First Drive Review: 2011 Ford F-450 Towing and F-250 Gas V-8 Hauling and Towing, Part 4

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Diesel 2011 F-450 XLT 4x4 Crew Cab Long Wheelbase Dual Rear Wheel — Towing 24,000 pounds

After towing the 9,900-pound trailer, we hopped in for a ride along in the mighty F-450 pickup with a 24,000-pound gooseneck trailer hanging off its back end. That's almost three times the weight of the truck, and it requires a commercial driver’s license to legally move on highways.

F450-hill-1-560
Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.

Up front, the F-450 is unique in the Super Duty pickup lineup. It features a larger and wider Dana 60 axle, beefier coil springs, and stronger linkage arms and knuckles that give it better maneuvering capability than an F-350 with the stock Class 3 twin-coil narrow-track front suspension.

Before we headed up Yarnell Grade, we cycled through the gooseneck-towing checklist in the trip computer. It provided instructions to check that the hitch was properly latched, the trailer landing gear was up, all of the connectors were secure and any wheel chocks were removed so the trailer could roll forward. The trip computer also was set up to keep track of how much mileage was on the trailer — helpful for maintenance later.

The truck started out slowly, but once it got going it maintained a steady rhythm up the hill. Coming down wasn't a problem, either. All the same tricks we used in the smaller Super Duty were applied to keep the F-450 in check.

We'll have to save our hands-on impressions of the F-450 for a thorough test later this year.

Gasoline 2011 F-250 XLT 4x4 Crew Cab Long Wheelbase Single Rear Wheel — Hauling 1,000 pounds

The next truck we steered was one trim level below the F-250 we used for the hill climb. It was equipped with the new 6.2-liter V-8 gas engine, a 3.73 rear axle and carried 1,000 pounds of concrete mix in its cargo box.

6-2-beauty-560
Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.

The single-overhead-cam 6.2-liter V-8 is built solely for truck applications. It features two spark plugs per cylinder and dual, equal variable cam timing. It's also E85 flex-fuel compatible.

For now, the 6.2-liter V-8 is shared with the F-150 SVT Raptor, where it's rated a higher 411 hp and 434 pounds-feet of torque because the light-duty version uses a slightly different camshaft for its heads and it's under 8,500 pounds GVWR. Even with just two valves per cylinder, there's still enough airflow to make 62 hp per liter compared with 58 hp per liter in the four-valve 6.7-liter diesel.

The 6.2-liter V-8 works at modest 9.8:1 compression ratio to help keep the combustion chamber cool when it's running hard. It's an attempt to strike a balance between loaded and unloaded mileage. A higher ratio would cut into fuel economy because the spark timing would have to be retarded to prevent knock as heat built up at wide-open throttle, such as when you're towing a trailer up a mountain.

In contrast to the four final-drive ratios available for the diesel, there are only two available for the 6.2-liter V-8 — 3.73 and 4.30. Before buying the gas engine, you're going to need to think a bit harder about how the truck is going to be used over its lifetime so you can balance fuel economy against pulling performance. There's a 3,000-pound spread between the maximum fifth-wheel towing amounts depending on the ratio. It's 12,700 pounds with the 3.73 and 15,700 pounds with the 4.30.

Like the diesel, the 6.2-liter V-8 has been tested extensively. According to Ford V-8 engine chief Mike Harrison, more than 5 million miles of testing has been done on the engine before going to production. It's also been race tested in Raptor during the Baja 1000 and the 2009 Best in the Desert off-road racing series.

6-2-side-560
Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.

As we expected, the 6.2-liter V-8 felt much stronger than the old 5.4-liter V-8, but we're still big fans of the diesel-like performance of the 6.8-liter gas V-10 that continues only in the Super Duty Chassis Cab trucks for 2011.

The 6.2-liter packed plenty of power when we lit up the truck at wide-open throttle from a full stop to merge onto a highway. Approximately 80 percent of peak torque is available at a low 1,000 rpm and 90 percent is available at 2,000 rpm.

After driving the diesel most of the day, it was quite a change to hear the V-8 roar as the RPMs spun much higher and faster (around 5,000 to 5,500 rpm) than they ever would in the 6.7-liter truck (around 1,800 rpm to 2,600 rpm).

The 6.2-liter engine seems to be a good start to a motor that can only improve over time. Since it's an overhead-cam architecture, new cylinder heads could be swapped in with four valves per cylinder, dual overhead cams and twin independent variable cam timing to improve fuel economy a few percent and increase power over 455 hp, according to Harrison.

Gasoline 2011 F-250 XLT 4x4 Crew Cab Long Wheelbase Single Rear Wheel — Towing 9,000 pounds (This section written by Kent Sundling for PickupTrucks.com)

The low 3.97 first gear in the six-speed got the 6.2-liter gas V-8 F-250 and 9,000 pound trailer off to a smooth start with a 3.73 rear axle. That's not a final drive ratio that we'd normally use to tow a moderately heavy trailer. A 4.30 rear end is optional.

Climbing the 7 percent grade, the 6.2-liter V-8 howled pulling the trailer near its 6,000 rpm redline. Without a trailer, the 6.2-liter has as nice low torquey throttle sound, but under load the engine is louder in the cab than the new diesel.

F250-gas-hill-1-560
Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.

It wasn't easy to evaluate the gas engine right after flying up the hill using the powerful diesel. The all-new 6.2-liter gasser felt stronger than 5.4-liter V-8 gas engine it replaces, with some of the performance improvement credited to the new 6-speed automatic transmission's more efficient gear spacing.

6.2-liter throttle response is good with a trailer, but it's not the old 6.8L V-10 gas engine that's still available with the DRW cab and chassis but only with last years five-speed 5R110 automatic transmission.

Overall, towing a 9,000 pound trailer with 3.73 rear axle ratio at close to 4,500 feet elevation and side winds wasn't fast but it provided acceptable acceleration for uphill towing.

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Comments

First off, great series of articles on the new Super Duty trucks. Now I have been following the 6.2L since it was announced, as I don't see a diesel in my future. After reading this, I get the impression the engine might be a little underwhelming. I for one don't see 4 vlave heads and DOHC as the way to go for a truck engine, where low r.p.m. torque is needed. What rear axle ratio will come with an engine like that, a 6:17? Anyway, I will reseve judgement until I actually drive one. I was expecting rave reviews......

It depends on what you are using it for. Part one of this article states that the 6.2 generates 28% more standard hp and 11% more standard torque than the old V10. Now the 6.2 does not tow as fast as the diesel, but if it did, there wouldn't be any need for the diesel. Hence the choice. There are pros and cons to each. The 6.2 will have more payload.

Jo, those power rating percentages were compared to the 5.4, not the 6.8. The 6.8 has way more torqe than the 6.2.

Thank you. That first diagram on the first page is confusing. The V10 has 52 more torque but only the 5 speed.

"As we expected, the 6.2-liter V-8 felt much stronger than the old 5.4-liter V-8, but we're still big fans of the diesel-like performance of the 6.8-liter gas V-10 that continues only in the Super Duty Chassis Cab trucks for 2011" - Mike L

I am a huge fan of the V10.

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The 6.2-liter engine seems to be a good start to a motor that can only improve over time. Since it's an overhead-cam architecture, new cylinder heads could be swapped in with four valves per cylinder, dual overhead cams and twin independent variable cam timing to improve fuel economy a few percent and increase power over 455 hp, according to Harrison". - Mike L

I knew this was going to happen. They have been using the 4v Heads in the Navigator so I think it will do well in truck applications.

Adding 4v Heads to the 6.2 will have a substantial increase in HP. My wild guess is 445-450Hp with 4v Heads.


The 6.2 has oil cooled pistons like diesel engines so it will probably end up turboed with direct injection since it was designed for these.

The 6.2L would probably perform a lot better with the 4:30 rear axle.

"The 6.2L would probably perform a lot better with the 4:30 rear axle". - Big Bob

No doubt.

Dose anyone know if they are going to contiue the cabelas truck in 2011

@Sam Norford
no, they are going to quit that edition in the 2011's.

I just got my new 2010 f250 XL extended cab 4x4 powered by the mighty 6.8 v10 backed by a 6 speed manual and 4.10 locker bring on those 6.2's.

I purchased a 2005 f-350 new in that year, with the V-10, it has been the best towing, and most fun truck to drive. It was the work truck version, and it truly is.
I just purchased a new 2011 F-350 work truck with the new 6.2, I wanted the old V-!0, but found out it wasn't available with the pickups. I have 1200 miles on the truck, it is a real nice driver, I have towed only small trailers, so far. It does just fine, and I do like the auto 6spd, it has a manual shift mode also, paddle type shift on the gear shift lever.
But it is no way the towing beast that my 2005 V-10 was, the off the line torque of the V-10 was phenominal, the off the line performance for the 6.2 is pretty good.

Any real world gas mileage numbers for the 6.2l yet?

Some real world numbers on the 6.2L 2011 Ford F250 3.73rear axle.
I just hit the 8,000kms and have the truck in today for my first oil change/tire rotation... this is the real world mileage I've experienced thus far:
City: 13.7mpg
Hwy: 16.5mpg - however I'm in Calgary and the terrain isn't very flat at all... I imagine out in California, Arizona, or Saskatchewan you might see closer to 18.5mpg+
Towing (bumper pull rv) 6,500lbs: I averaged 10.2mpg from Calgary through Banff National Park down into Montana (west Flathead Lake), through Yellowstone and up through Glacier Ntl Park.

Ford told me to ignore the efficieny on the first 5,000 - 8,000 kms as this is the break-in period. I haven't seen much change and I've got my dash display on the fuel efficiency and I monitor it like a hawk. Hopefully, my next 8,000 kms improves 1 or 2mpg in all instances...

Hope this helps!

I have 2011 3:73 4X4 longbed 6.2L.
city 13mpg highway 15mpg currently 4500 miles on the engine.
Towing is very disappointing..9 to 10 mpg with 4500lbs trailer.way to much gear shifting at 65 mph with and any incline tranny down shifts to 5th,4th and a small hill it went to 3ad at 62mph and did not want to shift back up.clicked off cruise control and let off gas to manually shift up.Maybe time for the diesel Damn.

I am about to replace my 2008 F250 Diesel and am considering revertingg back to gas engine due to problems Ive had with the diesel and poor service from the dealer. I have a 28' 5th wheel which is only hauled a couple of times a year. I also periodically tow a 16' job trailer. I plow some snow with the truck as well.
So I guess most of my driving will be without a load in tow.
Any suggestions on which enine and rear end I should be looking at. I am considering the 6.2l gas.
thanks

I have 2011 3:73 4X4 longbed 6.2L.
city 13mpg highway 15mpg currently 4500 miles on the engine.
Towing is very disappointing..9 to 10 mpg with 4500lbs trailer.way to much gear shifting at 65 mph with and any incline tranny down shifts to 5th,4th and a small hill it went to 3ad at 62mph and did not want to shift back up.clicked off cruise control and let off gas to manually shift up.Maybe time for the diesel Damn.

Should'nt have cruise control on while towing. Would shifted better.

Have the 6.2L w 3.73 crew w 8ft bed and the fuel ecom is horrible average 11.3miles have 2500 miles so far if I new this I would have bought something else Truck is beautiful royal red chrome everywhere... trading in for the ecoboost F-150 has just about same torq and a lot better fuel ecom.. Anyone want this truck I am open to offers!

I have a 2011 F250 6.2L with a service body on it for my work truck. It's probably the biggest dissappointment for a truck engine I've ever driven. It has 12K miles on it and has never gotten over 13mpg city or highway. I don't know how much extra weight the service body has (I'm guessing some), but Ford is way off the mark on this engine. (Probably to stimulate the sales of the new diesel). It wines and wines up to 5500 rpm, makes a ton of engine noise, shifts alot, and goes NOWHERE! I had a 5.3L Chevy with near the same setup that would outrun this new Ford and get 16 mpg. BUYER BEWARE!

I purchased a 2011 Ford Super Duty XLT with the 6.2 Liter gas engine with the 3.73 rear end. I love it, out the gate I took a trip to Northern California 556 miles round trip. Averaged 19.6 mpg at 70 MPH. Bed was loaded with 450 lbs of Porcelian tile and equipment on the way up and then minus the tile and mastic on the return. I also pull an RV Trailer weighing 8,500 lbs up and down hills. Make sure that you do not use Cruise when in Tow Hall Mode going up and down hills.

I just purchased a Ford F-250 XL with a 6.2 liter gas engine. I started out with 10.5 mph banging around. I have a 30 foot fifth wheel and average 7.6 mpg towing . The issue I have is in the tow mode it will not let go of the gears and i have to get out of the tow mode and then it shifts fine. I now have 2500 miles on it and hope it improves but more and likely not.

Well i have read about every blog on 6.2, just bought one , Love the truck but the milage sucks, 11.5 city maybe 14 on the Hwy.
i was hoping to hear how the performance chips help someone. The bully dog Gas tuner boast +8 miles per gallon.

can anybody verify that or the 50 other staright chips or programable that are out there.

the Bully looks the most expensive and is programable, but lets face it if it can get even 4 more MPG it would not take long that would be a worth while investment.

any real consumer use of the chips in the Gas 6.2

looking to retiring 3 years want full size pick up to go with a fifth wheel camper i want to get have a pop up now want to up grade.

I own a 2011 F250 with the 6,2 gas and 3;73 gears for 2,5 years and have 52885 km on it Out of the box I got 18 mpg and it now gets 21 mpg at 120 kpm or 70 mph. It just got a 150 point inspection and passed with flying colors . Highly recommend this truck. I will see this summer how it handels a 24 ft holiday trailer

2012 F-250 6.2, 12.5 hiway Whats the problem?

Have the 6.2 gas 4X4 ,super cab with3.73. Runs great, pulls all my trailers as expected. Fuel milage depends on the fuel you get. With good gas 13.5 city, 15 to 17 highway @ 65 to 70. At 75 it sucks, but 82 it gets 16.5 again. I also use Lucas additive or midgrade gas, witch adds .3 to .5 mpg. If I get grippy gas with lots of ethonal milage drops like a rock. Have 40K on it, & no complaints. I have owned all makes, this has been the best 3/4 ever so far. All the GM crap nickeled me to death.



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