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I am waiting to order a 2020 Transit, 148"WB High Roof. I don't have any experience with any of the three engine options being offered and I am having a hard time deciding how to go.

Plans for the van are to do a modest RV upfit that may amount to a max payload of 2K pounds on a 250 level suspension. We enjoy traveling in mountainous areas so lots of up and down hill driving. We also rarely stay in one place very long, so good fuel efficiency is important.

My last diesel was a 2004 6.6L Duramax in a 4x4 Sierra crew cab, long bed hauling a Northern Lite camper. That engine kinda spoiled me with its torque and good mileage.

That said, the 2004 Duramax didn't require DEF.

The four cylinder diesel for the transit may offer good mileage, but I doubt it will have the strength to push a conversion over the mountain passes without wheezing.

The twin turbo Ecoboost looks like it will have some power and the turbos will help in the mountains, but with added complexity and higher engine compartment temperatures.

The PFDi? engine option I have no guess about and you may not either since it is new for 2020.

What I am asking for is well informed opinions on which engine option to go with. What do you think?
 

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Not the answer you are looking for: The best engine is the one you buy.



After driving for more than 40 years and working on cars/trucks for 30 years, I can't make my decision. :D. I am not sure WHY they can't make just ONE engine that everybody like. >:D
 

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One engine choice? How about the ProMaster where everyone gets the same V6, same 6-peed transmission, and same axle ratio. And no, not everyone is happy for many different reasons. There’s no such thing as pleasing everyone, particularly with one choice.

For what it’s worth, that would be closest to the naturally aspirated 3.5L Transit V6, except that Ford has 10 well-spaced gears.
 

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I think for your particular situation the only option is the 3.5 EcoBoost. A very close second choice would be new new 3.5 PFDI. I am getting a 2019 now but if I was to order a 2020 it would be the new 3.5L PFDI as its not just a direct injected engine. Its has both port and direct injection. I know 10s of thousands of people have had trouble free EcoBoost engines but i just dont like the issue of having carbon build up on the intake valves (my personal preference). That has been discussed with many points of view all over this site and every other forum around. Yes you can install a catch can to help but the problem is inherent in every direct injected engine and some engines are better than others.

The new 3.5 PFDI from what i read has the same HP and Torque ratings as the outgoing 3.7L MPFI but maybe the better gear ratio in the 10 speed will help things in lower gears. While I have had diesel in other vehicles and tractors, I would stay away from it due to the amount of emission restrictions they put on it.

Just my 2c.
 

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If it were me, I'd get the naturally aspirated 3.5.
Why?
Diesel is dead thanks to emissions equipment and high diesel fuel cost; almost every previous reason to buy a diesel is now void (MPG, longevity, lower fuel cost, etc)
Twin turbos are more power than I could ever need in a van, cost of the option is too high, and engine system complexity adds to the expensive repair potential.
 

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I have a 2015 Ecoboost and am happy with it and the 6 speed transmission.

I would not buy any brand's diesel due to the DEF systems. Unless you drive lots of miles/year then the extra costs involved can not be justified.

If I was to buy a 2020 Transit I would consider the non-turbo 3.5 because it has both port and direct injection. Before 2020 the non turbo gas engine needed to use high rpm. With the new 10 speed transmission I suspect that will reduce that problem. Will also be interesting what the claimed mpg will be for the new engine. May be better than the Ecoboost.

The bottom line is to drive both the Ecoboost and the non-turbo before purchase. IMO do not consider buying the small diesel.
 

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1, catch cans don't do **** for carbon buildup. Nothing. Nada. Get that crap money thieving product out of here.

2, carbon cleans need to be done on a regular intervals but it's really long as long as you don't idle the engine all the time. 70-80k miles.

3, never buy first year anything. I'm tempted to say the entire 2020 transit... But it's only a refresh. I would stay far away from a year 1 engine.

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
 

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1, catch cans don't do **** for carbon buildup. Nothing. Nada. Get that crap money thieving product out of here.

2, carbon cleans need to be done on a regular intervals but it's really long as long as you don't idle the engine all the time. 70-80k miles.

3, never buy first year anything. I'm tempted to say the entire 2020 transit... But it's only a refresh. I would stay far away from a year 1 engine.

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
Can I interest you in an HHO system to attach to your engine? :D
How about some special fuel supplement? :D
The placebo effect can do wonders in the human body (acupuncture, juice cleansing, cupping, sugar pills, etc) but I don't know if the mechanical components of an engine are fooled.>:D

You're right about not being a first year guinea pig. Some of this stuff isn't "first year", it's just the first time it's been offered on a vehicle sold in the USA, but I think you're right about the 3.5, it's brand new.
 

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Ford says the new 3.5 is based on F-150’s 3.3L V6. One difference should be slightly larger bore, but that hardly makes it a new engine to me.

If it’s a 3.5 EB minus the turbos and with higher compression ratio, then I’m willing to take a chance on it. Same with 10-speed that’s been in other vehicles. Not really new in my opinion.

I’d be surprised if it doesn’t get slightly better MPG than the EcoBoost in actual driving.
 

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For comparison, Coachmen manufactures the “Beyond” Class B on the extended Transit with 10,360-pound GVWR. The standard engine is the 3.7L V6 with 3.5L EB as an option. I do not see a diesel option listed.


https://coachmenrv.com/class-b-motorhomes/beyond


A large RV company like Coachmen probably does testing and market research, as well as consider Pros and Cons. One “pro” to gasoline is the use of 2.8 kW Onan, versus diesel vans requiring either a propane 2.5 kW generator with much larger propane tank, or else a diesel generator that is heavier and much more expensive.

And for those who choose the lithium package without generator, fast idling is easier on gas engine while recharging the 600 Ah lithium battery bank from secondary 280-Amp alternator (I expect this add-on second alternator “may” get replaced by dual 250-Amp OEM alternator option on 2020 Transit).

Engine choice could involve more than just power, torque and fuel economy depending on intended use. Just my 2 cents ....
 

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The four cylinder diesel for the transit may offer good mileage, but I doubt it will have the strength to push a conversion over the mountain passes without wheezing.
If it makes you feel any better, most of us Sprinter owners that have the 2.1L 4 cylinder diesel wouldn't have anything else. They get excellent mileage and perform very well. The MB 2.1s aren't nearly as powerful as the 2.0 in the Transit will be.

If I had to replace my Sprinter today it would likely be the 2.0 Transit. (MB is not currently offering the 4 cyl diesel.)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think for your particular situation the only option is the 3.5 EcoBoost. A very close second choice would be new new 3.5 PFDI. I am getting a 2019 now but if I was to order a 2020 it would be the new 3.5L PFDI as its not just a direct injected engine. Its has both port and direct injection. I know 10s of thousands of people have had trouble free EcoBoost engines but i just dont like the issue of having carbon build up on the intake valves (my personal preference). That has been discussed with many points of view all over this site and every other forum around. Yes you can install a catch can to help but the problem is inherent in every direct injected engine and some engines are better than others.

The new 3.5 PFDI from what i read has the same HP and Torque ratings as the outgoing 3.7L MPFI but maybe the better gear ratio in the 10 speed will help things in lower gears. While I have had diesel in other vehicles and tractors, I would stay away from it due to the amount of emission restrictions they put on it.

Just my 2c.
Thanks to both OLV1071571 and Orton.
That's the kind of feedback I was asking for. Thoughtful and on point. You both make a good point about the 3.5 PFDI and if it ends up with decent HP and torque ratings, I will give it a serious look. Like I said in my OP, I like being in the mountains and even with the turbo Duramax, have seen a drop off in power at the higher elevations. I think that, more than anything would concern me about the output of the 3.5 PFDI.

Some of these other responses are just taking up space. But, obviously the posters have nothing useful to say.:(
 

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My transit has a 3.7. I’d lay odds the “new” 3.5 is basically the same engine with updates, but I could be wrong.

I would look really closely at the torque curve of the NA 3.5 if I were you. Take for instance the climb into Denver, or the pass west of Chattanoga on I24 and you have to drive the engine ... errrr... enthusiastically to maintain speed, it’ll be singing near redline and may still fall below 55 or 60. Perhaps a 10 speed will help some, but really the engine needs RPM... it is adequate on more or less flat stretches at lower elevations, but throw cargo, altitude and terrain in and it would not be my choice... I don’t expect a decrease in displacement will help much.

People talk about the EB being complicated... news flash ... all new vehicles are complicated... a couple turbos is the least of your worries... you want simple... look for an old F350 with a 460...
 

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3.5 pfdi 271HP 260TQ
Exactly, data has been out for a while.

And if concerned about high elevations, derate PFDI by ~ 3.5% per 1,000 feet of elevation.

Likely scenario (at 7,000 feet) is that PFDI may have to spin about twice as fast at high elevations in a lower gear to hold similar vehicle speed on steep hills, assuming that high an RPM is even possible.

Even at sea level, the PFDI has to spin at about 50% faster in a lower gear to climb at same vehicle speed. It’s either that or slow down. Engine power and torque numbers are certified under controlled testing so should be fairly accurate.
 

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ecoboost

I have the ecoboost and it is amazing. I have the high roof with a full build and it flies in the mountains. Literally blow past cars with this thing. Averaged 14.8 mph driving fast and blasting through the mountains on a 3000 mile family trip this summer.
 

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How do people with non ecoboost engines feel about their mountain driving experience?
I live in Colorado and frequently drive through the mountains. I have the 3.7L. I never feel regret for not buying an ecoboost. It does absolutely fine. If I found a good deal on a used 3.7 again, I'd still go for it.

With that said, I'm ordering a 2020 and getting the AWD ecoboost simply because I can, but I really don't expect it to help me haul a full van through the mtns much better. I also don't tow or haul a lot of weight, just hauling a couple motorcycles.
 
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