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Old 11-20-2006, 06:31 PM
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diesel trucks

This isn't exactly hotrodding, but it's an engine question. I looking for an older truck for two reasons: pulling a trailer and very light off roading. I'm buying a piece of property up in Grass Valley (Northern Ca)with some acres, and the wife & I are retiring this June. I want to buy a 4 wheel drive crew cab truck for the move up there (pulling a trailer with room for 4 from So. ca.) and to help build a garage/clear out brush/hauling junk/maybe winching and pulling some trees ETC. What I'd like to know is: are the Dodge/Chevy/Ford diesels worth it? Are there certain motors/models that I should avoid? Or should I just stick to what I know: a big block gas motor? I don't care about gas mileage- I've even looked at those v-10 jobs! Is a diesel a good fit for what I need? I know nothing about them. Sorry for the long drawn out novel. Opinions any one?

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Old 11-20-2006, 06:36 PM
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For that kind of work, diesel is what you are looking for. Avoid the 6.2 and 6.5 GM diesels.
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:38 PM
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diesels

man that was fast! Are those diesels less reliable? What about that Cummings Dodge motor? Are some years better than others? Are they mostly turbocharged or does this matter? What about Ford?
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:30 PM
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The dodge cummins is debatably the best engine. Great torque, bulletproof reliability, and overall great mileage and torque. If I were picking a dodge, I would go with the pre-1998.5 models. The later ones are common rail electronic injection. By no means a reliability issue, but the older mechanical injection is just that much less to worry about. Don't go too far back though that you get into the less-desirable injection pumps.

I'm not a big fan of either the 6.5/6.2. They seem to blow an injector pump every 60k. Usually the first one GM will cover under warranty but the rest are your responsibility and they aren't cheap or easy. Older 6.2s had a better injection pump, but they are an outdated design that is just outclassed by the newer better diesels.

The Duramax is a wonderful tow engine, but the reliability of the Allison auto is a little sketchy. Its easy to fix with aftermarket goodies but expensive.

I love the 7.3 powerstroke, but the 6.0 stroke isn't that great. There are two basic families of 7.3, the early 94-97 and the later 99-02+. The later is intercooled, the older ones are not.

I have towed with a 2004 Cummins, a 94 Cummins, an 04 Duramax, a 98 6.5, and a 1995 ford 7.3 stroke. If I were to buy a diesel today, it would be a 7.3 powerstroke hands down. I would do a Cummins, but I don't like anything about the Dodge trucks. Its just personal preference. Its a shame because I love the Cummins. I much prefer the Ford Trucks and the 7.3 is a great powerhouse that responds well to aftermarket goodies.

Assure yourself of one thing... all of the automatics (with the exception of the older 4L80E found behind 6.5s and duramax vans) are sketchy. Dodge had terrible trouble in the 90s. Some of their 4R7E trannys failed as early as 35,000 miles NOT towing anything. The Allison is a great tranny that GM softened up way too much, and the E4OD that Ford used with the 7.3s isn't really up to the task either... although mine worked fine right up to 110,000 miles, most of which was towing 10,000 when we full-timed in our RV.

I do a lot of heavy towing, and I would buy a used Ford for myself. Just personal preference. There is a new 6.4 Powerstroke and a new 6.7 Cummins coming out soon. If you're considering a new truck, you might want to wait and see what they have to offer.

If you're like me, once you go diesel you'll never go back. Great mileage, incredibly long life, monster torque, cheap fuel.
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:30 PM
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Agreed.....stay clear of the GM's.

The new Ford diesel is ok, but i'm getting close to buying a "newer" Dodge Turbo diesel club cab. TONS of power, engines last upwards of 300,000 miles and get 24+ mpg on the road! Best of everything. The older dodges are very noisey but the newer are MUCH quiter. I think the quite ones came out in '02?

Mark
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:23 PM
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Another vote here for a 5.9L Cummins engine. I own a 1994 5-speed 12-valve Dodge 2500 truck which I won't sell :-) The 2nd generation trucks are reliable and simple to work on. Squeezing the power out of these engines is a very straight forward process. Check out a great web site on these diesels:
http://www.turbodieselregister.com

The automatic stock transmissions on 2nd gens were junk. You can have one rebuilt once and for all by one of the recommended shops and forget about the slippage and burnt clutches (Goerend Bros shop comes to mind).

Regards,
Den
'67 Camaro RS
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:33 PM
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to diesel or not to diesel

Thanks a lot Curtis 73, Jmark, Bob C, & darom. I have learned so much on this board-because there are some really good people who generously share their knowledge. Thanks
I guess the 7.3 powerstroke or a Cummins turbo. I hate that diesel noise, but I guess it's the way to go. Nobody likes a 454 or a 460 gas motor for this kind of stuff?
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:22 AM
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How much are you looking to spend on a truck? Honestly, any of the new diesel pickups from the Big Three will tow very well. GM has the unforunate baggage of the 6.2 and 6.5Ls they seem to get stuck with though not all were bad engines. I've known a couple people that have well over 150,000 miles on their 6.5s with few problems, I guess they tended to be hit or miss. However, the Duramax is a very good engine and is well worth considering right up there with the Powerstroke and Cummins, it's a lot quieter too. Any more, it really starts coming down to brand preference. If you're willing to fork over money both GM and Dodge offer diesels with well over 600lb-ft of torque. Rumor has it that Ford is working on a 6.4L dual turbo (not the same thing as twin turbo) that should be rated at comparable power levels to that of the GM and Cummins engines. (somewhere in the 350 hp and 650 lb-ft range)
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:24 AM
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150,000 miles is just broken in.

You'd expect 500,000.

I know if several Fords with better than that and a few with 750,000.
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:55 AM
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I've been pricing the Dodges lately and can find a '02 with about 75,000 miles, 3/4 ton, club cab or crew cab, long bed and 4x4 for right around $20,000.00 Not bad considering a brand new one will set you back 35+++.

The newer Dodges are very quiet compared to what they were 5 years ago. Fords are very quite too. So are the Chevies. Ok, they are all quite now! LOL

My son told me not long ago that the new Ford 6.4 will set a "permanent" fault code if you change out the chip. The code is not erasable and if found, will void the warrantee on the vehicle, no questions asked. Something else to consider if you like to "tweek" things!

Mark
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69er
I hate that diesel noise, but I guess it's the way to go. Nobody likes a 454 or a 460 gas motor for this kind of stuff?
Trust me, sitting inside with the A/C on you can't hear its diesel. But when you floor it and it sucks you back in the seat you'll grin from ear to ear and forget all about your diesel worries.

Think of it this way. If you don't like it you're only a few relatively inexpensive bolt-ons away from 1000 lb-ft of torque. Not kidding. Diesels respond incredibly well to upgrades.

Here is a link to a 5.9 12v cummins in a dodge pickup that makes 2131 lb-ft at the rear wheels and 1055 hp. Have fun and enjoy your new fleet of all-diesel vehicles

http://www.dieselperformancemotorspo...&g2_itemId=368

As far as 454 or 460 goes, here's why I don't like them for towing. first, diesels are much more thermally stable. With your foot to the floor towing 15,000 lbs up a mountain to 8000 ft the diesel is the clear winner. With the diesel you'll top the mountain at 70 mph. With the gas, you'll top the hill with screaming hot oil, pistons, coolant, maybe boiling over, and you will have used three times the fuel getting there while only topping the hill at 50. I consistently got 12 mpg towing with my powerstroke, 13 with the Duramax, 17 with the Cummins, (which I hear is higher than normal) and exactly 7 mpg with my 350 EFI gas engine.

Gas can't hold a candle to diesel in torque production. If you ever wonder why diesel-lovers keep buying diesels, find a wasted 5.9 and a wasted 454 at a junkyard and pull them apart. The internals are beyond beefy in the diesel. That's why they last for 400,000 miles and hold their resale value so well.

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Old 11-21-2006, 12:09 PM
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The Duramax/Allison combo, just a great all around vehicle, strength, towing, servicing.

Cummins, nothing says wow like an 05 5.9L making just shy of 1000 ft lbs. Mine does it, of course not stock.

I work for Ford, and we call the 6.0L the PowerJoke and 6.Oh crap here comes in another.

The new 6.7 twin turbo Cummins is actually out in few numbers, I heard it is very nice.

The new 6.4 PowerStroke, not hearing too good of things so far, and that is coming from a couple of Ford reps that I know. Will wait and see.
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:33 PM
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I have a 99 Dodge Turbo Diesel with 5 spd and 4.10 rear end I get 19-20 mpg all the time on the road and 17-18 in heavy city trafic. the 5spd is a bit of a pain in heavy city trafic but towing..... pick your gear and speed and go. I have 165k miles and virtually no trouble. I plan on driving this one untill either me or it dies. With Dodges if you don't put fuel pressure, boost and ex gas temp you will be asking for trouble. Ex gas for heavy towing, boost for mileage, and fuel press for watch dog on the lift pump. Lift pump goes out and you don't see the press drop well....you will see the 1100 to 1800 dollar drop in wallet size. when the injector pump goes. This is for the 98.5 to 02 24 valve only.
For you up in the mountains 4 w drive is a must. A 4wd (6wd) dually is unstopable. any year
Automatics...well a well done one from the aftermarket houses will last forever. It may take forever to pay for it. haha. But this is true for all 3 make of diesels. Once they are redone they are very good. My buddy has and 04 Dodge automatic and a huge 34 foot camper fully loaded. He has no trouble hauling the thing (12k pluss for the trailer alone) anywhere. He gets 13 towing all the time. He also takes care of his stuff fanatically.

Here is a nutshell for Dodge with Cummins.
98.5 and earlier 12 valve. mechanical injector. simple easy to maintain, bullit proof, good gas mileage, easy and cheap to up the hp and torque body..well they are getting old so finding a good one is getting tough. 98 is the best and most espensive.
98.5 up to 02 24 valve. much improved body comstruction. with out a doubt the loudest diesel on the planet. Great gas (oil) mileage, good power and very very easy to up the power. Must have gages and you must pay attention to the fuel pressure. Not a bad idea to have a spare lift pump on hand ($140) and about 4 tools to change it. Takes 20 minutes after you have done one. The VP-44 is much mal lined but it is a good electronic pump used all over the Cummins line. Fed EX and Brown truck It just must have fuel for lubrication. Otherwise the trucks are great. Not bad prices. lacking in rear seat room however.
03 to 05 common rail injection. Great trucks. not much to fault. The common rail is quite reliable and fool proof. You have to change fuel filter occasionally. Automatics are very much improved. Most last very well if you treat them right. High priced trucks. East to up the power with electronics only.
06 up, can't say much as I don't have one but I have driven them. Mega Cab is unmatched for room. You can haul 6 people all day and night in one of these . These truck will pull anything pullable. Front seats...well dodge has dirt on their faces on this one. Electronically modified hp is so easy it is rediculous. For a grand you can get 200+ hp 400 + ft lbs. Show me a gas burner you can do this with. Trucks will probably go 500k easly. At 20 K a year that's a third of a lifetime. haha

Take your pick
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:20 PM
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Mr diesel

What year did the Duramax/Allison come out? In spite of everyone's preferences, it sounds like the 6.2/6.5 gm and the 6.0 Ford diesels are the ones to stay away from? One thing I didn't really make clear was that after a few runs (moving) the truck to be is going to be just used around town and dirtin' around my place. I'm going to have some pros move the big stuff, because I'm just a stove up old man, and I'll be movin the smaller easier stuff ( I'll probably just rent a trailer.) All this is not written in stone of course. I have been pricing trailers (enclosed and car moving types) but when I told my wife I thought I could haul our two Corvettes up North she totally freaked out. So........

Not to beat a dead gas-horse, what about those V-10s ? One of the reasons I keep comong back to gas-esp big block chevy- is because I've got some parts and I know more about them...I could swap out a big block in an older truck and save some money.

If I do go diesel, it definitely will be used, as the new ones are too expensive for this old boy. They really hold their resale value and that's a good indicator of just how good they are. I'm what you call property poor (all my money is tied up in cars and houses.

The earlier 90s Dodges (12v) are better than the next generation (24v)or no?
Sorry for all the stupid questions- you people are most kind.

69er

Last edited by 69er; 11-21-2006 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:37 PM
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As I noted above the 2nd generation 12 valve Cummins are aging and they are hard to fine a really clean one or one that hasn't been Bombed (modified) to death. They are very good in that you can fix and maintain them yourself pretty easily. they don't have a lot of power but definitely will get the job done. They can be easily modified and make big power then. 2nd generation 24 valve Cummins are more complicated and require a bit more knowledge but go to the forms DTR, TDR are the most popular and any question you can ask will be answered quickly. There are about 50k members now and all are enthusiasts. These trucks are electronicall controlled and it is as easy as plugging something in and walla 100 more hp and 250 ft lbs more torque. They are not the cheapest trucks around but they are good. I use mine for a daily driver a 5 spd dually no less. I was called a heathen and a rapist of the enviornment yesterday. by some jerk in regards to my truck. haha

v-10s well I wouldn't if I were you but to each their own.

the early 90's are the 1st generation Dodge with Cummins diesel. These are really aging and a good one is rare. Not bad trucks but old school, and lack power. They are still 12 valve and respond the same as the 2nd gen 12 valve to mods. relatively cheap but they will require some care.
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