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Your experience with the 5.4 f250

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by inconquerable, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. inconquerable

    inconquerable Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    So, a little background on me. I've been running my own landscaping company for 4 years during spring, summer, and fall, and doing side work through the winter. I always planned on getting into snow plowing eventually, and that time has come. I grew up going plowing with my dad, I have a little bit of previous plowing experience, and I'm in the process of lining up insurance.

    Last summer I bought a 1999 f250 superduty 5.4 from the original owner who lived down the street from me. The truck had Fisher push plates but he sold the plow and wiring to someone else separately. About a month or so ago I picked up an 8' Fisher plow cheap for the truck.

    So, now I have a truck, a plow, push plates, and all I have to get is the wiring. My plan would be to do driveways for my summer customers, nothing major, maybe 10 driveways per storm. I'm concerned however about the longevity of my truck. It has 185,000 miles on it but still runs good. I've done a ton of work to it since I bought it including plugs, egr valve, brakes, ball joints, and hubs. I just don't want to end up being SOL halfway through the season because of a blown tranny or some other mechanical issue. So, what's your experience with the 1999-2004ish f250s? How many miles have you gotten out of the 5.4 and ford trannys?

    I'm stuck between selling the truck and getting something newer or hanging onto it for a couple more years when I have more money saved up. I also am putting together an old tahoe with a plow that could be used for a storm or two as a backup, but it's certainly not something that is in good enough condition to rely on.
  2. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,794

    Motor and trans life isn't something that you can accurately gauge. One guy might get 100k out of the motor and be on his 3rd trans by then and a different person could have basically the same truck but have 250k on the motor and still be on the original trans as well. It's more about maintenance, how it's been treated, and sometimes just getting lucky then it is about a cut and dry life span of equipment.

    Since you have a back up truck to get you through and have done a fair bit of maintenance work on the truck I would keep it and run it atleast for this upcoming winter and see what you think. No sense getting rid of a good truck because of solely what the odometer says. You could end up selling your truck, buying say a 2010 with 50k on it and it ends up with more problems and a being a bigger headache then your current truck. Nothing mechanical is perfect so you just have to do the best you can and hope for the best.
  3. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    agreed. the 2000 parts runner at the body shop currently has 298k miles on the original engine and trans. it is currently down getting new exhaust manifold studs because 3 broke, but other than that it is still rock solid. don't overheat the trans, and you will be fine.
    the 2000 F350 i just parted out had 345k miles on the stock engine and trans. only problem with that one was a broken flex plate, and the body rotted off it.
    the engine, trans, and axles are in the parts box waiting for a vehicle that needs them
  4. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,384

    The truck is a one owner and purchased from your neighbor. I am not a fan of the 5.4. This has nothing to do with the reliability or longevity. They have a good history for being a tough reliable truck.

    185K would not scare me if the trucks OK. Keep the truck, You got a backup if it does fail. Spend the $200.00 on the wiring and your good to go.
  5. thesnowman269

    thesnowman269 Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    My truck when I first started plowing on my own was a 94 f350 with 290,000mi plowed two seasons with that truck, until I upgraded. With good maintenance anything is possible. Know your equipment and keep
    It working properly. But always keep a good set of tools in the truck just in case!
  6. jarhead1349

    jarhead1349 Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    My first plow truck was a 1997 F-250 LD. I got it with 187,000 on the clock. I know it's a different truck, but same vintage and same engine. I changed all the fluids and got a Scan Gauge II for it to monitor trans temp and to get accurate numbers on fuel consumption (for tax purporses). I didn't have single problem pushing a Western 7'6" Pro Plow. I drove like a grown-up and never shifted reverse to drive while still going backwards or vice versa. I used it for 1-1/2 seasons and sold it for what I paid for it, minus the plow.

    I now have a 2004 F-250 SD with a 5.4 2v with 104,000 on the clock. No issues so far. Changed the fluids and stay on top of the little things.

    Hope this helps.
  7. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,582

    I've got three, a 01 with s V-10, a 02 with a 7.3, and a 04 with the 5.4. They have their quirk's, but not many problems. The 01 is starting to turn to dust. But that seems normal for these.
  8. jdsquire

    jdsquire Member
    Messages: 58

    I've got a '99 F-250 Super Duty with the 5.4, it has 64,000 original miles on it. Have a 7'6" Meyer poly plow on it. Besides regular maintenance I've had no issues with mine and the bed and doors are still good.
  9. agarf421

    agarf421 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Change all the fluids in it (oil, trans, transfer case, steering, brake, and differential fluids), wash it often especially the undercarriage and the inner fenders after each snow storm to prevent rust/rot. The dealership can do a thorough trans flush for not much more then you can purchase the fluid yourself. In my opinion these trucks are straight work horses, and the back bone of many construction and snow removal companies. The triton motor is not as powerful as a diesel but is a work horse and won't fail you if you take care of it, just keep an eye on everything.

    Flush all the old fluid out of the plow pump and the hydraulic hoses, change the filter and try to keep the plow clean just like the truck to avoid rust and corrosion.

    How does the transmission shift right now? The 4r100 is a solid trans especially behind the weaker 5.4 vs 7.3.
  10. agarf421

    agarf421 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Lets get some pics!