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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, we currently have a 23ft layfeather hybrid. 4300 dry. Prob 5200 loaded. Currently tow with a 2004 trailblazer 4.2 I6. It does ok, but we stay on pretty flat land I tow in 3rd and monitor engine and trans temp. She runs 226-232 engine temp. So no mountains.

We found a local used 2013 lariet ecoboost 3.5 F150. 116k miles. A wife’s daily driver. For 19k $.

has 7 pin,integral brake control and the + - shifter. Leather heated cool seats sunroof remote start,

I’m not thrilled it has the 3.15 rearend. It’s mobile 1 syn since 40k. Don’t know prior.

it’s the lowest miles clean for the $ we can pay I can find and it’s in good shape. (No salvage title nonsense.

I think it’ll tow this load fine but the goal prob next yearis upgrade to about 30-31ft bunk house style prob 7000 dry.

im finding out if this has the extra trans oil cooler. I’ve read a bunch here about towing in either 5th or 4th up hills. I guess use tow haul to lock up the torque converter.

I’m personally comfortable towing. I stay about 65 or under and I can handle passing semis etc. the blazer didn’t scare me, but we want togo to the east coast mountains in tenn or NC or Georgia and we can’t in ourcurrent setup

I use sway control and weight distributing.

any other suggestions?

I asked my longtime small shop mechanic about changing the rearend but he said itwas a big deal and changed the shift points and Speedo timing had to be reprogrammed. But he admitted hepersonally had not worked on ecoboosts.

our thought is this truck should be good for 4-5 years and we might upgrade then.

I also do not know how to tell if this truck has any type of sway control. My dads 14’ xlt does. How can I tell?

I put the vin on etis and it showed very littleinfo. Like really only that it was a turbo 3.5 v6 in Oxford white. No packages or anything showed up.
 

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3.15 gears would probably suck but the engine makes enough power that it probably would not matter. You might just wanna lock out 5th and 6th on flats since your 4th with 3.15’s would be equal to my 5th with 3.73’s.

Soeedometer would not be affected I dont believe. If it was, its an easy change to adjust the gear ratio with a program called Forscan, a laptop and a bluetooth OBD II adapter. You can do it in your own driveway.
 

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You may have issues pulling grades with the 3.15 gears. You'll probably need to drop into 2nd and reduce speed to 30-35 mph. If you stay in too tall of a gear and the engine puts out more boost, you venture into overheat territory. 30'+ trailer is a lot of trailer for this truck. It's doable, but not something I personally would do with family in tow. Your assessment is spot on, okay for your current setup, would not be so great for your future plans.

I think for 19K you can do better, but I don't know your market and things have gone up considerably the past year. It may be priced right for the current times. I would suspect it hasn't moved already because the 3.15 gearing.

I will add, you really need to be careful it doesn't rattle on cold startup. That is an indication that the timing chain is stretched out and it needs the phasers replaced along with several other parts. This is a hefty bill, 3k+ if you don't do it yourself. Listen to the motor carefully on COLD startup and familiarize yourself with the sound on youtube. It's been well documented.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I thought the load hauling might be a little light. However, after I read some stuff about just going back to 5th or 4th and having similar final drive ratio to a 3.73 I kind of stopped worrying about it.

my father tows a 31 ft 9000 lb dry tongue mount camper with his 2014 eco with 3.55.
he says he doesn’t even lock out 6th. In fact (and I disagree with this part) he doesn’t even use tow haul as he says it uses too much gas. Seems crazy to me.
We only tow about 3 maybe 4 times a year betwe3n 200-300 miles. We’d like to haul down to Disney though.

how do you tell if the truck has anti sway control? Like his 14 will apply braking to the wheel needed to stop sway. I still use load transfer hitch and anti sway. He says his tows like a dream.

lastly from my searching on value and pricing this is a fair deal. Most anything I’ve seen in a 13-14-15 model will either have 175k or more and asking 21-23 or will have 60-90k miles with a salvage title and asking 19-22.
Anything with 90-120k miles is usually a 2015-16-17 and they are asking 28-34k.
I called my bank and gave the vin and they said actual value is 21k and they have not seen kbb and nada move there values much based on the current craziness. So19 felt fair.

ive heard the sound on YouTube of the chain. This one did a super sound much shorter than what I heard on YouTube. I negotiated another$1000 off for hearing it. Again not sure it’s the chain as it was shorter in time. I’ve also read about a dry start issue and Lucas oil additive resolved that. My first will be oil change add that and see. If it does need help I have a guy who will fix it and I’d estimate he’s at25-30% off big shops price. Not super worried about that.
 

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Thanks. I thought the load hauling might be a little light. However, after I read some stuff about just going back to 5th or 4th and having similar final drive ratio to a 3.73 I kind of stopped worrying about it.

my father tows a 31 ft 9000 lb dry tongue mount camper with his 2014 eco with 3.55.
he says he doesn’t even lock out 6th. In fact (and I disagree with this part) he doesn’t even use tow haul as he says it uses too much gas. Seems crazy to me.
We only tow about 3 maybe 4 times a year betwe3n 200-300 miles. We’d like to haul down to Disney though.

how do you tell if the truck has anti sway control? Like his 14 will apply braking to the wheel needed to stop sway. I still use load transfer hitch and anti sway. He says his tows like a dream.

lastly from my searching on value and pricing this is a fair deal. Most anything I’ve seen in a 13-14-15 model will either have 175k or more and asking 21-23 or will have 60-90k miles with a salvage title and asking 19-22.
Anything with 90-120k miles is usually a 2015-16-17 and they are asking 28-34k.
I called my bank and gave the vin and they said actual value is 21k and they have not seen kbb and nada move there values much based on the current craziness. So19 felt fair.

ive heard the sound on YouTube of the chain. This one did a super sound much shorter than what I heard on YouTube. I negotiated another$1000 off for hearing it. Again not sure it’s the chain as it was shorter in time. I’ve also read about a dry start issue and Lucas oil additive resolved that. My first will be oil change add that and see. If it does need help I have a guy who will fix it and I’d estimate he’s at25-30% off big shops price. Not super worried about that.
Lucas oil additive just thickens the oil. Its nothing special. You could just run thicker oil and achieve the same thing.
 
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Your Father has to be pulling your leg. Alot of us here have his same pickup and know better than tow that length and weight and be fine in 6th gear.
You will need a 3/4 or 1 ton if you upgrade to a 30'+ bunkhouse.
You will not like the 3.15 axle ratio for towing. First thing to do if you buy it is swap in 3.73. Next is suspension upgrades like Hellwig rear antisway bar, Sumo Springs or Timbrens or bags.
Since it is already rattling some, better change oil every 3000 with a good full synthetic and Motorcraft filter.
 

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It'll tow your current TT just fine. But, you'll learn a lot from how it tows that after a couple of trips to realize that going up in weight and length might change a few things... :)

Lots of info on towing with these rigs on this site, so read away and take away what you want from it all... It's all over the place, but in general, it's all good info.

In the end, no one (not even your father) can tell you how you will like any towing combo.. what I think is a great tow might be the worst thing for someone else and visa-versa.. :)

Good luck! Mitch
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your Father has to be pulling your leg. Alot of us here have his same pickup and know better than tow that length and weight and be fine in 6th gear.
You will need a 3/4 or 1 ton if you upgrade to a 30'+ bunkhouse.
You will not like the 3.15 axle ratio for towing. First thing to do if you buy it is swap in 3.73. Next is suspension upgrades like Hellwig rear antisway bar, Sumo Springs or Timbrens or bags.
Since it is already rattling some, better change oil every 3000 with a good full synthetic and Motorcraft filter.
sir, I can assure you he is not messing with me. Now he might be constantly shifting from 6-5 -4 and in his mind he’s just d4iving it, but he’s not fiddling with anything or kidding. We actually talked today about the +- on the shifter. He didn’t know what it was and he’s had the truck 8 years.

as for the #mall noise what will sooner changes do to help? I’m told it’s gotten mobile 1 synthetic since this guy bought it in 2015.
I plan to do a change and add the Lucas oil synthetic oil additive and I prefer pennzoil platinum full synthetic myself.

I spoke to my mechanic about swapping the rearend. He acted like it was a big deal don’t do it. He’s always been really good. I’ve read it’s not a big deal. He was concerned about changing shift points and speedometer. Thought of saying to him, just change it physically, and I’ll get it programmed.

I guess I’m hardheaded but I really have intentions to go bigger than an F150 EB. Even if I bought a new one one day with a 3.55 or 3.73.
The trailblazer didn’t scare my towing 23 ft and 5400 lb I use a sway bar. I can control it. My issues were not big enough inside for kids in car seats, not enough power to climb any hills, and I couldn’t upgrade campers. This one even with the 3.15 is rated close to 9000 lb I believe.

I may need to get my guy to do the tim8ng chain and phasers. He says he has not done one. He works on tons of cars day in and day out. My only concern is a few people on forums saying they did it and didn’t fix the issue? Any input to that? Any list of all pieces that for sure need replaced? My guy will be very reasonable on the labor.

Now if Lucas additive stops the sound then is it fair to let it roll till the sound returns or is that dangerous? If by some chance the timing chain goes is this an interference motor so it’s toast or can it be repaired? I’d rather be mostly proactive but just asking what can happen? I think this engine is easily good for another 100-150 k if it’s fixed as needed. I’ll prob not put more than 6k a year and prob trade up in 4-5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It'll tow your current TT just fine. But, you'll learn a lot from how it tows that after a couple of trips to realize that going up in weight and length might change a few things... :)

Lots of info on towing with these rigs on this site, so read away and take away what you want from it all... It's all over the place, but in general, it's all good info.

In the end, no one (not even your father) can tell you how you will like any towing combo.. what I think is a great tow might be the worst thing for someone else and visa-versa.. :)

Good luck! Mitch
Nice setup [email protected] My dad is 80, and technology is not his friend so he pretty much drives it and tows. Hestowed and driven RVs since before I was born so he’s very comfortable. I do admit he pushes past some limits. A few years ago one of the first times he used this truck for towing he towed 200 miles to vacation fine. On the way home he blew 3 tires. Took me a while to get him to understand that his tires were rated for 65 and he had gone out at 75-80. He said it towed so well that it was effortless. He was usedtohisold suburban barely having enough motor to tow that beast.
I got him upgraded to a set of Goodyear endurance rated for 70 or 75. But he also learned the thing sucked fuel at about 9 mpg so he went back to towing at 65.
I run maxis mt808 I thinks the model. Highly rated but again I’ll stay under 70.

I’m expecting a big big 8mproveme t over the blazer with current tt and I honestly still think a bigger 30-31 ft camper around 7000 dry won’t be much issue though I may have to tow in 4th or whatever keeps boost down. I’m not yet sure how to monitor boost as i had a brief test drive.

For my I fo, while towing, what’s a good engine and transmission temp to watch for and ensure I stay under?
My TB would run e gingered,plowing 217 to 232 which alarmed me hence no mountain towing and trans would run in 3rd gear towing around 202-208 occasionally nip 210. I don’t think the tb will holdup to that much longer.
Also we only go on vacations prob 3 trips in summer and would like to do one in fall prob. So no work towing at all. I imagine our biggest would be from SC to Disney in Orlando in a couple years when boys are big enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh one more thing. Are these wheels chrome plastic wheel cover that snap on or go on behind the lugs? One wheel has a little plating off on one spoke and it’s white behind. Thought it might be easy to just a new wheel cover if it’s not a whole rim.
 

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Nice setup [email protected] My dad is 80, and technology is not his friend so he pretty much drives it and tows. Hestowed and driven RVs since before I was born so he’s very comfortable. I do admit he pushes past some limits. A few years ago one of the first times he used this truck for towing he towed 200 miles to vacation fine. On the way home he blew 3 tires. Took me a while to get him to understand that his tires were rated for 65 and he had gone out at 75-80. He said it towed so well that it was effortless. He was usedtohisold suburban barely having enough motor to tow that beast.
I got him upgraded to a set of Goodyear endurance rated for 70 or 75. But he also learned the thing sucked fuel at about 9 mpg so he went back to towing at 65.
I run maxis mt808 I thinks the model. Highly rated but again I’ll stay under 70.

I’m expecting a big big 8mproveme t over the blazer with current tt and I honestly still think a bigger 30-31 ft camper around 7000 dry won’t be much issue though I may have to tow in 4th or whatever keeps boost down. I’m not yet sure how to monitor boost as i had a brief test drive.

For my I fo, while towing, what’s a good engine and transmission temp to watch for and ensure I stay under?
My TB would run e gingered,plowing 217 to 232 which alarmed me hence no mountain towing and trans would run in 3rd gear towing around 202-208 occasionally nip 210. I don’t think the tb will holdup to that much longer.
Also we only go on vacations prob 3 trips in summer and would like to do one in fall prob. So no work towing at all. I imagine our biggest would be from SC to Disney in Orlando in a couple years when boys are big enough.
You keep posting dry weights as if they mean anything. You can easily load 2500 pounds into a travel trailer, with a wife and kids. By myself, towing with empty tanks, I carry at least 1200 pounds over the dry weight. Best towing is to lock out 5th and 6th or tow in manual. You might like tow/haul mode and you might not. It isn't necessary.
If you change your oil yourself, just use heavier oil instead of oil additives that may or might not be spec'd for turbo engines. 10-40 or just 40 for summer is fine. If you are in a cold winter location, I would use the 5-30 in cold weather.
Apparently, your Father uses a well set up load distribution hitch with anti-sway. I wouldn't tow my 8K/29' without it.
 

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I have 2013 and the rattle started around 80k, happened when the oil needed changed. It started to do it a lot more when it was cold, then almost every morning. The chains, guides, phasers, and solenoids were changed out @130k. Quotes ranged from $3200-$4500 up to "you probably need a new engine". I've owned it since new and always ran synthetic oil
Before swapping the 3.15, you might want to tow with it to see if you're satisfied. Mine has 3.31, which I thought would be a dog and I'm happy with them. Although I don't max tow with it.

The manual shift button is nice in heavy traffic or hilly areas when you can see a change in landscape but your transmission cannot.
 

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Sounds like it has the "chrome clad" wheels. That's what mine are. They are just a plastic cover, but you can't just change it like a hubcap.. They are pressed on and part of the wheel.

I've only used the 5w 30 oil. Been using the Pennzoil Platinum flavor and a Motorcraft filter forever. I change the oil at no more than 5000 miles, but it's usually around the 4000 mile mark on average.

When towing, I try to keep my temps no higher than 230* on the engine and the trans has not really gotten any higher than 210*. I have to monitor these temps with an ODB2 plug-in and phone app. This also monitors a ton of other temps and the boost level.

In a nutshell.. Once it gets over 10 psi, the engine temps rise pretty fast, so it's a balance between speed, boost and manually selecting the right gear to keep that balance.

I'll mostly lock out 6th and run in 5th at around 65 mph on the flats. This gives me around 2200 rpms and a couple psi on boost. If I let it go to 6th to hold the same speed, the rpms drop, I have to give it a little more pedal and the boost goes up to around 7 psi or higher and the temp starts to rise.

I mostly can keep the engine at 200-210* and the trans around the same. Going up the grades, I'll go into 4th and hold 50-55 mph and try to keep the boost as much under 10 as I can. If I need to go more psi, that's when it gets to the 230* mark, but mostly, I can keep it around 220* on a long grade.

I've been driving and towing stuff since before I had a drivers license and long before there was any "tow ratings" or any of this 'payload' stuff...

Back then, you just kinda knew what you were hitching up to and then dealt with it and if the experience 'sucked'.. You adjusted accordingly.

Kinda like today, as I've added several aftermarket things to help with my trucks suspension and handling more than trying to add more 'power', which I don't really feel I need, as the stock setup has more power than I've ever had in a tow vehicle.. :)

Sorry for the long post, but I just get to typing and can't stop! ha, ha...

Mitch
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sounds like it has the "chrome clad" wheels. That's what mine are. They are just a plastic cover, but you can't just change it like a hubcap.. They are pressed on and part of the wheel.

I've only used the 5w 30 oil. Been using the Pennzoil Platinum flavor and a Motorcraft filter forever. I change the oil at no more than 5000 miles, but it's usually around the 4000 mile mark on average.

When towing, I try to keep my temps no higher than 230* on the engine and the trans has not really gotten any higher than 210*. I have to monitor these temps with an ODB2 plug-in and phone app. This also monitors a ton of other temps and the boost level.

In a nutshell.. Once it gets over 10 psi, the engine temps rise pretty fast, so it's a balance between speed, boost and manually selecting the right gear to keep that balance.

I'll mostly lock out 6th and run in 5th at around 65 mph on the flats. This gives me around 2200 rpms and a couple psi on boost. If I let it go to 6th to hold the same speed, the rpms drop, I have to give it a little more pedal and the boost goes up to around 7 psi or higher and the temp starts to rise.

I mostly can keep the engine at 200-210* and the trans around the same. Going up the grades, I'll go into 4th and hold 50-55 mph and try to keep the boost as much under 10 as I can. If I need to go more psi, that's when it gets to the 230* mark, but mostly, I can keep it around 220* on a long grade.

I've been driving and towing stuff since before I had a drivers license and long before there was any "tow ratings" or any of this 'payload' stuff...

Back then, you just kinda knew what you were hitching up to and then dealt with it and if the experience 'sucked'.. You adjusted accordingly.

Kinda like today, as I've added several aftermarket things to help with my trucks suspension and handling more than trying to add more 'power', which I don't really feel I need, as the stock setup has more power than I've ever had in a tow vehicle.. :)

Sorry for the long post, but I just get to typing and can't stop! ha, ha...

Mitch
Thanks
What’s the weight if your camper loaded or dry. I know dry doesn’t mean much but it’s a baseline. I usually add about 1500 to that mental conversation number for loaded camper.

it shocks me how lost people are on how heavy the things are they pull. I messaged a guy yesterday about an aluminum sided 30 ft bunkhouse Salem he has for sale. Asked dry weight cause of course he made no mention of it or the model so I could find it. He replies “about 11000”.
As nice as. Could I said that would be one of the heaviest. 30 ft campers ever built. Did he have pics of the window sticker. Sure enough GVWR is 11140. Sticker right under says keep payload under 4400. So camper would be under 7000. It’s the second time I’ve had similar experience and this was the man owner who did the towing. Crazy.

can boost be monitored on the dash?

if not I’ll justusemy obd2plugin Wi-Fi and dash command I use now and buy the point set for it to get more info.
 

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When shopping for any travel trailer, it's alot smarter to compare by the GVWR than the fictitious dry weight, even if you think you will never load it to that weight. Dry weight is the camper only and does not include propane bottles, batteries, towels, clothes, bedding, dishes, silverware, dvd's, bottled water, other drinks, food, games, water hoses, leveling items, chairs, candles, clotheslines, pots & pans, griddles, grills, coolers, toiletries, hangers, fishing poles and tackle boxes, ladder, brooms, mop, outside mats, floor mats, ladder, flagpole, and all the other stuff that everyone takes camping every time they go. It's alot of weight and adds up quickly. Everyone I have ever met always under estimates their camper AND pickup cargo.
 

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I wouldn’t worry too much about the 3.15 axle or regearing it. Sure it’s not ideal, but it’s mathematically similar to the folks with 3.55 gears who run 35” tires.

And besides that, if the trailblazer did it…
This is a different scenario from when somebody is new to both the truck AND trailer (and often towing in general).

Put that money toward e rated tires and a good brake service / upgrade. Maybe new rear shocks (towing folk seem to like bilstien) and a rear sway bar.

Your don’t always need power, but you do always need stability.

By the time you have ambitions for a bigger trailer, you may also have different goals and resources as well by then.
 
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Thanks
What’s the weight if your camper loaded or dry. I know dry doesn’t mean much but it’s a baseline. I usually add about 1500 to that mental conversation number for loaded camper.

it shocks me how lost people are on how heavy the things are they pull. I messaged a guy yesterday about an aluminum sided 30 ft bunkhouse Salem he has for sale. Asked dry weight cause of course he made no mention of it or the model so I could find it. He replies “about 11000”.
As nice as. Could I said that would be one of the heaviest. 30 ft campers ever built. Did he have pics of the window sticker. Sure enough GVWR is 11140. Sticker right under says keep payload under 4400. So camper would be under 7000. It’s the second time I’ve had similar experience and this was the man owner who did the towing. Crazy.

can boost be monitored on the dash?

if not I’ll justusemy obd2plugin Wi-Fi and dash command I use now and buy the point set for it to get more info.
It's #7000 GVWR and I pretty much figure I've got it loaded to that! I think 'dry' it was around #5200 or something like that. I pack heavy and not ashamed of it! If i want something while camping I want it.. Not, "Oh, I have that at home, should have brought it" :) That still happens, but now that I've had the TT for a couple of years, it's getting stocked up pretty good. I also fill the fresh water tank every time. Never know what the water is going to be like at your destination.

Only 'boost' monitor on the dash would be the 'instant mpg' screen where you see the green bar go up and down as you use more boost. It does not tell you the PSI.

I had to pay the $4 I think it was for the Torque Pro app I use for monitoring all this new stuff.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I wouldn’t worry too much about the 3.15 axle or regearing it. Sure it’s not ideal, but it’s mathematically similar to the folks with 3.55 gears who run 35” tires.

And besides that, if the trailblazer did it…
This is a different scenario from when somebody is new to both the truck AND trailer (and often towing in general).

Put that money toward e rated tires and a good brake service / upgrade. Maybe new rear shocks (towing folk seem to like bilstien) and a rear sway bar.

Your don’t always need power, but you do always need stability.

By the time you have ambitions for a bigger trailer, you may also have different goals and resources as well by then.
Thanks for your input and tips. Honestly I already have ambitions for a larger. Camper, it’s just a lack of funds. I started my own business right before covid. So essentially last august I started over gathering a new client base and it’s been increasing but it’s a process. Plus I’m the type that really wants to see a 12-24-48 and 120 month plan in front of me and where my finances will be along that path. So while I truly love working for myself, the lack of paycheck and any type of foresight to the next project on the horizon does cause me anguish.
Anyhow I think it’s gonna be fine.

I am supposed topick it up tomorrow morning after meeting at the bank. I’m gonna stop and grab a jug of antifreeze in case I need to add any. (I always travel with one) I recall inside the fill jug looked a little pink. Then I read that orange turns red. What do you recommend I get?
Might also do a bottle of the Lucas oil super coolant in the jug or direct to the radiator if it cools off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's #7000 GVWR and I pretty much figure I've got it loaded to that! I think 'dry' it was around #5200 or something like that. I pack heavy and not ashamed of it! If i want something while camping I want it.. Not, "Oh, I have that at home, should have brought it" :) That still happens, but now that I've had the TT for a couple of years, it's getting stocked up pretty good. I also fill the fresh water tank every time. Never know what the water is going to be like at your destination.

Only 'boost' monitor on the dash would be the 'instant mpg' screen where you see the green bar go up and down as you use more boost. It does not tell you the PSI.

I had to pay the $4 I think it was for the Torque Pro app I use for monitoring all this new stuff.
I’m the same way about packing. I want all the things in there I might need.

I’m gonna grab a jug of antifreeze to keep in it while towing. Any rec on what brand or kind? Juilliard jug looked pink inside but I’ve heard orange turns pink over time. I dunno. Was also thinking a bottle of Lucas super coolant. Prob direct into the radiator.

I’m also gonna change th oil (was told it’s mobile 1 synthetic) I usually like penzoil platinum full synthetic I’ve read mobile 1 isn’t what it used to be but I’m glad it was in those turbos vs conventional. Was also gonna do a qt of Lucas oil additive (the specific synthetic one)
I’ve heard good things about it.
What weight does thing want in oil and how much?

it has the tow package as I see the trans cooler in front of the main radiator if at matteron oilvolume.

last thing, thanks for clarifying to see boost I need my obd2 wifi monitor and app. I use dash command. I think all Ford point set is $9.99. Gotta get that downloaded stat. I was tnk8g it’s lots guys talking about boost numbers that the dash gave that.

also, if I generally understand the rpm turbo situation, is it fair to say if I gear down and move rpm up that yields more hp at more rpm but lowers boost and that actually makesthe fuel mileage while towing better? Just curious if I understood that right. Sounds like it for sure yields lower run temps.
Thanks a bunch everyone.
 

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Man do not worry about MPG while towing. You will get 10, +/- 2.
Gearing. You do not want to 'lug' this engine. While towing, try to keep RPM between 2 & 3k. Around 2250 is the 'sweet spot'.
With the 3.15 gearing and the 6 speed, you will be in 3rd alot. I am with 3.55's on any hill, on purpose. I tow in manual mode unless on a flat road for miles but this is NWish AR. I gear down when boost gets to 7psi. These 1st gen engines produce about 15psi boost at full tilt. There are some small long hills, 9%ish grade, where I am in 3rd with 14 psi boost at 3k RPM and 50 mph. Do not be afraid to rev that engine ! It can take it ! These engines like to be worked and really only run their best when they have been. The programming allows mine to kick down to 2nd when I floor it at 45 mph and it hits 5500 RPM before it shifts so if Ford engineered to that way I sure ain't one to worry.
 
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