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Intro - Two Provinces, Three Diesels, and Lots of Questions

1769 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Cummins6712
Hi, I haven't done the forum thing since my '05 Titan and the years with Club Titan and CNTC. With or current vehicles I've found the user/enthusiast groups are big enough that every question you could ask has already been asked and posting yourself has little value. Not so much for the 3.0L Power Stroke, so I decided to join.

  • 2012 Ram 2500 Cummins 6.7L, ST, CC, 4x4, auto. The truck is my daily driver, over 200k, tuned, lifted, 37s, etc. I've owned it for 6 years, it tows a lot, plan to keep it forever. 14-15L/100km empty, 17-20l/100km towing.
  • 2015 Audi Q7 3.0L TDI. Was my wife's daily driver until we took an opportunity to work in Northern Manitoba and its too unreliable to be 7 hours from a dealership. 8-10l/100km empty, 10-12l/100km towing.
  • 2018 Ford F-150 3.0L PS, Lariat 502A FX4 SC with Trailer Tow and Tech Packages. Levelled and some accessories. Bought from a family member with 30k and immediately used to move to Northern Manitoba. 8-10l/100km empty, 16l/100km towing.

I have experience with Power Stroke Diesels going back to the 7.3L in 96, and every version since (6.0L, 6.4L and 6.7L). I very briefly owned a Duramax. Worked for a Cat dealer for 5 years. The first thing I drove was a Ford diesel tractor...that I still have. It's fair to say I'm a "diesel guy".

Joined to contribute and ask questions regarding:
  • Powertrain
  • Cold weather usage
  • Mileage
  • Suspension
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@Cummins6712 - let me be the first to welcome you here to the forums! We always appreciate adding prior diesel owners to our ranks, as a lot of us here are new diesel vehicle owners. Like you, I cut my diesel ownership teeth owning small diesel tractors, and took the plunge in 2018 factory ordering a first model year F150 PSD. Lot of of good members here with quite a range of ownership and work experience, where we try to figure out the nuances of this new engine platform in America's most popular truck. Feel free to use the "Search Community" box in the top center of any forum page to see if any of your questions may have been previously discussed. If you don't find answers to your questions, feel free to start a new thread on the topic. Welcome aboard!
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Welcome to our corner of the internet! I remain amazed at the knowledge of our members, everyone has something to contribute. Since you owned the infamous Ford 6.0 among others you must have some interesting stories to tell.

My first diesel was dad's 1965 Mercedes that he drove until it rusted out under him at 165,000 miles, I remember him doing a driveway valve job among other repairs. I helped and did oil changes, but I was impressed with the diesel value and mileage, Later diesels were an Onan 4 cyl generator, a Hercules and a White M35A2 deuce and a half when the Army sold off its fleet in the early 2000s. Last deuce was a M35A3 with a Cat 3116, an awesome truck with only 5,500 miles. These days I play with a Cat 3126E. Years ago I managed a fleet with several diesels, including a road grader with a gas pony engine used to start the diesel.

I am no help on cold starting, I try to avoid that when possible. Great to have you!
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I chose my words carefully with the 7.3s, 6.0s, 6.4 and 6.7 PSDs, these, were all my step fathers trucks. I experienced them but didn't own them. There definitely are 6.0 stories though, there's no "lemon law" in Canada but after multiple failures his first 6.0 was essentially bought back. He still talks about the last 7.3, "I should have kept that one".
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On the cold weather front, the F-150 is now the 5th diesel that I currently own. Others include a 2003 E-350, a 2004 Jetta Wagon, a 2007.5 Silverado 3500HD, and a 2016 Touareg. They live in a rural area of Interior Alaska. Here are my experiences:

1.) Where I live (and likely in northern Manitoba as well), our fuel blend transitions in the fall and we end up running straight #1 Diesel for 3 - 4 months of the year. The lubricity of diesel in North America is pretty poor, but even lower with #1 Diesel. I run Stanadyne Lubricity Formula to compensate for it. The F-150 runs a Bosch CP4.2 HPFP; although overblown on the internet, these pumps can fail from a lack of lubrication. I only have a single data point, but my Touareg runs a Bosch CP4 and it is now at 110,000 miles without any issues. With properly winterized fuel, there is no real need to run anti-gels, but in the shoulder seasons I may run it proactively. In late September, we dropped to +3F, so I ran some Power Service to avoid getting stranded in case the fuel hadn't caught up. Likewise, if I fill in Anchorage, which is relatively warm, I may add an anti-gel.

2.) If you are into deleting emissions, I'd think twice before removing the EGR. The EGR is a big component in warming up the coolant.

3.) Webasto and Eberspacher heaters can be nice. They make aftermarket ones, but some cars, like your Audi had them as options for rest-of-the-world production. They are diesel powered heaters that heat and circulate coolant. I retrofitted my Touareg with one of these and coded it so it can be programmed/operated through the vehicle's MMI. Think of an off-grid block heater that you can program to have your interior warm when you climb in on Monday morning. They aren't cheap and not really necessary, but they are nice. My experience is that modern diesels with a good battery will start even parked for several days at -30F (as a high temperature). I've cold started down to -50F without a block heater (and prior to my Eberspacher retrofit) on my Touareg a few years back; that's as cold as I've ever gone with unassisted starting. In North America, I'm pretty sure a supplemental heater is only available in Sprinter vans from the factory.

Keep in mind that supplemental heating can cause a car to throw codes (fuel powered or electric block heaters). I've only experienced it with a friend's Honda Fit that we installed a block heater on. Apparently, various temperature readings become implausible when the car was plugged in overnight. Not sure if this is a common issue, but it is possible. I can pretty much guarantee that a factory block heater is sized so that it does not cause engine codes.

4.) Modern diesels have an inherent conflict in cold weather where you have to balance warming the vehicle and drivetrain up versus harming the DPF. I tend to warm up for a very short period before driving off. I never idle my vehicles while shopping, etc.... This is the internet, so everyone has their own experience and opinions, but those are mine.

By the way, that 7.3L has some great aspects, but it is dirty, loud and has pretty poor fuel economy. I plan to replace my van with the F-150, but I will miss the van (especially the payload and 20,000lb GCVWR) more than the actual engine. The 7.3 is a battleaxe, but a battleaxe can't compete against modern artillery.
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I am in the same boat, @Cummins, or should I say the same truck ;) I look forward to further discussions although I mainly read and lurk. Cheers and thanks for the info guys.
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@AmyCC77 the towing business in the GTA is a crazy business! What part of the business are you in? With 20% of our country's population in your service area you'd see more breakdowns than anyone, have you responded to many failed 3.0 PSDs?
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