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New Tow Vehicle: Ford F-150 EcoBoost


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Well, the old '01 Suburban finally showed her age and got retired last weekend prior to our vacation trip. I just purchased a '13 Ford F-150 Platinum SuperCrew with the 3.5L EcoBoost. I've always been a V-8 bigot when it comes to trucks but I have to say no complaints here. I had just read the article in Boating magazine a couple days earlier that compared the F-150 XLT package with 3.5L V-6 EcoBoost to the F-150 Raptor with the 6.2L V-8 and the results from the editor's comparison was the V-6 matched up to the V-8 in basically every category. I took a deep breath and bought the V-6 EcoBoost based on that article and validated the results for myself on its inaugural trip. The owner's manual said not to do any towing until after the first 1,000 miles. Oopsie....

Quick Summary:

Highway: 65mph, 1500RPM, 11 MPG with ~600 lbs of occupants and gear in the truck, ~6500 lbs of trailer, boat, fuel, and gear behind the hitch. I have the 3.31 rear-end which is rated for 9200 lbs towing.

At the ramp: Steeper than normal incline with loose gravel at the top and scattered down to the waterline. 4WD-Low, both backing down and pulling out - no problems whatsoever. The EcoBoost turbo kicks in at 1200RPM so the added torque comes in almost from the start and the pullout was smooth as silk. The guy waiting on me was getting ready to launch his 26' Scarab towed by a Chevy 2500 4X4. I got a hat tip from him as I exited the ramp without so much as a single wheel spin.

The real story was we arrived at the cabin after midnight and had to take several very hilly backroads to get there, some as steep as 18 degrees (based on the truck's readout - a really cool "Truck App" that Ford includes on the 4X4s) with gravel/asphalt mixed. I used 4WD-Low to navigate the ups and downs and it performed like a champ. Never a slip or slide and the V-6 with turbo assist never even remotely strained under the load. Made me embarassed I ever even worried about it.

If you have been wondering about the tow-worthiness of the turbo V-6 versions of the F-150, here's at least one anecdotal case study for your consideration.

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I have the 2011 F150 ecoboost screw with the 3.55 rear. Boat and trailer go about 6000+lbs and it tows great. I get 12mpg with the boat.

Like you I was a V-8 guy but the guts in this 6 cyl ecoboost has made me a believer. The torque and acceleration are very impressive, when you punch the gas it really takes off. It's got a lot more guts than my previous 5.3 V-8. I believe the 3.73 rear boosts the tow capacity to 11,000 lbs.

Norb

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Well I had a 2012 f150 crew cab 4x4 6.5 foot bed ecoboost truck and I sold it after 8 months. First the rear end sagged so much with the boat hooked up. My mileage was for the life of the truck 2 mpg worse than my f350 which is stock. But he real kicker was two things. First I experienced what a lot of users are experiencing and what is the subject of a class action lawsuit which is when at highway speed when you advance the throttle to pass the whole truck just jerks and bucks and does not accelerate. Had it happen to me about a dozen times on the highway. Second was the fact that as I saw more and more of these ecoboost trucks on the road I saw large puffs of black smoke coming out of them when they down shifted to accelerate. Haven't seen a vehicle like that in the last 20 years except for some high performance cars. I am not sold on their application yet. Nice quite and powerful trucks and I hope they work well for that have then in here.

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Well I had a 2012 f150 crew cab 4x4 6.5 foot bed ecoboost truck and I sold it after 8 months. First the rear end sagged so much with the boat hooked up. My mileage was for the life of the truck 2 mpg worse than my f350 which is stock. But he real kicker was two things. First I experienced what a lot of users are experiencing and what is the subject of a class action lawsuit which is when at highway speed when you advance the throttle to pass the whole truck just jerks and bucks and does not accelerate. Had it happen to me about a dozen times on the highway. Second was the fact that as I saw more and more of these ecoboost trucks on the road I saw large puffs of black smoke coming out of them when they down shifted to accelerate. Haven't seen a vehicle like that in the last 20 years except for some high performance cars. I am not sold on their application yet. Nice quite and powerful trucks and I hope they work well for that have then in here.

I read about the turbo stall issue (I guess that's what you'd call it) and had seen some indications on the web somewhere that this had been addressed. I have not read or heard about this issue on the 2013's. Will definitely keep you folks posted on issues or lack thereof in case there are some watching this thread for information on buying or avoiding the EcoBoost.

Wrt black smoke puffs on acceleration, that sounds like a classic case of incomplete combustion, which I would not be surprised to see on a direct-injection, turbocharged engine when upon punching the accelerator more fuel is dumped into the cylinders prior to the turbo kicking in and boosting the air content in the cylinders. Back in college, I helped a buddy put a turbo on his wimpy 2.3L 4 banger '81 Mustang engine as his senior project in mechanical engineering school. We dyno'd it before and after and noticed once we installed it back in the car we got a little bit of incomplete combustion before the turbo got fully spun up. Maybe it was just the times, but we didn't think too much about it. I guess I would be a little surprise for that to happen now but I would be much more alarmed to see smoke coming out on deceleration such as blow-by.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had my 2013 F150 Super Crew 4x4 Lariat for almost a year now. It's definitely got impressive power for a 6 and quiet while under all but full throttle. I own a small fleet of pickups for my crew at work and we have owned every major manufacturer in the last 20 years or so. My last truck was a 2008 F350 Super Crew 4x4 with the 'new' diesel (built for Ford that year by International). That truck had more than it's share of bugs to work out, mostly to do with the diesel particulate filter etc. I went to a 150 from 350 because we now own our little piece of lake front and so only need to haul our 5th wheel in once a year rather than travelling like summer gypsies as we did before. Since the 350 is still in my company, I can borrow it back for the days I need it.

The 150 is a real cream puff to drive compared to the rigid 350, no surprise. The mileage is a vast improvement and so far, I am getting the best mileage among my small fleet which now includes a 2014 Silverado (V8) and two 2013 (V8) F150's in addition to some older Ford and Dodge pickups as well. I have the 'max tow' package which means the 3.73:1 ratio rear axle which can shoot you out of a hole REAL fast if you like? If you deactivate the traction assist you will MELT the rear tires on asphalt pinning the throttle from a standstill! Don't do that :slap: I could get away with much less truck hauling my little 190SSi on it's tandem axle trailer but I also haul a 5 tonne dump trailer from time to time loaded with gravel and so far, have been very impressed by the performance and economy offered by the little 6. I drive it every day for work and put on about 25,000 miles per year.

My assessment is that it is an excellent pickup, perhaps the best I have owned although I will reserve awarding that title for a few years yet!

Sean

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I bought the 2012 F-150 Lariat Ecoboost to to my 250 signature (now the 270...I'm getting tired of saying that...). The boat and trailer weighed in at 9,100#. The truck was rated for 11,300 pounds and handled the load with ease, even going up hills, best tow vehicle I have ever owned, and I've had my share of V-8 trucks. Then alas, the 8 foot itis hit and we upgraded to the 330 (now the 350... :o)), so no need for the truck any longer since we leave the boat in a slip. Sold it on a very sad day...

One word of caution for those of you towing heavy loads with the F-150. It does an outstanding job with the load, but the dead weight towing capacity of the hitch is only 5,000 or 6,000 pounds, I can't remember which.. Anything more and you need a weight distributing platform to get the full 10,000# capacity out of the hitch. PLEASE don't leave your boat and hitch in someone else's grill...or worse!!

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I just purchased a new 2013 F-150 Super Crew Platinum Eco Boost too (coming from a 2010 F-150 with V-8) on Labor Day. Been putting miles on it like crazy to get to the 1,000 mile break in period. While I just might be a bit shy of 1,000 miles, I plan on using it for the maiden tow trip this weekend. So far, admiral and I love the truck and all the bells and whistles. It is really the admiral's truck. Only time I drive it is when the boat is behind it. Looking forward to seeing how it tows this weekend.

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I have the EcoBoost with an extend cab, with a 3.73 rear end. My old boat was 6200lbs & the trailer about 2000lbs. With fuel, gear and don't forget to count the passages. I bet it was closer to 8800lbs if not more.

The truck did GREAT!! Congrets on the new truck!!!!!!!!

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I ran across this in another forum.

I've always put my truck in 4x4 when i pull the boat out of the water - figuring it couldn't hurt to have some better traction.

Maybe you guys knew this but i looked it up and they do recommend 4LO for towing boat out of water - i've always used 4 High.

http://www.f150forum.com/f38/warning-dont-use-4wd-help-pull-boat-out-water-226473/

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