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ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
12/13/18 4:57 a.m.

I'm looking at gently used F150s. I found a nicely set up 2013 with the big EcoBoost and 51k miles on a local lot. I started out looking at V8 trucks for long term reliability when buying used but the 3.5 is such a better feeling engine. The only service records the dealer has are CarFax stuff, but that shows fairly regular dealer visits and clean history. Truck seems tight and well cared for. 

I know the first year had some hiccups, were they sorted by '13?

Would you buy one?

EDIT: I should mention, my work commute is about 7 miles each way. Any concerns with short trips with the boosts like there are with old diesels?

TJL
TJL Reader
12/13/18 5:34 a.m.

Ive driven a few and always been impressed. As for mileage concerns, my company just took back a 2015 i think it is from one of the field employees. 175k miles and still quite fun to drive. I cant tell if its missing much boost, it still seems to haul butt to me. 

 

Ive heard they have probs with going through spark plugs quick but dont know if thats true or not.  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
12/13/18 6:29 a.m.

I've not heard any long term problems with any of the V6 EB engines.  

The only real complaint I've heard is lack of advertised gas mileage, but that's very dependent on how you drive.  (makes me kind of upset that the truck isn't more robust to drivers)

For short drives, keep a little closer eye on the oil.  The oil is happier when it gets fully warmed up.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
12/13/18 7:02 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Closer eye in what way? I'd probably opt to change at 5k intervals just to be safe. I know these tend to have more fuel contamination in the oil than standard engines (like the old diesels) so getting them up to temp for a longer time on a regular basis probably helps drive that out - like the old diesels. Of course, the major reason I'm considering the truck is to extend my biking/boating/exploring reach further down the interstates, so that should help the situation.

 

Coincidentally, just as feedback given what you do, I test drove two 2015 Lariats with the V8 and the steering just didn't feel good. Twitchy, just not confidence inspiring. The 2013 drives night and day better, and that's all on the same tires and around the same number of miles. Thought you'd find that interesting.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/13/18 7:16 a.m.

7 miles should heat up the oil just fine. 

My commute is about 5.5 miles on all surface streets, so never faster than 45-50mph. Even when it's below freezing the oil temp gauge shows ~200 by the time I get to work in the 135i. It was 45 this morning and it was up to about 220 by the time I parked.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
12/13/18 7:16 a.m.

In reply to ultraclyde :

DI systems put more fuel into the oil. The close eye is to make sure that the oil level doesn't get too high.  Again, that goes for any DI engine, not just the EB.  So you know, the engine is robust to more dilution that most here would be comfortable with.

 

Interesting that the 2015 E-Power Steering made it worse.  Not good- but some seem to like it.  That's way out of my area, though, so I don't even know who to talk to about it.  Whereas I'm still friends with the people who calibrated the powertrain.  And do work with/for them pretty often.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
12/13/18 7:17 a.m.
z31maniac said:

7 miles should heat up the oil just fine. 

My commute is about 5.5 miles on all surface streets, so never faster than 45-50mph. Even when it's below freezing the oil temp gauge shows ~200 by the time I get to work in the 135i. It was 45 this morning and it was up to about 220 by the time I parked.

It's not just temperature, but time, too.  It takes time to evaporate the light ends. 

rslifkin
rslifkin UltraDork
12/13/18 7:45 a.m.

A friend has a 2012 with somewhere around 170k on it at this point.  No issues since he bought it with 50k or so (IIRC).  In terms of engine powerband, it feels like a diesel that learned how to rev, so basically perfect for a truck engine.  

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
12/13/18 8:45 a.m.

We currently have our second and third examples of this engine, the first being the 2011 F-150 that got traded on the Expedition. No issues here, other than the fuel dilution thing that Eric mentioned. And even that never caused any actual problems, it's just something that Blackstone mentions when I get the oil analyzed. I do 5K oil changes with major brand full synthetic, and fully expect to get well over 100k out of these vehicles. As if I'd ever keep something that long, but you know, I COULD. laugh

MINIzguy
MINIzguy HalfDork
12/13/18 10:30 a.m.

Lots of fuel dilution on the first gen 3.5 EB, for sure. When I was with a company making catch cans, we caught a lot of fuel-smelling oil. Keep up on those oil changes for sure!

I read up that the 11-12 early 3.5 EB motors had some issues, cam phasers, start up timing chain rattle and such. A '13 is free from all that but listen to that cold start.

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
12/13/18 11:39 a.m.

I'm pretty familiar with variants of both the 3.5L EcoBoost and 5.0L. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the 3.5L according to the criteria you shared so long as it's not the early 2011-ish models. What has been previously shared in the comments is good advice (shorter oil change intervals, adding a catch can, lower your expectations for the difference in fuel economy between the two engines, etc.) 

7 miles of a normal city drive cycle should be sufficient to fully warm everything up. I purchased a 2014 F-150 last year but opted for the 5.0L mainly because I plan on driving it to 200k and do all the work on it myself. The only problem I've experienced was one I spotted at the dealership and they fixed before the purchase: the AdvanceTrac warning message kept appearing and it ended up requiring a steering rack replacement. 

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
12/13/18 11:49 a.m.

I do have a catch can on the SHO. I empty an ounce or two of nasty-looking stuff out of it every other oil change or so. I'm not convinced it's making much difference, as the stuff seems to be mostly water once I let it settle.

jimbbski
jimbbski Dork
12/13/18 2:09 p.m.

I bought a  2013 with 144K on the clock in 2017.  I purchased it to tow my race car. When I went to look at it I was impressed with how it drove.

I could not tell it had the mileage it had.  I've had no issues since other then an O2 sensor. That was an easy repair.

 

What I've learned is to change the oil regularly. Don't go past 5K miles if your towing or hauling.  My truck saw none of that but with regular oil changes based on the Carfax I got from the dealer.

Do join the Ecoboost F150 forum but like any other forum there will be some "smoke" to deal with before you get  clear info or help there.

As for fuel mileage: Highway will top 20 mpg if kept below 70. Towing a 20 ft enclosed will net me 10-13 depending on outside temp and how fast I go. Never over 65 mph. Hot weather will net lower MPG's. Over 90 deg. the inner cooler can get heat soaked and the intake air will get warm so the ECU pulls timing and adds fuel to keep the engine cool.  

 

NGTD
NGTD UberDork
12/15/18 4:38 p.m.

The 5.0L gets the virtually same mileage in real world driving.

I fail to see the point of getting the issues that may occur with a Twin Turbo V6 when a NA V8 is available and gets similar mileage.

Alfaromeoguy
Alfaromeoguy Reader
12/15/18 9:19 p.m.

I worked at Ford for a few years, the techs on there cars pulled there plugs out once a year to remove any carbon ( after 4 or 5 years,you get broken plugs when you go to renew the  plugs ) and use nickel anti seize on the threads.

rslifkin
rslifkin UltraDork
12/15/18 10:47 p.m.
NGTD said:

The 5.0L gets the virtually same mileage in real world driving.

I fail to see the point of getting the issues that may occur with a Twin Turbo V6 when a NA V8 is available and gets similar mileage.

Loaded the 5.0 gets similar mileage.  Empty, if you're not wailing on the throttle all the time the EB does do a little better.  And the EB has a couple more HP than the 5.0 in those years and a much fatter torque curve, so it does a better job of moving the truck (especially without having to rev the nuts off it all the time), particularly when the truck is loaded. 

M2Pilot
M2Pilot Dork
12/16/18 2:49 a.m.

Not sure it's the same basic engine but non-boosted V6 in spouse's 2012 Flex needed a water pump at approx 60K.  Cost more than $3k. Part of the cost may have been due to transverse engine which wouldn't be a factor in an f-150

yupididit
yupididit UltraDork
12/16/18 11:33 a.m.

How much are these 2013-2015 going for in crew cab 4x4 XLT? 

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
12/16/18 11:40 a.m.

Dealer prices are mid 20s to low 30s depending on options, mileage, etc. You can see the truck I bought in the other thread. Got it for upper 20s. Not a screaming great deal, but good enough given the shape it's in and the low mileage.

chandler
chandler PowerDork
12/16/18 2:48 p.m.
NGTD said:

The 5.0L gets the virtually same mileage in real world driving.

I fail to see the point of getting the issues that may occur with a Twin Turbo V6 when a NA V8 is available and gets similar mileage.

I have a 2018 5.0 and I’ve gotten better fuel economy than my neighbor who has the same truck in EB. Not sure what it’s purpose is.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ Dork
12/16/18 3:45 p.m.

Its purpose is to embarrass you.  Back in ‘12, after they’d been out a year or two, I was driving on some very hilly sections of I64 in my ‘98 Jeep XJ.  4.0 liter.  The one everybody is so nuts over.  190 bhp.  I’m going along at 75.  Keep seeing this new F150 gaining on me.  Clutch in and drop to 4th on the hill.  Still gaining.  Steep ass hill coming up.  3rd and mat it.  He stops gaining but is running even with me.  Crest the hill and I decide to just let him overtake.  I see the Ecoboost badges on the fender.  And oh wait, what’s this?  He’s towing a ‘58 T-bird on a tandem axle trailer.

 

true story 

yupididit
yupididit UltraDork
12/16/18 3:48 p.m.
chandler said:
NGTD said:

The 5.0L gets the virtually same mileage in real world driving.

I fail to see the point of getting the issues that may occur with a Twin Turbo V6 when a NA V8 is available and gets similar mileage.

I have a 2018 5.0 and I’ve gotten better fuel economy than my neighbor who has the same truck in EB. Not sure what it’s purpose is.

You and your neighbor do identical driving for every mile, tank, gallon? 

doc_speeder
doc_speeder HalfDork
12/16/18 4:01 p.m.

Hmmm.

The mostly positive results of this discussion are not what I expected.  I really want to like the Ecoboost but when I was shopping for a truck a couple years ago I kept coming upon many stories of overheating under load and seemingly unresolvable timing chain stretch/wear issues and I kinda got scared off them.

Were these all just internet exaggeration?  I'm totally happy with my Duramax but when I'm in the market next time there's a good chance I won't need a heavy duty pickup and an Ecoboost with a good tune on it would be awesome.

Snrub
Snrub HalfDork
12/16/18 6:28 p.m.

No personal experience with the 3.5L, but the Dec 2018 of Consumer's Reports ranked the reliability of various turbo engines. They list 5 engines for Ford, but it's not clear which ones are which, but they put the 2.7L as significantly below average, three others basically average (3.5L must be one of them), 1.5L above average.

chandler
chandler PowerDork
12/17/18 7:00 a.m.
yupididit said:
chandler said:
NGTD said:

The 5.0L gets the virtually same mileage in real world driving.

I fail to see the point of getting the issues that may occur with a Twin Turbo V6 when a NA V8 is available and gets similar mileage.

I have a 2018 5.0 and I’ve gotten better fuel economy than my neighbor who has the same truck in EB. Not sure what it’s purpose is.

You and your neighbor do identical driving for every mile, tank, gallon? 

Of course not, he drives like a grandpa and I hoon it everywhere. The sound is intoxicating.

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