Ford has been all over the news recently, unveiling more innovative and game-changing products in the last two years than they did in the entire decade prior to that. An electric version of their best-selling F-150 pick-up truck has proven so popular that Ford has just announced they are doubling production for 2022. An electric Mustang/SUV combo that sounded like the world’s worst idea when we first heard about it, has sold like crazy and outpaced production. The oldest automaker in the country has also successfully revived brands like Bronco and Maverick, keeping the bits people liked and updating the rest.
As far as bragging rights among The Big Three, for the first time in years Ford is bigger and healthier than GM. While Ford seems to go from victory to victory these days, GM has lurched from crisis to crisis, misreading the buying public and debuting the sort of vehicles that fail to generate any real interest. Their own halfhearted stab at the electric car market with the Chevy Bolt did generate some interest, but for all the wrong reasons: the car had a tendency to burst into flames. Embarrassingly, GM was forced to recall every Bolt in the land and replace the battery packs –the most complicated, expensive, and time-consuming recall an electric car can have. The damage to GM’s bottom line is estimated to exceed two billion dollars –and still counting.
Vehicles aside, Ford has also released a new V-8 that was designed from the ground up to replace their aging V-10 Triton. Instantly adopted for widespread use in the RV market, anyone shopping for a new motorhome in the days ahead will almost certainly come across the new V-8 at some point. Dubbed -with a total lack of subtlety- The Godzilla, the new Ford V-8 is a 7.3L bruiser that achieves better MPG than the departed Triton –not surprising when you consider the Godzilla has only 8 cylinders versus the 10 in the Triton. What is surprising is that the new Godzilla engine churns out significantly more horsepower (430 HP) than the old V-10 (310 HP).
The press and the buying public were quick to heap accolades on the new V-8. Not only was it innovative, impressive, modern, and powerful, but it was also built by Ford, an old-school automaker that has V-8 knowledge hard-wired in to its very DNA.
So what’s the problem, you ask? Well, despite Ford’s long history with the V-8, the new Godzilla is a new engine, and new engines often don’t reveal their weaknesses until the buying public (and this includes RV owners) subject them to the sort of real-world service not encountered on the test track.
While the initial press has been overwhelmingly positive for the Godzilla engine, it’s worth noting that initial press is based on initial impression, as opposed to actual owner feedback –which takes a year or two of actual workhorse service to mean much. We’re at that point now and some of the owner feedback that’s starting to trickle in is a bit worrying.
We’re going to include some verbatim comments from a Ford Enthusiast website. If you’d prefer to read the comments direct from the source, we’ll include a link at the end of this article.
- I have a 2021 motorhome with the Ford 7.3 v8. It only has 2600 miles on it. About two weeks ago, it lost all power at highway speed and left me on the side of I 95 for 5 hours. Two dealers have attempted to fix it and I was just told the engine has no compression and it’s termed a “catastrophic failure” of the engine.
- Mine failed at 428 miles – didn’t seize, but CEL came on and lost all power. Apparently dropped a couple of lifters. Ford sent a complete engine assembly in 4 days. No tear-down. Basically had to beat any info out of the diesel tech. Apparently, these failures, and the reasons behind them, are kept on the down low.
- Well, at least mine made it to 76000 before complete failure. Left me stranded in West Texas with two tow bills; one to the closest dealer the other to my dealer 7 hours away. In the process of teardown now.
Never heard exactly what the cause, other than #2 cylinder lost compression. No leaks of any kind. New engine doing okay so far with 20,000 miles on it. My dealership is bending over backwards to make sure I am taken care of on any issues right now.
- I have heard a few stories from the motorhome crowd of 7.3L failures, but I have not believed them because they were always short on particulars.
- Have the new 7.3 V8 in my 2021 Newmar Bay Star motorhome. On 7/21/21 after having the RV for 60 days and 1,776 miles, the engine blew up while we were driving on the interstate. Really blew up……loud noise, smoke/oil spewing out, collected what appears to be piston parts from the oil that sprayed out, hole in the oil pan. Ford Roadside Assistance towed it to a dealership where it still sits.
- My month old 2022 RV with a 2021 ford chassis and Godzilla engine failed as well at 6800 miles. For those of you with this engine in your RV or truck, here is how you will know yours has this known defect;
You will start throwing a CEL for multiple cylinder misfires and Ford will misdiagnose it and send you on your way until it eventually throws a rod through the block.
Ok, we understand that all sounds extremely alarming. Keep in mind, this is a small handful of complaints from the thousands and thousands of RVs on the road right now with the new Godzilla. These may be isolated issues, outright lies planted by someone with an axe to grind with Ford, or the first sign of an emerging trend. It’s too early for us to speculate.
As always, we issue a word of caution for any first-generation engine. Secondly, we take unconfirmed comments with a grain of salt. The feedback we’ve received firsthand about the new Godzilla has been very encouraging.
We are supplying the above information for two reasons. 1.) It may be an indication of an emerging problem. 2.) If we were buying an RV, we’d want to read the above comments BEFORE we purchased, and not after.
For those who’d like to read the comments at the source, we’re including a link: https://www.ford-trucks.com/
As always, if anyone has anything at all to add to this, pro or con, please feel free to contact us directly at Info@RVReviews.net.
FYI: Our Travel Trailer Comparison Guide has been updated for 2022 and our Motorhome Comparison Guide will be updated in about one week.