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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2002 E350 and a 1998 F150 both with the 5.4 V8. Does the 3.5 Ecoboost V6 really need premium gas? I have a friend who has a F150 with the Ecoboost engine and does not use premium. Is the engine in the transit different or is it the weight, or is he wrong in using regular gas?
 

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F150 and Transit use regular unleaded with the 3.5 EcoBoost V-6. However, the engine specs for the 3.5 in a Ford Flex suggested that regular unleaded is ok but "higher performance" could be had using 93 octane.
 

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It will run on regular fuel, BUT to get the best performance, use premium fuel.
There has ben "issues" with crap gas and the GDI injectors. In fine print at the bottom of the "power ratings data" Premium fuel used.
DON'T buy this engine if you are cheap with buying fuel!
Buy the 3.7L
 

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In general, you are wasting your money using premium gas if the engine is designed to use regular. You will not get better mileage. Basically the compression ratio and engine tuning is set to extract the maximum energy from the fuel. Putting higher octane fuel in a vehicle designed for regular octane fuel results in the extra energy being wasted.

Now the only time I have ever used higher octane fuel is on a trip in the Colorado mountains. It reduced the engine pinging.
 

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The knock sensors will start reducing the timing = less full power
Ford runs the engines on the dyno with premium for max power, yes, it run on regular,but at less power. Depends on how "you" drive it. Its a sales "tool" to get people to buy it. (regular gas). The GDI injectors don't like cheap fuel.
 

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as long as running a lower grade won't hurt the engine i can see people doing it even if it means a loss in power, of course that does depend on the situation
 

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And... Less money and apparently still respectable performance. No doubt fine for my modest needs. Will get a hands-on feeling at the upcoming Transit Tour.
 

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The use of regular fuel is a marketing "tool" to get people to buy it (Transit).
It is a Cargo/people VAN.
If it would only run off of premium fuel, alot of people would NOT buy.
Why is this engine so much more horsepower in all the other models????
The engine is not different, but the ECU program and fuel is
If you want to buy one and use regular fuel, nothing will be damaged.
But if you where to have a "tug of war" with the same van on premium,
You WILL LOSE
 

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I'm considering a medium roof, 130" WB van for a class B camper.
I would go with a gas engine for a number of reasons.

According to the spec pages, the 3.5 eco is available with a 3.31 rear axle, vs 3.73 for the 3.7.

If driven gently, does this 12% increase in final drive ratio mean that I could potentially get better gas mileage at highway cruise (all else being equal) with the 3.5?

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I should say that I plan to get the long wheel base with a high roof wagon (12 passenger) and might pull a trailer with a classic which weighs 2300#. Does that put me into the "better buy the ecoboost" ?
 

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You won't be given the choice of the 3.7 in that configuration .
 

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...If driven gently, does this 12% increase in final drive ratio mean that I could potentially get better gas mileage at highway cruise (all else being equal) with the 3.5?
...
Wouldn't surprise me. It wouldn't just be level cruise though. Problem with the 3.7 is torque - only 260 ft.lb @ 4000 vs 400 @ 2250 with the 3.5. Pulling any grade I suspect the 3.7 will have to drop to 3rd or 4th gear to get into the torque band whereas the 3.5 may only drop to 5th. Probably why they don't offer the 3.31 ratio with a 3.7.
 

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Wouldn't surprise me. It wouldn't just be level cruise though. Problem with the 3.7 is torque - only 260 ft.lb @ 4000 vs 400 @ 2250 with the 3.5. Pulling any grade I suspect the 3.7 will have to drop to 3rd or 4th gear to get into the torque band whereas the 3.5 may only drop to 5th. Probably why they don't offer the 3.31 ratio with a 3.7.
What carnut says
 

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Whad'ya think Orton, is there some truth to that?
I'm still looking for best highway cruise economy vs performance.
 

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If I was going to pull a trailer regularly, I think I would get the Ecoboost.

At this point until we get some real mileage figures from owners in real world use, I would use the Ford mileage ratings for both engines. Ford probably factored in the different rear ratios into their published MPG numbers.

My choice for my Transit will be the 3.7 since I seldom pull a trailer. The 3.7 has 250 lb-ft of torque compared to my 08 Sprinter 280 lb-ft. Sprinter has 3.92 rear and Transit will have 4.11. I expect some advantage for Transit in that it will have a 6 speed trans instead of the Sprinter 5 speed. I also expect to reduce the conversion weight about 200-300 lbs. So I expect the performance of the Transit to be similar to the Sprinter which is not fast but adequate. I will drive 3.7 vans with the different rear ratio's to be sure before ordering.

I have wavered between the 3.73 rear and the 4.11. Not sure which one but the choice may be made by Ford. Build on several sites and the Ford purchase program does not allow the 3.73 for a 148" WB high roof. The high roof ambulance package has the 3.73 and I have looked at the window stickers for several high roof Transits ordered by my local dealer. Several of them have the 3.73 with the 3.7. So info is not consistent.

I will most likely change to Michelin 265 75 series tires when original tires wear out if they will fit without rubbing. They are larger diameter than stock tires so that will move overall ratio closer the the stock tires with the 3.73.
 
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