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need to buy a diesel truck


randy

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After much research I have narrowed down my search

 

2000 - 2002 dodge Quad cab 6 cyclinder 2500 4X2

 

or

 

2000 - 2002 F250 7.3 crew cab diesel 4X2

 

Basically these run about the same $7,000 - $9,000 and will have about 250,000 mile on them.

 

So is one engine considered better than the other. I must admit I have never owned a diesel vehicle, but for some reason I have always felt the Dodge cummings was the top tier diesel engine for work trucks. But I do not have any data to support that. And a few years ago I discussed this with anothere board member, who was very experienced in this area, and he stated the 7.3 ford diesel was excellent.

 

so any comments would be helpful. I am looking at one tonight and a couple more this weekend. I hope to have one in my driveway come next weekend.

 

I do plan on running these on home made bio diesel (not WVO but actual bio-diesel). So if that is a consideration then please let me know.

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The Cummins engine is absolutely the better motor, and it's much more efficient. I get 21 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with my Ram 2500 4x2, which is pushing 200,000 miles with zero issues related to the motor.

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Don't have any first hand experience ...however, I do have an ex-boss that was trying to buy "his last truck" as he put it. He was strictly a Chevy guy, tried and true. But he started doing his research on the diesels. He ended up buying a Dodge. He told me, after doing his research, that the Dodge had the best engine and the best transmission.

 

Just relaying what he told me .. hopefully it will help.

 

 

DB

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skinny_tom (aka boney)

Randy, I have a Dodge 1998.5 2500 4x4 quad cab. Here are some of my learnings:

 

The 47RE transmission (automatic) was tuned for "towing" and has a sloppy stock torque converter. I don't know what the 2000+ models have but mine looses a considerable amount of efficiency under acceleration due to the high stall speed of the T.C. It's great when the T.C. locks up in 3rd or 4th gear, but getting there.... There are aftermarket parts to improve this but they are expensive.

 

I have no knowledge of the newer manual transmissions. You will get better milage with a manual for sure.

 

The Cummins engine is de-tuned considerably for the Dodge application. No matter how hard you work it, it'll never be working as hard as for what it was designed.

 

The VP44 high pressure fuel pump is a common "wear" item, and they're expensive. The best way I've heard to ensure longevity is to make sure your "lift pump" in the tank provides enough pressure and volume.

 

 

On biodiesel:

 

Are you making it already? Around here the hardest part of making it is securing a regular supply of oil. It's a hot commoditiy and the waste companies are starting to pay for it, leaving the home market with few options.

 

I don't make it, but some of my friends do. I bought a barrel with a group of guys that buy bulk for discount from a brewer in the area. The fuel we got recently was the cleanest stuff I'd ever seen. No sediment, no scum, nothing. I'd previously not run any biofuel in the truck, and since my truck sits for weeks sometimes, I wasn't willing to put something in that might settle (a lot of biodiesel does.) I ran it at about 60% hoping to keep the bio fuel "mixed" in the dino so it wouldn't settle. Performance wise might as well have been running 100% dino. Same power and milage. I changed the fuel filer after the first 50 gallons to make sure I'd picked up anything that the biofuel knocked loose. The only thing different, that may or may not be an issue for you, is that the fuel guage ran low and the light came on sooner when I had bio in there. As soon as I went back to 100% dino it was "correct" again. Maybe it doesn't float the float as well?

 

I took a sample and put it in the fridge. It did not freeze. The sample I put in the freezer did. It turned to what looked like bacon grease, and returned to oil when I took it out and it warmed up. Conventional anti-gel products do not work with biodiesel.

 

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The Dodge has the best powerplant by far. Not so sure of everything else past the powerplant, (ie trans and just overall truck). I own a 1996 Dodge 2500 4x4 with 156k miles on it- I just dont drive it much due to cost of fuel....

Runs well, any issues I have had with the truck have not been engine related, but suggest you buy the manual transmission if you go with Dodge...Also, the 94-97 Cummins engines were mechanical, not computer controlled if that makes any difference to you- albeit less power, they have less computer related engine failures.

Chevy has the Allison auto transmission, which is the best thing out there, but ..... (see above posted pictures of rods)..

Ford- Hey, some people like em.....

I can say this- I wouldn't trade mine for one of the new ones- even though the newer ones have a lot more HP and torque, mine has plenty to get the job done....I have 3 different trailers that I tow with it, from a Travel Trailer to MC trailer, to pontoon boat.... Never have any issues with lack of power.

I have always liked this truck and plan to run the wheels off of it.

At this rate, it may last longer than I do.....

 

 

BTW...Boney is correct about the de-tuning....The engine in my truck was originally designed as a stationary pump engine with a average HP output of 300HP....Dodge dials it in at 185-215 depending on state of registration and Transmission option (the auto got the 185 rating- Dodge didnt want to break it.... :) )

 

You can get a lot of information from the Turbo Diesel Register which is a magazine dedicated to the Dodge trucks...

They have a website- TDR website

 

Hope this helps...

 

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w/o gettting technical...2001 dodge diesel, extended cab, 4x4 has hauled our 3 horse gooseneck for 5 years. most of the time it had 2-3 horses and all the related tack. since then we're down to 1 horse and a smaller trailer, but also have a 22ft "bumper-pull" toyhauler.

 

bought it new and have never had any problems save for a/c issues. currently showing 45k miles, 95% hauling the aforementioned. pulls like an ox. mileage around 9-11 when towing and if i keep the rpms at 2k on the hwy when "nekid" it will get approx 19mpg. We've used the 4x4 numerous times as many rodeo/arena grounds are dirt and dirt turns to mud. never been stuck.

 

it's a keeper. see no reason to get rid of it.

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Rod_Difference.jpg

Deceptive photo as the Cummins is 6 cylinder and the Powerstroke is 8 cyl. Each Cummins cylinder must carry a higher individual load than the Powerstroke.

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some answers

 

if I put 2,000 miles on the truck a year that would be a lot. I may have a few more miles in the upcoming years, as I hope to do track days, but overall it will probably get driven two weekends a month

 

yes already making bio diesel. and yes supply's in Atlanta are going away, but I suspect mine will remain or I will have to pay the same price as a commercial venture will pay, but I am ok with that.

 

yes clean bio-diesel is the key. Like mentioned before I will not drive it a lot, and will run diesel for any short errand trips. But fill it up with the bio-diesel for the long extended trips. but if I need to use it during the week unexpectedly I will just drop a few gallons of regular diesel in it.

 

Shoot my total tow capacity right now might be 5,000 lbs max

 

thanks for all the answers. If I can find a Dodge I like then I will pull the trigger. I am not a chevy, vrs ford , vrs dodge person. I am just interested in a good vehicle, but so far for the price and mileage I have been looking at the F250 and dodge 2500 have been more common than a GMC or Chevy.

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Definately the Dodge automatic transmissions are problematic. I have the five speed manual, and I'm still on the original clutch, approaching 200K miles.

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ok, the only thing coming up based upon the comments noted above, I have not seen even 1 example of a 2000 - 2002 dodge truck with a manual transmission. I see lots of manual transmission prior to 2000. But I have not really looked specifically for a manual. so let me do some research on that. A manual transmission would not bother me, so i will check into that.

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Definately the Dodge automatic transmissions are problematic.

The earlier ones, yes. The latest 48RE model seems to be holding up well but of course you won't find that in an older truck. Unless you need an auto I'd go with the manual if you can find one.

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I have an 04 GMC. The Allison transmission and Eaton rear end can't be beat. The Cummins motor may be better but the GMC is good enough and the drive train is what sold me. 3 of us went to the mountains with all 3 brands pulling 3 big trailers. My other 2 friends were very impressed saying the Allison transmission was always in the right gear. There are many diesel truck forums where you can read all the positives and negatives about all 3.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)

Rod_Difference.jpg

Deceptive photo as the Cummins is 6 cylinder and the Powerstroke is 8 cyl. Each Cummins cylinder must carry a higher individual load than the Powerstroke.

 

I knew that photo and this argument would show up.

 

If a V8 and I6 made the same torque/power, then each cylinder in the I6 would carry 33% more load than the V8. I'm no metallurgist or engine builder but from the looks of it, that con-rod for the Cummins appears to be designed for a whole lot more than just 33% additional load.

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Another Dodge fan here. I have a 2002 regular cab long bed, 5 speed manual, 90,000 miles plus, which I use to tow a farm trailer and my Airstream travel trailer. MPG on the highway is 22+, and loaded with 12000 pounds is 13 or a little more. With the Airstream it's around 15. Absolutely no problems at all, and I still have the original batteries!!! Mine is the 250 horse engine, which is the smallest version. Plenty of power, and it's not stressed a lot. I think the higher horsepower engine has an extra main bearing. I do wish I had the 6 speed, but a Gear Vendors aux. tranny will be installed when I retire and start to do some extended towing. All in all, great truck and I hope to have it a long time.

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Rod_Difference.jpg

Deceptive photo as the Cummins is 6 cylinder and the Powerstroke is 8 cyl. Each Cummins cylinder must carry a higher individual load than the Powerstroke.

 

I knew that photo and this argument would show up.

 

If a V8 and I6 made the same torque/power, then each cylinder in the I6 would carry 33% more load than the V8. I'm no metallurgist or engine builder but from the looks of it, that con-rod for the Cummins appears to be designed for a whole lot more than just 33% additional load.

 

I'm not an auto engineer, but I do design castings for a living.

 

Just dividing 8 by 6 is not going to answer this question. Here are some questions to ask instead:

 

What is the tensile and yield strength of the material being used in each rod?

 

Was the Cummins rod designed using Finite Element Analysis? I doubt it. This is an older design, right?

 

Are any of these rods forged?

 

What is the reciprocating mass of each assembly, and what loads are presented, and in which directions?

 

Are Ford and Chevy motors breaking con-rods?

 

The Cummins motor obviously was designed with a MUCH larger stroke. This increases the load on the con-rod significantly. The longer stroke may necessitate a stronger rod. Does this mean that the Cummins motor is "better"?

 

I'm sure Dodge makes a fine diesel truck, maybe the best in the world, I don't have a clue. I own a diesel heavy flatbed, but it's a GMC with a Cat motor in it. I know nothing about Cummins diesel motors. But I'm qualified to say this.....just because a casting is bigger, doesn't make it better for the application.

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I appreciate all the information. This is my first attempt at this so I kept it simple. I purchased locally. If this goes well then maybe next year i will upgrade to a manual transmission, I agree that would have been nice. however for the next year I can not see me towing more than 3 tons total, so for now I have an automatic

 

anyway this is what I purchased

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Dodge-Ram-2500-SLT-LARAMIE-2001-Dodge-RAM-2500-Cummins-Diesel-SUPER-NICE-LOADED_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZ72Q3a1205Q7c39Q3a1Q7c66Q3a2Q7c65Q3a12Q7c240Q3a1318QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem260306427976QQitemZ260306427976

 

It is simple, clean and appears to be well maintained. I pick it up Sunday.

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well I picked up the vehicle today, it seems as clean and nice as it was posted. So were is the "BMWST" forum for dodge diesel vehcicls?

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well I picked up the vehicle today, it seems as clean and nice as it was posted. So were is the "BMWST" forum for dodge diesel vehcicls?

 

 

Here.

 

Although not nearly as community oriented, really good for technical info and solutions to dealer "huh?" moments...

 

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skinny_tom (aka boney)
well I picked up the vehicle today, it seems as clean and nice as it was posted. So were is the "BMWST" forum for dodge diesel vehcicls?

 

 

Here.

 

Although not nearly as community oriented, really good for technical info and solutions to dealer "huh?" moments...

 

I have nothing but respect for the Turbo Diesel Register and it's technical content etc. BUT, the fact that I can't access threads over 1 week old without a subscription to the paper, in-the-mail, quarterly magazine is lame. I've asked about web only subscriptions and the reply was "maybe someday." BTW, I'm very aware of the content of the magazine, I have many years of back issues that came with my truck.

 

In the mean time, you can go here and search through the archives and gather information as well:

http://www.dieseltruckresource.com/dev/index.php

 

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ok, one question, I am not use to the glow plug "wait" light. three times now, I have gotten into the truck and started it right up. I have now taped a "reminder" on the steering wheel. so I hope I have not done any damage?

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ok, one question, I am not use to the glow plug "wait" light. three times now, I have gotten into the truck and started it right up. I have now taped a "reminder" on the steering wheel. so I hope I have not done any damage?

 

The glow-plugs just pre-heat the combustion chamber, or more usually an ignition chamber (a seperate small chamber off the main chamber) to ease cold starting. If you crank the motor and it does not start, cycle the 'ignition' and wait for the light to extinguish.

 

On some older marine diesels, the engine had thin-wall bulbs on the head which were manually heated with a blow-torch.

 

Newer design diesels, as seen in Europe, do not have pre-heaters as the high-pressure common rail engines do not need them. They also run clenaer and much quieter, which has lead to an old problem becomming more common - fueling with petrol.

 

Should you do this and realise before you start the engine, then do not start it. If the quantity is small -say a gallon in a 50 gallon tank - then just fill with diesel and carry on. Otherwise, drain the tank and refil with diesel. Less of an issue with the old mechanical diesel injection systems, the petrol can seriously damage modern high-pressure systems. On older engines it just increases diesel knock to the extent that it can damage the engine in rare cases.

 

Andy

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The Cummins engine does not use glow plugs (nor do most direct injection diesels.) The heater that cycles on startup and warm up is an intake air heater.

 

The only ill effect of not using it is increased emissions, and hard starting in really cold weather.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)
The Cummins engine does not use glow plugs (nor do most direct injection diesels.) The heater that cycles on startup and warm up is an intake air heater.

 

The only ill effect of not using it is increased emissions, and hard starting in really cold weather.

 

Yes. AND they cycle on and off for the first few minutes of driving, so if you notice your lights, ventilation fan, and volt meter showing signs of a heavy electrical load occilating a few times a minute, it's normal. They don't fire if the battery temperature sensor and the intake air temperature sensor are within 10 degrees of each other and the temp is measured at more than 60 degrees. (Can you tell I was trouble shooting them recently? BTW, there's two of 'em, and they work together.)

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grizzly660fan

check your user manual, I have a 2003 cummins and my manual says you don't need to "wait to start" if the ambient air temperature is above 50f. If lower then it recommends using the wait to start cycle.

 

you won't hurt it if you don't wait if the temp is low either. as others mention it may be harder to start but it should start.

 

 

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so far so good. Since Monday I have only forgotten the "wait" period once. I think I have the hang of it now.

 

 

so far I really like the vehicle. It is very truck like in it's ride, it is a 2001 quad cab, witht the 8' bed. The long wheel base is noticed. If I upgrade, I think I would like a crew cab, with the 6_6 bed. Does the 2003 crew cab come with a 5' bed or 6_6 bed?

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grizzly660fan

I have the 2003 "quad" cab, dodge changed the truck but kept the name when they went to four doors that all open the same direction. we really like the truck. ours is the shortbed model, but I honestly don't know the bed length. It is either six foot or six and a half foot.

 

 

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Does the 2003 crew cab come with a 5' bed or 6_6 bed?

The 2003 (and all model year) Dodge Quadcab comes with either a 6.25 or 8-foot bed. It should be noted that the Quadcab has a rear seat but is a little shorter than the traditional 'Crew Cab' configuration from GM or Ford, a compromise made to allow seating for six and still retain a reasonable wheelbase with an 8-foot bed. In recent years Dodge has offered the Megacab which is a true full-sized (and then some) crew cab, but I don't believe that is available with an 8-foot bed.

 

I have a 2003 Quadcab with an 8-foot bed and it is quite manageable although I don't think I'd want to go any longer. The weight and longish wheelbase sure makes for a great tow vehicle though.

 

 

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grizzly660fan

rumor is that Dodge will offer a mega cab longbed option in 2010. I have seen "spy" photo's and that is one long truck! way to long for me.

 

I opted for the quad cab short bed in 2003 as it would fit in my standard size garage while the chevy and ford version (with slightly bigger cab, more back seat legroom) do not fit in my garage.

 

I have not regretted the decision. I tow heavy and tow often and this dodge does the job very nicely every time.

 

 

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so just to make sure I am clear

in 2003 and later the quad cab dodge is what ford calls a crew cab, i.e. 4 doors that all open independently, but with quad cab sizing i.e. not full size doors.

 

Mega cab is the dodge equivanlant of the ford crew cab with 4 full size rear doors?

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Yes, all four doors operate independently and they are all pretty much full-size doors. The Quadcab rear seat area isn't all that much less than the others, just about a foot or so.

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thanks for the link. My 2001 looks like the 2002. I am guessing there was no design change. I have the 2001 quad cab, long bed, plain jane white.

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I bought an 05 Ram 3500 last year at a very good price. It was virtually new, and not a scratch. I am very impressed with the fuel mileage,power, and all the bells and whistles, after driving a Ford Ranger for 18 years.

Just one question, should I use a fuel additive. Some people say it's necessary others, including the dealer and the manufacturer say it's not.

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I was told by a couple of mechanics that I should add a quart of automatic transmission fluid to a full tank in order to keep the fuel injection pump properly lubricated. I did it a few times when I first got it but stopped doing that a long time ago.

 

A few years ago the truck sprung a fuel leak near the injector pump. When I took it in for service, I asked them if the injector pump was going out. Their quote was "These injection pumps don't ever go out." Ended up being bad fuel line material fixed under warranty recall.

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There is an endless stream of homespun advice out there how to make your diesel engine last longer. God help the engine of anyone who tries them all.

 

 

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grizzly660fan

they will last plenty long if you just follow the manuf recommended services.

 

I know a company that uses my version of the truck as service vehicles, they idle all day long and are used pretty hard. they get 300k miles before a top end rebuild. they also have some in use not as service trucks but used more like I as a consumer use mine and those go 500k miles before that same top end is necessary.

 

 

 

 

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thanks and yes I really like the 2001 so far. if all goes well, I would like to get a 2003 quad cab 8' bed model next year. As little as I will use it, I can not justify a lot of investment, but the 2003 style quad cab would be nice.

 

I am still looking at campers, truck slide in vrs pop up style. At first I only considered the pop up type, but many posts by knowledgeable / experienced users has caused me to consider a truck slide in type. I am in that process right now.

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