We Found A Truck!

You’ve seen us researching trucks over the last couple months, and we’ve been looking for one the entire time. Finding exactly what we were looking for was proving to be quite the challenge. We wanted something big enough to carry two adults, three kids, and a couple dogs. It also needs to tow a reasonably-sized trailer with room to upgrade later on. That meant a 3/4-ton truck, and those are hard to come by.

While driving her normal route to pick up #3, Erin happened to spy a silver F-250 crew cab sitting on a used car lot. The truck wasn’t there the day before. She stopped by to get a closer look just as someone else was taking it for an overnight test drive. Erin took some photos and got as much info about it as she could before it drove away. We ran the VIN to make sure it would meet our needs in case it ended up back on the lot the next day.

She got a call the next morning that the truck was back, so I ran over as fast as I could. I hopped in for a test drive. After rumbling around town, I crawled around, over, in, and under it to check everything out. We found our diamond in the rough. We decided to make the deal.

Truck Acquired – Step One Complete

The truck is a little on the older side being a 2004 so there is some wear and tear on the body and frame, but there’s nothing too bad that we care about. The most attractive thing to us is that it only has 81k miles on a 6.0L PowerStroke diesel engine. That engine is basically brand new and had far fewer miles than many of the other used trucks we were seeing (most near or over 200k). Oh yeah, and it’ll pull 14,200 pounds!

And his name is Bruce.

2004 F-250 Super Duty Lariat
2004 F-250 Super Duty Lariat

Bruce is a Lariat, so he’s pretty well-appointed (for 2004) on the inside. Power leather seats, keyless entry, some shiny bits, and *gasp* an in-dash CD player. I think my favorite thing at the moment are those nice and beefy running boards. They make it super easy to get in and out, and also make it easy for the girls to climb in on their own.

The front seats are super comfortable, but what really matters to most of the family is the back half of the cab. There is a leather split bench that’s nice and wide and fits two car seats and the 8-year old comfortably. This crew cab also has rear legroom in spades. We tossed the dogs in for a couple minutes and they had a ton of room to move around and lay down.

Even Big Trucks Need To Grow

Given that Bruce is a 2004, he does lack a few things that have become standard over the last dozen years. Electronically, he’s missing a nav system, backup camera, and bluetooth. There’s also no bed liner. All of these things will be remedied quite soon. I have a new headunit on the way that will solve the nav/backup/bluetooth issue. There is also a DualLiner bed liner on the way, and I’m very curious to see if the glowing reviews about that thing are true.

Stay tuned for more pics once it stops raining, and also make sure to check back on the upgrade installs. I almost feel obligated to take some photos of how poorly it fits into most parking spaces too. Driving Bruce has had a steep learning curve when it comes to turning radius and vehicle length. Follow us on Instagram for more frequent updates.

We got a big truck!

6 thoughts on “We Found A Truck!

  • Justin

    Couple tips on that 6.0 powerstroke before you go on your trip, use a quality 15w-40 diesel oil and change it every 5,000 miles religiously. Also change the fuel filters every 10k. The oil is used for things like turbo position and injector pressure so you need to plan to keep up with changes while traveling. With only 70k on the clock some preventative updates may have not been done, I’d look at deleting the EGR cooler or at least upgrading it to an improved design and replacing the oil cooler while you’re at it. Could save you some headaches down the road.

    • brian

      You’re not the first person I’ve heard recommend those changes/upgrades. I’ve been investigating the “bulletproofing” process but that carries a pretty hefty price tag so I may piece together some updates (like deleting the EGR cooler) as funds are available to do so. Do you have any brand or vendor recommendations for aftermarket kits on these engines?

  • I have earned some things by reading and some the hard way with our 6.0 Excursion. It’s also a 2004 and, depending on the build date, it could have 2003 or 2004 parts. I’ve had to exchange parts and order things for a 2003 since it was built in July 2003. Some tips: switch to synthetic 5W-40 diesel oil and change every 5,000 miles. The expensive injectors are actuated by high-pressure oil and it has to be good. Change the oil filter with every oil change and both fuel filters every other oil change (every 10K). NEVER let it run low on fuel or you will damage the injectors and it has a cascading effect and can wipe out a whole bank or both. Install a fuel pressure gauge to make sure your fuel pump doesn’t get weak and cause injector failure. Install boost and EGT gauges and buy a ScanGauge 2 to monitor other aspects of the engine. The SG is how we discovered our oil cooler was getting plugged. So we replaced it and the EGR cooler with an upgraded version from IPResearch and also installed IPR’s coolant filter system. Flush the cooling system with silicate and ferrous cleaners, flush until it’s pure distilled water and then replace the coolant with ELC-1 spec coolant (available from Caterpillar dealers). The last Achilles’ heel is the head studs. If you don’t put a tuner on it and turn up the power you’ll probably be fine. Just monitor things with the SG. If you blow a head gasket upgrade the head studs with the bolt kit available from ARP. The external oil coolers are nice but expensive. At least with most of these you can do the upgrades bit-by-bit. Good luck! We plan on hitting the road full time next year!

    • Also look up the “blue spring upgrade” for better fuel pressure. Cheap and easy insurance.

    • Bryan and BethAnn, I loved reading Reids on the Road! It appears we have many of the same plans and struggles with getting started (TOO much stuff!). I look forward to reading more about how you are getting prepared and how you are tackling some of the harder aspects — traveling with a little person (or three!) and simplifying everything!

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