OT: Anyone familiar with the Ford LCF (cab-over) trucks with the 4.5L diesel
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    Default OT: Anyone familiar with the Ford LCF (cab-over) trucks with the 4.5L diesel

    Ford LCF (low cab forward) cab over trucks. Uses the 4.5L international powerstroke diesel, which is the same as the International DT275. It is a V6.


    This is an ideal size for moving equipment and comes in GVWR of 19,500 lbs, same as an Ford F550. But these seems to be way way cheaper than an F550. This is a class 4 truck, in the same category as Isuzi NQR.


    Any thoughts on the Ford 4.5L / International DT275 diesel in these trucks, like how reliable are they? I have read people (online) describe them as the same engine as the 6.0L powerstroke V8 with 2 less cylinders. For those here that know this engine, is it true that this engine is the same as the 6.0L powerstroke ? If it is I will stay away from these trucks.

    2008 Ford Lcf 45


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    Those style trucks always seem to have low gear ratios and so low top speed, like 55 mph. They were more popular when we had a national 55 mph speed limit. These days that is slow.


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    It is based on the 6.0 International. I wouldn't bother with it.

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    What about an E series cab and chassis? Like an E450 DRW. The only E550s I saw for sale were cutaways with work bodies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spud View Post
    Ford LCF (low cab forward) cab over trucks. Uses the 4.5L international powerstroke diesel, which is the same as the International DT275. It is a V6.


    This is an ideal size for moving equipment and comes in GVWR of 19,500 lbs, same as an Ford F550. But these seems to be way way cheaper than an F550. This is a class 4 truck, in the same category as Isuzi NQR.


    Any thoughts on the Ford 4.5L / International DT275 diesel in these trucks, like how reliable are they? I have read people (online) describe them as the same engine as the 6.0L powerstroke V8 with 2 less cylinders. For those here that know this engine, is it true that this engine is the same as the 6.0L powerstroke ? If it is I will stay away from these trucks.

    2008 Ford Lcf 45

    Ever drive a cabover semi tractor? A mini version for sure. It better have a GOOD air ride seat!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    Ever drive a cabover semi tractor? A mini version for sure. It better have a GOOD air ride seat!!!!
    I'm sure you'll get PLENTY of air when you ride in the seat.


    It's probably worse than a normal COE since the cabs hung out over the steers.

    Edit: One of my friends worked for a company that ran Isuzu or Hino trucks with big diesel pressure washers on them. I think I remember him telling me he chipped a tooth when then hit bump on the interstate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    Ever drive a cabover semi tractor? A mini version for sure. It better have a GOOD air ride seat!!!!

    Been decades since I rented the cab-over Isuzu NPR. I can use one of those floating seats that Semi trucks use. Rough ride doesn't bother me. My 2500HD silverado is my daily driver and while its ride will be softer than this truck , it's still a whole lot rougher than an F150.

    The attractive thing about the Ford LCF is the way lower price than a f550, and the cab seems more subtantial than an Isuzu NQR. The concern is the engine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spud View Post
    Been decades since I rented the cab-over Isuzu NPR. I can use one of those floating seats that Semi trucks use. Rough ride doesn't bother me. My 2500HD silverado is my daily driver and while its ride will be softer than this truck , it's still a whole lot rougher than an F150.

    The attractive thing about the Ford LCF is the way lower price than a f550, and the cab seems more subtantial than an Isuzu NQR. The concern is the engine.
    Here's a paragraph from "roadmasterengineworld.com":

    "The design of the Ford/International 4.5L Power Stroke is based on the Ford 6.0L Power Stroke and International VT365 – the geometry of the engines are identical, except for the fact that the 4.5L has two less cylinders. Many key engine components are interchangeable between the 4.5L and 6.0L Power Stroke engines."


    Here's the link: Ford LCF 4.5l Remanufactured Engine remanufactured at Roadmaster.

    Just curious - if you own a Chevrolet truck, why ya look at a Ford? Chevy makes Low-Cab-Foward medium duty trucks, too. I mean, they're just rebranded Isuzu's, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    Doesn't matter the brand, they all have their issues, ups and downs, etc. The 6.0 was a pretty sucky engine and I wouldn't want one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spud View Post
    Been decades since I rented the cab-over Isuzu NPR. I can use one of those floating seats that Semi trucks use. Rough ride doesn't bother me. My 2500HD silverado is my daily driver and while its ride will be softer than this truck , it's still a whole lot rougher than an F150.

    The attractive thing about the Ford LCF is the way lower price than a f550, and the cab seems more subtantial than an Isuzu NQR. The concern is the engine.
    You don't have a clue, there is no comparison between any pick up and a cabover semi. When you ride directly over the front axle every bump goes right up your back. Ever wonder why you don't see cabovers any more? The second the over all length rules were relaxed cabovers were history. Those things shortened the carriers of millions of drivers and lined the pockets of hundreds of thousands of chiropractors.

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    Can't the US manufacture cabs and seats with decent suspension then? The rest of the world seems to manage it quite well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    You don't have a clue, there is no comparison between any pick up and a cabover semi. When you ride directly over the front axle every bump goes right up your back. Ever wonder why you don't see cabovers any more? The second the over all length rules were relaxed cabovers were history. Those things shortened the carriers of millions of drivers and lined the pockets of hundreds of thousands of chiropractors.
    Moonlight is right on!

    I had an Isuzu NPR with a 12' long x 8' wide flat bed on it. It rode okay with a 3k+ lbs on it. But less than that, it was like a James Bond ejection seat. I went over a railroad crossing empty once slightly faster than a crawl. Maybe 30 MPH. I swear the back wheels of the truck were feet off the ground. Insanely terrible handling. And would get stuck on a perfectly flat grass yard.

    My daily driver is a Chevy 3500 SRW. So a pretty stiff suspension. And it is infinitely more comfortable than the Isuzu was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    Ever drive a cabover semi tractor? A mini version for sure. It better have a GOOD air ride seat!!!!
    There's no room for an air ride seat, you basically are sitting on the front left fender.

    And always remember.."Your kneecaps arrive first"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb0thn View Post
    Moonlight is right on!

    I had an Isuzu NPR with a 12' long x 8' wide flat bed on it. It rode okay with a 3k+ lbs on it. But less than that, it was like a James Bond ejection seat. I went over a railroad crossing empty once slightly faster than a crawl. Maybe 30 MPH. I swear the back wheels of the truck were feet off the ground. Insanely terrible handling. And would get stuck on a perfectly flat grass yard.

    My daily driver is a Chevy 3500 SRW. So a pretty stiff suspension. And it is infinitely more comfortable than the Isuzu was.
    Same here, I knew when to cock my head to keep from hitting the headliner.....

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    The USA can make anything it wants. It just prefers not to. A cab-over that rides smooth? That would be nice but compared to having the hottest dance moves? No way. That's right - I said it. All you sons-a-bitches in foreign countries better stand down. Here in the USA we have the hottest dance moves, the best rhythm, and the finest nail care on Earth. Have you ever seen a China-man dance? Yo. Dawg. And the Chinese might be the finest nail care technicians on Earth but guess where they live? That's right - right here in every strip mall across the USA. Your factories and nuclear weapons won't do you much good when we go to battle on the club flo'.

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    If you know the 6.0 Powerstroke inside and out then the 4.5 LCF is a great deal if you buy one blown up for a around $1000 in good shape.

    If you don't know the 6.0 backwards and forwards and you take it to a shop who thinks they do you will spend dozens of thousands keeping it on the road and it will be very unreliable.

    The 4.5 is 2 less cylinders and further derated powerwise. It's 2/3 of the derated 6.0 used in city busses. They held up better than the pickup version because they make less power.

    The nice thing about the LCF is that if you know the 6.0 powerstroke well, all that knowledge applies to the LCF. The LCF even runs the 5R110W transmissions, same as the superduty, which are a tough and very cheap transmission.

    They are cheap for a reason. Don't buy one if you can't troubleshoot and repair it yourself. It will not end will if you can't.

    As an interesting side bar, The GM cabover lineup built by Isuzu has now dropped the Isuzu diesel option and the only diesel option is a 6.7 Cummins.

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    Very nice write up Garwood, thank you for tanking the time.

    I wonder if a Fummins conversion would work on the LCF ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Very nice write up Garwood, thank you for tanking the time.

    I wonder if a Fummins conversion would work on the LCF ?
    It would work well.

    A 5.9 could be a packaging problem though. I believe a modified 3.9 4BT Cummins would be a good substitute for the 4.5 V6

    Problem there is that you kinda have the same problem- You must have a strong working knowledge of the powertrain integration to utilize a complex retrofit like that effectively. If it's done poorly or left partially finished and put to work like so many conversions are, then you aren't any better off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    You don't have a clue, there is no comparison between any pick up and a cabover semi. When you ride directly over the front axle every bump goes right up your back. Ever wonder why you don't see cabovers any more? The second the over all length rules were relaxed cabovers were history. Those things shortened the carriers of millions of drivers and lined the pockets of hundreds of thousands of chiropractors.

    Does this apply to the newer (2000s and newer) cab-overs ?

    Mercedes, MAN, Scania, Volvo, Iveco and other top manufacturers build them and they are the norm in Japan, Europe and elsewhere. The Isuzu NQR / NPR are not uncommon here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    It would work well.

    A 5.9 could be a packaging problem though. I believe a modified 3.9 4BT Cummins would be a good substitute for the 4.5 V6

    Problem there is that you kinda have the same problem- You must have a strong working knowledge of the powertrain integration to utilize a complex retrofit like that effectively. If it's done poorly or left partially finished and put to work like so many conversions are, then you aren't any better off.

    I used to look into 4bt swaps for my land rover and am a member over at 4btswaps.com but been many years since I was on the forum. The big issue with the 4BT is the noise and vibration. Are 4 cylinder diesel inherently more prone to vibration issues than a 5, 6 or 8 cylinder ? Some step-vans have them, and they are quite annonying loud. Cummins did make common rail 4 cyclinders, called the ISBe 3.9L.

    A 6.6L duramax with the Allison would be a nice repower because it is a shorter (height) than the Cummins, but no idea how much a shop would charge to do the job. I love the duramax+allison in my chevy; it has been very reliable.


    If you don't know the 6.0 backwards and forwards and you take it to a shop who thinks they do you will spend dozens of thousands keeping it on the road and it will be very unreliable.

    The 4.5 is 2 less cylinders and further derated powerwise. It's 2/3 of the derated 6.0 used in city busses. They held up better than the pickup version because they make less power.

    The nice thing about the LCF is that if you know the 6.0 powerstroke well, all that knowledge applies to the LCF. The LCF even runs the 5R110W transmissions, same as the superduty, which are a tough and very cheap transmission.

    They are cheap for a reason. Don't buy one if you can't troubleshoot and repair it yourself. It will not end will if you can't.

    As an interesting side bar, The GM cabover lineup built by Isuzu has now dropped the Isuzu diesel option and the only diesel option is a 6.7 Cummins.

    Yeah my idea of getting an LCF is now DOA, after reading this thread and reading about the engine online. No doubt this is the reason the trucks are soo cheap , compared to the NPR/NQR and F550. I also can't recal the last time I saw one on the road.

    The only way an LCF would make sense for someone not familiar with the powerstroke diesels, is with a Cummins or Duramax repower?

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    Duramax is not shorter than a 5.9 Cummins. It's several inches taller because of vastly shittier packaging.

    Certain years of Duramax and certain years of Allison 1000 are pretty OK in the GM pickup they come in.

    Talk to someone who does maintenance on medium duty trucks and busses with the Duramax. See how much they like them.

    In medium duty applications the 6.6 Duramax likes to spit the front 1/4 of the crankshaft out of the engine every 100kish. Guess how much fun that is to fix in a city bus?

    Duramax is not a conversion friendly powerplant whatsoever. Cummins is modular. Designed to be adaptable. Duramax is designed to be installed in a GM pickup on the assembly line, never touched, and then shredded at 15 years old. They are a maintenance nightmare. wiring and plumbing routing is a disaster on a Duramax. For funsies sometime, remove a Duramax turbocharger. It's a 2 day pull the cab off job. On a Cummins it's an hour to R&R a turbo.

    4 cylinder diesels are inherently shaky. In a larger truck you don't notice it. I have had 4BT's in heavy 3/4 and 1 ton 4x4 work trucks and really liked them. They make a great full throttle all day run the fuck out of it work truck engine. I've installed 4BT's into small 4x4's and SUV's and they suck. Terrible god awful NVH.

    The elctronic ISB170 and other variants are no better. I think they're far worse overall compared to the mechanical engines. The VE 4BT is more efficient, smaller, lighter, much better packaging and makes significantly more power. ISB170 is gutless in stock form and there is zero support for ECM tuning. The tune severely limits low end fueling. They only make a little power in the mid-high range. Not good if you like Cummins grunt.

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