F250 vs F350

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 02, 2005 at 00:13
ThreadID: 122263 Views:3517 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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Hi gang,

I am about (next 4 weeks) to buy an F-truck for off-road towing. Since I also am thinking to but a bit more on the fron weight wise I am seriously contemplating a F350. I prefer the crew cab over the super cab so the F350 would be a compromise as far as interior room goes .. we are 2 people only but lots of expensive gear to store in the cabin ..
My question: How much of a disadvantage is the dual track off road (width) or weight wise (its heavier of course).. or what would be tha advantages of a dual wheel apart from the obvious (more load). Please don't try to convince me of anything else than an F .. had a Navarra some time ago and am biking at the moment, but the bike will go and the F will come ... feedback appreciated ...
I calculate 260-270 on the ball and the 600-700 load at times .. not always ..
so the F250 is at its limits and would probably need airbags front and rear for
stability .. I also intend a 4" lift with corresponding tyres ...

Thanks
gmd
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Oct 02, 2005 at 02:47

Sunday, Oct 02, 2005 at 02:47
I am told that Ford have or are closing the Right Hand Drive plant in Brazil and there will not be any F250 /350 coming to Australia next year so you had better get one soon.

I know that the owners of Landcruisers and Patrols will say that the Ford's wheel track is too wide for tracks, but when you think about it how many tracks have you been on where the wheel tracks are only the width of the tyres. Most wheel tracks are at least 60 mm wide so the Fords don't have any problem on them. Where they do have a problem is the ramp over because of the long wheel base.

As an ex Victorian volunteer fireman, we used to take the Isuzu & Hino 4x4 fire trucks on some pretty remote tracks through the high country where a lot of people would say that they would be unsuitable for the bigger F250s.

I think that you will find that the dual rear wheels would give better traction off road. The only thing that I don't like about the F350 is that in Australia they are only available in the base model where the F250 are available in the GXL version.

At the Copeton Rally one BT owner had an Imported F350 Lariat, top of the line with leather seats and the new 6.0 lt motor. A very much better looking and more powerful than what is available from the Ford dealers. He said it cost about $100,000 and was purchased through an Inporter / conversion company in Melbourne.

Brian
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AnswerID: 567207

Follow Up By:- Sunday, Oct 02, 2005 at 03:11

Sunday, Oct 02, 2005 at 03:11
Ford is developing a new engine to meet the new emmission standards. Last shipment is in March 06 from Brazil. New model is expected end 07 early 08 .. and yes I will hurry :)) ...
My son lives in Canada and I was looking at personal import but anything younger than 15 years need left to right conversion and cost is around 35k for the conversion .. I am not fussed about interior and dont want leather seats either .. what puts me off is the super cab more than anything else ... I do not buy it to impress anyone .. just for best perfomance ... has anyone done a 4" lift on a 350 ? with larger tyres ?
100K for a converted Lariat is not too expensive when you compare that with a 350 and a checker allu or steel flat tray and bit work on it it is getting there too ... cruise control is the only thing which would not be in and would have to be fitted after market.

the question though was more aimed at dual wheel off road .. I assume that they have more grip (I have a heavy truck licence and used to drive large trucks offroad - during military time overseas - long time ago) ...
so more load and more grip .. right ... but what in real life here in OZ ... pulling a larger Caravan.... I consider the longer wheelbase an advantage .. for me the smaller 4wd are "pot hole hoppers" .. sorry no offense ... my truck off road experience is with dual wheel on big trucks
15 - 20 tonne .. I had a Navarra but with no real special tyres and it wasnt that good in sand ...

where do you see a significant difference between dual wheel and single wheel ... single wheel has wider tires .. dual wheel has smaller tyres but wider track ..
dual wheel is better in sand for sure and mud but am I overlooking something ?

thanks for the reply ..
gmd
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FollowupID: 845012

Reply By: Andy1 - Monday, Oct 03, 2005 at 15:26

Monday, Oct 03, 2005 at 15:26
gmd

For most BT owners towing with F250s the problem is GVM. Pretty well every owner in this category is 5-10% over GVM. If you are going to carry a boat etc get the F350. With hindsight we probably would.

Andy
AnswerID: 567208

Follow Up By:- Monday, Oct 03, 2005 at 20:58

Monday, Oct 03, 2005 at 20:58
Thanks,

thats what the inner voice whispers to me all the time, but as you know its a major decision and I dont wanna end up swapping it ..

The smaller cabin bothers me...

Thanks for the answer .. it's appreciated ...

gmd
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FollowupID: 845013

Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Oct 04, 2005 at 01:01

Tuesday, Oct 04, 2005 at 01:01
Hello gmd, Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker...

Look, I don't know who you are and you may not know it... But I was one of the first to tow Bushtracker with an F-Series and F-350... I will tell you that yes the F-350 is better... Too many people are taking advantage of the room in the back to "collect" extra bits and pieces along the way, and some are definitely running overweight.... Now of particular interest to you, is the Dual rear wheel business... I converted my F-350 that came 4x4 singles to Duals, so I am one of the only I know that have lived with both in Oz... Not much difference once you get used to it... Yes in town at times it felt insecure to have your tail hanging out a bit further with both wheels against the curb, but you get used to it... In the Bush? With weight in it, and six wheels digging, you really have some major traction... And interestingly if you get the clutch pack in the diff, the Ford limited slip diff works quite well....

You would be shocked at just where my F-350 really went, in the extreme- Most would not even go there with their Toyotas… My Ford with the 7.3 litre, had awesome power only restricted by the rubber on the ground. In low range it was a tractor and would pull the van anywhere in the dry at an idle. In some conditions, in fact, because most of the Forestry mud bog holes were made by the shorter wheelbase of Toyota or Nissan, the long wheelbase of the Ford meant that either the front or the rear was out of the bog hole as it went through. Yes, because I did extreme 4x4, on my Ford I built a dual leaf spring bolt on cage between the chassis rails for my Ford in Australia to protect the transfer case. I also did a minor lift in the suspension and added air bags in the front to carry the winch and extend the suspension travel.... With these mods, in the end, I took it to places that were worse than most people with LC and Nissan would want to go. So you can do it. Another myth is narrow tracks, but I again did not find this an issue. Toyotas do not run on rails and all the wheel tracks of dirt tracks are almost a metre wide on each side where they wander all over the road. I did not find the little bit wider body of the Ford to be a problem. Lets get back to some real important issues, because in reality, I think the off-road is a 1% issue, in comparison with the Comfort, fuel economy, Driver Fatigue, and Safety issues at hand, with a larger van the Safety difference of leverage on the van- It could save your life in the right circumstances, and is an advantage in almost every way for vans over about 21'....

So, it comes down to you, but most with canopies, side lift doors, boats on top, motors and generators and the rest aboard, have overloaded their vehicles.. Me? I would definitely get an F-350 if possible.... If not, do what everyone else does and put the air bags over... But try to stay with the GVM limits, for Insurance sake... They may not be enforcing it just yet, but in theory it would be an illegal vehicle when overweight, thus not insured...

PS, Mine was a full Import from Texas, converted here in Sydney... Double check the Conversion Laws in light of the condition change if the F-Series is no longer imported, you may be able to do it again... Or go up a notch to the Dodge Ram...
But I personally would still take the Dealership Network backup of Ford here if possible....

Regards, from the Lone Ranger, out there somewhere ....
AnswerID: 567209

Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Oct 04, 2005 at 01:27

Tuesday, Oct 04, 2005 at 01:27
Steven,

thanks for the answer ... yes I read some of your posts and I am looking at one of your larger vans as a matter of fact ...
The F-350 is it for me .. I agree .. problem is there is none left at the moment .. my dealer is trying to locate one ...

It is the weight and "legal weight" .. thats what drives me in the
first place .. insurance .. yes .. I do photography and video and
plan to travel several years with heaps of equipment ... so no
question ...

I sincerely appreciate the time you put in to answer this and you helped me as the previous poster to really confirm what I want ... it's just the question now to get one ..

Thanks again for your time
gmd
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FollowupID: 845014

Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Oct 04, 2005 at 20:19

Tuesday, Oct 04, 2005 at 20:19
Hello again GMD,
Look, I was thinking a bit last night about my good ole 350, and two thoughts came to mind... One is that the 350 advantage beside load capacity, is mine had a larger diff in the rear, and it was big enough to get the big Ford clutch pack LSD in.... Four wheels digging, in a Limited Slip rear diff is awesome... And the factory dually used to have a bigger brake drum as well...

Second of all, watch a rag called "4x4 Trader" and you are likely to pick up a 350 Crew cab like mine, that was out of there...

Just a couple of thoughts that might help...
Regards, stg
AnswerID: 567210

Follow Up By:- Thursday, Oct 06, 2005 at 22:55

Thursday, Oct 06, 2005 at 22:55
Thanks Steven,

my current status is:

Decided on a dual wheel ... thats a fixed requirement.
Have tried to locate a new F350 and from several dealers
(the largest being in my neighbourhood) I was told .. no more
F250 still ok but no more F350 ... wanting a crew cab anyway
I took this as a sign and researched further ...
Because I buy through one of my businesses I am not really
interested in second hand ... prices still quite high for decent ones
and when I see the GST and an ABN discount coming off its not
interesting to buy second hand for me ...
Also the F350 is kinda spartan and the engine as well as the transmission is kinda older technology from whats currently available on the US market ...

So I made up my mind, done some research, and found my non compromise dual wheel solution in the GMC Sierra 3500 (identical with
the Chevy Silverado except for outer cosmetic things)... better trim
than the F350 and also available in a 5t+ version (requires truck license)
with no extra cost ...
6.6L V8 Diesel (they call it Duramax), 6 speed heavy load Auto with
special towing mode, auto lock rear diff and a nice trim ... have researched and found the company to do the conversion from left to right and will end up not too much more than a F350 considering the
crew cab, box and all the trim extras ... since it is the very popular chevy engine in the truck the parts situation isn't as bad as one may think... so thats my truck .. I am about to finalise the necessary steps
and it will probably take 5-8 months to put it on the road here ... but
thats fine with me .... this car will allow me to look seriously at a
22' to 24' foot caravan without being over the GVM in the total weight
after I have all my gear loaded and a few extra litres diesel and water.

it will be ordered with larger airfilter, dual alternators and with the conversion a few things will be done to the underside while they are
at it ...

Thanks for your time ...
We'll keep in touch
gmd

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FollowupID: 845015

Reply By: Fosssil - Friday, Oct 07, 2005 at 00:29

Friday, Oct 07, 2005 at 00:29
Hi gmd,

This will be a very interesting story for me to follow....so please update as you can.

Here I was cruising along thinking that when I am ready, I will just be able to order my 22ft BT and then pop around to the Ford Car Yard and pick out my F250, get it fitted out, then when the BT is finished, slip down and pick it up and be just about ready to take off...

Unfortunately not so...well, as far as the F250 goes that is...My new F250 probably won't happen due to the lack of imports available at my anticipated time frame, so I have also been doing lots of searching and have come up with a few converters.
One converter who seems to have done a conversion for Jim Richards interested me, and they were called Victorian American Imports ......They handle GMC, Dodge and Chev, and this opens up a few options...
Of course the other option is to look for a good 2nd hand F250 and go from there...definitely the cheaper option if I only want 4 wheels and not 6......I have avoided ringing them just yet till time tells a more complete story, so I don't know more than what is on their website.

Anyway...I have a little time until I need to get real busy on it, but in the meantime your adventure will be of great interest to me...

Regards,

foss
AnswerID: 567211

Reply By: Bushtracker - Friday, Oct 07, 2005 at 23:32

Friday, Oct 07, 2005 at 23:32
Hello gmd,

We have not met yet I do not think, but the light will click on when we do, as I lack a funny accent from Down Under, being ex-American 20 years ago... I have played with these trucks my whole life and still keep an eye on them.... I had a GMC Dual Cab in 1993.... And an F-350 since.. Per your email to me at Bushtracker, the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado, are much the same vehicle, Duramax engine is getting good reviews, and the Automatic you refer to is an Allison, widely touted as being the best of the best... Chev, GMC, were always a tad more refined than the workhorse of the Ford... But Ford is always the backbone of the Commercial and Government Fleets for Paramedics, Fire, Search and Rescue, Ranger, Wardens, Ambulances, construction vehicles, oil and pipeline vehicles, that sort of thing... Chev and GMC are both General Motors, and had a little more Creature Comforts and less ground clearance historically..

Since the Dually from Ford is becoming rare, more are looking at full imports like yourself... While Chev / GMC is one step further up the ladder, Dodge Cummins is one more again, but I still wonder about the ease of parts and maintenance backups through Ford Australia that still counts for something... On weight, I do not think you can justify the much higher costs for a full Import, if you are only talking about 23' or 24', as both Ford and Chev/ GMC (Jimmy) in the old Lingo, and Dodge will all do 4500kg now.... My full Import Ford had two bumpers, a Factory Bardon step bumper stamped 4500kg and a U-Haul Rental Bumper stamped 4500kg both independently bolted to the frame... You are not likely to need more capacity...

On the Tandem vrs Tri-Axle Air Bag, the Tandem is fine up to 24'.... You might look up some old Tips like #43 on Tough new Suspension Choices, and #51 A Second Look at Tri-Axle Air Bag suspensions... But in truth at up to 24' I do not think I would bother... On weight you can expect, .. I noticed in August of 2005 for example we had a 22’ well equipped go out at 2700kg and a 24’ loaded up ran out at 2900kg… Now if you tried to load up even more you could get even higher weights than those, but you do not have to.... In other words you do not absolutely need a full Custom Import to do the job, unless you go over the top on loading one up... I will Post Tip # 69 "Copeton Rally and What More You Can Add On to Your Van.... Next... It will relate to you and what weight to expect...

Kind Regards from the Ranger, tryin ta look afta ya...!
AnswerID: 567212

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