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Ford 7.3 engine users?

spoon059
Explorer II
Explorer II
Looking to start a discussion with Ford 7.3 gas owners and how they like the truck. My next truck will be pulling a 14-15K 5th wheel and will be a long bed crew cab. The 7.3 looks to be a really cool engine.

I'm interested in real world experience from owners who have towed with this engine. Is there a benefit with the 4.30 rear end and the 10 speed? Do I LOSE anything with the 4.30?

How does the engine braking do going downhill? I currently have a 6.7 CTD with the exhaust brake and I can descend long grades and lose speed without hitting my brakes. That gives me great comfort for the times I'll be in the mountains. I know that engine braking won't be nearly as strong, but Fast Lane Truck says it's decent.

Long bed CC comes with a 48 gallon tank in the diesel, does it come with a 48 gallon in the gas as well?

Anyone have the built in 2K generator feature yet? I'm hoping that Ford puts the 7K generator option in the near future... that would be really good for boondocking situations.

Is there a chance that Ford offers cylinder displacement for better economy unloaded? I'm not sure if Ford does that or not.

Anything else related to the 7.3 as a tow vehicle and a regular driver...
2015 Ram CTD
2015 Jayco 29QBS
84 REPLIES 84

Samsonsworld
Explorer
Explorer
Heard the same argument when I had my ecoboost. Towed all through New Mexico and southern Colorado and never had an issue.

Is the argument that the 7.3l isn't adequate or simply mine's bigger than yours? Because I find the whole thing pretty asinine.

Lantley
Traveler
Traveler
Samsonsworld wrote:
Of all the reasons I select a tow engine, exhaust brakes aren't even on the list.

In the flat lands of Texas that is a reasonable thought.
If I were in Texas I may not be an exhaust brake fan either.
However the entire country is not flat. There are places where an exhaust brake is a must have and places where it is nice to have.
Fortunately we all have options and choices.
19'Duramax w/hips,12'Open Range,Titan Disc Brake
BD3,RV safepower,22" Blackstone
Ox Bedsaver,RV760 w/BC20,Glow Steps, Enduraplas25,Pedego
BakFlip,RVLock,5500 Onan LP,Prog.50A surge,Hughes autoformer
Porta Bote 8.0 Nissan,Sailun S637
Correct Trax,Splendide

Samsonsworld
Explorer
Explorer
Of all the reasons I select a tow engine, exhaust brakes aren't even on the list.

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
AND THE GODS HAVE SPOKEN!
Yes, exhaust brakes are now standard on diesel. And it is a very good thing, because without one a diesel hasn't got the ****** of a gas engine half it's size.
But without comparison gas engine, with the standard close throttle, restrict air flowing in does not work as well as restricting the air coming out.

Me_Again
Explorer II
Explorer II
Lantley wrote:
"Where is it compared? When have you used a gas engine, with same displacement, on same hill with same load?"

It's kind of a mute point. The exhaust brake has become a standard feature on HD diesels. A feature that works well and is a real difference maker.
A feature that HD gassers simply don't have. There is no comparison to be made.
We don't need to get into load, displacement or any other factor.

The gasser does not have an exhaust brake. Ultimately no exhaust break is a deal breaker and a major shortcoming of a gas engine


What he ^^^^^ said!
2021 F150 2.7 Ecoboost - Summer Home 2017 Bighorn 3575el. Can Am Spyder RT-L Chrome, Kawasaki KRX1000. Retired and enjoying it! RIP DW 07-05-2021

Lantley
Traveler
Traveler
"Where is it compared? When have you used a gas engine, with same displacement, on same hill with same load?"

It's kind of a mute point. The exhaust brake has become a standard feature on HD diesels. A feature that works well and is a real difference maker.
A feature that HD gassers simply don't have. There is no comparison to be made.
We don't need to get into load, displacement or any other factor.

The gasser does not have an exhaust brake. Ultimately no exhaust break is a deal breaker and a major shortcoming of a gas engine
19'Duramax w/hips,12'Open Range,Titan Disc Brake
BD3,RV safepower,22" Blackstone
Ox Bedsaver,RV760 w/BC20,Glow Steps, Enduraplas25,Pedego
BakFlip,RVLock,5500 Onan LP,Prog.50A surge,Hughes autoformer
Porta Bote 8.0 Nissan,Sailun S637
Correct Trax,Splendide

FishOnOne
Explorer III
Explorer III
Me Again wrote:
JRscooby wrote:
The BANKS exhaust brake I put on the 2001.5 worked great for the 12K+ load I towed with that truck for 14 years

There is no doubt exhaust brakes work. If you do turn it off, then back on while going down a hill. And nobody that has ever compared can say diesel, with no exhaust brake, or it not functioning, will claim gas engine does not slow more.
What nobody wants to compare is normally functioning gas engine to like sized and loaded diesel with exhaust brake.


The Cummins for some unknown reason pretty much freewheel without the exhaust brake on, where as the V8 Duramax and Powerstroke provide a degree of grade braking.


My Powerstroke with the 6 speed freewheels a lot when coasting. I actually feel no resistance when coasting.
'12 Ford Super Duty FX4 ELD CC 6.7 PSD 400HP 800ft/lbs "270k Miles"
'16 Sprinter 319MKS "Wide Body"

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
Grit dog wrote:


Except that’s what is actually being compared.


I can roll down a 6% with a 6ton trailer behind the ole 4th Gen and basically never touch the brakes unless I want to call up a downshift, but I’m usually in manual anyways, and a new 10 speed gasser pulling my boat of about half the weight is on the hooks multiple times.
It’s not even an apples to apples comparison as the exhaust brake will win 10 times out of 9.


Where is it compared? When have you used a gas engine, with same displacement, on same hill with same load?

Me_Again
Explorer II
Explorer II
JRscooby wrote:
The BANKS exhaust brake I put on the 2001.5 worked great for the 12K+ load I towed with that truck for 14 years

There is no doubt exhaust brakes work. If you do turn it off, then back on while going down a hill. And nobody that has ever compared can say diesel, with no exhaust brake, or it not functioning, will claim gas engine does not slow more.
What nobody wants to compare is normally functioning gas engine to like sized and loaded diesel with exhaust brake.


The Cummins for some unknown reason pretty much freewheel without the exhaust brake on, where as the V8 Duramax and Powerstroke provide a degree of grade braking.
2021 F150 2.7 Ecoboost - Summer Home 2017 Bighorn 3575el. Can Am Spyder RT-L Chrome, Kawasaki KRX1000. Retired and enjoying it! RIP DW 07-05-2021

Grit_dog
Traveler III
Traveler III
JRscooby wrote:
The BANKS exhaust brake I put on the 2001.5 worked great for the 12K+ load I towed with that truck for 14 years

There is no doubt exhaust brakes work. If you do turn it off, then back on while going down a hill. And nobody that has ever compared can say diesel, with no exhaust brake, or it not functioning, will claim gas engine does not slow more.
What nobody wants to compare is normally functioning gas engine to like sized and loaded diesel with exhaust brake.


Except that’s what is actually being compared.
Of course diesels without exhaust brakes, James, retarders have squat for compression braking. It’s just a function of their design. And since all the Hd pickup diesels have had VVTs for well over a decade, it’s now just a standard feature.
Comparing a light duty class 2-3 or even class 4-5 diesel with a functional exhaust brake (Cummins at least, I’ve pulled with a LML Duramax and it was meh, better than nothing, never towed with a 6.7 Powerstroke of any flavor) is no contest.
I can roll down a 6% with a 6ton trailer behind the ole 4th Gen and basically never touch the brakes unless I want to call up a downshift, but I’m usually in manual anyways, and a new 10 speed gasser pulling my boat of about half the weight is on the hooks multiple times.
It’s not even an apples to apples comparison as the exhaust brake will win 10 times out of 9.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
The BANKS exhaust brake I put on the 2001.5 worked great for the 12K+ load I towed with that truck for 14 years

There is no doubt exhaust brakes work. If you do turn it off, then back on while going down a hill. And nobody that has ever compared can say diesel, with no exhaust brake, or it not functioning, will claim gas engine does not slow more.
What nobody wants to compare is normally functioning gas engine to like sized and loaded diesel with exhaust brake.

FishOnOne
Explorer III
Explorer III
Here's a pretty good tow with a 7.3 and 3.73 gears.

Link
'12 Ford Super Duty FX4 ELD CC 6.7 PSD 400HP 800ft/lbs "270k Miles"
'16 Sprinter 319MKS "Wide Body"

Me_Again
Explorer II
Explorer II
JRscooby wrote:
With some jurisdictions outlawing "Jake brakes", IE the use of velves to get compression braking, exhaust valves do a similar effect. With out the noise issue.

I had a couple of mid '70s Macks, 1 had factory installed jake, the other had add on exhaust brake. Driving and maintaining them, I can say for sure they don't really have similar effect. Jake far and away better.
In the HD market, for likely 25 years a compression brake has become pretty standard. And while the laws about compression brakes are on the books most engines make about the same noise pulling hard as slowing. Inside cab noise standards might of caused a redesign. And most operators understanding the engine is designed to work best with mufflers also reduces that problem.

On this site, any time somebody asks about using spark plug engine to move their RV, 1 of the next 3 replies will be YOU WILL BE IN THE TRUCK LANE ALL THE TIME! In a day's drive, the time spent going up or down a steep enough to really slow you will not reduce average speed by much. Either most can't do the math, or the fact somebody passes them is a insult to manhood.
With all the issues with diesel emission systems, and cost to repair, not sure I would want to go that way.


I owned a 1993 RAM diesel, a 2001.5 RAM diesel, and a 2015 RAM diesel, and loved all three for vary reasons. The 2015 with Aisin transmission was a great towing machine at 24,500 combined weight. The BANKS exhaust brake I put on the 2001.5 worked great for the 12K+ load I towed with that truck for 14 years.
2021 F150 2.7 Ecoboost - Summer Home 2017 Bighorn 3575el. Can Am Spyder RT-L Chrome, Kawasaki KRX1000. Retired and enjoying it! RIP DW 07-05-2021

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
With some jurisdictions outlawing "Jake brakes", IE the use of velves to get compression braking, exhaust valves do a similar effect. With out the noise issue.

I had a couple of mid '70s Macks, 1 had factory installed jake, the other had add on exhaust brake. Driving and maintaining them, I can say for sure they don't really have similar effect. Jake far and away better.
In the HD market, for likely 25 years a compression brake has become pretty standard. And while the laws about compression brakes are on the books most engines make about the same noise pulling hard as slowing. Inside cab noise standards might of caused a redesign. And most operators understanding the engine is designed to work best with mufflers also reduces that problem.

On this site, any time somebody asks about using spark plug engine to move their RV, 1 of the next 3 replies will be YOU WILL BE IN THE TRUCK LANE ALL THE TIME! In a day's drive, the time spent going up or down a steep enough to really slow you will not reduce average speed by much. Either most can't do the math, or the fact somebody passes them is a insult to manhood.
With all the issues with diesel emission systems, and cost to repair, not sure I would want to go that way.

blt2ski
Moderator
Moderator
JRscooby wrote:
blt2ski wrote:

I still believe for most interstate driving, a gas rig appropriately loaded, with current technology, will be fine into the low 20k realm.
The only thing a diesel will have generally speaking, is power at 10k feet vs the gas bring 30% down to to elevation. As I don't know if any diesels with out a turbo. With the advent of the eco boost style engines, elevation power loss will not be an issue.

Marty

Marty


I'm not sure if anymore I would declare "above X lbs, you need diesel"
but instead the decision would be based on miles per year. In the past, my thought was how much value is in a engine that will last 2-3 times the useful life of truck? but if drove enough miles/year the fuel savings would pay. But we have got to the point gas engines are lasting long enough that the rest of truck is likely to be reason to get rid of it. Meeting emissions standards with gas has improved efficiency and the parts needed to do it have proven pretty trouble free. The same can't be said about diesel, and cost to repair can exceed value of pickup.


Scooby

Being as Ive seen a number of F750 rigs run by Wa ST mostly DOT rigs. I do believe that gas vs diesel should come down to the how many miles you drive etc. Iis gone from 15-20k miles a year, 80-100k miles to pay for the increased cost of a diesel, to 150-200+k miles, and 30k+ miles a year. This is assuming a 3-5 year ROI on the diesel.
These bigger gas motors have a place in the under 30k gvwr/gcw rigs running down the road.
I pointed out the exhaust brakes in the Isuzu's I've driven since early 80's, as something that's been around awhile too. With some jurisdictions outlawing "Jake brakes", IE the use of velves to get compression braking, exhaust valves do a similar effect. With out the noise issue.
I've have heard about them on gas rigs, I'm going to assume one can still get use out of it. Whether it's as good as used on a diesel. That I don't know.

Marty
92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
2014 Chevy 1500 Dual cab 4x4
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer