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New tow vehicle/daily driver


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Well I sold the BMW (330xi) and pulled the trigger on a new vehicle. I've been between a Toyota Tacoma and a new Ecoboost F150 and the automatic in the F150 isn't for me. The Tacoma just seems like too little truck to pull the Bu and occasionally a 24 foot travel trailer. I started looking at used Super Duty pickups with manual transmissions.

Well the new ride isn't a super duty, it's a 2002 Ford Excursion Limited with a 7.3 Diesel. As some of you know I'm a manual transmission nut. I've never owned an automatic and don't care to. Ford never shipped an Excursion with anything other than their 4 speed automatic. It turns out the last owner of this vehicle wasn't a fan of the auto either so he had a 6 speed ZF tranny out of an F350 swapped into it. i found it while searching auto-trader and filtering on "diesel" and "manual". It was located about 200 miles south of me, but I had to take a look. It turned out to be an absolute cherry. It was very well maintained and had the things done to it I wanted to try on a diesel to improve fuel economy. (tuner, 4" straight piped exhaust, mandrel bent 4" downpipe, and a 6637 air filter - I changed it today). It also has leather heated seats, second row buckets, third row bench, back up sensors (park assist), and a bunch of other gadgets I'm not used to but loving! :lol: The other huge advantage is I can haul 7 people comfortably so no more taking 2 or 3 vehicles to the lake!

I bought it on Black Friday and drove it home. Selling the car and replacing my daily driver with this monster had me worried about fuel mileage, but I've been researching the 7.3 for a while and was confident I could get 18 mpg back and forth to work. It turns out I'm averaging 22-23 mpg! I couldn't be happier. I've got a tank through it and onto my second tank of gas and still holding that mileage.

Last Friday I towed the boat down to the underground storage facility. This was my first experience towing with a diesel. My gosh....what boat? I am blown away by how well this truck tows. The mine storage facility is about an hour away from me, mostly highway miles. I reset the fuel computer before leaving and when I pulled in it was reading 19.2 after towing for 60 minutes. I am thrilled.

I might end up getting a little beater economy car to drove back and forth to work, but I am loving this thing. I've been hunting all week and it sure beats a BMW sedan for hunting too. :)

Here's some pics I took of it....







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That is a very cool vehicle ! Neat storage place too. Salt mine?

It's an older limestone mine that is used for storage now. It's climate controlled where the Bu stays and is 55 degrees all winter.

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Now THAT is a tow rig! Nice set up there, very nice. The long wheelbase and torquey engine is a heck of a combination. My old 2002 Suburban has a much smaller engine but the tow-ability factor is comparable once up to speed. Nothing better than these type of rigs for easy 'Bu haulin'

Edited by CliffB
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That thing may tow, but, you'll miss the cornering of the bmmmmer.


oh no, with an Excursion you no longer have to go around corners, you are free to cut the corner anyway you want, thru the yard, across the sidewalk, so many options.

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