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pctcone 07-16-2013 05:02 AM

First time truck owner questions
Haven't decided on EB or 5.0 for my s/crew FX4 402A short box. Question about 3.55 vs 3.73. On the ford site, the 3.55 seems the default choice for fx4, either v8 or EB. That being said, I'm one of those guys that is getting a truck simply for commuting. No towing. The most I'll have in the back seat are new clothes from a day at the mall. And the most that will be in the bed is maybe some new furniture that I buy. Is the 3.55 set up the best for me, and is it the most common for the current generation? I do like power, and I heard the 3.73 is better off the line. All your feedback is greatly appreciated by this truck newbie. Thank you everyone.

zmadams 07-16-2013 06:41 AM

3.55's are a more MPG friendly gear on the highway when compared to 3.73's. However if you do mostly city driving a 3.73 might be a little better in the mileage department and will help your truck accelerate faster.
Also if you have plans to put larger tires on your truck at any point 3.73's would be your best choice.

alsatropine 07-16-2013 09:06 AM

I would go with the 3.73. That is what I have and after driving one with a 3.55 I was glad to get back in my 3.73. Better towing, more get up and go, and no issues trying to pull.

Wanted33 07-16-2013 12:23 PM

My question is, unless you are street racing which is a no-no why would this gentleman need the 3.73's? If your city is like mine there is no where I can get off the line quick.

OP, stick with the standard gears. They will serve you fine, and not cost you any extra.

terraformer 07-16-2013 12:36 PM

I ordered mine with the 3.73 gears because I might do some towing in the future. I don't now, but my thinking was to future-proof it. Better to have it and not use it than need it and don't have it. Plus I've read that 3.73 gears are more attractive in terms of re-sell.

Adam013085 07-16-2013 12:48 PM

From what I have read the MPG difference between the two are minimal. I would go with 3.73 if I was ordering a new one. Mine just happened to come with 3.73 and it fit the budget.

poskwally 07-17-2013 03:09 AM

Maybe I'm looking too much into this, but you say you're buying an FX4 for commuting purposes. I can assume a few things from this. You either really like the look of four wheel drive trucks jacked up with big tires and plan on going that route, or you are getting four wheel drive just in case you might need it in the future. If you fit one of these descriptions, you still want the 3.73, better for bigger tires (up to a certain point, read 3rd paragraph) and if you are future proofing with 4 wheel drive then why not future proof the rear end also?

As far as gas mileage goes, I have a '13 XLT SuperCrew 5.0 4x4 w/3.73 and average around 20 mpg commuting to work. Now this is consciously going easy on the gas and only driving between 50-55 mph with the cruise set. Also these are the computer numbers as I haven't yet done the manual calculations for mpg, but I wouldn't expect it to be too far off from actual numbers. I also averaged 18.2 mpg on a 500 mile trip with cruise set between 75-80mph. I can't see the 3.55 doing significantly better than that.

After all of that being mentioned, I definitely recommend the 3.73 gears. I got them and the four wheel drive just in case I need them one day. But honestly if you're going the route of big tires it might help to get the cheaper option. Then change out the rear end to something more suitable to handle the effect that big tires have on your final gear ratio reduction. Maybe something like 4.10 or lower (higher number) depending on tire size and desired affect (more acceleration/towing vs fuel mileage)

There's a lot that can go into gear ratio selection. Keep doing research and maybe someone with a little more knowledge than me can shed more light on the subject. I just thought my personal thoughts and experience could be a little helpful.

pctcone 07-17-2013 03:46 AM

Everything on the truck will remain stock... no tire upgrade. I need 4x4 only for the northern alberta winters. My commute is both city and hwy, and I really simply like the look of the fx4 short box. It looks like on that i can change to 3.73 without cost. Again, what is better for me? If there is a mpg difference between the two, is it more evident on city or hwy. For the life of me guys, this EB vs 5.0 and 3.55 vs 3.73 is turning out to be the most difficult decision I've ever had to make when buying a vehicle. Guidance please!!

russellsawatsky 07-17-2013 05:51 AM

I have a 2011 F150 4x4 screw eb max tow package 6.5 bed 3.73 the eb has great power but fuel economy is very sensitive to how it is driven I live in SW Saskatchewan in the country no mod's to the truck love the truck and if I had to replace it I would order the same setup:cool:

poskwally 07-17-2013 07:55 AM

OK, four wheel drive for snow, that makes a lot of sense. Being from the extreme southern US, I keep forgetting that people get the 4x4s for snow because, well, we only get a light snow once every ten years or so. I hardly know what winter is. Gas mileage again I don't believe there is a huge difference. Theoretically the 3.55 will be slightly better for mileage. Also think about the terrain. If you have mountains to drive in, the 3.73 will climb a steep grade a little easier. As far as the engine goes, I suggest you Google the f150 ecoboost "limp mode" problem that ford is getting sued over. The NHTSA ( I think that's the correct government agency) is currently investigating the issue which means an ecoboost recall might be in the near future. Apparently the problem occurs in very humid climates and can put you in a potentially dangerous situation. If you're in a dry climate, I probably wouldn't worry. Also I've heard reports of the Eco getting right around the same mileage as the 5.0 so it really depends on whether or not you want to deal with all the extra moving parts to gain 5 more HP and about 30 lb/ft more of torque. The Eco is really a towing beast but you said you won't tow much if anything at all.

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