Service Truck
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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    Service Truck

    So I drive a 21 year old F150 that I love. Only problem is that the previous owner beat it pretty bad and now things are going wrong and I can't keep up on my beginning farmers pay. Haha. So the question ultimately is, because I want to move to a diesel and I will only buy a Ford, would it be worth my time to buy a used service body F350/F450 with a 7.3 Powerstroke for $3000 and sell the box and replace it with a regular box or nice flatbed? There are one each of the listed trucks they're around the 2000 model year.

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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Define worth your time? I don't think you'll make a lot of money selling a 15 year old utility body, odds are its going to be pretty beat. They're heavy, so I would give the suspension on the truck a good checking out as well. Since service trucks are usually bought by businesses, the guy driving it probably didn't go out of his way to take care of a company truck either. That's not guaranteed, some of us do try to keep up our work trucks but a lot of guys don't, especially if they aren't assigned to that specific truck.

    There are two types of trucks, pickups and chassis cabs. Most flatbed and service bed trucks are chassis cabs and a regular pickup bed will not fit on them. The frame is different behind the cab, it's a different width and doesn't curve the same. You could put a flatbed on it (my choice anyway for a working truck) but you won't be able to make it into a pickup.

    I don't think you'll sell a service bed for a lot of money, without seeing them I would think $1,000 for an old, used body would be on the high end of the price range. You might be able to find a similar age flatbed for that price though and break even or close to it. New flatbeds can be found for about two grand, a place back in TN built them for $1,800. That was a stripped down, form follows function bed with no add ins though. Some of the nicer ones, especially the hauler bodies can get up into $5,000+.
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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    Alright. Sooner or later I'll find a newer truck. Speedometer doesn't work in my pickup and gets stuck between gears. It's an expensive fix. Not to mention the rusted cab corners rocker panels and fenders...

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    Evergreen's Avatar
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    I spent a year and a half searching classifieds ads from all over the Midwest for a clean and unmolested late 7.3 truck. If the body was clean, it had a ridiculous lift. If it wasn't jacked up, the body was shot and it had an insane amount of miles on it. Long story short, I never did find a good one for under 10k. If you look at the older body style (94 to 97) Powerstroke or an even older idi diesel, you should be able to find a good one in your price range. I found a darn near showroom condition '85 F-350 diesel crew cab with a flatbed and stick shift for $3,000 near Port Huron back in February, but a lack of four wheel drive made me pass it up. Don't be too afraid of an older truck that has been taken care of; they are brutally simple to fix, and parts and insurance are very inexpensive compared to a new truck. Yes, an older truck will be getting its doors blown off by soccer moms in their mini-vans, but in my experience they are tougher than an over cooked steak.

    In the end, I borrowed a bit from the bank and got a late model 6-liter with really low miles... Don't worry, I'm a diesel mechanic and know what I got myself into!

    As already mentioned, be wary of a truck that was not driven by the person making payments on it! The good news is that unlike a car, a heavy duty truck is pretty easy to inspect for problems. If you can inspect farm equipment, you should be able to handle it.

    Any truck can easily be flatbeded which is also my preferred choice for a farm truck as well. A steel bed is nice, but a trip to the lumberyard is cheaper and can still be just as functional.
    pcabe5, rtgt and BigJim55 like this.
    '50 Model M w/electronic ignition, 12v conversion, and a 3pt conversion plus a homemade snowplow, a Deere Model 51 trailer plow, a Woods RM59 finish mower, a Bark Buster splitter, and a few other toys.
    '69 Sears Suburban 14 48" deck and 42" back blade, an estate rake, and a sweeper.
    '07 F250 XL Powerstroke, crew cab, short box, 4x4.
    '85 F150... I finally sold my very first truck after racking up over half-a-million miles on the original drivetrain.

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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    I like older vehicles better than new. That's why I like the 7.3 engine. And I love my '96 F-150 which I wont get rid of. And I live just north of port Huron. Haha. So just for giggles, being you're a diesel mechanic, what do you think of a bulletproofed 6.0? I already know a 6.4 is junk. And I won't ever be able to afford a 6.7 haha.
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    Evergreen's Avatar
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    H

    What I think of a bulletproofed 6.0 will have a lot to do with what happens with mine over the next few years! As of right now, I am pretty confident it will work out.

    If I was going to be spending all day, everyday, running down the highway, loaded up to the max, I think the 7.3 is a better motor in terms of heavy duty longevity. In that sort of work, the simple and heavy duty valve train of an old 7.3 is hard to beat. If I was going to be trekking up into the more remote areas of Canada where the diesel fuel may have been sitting in the gas station tanks for a while, it rather have a 7.3. The tolerances in the fuel system is so much more forgiving. If I was buying anything with a questionable history or more than 100k miles, I would get a 7.3. But I'm not going to do any of those things.
    I had a '95 Powerstroke which racked up an absurd amount of miles (420k+) before the fuel injector wiring harness shorted out and set the truck on fire. Replaced the driver's side wiring harness in an afternoon on the side of the road, and got back to work... I highly doubt that I could have done that with a 6.0!

    However, anyone who claims more than 325hp and more than 19mpg (especially simultaneously and using the stock e4od/4r100 trans) with their 7.3 is probably trying to pull a fast one on you. I'm not saying that it can't be done, I'd just like to point out that my 6.0 can hit both of those numbers right out of the box. I've had the truck since June and have put 7k miles on it; 20-22 mpg highway, 14-16 mpg towing highway, 12-14 mpg city. My old 7.3 didn't get nearly close to that kind of mileage. The 5r110 is an amazing transmission which I would put up against any other automatic from its era in a punishment test with complete confidence. The smooth ride from the coil-over front end is like a magic carpet compared with a 7.3's leaf springs.

    My decision to get a 6.0 ultimately came down to a couple of factors; the biggest of which was what could I get for my money. Like I said before, most 7.3 trucks under $10,000 were either worn out or lifted and I don't have a use for either one of those options. When I started cranking up my price range, I found that I could get a clean '05-'07 (the only years of a 6.0 that I would even remotely consider) with 100 to 120k miles for the same price as a similarly spec'd 7.3 of any year with 150k to 170k miles. Crew Cab 7.3 trucks are hard to find and that was important too as Mrs. Evergreen seems to want a human larvae of her/our own. The final factor was that this truck will probably never see more than a 10,000 pound trailer now that we sold our farm. So far it has spent about 50% of its time commuting to work or running to the grocery store. The rest of its time is spent hauling my dog show gear or a car hauler; 6-7,000 pounds or so. Essentially, I will never be stressing most of the 6.0's known weak points. As much as I wanted a 7.3, I couldn't justify it when I looked at what I needed and what I could get for my dollar.

    I definitely agree that the 6.4 is garbage in its stock form. It's too bad because once one has been significantly overhauled and modified it is not only a great motor, it can be a real power maker. The problem is that you have to throw a pretty obscene amount of time and money at it in order to get there.

    I got to test drive a new 2015 6.7 a few months ago and I was really impressed with it. But for nearly the price of a two bedroom house, it should be amazing!
    '50 Model M w/electronic ignition, 12v conversion, and a 3pt conversion plus a homemade snowplow, a Deere Model 51 trailer plow, a Woods RM59 finish mower, a Bark Buster splitter, and a few other toys.
    '69 Sears Suburban 14 48" deck and 42" back blade, an estate rake, and a sweeper.
    '07 F250 XL Powerstroke, crew cab, short box, 4x4.
    '85 F150... I finally sold my very first truck after racking up over half-a-million miles on the original drivetrain.

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    f350 ford 7.3 diesel

    89 F350 Diesel 4X4

    Here are a couple of 7.3 flatbeds down here in NC.

    Might be worth the drive.

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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69project View Post
    f350 ford 7.3 diesel

    89 F350 Diesel 4X4

    Here are a couple of 7.3 flatbeds down here in NC.

    Might be worth the drive.

    Just be aware that neither of those are Powerstroke diesels. They didn't introduce the PSD until the last half of 1994, and it didn't come with an automatic trans until 1995. Those would be 7.3 IDI engines most likely.
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    Evergreen's Avatar
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    The old idi trucks are a little dirty and compared to a modern diesel they aren't very powerful, but they are brutally simple to work on and (like a 2-stroke engine) as long as they have fuel and compression, they will run. Parts are cheap when they don't run too.

    Sometimes 'new and improved' isn't superior to 'old and proven'. I wouldn't rule one out if it would suit your purposes.
    pcabe5, 56FordGuy and BigJim55 like this.
    '50 Model M w/electronic ignition, 12v conversion, and a 3pt conversion plus a homemade snowplow, a Deere Model 51 trailer plow, a Woods RM59 finish mower, a Bark Buster splitter, and a few other toys.
    '69 Sears Suburban 14 48" deck and 42" back blade, an estate rake, and a sweeper.
    '07 F250 XL Powerstroke, crew cab, short box, 4x4.
    '85 F150... I finally sold my very first truck after racking up over half-a-million miles on the original drivetrain.

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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evergreen View Post
    The old idi trucks are a little dirty and compared to a modern diesel they aren't very powerful, but they are brutally simple to work on and (like a 2-stroke engine) as long as they have fuel and compression, they will run. Parts are cheap when they don't run too.

    Sometimes 'new and improved' isn't superior to 'old and proven'. I wouldn't rule one out if it would suit your purposes.
    True, they're solid trucks. Nowhere near the power of a PSD though. I actually think the trucks with the 460 gas engine had a higher load and towing capacity. I wouldn't rule one out for the right uses either, but it's a very different animal than modern diesel pickups.
    pcabe5 and BigJim55 like this.
    -Blake

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