on the sidelines but have some reservations I will list below...

On the Free-Wheeling hubs, there have been kits to do this, and on one of mine I had the Warn Hubs shipped in and did it myself. I would assume this kind of mod will be available, but time will tell.

In the past motors, with the torque and horsepower, the 3.73's were the best gears with a single rear wheel drive, and the 4.10's for the dually. It goes on up from there, this is just the consensus... 4.30 is for F-450 sort of dually DRW with a dump bed dragging an excavator around on a trailer... It is way too severe a gear for our application and hurts fuel economy noticably.. My Crew Cab DRW (Dual Rear Wheel) is 4.10 and while better for towing as I have something like 10.8 ton GCM and can tow about 6 ton, it hurts fuel a bit.. 4.30 is over the top..

3.73 has been the towing and transportation success story, suited to our application. With the new engine and TT, the possibility exists to to to 3.55, but it might hurt around town, more grunt to get going, like stuck in O.D. In the vacuum of available testing and experience I would stick with the tried and true 3.73..

Now, this is not the GOSPEL... There is a place to test this theory and here is the biggest Ford Forum in the world, and has Categories like I patterned this style off of, so you can look it up by Category and Topic.
The main Forum Director is: http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/

And the 6.4 TT (Twin Turbo) Category is:
http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/ford-08-newer-6-4l-powerstroke-forums/ Copy and paste this....

Here you can talk with the Owners and get first hand REAL TIME Experience...

Now my reservations are this: The Greenies have won out on eliminating visible carbon emissions in the inner city, at a cost of new engines that are actually harder on the enviorment... In this case these new engines that have low carbon emissions ARE RUNNING AT ABOUT 10% WORSE FUEL ECONOMY!!! Shocked

This is the same with the new Dodge 6.5 Cummins (I think it is 6.5 or 6.7 can't remember) but anyway it is the same with the new Dodge, the fuel economy went down about that same 10% and Customers are SCREAMING! Chevrolet has not released it yet, but the rumour is for more of the same- worse fuel economy for no visible carbon emissions.. There is talk about new Company programming to try and remedy the situation, but not yet.....
Keep up to date, and get the REAL information from them... My Handle there is the Lone Ranger as well... "Out on the last Frontier in Oz" Laughing

I await results, but wonder and have overall been advised, my King Ranch CC DRW 4x4 FX4, is still the overall preferred vehicle... I waited three years for them to revise the sensor issues before I bought it, and I might just wait at least a year before jumping on the idea of a 6.4. Go there and stay abreast.

On Importers, I am happy with the conversion and service with VDC Pty/ltd in Melbourne, a very nice job...

Best Regards, Steven Gibbs, Director, Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have come full circle....

I have had a Silverado, 2008, lovely luxury car, and I really cannot fault it. But the truth is I am a die hard Rig Junkie and I also decided I wanted to go back to a dually for the sake of big horsefloats. And now I have gone back home to the F-350 Crew Cab FX/4 4x4 King Ranch Dually.... I wanted to give them all fair evaluations, Tracy has had two Dodges, and I had the Silverado you can read about in ALTERNATIVE TO THE 200 SERIES, THE NEW LMM SILVERADO... Very nice Luxury Car 4x4... But I am back home now.

I have come full circle. This is my own Personal Choice, an 11/07 King Ranch, more on it later when I have time... Look for those of you considering 22' and larger, even my Super Cruiser is a bit unsafe with a van that large, the same goes with the 200 Series my Wife is driving. Yes my 22' is more loaded than most, double heating, 8 water tanks, 120 litre stainless drinking water, two bedrooms, two air conditioners and a lot more.. It is just a bit unsafe behind the wheelbase of a Landcruiser.. It is all about leverage at high speed if you have to make a serious radical move to avoid an accident, and then recover. The short wheelbase of Japanese tow vehicles runs out of safety margin at 22', and the longer wheelbase of the larger vehicles in the same conditions would hardly know it is on the back..

Of course you do not need this much OVERKILL, but my GVM is 5800 kg on this King Ranch F-350, if you wanted a boat on top, big Gull Wing steel canopy, genset, and the rest.... THIS is the very tops.. My Silverado is probably the best Bushtracker Tow Vehicle for most of you, but this is a proper truck, a little "Big Rig" set up already so I can do a big gooseneck horsefloat. And of the 100 or so of you with Fords, some of you are over your GVM on SRW Single Rear Wheels. At least one of you has coverted to a DRW Dually, but if you were headed in this direction, wanting a big canopy, boat on top, 150 goodies in the canopy, motor, more and more like some of you... This is a consideration as the Dually as you saw in action on the DVD is awesome off-road and the payload is almost 2 ton. Tare 3700, GVM 5800 (Unlikely to get that much on board)...





It is my favorite colour in this vehicle, a burnt copper metalic with the Tuscon Beige Platinum sort of look on the undercarriage. Maybe the half of Australians that do not like Fords, is because they never got the good American Built ones, only light duty F-100 and F-150 and the Brazilian built F-250s.. In all fairness, the King Ranch saddle leather interior, loaded with gear, built in brake controller, the higher grade transmission and the rest of it all has the feel more like a Truck than a luxury car... Yes, I think most Ladies will like the Silverado better, a Luxury Car feel, but this King Ranch feels tight and strong like a little Big Rig. Heavier chassis, bigger suspension, monobeam front end, this is a real Beast..



I always wanted this colour, brown on cloudy days, maroon at night, and golden "burnt copper" they call it in the sunshine... Wink

Anyway: If you make a boo-boo like I have and hit a washout a bit too hard, a cattle grate too hard, run off the road over logs and rocks, this is the kind of 4x4 TRUCK front drive axle you want, 5 ton solid front live axle, truck gear. The kind made to last a Lifetime. After having had all the newer models, my analysis of the Order of Chev Dodge and Fords is still correct. Now you know it is not biased, I have owned them all. This is a tough truck, coil front end, about half the turning radius of the Brazilian Built ones, and you are welcome to have a look...



Anyone is welcome to stop by and see my new Baby. Already set up for a Fifth Wheel Gooseneck Horsefloat with chassis cross mount and 9 ton ball. 14,560 kms, almost run in. When I bought my first King Ranch, you see in the DVD in white, this burnt Copper Metalic was my first choice but none were available... This one is a Blessing from the Lord and it has found a good home with me... Wink

Here She is hooked up to my 22' Bushtrcker, Tamworth Bound for the Nationals...




Kind regards from the Ranger, in love with his new horse... Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fuel economy with this big of a BEAST:

Now mind you, I have an SCT Xcal/3 Tuner coming, that will give me about 10-15% better fuel economy.. And I plan on a 3.5 to 4" Turbo back free flow exhaust to give me about 5% better.. But right now, bone Stock fuel economy: No Tuner, on a four hour round trip to Hervey Bay I got 7.3 km/ litre. That is better than my 100 Series Landcruiser with TWICE the truck..
Mind you, I have 410 gears, and to get that good you have to stay under 2000 rpm which is 100 kph. You would do better with the standard 373 gears...

Loaded and Towing? On the way down here, Tamworth Nationals, with my heavy 22' Bushtracker on the back with 22’ loaded, double air units, dishwasher, double heater units, BBQ, more gear than most would have, I was getting 4.5 km per litre, about 22.5 litres per hundred. That rivals the 100 Series in a ration to van size and weight, and only slightly less than the 200 Series. A tuner should give me at least 10% better, and a free flowing exhaust should give me about 5% and so that is what I am doing when I have time..

You cannot tow such a large and heavily loaded Bushtracker with the half ton of extra gear I am carrying with even the 200 Series Landcruiser SAFELY... Due to wheelbase length and control if something happens and you have to make a radical move.. My goal is with a Tuner and exhaust, is to meet the 200 Series fuel economy of 5 - 6 km per litre towing, only with twice the tow vehicle and a 500 kg bigger van.. SAFETY IS THE MAIN ISSUE.. If I avert an accident at 100 kph, my F-350 would hardly know the van was on the back.. This is the category of large van where these luxury tow vehicles really SHINE...

I paid $120,000 for this King Ranch F-350 with long range tank and Bull Bar and tow package and 5th wheel ball, with 14,000 kms on the clock. My 200 Series cost $80,000 bone stock without even a Bull bar. On vans this size, this full import Ford is twice the vehicle as Toyota and I would encourage you to consider it for vans 22' and up.

By contrast, my Chev Silverado (sold) got 7 km per litre, and about the same 4-5 towing. But the Silverado is lighter in build, independent front end, lighter chassis and tail shafts and the rest and is more of a Luxury car than a truck.. Mind you, it is probably the best overall choice for most Bushtracker Owners right now, and here is why: Ford is out with a new twin turbo 6.4 PSD with more emission controls (DPF) and worse fuel economy and in my opinion they need a little more time to get the bugs worked out.. Nice truck, nice features, but I will wait a little while yet to see it refined and DPF / fuel economy worked out.. Dodge Cummins Ram 4x4 gets the best fuel economy of the three, at about 9km/ litre and 6-7 towing, but only in the last model 5.9 Cummins engine of 07 and before.. The new one has the same DPF and bugs, and also has the least backup support for it here in Australia, and is the most rare. And again, it also has DPF Emission control problems on the new engine, so again you have to stay with a second hand one 07 and before.. I chose the full import "Real Ford" the last of them without the new DPF Emission controls to sort out.... But that is another topic in this Category. I do love the new Ford 6.4 Twin Turbo trucks, with the grill going up with the bonnet for access like a big rig, and a lot of other nice features. I may actually get one as there are at least 55 in the country now. But I will wait until the Emission control and fuel economy improvements and modifications come through, I think.. I also like the leather interior of the last model of King Ranch, with arm rests, and saddle leather look, and that has been discontinued.

I make this a real study in research. With huge participation on the Ford Forums, Silverado Forums, and Cummins Forums doing research. Please feel free to ask questions, as my research is years in the making.. OK?

Regards from the Rig Junkie, in love with Horses and Horsepower.... Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FUEL ECONOMY EXPERIMENTS.. Well, here is how it is sitting now, I have added an SCT Livewire, you can see it on www.innovativediesel.com
My actual one has a readout for six engine and transmission parameters and looks like this:
http://www.innovativediesel.com/_e/Electronic_Performance/product/SCT9600-C/SCT_LiveWire_Custom_Tuner.htm

This allows me to be on line and get custom Tunes to suit my aims and in this case it is fuel economy... I am also scheduled to get a 4" free flow exhaust next Wednesday, and have received a MBRP 3.5" Turbo Back downpipe that will expand to 4" exhaust and free flow muffler...

The aim is to beat Toyota fuel economy with twice the vehicle, twice the safety, twice the capacity, twice the power, and twice the room and driver ease... Right now sitting at 7.3 kms /ltr. I will give figures after the SCT Tune and 4" exhaust... Look, for smaller vans this is ridiculous, and for returning to the inner city, also ridiculous. But for out there in the far west? These larger vehicles can save your life and do it in comfort...

On my last rig, the Silverado lighter duty luxury ute, I had a Gull wing Canopy and big drawer system with fridge slide out like this:



Instead of a canopy, I have two big tool boxes, 200 litre fuel tank, and Trailblaza fridge/freezer and Third battery in the back. It is set up for a 9 ton ball between the boxes so I can also back into a big Fifth Wheel Gooseneck Horsefloat when I find a good deal on one... Only showing you that it has the same load in it as the Silverado with a canopy and drawers, getting about the same fuel economy at 7-7.3 kms/ litre.. 13.7 litres per hundred.



Now this truck is a bit of overkill for a Bushtracker van, but I have a large 5th Wheel ball down in the center for a Goose Neck Horsefloat... And the point is if you want a big van over about 22', I am working on good fuel economy to suit...



And I have ordered the new 16,500 lb Warn Winch with Temperature Alarm in handpiece that will go in behind this 9mm plate Bocar bar...



We will see what the end fuel economy is... As I am telling you before the SCT tune and 4" exhaust goes on. Mind you, this sort of vehicle is overkill for most, but when you get up into a 22' or larger, then this becomes a really good option for safety, power, control in wheelbase, comfort, and luxury.... I even park it in the city and just hang the rear over the curb... Laughing I love it... 07 King Ranch F-350 4x4 Crew Cab, LWB Long Wheel Base, 410 gears. You should do better than my figures with a short bed (6') and higher gears... Like 373 gears..

Regards, results coming when I have them.. lone Ranger


Last edited by Bushtracker on Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:50 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I prefer the Fords, more of a truck with larger tail shafts, larger chassis, and the rest. And I like the front end better with a standard monobeam live front axle, and I like the full import 5R110 transmission better. And I like the look and feel.. These things are all because I want more of a heavy duty truck so I can have the option of going to air-brakes and towing large 5th wheel horsefloats... All that said and done, a Silverado for most of you is probably a better choice.

Why? Well, Service and parts up in Gympie, 45 minutes from Bushtracker, is worth something.. Mind you, except for the motor, most of the parts for my Ford are available through Ford Australia, Supa F parts, or any number of other suppliers. But this is for an Enthusiast like me. Most of you that want the easy and convenient Warranty and Service are better off with a Silverado, and Performax offers a good Warranty..

We would have about 20-25 towing Bushtrackers right now. Here are pictures of one that was here just a few days ago:



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Silverado leaving.....

Look, only a 21' Bushtracker behind, but: This will do it in ease and comfort and certainly a better level of safety with the longer wheelbase leverage on the van should something radical happen in front of them at 100 kph...





About 50% more practical power and comfort than a Landcruiser 200 Series, and there are some bargains around on them. If you are not coming back to the city all the time, this is certainly something to consider.

Regards, stg
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Business reasons, since the full Import Fords are relatively rare, and we need to be able to refer someone to a safer alternative to the 200 Series when they want a very large van... I am going back to a Silverado Dually myself. Mine is here, up in Gympie and will be delivered next week.

This is a business decision, to have on here on display that people can sit in and get a feel for, and it is good to have Service and parts right there in Gympie. Four year Warranty, 120,000 kms, Roadside Assist, and more power-comfort-control-less driver fatigue- and to top it all they get better fuel economy when towing a large van. Here is mine, less chrome and toys going on now:



Now some people are taking the tack of trying to do it with a Japanese truck, and it can be done, here is one of many .



This can work, but it is none of the Sahara or Holden Statesman Luxury like the Silverado, and about 1/2 the horsepower. This would be about 200 HP, where the Silverado with the EFI Live DPF delete sits at 400 HP with a Six Speed Allison automatic... Luxury is the word, and we have a good Dealer here in Performax International in Gympie.

Mind you don't need a dually like the one shown, but it is extremely safe and has a huge payload. There are some serious advantages if you are going large on everything.... Safety, payload, GVM, GCM is higher, you can hardly overload a dually.

Most of you can do just fine with the shorter one, about the size of a Landcruiser, with Sahara Luxury and a ton more payload and a ton more towing capacity,
Here is the Club Cab, don't know what they call it, but it is only 80cm longer than a Landcruiser and about twice the capability...


The door has a hidden handle inside and opens like this.


Guests, or massive storage behind the fronts seats...


And this 2008-9 model, has the coolest feature in that for access the door folds all the way back against the bed... How cool is that !!
[/i][/b]

Maybe before you go spend $90,000 on a 200 Series GXL with serious issues and in need of a suspension and with very minimal carrying capacity... You ought to go have a look at these.. Even living in the city I think it is a better and safer alternative..

80 cm longer, and you get 895 Newton Metres of torque and 365 Horsepower stock, 400 HP with exhaust job, and a longer wheelbase for safety and control, and more luxury that a Landcruiser?...

Better watch out, I am going to talk myself into one... OOOPS, tooo late, already have one... Laughing Laughing Laughing

For more on the Silverado and the models available, there is a Topic in this category called ALTERNATIVE TO THE 200 SERIES, THE NEW LMM SILVERADO.. Certainly a consideration if you want Sahara luxury for a larger Bushtracker van from 21'-22' and up.

Cheers from the road Ranger
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, first towing with my new LMM 2009 Silverado, and it was dangerous.. Shocked

Why you say? Because it was a 20' Bushtracker, very heavily loaded, and I could not feel it on the back. In short I was driving up to the Weigh Bridge with my mind thinking about what horse supplies to buy when I got there, and I forgot the van was on the back!

At 400 HP and my 6 speed Allison Auto, I could not feel the van on the back and I forgot it was there... Shocked Laughing Laughing Laughing The new LMM Silverado IS the top tow vehicle for larger vans. Certainly from about 21' or 22' and up, and this is a LUXURY car in a truck with all the luxury appointments of something like a Holden Statesman... It is a joy to drive and may hold the very top fuel economy standard of any Bushtracker Tow Vehicle... Wink



Mind you, mine is limited to 7000 kg and you need Air Brakes for over 4500 kg towing some thing like this 27' Bushtracker if you overload it. Rolling Eyes



But I check mine in for Air Brakes on Friday 31 July, so the sky is the limit... ... Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:39 pm    Post subject: air brake kits Reply with quote

Hello Steve, Where is the best place to source the components or a kit to fit a trailer air brake contoller system to an '012 F350 SRW?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry,

But you will have to search the Yellow Pages, or Google Search for Brisbane.. I have not done one in three years, and cannot remember the name of the last Company.. It was something like Brisbane Air Brake Services, or Air Brake Services, something like that. They did two of my trucks, and then only wanted to sell the kits for DIY... At the time there were two Companies.

Sorry I cannot be more help..
Kind regards, on the road, Ranger
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