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Steve C.

New van time - engine advice wanted

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Time to upgrade the old work van.  Looking at GM or Ford full size work/cargo/conversion vans in the $4 - 5000 range, 100 - 180k miles.

All I've ever run is the good old sbc 350.  Any particular engines to avoid in the 2000 - 2010 model years?

Thoughts?

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5.4 01-04 head gasket fails leaking oil at back of RH cylinder head pretty common.  Spark plugs coming out on same years.  At work we have and 08 5.4 that seems to have more than it’s share of weird problems.  That being said I’m a ford guy.  5.3 6.0 Chevy seem much more reliable especially at the miles you are purchasing them at.  

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Have had 0 issues with 6.0 engines in vans, if you have made it to 100k with a trans you are probably fine. The 4.8 is pretty decent too but not a powerhouse 

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14 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

Have had 0 issues with 6.0 engines in vans, if you have made it to 100k with a trans you are probably fine. The 4.8 is pretty decent too but not a powerhouse 

6.0 is the standard around here.  Many many many running in pickups and vans.  Seems one can get quite a few miles on them without issue.

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Our church bought a new Chevy van with a 6.0 I guess 15 years ago. I was on the transportation committee at that time. We were replacing a Ford with that goofy extension plucked on the back to make it extended.  It continually wore out the front tires. Steered terrible when loaded to heavy in the back. The Chevy van has been absolutely trouble free other than a youth leader backing into something with it last year. Its pulled a trailer loaded with tools and luggage many a time around the midwest on our youth groups annual serve project.

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As a dealer tech I saw a lot of 5.3/6.0 with broken exhaust manifold bolts, almost always the back ones and usually on higher mileage vehicles. Not a hard repair unless they broke off deep inside the heads.  They also had issues with the upper intake manifold gaskets sucking air on cold startup. (That will set a check engine light)
   Other than that, those engines are almost bullet proof.  

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5 hours ago, Mike56073 said:

broken exhaust manifold bolts

Pretty much the only problem I ever had with my last 6.0. Easy fix except the left rear (only left side had any broken). That one is impossible to get to in situ but Dorman makes a kit that screws into an unused hole in the back of the head and clamps the end of the manifold. It must happen a lot for them to fabricate a kit. The also have the new bolts in a kit.

I'm a real fan of that engine; gas pumps are too!

New to me truck is a 6.0.

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We ran 6.0 at work, at least 20 of them.

No problems at all.

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I had a 5.7 Vortec in a GM van. At 60,000 the valley gasket failed letting anti freeze into the oil. That van had 36000 mile warranty, but GM replaced everything at no charge to me.

The next van, a 6 litre, the engine has been fine at 100000 miles, but three torque converters, 2 transmissions. The 3.42:1 gear ratio with two overdrives means the torque converter is slipping most of the time, making heat.

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6.0 GM, best light/medium duty gasser out there hands down.  Modular Fords are ok at best, its not a matter of if but when youll have bigger issues with valvetrain parts, exhaust manifolds, spark plugs, coil packs

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My Ford work truck had 275,000 absolutely trouble free miles. It's an '03 with the 5.4 and has had a hard life. Loaded all the time to 75-80% of the 10,000 gvwr. The only parts replaced were tires, brakes, batteries, and two coils. All of the belts, hoses, water pump, alternator, starter, etc are original. Pretty impressive when you consider how many times every day it gets started. Just started driving a '19 with the 6.2. The old truck is now a spare that is on the road several times every week. 

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So

1 minute ago, 12_Guy said:

My Ford work truck had 275,000 absolutely trouble free miles. It's an '03 with the 5.4 and has had a hard life. Loaded all the time to 75-80% of the 10,000 gvwr. The only parts replaced were tires, brakes, batteries, and two coils. All of the belts, hoses, water pump, alternator, starter, etc are original. Pretty impressive when you consider how many times every day it gets started. Just started driving a '19 with the 6.2. The old truck is now a spare that is on the road several times every week. 

As you posted this I was getting ready to comment that it looks like my best bet would be to go with the GM 6.0 if I can.

Now here you go messing up my thought process.

What years did Ford use that 5.4?

 

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18 minutes ago, Steve C. said:

So

As you posted this I was getting ready to comment that it looks like my best bet would be to go with the GM 6.0 if I can.

Now here you go messing up my thought process.

What years did Ford use that 5.4?

 

After the problems my brother had with his pickup with a 5.4 they made them to many years. 

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1 hour ago, Steve C. said:

So

As you posted this I was getting ready to comment that it looks like my best bet would be to go with the GM 6.0 if I can.

Now here you go messing up my thought process.

What years did Ford use that 5.4?

 

I can't honestly answer your questions. I also had a 2000 F150 that was also excellent, although it did have a couple of exhaust studs on the right head break. I was able to repair that myself. I think both of these were 2 valve engines? I think later engines were 3 valve. I don't know much about them. The shop I work for had an '05 or '06 with the 5.4. No issues I am aware of. I'm not sure how many miles it had on it. Probably around 200k. The young guy who drove it wrapped it around a pole while driving on some snow. This guy is hard on vehicles. He has been through 4 vehicles in 4 years. Chevy, Dodge, or Ford none survived him. He even managed to rear end a Porsche on ice one morning. Probably the only Porsche in 100 miles and he had to hit it. The bosses were not amused. He has been left to drive the biggest POS in the fleet. It will be a sad day when he gets to my old Ford. 

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dad had a 96 ford E250 with a 351W, they replaced the engine at 25k becuse of an unidentified tick, which turned out to be a heat sheild, but that is another story if ford is anything like GM the updated engines didn't make their debut in vans until many years after they were the standard in pickups. I think 02-03 was the first of 6.0 in GM vans, previously would have been a 5.7, I would bet ford was similar, I know they had the triton 5.3 in pickups in 99 but I bet you didn't see them in vans until later. 

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Engine aside. Our church had both and the long wheelbase of the Chevy was much easier to drive when loaded. The Ford to make it extended added a section behind the rear axle. When loaded heavy with stuff in the back it just plain drove bad. No one wanted to drive out. My wife has driven the Chevy van for women's retreats. No complaints(and I would hear it) Went thru a lot of front tires on the Ford as well. 

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May be looking at a 2003 E250 with a 4.2 V6.  From what I've been able to read so far, the original gasket problems were addressed well before this '03 was built.

88,000 miles.  Rebuilt trans. put in a month ago.  Govt. fleet vehicle.  Pics look clean and straight.

Anyone familiar with this engine?  I'm sure it's not overpowered, but I just haul tools and don't tow anything.

It's 50 miles away so I don't want to waste time on it if the engine's likely to cause problems.

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Years ago we had a pickup at work with that motor. It ran fine but was sure no powerhouse. I think he pickup was geared really high too, I think a 3.73 or 4.10 rear end would make that motor way easier to live with.

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Wrote a check this afternoon for an "04 Chevy 2500 cargo with a 6.0 and 103,000.  Runs and drives great. That 6.0 is impressive all right.

Thanks a bunch for all the good input.  Y'all are a great resource.

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