No conversion about venerable Ford pickup trucks is complete without discussing Ford’s Power Stroke Diesel—engines that have appeared in both the Ford F-150 and Ford F-Series Super Duty. For many truck buyers, the idea of pickup and a Diesel powerplant go hand-in-hand. Let’s dive in further as you begin a search for used trucks for sale.
Diesel engines have long been sought after by truck owners for their many advantages over gas options.
The inherent design of most Diesel engines leads to significantly greater torque output. This characteristic makes these power plants ideal for heavy-duty towing and hauling assignments. It’s why you’ll almost always see this kind of engine under the hood of a wrecker, dump truck, or bus. At the same time, these jumbo loads are less likely to wear down a Diesel than a gas engine.
A gallon of Diesel fuel contains up to 15 percent more energy than the same amount of gasoline. Plus, it’s a powerplant with a leaner combustion process, or put another way, the same task takes less fuel with a Diesel. It all adds up to an engine that’s as much as 35 percent more efficient than a comparable gasoline power plant, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Read more about how these engines compare: Diesel vs. Gasoline: All You Need to Know.
Diesel engines from decades ago had a dubious reputation for clattering sounds and smelly exhaust. This stands in stark contrast to today’s Diesel which embraces modern automotive technologies to produce engines that are hard to distinguish from gas-powered ones. Vibration is virtually non-existent, as is any noxious smell emanating from the tailpipe.
Diesels are legendary for their robust characteristics and lower maintenance requirements. There are no spark plugs or overly finicky systems to deal with. Of course, oil and filter changes are still needed. But, otherwise, it’s not uncommon to have a Diesel truck last 300,000 miles or more.
While there is no guarantee, used Diesel trucks for sale tend to hold their value better than pickups with gas power. For one, fewer Diesels are coming off the assembly line. And Diesel trucks have more in-demand features (covered above) for a buyer needing robust capabilities.
No powerplant is perfect, including a Diesel engine. As we reviewed earlier, more torque and better fuel economy are just some advantages. But, you’ll likely pay more for used Ford trucks for sale with a Diesel (a higher resale value, as mentioned earlier). Plus, Diesel fuel usually costs more than gasoline.
Explore: Used Toyota trucks for sale near me.
The Power Stroke Diesel can trace its origins back to the 1980s when Ford teamed with International Truck (now Navistar) to produce a 6.9-liter indirect injection powerplant. While 170 horsepower and 315 lb-ft of torque seem tame by today’s standards, the result at the time was extraordinary. Soon after, a 7.3-liter version made the scene with reworked cylinder heads and an upgraded engine block. A turbocharger was added in 1993, along with beefier engine components designed to handle the extra pressure.
All these efforts led to the 1994 debut of the first turbo-Diesel to wear the Power Stroke label. While still having a 7.3-liter displacement, the new engine relied on an electronic direct injection system and an air-to-air intercooler. Steady improvements helped make this the go-to powerplant for many truck buyers through 2003.
A next-generation 6.0-liter Power Stroke then appeared as the larger version faded into history. It was a necessary measure on Ford’s part to keep up with the Duramax Diesel from General Motors and the Cummins Turbo Diesel from Dodge (now RAM). At the same time, the industry faced stricter environmental regulations. Its 325 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of torque offered impressive performance, but oil pump and head gasket failures (and other problems) led Ford to drop the engine a few years later.
Once again, Ford and Navistar paired up for the all-new 6.4-liter Power Stroke, which debuted in 2007. Using a common-rail direct fuel injection setup for 350 horsepower and an impressive 650 lb-ft of torque, the short-lived engine got shelved (along with the Navistar partnership) in 2010. While compliant with stricter government standards and more reliable, the 6.4-liter Power Stroke came up short on fuel economy.
For 2011, Ford struck out on its own to develop the common-rail 6.7-liter Power Stroke Diesel engine. New turbo technology, a water-to-air intercooler, and reduced engine weight gave Ford a leg-up against its cross-town rivals. Output started with 390 horsepower and 735 lb-ft of torque. Eventually reaching 440 ponies and 925 lb-ft of torque by 2017, the engine is still available in F-Series Super Duty trucks.
Taking a clue from the 3.0-liter Diesel in RAM trucks, Ford looked to the UK to source a similar engine for the F-150. Out of these efforts came the 3.0-liter V-6 Power Stroke that first saw duty in the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover (Ford owned the brand until 2008). With 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque, the smallest Power Stroke debuted in the 2018 F-150 but dropped off after 2021. The automaker decided to give preference to conventional and hybrid powertrains.
Check Out: Used RAM trucks for sale near me.
If your search for a used Ford F-150 has to include a Diesel, then you’ll want to zero in on the 13th generation. And, as we mentioned earlier, the 3.0-liter Power Stroke appeared for just a handful of years (2018-2020).
In addition, the F-150 underwent a substantial refresh for 2018, distinguished by the dual-bar horizontal grille design (borrowed from the Super Duty). The upgrades also included advanced technology like a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control. Other distinctions for the 13th-generation F-150 include Ford’s first use of a mostly aluminum body and the first appearance of the C-shaped headlights.
The 3.0-liter Power Stroke made a brief appearance in the 14th-generation F-150 when it launched for the 2021 model year (production stopped mid-year). These are hard to come by if you’re looking for used work trucks for sale.
Curious about other pickup brands? Look at used Chevy trucks for sale near me.
Ford’s brawny Super Duty series of pickup trucks have been around for more than 20 years. Designed to take on tasks that are challenging even for its F-150 sibling, the Super Duty benefits from a towing capacity up to an eye-opening 45,000 pounds (when properly configured) and an available dual-rear-wheel configuration. The Power Stroke Diesel first appeared in the second-gen Super Duty (2008-2010), but we’ll focus on the next version (2011-2016) as this marked the appearance of the trusty 6.7-liter turbo-Diesel.
The third-generation Super Duty carried over the same basic body from its predecessor, but an all-new front end with a massive Ford logo makes this truck hard to miss. Its wider headlights overlapped the corners to help complete the Super Duty’s imposing and distinctive looks. We also see the debut of the King Ranch trim to displace the Lariat as the top-end Super Duty.
Shopping trucks for sale (used) should include the fourth-generation Super Duty and its 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine. Based on experience with the all-aluminum F-150, Ford brings this manufacturing technology to its biggest truck. But despite the weight savings, a reworked frame ensures the latest Super Duty is as capable as ever. The fourth-gen Super Duty also features Ford’s signature C-shaped headlights and a crisp, modern exterior.
In 2018, Ford added the Platinum and Limited trims for buyers wanting more than what the King Ranch could offer. The XL, XLT, and Lariat complete the lower-end of the Super Duty lineup.
Most significantly, the Tremor name returns to a Ford in the way of a new trim for the F-250 and F-350 Super Duty. A more robust suspension, off-road tires, and other upgrades make this pickup more than capable for adventures on and off the pavement. And, the Power Stroke Diesel is an option.
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Posted Saturday, March 5, 2022