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Unread 05-02-2010, 08:42 AM   #16
robncar
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I absolutely loved my 2000 Chevy Duramax diesel crew cab 4x4 with Allison transmission. 20MPG around town! I used to tow a '55 Chevy with it and it was like it wasn't even there. Easy 70 MPH towing uphill with the AC on.

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Unread 05-02-2010, 08:52 AM   #17
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Ignore the 6.0 engine at all costs.
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Originally Posted by jeepfreak4life7 View Post
This. My mom has a 2005 with the 6.0 and it's a piece of crap. The rest of the truck is nice (King Ranch) but the motor has nothing but problems.

I would have to agree with the above statements, my brother has an 07 F350 ps6.0, that in 18 months has been in various Ford repair facilities for a total of 126 days(it is in the shop now, and has been for a week, so the count is going up). It has blown out the EGR cooler 5 different times, 7 defective injectors (Ford will only replace the one that is causing the problem right now, not the whole set!!), they reflashed the PCM under a TSB and the mileage went from 20 mpg to 14 unloaded, and from 16mpg to 9 loaded, among other problems with it. He uses this thing for work, and has had to buy a second truck due to this truck's chronic inability to stay running.

I however sorely miss my 97 F350 Crew Cab with the 7.3 PowerStroke and automatic trans, I wish I hadn't sold it!!
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Unread 05-02-2010, 08:54 AM   #18
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I wish i got a diesel, but i picked up a '97 c3500 4 door dually, 454, with a big as camper on it for $14K (only 38K miles) This was about 7 years ago now. I'm not setup for flat towing because with all the camper weight i need tow brakes for sure. Once i buy the $1000+ brake system i'll weld up some brackets.
If i did it again i'd have a turbo diesel, and 4wd (actually 6wd with the dually!), but those trucks cost $$$$ even used. I get about 10 mpg on the freeway, 8mpg city, with the camper on it.
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Unread 05-02-2010, 09:02 AM   #19
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I can comment on this pretty well as a long time diesel truck enthusiast. I currently own a 2001 dodge ram 2500 4x4, 5.9 Cummins, auto trans.

Here is what I would give as my opinion. Cummins is the best diesel engine of the "Big 3" trucks hands down. Nothing beats them for power, durability, ease of maintenance, operation cost, fuel mileage, etc. Not that the Duramax or Powerstroke(including the later 6.0s--stay away from the 04-05 ones though) are bad engines. Cummins is just better. However, Dodge does have issues to be aware of. If you are not worried about the year of the truck, a "2nd gen" RAM from 94 - early 1998 with the 12 valve engine is about bullet proof. The dodge auto trans until 2008 model year is not good in factory form, though. I have rebuilt mine with full billet parts and it is now awesome, but that was a $4000 undertaking a few years ago. It will last for another 150K miles towing heavy now, though. Be aware of this. The 1998.5 model year Dodge switched to the 24 valve engine, which had some problems until late 1999 with weak block castings. These early 24 valve engines are called "53 blocks" due to the number on their casting and are not good. Some last a long time, some crack in the outer passenger side web and leak coolant. PITA to fix with a metal stitch kit. Also, 2001.5(my truck build time) went to 4 wheel disc brakes which makes stopping with a load a lot better than before. If you go dodge, I would go with a 2003 - 2007 model, quad cab, and, if you are willing to shift gears, the 6 speed manual. GREAT towing truck. All this being said, here are my takes on the other options for diesel tow. GM has the best auto trans hands down in the Allison. However, not all duramaxes had this trans until the 2006 model year timeframe. Be aware of that as some sellers falsely advertise and/or do not know. If it has 5 speeds, it is an early Allison(great trans), if it has 6 speeds, it is a later one(even better), if it has 4 speeds, it is NOT an Allison, no matter how much the owner tells you it is! Though I have owned a lot of Fords over time(First car was a mustang, have had several of them since as well as a bunch of Rangers, and currently have a Volvo...sort of a Ford), I think the GM trucks ride a little better and are nicer inside. GM has independent front suspension in 4x4 so it is smoother. Dodge goes with solid axle, as do many Fords. Ford trucks do have great build quality and interiors, and are probably the best for overall cab durability though I consider neither their engine or transmissions to be the best. 7.3 is probably their best diesel engine.

I will caveat this following statement with my credentials: I am a mechanical engineer, automotive specialty, and did graduate work in diesel emissions control stuff. This being said, I would stay away from the current "emissions diesels (model year 2007.5 and later) that have diesel particulate filters (DPFs) unless you are buying a new truck with new truck warranty. They are getting better, but it is a technology that is not a good long term solution and controlling the injection strategy to make them work and also regenerate them without creating other problems with turbochargers and other equipment remains a challenge with all the makers. Also, diesels are so powerful and you may want to hot rod the truck as I have done with mine, and you really cannot do this reliably with the emissions trucks. I know what I am talking about with this. Not a slam on anyone who has done it, just want to give you good advice.

Bottom line if I were you, for a tow vehicle, I would look for a 2003 - 2007 model year(no emissions equipment), manual trans for dodge or allison auto for GM, 4 door cab, 4 wheel drive(these engines are so heavy you need 4x4 if you ever go off road, even to a wet grassy field). Also, go with 3/4 ton (2500) as it will ride a lot better unloaded than a 1 ton.

I am happy to answer any other questions. Good luck.
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Unread 05-02-2010, 09:15 AM   #20
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Oh, saw your later question on miles. In answer to that for any truck, just try to get an idea of the history of the vehicle and consider that in the price. All these trucks are made to tow, so do not fear a goose neck or 5th wheel that is mounted. Also, mileage is not a big deal with good maintenance. For dodge, I would say if you know it has not towed real heavy(meaning 15,000+ pounds lots) and has had good maintenance, I would buy one for the right price with anything less than 300,000 miles. I know dodges with more than a million on the engine, typical only maintenance is a head gasket or two along with accessories. Anything in the 100K - 150K mileage on a diesel is similar to 40K gasser mileage. Transmissions are the weak link, so like i said, if the mileage is high but the price is right and the truck itself is in good shape, buy it cheap and plan to do some driveline work. Much like a jeep really... I have 150K on my dodge and it runs like new still. Most of these miles have been with an Edge Juice with Attitude fueling module(got a good deal on this one and they all work about the same way(Banks, BD Power, Hypertech, BullyDog, etc).
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Unread 05-02-2010, 09:21 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by guht View Post
I would like a used vehicle that can comfortably fit 4-5 people, or me the wife, and the mutts.
Consider a 7.3L Ford Excursion too. The Ex is heavier than the pickup, and obviously will never have a 5th wheel towing setup, but is much more passenger friendly.

For the 7.3L 2001/2002 are the best years from what I recall. Search for transmission problems with earlier years.

I just did a 300 Mi trip and got 11MPG (according to computer) towing the jeep on a heavy trailer with the only mod on the tow rig being the larger Ford air filter.
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Unread 05-02-2010, 07:09 PM   #22
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Take this for what it is worth and I am REALLY going against the grain here, but have you looked at a 2000-2006 Chevy Suburban 2500? Get the 8.1, not the 6.0 ("6.slow").

The mileage of the diesel definately won't be there, but for the power you have, 10 mpg is not bad at all with the Jeep in tow. No high priced injectors or fuel pumps to replace. The 8.1 started life in the marine world, made it's way to the medium duty world and had a short stint in 2500/3500 GM trucks and Suburbans/Yukons.

They use the 4L80E tranny and a full floater 14 bolt in the back (8.1 only) and are really a bulletproof set up. About one in 30 Suburbans of that era built were 2500 models and of them about 1 in 5 had the 8.1 engine, but they are still out there and many in very nice shape.

Just a thought. Personally, I am torn between that and the Superduty, but with with all the 6.0 problems as well as the 7.3 versions getting rarer and rarer with less than 100k miles, I am really starting to lean toward the Suburban. I have owned a lot of Gm rigs in the past and even a 1500 Suburban prior to the Jeep and they are excellent travel and family rigs.
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Unread 05-02-2010, 07:22 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbodenhamer View Post
I can comment on this pretty well as a long time diesel truck enthusiast. I currently own a 2001 dodge ram 2500 4x4, 5.9 Cummins, auto trans.

Here is what I would give as my opinion. Cummins is the best diesel engine of the "Big 3" trucks hands down. Nothing beats them for power, durability, ease of maintenance, operation cost, fuel mileage, etc. Not that the Duramax or Powerstroke(including the later 6.0s--stay away from the 04-05 ones though) are bad engines. Cummins is just better. However, Dodge does have issues to be aware of. If you are not worried about the year of the truck, a "2nd gen" RAM from 94 - early 1998 with the 12 valve engine is about bullet proof. The dodge auto trans until 2008 model year is not good in factory form, though. I have rebuilt mine with full billet parts and it is now awesome, but that was a $4000 undertaking a few years ago. It will last for another 150K miles towing heavy now, though. Be aware of this. The 1998.5 model year Dodge switched to the 24 valve engine, which had some problems until late 1999 with weak block castings. These early 24 valve engines are called "53 blocks" due to the number on their casting and are not good. Some last a long time, some crack in the outer passenger side web and leak coolant. PITA to fix with a metal stitch kit. Also, 2001.5(my truck build time) went to 4 wheel disc brakes which makes stopping with a load a lot better than before. If you go dodge, I would go with a 2003 - 2007 model, quad cab, and, if you are willing to shift gears, the 6 speed manual. GREAT towing truck. All this being said, here are my takes on the other options for diesel tow. GM has the best auto trans hands down in the Allison. However, not all duramaxes had this trans until the 2006 model year timeframe. Be aware of that as some sellers falsely advertise and/or do not know. If it has 5 speeds, it is an early Allison(great trans), if it has 6 speeds, it is a later one(even better), if it has 4 speeds, it is NOT an Allison, no matter how much the owner tells you it is! Though I have owned a lot of Fords over time(First car was a mustang, have had several of them since as well as a bunch of Rangers, and currently have a Volvo...sort of a Ford), I think the GM trucks ride a little better and are nicer inside. GM has independent front suspension in 4x4 so it is smoother. Dodge goes with solid axle, as do many Fords. Ford trucks do have great build quality and interiors, and are probably the best for overall cab durability though I consider neither their engine or transmissions to be the best. 7.3 is probably their best diesel engine.

I will caveat this following statement with my credentials: I am a mechanical engineer, automotive specialty, and did graduate work in diesel emissions control stuff. This being said, I would stay away from the current "emissions diesels (model year 2007.5 and later) that have diesel particulate filters (DPFs) unless you are buying a new truck with new truck warranty. They are getting better, but it is a technology that is not a good long term solution and controlling the injection strategy to make them work and also regenerate them without creating other problems with turbochargers and other equipment remains a challenge with all the makers. Also, diesels are so powerful and you may want to hot rod the truck as I have done with mine, and you really cannot do this reliably with the emissions trucks. I know what I am talking about with this. Not a slam on anyone who has done it, just want to give you good advice.

Bottom line if I were you, for a tow vehicle, I would look for a 2003 - 2007 model year(no emissions equipment), manual trans for dodge or allison auto for GM, 4 door cab, 4 wheel drive(these engines are so heavy you need 4x4 if you ever go off road, even to a wet grassy field). Also, go with 3/4 ton (2500) as it will ride a lot better unloaded than a 1 ton.

I am happy to answer any other questions. Good luck.
What Duramax didn't come standard with an Allison?? If it is an auto tranny and not the ZF6 before GM dropped the manual trannys. I've never heard of this.

I agree with ya on the Cummins.
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Unread 07-01-2011, 09:35 AM   #24
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I am a GM guy, so I would recommend one, but if you are looking for something on the cheaper side I would go with most people on this one about the Superduty with the 7.3l. I have seen them for pretty darn cheap around my area (around 10k) for the 2000-ish. My dad owns one and I think it is pretty nice. It is the 3/4 ton and he flat towed a semi with a chain, that blew out its rear end, to the shop a few miles away. I was surprised how easily it pulled. I have an '01 GMC Sierra 2500 Crew Cab with a 6.0 and it doesnt do too bad, but Its definitely no diesel. It rides and handles great but the power and mileage arent great. Is this going to be a DD or strictly a tow rig?
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Unread 07-01-2011, 09:48 AM   #25
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I thought you said 'inexpensive'? I guess I have a very different idea of 'inexpensive' lol a 2 year old truck with a huge diesel is NOT inexpensive.

I was in the same place you are, I wanted to tow the Jeep to the trails and have something big enough to be comfortable in and save hotel rooms for just 1 or 2 night trips.

We bought a '96 Suburban with 130k miles on the Vortec 350, luckily we took our time and it was in good condition inside, of course they sold it for a reason and we put a new ECM in it ($120), we paid $3300 for it on ebay. we flat tow our TJ until we find a trailer we want, and flat towing kills milage a little, but we still get about 14-16 (same as the Jeep) towing it. It works awesomely and was what I call 'inexpensive'.

Yeah, a brand new truck might be 'nasty', but it doesnt help you at all in your question does it, unless you dont mind $650/month payment for your tow rig, maybe thats ok with you, you probably make more than I do, I prefer to use that money Jeep building and running trails

There are a lot of good ways to go, and its always easy to upgrade as you go, thats what Jeep teaches us everyday, easy to upgrade as you go.

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Unread 07-01-2011, 10:00 AM   #26
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Unread 09-11-2013, 12:47 PM   #27
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Thanks for the replies! The Ford with the 7.3 sounds like its a popular choice, and it looks like it retains its value well
Thanks!
Almost impossible to find a used 7.3 Ford diesel.
They are bulletproof and with all the diesel engine problems Ford has had in recent yrs, anyone with a 7.3L is hanging on to it!
Agree... towing a 2000 lb utility trailer and a 3500 lb Wrangler is great with a diesel...
if you can justify/afford the expense.

Only problem I have with my 02 5.9L Cummins is remembering that I've got a 6,000 lb trailer back there. I don't even feel a load till they start to get near 9-10,000 lbs.
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Unread 09-11-2013, 01:13 PM   #28
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Unread 09-12-2013, 09:57 AM   #29
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Almost impossible to find a used 7.3 Ford diesel.
They are bulletproof and with all the diesel engine problems Ford has had in recent yrs, anyone with a 7.3L is hanging on to it!
Agree... towing a 2000 lb utility trailer and a 3500 lb Wrangler is great with a diesel...
if you can justify/afford the expense.

Only problem I have with my 02 5.9L Cummins is remembering that I've got a 6,000 lb trailer back there. I don't even feel a load till they start to get near 9-10,000 lbs.
Oh, I see a lot of them around here. One just needs to be sure to get a turbo (post 89) version. I had two 7.3's actually, one pre and one post. I'd rather pull with your Cummins, but, just for comparison there are 35 7.3's on FleaBay around Dallas Tx (250 mi) right now.

Still, Cummins makes a great motor.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 10:12 AM   #30
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....... just for comparison there are 35 7.3's on FleaBay around Dallas Tx (250 mi) right now.......
I'm stunned.... as I eat my words. But maybe all are outrageously priced?
Agree, turbo version is far superior! How many of those 35 are turboed... did you notice?
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