Ford F150 3.0L Diesel Reviewed and ABUSED Power Stroke

Ford F150 3.0L Diesel Reviewed and ABUSED Power Stroke


After years of rumor and speculation and
months of promises we finally got behind the wheel of the new 3 litre Power
Stroke Turbo Diesel and after a full day at towing on rolling highways, hauling on
winding mountain roads and powering through an off-road course, is this the
diesel worth spending thousands of dollars on? Why would anyone choose this engine over the 4 other choices in Fords lineup for the F-150? We were in Broomfield, Colorado, for the
first ever driving experience of the highly-anticipated Power Stroke 3 litre
Turbo Diesel. We’re going to look at how the 3 litre performs under real-world
conditions and some abusive off-road driving conditions to see where it
succeeds and where it fails. Fords Power Stroke Diesel engines were
initially built and developed by International in 1994 with the
introduction of the 7.3 litre in the Ford Super Duty. Ford eventually brought
production of the Power Stroke in-house and after several iterations throughout
the years we now have the 6.7 litre which we see in the Super Duty. The
original 7.3 litre in 1994 produced 210 horsepower at 3000 rpm and generated 420
pound-feet of torque at 2000 rpm. The new 3 litre for F-150 produces 250 horsepower
at 3250 RPM and 440 pound feet of torque at 1750 rpm. More horsepower and more
torque from an engine with less than half the displacement. Today’s diesel
engines are not the black smoke emitting, injector chattering, oil burners of years
past. Whenever a brand new engine enters the marketplace I typically stand
back and wait for others to lay their cash down and wait to see if it lives up
to expectations in performance and durability, in the real world. The
difference here is Ford’s experience and great track record with the 6.7 litre
Power Stroke engine and although this 3 litre is new to the F-150 it’s not new
to the world. It has a strong family history in the Lyons series of the
diesel engines that Ford developed for Citroen, Jaguar and Land Rover. As with
the Ford Ranger, Ford engineers used the rest of the world as the proving ground
for the technology that we’re gonna get here in North America. Now let’s talk
durability first according to Ford the design life of the engine is 150,000
miles and they actually back most of this up. A typical Powertrain warranty
from Ford is five years and 60,000 miles but because this is a Power Stroke, you get five years and a 100,000 miles on this engine. Still the question remains is the new 3 litre Power Stroke good enough, is it worth spending thousands of dollars more on
and why would anyone choose this engine over the four other choices in Fords
lineup for the F-150? There are two parts to this answer fuel economy and torque.
Part of our driving experience was a fuel economy challenge testers all used
the same two-door, 4×2, F-150. It’s the same model that was used in the EPA rating
which achieved the 30 mile per hour highway benchmark. The goal in this
challenge was to see who could achieve the best fuel economy number, using the
stock dash indicator and driving the same route. Driving in a completely
impractical manner, by that I mean, less than the speed limit,
mirrors pulled in to reduce drag, never using the brakes unless it was an
emergency, only whispering to the gas pedal and saying prayers for green
traffic lights and benevolent tailwinds, some challengers achieved over 40 miles
per gallon. Regardless of the fanciful methods they use to win it is still a
ridiculously fuel-efficient number for a half-ton pickup truck. But it’s not my
style of driving. I chose the 4-door, 4×4 with a 6,000 pound trailer and drove the
way I usually do with a trailer. Which is with liberal pressure applied to the
skinny pedal, merging into traffic and going up hills and breaking unnecessary.
Towing a tournament boat and then a box trailer with roughly the same weight,
through the rolling hills outside Broomfield Colorado, I averaged 11.8
miles per gallon. To some folks this might not seem like a staggering number
but my 2004 RAM 1500 with a Hemi v-8 achieved the same fuel economy in
highway driving with no load to tow. Where you land with your fuel economy
depends entirely on your driving habits, what will you be towing and where. Will
it be crossing the prairies or going over the Rocky Mountains. The bottom line
is this is an advanced engine whose sole purpose is to tow very fuel efficiently
and it does. Up to now I may have sounded like a Ford marketing spokesperson
but they aren’t paying me to say anything. In fact they’re not paying me at all. Although fair disclosure I did order a
very expensive 10 ounce filet mignon with smashed potatoes which I paired
with a lovely bottle of Grey Goose from room service. All on Ford’s tab. If fuel economy is part one of choosing a new Power Stroke over the F-150s other choices the second part is torque. This diesel engine effortlessly generates a ton of low-end torque at low rpm. If you work in a job like a landscaping company and you’re pulling a 6,000 pound trailer around the
job sites in an urban environment and by that I mean stop go stop go this engine
is a godsend. At low urban speeds up and down hills it
will pull your trailer without complaint and if you need to wind along steeper
mountainous drives it’ll do that too. Is this the perfect engine truck
combination for everyone, if all engine options were priced identically should
this be the engine that everyone buys? No, it’s a diesel which means there are some
minor additional maintenance issues compared to gas and if you want to be
green gas engines produce fewer emissions. If you really want to be green
you’ll have to wait until 2021 to get the hybrid version but they’re not
saying what form the hybrid will take. Either that if you want to be really
green golden buy a horse or ride a bike this 3 litre Power Stroke doesn’t have
the acceleration of the 2.7 litre EcoBoost it’s just not as much fun to
drive even when you put it in sport mode. Passing at highway speeds means you need
a lot of time and a long open stretch of road and finally it’s not priced the
same the diesel is the most expensive option and more importantly it’s only
available in Lariat and above trim lines. So you can’t buy it in a more affordable
XL or XLT unless you’re a fleet customer or you’re willing to wait as
Ford says the diesel could be introduced into the XLT if the engine proves to be
popular enough. They expect a 5% uptake in the diesel stealing some sales away
from the 3.5 litre EcoBoost and 5 litre v8 as these two engines are typically
the buyers choice for towing when they’re buying a half-ton truck.
The diesel option will cost you about $5500 Canadian or about
$3000 US over the 5 litre v8. Now naturally Ford also expects to take some
sales from the RAM 1500 in the eco diesel since Ford has improved on RAM
specs by just enough to call themselves #1 in horsepower torque and fuel
economy. So what kind of driver is best suited to this engine, who really needs
it? It’s the guy or gal who tows up to 8000 pounds on a regular basis.
It does have an 11,400 pound max towing capacity but I
wouldn’t recommend a half-ton ticket if this is what you do on a daily basis. You
should upgrade to the Super Duty but let’s say you need to tow up to an 8000 pound trailer everyday with a lot of stops and starts where you need
to tow your 8000 pound boat or RV a good distance every weekend. Then
this is your truck. One of the striking features about this diesel engine is
just how quiet it is if you weren’t told you were driving diesel you wouldn’t
know it. Engine runs smooth and quiet, the whine of the turbo the telltale diesel
clatter is only barely audible if you listen closely under hard acceleration
or if you stick your head in the engine compartment. The quiet running is due to the way Ford
calibrates the injectors it’s also due to the use of special foam covers to
encapsulate the injectors and the high pressure fuel pump. There’s also a better
insulated engine cover and extra insulation inserted into the eight pillars. There’s also thicker foam in the dash
panel which is also known as a firewall but I was told they don’t use that term anymore. Many of us have been wondering why it
took Ford so long to place this engine in the F-150 as a similar engine has
been kicking around and Ford’s international vehicles for roughly a
decade. Well first they needed the foundation and the architecture of the
2015 F-150 the 700 pounds that they saved in the weight allowed them to
develop Powertrain technology so they could hit their goals for horsepower,
torque and fuel economy and the 8500 pound truck category. When gas is still
where it’s at for the bulk of pickup truck buyers which is why we saw the
Ford gas engines get revamped in last year’s mid-cycle refresh. With that out of the way they had time for diesel. The weight savings in the new platform was critical
to the diesel success because a 3 litre Power Stroke is 388 pounds heavier
than a comparable equipped 3.5 litre EcoBoost. In addition to towing, low-end
torque has another application, driving off-road. The Ford Team constructed an off-road
course designed to demonstrate the low-end torque of the new diesel and the
off-road capability of the FX Ford trim. Clouds the day before our drive unleashed a mix of rain and snow on the course. Which the F-150’s turned into a
slushy field of mud but our day dawned cloudless blue skies drying up the mud –
just a perfect consistency. The lock and rocked course was challenging enough to
test the Bosch plates on every pass and we made good use of the locking rear
differential. The largest uphill test was roughly a 25 degree incline and about 40
feet high and the subsequent 30 degree down climb made excellent use of the
hill descent control. Several off camber gooey mud obstacles
and water hazards provide some serious entertainment. Artificially created tight
winding paths between rocks and logs force you to take advantage of the
360-degree cameras. As long as you hadn’t caked them in mud after crashing through
the two water obstacles. The truck performed well. I was surprised how well.
The approach angle was good and we tested it aggressively enough that we
got grass in the tow hooks. The torque was terrific at making solid steep
climbs the locking rear differential provided traction where it was unlikely
that a regular 4×4 would have even made it. There are two things I would change
in off-road mode I’d prefer to have a little less throttle from a dead stop to
make climbing obstacles easier and one or two inch lifts would go a long way to
improving the breakover angle. Yes I picked the line testing the breakover
angle on an off camber obstacle and managed to get center high on the
driver’s side. I have no excuse other than the truck was doing so well
I forgot that I wasn’t in my lifted Jeep and that says a lot about the F-150
diesel in a positive way. I like what Ford has done with this
engine in the F-150. Do you think the diesel would make a good option for you?
Do you agree with Ford’s prediction that the diesel will get 5% of F-150
sales or do you think it’ll be less or do you think it’ll sell even better?
Please let us know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this video, hammer on that like button and if you’d like to see more please subscribe. It
really means a lot to us. Remember money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy
4×4 and we think that’ll get you there Until next time stay safe and we’ll see
you on the trails.

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. NOT UNDERSTANDING THE SNOWFLAKES THUMBS DOWN FOR THIS VIDEO. THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST EXPLAINED AND SHOWCASE VIDEOS PRODUCED. THANKS FOR SHARING.. AND YES, THE DIESEL ENGINE WOULD BE MY CHOICE WHEN AND IF THEY PUT IT IN THE XL AND XLT BASE MODELS..

  2. Well I saw an f250 with a 6.7 liter for sale that had over 1.7 million miles on it , still running strong… if that’s any indication of how the 3.0 will do , it should be fine..

  3. They used to bring all new vehicles to N. Canada for cold running tests . -45 here the other morning , let s see what ll pile up before a real winter ends .

  4. Don’t care about Ford’s sales on their trucks. I would like to see this truck consistently put to its towing capacity in high temperature and high elevation.

    Let’s not let Ford get away with putting out another engine that hasn’t had proper testing.

  5. I’ve got 290,000 miles on my bone stock 12 valve, to me a new diesel would never be worth it, they are choked by emissions and unable to breathe properly, they are so computerized and electronic its makes them impossible to work on without thousands and thousands of dollars of tools and if these are designed anything like the 3/4 and 1 tons you can’t fix shit on the engine without pulling the cab which is a fucked up design in the first place to me, 150,000 miles is nothing on a diesel in terms of the old ones, i’ll take my old smokey 12 valve any day it will outlast any of this new shit coming out the factories i’d much rather be noisy and smoke then be buying a new truck after 5-8 years

  6. 120 and still have not gotten it right.. ford initial quality.. Is just that.. initial.. Toyota is the best.. Engineers take notes.. Japanese will own auto market.. EV market too.. My F-150 is junk.. I put 200k on Toyota and sold it on eBay in an hour for 1/3 of it initial price.. That says it all.. Resell Value.. I am waiting for the transfer case or transmission to fail now.. I have replaced everything else..

  7. You can get the F250 diesel for the same price. Force mess up. Shut have just made it an engine option for all versions

    Ford Should have also made it 4.0 L to easily beat. the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

    Ram not only has the great diesel engine but it now has a much improved reliability, ride, handling, and all the bells and whistle truck owners & their wives want..

    It was stupid to do a 3.0 L V6 to compete against the Rams 3.0 I6 and then only make it available to Lariat owners and above. .

  8. Not impressed the 3.5 ecoboost makes way more hp and tq then that. Even the 2.7 ecoboost makes way more hp and almost the same tq

  9. Thank You …thank u … tenk u .? [whispering] 10x … but i will stick to F-series wt the beautiful 6.0 .. [whispering very low] 7.3 are the very best until we understood all bout 6.0 ..right now 7.3 for old skool men and 6.0 for we millennia kids … LET'S GO MUDDING ! 6.0L ! LETS GO CHAMP ! LET'S GO CHAMP !!

  10. I had a Ford Diesel, my brother had a diesel, my dad had a diesel. Everyone of us had to replace the transmissions. My diesel had 65 thousand miles and all that it had to do was haul my boat to Lake Mead. What a piece of shit. Also had to replace the steering box. Ford is crap… Only fools buy a Ford… I live in a family of fools.

  11. bring back the 7.3 but add a propane burn additive to 1% to boost the cleaning of the exhaust or add an H.H.O. system to clean it up and it would acted like a turbo .

  12. All looks great except for only expected to have a 150,000 mile life, I have a HEMI with over 300,000, and the fact it is under fire wall so like the other diesels you have to pu;; the cab off to work on motor.

  13. The regular maintenance cost of diesels alone should stop anyone from buying a diesel unless you use it as a work truck. Plus the extra money you spend getting the diesel option. Don't get me wrong, if you need the diesel option, by all means get it, but to get it just so you can say hey, look I got a diesel, is idiotic.

  14. Get the same towing mileage with 2005 Chevy Colorado 3.5. 2013 Ford Explorer 3.5 non turbo n 2005 GMC Yukon 5.3. All with the same 3700lb boat at highway speeds.

  15. Great truck! I bought it at Christmas and am getting 24+ mpg. It tows whatever I need to wherever I'm going. It was pricey, so if yer broke stick with a '94 with 7.3 😉

  16. I pull a ToyHauler which weighs 8000 – 10000 lbs and I couldn’t afford the extra weight of a Diesel engine in an F150 since it would decrease my payload capacity. The 3.5 L has pulled the ToyHauler 23000 miles over mountains without issue

  17. I have been waiting for all of the new light duty diesels for a long time. I am loving all of the new options and competition between the auto builders right now. The truck i buy later this year will be one of the new half ton diesels.

  18. 150,000 miles from a Diesel engine? my 22 year old 7.3 has 230,000 on it now, and i figure that's about mid-life.

  19. The design life of the engine is 150,000 miles, are you ser?
    Baaahahaha what a fucking joke, my 7.3 has well over 300,000 and all I've done is change the oil and fuel filters!

  20. Did this one break down like the one TFL truck tested a while back (broke down twice actually while testing)?

  21. Your 04 ram is terrible. I avg 14+ in an 02 z71 that has been a work truck for a long time. No wonder Chevy and Ford guys hate dodge.

  22. How much of that increase in horsepower/torque is a result of the limited lifecycle, high replacement cost turbos????

  23. By 2003 the 7.3 made 250 horsepower and 550 foot pounds of torque and they're still on the road with 600,000+ miles on them.

  24. this is a bad choice on fords end. Thery should of developed a in house Straight 6 diesel engine for the f150 or partnered with cummins. .

  25. They need to check there facts. IH made engines for Ford since 1983 the 6.9 , and what was that the 30 mile per hour bench mark? Trucks aren't trucks anymore. I can't figure out how they take an engine reengineer it over the years and it used to get 20 mpgs and now it gets 11 mpgs and it's supposed to be be cleaner. Give me a mechanical engine along with it's simplicity and durability. What a diesel was supposed to be!

  26. A little tune In the 2.8 4 cylinder Duramax Will have just as much power with a smaller lighter package And I'm a Ford truck owner I bought a ZR2 because everything it offered I wasn't happy with the ranger And if the ranger raptor ever comes out here they're going to be outrageously expensive I paid 37k for mine

  27. Engines in American trucks and cars are like ink jet printers it’s cheaper to buy a new one than to replace the ink

  28. People are saying put it in the ranger but I say to ford please get some of the ugly off of the ranger first, who in the world designed it, I’m very disappointed after waiting so long and that was the best you could come up with, looks as bad as the Chevy Colorado

  29. Those old injector chattering diesels of long ago were the most reliable engines. Todays diesels are electrical and EPA nightmares, NO THANKS

  30. PROBLEM CITY…………….NO DIY WILL BE ABLE TO WORK ON THESE ENGINES…….HIGH PRESSURE FUEL PUMP LINES WILL SPRING LEAKS FROM FUEL LINES AND DIY WORKING ON THINGS IT WILL CAUSE MORE POLLUTION BECAUSE OF DIESEL LEAKS CAUSE DEAD EVERYTHING AND SLICK ROADS…..THE TURBOS WILL DIE….THIS IS A GREAT PRODUCT FOR FORD BECAUSE EVERYBODY WILL HAVE TO TAKE IT INTO THE SHOP…THIS ALSO PROVES THE TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN AROUND FOREVER BUT WE ARE BEING CONTROLLED BY FAKE NEWS AND OUR GOVERNMENTS WITH WHAT THEY WILL ALLOW….WE ALL HAVE HEARD OF CARS RUNNING ON WATER FROM A GARDEN HOSE???? GOVERNMENT WILL NOT ALLOW IT…………HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE TIRES THAT NEVER WEAR DOWN????????? NO YOU HAVE NOT THEY WERE INVENTED BUT GOVERNMENT WILL NOT ALLOW IT SO I AM NOT EXCITED ABOUT THIS WE COULD HAVE DONE THIS A LONG TIME AGO BUT FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE OUR REALITY IS CONTROLLED EVERYDAY………………..GO TRUMP GO FLAT EARTH LIBERALS ARE WEAK BRAINWASHED PIGS.

  31. I'll be interested to see how the Ram and GM diesels compare, but honestly these trucks are getting very pricey.

  32. So basically it's the same architecture as the 3L diesel found in the Land Rover, just beefed up.

    What I want to see is that engine deleted and tuned

  33. So . they don't offer this engine in the one place where it would be just about perfect – in a 2 wheel drive , regular-cab long bed work truck that isn't going to get used for towing much ????? Doesn't make any sense??
    (And , the 150K miles life expectancy is nonsense for sure. You'd think they'd just keep quiet about that)

  34. They needed to drop in the Cummins 5.0 V8. This 3.0 is just a bullshit engine in a full size truck. This is the same engine that it's in the Rover's, Audi, VW and the RAM, interestingly enough, the Rover's have turbo diesel V8's, go figure. The corporate ninny brigade, gotta love em.

  35. I owned 3 Dodge 5.9 Cummins trucks..Zero issues ever…these Small high tech diesels are a Joke..Dont get Suckered…Overpriced Garbage

  36. Did I hear right? Design life of only 150000 miles? Jeez. Let's make a small engine, strain it's little guts out, and sell a new one every 10 years or so. Jeez. Ram Cummins sure looks good. This won't get it I'm afraid. Not if it's only good for 150k miles.

  37. U can only get 150m before it shits the bed doesn’t seem worth 65 k to me😂 7.3 lasts forever and there a thousand times cheaper lol

  38. @3:14 "same model that achieved the 30 MPH benchmark" — lmao!

    @2:30 (ish) "design life of 150,000 miles"? that sux!

    @9:30 (ish) installed weight is 388 lbs heavier than a 3.5EB (which is about equal to the n/a 5.0). smh

  39. Use this engine and transmission in a 2008 Lincoln Continental. Much more torque than the 4.6 liter. Also Crown Victoria.

  40. The design life of 150,000 miles is mentioned by Ford and GM in their 3.0 diesels. Stupid, stupid thing to say! The gas engines are designed for about this as well. Properly maintained gas engines of today are lasting several hundred thousand miles. The diesels will. Somewhere around 150,000 miles both Ford and GM diesels will have a,repair/maintenance bill for a few belts and they are good to go. GM actually has only said the belt for the oil pump has a “minimum” of 150,000 mile life. One engineer also said it is possible that belt will last 220,000 miles. When the belt fails, you get a warning and lose the high oil pressure pump. You will be stranded, but the repair is not likely to cost more than a timing belt in a Ridgeline or something like that. People like myself will do the repair ourselves for about $100 – 200 in parts.
    The motors, if the belts are well maintained, will last triple the 150,000. The big diesels (3/4 ton – 3 ton trucks) are designed with lives of 300,000 – 500,000 miles and there are many examples of million mile engines. The engineers were smart enough to keep their mouths shut back then!
    If I was in the market, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a new 3.0 litre diesel with the expectation to have it last 400,000 miles. No worries at all, just maintain them. I would buy a GMC currently on the basis of dumb stuff. Looks the best and I have always like inline 6 motors! Told ya, dumb stuff!
    That being said, and Ford has already learned this, they have to offer the diesel in at least the XLT. The trucks are so expensive that those needing the diesel can’t afford them and it is a waste in most cases buying a Lariat or higher for a work truck. This is the way they will reach diesel sales being 5% of their sales. I would have bought one when I bought 3 x F150s for my farm this spring if I could have gotten a XL or XLT with the FX4 package. That is all I would have needed.

  41. 13% increase in sales for the new diesel, I found myself in some years the F250 is to big for what I need, yet it’s steal the best performers even when the rig as it sits might be overkill….Better to be prepared than not all! The best is how you see this truck fits in your daily lifestyle!

  42. Ford should be dropping this into suvs and big heavy cars. Timing belt is a bad choice though. By the time the engine pays you back you’ll have to basically rebuild it

  43. Needs to be in base model up. Real work trucks aren't pretty and shouldn't cost $60k+. Throw this in base F-150 for a reasonable upcharge and you'll have every working guy drooling.

  44. It has more power than the 1994 powerstroke…..sorry, but that's not a reason to be excited. Everything is more powerful than the 1994 powerstroke lol.

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