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  • Need a full-sized diesel truck

    Well, I guess every American reaches this point in his/her life eventually. I will soon own more stuff than I can haul around in my vehicle(s).

    It's time to get a full-size diesel 4x4 truck for hauling Jeeps, travel trailers, ATV's, building supplies, snowmobiles, backhoe/frontloader and stuff in general. This will likely be the long-haul vehicle for us when we go up to the ranchette in UT, so a modicum of comfort would be nice (cruise control, CD player, comfy seats), but it doesn't need to be a Caddy.

    Diesel power is going to be necessary and as we have to travel through several steep passes, an auto tranny with a tow/engine braking mode would be ideal. The Missus and I both think that a dually would have problems negotiating the somewhat narrow-roads and oncoming traffic (which usually consists of full-sized diesel trucks dragging livestock trailers ).

    The road is only intermittently graded by the County during the Summer season and then is graded by loggers, so some off-pavement capability is needed. Possibly limited slip diff and on/offroad all-terrains? I don't think I will be doing any dunes at Glamis or Rockpile in Moab so the 9" lift is probably not necessary. Besides I don't want to have to buy a forklift to get wood pellets in and out of the truck.

    I know that GMC/Chevy comes with IFS in their Sierra 2500HD trucks. Is this much of a liability for mild off-roading? I like the idea of Quadra-Steer, but don't know if it is available in the longbed with a crew or quad cab.

    The Dodge Ram 2500 and Ford SuperDuty 250 were the major considerations mostly for the solid front axle and fairly devoted following to the Cummins and Power Stroke motors.

    The SuperDuty seems to take the prize for best bed and towing capacity. It also seems to retain value more than the Dodges (this can be good or bad, depending on whether I buy new). The Ford is also supposed to have an excellent downhill mode in their tranny.

    Oh well, don't mean to start a Ford/Chevy/Dodge flame war...Rather, I'd just like to get your experiences with these fine examples of American steelcraft.
    Last edited by jmbrowning; 11-01-04, 11:04 PM.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    2003 TJ Rubicon: 4.5" OME coils; RE SF2; NthDegree TT/oilpan skid/shock shifters; FXD rock rails; Anti-Rock; 5150'

  • #2
    all I know is that Ford has a very cool "tow" mode on their automatic. it shifts much like a manual. :2:
    myJeeprocks.com

    "in the end... the rocks always win."

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    • #3
      Dodge, 610 foot pounds of torque . . . nuff said. Fancy gadgetry doesn't impress me much. When I rob my first bank, I'll get one.

      The only Towing experience I have in in a 2003 Chevy 3500 Diesel. It Towed a 43 foot Chapperel race car trailer like it wasnt there. Only problem was its been in the shop more then its been on the road.

      Besides Chevy Sucks!!

      I know both Dodge and Ford offer 1 ton's with a single rear wheel package. Also, if you care, in 2006 Dodge will be offering a full size crew cab (Finally)
      [COLOR=blue]Chris[/COLOR]
      SAVE JOHNSON VALLEY!!! - CLICK HERE
      Ya Savvy?

      Motech Performance

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      • #4
        Oh, I forgot to add. Put a Jake Brake on it!!!!!
        [COLOR=blue]Chris[/COLOR]
        SAVE JOHNSON VALLEY!!! - CLICK HERE
        Ya Savvy?

        Motech Performance

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        • #5
          My father-in-law has a 2001 Dodge 2500 that he uses to pull their 29 foot Holiday Rambler travel trailer. His has not enough rear gear to go bigger in the trailer. He installed a under drive unit to take care of this. Upped his tow capacity to over 11,000 lbs. With the underdrive, he essentially has an 8 speed trans now. He will be upgrading trailers soon so they can get a bigger one. He loves his Cummins motor.

          What ever you get, make sure it has or get installed a Exhaust temp gauge. He says that is essential for a diesel so you know how hot the engine is firing. Diesel towing with a heavy load will raise the in cylinder temp close to the melting point of the aluminum pistons so he says and has been told.

          There is a website called somethin like Turbo Diesel Registry where you can get a ton of info on what you will want to know.
          http://www.turbodieselregister.com/

          It is aimed at the Cummins motor but should have more info on other powerplants.
          It's a Jeep thing, my wife doesn't understand.

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          • #6
            Well there is a rumor that is saying that the cummins are bullet proof and have unmatched power on the turbo diesel. Who knows? But i know When it comes to diesels, ram 2500 and 3500s have had a wicked performance. The Dodge is a good choice because it comes stock with dana 70 in the rear and 60 up front so i want to find a wrecked one and steal the axles. I dont know about much of the fords or chevy's. You might want to start a thread at www.pavementsucks.com those guys are more than willing to help out. good luck.
            those arent scratches and dents those are accent marks...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dukes69
              Dodge, 610 foot pounds of torque . . . nuff said. Fancy gadgetry doesn't impress me much. When I rob my first bank, I'll get one.

              The only Towing experience I have in in a 2003 Chevy 3500 Diesel. It Towed a 43 foot Chapperel race car trailer like it wasnt there. Only problem was its been in the shop more then its been on the road.

              Besides Chevy Sucks!!

              I know both Dodge and Ford offer 1 ton's with a single rear wheel package. Also, if you care, in 2006 Dodge will be offering a full size crew cab (Finally)


              570 ft/lb @ 2000 RPM's for the Ford
              610 ft/lb @ ???? RPM's for the Dodge
              I got your jeep thing, now it burns when I pee

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RatherBeJeeping
                570 ft/lb @ 2000 RPM's for the Ford
                610 ft/lb @ ???? RPM's for the Dodge
                1600 RPM!

                I researched it
                [COLOR=blue]Chris[/COLOR]
                SAVE JOHNSON VALLEY!!! - CLICK HERE
                Ya Savvy?

                Motech Performance

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, it seems like the Dodge/Cummins has some strong supporters here. I looked at the Good Diesels website but the prices seem a bit high for the mileage/Kelley BB.

                  I'll keep sniffing around for a good deal on the Ford/Dodge trucks. It looks like the Dodge only comes with a four-door quad cab rather than the two-door extended cab. I guess this makes it easier for passengers, but I had thought of mostly putting things in the back. I guess four doors would be easier for a baby seat (if that day ever comes ).

                  It looks like QuadraSteer is not available in the longbed version of the GMC Sierra.

                  I don't suppose lease returns are good bets in this sort of industrial/fleet vehicle. Any other suggestions for a good deal on a truck? All of the current incentives seem to exclude the diesel powered trucks.

                  PS. anybody know about this propane aspiration thing for turbo diesels? is it hard on the motor like NOX? i heard it might actually make the engine run COOLER
                  Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
                  2003 TJ Rubicon: 4.5" OME coils; RE SF2; NthDegree TT/oilpan skid/shock shifters; FXD rock rails; Anti-Rock; 5150'

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                  • #10
                    Ok well here is a question you might have already answered and I just missed, but are you looking for new or used?
                    those arent scratches and dents those are accent marks...

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                    • #11
                      Not sure yet, but probably looking for a lightly used model, and by that I mean less than 60-100K miles on it.
                      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
                      2003 TJ Rubicon: 4.5" OME coils; RE SF2; NthDegree TT/oilpan skid/shock shifters; FXD rock rails; Anti-Rock; 5150'

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                      • #12
                        My friends got an 03 or 04 F350 with the turbo diesel. Man that thing moves out! I dont particularly like fords but this one is nice.

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                        • #13
                          Ford: www.thedieselstop.com
                          Dodge: www.dieselram.com
                          Chevy/GM: www.thedieselpage.com

                          There are other sites, but I believe these are the most popular. (thedieselregistry is too slow to count in my book, they have issues).

                          The Ford's have tranny problems, particularly when adding a chip or towing "abusively" (maybe that should be "non-stop"). The tranny is the weakest link on a Ford. Also, annoying problems like turbo bolts perpetually coming loose on 7.3L models from 99 to 01, high pressure injector regulator seals leaking, and air entrappment in the fuel system. Dodges have injector/fuel pump issues up until 2002 (may be too soon to tell about after?). The main fuel pump on the Cummins costs around $4000. Don't want one of those to burn up. The Dodge (IMHO) is a bit cheap on the interior up until 03, then they seem to have gotten a bit better. As noted, you don't get a real crew cab with a Dodge unless you buy an 05. The Ford has the biggest back seat of all the crew cabs. I say the verdict is still out on the Duramax, they just have not been out long enough to have many vehicles on the road with 200k+ miles on them, when you really find out what breaks. The 7.3L Powerstroke is by far one of the most popular engines, with International putting them in a plethora of vehicles from medium duty trucks through the pickup line. Likewise for the Cummins, they are used in many vehicles and it's a proven engine. The Cummins has tons of torque due to the I-6 design (think Jeep!). The Ford's are most desirable in the 7.3L version if you ask me (03 and prior) The new smaller Powerstroke is supposedly much more prone to downshift when going up hills, even unloaded. I have a couple of friends with the 7.3L PS and they will not downshift going up mtn passes without a load. I have only driven a 6 speed Cummins, and it pulled like hell, so I suspect it's the same way with an auto. The Duramax is similar to the smaller PS as far as driveability from what I understand.

                          If you are looking at used, stay away from any modifications other than upgraded exhaust. Chips are for racers and they eat Ford trannys. You also put much more torque down with a chip, so you are much harder on everything particularly when towing.

                          The propane injection is a tricky proposition. It will make TONS of power if you tune it that way. I talked to a guy at the dunes with a Ford that did this and he was on his third transmission. It basically just blows more fuel into the engine and the computer compensates for the additional fuel based on the O2 sensor reading. Slap in a chip that lets you run leaner and higher fuel rates, and you have yourself 700+ ft-lb from a Powerstroke. Think nitrous for diesels, same concept. A turbodiesel just needs more fuel to make more power, not more air (well, technically it needs more air, but forced induction makes that part automatic).

                          :2: and a bag of chips...

                          rick
                          1986 CJ-7; 4.6L stroker, balanced & blueprinted; 5" lift, 35x1250 MTRs, Poison Spyder Full Width kit,
                          My Jeep

                          Moab Rocker Knocker Video:shades:

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                          • #14
                            I've got a 2003 Chevy 3500 crew/long Dmax with the Allison trans. Tows fantastic and hasn't been in the shop at all. I'm up to about 34k miles and I've had it 22 months. My "tow meter" is at about 22k miles. (towing 6k lbs).

                            Good stuff

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                            • #15
                              I am happy with my 03 PSD. 23K and no issues. The auto w/tow/haul buttom pulls like theres no tomorrow. Can easily tow up the cajon pass @85 with jeep and trailer plus all the extra goodies.
                              ASM REAPER BUGGY ON 40'S SOLD
                              00 TJ ON 37'S SOLD
                              97zj ON 36'S SOLD

                              04 CUMMINS CRAWLER HAULER

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