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Feedback on 3.2L i-5 Powerstroke Diesel Engine in the 2015 Transit?

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I'm looking at purchasing a used 2015 Ford Transit cargo van with 150K miles on it. It has a 3.2L i-5 Powerstroke diesel engine, with good documentation on all prior maintenance work. Going to have it fully inspected before purchasing, but curious if anyone has feedback on the engine itself in terms of quality/longevity.

Wondering if I should be worried about the 150K miles or if the engine has a lot of life left. Any insight would be appreciated.
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You won’t find too many advocates of the diesel around here. It’s seen as a problematic engine if only for the emission controls. I hope someone comes along with some real knowledge or experience for you instead of the nothing burger of an uninformed opinion I’m offering but, believe me, it’s the general feeling on the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You won’t find too many advocates of the diesel around here. It’s seen as a problematic engine if only for the emission controls. I hope someone comes along with some real knowledge or experience for you instead of the nothing burger of an uninformed opinion I’m offering but, believe me, it’s the general feeling on the forum.
Thanks for the reply! Follow up question -- is the sentiment anti-diesel because people feel it's a bad engine, or is it more that they believe gas is better? I suppose that's semantics. I guess I might prefer gas, as well, but I'm wondering if it's an absolute no go for this diesel engine.
 

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I have a diesel, 2018. I couldn't be happier with it. No problems at all. Great power. I have to refill the def roughly every 7K miles. Other than that, no extra maintenance. Oil changes are more expensive. 350 HD, High Roof and a lot of gear built in. I'll get about 19 mpg if I keep my foot out of it. If I get much above 70 mph, 16 to 17 mpg. No doubt in my mind I made the right choice for me. I think you'll find most folks prefer the engine they chose.
 

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We bought a high-mileage, DIY-converted diesel last year. 136k miles, 2016, MR, 148 WB.

We stored it for winter with a CEL and we will have to address a leaking injector and failing glow plug.

I cannot vouch for its reliability just yet, as whatever has failed us so far has clearly been age-related issues : rusted oil pan, rusted timing chain cover, shot accessory pulley tensioner, and coolant hoses.

On the road though, it is a very smooth, torquey, although not powerful engine. Going up long steep grades (Ontario’s wine country is pretty brutal in that respect), you need not be shy to floor it and get it down to 4th gear). Around town, it is great to drive.

Fully loaded, with the added weight of the conversion, expect around 25 mpg.
 

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2015 350 HD EL 3.2L HR Diesel Wagon
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We bought a high-mileage, DIY-converted diesel last year. 136k miles, 2016, MR, 148 WB.

We stored it for winter with a CEL and we will have to address a leaking injector and failing glow plug.

I cannot vouch for its reliability just yet, as whatever has failed us so far has clearly been age-related issues : rusted oil pan, rusted timing chain cover, shot accessory pulley tensioner, and coolant hoses.

On the road though, it is a very smooth, torquey, although not powerful engine. Going up long steep grades (Ontario’s wine country is pretty brutal in that respect), you need not be shy to floor it and get it down to 4th gear). Around town, it is great to drive.

Fully loaded, with the added weight of the conversion, expect around 25 mpg.
I had the CEL light come on for the same thing, cleared the code 5K miles ago and no problems. This seems to be a common money making glitch for Ford its part of the CEL syndorme.
 

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I bought a used 2016 Diesel with 100k miles and converted it. Love the engine performance, but yeah the additional EPA stuff is worrisome - EGR, DPF, DEF. I use additional fuel additives to help keep engine clean and reduce DPF regen, also help with fuel efficiency.

A suggestion when you check it out: put in a good OBD2 reader and install ForScan app on your phone. May have a little bit of a learning curve, but you will need this knowledge anyway if you're buying the car. Look up the parameter "average distance between DPF regens" and see what it says. With such high mileage you want to check this to see whether the DPF has been clogged up and needs service or replacement, which can be involved.
 

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I'm looking at purchasing a used 2015 Ford Transit cargo van with 150K miles on it. It has a 3.2L i-5 Powerstroke diesel engine, with good documentation on all prior maintenance work. Going to have it fully inspected before purchasing, but curious if anyone has feedback on the engine itself in terms of quality/longevity.

Wondering if I should be worried about the 150K miles or if the engine has a lot of life left. Any insight would be appreciated.
 

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I bought a new 2015 250 Transit med roof 248"wb Factory ordered rear end changed to .374 (I think) to go from 4700 to 7500 lbs tow ( I don't tow much just wanted be over prepared...lol)
I use it for daily service work, have and aluminum racking system inside and carry lots of tools and parts.....I was driving around at 7200#'s with me in it then pulled out 300 to 400#'s.
I do regular maint. when needed. and am at 96,700 miles. I just got done fixing some critter chewed wiring only $650 but he told me I had 3 injectors leaking (few weeks ago I could smell diesel around the engine bay but never saw any on the ground) he told me $1905 parts and labor for 3 injectors (new) and the 5 pipes that have to be removed or $2605 to go ahead and do the other 2 injectors as well. He said they don't last long on this engine. Each injector has a pipe to it bit whether you are replacing one or all 5 injectors - all 5 pipes have to be removed and replaced - some special seal on them.
The good news is I bought an extended 8yr 100k warranty and the 8 year mark is July 2023 so I'm just under it and will not have tech (big home based diesel tech with big home shop) do it but will take it to the dealership.....bad news is their one diesel tech is out with covid so my van will sit a while.
The tech that fixed the chewed wires said many good techs at dealerships were let go to add cheaper techs (2 to 3) for the same pay as one good tech.
1 year ago I had tranny issues and the dealership could not get parts for 3 months so they installed new tranny on Ford's dime.
I've had 7.3 power stroke van before, duramax 6.6 service body truck and now my personal truck is Dodge 6.7 cummins and I'm thinking DSL's may be better in V8 form than iline5 at least for heavily used work vehicle.
Hope that helps.
 

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The problem isn't the motor. Its the emissions system. If you only drive highway, or only drive it hard, you'll be mostly ok. Drive it around town like Grandma, you'll be in for a lifetime of shop visits. This is not limited to the Transit. You should only consider a modern diesel if your driving cycles match what it can cope with.

In the Transit especially, it's a hard sell because the EcoBoost makes even more torque, make 120 more horsepower, and is only about a 2-3 mpg fuel economy penalty. Baby diesels are an easier sell in something like a Ram 1500 where the gas motor with the same torque drinks more like 50% more fuel.
 

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Depends on your use. If you use it locally and can find a local mechanic that is capable of working on the engine, then it might be OK. If you are planning on traveling and have an engine issue finding a mechanic may be difficult. Ford did not use that engine in any other USA vehicles so not enough capable mechanics?
 

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We have 9 2016 diesels in our ambulance fleet. The motors are fine but every element of the emissions system is a piece of crap. The vans that have been deleted are problem free and we have had to perform very little major work on the engines or transmissions of any of the vans. Keep in mind, the life of a city ambulance is brutal and certainly plays a role in the unreliability of the emissions system which likes to see long highway drives for regen cycling. Our vans spend most of the day on sub 5 mile trips and idling for hours at a time. After this initial purchase, we never purchased another diesel motor (no surprise they don't sell one anymore as warranty claims must have been a killer for Ford). In summary, if you drive the van like it wants to be driven you should be ok but if you plan to make a lot of short trips or idle a lot, get a gas motor instead.
 

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We have 9 2016 diesels in our ambulance fleet. The motors are fine but every element of the emissions system is a piece of crap. The vans that have been deleted are problem free and we have had to perform very little major work on the engines or transmissions of any of the vans. Keep in mind, the life of a city ambulance is brutal and certainly plays a role in the unreliability of the emissions system which likes to see long highway drives for regen cycling. Our vans spend most of the day on sub 5 mile trips and idling for hours at a time. After this initial purchase, we never purchased another diesel motor (no surprise they don't sell one anymore as warranty claims must have been a killer for Ford). In summary, if you drive the van like it wants to be driven you should be ok but if you plan to make a lot of short trips or idle a lot, get a gas motor instead.
So long story short if I buy this diesel transit for work and delete it, it'll be just fine? they are cheaper compared to gas transits and could probably tune it for better mpg too.
 

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So long story short if I buy this diesel transit for work and delete it, it'll be just fine? they are cheaper compared to gas transits and could probably tune it for better mpg too.
You’re committing a felony in the process, and you will also fail emissions checks if your state does them.

The reason that they are cheaper is that they are a huge pain in the butt. Doing the emissions delete is not exactly a simple or cheap process, and is usually reserved for “enthusiasts” for whom time and effort required are irrelevant.

If this is a vehicle you are using for work, every hour that it is not functioning (either due to emissions problems, or a hack job delete malfunction) is income lost that will be far more than the price premium of the (generally reliable) gas engines.
 

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It is also a felony.

You’re committing a felony
PLEASE...enough of the "tHaTs A fElOnY" messages... I've had plenty of fully deleted pickups. its insanely simple and cheap... why can you never get proper info from forums anymore.....

lets try this again:

Does deleting the transit i5 powerstroke improve its life span by a measurable/significant amount, or is it really that big of a POS motor. Yes or no. Thank you :)
 
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