TIP # 134 The Latest and Greatest in New Luxury Tow Vehicle Options, Larger Vans

Submitted: Friday, Dec 01, 2006 at 20:11
ThreadID: 123098 Views:4326 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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Hello Friends, you might gather I have been watching on the sidelines, the full import Ford F Series and have finally taken the plunge.. The level of current luxury car appointments is amazing. At first I was not going to Post just HOW NICE it really is. But then I realized, hey: Some of you can afford the very top of the line… Is it necessary, no; but it sure is nice! I can afford it because it is tax write off and R&D. At first I thought it was a bit self indulgent, and I did not want to tell you just how great it really was, not only in the Luxury appointments, but also the Engineering. I did not want those with the Brazilian built Fords to feel they were missing out, or those going to buy a good second hand one for $65,000 or $75,000 to think they HAD to spend more, BECAUSE YOU DO NOT. If you are on a bit of a Budget, STOP READING NOW..

The reason I am writing this is people are spending a LOT OF MONEY doing up the Brazilian Fords, with $20,000 canopies, and some have spent $30,000 on toys, and they are getting up close to what they could get a full Import Ford, which is literally TWICE THE TRUCK…!

In all fairness, I was not going to tell you, but then I thought, what a shame not to know, if you could afford the best and this level of Luxury. Some are spending upwards of $85,000 on second hand Brazilian built Fords, and then adding a huge amount of toys on board; YOU should know just how good the Full Import American Ones are: It is about the same difference between a Standard Government Landcruiser and a Lexus Sahara, as the Brazilian Ford to the full import American Ford.. I HAD NO IDEA JUST HOW GOOD THEY REALLY WERE..! (Until I took the plunge)... For those of you that can afford the very best, you should have a look at the current Fords and Chevrolets. Myself I do not care for the Chev independent front end and low bonnet design of the body, but I can see how it would be attractive for some.. Ladies driving would be far more comfortable in the Chevrolet as they can see over the bonnet, and the independent front end is nice and soft riding. Chevrolet does outperform the Fords right now, in terms of 0-100 luxury car acceleration sort of values, but to be fair it wins as a luxury car, and not for hard off road work in the opinion of the majority of the Market. Ford still outsells Chevrolet about two to one, more than Chev and Dodge trucks combined when it comes to Super Duty type vehicles. You buy a Chevrolet for luxury town car appointments, fast acceleration, and because you like the looks. You buy a Ford for Off-Road, a monobeam front diff, a robust tough truck and the Worlds number 1 workhorse. But to be fair have a look at both..! I chose a Ford, because I want an extreme truck. Forget all the Chevy Ford Banter on this forum that we do for fun, they are both great vehicles. Turist likes the luxury performance and the low bonnet profile, fine; go see both for yourself. But here is some of what you get:

On the Fords, the 7.3 PSD engine we have ended in 2003 in the U.S. I was not impressed with some sporadic problems in teething in the 2003 and 2004 models 6.0 Powerstroke engine, with a few of them having problems with the Turbo or EGR valves. Most of the problems appear from the motor builders, to actually be from not running the engine HARD enough. The motor is self is brilliant at a stock 325 horse, and romps happily up in the 440 HP range to romp and stomp with the Edge Juice Platinum with Attitude performance module. But there were problems that have been worked out now, as follows: Turbo clearances were too tight in the 03-04 to almost 05, and if left in bad weather and corrosion occurred there were problems with a few in the variable pitch vanes freezing up.. It was fixed by machining to bigger tolerances. Fixed permanently in late 05 ones with additional clearances from Ford on the inner turbo housing itself, according to my studies. EGR valve had sporadic problems, sort of like the CPS problems with the 7.3 and again was replaced with a better design in the 05 to 06 models. So, disregard the rumour mills, I mean if you look for it, you will find problems with about 2%. The same goes for Chevrolet with the record being 6 transmissions in one truck, and Dodge with two complete fuel delivery systems fitted.. These are freak incidents, not the norm, so forget the rumour mill. We have had Toyotas with similar problems, but again, you are talking about the 2%, not the bulk norm. The new Fords are doing extremely well and outsell the others 2 to 1.

The American imports have a TorqueShift Transmission, that from all accounts is bulletproof. It is supposedly an Allison pattern, built by Ford through some deal with Allison but the name cannot be used, like they use it in the F-650. Regardless of names, it has performed wonderfully and is long lasting. You just cannot get this level of power and comfort and fuel economy and safety with a BIG van, in a Japanese tow vehicle… Not even close… It is a 5 speed, but also has a TOW/HAUL mode with engine braking, and at low temperatures has an addition torque converter lock up from stock in the mid range that makes it a functional 6 speed of fluid acceleration.. This transmission is so good, some Ford shops have not seen one fail in the three years it has been out. The extra gears give it a smooth feel and constant acceleration and superior performance. It runs with synthetic fluid by design, and a much larger transmission oil cooler. These are recommended additions to the 7.3 PSD Fords here in Australia, now incorporated as the norm in the new Fords.

The full American import Fords, now have a coil front suspension, bigger disc brakes, and discs all around, EVEN A TIGHTER TURNING RADIUS, and a lot of other improvements like lights on the outside and indicators built into the extending mirrors. They also have a superior fit and finish in addition to the better drive train and engineering. They also have rear seats that fold up, with a fold out tool tray; or the back of the seat folds down for a bed base to sleep in the back of the Crew Cab. And, luxury appointments to rival any luxury car, climate control and CD Stereo control on the steering column with cruise control, auto dimming lights and mirrors, power back window, and a whole lot more… Mine is the King Ranch addition, saddle leather interior and FX4 package of skid plates and Rancho Shocks.. Mine also comes with a insert in the Hitch Receiver, that slips out, and you can get a 2.5" Reece Tow Ball Mount Gooseneck that goes to 15,000 lbs and 1500 lbs ball weight.

Anyway, long story short, if any of you Boggers want a new one, your only choice is a second hand Brazilian Ford or a full import. I just fell in love with a 6000 GVM Dually, a “King Ranch” top of the line model. The “Full Volume Compliance” Mob is V.D.C. in Melbourne. This Rig has a larger towing capacity, larger GCM of almost 10 tonnes, and larger GVM of 6 tonnes. This is the big time, and you can go to a F-450 or F-550 and go ridiculous if you want more, for about the same money..! This truck will tow 15,000 lbs /6800 kg, 1500 lb ball weight with a 2.5 inch drawbar tongue. And here, I put my money where my mouth is, so to speak: I just bought the “King Ranch” F-350 because I wanted a Dually, and wanted to overload it. Climate control all over the interior, leather front and rear, 8 way power adjustable front seats, also with dial up Lumbar support and heaters in the leather seats. A 6 Stacker CD player in the dash, Alcoa big truck rims, stereo controls on steering wheel, tranny temp gauge and boost in instrument cluster, lights on cab and mirrors, luxury appointments everywhere you look, like power rear window, everything a luxury car would have. Tow/ Haul, back up proximity alarm, all the goodies of a Luxury Vehicle. Yes it did cost big $, but the second hand market of Effies is higher now, and I think it is WELL worth the difference. You are going to pay over 100k for a new Dodge, Chev, or this American Built Ford, so you might want to check out what the best really is…. Just another option, but I can tell you from the ones I have just seen, driving one back as far as an 04, the 6.0 TorqueShift with Tow /Haul mode, bigger brakes and all the rest; I think it is the tops for one tough truck, and you can have the luxury too as I have elected to do.

What has prompted me to write this is Wednesday last week there were two Fords in here at Bushtracker, that had spent big money on them with full custom suspensions, one with a $24,000 Canopy!!! Look, if you are going to spend big money on the Brazilian Fords, maybe you better go take a look at the full Import trucks. Several people have spent over $100,000 on the Brazilian Fords adding toys to them, and to be fair they are not even half the quality and luxury of my new 2006 full Import Ford. I did not realize how far things had progressed, and this is impressive! For a little more they could have it all and TWICE THE TRUCK.

Look, this is not necessary, unless you want a Bushtracker over say 21’… But at about 22’ and up, the difference in tow vehicles between Japanese and Ford is dramatic leverage on the van at high speed, more comfort, more safety, and better fuel economy. I think V.D.C. are an option now, because you cannot get new ones any more from Ford. From 6 months of research, the outlook of Ford building a RHD assembly plant and bringing them to Australia is remote before 2009 if ever. I have a Full Import one Ordered, a F-550 in the new body style with the Twin Turbo that is coming out in February, but that will be 2008 before it is Complianced. You can still Order the 2006 as I have done, even a 2007. But I would not want the Twin Turbo one until it had been out for 12 months anyway, just incase there are any bugs that need to be worked out... I want the F-550 Twin Turbo, (2008) so I can tow a 38' gooseneck Horsefloat with BIG airbag suspension, and run light air pressure for a soft ride around town or when towing my Bushtracker.. A dual purpose truck with big and little capacity all in one truck...

Anyways, back to my F-350 King Ranch CC 4x4: This might be the nicest and best engineering conversion of them all, and someone has already said it but “King of the sandbox” Tonka Toy. I would check it out… You will find one here at Bushtracker, to see the superior fit and finish and engineering; it will be here on display…

Regards from the Ranger, with his new toy, (and tax write off for the next few years, Ha!)
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Maximus - Friday, Dec 01, 2006 at 22:26

Friday, Dec 01, 2006 at 22:26
OK then , who is the Australian importer ?

AnswerID: 569864

Follow Up By: Fosssil - Friday, Dec 01, 2006 at 22:48

Friday, Dec 01, 2006 at 22:48
Steve will have all the answers for you, but in the meantime what usually happens with these conversion companies is that they have quotas under various import categories, and they handle the importing...some companies will also convert a self purchased one, but there are some time constraints with regard to importing, like being the owner for 12 months etc.

Here is their website


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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Saturday, Dec 02, 2006 at 02:41

Saturday, Dec 02, 2006 at 02:41
Hello Maximus, VDC is who did mine, I was impressed by the finished job they have done on other ones... I will put some pictures on here at the end of this Thread..
Hope you enjoy them.. It is not about a Skite, but people are spending Big Money on the Brazilian ones, and I want them to know of the alternate Full Import, as it is a far better option than spending too much with the second hand market on these Brazilian Fords going up to such heights... EVERYTHING is better on the full imports.... I don't want someone to be caught out with the "I would have...... If I had only known."

Regards, stg
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Saturday, Dec 02, 2006 at 00:28

Saturday, Dec 02, 2006 at 00:28
Hello Maximus, I have not told you everything, just a small part of the goodies you can get. Not to skite, but mine has Sun Roof/ Moon Roof, retracting, and venting, and some remarkable things like in dash Trailer Electric Brake controls!!! And they do work FANTASTICALLY!! Here are some pictures of the top end...

This one shows the Extending out mirrors, HEATED, POWER, LIGHTS, INDICATORS

This one shows Massive ground clearance, Alcoa Big Rig wheels, and Dually which you don't really need, but it is GREAT, and can do a 38' Gooseneck Horse Float at around 6800 kg, depending on what I am carrying in the truck...

Leather, Climate controls, Stereo Controls, Cruise Controls all on the Steering Wheel.

Back seats Leather, fold and locks up for fold out cargo tool tray, or back folds down for a bed base, or center console folds down for drinks and such between the seats.

Here is just another angle on the extending mirrors... This thing is a luxury car to drive.
Hope you enjoy the pictures and anyone that wants to know more or how, give me an email at Bushtracker... I LOVE MY TRUCK.. But then, the lone Ranger is a bit of a "Rig Junkie"..............

This is like a Lexus Sahara, compared to a Standard Landcruiser... Do you need it? No of course not, but anyone that took a ride would appreciate it. It is a work of art !

Horses Horses Horses

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Follow Up By: Turist - Saturday, Dec 02, 2006 at 03:26

Saturday, Dec 02, 2006 at 03:26
Looks good Steve.
Does it have a passenger side air bag?

Regards from Chevy country where POWER rules.

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Nobody is getting any younger.

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Reply By: Maximus - Saturday, Dec 02, 2006 at 05:04

Saturday, Dec 02, 2006 at 05:04
Steve well done. I like good vehicles too. I must say it is a change when I get out of the Effie and get into my new Merc S350.
Anyway, I wll have one of those . any colour.???
Looks like one will just have to wait and see what, if at all , Ford will bring anything in.

Happy towing....

AnswerID: 569866

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Monday, Dec 04, 2006 at 19:43

Monday, Dec 04, 2006 at 19:43
Hello Maximus Aurelius Ceasar!!
Look, you can get any number of variations. There is a "Harley Davidson" high end finish and style of more a Harley sort of metalic and black leather... There is an "Outlaw" model with some wild colours...

I chose the "King Ranch" upgrade with the saddle leather colors on the inside. That rich natural brown leather interior CLASHES with some colours... I think the "King Ranch" can be Ordered an many colors, but is destroyed except with the white and there is a 'Burnt Copper" Colour that VERY MUCH interests me. I want to see one, or some more photos of one, but it looks GOOD. You might have a look at that on the Internet. Don't hold your breath on Ford coming back to Australia. They do not have the RHD Production facility to do it. If it happens at all, it is probably two years out, and so far they cannot solve the problems. All of the big three are having restructuring problems with a slump in housing, a slump in Consumer spending, looking like a Recession coming. Ford will not be expanding into a RHD Production Facility in the face of that. That looking Recession is why I would say "If Ever" they come back to Oz it would be a couple of years. I want an F-550 to build up into a Super Truck to possibly combine my Mack with the Ford, soft air bag ride on two main leafs around town, pumped up Big Rig Air Bag suspension when taking horses with a 38' Gooseneck. After we see the twin turbo 6.0 bugs worked out, if any, I will be ordering it for about 2008, not holding my breath in hopes Ford builds a RHD facility for this tiny population and RHD market. In any case, all of the aftermarket truck part suppliers agree Ford is still the toughest truck... Chevy for city luxury tow vehicle. Dodge has the best engine (Cummins) but not many like the rest of the Truck... Ford is still way ahead in the Tough Truck category and sells more then Chevy and Dodge combined.

I wrote this thread for the people that are spending BIG MONEY doing up the Brazilian Fords. Saw another one this weekend... $40,000 he spent !!! He could have had twice the truck with a Full Import one, for that kind of money.

Regards from the Ranger...
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Dec 19, 2006 at 00:40

Tuesday, Dec 19, 2006 at 00:40
Well Maximus,

We ave 5 hours of Professional film work on three vans and three tow vehicles in the extreme going over 8 days off the road on Private Stations and National Parks. We are going to make a DVD, rock arches, caves, some interesting goodies, and you will get to see the big "Dually" in action. 200 kms off the road, in soft sand going around fallen trees, and down into canyons and such, crawling over rocky ground and gravel and sand, the dual rear wheels in a 4x4 are an asset not to be missed in action!!!!...... Tighter turning radius, coil front end, and all the goodies? I will have news on the DVD when it is cut down to a reasonable size after the Holidays.

Will have some interesting Posts on R&D on the Owners Forum, when I get caught up..

Regards, Ranger...
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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