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Diesel engines, which is better: Ford, Dodge, Chevy

indian3indian3 Posts: 14
edited March 25 in Chevrolet
which diesal engine( ford, dodge, chevy) is the best for dependibility and gas milage?
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Comments

  • Well my dad has a Ford with the 7.3 and he loves it... We were gonna get a chev with the duramax but they couldn't get any here in Newfoundland at the time so dad got one from ford... I don't like the dodge cause they just don't have the numbers that ford and chev can put out. I am a chev fan and they have the best numbers but I would wait till they iron the bugs out.. Ford's been in the diesel game a long time with their 7.3's... That's just my opinion.. :)

    Swoosh Man
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    It's which truck. The ford and dodge diesel engines are both tried and true and have bang-up dependability and ballpark mpg. Chevy is the one with something to prove, and it looks good on paper and initial street time. I'm not a brand loyalist, but I'm not a guinea pig either, so I'll consider the GM truck after they have some major time on them. My taste prefers the cummins along with the Dodge truck. Just what I like and have had good luck with. I know lots of people in horses, and both trucks have their pros and cons. Ford sells alot more 2500/3500 trucks, and one big reason is because of the crew cab as many people working their rigs need the passenger space. One horse trainer I work with just had to upgrade to a Freightliner because noone makes a light-truck with the room/capacity he needed. So it honestly comes down to which truck body will work for you and the dependability of the rest of the chassis. The cummins is going to be beefed this time next year and substantially quieted. Still based on the same 24V design though so nothing scarey.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    I have a Ford, so I'm partial to them. But looking at the engines alone -

    The Ford has an International Navistar engine; these have been around a long time and are great motors.

    The Dodge has a Cummins engine; these have also been around a long time, simpler design than the International and it gets slightly better mileage.

    The Chevy/GMC uses an Isuzu engine; while Isuzu sells a lot of medium duty city trucks with diesels, this motor is all new with a lot of proving to do. It will be interesting to see how they hold up at 400k miles.
  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    Do they put diesel engines in their F-150's? OR is diesel engines only slotted for heavy-duty trucks?

    Leo
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Diesels are only in 3/4 and 1-ton light trucks amoung all manufacturers. V10 gassers as well.
  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    thanks.

    I get confused as to what the denominations mean on the trucks, F-150/GM's 1500= 1/2 ton?

    F-250=???

    F-350=???

    Leo
  • mledtjemledtje Posts: 1,123
    150/1500 = 1/2 ton

    250/2500 = 3/4 ton

    350/3500 = 1 ton

    Of course, the terms 1/2, 3/4, 1 ton have no real meaning, and you must consult manufacturer's specs to get real capacity.

    Mike L
  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    Guess you can tell I'm a car owner ;) LOL

    Leo
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    Indian 65, sorry my earlier post was cut off when my computer died. Anyway, I agree with sebring that you should look at the whole truck not the engine. Both Dodge and Ford diesel engines are rock solid for reliability, and I suspect the GM will be as well. The trucks overall though have had many, and varied problems. As far as fuel economy goes this should really be a non issue, all 3 will get very comparable gas mileage, probably less than 1 MPG difference if driven identically.
    Here is my 2 cents worth. I will say up front I am a lifetime Chevy guy. However, if I was putting my hard earned $$ down right now I would buy a Ford (with a manual transmission), if I needed a diesel powered truck. Both Ford and Dodge have had a plethora of problems with their auto tranny's behind diesels. Dodge's problem is so bad that they have to detune the engine, so that the tranny can handle the torque. GM promises to improve this with the Allison auto, but early reports that I have read show it is having problems also. The Dodge overall, I believe has the most problems with elctrical, mechanical, etc. They GM's are on a new platform, and historically all auto makers need a few years to work all the bugs out. That leaves Ford for the next couple of years.
    I believe Ford is scrapping the 7.3L in either 03 or 04, and switching to a 6.0L diesel. After that time, I would buy a Chevy,because the bugs should be worked out, and Ford will have a whole set of new bugs to work on.
    In a nutshell if your buying soon, buy a Ford, just make sure you get the manual tranny. Don't believe the salesmen who tell you that auto's are better for towing. If that was true they would put them in Semi's. Auto's just cost extra, so the salesmen get a bigger commision.
  • I am considering trading in my current truck,and getting a '03 or '04 Ram 2500 with the new Cummins engine. 650+LB FT @ 1600RPM! & 325 HP. That's VERY tempting! Manual tranny of course.
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    I would advise you to avoid that temptation until about '05. As I mention in my previous post, the 03 heavy duty Ram's will be on an all new platform with an all new engine. While I know how tempting it is to wants all of the new stuff, this is a recipe for an unreliable vehicle, as a whole. You probably like your current Dodge, remember the platform dates back to 94, I don't know what year yours is, but odds are if has been reliable enough for you to want another, it probably was at least made after 96. If I am wrong than you got lucky. I am not saying Dodge makes bad trucks, they don't, it is just that all auto makers have a few engineering flaws in a new design that don't show up for a while. Thus the first year maybe 2 of a new design is usually less reliable than the years that follow. Anyway just my $0.02.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    I'm also probably going to avoid the first year, but I don't know that I'll wait two years. Most of the basics are coming over from the '02 1/2 tons and the cummins is not an all new engine. It's the same 24V design with some upgrades. Realize it takes next to nothing to bump the HP/torque on these. What I've seen indicates the main changes are for increased throttle response (revied turbo) and moving a few things to gag the engine. I could care less about the noise because it's not loud in the cab in the newer rams. But everybody is concerned about how noisey their trucks are when standing next to them? I just hope they don't screw something up by trying to quiet the thing down. At least they aren't going to a V8 as that would have been the easy solution.
  • rageeragee Posts: 9
    Hi, I got to read a few of the posts and I have my own two cents to add. I have a 01 PSD, and I had to do a lot of searching to come up and buy the Ford over the other two. I started talking to many Dodge fans that own new Rams, and they told me that a lot of the new Rams are built in Mexico and they don't hold up and are having a lot of warranty claims on the truck. The Chevy is unproven still yet and I needed a new truck to haul my farm equipment. So I went with the Ford. Now the PSD has its own problems as well, like it doesn't like to start in cold weather, and it takes time to warm up the glow plugs unlike the Cummins and their fuel grid heater, and the Ford is thirsty when all the power and torque comes in at, unlike the straight six design that is in the Cummins and all of the rigs on the road, and the PSD fuel pump is not known at least to my knowledge of being the best one either, but I wanted to purchase the best overall truck so I went with the Ford, and what I didn't like I decided to fix in upgrades and I am one totally satisfied customer, I went with Banks and added a 100hp superchip and a Jacobs Exhaust Brake, I also got a aluminum work bed, with a fifth wheel hitch made into the bed, and an extra 60 gallon fuel cell, which I run off with a boost pump. I got the crew cab and a six speed tranny and all the rest of the extras. I think that I have made the right choice. I now have 64k on it since I bought it last fall.

    Rob
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Lift pump on the Dodges are problematic too. I've been lucky and mine is still operating withing spec. I got an '01 1/2 Ram which had quite a few upgrades so maybe that made the difference. Curious if you've upgraded the clutch and to what. My father-in-law has an '00 PSD with six speed and he's burned the clutch twice in 20K miles. First one at 3K. He always has dealer do work, but I told him awhile back I'd nib around to see what the consensus was for a good aftermarket. He was a truck driver when he was younger so I believe he knows how to shift it.
  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    Slap a centerforce clutch in it they have various clutches for different applications. I dont know for sure what they have now but the centerforce 3 was a stout clutch it was stiff though.
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    For some reason people think that because the truck is assembled in Mexico where labor is cheaper, that the build quality is cheaper. I have seen this brought up on other forums before and it seems that the opposite is actually true. Apparently, in the Mexican plants the workers are cross trained on thier jobs and it seems to improve build quality. At least on the Dodge. My '98 Mexican assembled Dodge has been excellent.
  • Building trucks in Mexico does have one drawback. It stabs American workers in the back. Shame on Ford and Dodge for exporting American Jobs to save a buck! There is however not much we can do about it. I try to buy U.S. products whenever I can but when I bought my new Ford all I could do is wait and see... I was extatic to find a Kentucky Truck Plant sticker on my rig.

    Sorry to get up on my soap box but after 9-11-01 we should all do everything we can to support our country. BUY AMERICAN, NOW MORE THAN EVER!!!
  • rageeragee Posts: 9
    Well I know that there are good and bad trucks made both in Mexico and the U.S. but I have a neighbor who bought a Dodge and he has had nothing but problems with the body due to vibration and brake problems and he hauls as much as I do, and I don't want anything marginal as far as braking goes when I need to stop. So I personally don't have a lot of faith in the Dodge products. That is my personal opinion. I don't know about clutch problems on the Ford, I don't have any problems with the clutch, probably becuase I don't use the clutch except to start and stop, I shift by the RPM for the most part, just like I do when I drive rigs, because I have some expirence doing that as well. As to the fact that your father-in-law uses the dealer to reinstall the clutch that doesn't mean that the guy that installed his clutch does that kind of work all the time. Maybe that is not true, but my personal expirence is that I would take it to a diesel shop where all they do is work on diesels and other components. Or I got lucky and got a good clutch who knows? I am weary when it comes time to service my truck, and I will either do the work myself or let someone I know and trust their opinion and craftsmanship do the work for me. It costs me more money that way but I have often heard that a good job is not done fast, or costs cheap, but it is done right the first time. So that is why I justify the extra costs. Someone else says to try an aftermarket clutch, and that could totally solve the problems he is having, but is he willing to pay the extra money for a heavier duty clutch? Keep me posted.

    Rob
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    I agree with you 100%. I also go out of my way to buy American. My point was that the quality, at least on the Mexican assembled Dodge does not appear to be comprimised.
  • ...says made in Mexico also...
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    Then you need to remeber that Dodge is now owned by Daimler Benz, so ultimately the profits from your purchase go to a foreign company. I realize this is a small point, DC still employs 1,000's of American workers but for some its a good thing to keep in mind.
  • But I have to say, to claim "Made in the USA" should require the product be made in the USA by US citizens with raw matierials originating in the USA. There would be little out there that would qualify but I would bend over backwards to support these type of businesses.

    JCMDIE I agree, the build quality will likely be the same. The manufacturing standards will not vary between production facilities. Besides, it is a moot point as all manufacturers get some parts or assembly done out of the country and we cannot specify where we want our ordered vehicles built.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    go to the stockholders. How many are german/us/asian/uk/mexican/etc I have no clue. There are foreigners that own stock in GM and every other US company. I own stock in several foreign companies, one of which is DC. Most Americans that invest own stock in foreign companies as well. Buying products made by American workers probably has alot more impact than where the profits go because lord knows they go all over the place.

    A 100% Made in USA product would actually be: made in the USA by US citizens with raw materials originating from companies owned 100% by private US citizens, and sold by a company owned 100% by private US citizens. Good luck on that. Don't take this wrong because I'm as American as anyone gets. The "Buy American" thing is a tough nut to crack anymore. Just have to do what benefits the most.

    To get back on-topic: I ordered my '01 2500 Ram and the dice gave me a Mexican assembled truck. Delivered flawless and at 60K still very tight. It is worth noting that the US plant is going to be building ALL 3/4 and 1-ton 2003 rams. The rumor I heard was there was a contest for quality between the two plants and the winner got the job. So maybe there is a difference and I just got lucky. I figured the auto tranny would be gagging by now, but it's holding up fine even with light bombing.
  • I learned when I ordered my 2002 F350 that approximately 5% of the 3/4ton+ trucks were made in Mexico and the remainder in Kentucky. I took issue with this and immediately tried to insure the origin of my truck was U.S. Despite my passionate efforts, I was unable to designate the birthplace of my truck. I anxiously awaited the arrival of my new rig and was extatic to see the Kentucky Truck Plant sticker on the windshield. After a little thought I decided that had it originated in Mexico, after the initial dissapointment wore off I am certain I would have been satisfied with the truck.

    Buying American is tough but that is one nut worth cracking... or at least trying to.
  • rageeragee Posts: 9
    If that is true about Dodge trucks being all made in the US. Then I will consider buying me a new Dodge for other duties I have as far as towing. I have always been a huge fan of Cummins and that was my origional choice. but the fact remains I know that all companies buy parts from everywhere and they want quality parts from whoever will make them the cheapest, and I understand that fully. It keeps the costs down and if they were all made buy Americans then who knows how much we would be paying for our new rigs...but the fact that Americans take a huge part of the construction/Assembly process of the trucks that I buy make me feel like I am helping out on supporting Americans and helping them keep their jobs. I think that is the whole issue of BUYING AMERICAN! If we support, and demand that the trucks we buy come from an American Assembly plant and basically boycott all the other trucks then the company will keep the American plant open and thus American's keep their jobs. That is why I am so fond of trying to buy American.

    Rob
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Agree. And while I've not seen anything as far as corporate news releases, the word I got was they were building them all in St. Louis. The new cummins is supposed to be 80% quieter, lowest NOx ratings of any diesel, 250hp standard, 305hp HO, revised turbo with more throttle response, a heavier-duty automatic (although nobody will say if it's an Allison or not), and supposedly good for another 1mpg or so. The high-output model is supposed to be available with an automatic as well, but late availability. I'll be watching...supposed to be released at Chicago Auto Show in Feb.

    Dodge is also building a Combat Ram for the Military supposed to be powered by a Diesel-Electric Hybrid being designed by the Army. Some of the features are supposed to filter down to a new Ram model to be released in '04. Cool stuff.
  • rageeragee Posts: 9
    Sebring...Thanks for the info I will be watching out for a new ram to hit the market, but I think I will end up going for the six speed manual, I have no faith in automatics espically when you are on a downgrade with a load, it is so much easier to drop a gear and hit the exhaust brake than it is to try to downshift an auto tranny.

    Rob
  • I have put 87,000 miles on my '99 PSD and it has only been in for a repair once and that was a $185 warranty claim. I added a Superchip at 60K that added 70HP and 130 ft/lb torque to the rear tires for a mere $350. I should have done this the day I bought it! This truck will easily run in the upper 80's in the quarter and it removed the speed limiter so it runs 115-118 mph until the 3.73 gears and the 3300 redline run out of breath. I don't tow a lot, but I drive this truck like a sports car and I have yet to have a complaint especially related to quality. Ford is putting a 5sp (5R120 if I'm not mistaken) auto in it shortly, so I would wait for that if one can. I wouldn't drive anything else when it comes to a diesel, although the Cummins is no doubt a proven motor.
  • Okay. I keep hearing about this Superchip. Where do I get one and how do you install it? (I work with and on computers so I know how to handle these things.) Will it affect my warranty?
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