I'm quite happy with my 2006 GMC 3500 LBZ access cab/long box truck, except that I have over 440K Km on it and before I spend any monies to get a flat deck for it, I'd like to have a truck with less miles on it as the base platform. Plus mine is a bare bones (vinyl floor, manual windows and manual 4x4 shift), and I and my wife would both like electric windows and 4x4 shift on the fly.
I've been hunting for another one for 2 years with no joy.... the access cab (supercab for the fords) are not very popular, and I really don't want an even longer truck (crew cab turning radius is a full 10' more)!
And just last week a 1999 F-350 supercab long box with 200K km on it popped up. It is SUPER well kept and near mint. I intend to go test drive it this week.
I know nothing of Fords, but I hear people say things like the 7.3L is bomb proof, the transmission sucks ( it IS only a 4 speed compared to the 6 speed Allison I have now) and it drives more like a "truck" than the GM's. Other than the "bomb proof" comment, I don't like giving up on the 6 speed (that Allison is practically psychic, I love how it shifts), nor do I want to give up handling and put up with more noise.
Honestly, my biggest concern is the ability to cruise at decent highway speeds. I hear the 7.3L likes to cruise at 1900 RPM (right about where my LBZ cruises too) but that is only about 60 mph. In my LBZ that's more like 70mph, and I usually drive at 73 mph or higher on the interstates, especially when the speed limit is 80 or more! Plus I know that I can easily accelerate quickly and pass up steep hills at over 90 mph if needed. And I still average 16 mpg doing that with the camper on. I get a bit worried when the speedo on the F-350 tops out at 100 mph. Seems kinda low?
So, I'm looking for opinions from GM and Ford folks who may have experience with either or both of the trucks I'm talking about. Should I wait for the right 2006 GM to show up? Switch to 1999-2002 Ford?
Thanks for chiming in.