Part 1: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
[Intro] [Truck Specs] [Dodge] [General Motors] [Ford] [Squat Test]

Part 2: Quarter-Mile Drags
[Intro] [3/4-Ton Unloaded] [3/4-Ton Loaded] [1-Ton Unloaded] [1-Ton Loaded] [F-450] [Diesel v Gas Comparison]

Part 3: Hill Climbs
[Intro] [3/4-Ton 7% Grade] [1-Ton 7% Grade] [Diesel v Gas Comparison 7% Grade]
[3/4-Ton 15% Grade] [1-Ton 15% Grade] [Diesel v Gas Comparison 15% Grade]

[F-450 All Grades] [Summary]

2008 Ford F-250 Super Duty FX4 Crew Cab 4x4

The F-250 we drove had the largest, most powerful gas engine we tested. It also had the lowest rear axle gearing, 4.30. This made for an exceptional towing rig but compromised performance when the truck was unloaded. It had around 80 ft-lbs more torque than either of the V8s in the Sierra or Ram – another towing advantage.

Even though its engine had two more cylinders than the GMC or Dodge 2500s, the item we found most interesting about the F-250 was that it weighed in over 1,000-pounds heavier than its cross-town competitors. We actually had the truck weighed twice to make sure it wasn’t a mistake. Ford attributes the weight difference to stronger construction and heavier parts for improved longevity.

Another interesting point, the Triton F-250 uses the same 5-speed TorqShift transmission as the Power Stroke equipped F-350.

All the Ford trucks had high-end trim packages, so the interior on this truck was a few notches above the Sierra and Ram. Seating surfaces were leather with power driver and passenger captains chairs.

Kudos to Ford for protectively covering the beds side tops on all Super Dutys with plastic lining, so they don’t get gouged or dinged loading and unloading the cargo box. We didn’t feel guilty balancing heavy items on these surfaces.

Ford made major revisions to the Super Duty for the 2008 model year. It’s got new looks on the outside and underneath the front boxed portion of the frame has been widened and strengthened to improve safety and to accommodate the extra emissions and cooling equipment.

The frame’s back end has also been modified to handle 8-inch longer leaf springs, which made for better ride and handling towing trailers than earlier Super Dutys. This truck, and the F-350, drove better when loaded.

2008 Ford F-350 King Ranch Super Duty Crew Cab 4x4

After the warranty and reliability challenges caused by the old 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel, Ford’s got a lot riding on the success of the new 6.4-liter PSD.

At the core of this diesel V8, it’s a heavily updated version of the 6.0-liter, with more power and designed around meeting the new emissions regulations. The larger displacement is one approach used to help knock down NOX levels through cooler engine temperatures. There are other heat management upgrades to keep temps down, like a 33% larger radiator, 50% larger water pump, and a diesel fuel cooler. The engine uses dual sequential turbos to help get the truck moving during takeoff.

Ford offers what it calls ‘traction control’ for the F-350. We’re not sure we agree with the terminology here, because the F-350’s traction control only reduces throttle when it senses wheel slip. There’s no assistance from the ABS or steering systems, like other traction control systems use.

Our F-350 had the King Ranch interior and exterior treatment. Heavy duty pickup interiors don’t get any nicer than the King Ranch leather. The combination of materials, colors, and textures used throughout the cabin are first class.

Ford has also given the F-350 the largest and most capable mirrors in its class. Built by Schefenacker, in Australia, the double-armed tow and spotter mirrors could be extended outward up to 2-3/4-inches or folded inward electronically with the touch of a button.

The F-350 also came with Ford’s optional built in Tailgate Assist setup – which neatly integrates a pullout step and handle into the truck’s liftgate to make hopping up into the bed very easy.

Part 1: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]