View Full Version : F250 XL 5.4- Who runs them? And would it be enough truck for me?

08-21-2006, 11:01 PM
I am seriously considering an 06 F250 XL Reg. cab long bed 5.4/ Fisher plow. I know the owner of a local Ford dealer very well, and from the sound of it, I am getting a very sweet deal on this truck (The reason why I am going with a Ford). I currently run a 97 Dodge 1500 4x4 with 165k and figure it is time for an upgrade. Obviously, I would be plowing with this new Ford, and may consider dropping a fullsized sander in the bed.

Or since I am not using my current Dodge as a trade, I am going to sell on the side of the road (very busy road) to get a little more money for it rather than using it as a trade (by the way the old Dodge is mint body-wise). And buy an older 1-ton dump (preferably if it is cheap and easy to fix myself) from that money and then some. And would consider dropping the sander in that truck. Since I really do need two plow trucks for this winter. I am planning on using one truck for sanding/plowing, and one solely for plowing.

So, if I decide to sand with this new truck, would the 3/4 ton payload capacity be enough to hold a sander? And I have test drove the truck, and can admit the 5.4 seems a little doggish compared to the others. I am hoping it better be enough to tow equipment safely and easily, and can tow heavier loads if the business continues to expand (when I will be towing more equipment). But the reason I am going with the 5.4 over the 6.0 diesel is solely the price (and I've heard the bad stories about the 6.0).

Has anyone towed any serious loads with the F-250 5.4? Would picking up an F-350 XL 5.4 justify the price difference? And how is that 5.4 motor?


08-21-2006, 11:07 PM
The 350 is worth it for the extra 1000 or 1100 lb payload, especially if you are going to use a sander. How much is the price difference?

Az Gardener
08-21-2006, 11:11 PM
I don't think so. I have a F150 with the same engine and it doesn't pull great, a 12' enclosed not to bad. A 16' enclosed, did it once wouldn't do it again. I have also owned the 250's and I may just be spoiled by older trucks but the newer trucks don't handle the weight too well. I could easily put 1-ton on my old 3/4 ton Chevy and in wouldn't squat a bit. Not the case with a newer truck.

08-21-2006, 11:11 PM
You, know, I'd have to check on that. There were no 06 F-350 XL Reg. cabs on the lot, and at the time I did not think about the price difference. I am assuming the 350 is probably $1500-$2000 more.

08-21-2006, 11:18 PM
The thing is too, the F-350 diesel could run me $7000 more compared to the F-250 V8 gas. And I do not mind the XL (base) interior package. I just want a capable work truck. Just wondering if this F-250 V8 gas is plenty capable for the much lower price compared to the diesel F-350. And the V-10 is out of the question for obvious reasons (gas hog).

08-22-2006, 12:03 AM
I have a 1999 F-250 4x4 with the 5.4 auto and bought it with 50,000 miles. It was used to plow for 2 years and now it is in pretty bad shape. We did upgrade the tranny cooler on it to the biggest one that would fit and it helped alot on tranny temps. The front ends, brakes, tranny and engine just aren't heavy enough for continuos plowing. We retired it from plowing 2 years ago and it now has a utility box on if for the construction crews or mowings crew to use. The tranny has a good amount of metal shavings and so does the engine. It has started to eat parts for the steering column and auto shifter assembly. We will run this truck till it dies and then use it for parts. I would spend the extra $$$$ on a F-350 Diesel with the plow package.

grandview (2006)
08-22-2006, 12:44 AM
Here's my truck with dump trailer also have 8.2 Boss plow. Never really had a problem.

Dirty Water
08-22-2006, 01:07 AM
We have a F-250 with the 5.4.

It's a poor tower, and for its power a pig on fuel.

I wouldn't get another.

08-22-2006, 01:19 AM
If you don't have to tow much, the 5.4 will probably do fine for plowing and sanding. I almost bought one, but found a 6.0 Chevy 2500HD for $3K less. If you're shying away from the V10 because of mpg, don't. Empty mileage may be a little less, but should be the same or better when towing or hauling and you'll have much more power. You're not going to get good mileage with a gas HD pickup no matter what motor you have.

08-22-2006, 01:34 AM
I had a 99 that sounds like the same truck you are looking at. It pulled a 16' mowing trailer fine. I thought it carried a load well. It plowed nice. We had brake issues. very undersized brakes. Maybe they upgraded since 99. It had 4.10 gears but was still a dog. I didn't realize it until I bought a 2500hd chevy with the 6.0 gas. Both the trucks have towing gears, both suck gas. I never got 10mpg once with the 5.4 even empty. Not a bad truck, not a good truck. Just another truck. We also had axle bearing problems,and coil packs seemed to go out every once and a while.

08-22-2006, 01:37 AM
Never above 10 mpg on the 5.4, unloaded? WOW

My vortec 6.0 gets 16 highway unloaded. I have also found that Chevys are $2,000-3,000 cheaper than ford. Go buy a chevy!

08-22-2006, 09:18 PM
I appreciate the comments.

Well, how does it compare to the Dodge's Hemi? I know there is more than enough power with these motors. There was an 03 Ram 2500 4x4 quad cab long bed SLT (a bit long for a plow truck) wholesale price with 60K (can extend the warranty) that seems to be in nice shape. It is a few grand less than the 06 Ford. And although I do like the GM's too, I am currently unable to get one at a good price through the dealers I know (and I am a huge fan of GM's older trucks).

08-22-2006, 09:20 PM
I would NEVER put a sander in a new truck. Get an old 4x4 1 ton dump for that and just plow driveways with the F-350. If it was up to me I'd get a diesel because they last longer and run better.

08-23-2006, 12:13 AM
I've got a 2006 F-150 with the 5.4, the 3 valve head is a different beast than the former 2 valve engines.
Towing mowers and stuff around you won't have a problem.
Routinely I've towed my Massey Ferguson 135 aroudn with either a 7' boxblade, a heavy 7' blade or my 6' landpride bushhog and I've never been dissatisfied. Would a 3/4 ton tow it better? It would handle better but if it had the 5.4 it wouldn't really tow it around any better.
A few times I've towed a BobCat 325 excavator around, I wouldn't want to do it everyday with this truck but it did do it. Also the same story on a BobCat T-190 and S185, it did it, I'll prolly do it again but I wouldn't want to do it everyday.

As for the 5.4 being a capable engine? It is very capable to what it is rated for and beyond but I think if you had to tw close to the max of what it is rated for everyday you will be unhappy. But like I said if you're towing mowing equipment around it will do it just fine. As for payload I often have 1200-1500 lbs. of feed in my F-150 and it rides fine with it, doesn't get squirly and the 5.4 barely notices it's there.
Thinking about this some more I work at a state univeristy and the grounds guys have an F-350 XL 4wd with the 5.4 auto in it and in the winter time they have a plow and a spreader on it, summertime it has a dumpbed in it, it is a SRW truck. They say it works good for them.

08-23-2006, 12:30 AM
I've got a '05 350 srw with the 5.4. It tows fine and I believe that it does have plenty of power. It usually pulls a loaded 18' enclosed trailer for mowing and does well. I also occasionally pull a cat 303.5 ex with it. Wouldn't do that all the time but... it does well. Around here there are plenty of hills and towing the trailer the truck has lots of power. I'd suggest getting the 350 instead simply because of the additional weight capacity and resale value if needed. Make sure you keep that truck clean if your going to be using a heavy salt mixture when sanding with the truck.

08-24-2006, 12:55 PM
I live in a coastal area that is completely flat and I really like my 5.4. I would prefer a diesel, but for now it is quiet and I don't have diesel on everything ( except when I fill up my bobcat). I have towed about 14,000 pounds with it and I had no problems whatsoever. The transmission stayed cool and I had enough power. If you want a daily driver, the 5.4 is not a bad way to go. If you drive on dirt occasionally, get a 4x4. My f250 can get stuck doing anything.

montana jack
08-24-2006, 10:23 PM
A V10 would probably get better MPG than the 5.4 under load & you would not have to guess whether it could do the job or not. With a 4.30 rear, it can pull just about anything a 6.0 can & it's only a $600 option over the V8.

08-29-2006, 06:04 PM
I have an 05 f250 5.4L 3-valve motor with 4.10 gears. Auto trans. It has plenty of power to pull by 16 mowing trailer loaded with a bed full of grass. It has the plow package and I use a 8ft western pro plow in the winter. It is an all around nice work truck and I haven't had a single problem with it in 15,000 miles. My next truck may be a diesel crewcab but for a work truck this does the job and for a good price. As far as gas milege I average about 12mpg.

PerfiCut L&L
08-29-2006, 07:49 PM
I own an '06 250 ext cab, short bed, FX2 package. Put an 8' western on it last winter, and pushed a whole lot of snow without any problem. Did bust up the mirror on one site but it was worth it.

Use it day to day here for landscaping. Plenty of push/pull torque just not a lot of get up and go power. But maybe im too used to my firehawk. Would recommend diesel only becuase it does suck down some gas when your towing around a trailer.

08-29-2006, 09:26 PM
Hey this thread is right up my alley!

Thursday I'm picking up my Oxford White '06 '250, 5.4 auto 4x4, reg cab long box. I got almost every option I could get. I wanted a V-10, but I could NOT find one in the configuration I wanted, and the diesel was a little out of my payment range.

For those of you who can compare the 3-valve 5.4 to the older 2-valve one, how much better is it? If I remember correctly, it's got about 40 more hp(don't know how much more torque) than the 2-valve.

And yes, I'll be back to put up pics:clapping:

08-29-2006, 11:59 PM
I've got 92,000 miles on my '00 F350 4x4, and have had zero engine or transmission problems. I've replaced the front brakes and ball joints once, changed the serpentine belt, and that's it. We've towed a big, tall, heavy box trailer for 24 hours straight in 95 degree heat, pulled a Bobcat 331 excavator, a 14,000 lb. dump trailer, you name it.

The truck has a 5.4 @ 235 HP and 4.10 gears, so it's no drag racer, but it will do 75 down the interstate with a heavy load. It usually gets 12-13 mpg if I behave myself, and the best it's gotten was 16. Towing it drops down to about 10-11 mpg. The diesels only get a few more mpg, and you'll never save enough on fuel to pay back that $7000 price difference.

Check the spec books on payload. I would recommend the F350 for the sander, and if you carry other loads of more than 2000 lbs. Otherwise, they're pretty much identical. Change your oil every 3000, keep the filters fresh, and it will last a good long time. Good luck.

08-30-2006, 07:11 PM
I don't know why the 5.4 gets such a bad reputation on this site. The engine is what it is. It is a lower horsepower gas engine. If you want to haul @ss passing people on the highway get a diesel. I prefer the 5.4 over the v10, because I drive on the interstate most of the time when I am not working. I haven't had a load that the engine couldn't handle. It has only snowed here once in 15 or 20 years, so I don't know anything about%

08-30-2006, 07:59 PM
We rented a bunch of F250 plow trucks with that engine. Engine had plenty of power and they plowed real nice. Some had salters in them too. For a work truck I think theyre fine

08-30-2006, 09:22 PM
for some reason half of my post was cut off. Anyway I was saying we don't have snow here, so I don't know anything about plowing. We also, don't have any hills, so I don't have to worry about trucking up steep grades. My fuel economy is great when there is no trailer being towed. Up to 19 on the hwy. Whoever said they haven't seen more than 10 mpg on a 5.4 unloaded. You are either an idiot, or you have not gotten in any vehicles newer than a 99. Everybody has a different preference. You have to chose the vehicle you like the most, because the only thing you are ever going to hear on most sites is go for the diesel. Diesel is always better in an 3/4 or 1 ton, but some people can't justify spending the money for gains they don't regularly use. Most people on here don't need to pull more than 15,000 pounds, and according to ford, the 5.4 can pull 15,000 legally. Some people ( i am like this) just want to have it for the few cases that it is there when they want it. Just pick the truck you like.

08-30-2006, 09:24 PM
*trucewhiteflag* *trucewhiteflag* *trucewhiteflag*

08-31-2006, 12:21 AM
back in the spring after looking for a couple years I purchased a 2002 F-250 5.4 liter V8 reg cab long bed two wheel drive with 100900 miles on it down in Virginia. This replaced my 1990 F-150 that had been used and abused its whole life. I have used the truck almost every day this summer to pull a 16' open lawnmowing trailer fully loaded as well as haul a few larger loads and driven it empty. So far I have put over 7000 miles on it and I love it. The engine has plenty of power pulling the hills of NY and I beleive mine even has the higher gear ratio (3:73)?? driving it back from Virginia emtpy with cruise it got 19 mpg around town with the trailer it is a very consistent 11.5 mpg no matter how you drive and what the roads are like. Overall I think this is a very capable engine and I don't think you would be disappointed.

09-04-2006, 04:03 PM
Again, I appreciate the comments!!!

Well, last week I picked up a new F-350 diesel SRW Regular cab with the XL interior (vinyl split bench, crank windows, has a CD player though!) and I love it! I decided to go with something "beefier" mainly because of the 0% financing, which left me a little more money to play around with. I plan on keeping this truck for a long time (may keep it until it's run into the ground), so by going with something stronger, I hope it will rarely let me down.

09-04-2006, 04:18 PM
And I would strongly recommend the vinyl seats (people have mistaken the vinyl for leather already), rubber floors to anyone who constantly works their trucks.

South Florida Lawns
09-04-2006, 05:22 PM
Never above 10 mpg on the 5.4, unloaded? WOW

My vortec 6.0 gets 16 highway unloaded. I have also found that Chevys are $2,000-3,000 cheaper than ford. Go buy a chevy!

Man in my area Fords are $4500-5000 cheaper than the chevys, then again that was a 350/3500 diesels.

09-04-2006, 08:39 PM
And I would strongly recommend the vinyl seats (people have mistaken the vinyl for leather already), rubber floors to anyone who constantly works their trucks.

Funny you mention that. On more than one occasion someone has looked in my truck and said something like, "ooooh, leather!" Did you get the 40-20-40 vinyl seat ? I liked the XLT style seat, but wanted vinyl. I almost ordered another seat and saw the 40-20-40 hidden in the order guide. I had never seen one, and could barely find any reference to it existing. So I forked out the $340(invoice) for it and am very happy I did. Searching dealer inventory shows it is quite a bit more popular now.

09-04-2006, 10:50 PM
Yes, I did get the 40-20-40 vinyl seat with the flipdown armrest/storage console. Didn't even know they made them that style in vinyl till I saw that one. (And I didn't know you could get a CD player in the XL trim too) The storage console was quite handy in the old Dodge, and am very glad the new Ford has one.

The XL doesn't have the tilt wheel (the wheel is at a nice spot anyways). And it doesn't have the power windows/locks/mirrors/etc., but I (and I'm sure most of you) can live without those things. The CD, A/C, and some storage are pretty much essential nowadays. I feel I lucked out in finding the perfect work truck interior.

09-05-2006, 12:48 AM
You are gonna love that seat. That is some of the best money you can spend on an XL. It changes the whole image of the truck. I ordered mine with tilt which in turn required speed control, or vice-versa. I do not think a cd player was optional in 04 like it was in 05-06. The only think I really thought I might miss, and it's a love hate thing, was power windows. Power windows, locks and mirrors could be had under a fleet order, option 903. If the order was in early enough (fleet orders have to be in quite a few weeks before retail deadline) and you could find someone who knew how to do these things, you could get a damn near the perfect truck. That was until 2007. Now you can order option 903 without the hassle of throwing it in with someone else's fleet :cool:

On a side note, believe it or not, you can actually get the cloth 40-20-40 in an XL on a fleet order. I'm just not sure why :laugh:

J&R Landscaping
09-07-2006, 04:37 PM
The thing is too, the F-350 diesel could run me $7000 more compared to the F-250 V8 gas. And I do not mind the XL (base) interior package. I just want a capable work truck. Just wondering if this F-250 V8 gas is plenty capable for the much lower price compared to the diesel F-350. And the V-10 is out of the question for obvious reasons (gas hog).

From what many on here say about the 6.8 v-10, I think I would buy that before the 5.4. I thought my 5.8 v8 would do worse on fuel but overall I am satisfied with the mileage thus far. I think a v10 is in my future though as I just cant justify a diesel no matter how much I might want one.

09-07-2006, 04:44 PM
You are gonna love that seat. That is some of the best money you can spend on an XL.

I've got the 40/20/40 in mine, and I like it a lot.

My F-150 had the 60/40 split bench with a power driver's seat. I hated it just for the fact that every time the passenger would adjust the seat, it'd screw up my armrest position.