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Diesel experiences? Pro or anti diesel?

  • Some problems.

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  • Lots of problems.

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  • Pro Diesel .

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

I am pretty new to the van scene and wanted to reach out to this community to see if I could learn more about a vehicle I am interested in. I have been searching the market for a high roof transit or promaster these past few months and have had trouble finding vehicles in my area that are worth pursuing. I recently found a 2016 3.2L diesel extended high roof Transit with 110,000 miles that meets most of my interests, however, after reading varying opinions about diesels in this forum, I must admit I am a bit confused and torn about the engine.

I wanted to ask any diesel owners (or knowledgable friends/trolls) a few questions about their experiences/knowledge relating to these engines:

Have you had any diesel related problems with your vehicle, and if so what were they?
Has maintenance/service been expensive or difficult for these engines?
How many miles do you have on your engine?
How many miles can expect to get from the 3.2L diesel engine?
How much did you pay for your vehicle?

The vehicle is priced fairly reasonable and has a few more miles than I would prefer, but so far, this has been the best option in my area.

Thanks!
-S
 

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You will not get a lot of answers on the 3.2L Diesel engine here unless a few of the owners who have those engines respond. From my customers who have ordered or have a 3.2L Diesel engine, here is what I get from their responses.

Great fuel mileage...and if you are using it for longer trips, it is great to have . If driving on short trips or idling it for long periods, be ready to have the exhaust system serviced to clear out the clogged system if it gets to running slow or the warning system tells you to get it serviced. At the mileage you are looking at for this van, it may need to be serviced and it may be smart to pay and get a AutoChek or CarFax report to see if it indicates any problems beforehand and what has been done to it. If things are done by repair shops not reporting to those companies, you are uncertain what has been done so you may be taking a chance on future problems.

To find a better option for your needs, you may need to expand the area that you are looking for another Transit vehicle. Staying too local may not be the best way to find the Transit you need. Most buyers going with the larger Transits go with the 3.5L EcoBoost engine and those can be hard to find in some areas. Going with the base 3.7L engine up to 2019 and now the base 3.5L in the 2020 model requires the higher ratio 4.10 rear axle for its drivetrain. In the end, having the maintenance records can be the deciding factor for any choices in getting a used Transit van.
 

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Going with the base 3.7L engine up to 2019 and now the base 3.5L in the 2020 model requires the higher ratio 4.10 rear axle for its drivetrain.

For what it’s worth, overall top gear ratio with 4.10 and new 10-speed is very similar to 3.73 and previous 6-speed. :)

Reading this forum, one would assume 4.10 gears is something to avoid, even if expressed indirectly. However, when combined with 10-speed transmission, effective top gear is around 2.61; which isn’t very tall at all. For SRW vans, it yields 31 MPH for every 1,000 RPM in top gear; which keeps engine speed fairly low given small displacement.

If I was planning on normally cruising at no faster than 75 MPH on Interstates in a large van, that only works out to 2,400 RPM. I know that with 3.73 gears and 10-speed, engine speed will drop to 2,200 RPM. But in reality is that a big deal when engines can rev to 6,000 RPM or higher? Is concern fuel economy or something else?
 

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2017, cargo, 130inch, mr, dbl sliders, 3.2 dsl, 3.31 rear end, used 13.5k mi.
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I have only one regret re 3.2 liter diesel and that is I wish it had one less cylinder and one third less displacement volume. After having been in Europe and driving the 2.0 liter, four cylinder diesel I was convinced that this would be my choice. My local FoMoCo dealership last year, nixed my new order desire immediately when 2.0 diesel was not negotiable. Pooh, pooh...

That said, one of my new year's resolutions is to embrace my inner Luddite more. I do however absolutely love everytime the minivan diesel starts and affords a power curve with some economy not unlike my first wife did.
Have had more than a few damp dreams while holding the wheel of an electric hybrid diesel Transit. Will work on getting a life for 2021.
 
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