F350 4x4 5 speed: How reliable is the trans, tcase, clutch, rest of truck? Mileage? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:36 PM
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F350 4x4 5 speed: How reliable is the trans, tcase, clutch, rest of truck? Mileage?

I'm thinking of trying to find a standard cab 4x4 5 speed F350 to drive at least for the rest of the winter. I've owned, and still own several First Gen 4x4 manual Cummins Dodges, but have always been curious as to how the Fords are. Sorry for the noob post, I've already done a lot of searching. What is the life expectancy of a ZF5, are rebuild parts readily avaliable and are they expensive? Do these transmissions tend to self destruct if ran too long w/o new bearings? Are there any downsides to converting from a dual mass to regular flywheel, and who makes a good kit for close to stock power? Are the transfercases the same on the manuals and autos, and how reliable are they? How long does a set of glowplugs last, and how do these start if not plugged in at 0 degrees and in the wind all day? What about the rest of the electronics for the powerstroke, HPOP, injectors, etc? Thanks for any insight, some of this is a lot different than a Cummins.

Last edited by Bookshelf; 01-12-2012 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:09 PM
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I cant answer most of your questions, but my buddy had a zf5 mounted up to a cummins and it took a beating and never had any problems. i had a first gen cummins before my ford and honestly i wouldnt look back. my dad has a 7.3 since new in 200 and hasnt had any problems with starting it in the cold and my starts right up every time. my cummins had a denny t fuel pin turbo off a second gen head studs and the fuel pumped turned up exhaust and intake and my powerstroke has a exhaust intake and a tuner and its easily alot faster. i dont know if this help at all
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:35 PM
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if you have a good glow plug relay and glowplugs you will never have a problem in 0* best gpr for these is a stancor, glowplugs, always should be motorcraft/beru, i have an auto, but ive never had a problem with trans t case or any other part of the driveline, good luck hope more can help
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:02 PM
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The biggest threat to the tranny is the dumb-mass....er....dual-mass flywheel. So yeah, SMF conversion is a smart move. Only downside is you hear more gear noise, and IMHO it's a little rougher shifting (not sure why the SMF would be different). Pretty sure it's the same t-case, but it sits a little further forward (or is it back?), so the linkages are different. Both cases take ATF; the ZF requires synthetic. You'll probably want to ditch the cheapo OEM centrifugal auto-lock hubs for some Warn or Mile-Marker manual lockouts.

Starting - +1 on the Stancor GP relay, and ONLY use Motorcraft/Beru glow plugs. Inferior plugs can swell and get stuck in the head; not a good day. Two strong batteries, always replaced in pairs, are also a big plus. Keep the battery connections clean, of course. Another popular upgrade is a SuperDuty starter; gear reduction, 4kW.

Note: the WTS light does NOT indicate glow plugs; the GPs stay on long after the WTS light goes off. So, at 0F, if you want extended GP time before starting, you DON'T "cycle" the key when the WTS light goes off. Just leave the key in RUN for an extra 10-20 seconds or so. It'll chug a few, and pour enough white smoke to make people wonder why you're mosquito fogging in the middle of winter when it lights off, but it will light. At home, get a timer for the block heater; you only need 2-3 hours.

Electronics - the weak point, I'd say, is the IDM. They get water inside the case, and it's bye-bye. Fortunately, they're not year/tranny/emissions specific like the PCM; you can even run a SuperDuty IDM. And they come up frequently in the classifieds sections of the various PSD sites. So pick up a spare. Also get a spare CPS. One from the International dealer is supposedly the best.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:25 PM
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Thanks for all the responses, what kind of fuel mileage can I expect with summer fuel, both stock and with an air intake and a downpipe/exhaust?
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:57 PM
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20-ish, give or take. The intake/exhaust will help, provided you don't use them as an excuse to get on the skinny pedal excessively. Depends on how you drive, whether you tow/haul, how much you use the 4x4, and which diff ratio (3.55s will do better than 4.10s). There's a gazillion theories/opinions about the impact of toppers, tonneaus, tailgate nets, etc.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:48 PM
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I'm no trying to use a truck as an economy car or anything, I never had a problem getting low 20's from my Dodges, wanted to make sure I could get close to that.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:05 PM
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my tonneau increased economy over my stacks, but i didnt care
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookshelf View Post
I'm no trying to use a truck as an economy car or anything, I never had a problem getting low 20's from my Dodges, wanted to make sure I could get close to that.
Best I have gotten is 15.5, with intake, exhaust, cleaned fpr, 285 highway tires. But my flatbed weighs, 1k and my winch bumper about 250, and I've got about 100 or 2 pounds of various tools and other stuff. 20 mpg out of a 350 is a bit out of the question, unless you are running a reg cab. I would think 18 would be possible, mines a crew with 3.55 and driving like a granny that is the best I've ever gotten.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:53 PM
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ive seen many 350 owners talk about their 20+ mpg's it could be driving style, or maybe your flat bed
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