ford auto trans pre torque shift are known to be a little weak (the ones behind the 7.3) but seem to hold up ok if you don’t beat on them (I really don’t know much about the E4OD and 4R100s). The early dodge autos are crap-I can’t remember off the top of my head when dodge got it right with an auto but it was late in the game. Allison autos are strong until you turn the engine up, you can’t adjust the line/clutch pressures electronically in a Allison like the torque shift so they do great stock but not so much with much over a +100HP program in it.
Here is what you have to watch for-programing. I can take a stock 2010 truck (any brand) and flash the ECM with a stupid hot program that will add 200 HP and almost 400 ftlb to it, hook it up to a trailer and precede to run my EGTs over 2000, melt the pistons, burn the turbo turbine and burn every clutch in the transmission in about 90 seconds. People think that their little $500 programmer is the greatest thing out there, and don’t build the rest of the truck to hold the power. If you are buying a used truck and it has one on there STAY AWAY! Only way I would buy it if I knew the guy was smart and not pushing the truck.
Sooo here is IMO what you are looking at:
Don’t buy a truck that has a programmer on it unless you know the guy…….
7.3-old, underpowered compared to the new stuff, but holds up well. Auto trans might need some work if it has had a hard life
6.0-lots of issues with the HPOP and HG, the rest of the truck is strong
6.4- some early ones had issues with overheating, but IIRC ford fixed it, they seem to be a strong truck. Has a DPF on it so it has bad fuel mileage.
Chevy-LB7s(01-04.5) had injectors issues, they last about 80-100K then its about 2K in parts and a full weekend to work on it, but very strong besides that.
LLY 04.5-05 are known to have weaker HG (but if you run stock power levels it’s not an issue). They also have an overheating issue due to the air intake-it is a simple and somewhat cheap fix.
LLY/LBZ 06-07.5. Same thing as the 04.5-05 just different programing and minor changes. This is where they went to the 6 speed (vs 5) Allison.
LMM-07.5-10 strong engines
LMLs-10-now. I don’t like them b/c the locked the ECM so we cant play with EFI live-bastards!
Dodge-I know the least about the dodges but here you go-
First and second gen 89-93/93-98 were 12V, and had weak auto trans. They went to a 24V in 98.5 and then a common rail in 03. In 07.5 they went to the new 6.7. I’m not sure when they went to a good trans, but next time I talk to my brother Ill ask him (he’s into the dodges)
Hope this helps
Pretty much dead on with the Dmax's. We run a fleet of about 25 DMAX 2500/3500's and a few box trucks. A mixture of the various years. The LB7s are by far the most problematic. But even the LB7s are getting in the 300k range mileage wise. About the only thing I would add is on the transition between the 5 and 6 speed allisons, we had some odd ball leak issues. Nothing serious but annoying as hell. If you look at anything from that vintage make sure there are no leaks. As for the new LMLs, all i will say is **** that urea BS. The power is good though and the exhaust brake is excellent.
Im not a big Chevy guy but I love these trucks with the LMM and up/Allison combo. I am on my second one. As for price, my 09 2wd WT EC came in for around 30k new.I did not get many options, thats a positive thing about daily driving a jeep for so long is that i really do not care about much of that. The standard seats are actually very comfortable IMO. The only extra I got in the cab was the nice stereo and cruise. Outside I had them line x the bed and add step bars. The DMAX option adds A LOT as far as functionality in and of itself (tow package, gov lock, dual batteries etc). I do not think 30k was bad at all. I have never needed 4wd on this truck. Shes on 139k miles now, only issue it ever had was a cracked exhaust manifold.
With the towing eco tune (80hp ish I think) its perfect for my use. I am going to do a DPF delete, but my goal here is to add fuel economy, not for more power. I swear the fuel gauge drops 1/8 tank (it has the small tank) every time it does a regen. Also knocks about 15% off the oil life if the regen hits during stop and go traffic, i.e. not on the highway. But I digress,................I am not going to lie and say I do not like the power
, but even the tuner is for fuel economy believe it or not. The truck had more than enough power for my needs right off the lot.