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Old 06-28-2021, 03:36 PM   #1
Hblick48
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Should I Trust My Tow Vehicle?

Per my signature, I tow a 2002 Montana 3280RL (completely upgraded) 5th wheel with a 2005 F-250 XLT 4X4 6.0.

On most recent trip, truck developed bad transmission leak. Luckily I got it to a Ford dealer...turns out to be the torque converter. They were nice enough to let us park the rig in their lot. We boondocked there for 1 night and then rented a car to get home, only 42 miles away. Truck will be finished in a few days as they needed to order the part.

I have complete history of truck since new, previous owner kept a log book. It has 156,000 miles on it. It had 118,000 on it when I got it 5 years ago. Prior owner replaced turbocharger at 110,000. Been running Rotella 5W40, Archoill fuel and oil treatment. Last Blackstone analysis showed all is good. I've done the following (most within last 3 years):

Bypass coolant filter
Serpentine belt
New tires, pads, rotors, calipers
Rebuilt the automatic transmission
2 new batteries
Upgraded alternator
Both drag links
Bilsteen shocks
Rancho Steering stabilizer
Turbocharger cool side metal duct with rubber boots
Bullet Proofed (by Ford Powerstroke Master Mechanic) including:
Genuine Bulletproof EGR cooler and water pump
OEM oil cooler and EGR valve
Stand pipes; dummy plugs
ARP studs
8 OEM injectors
Fan Clutch
Distilled water cooling system flush (before new oil cooler)
Ford Orange ELC coolant
Anything else he thought needed attention while the cab was off.
And now torque converter.

The only other issue has been the turbo hot side boots. I've had the top boot come off 3 different times, and the bottom one once, always when I was towing uphill. They've both been replaced with OEM and Riff-Raff; OEM currently installed. Very nerve wracking when it happens. Fortunately each time I've been able to immediately find a place to pull over, repair and get on the road again. I carry tools and spare parts.

Not towing, my EOT ECT delta runs 2 to 4 degrees. When towing, runs 4 to 6 on flat terrain. Climbing mountains, never exceeds 12 and comes back down quickly when fan engages or going downhill.

Wife is afraid about when the next breakdown will occur. My thinking is that I've still got the HPOP, FICM, and radiator to go. What more can go wrong? Is it time to replace the truck? In which case I will give up RVing because $60,000+ for a (new) used truck is not in the budget.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.
 
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:11 PM   #2
Montana Man
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A 6.0 is always one start away from a breakdown. In all fairness, any vehicle is a broken five dollar part away from a breakdown. It is a matter of your comfort level with the possibility of breaking down. A few new truck payments would pay for a lot of breakdowns.
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:41 PM   #3
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Harris,

I believe you are the only one that can answer your question. If you are comfortable, stick with it. If not look for something else.

There is a lot of common sense in Montana Man's truck payment statement.
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Old 06-29-2021, 06:54 AM   #4
mhs4771
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Right now isn't a good time to be looking at another Truck, I've read that used trucks are selling for more than they did when brand new and some used selling for more that a brand new one if you could find one to meet your needs. These Chip shortages are hitting everyone.
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Old 06-29-2021, 07:04 AM   #5
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Agree with above comments: A few payments will cover a lot of repairs on your current truck. And only you can decide your comfort level.

Now the wife? That's a different matter. If she's not comfortable, then if you want to stay married for another 50 years, you better do what SHE wants and forget about anything WE say on these forums!
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Old 06-29-2021, 07:35 AM   #6
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I put almost 100,000 miles on a 2005 6.0 and never had an issue. Almost all the mileage was towing. Did not bullet proof as you did. You clearly have maintained the truck. A brand new 6.7 can lose an injector pump within the first 100 miles. I would recommend you just drive the truck. If you break down, get towed to a dealership. As my wife likes to say, RVing is an adventure.
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Old 06-29-2021, 07:48 AM   #7
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I had a 2005 F250 with the 6.0 that I bought new. It was in perfect condition both mechanically and physically at about 120,000 miles. It had however left me stranded twice while towing and was giving indications of an impending breakdown. I seriously considered taking it to Arizona to have it bulletproofed at a cost of $10,000 to $15,000, way less than the price of a new truck! Ultimately I decided that I had lost all confidence in the engine and I, and especially my wife, wouldn’t ever be comfortable traveling with it anymore. I bought a extremely low mileage 2 year old truck and have not for even a minute regretted my decision. Now I enjoy the journey to my destination instead of worrying about breaking down. A bonus was much improved pulling power and the exhaust brake amongst other modern amenities.
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Old 06-29-2021, 08:12 AM   #8
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As mentioned, now is not a good time for truck shopping. After selling my Monte, I had planned to downsize from my 2012 F350 to an F150. No go. Local Ford dealers have very little in stock. Closest large Ford dealer who normally has over 100 trucks on the lot now has maybe 15. And only two higher trim level, and both hybrids which I do not want. And my 2012 that was KBB valued at about $27,000 a few months ago is now valued at over $37,000! Great time to sell. Bad time to buy.


If you don't already have it, get a good roadside assistance plan. If you are to the point of considering giving up RVing, the keep the truck until a better time to buy, or you decide it is time to quit anyway.
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Old 06-29-2021, 08:49 AM   #9
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Unfortunately the 6.0 Ford motor has been plagued with major problems, i.e. blown head gaskets, clogged oil cooler, fuel injection control module failure, EGR cooler, EGR valve problems, turbo charger failure, HEUI injector problems, and HPOP (High Pressure Oil Pump Failure). I had 2 or 3 co-workers who had these exact problems when they owned their 6.0 trucks. One had no less than FIVE RUINED vacations while on the road. There are ways of bulletproofing your 6.0, but it isn't cheap, but it is cheaper than buying a new truck. The ball is in your court on what you can do and afford. Looks like you've done quite a bit.
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Old 06-29-2021, 11:37 AM   #10
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Hblick48 you have a dilema on your hands! As others have stated only you and your wife can make that decision. It sounds like you have made all the improvements to your truck. I made a 10,000 mile trip in 2019 with my 2005 Duramax with no problems other than a flat at a campground. My brother upgraded his 7.3 Ford to a 2011 6.7 power stroke Ford. Just last year he had a breakdown and it cost him $15k. Any vehicle can have a break down. If you are like me and can't shell out $80k for a new truck, just get in yours and enjoy the ride! RV ing is an adventure!
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:34 PM   #11
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We understand your situation. We have a 2005 F350. Replaced two OEM EGR coolers and a FICM before we really knew the issues with the 6.0. When the first EGR went out it was at the dealer for almost 3 weeks before they figured it out. We did our own research and told them where to look.
Going on two years ago we did a full Level 2 Bulletproof (at North Texas Diesel-we wouldn't trust a dealer to know anything about Bulletproof parts) AND added Bulletproof FICM, water pump, bypass oil filtration, full Bulletproof cooling upgrades, new head studs, oil cooler, fan clutch, all new injectors, new head gasket, and replaced plastic intercooler pipe with Bulletproof metal pipe.
My suggestion is to replace more of your factory and other aftermarket parts with Bulletproof parts and your truck will be solid.
We have done three long distance trips since the Bulletproof work and some local trips. The truck runs smooth and we don't worry about it anymore. It runs quite a bit cooler than before the Bulletproof as well. Would we like to get a newer truck, sure but this one is doing all that we ask of it. It now has 170K miles. We add Archoil diesel additive at every fill up and Archoil oil additive at every oil change.
Was the Bulletproof expensive, yes it was but it was still cheaper than a used truck and that is what was important to us because we only pay cash for vehicles.
The OEM 6.0 had a lot of problems but Bulletproof has the solution.
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:43 PM   #12
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The best info we have found on the 6.0 and Bulletproofing:

https://youtu.be/qPl2UwOePak


https://youtu.be/bvNwtEP6lTs
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Old 06-29-2021, 01:11 PM   #13
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Your 6 L can be a really good engine, IF it’s bulletproofed. That’s to remove or replace the parts that will go bad or cause trouble. Check into that.
150 or 200 thousand miles isn’t many miles. I hear of 2.7 Ecoboost engines going 300 thousand miles. There is one that has 437,000 miles on it without any major repair.
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Old 06-29-2021, 04:02 PM   #14
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I was one of the lucky ones, I had a 2006 F350 with the 6.0 keep rolling for 8 years without an issue
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Old 06-29-2021, 04:34 PM   #15
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I wouldn't put another dime in it unless it breaks. I would be looking for a 10 year newer used truck when all this nonsense passes and we get back to normal.

As mentioned right now is probably the worst time since WWII to be looking for a new truck. So I would drive what I have but be serious with my search for its replacement ASAP.
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Old 07-03-2021, 10:39 PM   #16
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The wife factor. I loved my 2007 Duramax, but at 160,000 miles last summer, it started throwing a code, only when towing, on hills when the ambient temperature got above 85 degrees. I could have spent 7 or 8 grand to have the injectors replaced, and been good to go another 200,000, but for the "wife factor'. She was afraid we would get stranded somewhere, and had her mind set that we needed a new truck, and who was I to argue? But I still miss that old truck; other than oil changes, and one change of batteries, the only maintenance cost was new rear axle seals (which I did myself). It even had the original brakes (with lots of life left) when I sold it.

That said, this may help you make your decision:
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Old 07-04-2021, 01:28 PM   #17
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Have 07' dodge Cummins, (6.7 turbo), 86, 000 miles, no problems. Your decision, but......." If wife isn't happy, you ain't happy"
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Old 07-04-2021, 01:30 PM   #18
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You are on borrowed time. It’s not if your 2005, it is when it will breakdown. I owned a 2005 F-250 for 10 years. We towed a 1999 Wildwood 5th wheel and a 2013 Sunset Trail Reserve 5th wheel with the pickup. The turbo failed four times, 3 of those failures occurred while towing. We also experienced the same issue with the turbo intake tube slipping off its mount. We also had to replace both injector rails and the EGR cooler. Fortunately all covered under extended warranty. What a mess of a vehicle.

Bought a 2015 F-250 6.7L 4X4 and tow our 2016 Montana 3160 Legacy with it. Not a single issue with the pickup. Enough said.

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Old 07-04-2021, 02:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1retired06 View Post
I put almost 100,000 miles on a 2005 6.0 and never had an issue. Almost all the mileage was towing. Did not bullet proof as you did. You clearly have maintained the truck. A brand new 6.7 can lose an injector pump within the first 100 miles. I would recommend you just drive the truck. If you break down, get towed to a dealership. As my wife likes to say, RVing is an adventure.

Still have an '06 that I got in 2013 when it had 28k miles on it. Only 'serious' breakdown in 70k miles was an internal high pressure oil line coming off that cost $700 to get fixed. Have had two injectors go bad, but those aren't the same category. I've been offered $20k for it and have been seriously tempted, but then I'd be trying to find something else.
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Old 07-04-2021, 02:30 PM   #20
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Yes, RVíg is an an adventure. We spent a week parked in the back lot of the Ford dealership in South Lake Tahoe waiting for a fuel pump to be replaced. It turned out to be one of the best vacations we had with our kids. LOL!
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