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I own a 2016 Ford F250 and it is the first diesel truck I have owned, typically have had a 1/2 ton truck. It has a 6" lift with 37x12.5x20 tires and a 3.55 gear ratio. I only use it to drive to and from work on occasional vacation, but approximately 2-3 weekends out of the month for about 7-8 months out of the year I pull a bass boat that with trailer probably weighs around 4,500-5,000lbs. I am not looking for speed performance, but rather gas mileage or towing help if possible.

On almost all of my prior trucks I have installed after market performance parts. Such as cold air intakes, dual exhaust, thermostat, exhaust system, tuner/chips, etc...

On this one, I didn't want to do any of that really to avoid any issues down the road. Plus it is a diesel and has plenty of power. However, recently I got to talking to some other fisherman at the ramp and the topic of gear ratios and tuners came up. I admit the one thing I don't know much about is gear ratios and how they work, which is best, etc.

So I got to thinking about what I use my truck for and the lift/tires and all and started researching gear ratios. First of all I know there isn't a magic part out there that will give me better fuel mileage or performance or towing capability, but there are some things that can help and that is what I am interested in. I plan on keeping this truck for quite a while and am big on preventative maintenance. I want to make sure I am not putting additional wear and tear on the truck that could be avoided if at all possible. Like I said it has power, but with the amount of towing I do if there is something I can change, such as gear ratio, that would make a difference, I will do so.

But that is the question, do I change, and if so, to what ratio? Do I need a tuner (obviously I probably don't NEED a tuner, but if it would help, I am also willing to do that). I also called Diesel Power Products and talked to one of the guys there and he said that it is possible that all I need is a gear ratio change and that might give me what I am looking for, but would certainly reduce the wear and tear I would cause down the road from the towing. He recommended I change from a 3.55 to a 4.30 because that would help with not only towing, but possibly overall performance and daily driving because of the lift and 37" tires. He said that if I still wanted to go with a tuner after that for gas mileage and/or towing that I could do so and while it wouldn't hurt, it also may not help a ton and the best money spent would be the gear ratio change.

Anyone here have any opinions or can offer advice? Thanks guys.
 

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Others will no doubt help-out with the mechanical specifics of your questions but from a general towing standpoint, I think you’re in great shape with a 6.7 and 3:55 pulling 5000#. Towing is always going to be easier with something like the 4:10 but with your weight, I just don’t see the need to worry about it.
 

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Agreed with the above, the 37's are large, but the 6.7 has no problem moving them. The 3.55's will be fine for that amount of weight towing. You wouldn't notice a difference going from 3.55s to 3.73s, you'd have to go to 4.10s and your mileage would suffer more.
 

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Thank you guys for the info. From the little research I have done you guys are correct, that the 6.7 is plenty powerful enough with the 3.55 to handle the lift and tires just daily driving as well as pulling a 5K boat. Like I said I just wanted to learn a little and make sure I am not causing any issues down the road. It is likely the guy on the phone from the tuner company was just trying to sell product.
 

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@Jason15 Welcome to the diesel world. I was in the same boat as you. I bought my first diesel and right now its set up on 20x12 with 37x13.50r20. 2012 with 6in lift. For what your towing. The stock gearing shouldn't be a problem. A tuner will help with adding some HP/TQ. I tow a boat almost every weekend. 18ft ranger bass boat. No where close to your weight but i also haul farm equipment and i feel like the truck does just fine. I have gone from 62k on my truck to 151k now and only have to replacement coolant/oil quick connector on the turbo, 1 coolant o-ring and 1 ball joint and a ac compressor. Nothing related to being use for towing too much. I get 14-15 mpg empty and 11-13 mpg towing my boat but my truck is also on a diet.
 

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Also i don't know if you have a long bed or short but i ditched my 26 gallon tank for a titan 50 gallon and i'm super happy not having to make diesel pit stop on long trip to all these station.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Jason15 Welcome to the diesel world. I was in the same boat as you. I bought my first diesel and right now its set up on 20x12 with 37x13.50r20. 2012 with 6in lift. For what your towing. The stock gearing shouldn't be a problem. A tuner will help with adding some HP/TQ. I tow a boat almost every weekend. 18ft ranger bass boat. No where close to your weight but i also haul farm equipment and i feel like the truck does just fine. I have gone from 62k on my truck to 151k now and only have to replacement coolant/oil quick connector on the turbo, 1 coolant o-ring and 1 ball joint and a ac compressor. Nothing related to being use for towing too much. I get 14-15 mpg empty and 11-13 mpg towing my boat but my truck is also on a diet.

Thank you all for the help and replies. I have to say, so far it seems like I am getting almost the same info so it is making my decision easier. Most are saying that my truck should be fine as is, but there is nothing wrong with helping it out a little and not having to break the bank. The one constant bit of info I am finding and being told is that a tuner may be more advantageous than going with the gear ratio change because it will be cheaper and likely will not eat into my gas mileage as the gear ratio change would. I have used tuners before for 1/2 ton gas trucks so I am aware that there are stock tunes that you can change to performance, gas mileage, and/or towing. Like I said above, I am not looking for speed/performance, I am just looking to help the truck make/have the power needed for daily driving with the lift and big tires and then also when towing my boat.

Right now when daily driving I get around 12mpg, then when I tow my boat in over drive I get around 10mpg. Not great, but I knew that when I bought the truck so I am fine with that. I just don't want to change gear ratios and then go down even further by 1-2 mpg.

So if I go with a tuner, which should add more HP and TQ, what brand or company do I choose? Because I don't need a custom tune since I don't have any custom changes to the truck, it is stock, so I figure the stock tunes would be sufficient, right?
 

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Custom tuning is still always going to be best. Mainly because all trucks will take the tunes differently. Most of the time custom tuners will work with you and get them dialed in for the truck.

As far as brands and writers I'm not sure on this platform since I really only tuned my 6.0 and that is a way different beast than these 6.7
 

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Don’t want to throw a wrench in your research but one thing to consider us motors optimal “power band”. Or rather, where it was designed to run. Sure you can keep your 3.55 which is basically a 3.27 now and the truck will “still drive good” but you’ve also lowered your operating RMPs. Seems like no one thinks of this on here because this big ol’ diesel can pull a house down the road. However, lower RPM equals more soot built up equals who knows. Swapping gears, as costly as it is, brings your motor back to its happy place. Might be something to consider if you plan on keeping it a long while.


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Also, keep in mind that your miles accumulated on your odometer are not accurate. So your mpg is not either. In other words, because of the larger tires (less revolutions per mile), the miles your truck registers are less than what you actually travel. Not that changing your gears is going to help increase the economy.
 

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Jav-eee makes great points.
Stay in the power band. 37's are on the tall side for 3.55s but not terrible. This will lower your efficiency some and you MAY lug a bit in higher gears. A tuner would help probably. I would say go with it and if you feel like it's a slug on the highway and you can't maintain overdrive with even pedal up an easy grade then think about rehearing. You shouldn't need more than 4.10s at the max if you decided to regear. But honestly I'd consider stepping down to 35s on you next tire purchase and leave the gears alone.
Most gasser trucks would be going to 4.56 or 4.88 to push 37s... just food for thought.
And (grimjeeper) gear ratio calculator is money.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks a ton for all of the info. After your thoughts, some more research and phone calls, it seems clear that I don't "need" to gear up and the 2 best options are a tuner and possibly delete. Again, I have the power and should be fine but neither the tuner or delete are crazy expensive and if nothing else, can't hurt anything.

So here is my next question, which tuner? I have been told by multiple people edge is considered one of the best. Edge Evo HT2 or mayby Bully Dog. I don't want one with the monitor that sits on your dash, just a tuner with canned tunes for towing, economy, performance, etc. Thoughts?

Also, as far as the delete goes, that is essentially just a pipe that fits in between your engine and exhaust, correct? Something I should be able to install? Does it do away with having to use DEF? Does it change my engine noise, as in make it louder? Does it make me spit out black soot smoke alot? If so, I'd rather not do that even with the gains it offers because I don't want an over loud truck where I can't have a conversation in my cab or to spit soot out on my boat.
 

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Ok, after much researching and talking to people I have decided to do a delete and tune. I am going with edgo evo ht2 for the tuner but no clue on the delete. I am going to admit that I am also not sure I would be able to do the entire delete on my own either. I have been told that when doing the delete it comes with a tuner to re-calibrate the engine, is that true? Or do I need to buy a separate tuner to do the delete?

What delete kit is preferred or highly suggested?
 

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Just joined for the first time tonight. And have been reading all these.... all great info but... I’m a long time FORD diesel owner. I’ve owned them all! And all have been lifted. I’ve built high hp trucks, good mileage blah blah blah. Helps to live down the street from KC turbos here in Arizona! To your question the 6.7 is an amazing engine capable of a lot. Your not towing much so “need” isn’t really a thing. But longevity... now that’s a diff deal. My truck is a 2016 f250 with a weight loss program and great tunes. It has a 6” lift, 38” nittos AND 4:30 MOTORCRAFT gears. I tow a 27k toyhauler with it so “need” was diff for me. I can tell you that the diet and tunes add fun and a bit better mileage. The gears changed the whole truck. Before the gears I got a constant 14.5 mpg. Now running around phx Az on the daily I get 18. Thats real world, fill it and do the math. Not paying attn to the trucks computer. The oil temps run 10 degrees cooler and the trans 15 cooler. Doesn’t sound like it but in a truck like ours those are big numbers. And well I can also hit the switch and beat my chicks supercharged Escalade all the way down the freeway. So in summation, better real mileage, cooler temps, staying in the trucks powerband.... priceless!
 

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Also about your last question... not many will talk about “where” to get your diet program. We are all being listened to so please understand that. Canned tunes are not in the best interests of you or your truck. I’d find a good shop close to you and GENTLY inquire within. Just make sure it’s tuned to your trucks strategy. As far as the block off plates they are pretty much the same. Mine are no limit and are very high quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Loyal, great info thanks for replying. This past weekend I had the ez lynk 2.0 installed with the SOTF knob and did a delete. I really haven't messed with it a ton yet due to the quarantine and all. But in your opinion, while daily driving which setting should I be on for best mpg? I have been told 1 and/or 5 but nothing in between. Also, for hauling, I have been told either 2 or 3 due to the weight being around 5000lbs.
 

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No problem. I have tow, street, hot street and race. I keep mine in street for best drivability. Plus typically it this setting... usually the second one it’s a safe to tow up to 10k. This setting has the smoothest shifts, and the truck just generally likes it best. Mine doesn’t smoke in this setting even if I try. Most guys (without gearing) will tell you “hot street” is best for mileage. And that’s generally true if you can stay off the pedal. Smokes a bit and you don’t want to tow anything in this tune. I mean ANYTHING. be careful also with the SOTF. These transmissions need Atleast 20 miles to relearn what’s happening between each program. I know a guy that’s got a brand new 2020 in for a new trans for hitting the switch and stabbing it. Otherwise these truck in this form are pretty rock solid. Congratulations!
 
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