View Full Version : 02 F-350 Platform
12-01-2006, 04:53 PM
First I would like to say what a great forum this is, I have been lurking on this forum for a while and there are very seasoned guys who offer great info. That leads me to my post.
I am currently driving a 97 FZJ80 cruiser. I bought this vehicle with the thought of using it as my hunting, trialing, camping, family vehicle. Currently it is just my wife and our three labs. The 80 worked great until I added a third dog to the group. Now, I find myself strapped for space and as much as I don't want to I am thinking of trading the 80 for something larger, as I will also be running my dogs in Hunt Tests and Field Trials as well as training them. I have looked at several diffrent half ton trucks, and while they nice I don't trust the long term relaibility of them. I have a friend who is an auto broker who took a 02 F-350 diesel 4x4 Extended Cab lond bed with 91K on trade and can sell it to me for 18,000 and give me 10,000 on my 80. The vehicle is in great shape and looks to be taken care of (will take to a deisel shop to make sure). I am thinking that adding a topper and a lift with bigger tires would make this a pretty capable rig, and I would also be able to pull a travel trailer with ease. My thought is that it would address my immediate need for more space and should be pretty reliable. The size is about the same as a crew cab with the short box, but since it's the wife and I currently, by the time we have kids big enough to need more room I would probably be ready for a new vehicle any way. Can anyone offer any downsides to this type of rig?
Thanks in advance!
12-02-2006, 03:01 AM
I have a similar vehicle with my dodge 2500 diesel. This type of platform definitely has the towing and hauling capacity for an expedition vehicle, much more so than a compact pickup of some sort. However, the ride isn't nearly as smooth, it is much harder to drive offroad due to size and weight and your traveling companions will always get annoyed with you for that funky diesel smell. They'll also get annoyed that you get the same or better mileage than them and have about twice the range. Having said all that, it sounds like that platform would be a very good choice for your intended purposes.
Only other comment is on the Powerstroke engine. I can't remember if the 02 model year was the 7.3 or 6.0 liter engine. The 7.3 is a good choice. I would be wary of the 6.0 liter engine if I were you. I'm not trying to bash and say they are all bad, just saying that they have had a MUCH higher repair rate than any of the other heavy duty diesel trucks and the truck should be carefully examined.
Good luck w/ your search!
12-02-2006, 04:51 AM
I was thinking of an F350 also, but the crewcab short bed. Lately, I've come to see the advantages of the longbed though. Even with a shortbed, the full sized Ford has enough bed length (6'5") for a regular sleeping platform. About the engine, I think your pretty safe with the '02 as they didn't start putting in the 6.0 until '03.
Just a recomendation...
Depending on how much stuff you're planning on hauling, I would recoment going with a roof rack rather than a trailer. Sorry, but Land Rovers and TLCs aren't even going to come close to the GVRW/payload of a full sized Ford. The far stiffer suspension enables you to carry much more weight uptop than almost any SUV. We did the Rubion as a "support" vehicle with 8 fully loaded jerrycans, 4 full sized spare tires, and a roof tent up-top and didn't have a problem with tippy-ness the whole way. (we sold it two years ago with out taking any pics :-( About the roof rack itself, your going to be much better off with a construction truck style rather than a Thule/Yakima setup. I.E., KargoMaster makes one with a 1700 lb. rating (kinda spendy though). Try and put even 1000 lbs on a standard roof rack. Another perk is that plenty of them fit nicely over a shell, so you still get all the space inside.
12-02-2006, 05:57 PM
In general I think they would make a good platform, load capacity would be great and you would probably never get near gross weight so all the components would be less stressed. My concerns would be the full domestic size trucks handle very differently when empty or lightly loaded and if there is no load you pretty much get zero rear traction. My stock Dodge Cummings 2500 4x4 doesn't go off road very often but it is very twitchy when driving on washboard even when driving slow, the 3500/350 would be worse.
General size of the f350 will be a problem on tight trails but that might not be a problem, you did not say where you were taking it. I don't have an f350 but when I bought the dodge and was looking around I recall all the 250/350 series trucks from the big 3 being roughly the same size. These trucks are bigger than you think and the cab of my dodge is the same width as my unimog but with the mirrors on the dodge it is wider even if they are folded in (the mog mirrors come off and also fold perfectly flat). If the F250 turning circle is anything like my dodge then its truly crap, you'll be doing some three point turns and my dodge is a short bed.
12-02-2006, 06:12 PM
Thanks for the input. I would really like to find a crew cab, but they are a few grand more, and my frined took this on trade for a steal. My thought was that it is my wife and I currently and once we have a baby, it's still more than enough room for two adults and two kids in the back. From what I have read the 02 7.3 is really reliable and should work well for highway travel and offorad travel. The towing capacity is also a factor since we have three dogs, it's a little hard to find someone to pet sit on vacation. Might as well load them up and get a travel trailer.
I have looked at this Kargo Master racks before when I had a ranger, I think that would work pretty well. Can you attach a basket to them?
12-02-2006, 06:52 PM
I can fully understand the attraction you have right now. Can't beat a full size for comfort on the road.
I haven't really drove my Suburban much in the last few months. Driving my 4Runner for the MPG (sub is a 454 gasser). Drove the burb some last week and forgot how nice it was to just drop the double armrests put her in Drive and go. Love every thing but the MPG and lack of 4x4.
Trying to make my 4Runner work as a cross country expo vehicle and realizing how much space is at premium with what I want to do with it. Thinking expo trailer to tag along for longer trips. Getting my kids in the back seat always a fight to get in and out (mine is a 2door). Really a booger wit the kid that is still in a Car seat.
I blew the transmission out of my normal work truck (a POS 2000 Dodge full size van) two weeks ago. Had some running around to do and used the other company truck at my disposal. Its a 2004 Z71 extended cab short bed with the 5.4 it think it has. Put a quick 150 miles on it enjoying the ride the whole way. It has an aluminum ARE double back door and opening side door utility shell and a bed slide. Loaded 800lb of gear onto the bed slide in a crate with the fork lift and pushed it in one handed. I found myself thinking about how I would set that thing up as an expedition rig. Also thinking about the new AWD full size Chevy van already on its way to replace the dodge and how cool that would be and how long it would take for a lift kit to be out.
the 7.3 F trucks are hard to beat. They are big but they get nearly the same MPG as my 4cyl 4Runner for normal day to day. My buddy on the plains was getting nearly 15mpg pulling his 39ft 5th wheel camper on his way to Alaska last year. My needs would be best filled with a F250 Crew short. The F350 single wheel is mostly stiff suspension and a little bit bigger brakes. I think the axles are the same except the brakes. If you are pulling big loads all the time I could see the F350 or if you just found one for a great price then it being worth it. Its a bit of overkill if you are not going to be towing often. The F250 I think would be the better choice in most cases.
I would actually be able to replace both my runner and my Suburban with a 7.3 SD truck I think. I have wheeled a full size in the past (K5) and sometimes it was really tight fit but my wheeling tastes have changed to where I could do it in a full size. With a shell like on the Z71 at work I would not need the small expo trailer. Easily be able to haul the family and the Airstream with it and bounce off the beaten path to most of the places I want to go with the truck at will.
If I had the means right now it would be a hard choice to stick with the 4 Runner. :smiley_drive:
12-02-2006, 07:45 PM
Adding a basket to a KargoMaster? You could using either a Thule "Clamp On" or the Yakima equivalent, but I really don't see why. We simple added some more cross braces to the "floor", a bar across the back and about halfway up the middle (it's cheap enough to jerry rig something from Home-Depot plumbing/electrical departments using steel pipes and elec. conduit tubing) and there we had a basket that was to be much bigger than anything else on the market.
Another way we expanded the area uptop was, (using a heavy duty Warn winch-mount-bumper as a forward base) ran some 1" square tubing up and back supporting a forward stretch of the rack. Not that you'd need it, the rack for the short bed is 13' long, and the long bed version is a little over 14'. but with stretching and supporting like I said, we had a platform about 15' by 4 and a half ft. That's a ton of space. (4 full size spares take up more room than you'd think!)
What are you planning on carrying in the trailer anyway?
About it being skittyish when unloaded, I'd agree 100% That's another reason for the expanded fuel tanks- the extra weight helps tons with evening out the ride. We went with the F350 specificaly because of how much fuel we were carrying (8 Jerry cans-40 Gal, Stock Tank-20 Gal, Spare tire tank-50 gal, in bed Delta tank-100 gal) 210 gallons of diesel and gas weigh a lot. While a shell and the rack don't add that much, every little bit helps keeps the back end under control.
12-03-2006, 04:53 AM
Anyone thinking about using the F350 as an expedition travel vehicle should check out posts by "Outbackamper." He built up an F350 and traveled with his family in the truck around Australia for a year.
This link lists the mods done to the vehicle
And here's a bunch of photos of the truck in action
12-07-2006, 01:42 AM
Thanks for all of the replies, after driving this vehicle as a demo, it is way more than I need. I also think the diffrence that it cost between the 80 could go toward some really nice upgrades including an expedition style roof rack. Who knows down the road, maybe I'll get a Superduty and tow the 80.
12-07-2006, 02:38 AM
. The F350 single wheel is mostly stiff suspension and a little bit bigger brakes. I think the axles are the same except the brakes. If you are pulling big loads all the time I could see the F350 or if you just found one for a great price then it being worth it. Its a bit of overkill if you are not going to be towing often. The F250 I think would be the better choice in most cases.
Sorry, but I have to disagree, there are only 2 differences between 99-03 F250 and F350 diesel trucks:
1) The F350 has larger rear spring spacer blocks
2) The F350 has a sticker that says 9900lb GVW (vs 8800lb GVW for the F250)
Brakes, axles, springs, differentials, etc, are all identical. The major drawback to a diesel F250 is that, because of the extra weight of the diesel engine, the (legal) payload is only about 1800lb (by comparison my last F150 had a 1500lb payload). My F350 was over 11,000lb fully outfitted for Australia, I believe the Turtle IV (F350) from www.turtleexpedition.com was over 12,000lb on the Trans-Siberia trip! I can't see any downside to choosing an F350 over an F250, the extra 1100lb of GVW is more useful than you might think.
ps: Chip; thanks for the write-up
12-20-2006, 02:10 PM
I will back up what Mark says. 99-04 F250-350 are the same truck.
Brandon, sorry to here you turned it down. That $18K was great price BTW!!
My 350 was more than I needed when I ordered it back in 02 but now I have it all filled up;) 2 MORE kids helped that out too!
02-08-2007, 02:37 AM
That is one heck of a truck you have there.
02-08-2007, 01:59 PM
That is one heck of a truck you have there.
Thanks! How do you like the Cooper STT's? I have the Mastercraft MT (made by Cooper) and love them. My 285 MT's made it to 67,000 miles on a over 4 1/2 ton truck!! 35" MT look to go just as far. I think the STT may be a bit better off road??
02-08-2007, 02:23 PM
My F350 was over 11,000lb fully outfitted for Australia, I believe the Turtle IV (F350) from www.turtleexpedition.com was over 12,000lb on the Trans-Siberia trip! I can't see any downside to choosing an F350 over an F250, the extra 1100lb of GVW is more useful than you might think.
My truck comes in at 9,000 lbs loaded up for a trip. That's Me, Wife, 3 kids, 2dogs and all our stuff for 2 weeks. No camper, just a ARE shell.
With the camper (Flip-Pac) I am starting to build into a custom slide in camper, I think I will be close to 9,800-10,000 when its done.
Empty, 15 gal of diesel, no spare tire and with no cap or camper the truck comes in at 7,980 lbs.
02-20-2007, 04:21 AM
Sorry man I've been busy and didn't see your post. I really like the Cooper STTs before I sold them. The only complaint is they wore pretty dang quick.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.11 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.