By on August 1, 2019

Earlier this year, Ford teased a bunch of updates for its 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickups — including the all-new 7.3-liter V8 the automaker planned on offering.

Timed perfectly to coincide with the exact moment we forgot the motor was supposed to be coming, Ford released some specs this week. They don’t look half bad. Designed to be as hardwearing as possible, despite not being a diesel, the Windsor-built V8 will be made broadly available — making its way inside F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis models and the upgraded E-Series van.

A less powerful 350-horsepower version with 468 lb-ft of torque will be standard for the F-450, F-550, new F-600, F-650, F-750, and the aforementioned E-Series/stripped chassis models. Meanwhile, a 430-hp variant with 475 pound-feet (available at 4000rpm) will become an optional upgrade, starting with the F-250 and F-350. Don’t worry if it’s not to your taste. The manufacturer reassured us that both the 6.2-liter gasser and 6.7-liter diesel will be retained for the 2020 model year.

The 7.3-liter engine is to be mated to Ford’s new 10-speed “TorqShift” automatic transmission on all models except F-650 and F-750, which will keep the 6-speed. An optional calibration intended to help customers minimize their fuel consumption will also be offered, but the company said more information will be made available at a later date. Super Duty towing and payload ratings, as well as the stats for the upgraded 6.7-liter Power Stroke, will also be announced later this year. Considering we’ve had to wait two decades for Ford to update the BIG gasoline engines in the heavy-duty lineup, we suppose we can endure a few more months for the rest.

As previously stated, Ford’s pushing the new V8 as bulletproof. To make its case, it cited a variable-displacement oil pump, extra-large main bearings, a forged steel crankshaft, piston cooling jets, and years of “commercial engine experience.” However, as good as the new, under-stressed motor sounds, we’re honestly a little more excited for the updated 6.7-liter turbo diesel. We imagine its specifications will put the big gasser to shame by offering more thrust than a Saturn V rocket.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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63 Comments on “2020 Ford Super Duty’s New 7.3-liter V8 Approved for 430 Horsepower...”


  • avatar
    jack4x

    Excited to test drive this, the torque curve looks awesomely flat

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      I agree. This powertrain may replace our ’15 Ram 2500 Cummins when the time comes to trade.

      I was always a huge diesel proponent for towing…up until Tier-4 emission standards arrived. Now, you need a long session with your calculator prior to making the decision. The cost of choosing diesel always gets fronted at the purchase and was historically rewarded at trade or sale. There are now new variables which may or may not provide benefit of fronting $9K+ for the diesel option.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        For me, a short session with the calculator was enough.

        Diesel fuel $0.90 more per gallon (it’s closer now, but when I bought my truck that was my number)

        Diesel oil changes, fuel filters, DEF, etc means routine maintenance is double or more.

        The money I spent keeping a “simple and reliable” 7.3L PSD on the road in the past did not give me confidence that a modern diesel would be durable over the long haul, and if it wasn’t, then I could expect four figure repair bills regularly.

        And for all this, I could pay $9000 up front. Torque is awesome but unless you tow day in and day out, I fail to see the appeal.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Sure sounds great, but what VW will get this new V8?

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I have to say nearly two decades after the LS based 8.1L was developed, this has added very little to where it left off. I expected much more torque and even a bit better HP. It just seems deliberately neutered, I don’t understand how a 7.3L anything in 2019 is only putting out 475 lb-ft.

    I’m guessing Ford left a lot on the plate in anticipation of being able to up these numbers later on. Similarly to Ram neutering the 6.4L. I expect a response from Ram on their gas offering soon. Albeit likely without them changing displacement.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      My thoughts exactly, you could buy a 502 CID, with 502 HP and something like 480 LBS of torque off the shelf at your local Chevy store 15+ years ago. I had one in my Chevelle, I will grant you however, that the best I could eek out was an astounding 6MPG through a Super T-10 4 speed. Perhaps I could have gone to 10 if I had a Tremec 5 or 6 speed for a highway gear.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I’d reserve judgment until I see how it behaves towing heavy. With the 10 speed and flat torque curve this thing should always be in the powerband. Peak numbers are great but if they detuned a bit in exchange for greater longevity while keeping 80-90% of the torque available at all times, I’d be ok with that.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        My understanding with the 8.1L (496 for comparison sake) was that it achieved about the same if not a smidgen less MPG than the LQ4 6.0L, backed by the Allison 5 or 6 speed or the 4L85e, depending on year and application I suppose the low revving nature of the 8.1L helped.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Hummer,

          That was my understanding as well. My 8.1/4L85E/3.73 was reliably good for about 10 city, 13 highway, 9-10 when towing an open car trailer.

          That is actually within 1 mpg of what I get with my current Super Duty 6.2/6R140/4.30, albeit the Ford is a much heavier truck.

        • 0 avatar
          rpol35

          “My understanding with the 8.1L (496 for comparison sake)….”

          Appropriate note as the Chevrolet 8.1 liter (496 C.I.) and the 8.2 liter (502 C.I.) are two completely different engines. They are both Gen VI big blocks based on the Mark IV architecture but the 8.1 was an actual production engine until the end of 2009 (TTAC published an article in Dec. 2009 about its production termination at Tonawanda) while the 8.2 has always been a crate engine and is still offered as such.

    • 0 avatar
      Brumus

      Don’t they lower the output (de-rate) in engines of this ilk because the priority is reliability over the long haul while doing a lot of hard work? I.e., isn’t a lot left on the table in the interest of less stress on the motor and drivetrain?

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        What Brumus said. Less HP, but twice the life.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I have no doubt the engine is stout, but we can’t ignore that we have smaller displacement Diesel engines pushing out at or near 1000lb ft of torque, remove all of the emissions crap and the blocks should have no trouble going 300k-500k+ miles.

          Me thinks that Ford doesn’t want the gasser stepping on the toes of the diesel. If it had 550 lb-ft of torque who would buy the diesel any longer?

          Supposedly the engineers that designed this engine were drag racers with lots of experience on big displacement engines. If the design of this engine is good then something has to be limiting its power. In 2019 I know for a fact current technology can detect loads on an engine and retard the fuel/air delivery appropriately.

          People would be lining up to buy this engine if it hit that magic 500 number, and it certainly would be pulling diesel buyers away which is why I think we see the figures we do.

          Still 400+ lb-ft at 1500 RPM isn’t nothing to sneeze about but they could have given a little more.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            That “emissions crap” is there for a reason.

            That reason is so that my minivan full of kids don’t choke on your exhaust.

            I’m a diesel fan, and owned a TDI. (The engine was great, but the rest of the car was made by VW.). But, that “emissions crap” (as you call it) provides real benefits for the people who drive behind you. I can smell the difference between a stock and chipped diesel from several carlengths back.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Increased HP equals increased heat. You can get away with it in a civilian pickup that might tow a 10k trailer a dozen times a year but you won’t in a truck that is working hard day in and day out.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    The “old fart” part of me winces to see that plastic air plenum on top. Ford wants us to believe this is million-mile motor….with PLASTIC on top?

    Yes, I know they call it “composite” or somesuch…and that Boeing is making planes out of the stuff….but every red-blooded man out there knows that a real piece of metal on top will be more durable.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Ehh, I don’t particularly like it, Aluminum would have been better, though also more expensive. But remember the LS series engines have all has the composite intakes for 20 years now, and talking from experience, lifting that intake off of an LQ4 engine was a whole lot more fun than an intake off of a 345 IH engine.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Ha…yes! It always seemed that those old Binders (Intnl) engineers automatically used a bolt one size larger then necessary, and that the castings were always 50% heavier than they needed to be…and yes, they were hella durable.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Well the SV (Small V) was a MD truck engine first and foremost. That said the intake wasn’t really any heavier than other cast iron intakes of the era. Now the deep skirted “Y” block yeah that is heavy for the displacement when compared to the car engines the big 3 used in their LD and some MD trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yeah but no one has done cast iron intakes in decades. Cast aluminum yes.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      It’s been the norm for several decades now, minimizes heat soak, lighter weight. Outside of a few notable examples (Ford 4.6L coolant crossover, Series II 3800) there really haven’t been issues with composite intakes warping/cracking prematurely.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Interesting comment. How much stress does a plenum take, or need to take?

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      Caddy Daddy does not like the plastic intake. Agreed. It needs to be Aluminum.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    10% bigger than the GM 6.6L V8 and only 2.5% more torque.

    Bold moves

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      EBFlex.. HD engines are always detuned. This motor is made to be used in a box truck or pull a 35K trailer and be put to the floor and left there for hours. ie: strong west head wind on I-80 going from Nebraska to the west slope of Colorado. If you did that in a heavily modified high HP modern turbo and if fuel delivery was not curtailed, the motor would melt down in 10 minutes. There is a reason OTR tractors have mills where the block is 1 ton of cast iron.

      With the 10 speed and the supposed breathing capabilities of the valve train, I’m guessing this will be a formable truck motor.

      Also, please see TFL Ike Gauntlet where a newer RAM 6.4 ‘de-tunes” itself halfway up to the Johnson Tunnel to save its internals.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Since when must torque increase 1 to 1 with displacement?

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I don’t have a problem with the power output, provided it is delivered with medium-duty truck levels of durability. I am pretty surprised that the torque peak is 4,000 rpm. That seems about twice as high as one might hope for this application.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Tune it, make it aluminum, put it in the Mustang.

  • avatar
    relton

    It looks like a pushrod, 2 valve engine.

    Just like the GM engines.

    Has Ford finally seen the light?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Some configurations are forever.
      I’d gladly buy a GM crossover with a 3800 V6 incorporating tech updates from the last 20 yrs. Maybe a 6 speed auto too.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “I’d gladly buy a GM crossover with a 3800 V6 incorporating tech updates from the last 20 yrs. ”

        That would undo literally everything good about the 3800. They ran forever because they were simple, and over sized and under stressed in 3400 lb W-bodies. Putting it in a 4400 lb Acadia already loses the under stressed part. Now give it stop start, direct injection, concentric cams for VVT to meet emissions, cylinder deactivation, and you’re now at least as complicated as the LGX that GM replaced it with, and with a pushrod redline and a stupid block angle besides.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “a 3800 V6 incorporating tech updates from the last 20 yrs.”

        The current 4.3L V6 is basically that. GM doesn’t consider it worthy of placement in its CUVs or cars though.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I wish they would sell the derated version in the smaller trucks for people who care more about durability than being able to tow a horse trailer at 100 mph.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      My buddy and I hauled a twin axle steel car trailer with an old neon strapped down with his dad’s long bed ext cab ’15 F150 with the 5.0L, wow modern half tons are incredible at how easy they make towing feel. Could barely tell it was back there aside from some hobby-horsing over uneven old concrete slab. Quiet, smooth riding, 70mph felt like 50.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      Considering the torque peak is virtually the same (475 lb ft @4000 vs 468 lb ft @3900) I’d guess that the “derated” version is just a lower redline and not much else. Not like the medium duty diesels where they can turn down the boost.

      The Ford 6.2 is also known to be a 300k mile motor or better, I would hope the same could be said for this simpler design.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It does sound like one is coming, from the article: “An optional calibration intended to help customers minimize their fuel consumption will also be offered, but the company said more information will be made available at a later date.” Which to me says lower peak numbers.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Surprised at how low the numbers are, the similarly low tech 6.2 was already 385/430 and keeping that specific output would put you at 450/500. But even tuned down as it is here it’s still absolutely ludicrous and relatively best in class.

    Anyhow, I don’t have any interest in a HD truck but if Ford has any sense at all they’ll put this in the F-150 and I’ll buy one.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    445 c.i.d. big block, hmmm?

  • avatar
    kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh

    This is not a dig at ford. But WHY? If you need that much ‘grunt’ diesel even with the blue goo is a much better ROI for hundreds of thousands of miles.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Lots of people who’ve owned diesels don’t feel that way any longer.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Me included. I’d pay more. To not have the diesel.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        My daily UPS visit comes on a brown truck with a GM 6 liter gasser. Probably the last 15 yrs has been a Cummins B series. Medium duty looks to be trending to the gas side these days.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          UPS has been using gas engines in their walk in trucks since 2011 or so. Of course that doesn’t mean that they scraped all of their existing diesels at that point, just that new trucks have been gassers in most cases since then. And UPS knows what is up when it comes to TCO and that is why they went gas over diesel. Now if they sold them instead of crush them when they are done that might be different if the diesel truck had higher resale. The few extra pennies from a heavier engine though doesn’t pencil out.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I wouldn’t touch a new diesel, no way, I’ve seen enough company vehicles need thousand dollar repairs for stupid emissions failures. Big Block gasser has always been the clear choice, unfortunately we lost our last Big block V8 right at the start of regulations killing diesels. Outside of large companies, owning a new diesel is a nightmare that isn’t worth it.

      Diesel trucks aren’t getting 18-20 MPG anymore, buying a diesel today means dropping 10k more up front, paying more for fuel, and DEF fluid, and knowing that you will likely drop over $6k at minimum on repairs before hitting 100k miles.

      • 0 avatar
        TeamInstinct

        Exactly why I deleted mine. Everyone at least around here does-if not when they first buy them, but once something in the emissions control does. I waited a few months, but I wasn’t going to wait to be stuck in limp mode or worse. Way easier(and cheaper) to delete. Only cost about $2500. This motor actually interests me though. I’m interested to see how it does in the real world.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “But WHY?”

      Because buying a new diesel truck is like owning a giant Maserati.

  • avatar
    johnnyz

    Yea, had a f250 with a inline 6, sold it got a high Sierra with a 6.2 diesel to save gas.

    Bad move, GM sux- cracked head issues. Mopar 5.7 now. Had a 2016 2.7t f150, too high strung- fast though. Detonated in mountainous driving.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Emissions control requirements have made the economics of modern diesel engines ever less compelling. The long term maintenance cost of the fuel and emissions control systems can be staggering.

    Meanwhile, modern gasoline engines just keep getting better. Diesel has entered the start of its end times for anything under a 1-ton class truck.


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