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Recovering the F-150 Thread


justgary

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@justgary...

 

Many here know I'm a huge fan of Ford Trucks.  I've had several 3.5 EB F-150's and they have continued to get better.  My current rig is a 2019 with Max tow and HDPP (Heavy Duty Payload Package).  I swapped out the rear shocks for bilstein 5100's and I swapped the front struts with bilstein 5100 ride height adjustables.  It's simply swapping the factory damper and using the factory strut for the front with  settings allowing you to adjust the ride height to +2".  I have the l6.5' bed and the 2-piece drive shaft.  From the factory there was 3" of rake.  I set my fronts at +2" and it gave me a near level stance with 3/4" of rake remaining in the truck.  I've also increased tire size, so my daily MPG is different than my 2017. The improvement is ride and handling was significant.  The newer F-150's are very plush and ride more like an SUV.  The change I made gave a more confident, more planted feel.  I also added Timbren SES to assist when towing and that's been an improvement as well.  Thanks to @bamaboy on that recommendation.  

In my '17 I was seeing 19 MPG unloaded with all hwy driving around 75 mph.  When towing the 22VLX, we would see around 9 MPG average when towing 70-75 mpg.  I see the same MPG in my 2019 when towing, but less when not towing.  I've also had the twin panel moonroof since it became available and I love it.  I love the added light I get in the truck and I also like having it open when the weather allows.  They have been prone to some problems.  It's an easy fix and the Ford F-150 forum is a great resource.  There is a service bulletin on the unit and it's not serviceable, generally.  It's a remove and replace thing.  One of mine froze in the closed position and the solution was replacement under warranty.  The others have had a tendency to "stick" from time to time.  This is simply a matter of lubricating the unit and there's a good write up on how to do that easily on the F-150 forum.  Very simple and it seems to address the issue well.  The other matter with the twin panel moonroof from my experience is that they make some noise, which is difficult to digest in a truck as costly as these are. Implementing the solution from the service bulletin does alleviate some of that noise.  

The only other issue(s) that I'm aware of or have experienced with my trucks are as follows:

 

  1. I've had hub failures where one will remain locked in 4x4.  It's a known issue but I didn't have that issue on my 2017 or my current truck.
  2. There are issues with some 3.5 EB engines where the timing chain tensioners and phasers don't work correctly, likely due to sludge build up, and can cause the timing chain to become loose.  Again, this is a known issue and there is a service bulletin on it.  My '17 was repaired under warranty.  It's a rattle that you hear on cold starts that is the signal that you need to have it looked at.  Again, I only experienced this on my '17.  

 

@RyanB, what app is that you posted the screenshot from?  

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Thanks to all of your for your help.  I found a leftover 2020 with max tow and navigation (in "dirt color") for what I thought was a very reasonable price.  The only problem is that it was in Tennesse

On the EBs it’s the cam phasers that make the cold start rattle - lasts about 2-5 seconds upon start.  Mine has been doing it for the last 21,000 miles, with 27,000 miles on the truck currently.

Yes, the 10-speed is an absolute winner here.  It locks out the upper gears when necessary and does a great job of keeping you in the power.  No need to do anything, simply engage tow/haul mode and hi

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1 hour ago, Slayer said:

@RyanB, what app is that you posted the screenshot from? 

Car Minder.  Been using it for 10 years, but I think I am going to need to change as I don't think it is supported anymore.

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6 hours ago, Texan32 said:

My experience was not a lack of hp/tq numbers.  My dislike of towing with the EB was the cruising and small(er) rolling hills.  I felt like i was constantly deep into the throttle to maintain speed.  I do have to feather the pedal in my 5.0, but it doesn't feel as aggressive.  Now, i can admit that its been a few years since i towed with an EB.  I have no doubt that Ford made changes (hopefully for the better), one obviously being the 10sp trans.  The overall point I was trying to make is that different drivetrains will tow differently.  I would be devastated do drop a ton of cash on a new(er) truck only to find out I hated the way it felt when towing.  I'm certainly NOT saying the newest EBs don't tow like a dream.  They very well could.  But, if you've owned/towed with a truck for several years and are accustomed to its characteristics, the new one is going feel different.

I'm not trying to sway opinion one way or the other.  What I am saying is that if you have the opportunity, hook one up to a load and feel it out. :thumbup:

I think I know what you mean.  On my 14 there's a bit of a beat or two under certain conditions to get the turbos on boil, especially if off throttle.  In very hilly terrain where you are coasting down the hill and then need to get back on the gas to get up the next one, that would be exacerbated.  I came from driving an excursion with 7.3, so I was accustomed to that behavior.  And the 7.3 was definitely worse.  Climbing up a mountain pass, where you are in the boost the whole time, you'd never feel it and the truck feels like it has power for days.

TLDR: my 14 ecoboost drives like a v6 with turbos, not a naturally aspirated engine.

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I'm not sure how it could be worse than my 5.4L with a 3-speed transmission with overdrive.  I have to turn off the overdrive when towing in hills or it will wait until it starts bogging to downshift.  The 10-speed will help a lot with any engine, I'm sure.

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7 minutes ago, justgary said:

I'm not sure how it could be worse than my 5.4L with a 3-speed transmission with overdrive.  I have to turn off the overdrive when towing in hills or it will wait until it starts bogging to downshift.  The 10-speed will help a lot with any engine, I'm sure.

Yes, the 10-speed is an absolute winner here.  It locks out the upper gears when necessary and does a great job of keeping you in the power.  No need to do anything, simply engage tow/haul mode and hit it. 

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11 hours ago, Slayer said:

the timing chain tensioners and phasers don't work correctly

Huh.  My wife's highlander has recently begun rattling on cold starts... I think it has a chain.  Better look into that. 

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1 hour ago, justgary said:

Huh.  My wife's highlander has recently begun rattling on cold starts... I think it has a chain.  Better look into that. 

On the EBs it’s the cam phasers that make the cold start rattle - lasts about 2-5 seconds upon start.  Mine has been doing it for the last 21,000 miles, with 27,000 miles on the truck currently.

As for the EB as a tow engine, it’s probably the best non-diesel engine that I have driven yet (owned 2 EB, with over 100,000 miles combined experience - 2015 F150 Plat and 2019 Raptor).  My comparison points is an older Ford V8 (Triton I believe), 2 GM 6.2lt V8s in Yukon Denalis (2011 and 2007) and GM 350 in a 2009 Silverado.  The flat torque curve with with the EB engine makes towing a better experience IMO.  Both the 6-speed and 10-speed transmissions were were solid, but prefer the 10-speed if I had to choose.

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Cam Phasers are an issue....kind of....  I had mine replaced under warranty around 40K miles.   The issue came back at 80K on my dime (around $2K).  I changed to Syn Blend oil and the OEM motorcraft filter.  The noise goes away for about 6-7K miles, then comes back when its time for an oil change.  Change the oil and filter and noise is gone.   

I believe this is more due to oil breaking down and draining out of the cam chain tensioner.

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50 minutes ago, justgary said:

Thanks to all of your for your help.  I found a leftover 2020 with max tow and navigation (in "dirt color") for what I thought was a very reasonable price.  The only problem is that it was in Tennessee.  I put a deposit on it and made a deal for a trade in on my 2005 F-150 by providing photos.  We drove the old truck to Tennessee on Friday and picked up the new truck, then visited our son in Nashville and spent the night, then drove home on Saturday.  I ordered towing mirrors after I put the down payment on the new one, and they were here when we got home last night, so I put them on right away, about 10 minutes per side.  I'm waiting for a license to Forscan so I can enable the puddle lamps on the new mirrors and change the automatic door lock to never happen.

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That's one nice Truck :thumbup:, And Yes I'm still Alive...  lol..lol.. Haven't been here on the forum for quit some time.

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Jimmy Buffett
On 3/15/2021 at 3:57 PM, shawndoggy said:

I just clicked over to my trip B at lunch. I haven’t reset that for 8k miles, so it includes towing the boat, communing to work (urban / suburban streets) and going skiing (40-80 miles of freeway and highway each way). I’m at 14.1mpg. 

I'm also in the 14's mpg over the long term.  I have 33" Mickey Thompson Baja tires.  

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4 hours ago, RyanB said:

Congrats.  What's under the hood?

Max Tow Package gets you the 3.5L EB, 3.55 gears, heavy bumper, and 36 gallon tank.  I filled it up in Alabama (where the fuel tax is a bit cheaper) and it told me I had 660 miles until empty....

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1 hour ago, Jimmy Buffett said:

I'm also in the 14's mpg over the long term.  I have 33" Mickey Thompson Baja tires.  

Did you tell the truck the new tire diameter so it can calculate speed and MPG properly?  We got about 18.5 MPG on the way home from Nashville, but of course it's down hill the whole way.

Following the line of spring breakers down the back roads at 52 MPH it peaked at 24.1 MPG over about 30 minutes.  On I-65 it got about 20 at 70 MPH and around 18 at 80 MPH.  A lot of idling and stop/start between Franklin, TN, and Montgomery, AL to lower my mileage.

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I did get Forscan to tell the truck to quit locking the doors for me, but it turns out that the puddle lamps are not included in the 8-pin mirror harness of the XLT package (the mirrors are 22 pin, and come with an adapter pigtail).  I plan to order the sockets and get the puddle lamps, the marker lamps, and the spot lights working.  I'll have to wire a switch for the spot lights, so that part might go slowly until I figure out how I want to do it.

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Bradley Thornton

I have a 2019 F150 Plat with the 3.5.   in 10k miles I was at 17mpg but 55-60 I'm 22mpg and at 80 I'm at 18mpg.    Its winter so a ton of idle time on the 10k miles like hours.

I'm stupid happy with this truck.

I used Forscan to make the mirrors close when truck is off just an idea.

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Jimmy Buffett
22 hours ago, justgary said:

Did you tell the truck the new tire diameter so it can calculate speed and MPG properly?  We got about 18.5 MPG on the way home from Nashville, but of course it's down hill the whole way.

Following the line of spring breakers down the back roads at 52 MPH it peaked at 24.1 MPG over about 30 minutes.  On I-65 it got about 20 at 70 MPH and around 18 at 80 MPH.  A lot of idling and stop/start between Franklin, TN, and Montgomery, AL to lower my mileage.

Yes, I have a tuner and reset the tire size so the speedo was accurate etc.  

 

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I need to get a forscan license and do a few things myself.  @Bradley Thornton, that's a great idea with the mirrors.  I hadn't considered that option.  I was thinking of changing the running lights to amber, and adjusting the MPG to my tire size.  I think I'll do the mirror thing too.  

 

I looked at getting the mirrors @justgary got, but they're were silly expensive.  I have max tow and HDPP on my truck but it didn't come with the towing mirrors.  I'm not adding them......I'm saving for a super duty....

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7 hours ago, Slayer said:

I need to get a forscan license and do a few things myself.  @Bradley Thornton, that's a great idea with the mirrors.  I hadn't considered that option.  I was thinking of changing the running lights to amber, and adjusting the MPG to my tire size.  I think I'll do the mirror thing too.  

 

I looked at getting the mirrors @justgary got, but they're were silly expensive.  I have max tow and HDPP on my truck but it didn't come with the towing mirrors.  I'm not adding them......I'm saving for a super duty....

The Forscan license is free for a few months, then you can just get another one.

I didn't have towing mirrors on my old F-150 until I started towing a camper and immediately realized that I couldn't see to change lanes.  I'm addicted to the mirrors now, and won't have another truck without them.  Mine don't have power folding, or I would do that mod as well.

I would have gotten a Super Duty if I could get the 3.5L EB engine in it. 

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14 hours ago, justgary said:

The Forscan license is free for a few months, then you can just get another one.

I didn't have towing mirrors on my old F-150 until I started towing a camper and immediately realized that I couldn't see to change lanes.  I'm addicted to the mirrors now, and won't have another truck without them.  Mine don't have power folding, or I would do that mod as well.

I would have gotten a Super Duty if I could get the 3.5L EB engine in it. 

I had the tow mirrors on my 2011 and loved them.  They were fantastic.  All the others I've had since have not had the option.  Not because I didn't want it, but just because it was what was available when I was getting the truck.  I'm in a new truck every 2 years, 3 max.  I haven't had that as a "must have" on my option list, but if there's one available with it, I'd gladly take it.    

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Recently picked a used 2018 F-150 3.5 eco. So far loving the truck. Drove the truck for a week and loved it. Wife texted me one day after leaving for work, while she was driving and said she was hearing a grinding sound on acceleration. Instantly thought we had gotten screwed over. Quick google search and $20 later, ordered an updated vacuum line off the brake booster. Knock on wood we have not had the issue again. I guess early 18s had an issue with 4 wheel drive trying to engage randomly due to a check valve in the vacuum line.

 

Took the truck on its first big trip with our new 24' toy hauler. Was interested to see how it pulled and what kind of fuel economy we would get. Drove from Kansas City to Waynoka Ok with a 20-30mph head wind most of the way. The truck pulled great, power wise I couldn't hardly tell it was there. On the way there I used tow haul and set the cruise at 75 (speed limit on the turnpike), truck got 5.5 mpgs. On the way home I tried leaving it out of tow haul and managed 7 (slight tail wind). Hoping for a little better fuel economy if I slow down to 60-65 between home and the lake. Also hoping for a little better with the boat.

 

As for forscan I turned off auto start stop, enabled gps when moving, fogs with high beams. Also turned off the seat belt alarms manually. 

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37 minutes ago, 06malibu said:

As for forscan I turned off auto start stop

Why?  It doesn't seem to bug me at all that the engine dies when I stop.  It starts very quickly, and I figured out that if you flare the brake pedal just a bit as you stop, it will delay the shutoff.  If I want it to kill the engine sooner, I press the brake pedal a little harder as I complete the stop.

39 minutes ago, 06malibu said:

enabled gps when moving

I need to look this one up... I have navigation, so I assume the GPS is working all the time.

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23 minutes ago, justgary said:

Why?  It doesn't seem to bug me at all that the engine dies when I stop.  It starts very quickly, and I figured out that if you flare the brake pedal just a bit as you stop, it will delay the shutoff.  If I want it to kill the engine sooner, I press the brake pedal a little harder as I complete the stop.

Its annoying honestly to me. 

23 minutes ago, justgary said:

I need to look this one up... I have navigation, so I assume the GPS is working all the time.

 

I guess I should have been more specific. It allows you to use/change navigation while driving. Otherwise you have to be at a stop or parked I believe.

I also did the same with bluetooth. 

 

Here is the forscan spreadsheet. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uDSQ1Z5a2Wt8-kjrSiVSlDFGFHnfeuhb3RTMVz95730/htmlview#

 

 

Edited by 06malibu
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