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Reliability of Cummins Diesel

rsaxtonrsaxton Posts: 2
edited March 23 in Dodge
Currently driving a 1986 Ford Bronco XLT. Looking at possibly buying a 2002 Dodge Ram Quad with a Cummins 6 HO Turbo 6 speed Manual transmission, don't really know anything about Dodge, have been driving Fords for over 20 years. The dealer (not a Dodge dealer) is offering me a sale price of $24,900, the truck has less than 28,000 mi. Also can someone tell me what SLT means? Good deal or Bad? I need a new truck, that old Ford is on its last leg. Could really use some input here.

Comments

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I was just talking to someone last night who has 315,000 miles on a 1989 Dodge Cummins diesel. I asked if he has done anything to the engine and he said "no." He had the transmission rebuilt (automatic) a few years ago at over 200K, he's suffered some electrical problems, mostly due to corrosion. I think he said he's replaced the radiator, too. I've seen the truck, even the body isn't bad considering the age and mileage.

    From what little I know about today's diesels, the Cummins has been very reliable.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    I would guess you could do at least $2k better than that on price, I would shoot for 3,000. Do a TMV search on this site with all the options you know of on the truck, and it will give you a better idea.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    "SLT" is a reference to the trim and equipment level. Depending on the year, the trim & equipment level has been something like this in ascending order:

    Custom
    Sport
    ST
    SLT
    SLT+
    Laramie

    In the newer RAMs the Laramie is the top of the line and I think includes leather interior. The SLT is the middle, and ST the entry level.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • Kelley Blue Book lists the suggested retail value as $27,000. Is an SLT, believe also a Laramie. Optional equipment is listed as 6 cyl. HO Turbo diesel, SLT, air, power steering, power windows, power door locks, tilt wheel, cruise control, am/fm, cassette, dual front air bags, running boards and pickup shell. The air, power steering, am/fm, and air bags are listed as included equipment. The so-called running boards are really nothing more than nerf bars on the side, and the printout given to me lists a 5 speed manual transmission, which may mean nothing more than that the 6th gear is overdrive, which is not listed as an option. I also believe that the truck has 4 wheel ABS, also not listed. The list I have from Kelley was given to me by the dealer, but I was able to get some other information from Carfax.
  • I have a question for you. Why are you looking at Dodges if you have driven Fords for the last 20 years? Don't get me wrong, the Cummins is, IMO, the finest diesel available from the big three in a light duty truck. I'm just curious if you don't like the Superduty for some reason. I'm not trying to start anything.
  • rossn2rossn2 Posts: 16
    "I have a question for you. Why are you looking at Dodges if you have driven Fords for the last 20 years? Don't get me wrong, the Cummins is, IMO, the finest diesel available from the big three in a light duty truck. I'm just curious if you don't like the Superduty for some reason. I'm not trying to start anything."

    I have recently switched from Ford to Dodge too. I have had (last 10 years)Rangers, F-150 Supercab, F150 Supercrews (2whl & 4x4) and never had any major complaints or problems with them. I looked at the F250 and opted for the Dodge 2500 due to 1) Price 2) Rebate 3) F250 6.0 engine problems 4) F250 turns like a boat. I can run figure 8's around the F250 in the Dodge 5) Dodge has the folddown rear storage area too. 6) I couldn't find a Ford 6.0 in a stick. 7) Dodge dealer offered my $1500 more for trade-in than the Ford dealer. I didn't go for the GM Durmax because two of my friends have them and the auto trannies burned out between 40-55k miles.
    Have had the Dodge for 2 months now, 4000 miles on it and really like it! I have to get use to the little nuisances of a diesel, like waiting 20 mins for the thing to get warm in the mornings (ordered the block heater plug/wire assembly). But, with the HO Cummins, 4x4, 3.73 limited slip rear, 6spd manual. I'm getting 21mpg on highway at 68-72mph and 18-19 around town. My FX4 Supercrew with 5.4 V8 averaged 16-17 hwy.

    At about 8k miles I'm going to change over to synthetic in engine, trans, transfer case, frt and rear ends and gas mileage should increase up to 8%.

    Hope that answers your questions.
  • However, the comparison of the fuel mileage with the Supercrew really isn't fair. An F-250 diesel would get similar to what your Dodge is getting now. I have an F-350 that gets 18+/- mixed driving.
  • May be a little too late but let me give you some advice.

    1) morning warm up. You mention 20 minutes to warm up. I hope you arent letting it idle to do that. A diesel idling WILL NOT warm up on its own efficiently. Plus you get incomplete combustion at idle.

    2) DO NOT add synthetic engine oil at 8k miles. You need to go to Cummins website and read their information. They specifically state to not use synthetic fluids in engine until 15-20k miles.
  • rossn2rossn2 Posts: 16
    Hm...I must be reading the wrong info from the cummins site;

    "Cummins recommends that you not use synthetic motor oil during the break-in period of 5000-20,000 miles, based on the type of driving, to allow proper seating of the piston rings. Beyond that mileage it is OK to use synthetic oil."

    Nope, not letting it idle that long. I bought the blockheater cord and installed. It helps alittle bit, but not like a recirc style in-line heater. Only let warm up for 5 min before running down the road...but it takes about 15 min for it to come up to operating temp. Not complaining or nothing, just a newbie getting use to the diesel...
  • rossn2rossn2 Posts: 16
    " However, the comparison of the fuel mileage with the Supercrew really isn't fair. An F-250 diesel would get similar to what your Dodge is getting now. I have an F-350 that gets 18+/- mixed driving."

    You're correct...I was just stating that I'm getting better fuel mileage with a 3/4 ton diesel powered vehicle than a 1/2 gas burner...Yes, both Dodge and Ford diesels have comparable fuel mileage numbers.. Sorry for any confusion.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    I was afraid that you were trying to compare the two. I used to drive 1/2 ton gassers also that got in the 14's. I was grinning from ear-to-ear the moment I found out my new truck got over 18.
  • usaf52usaf52 Posts: 70
    My son has been looking at a 2001 Dodge quad 4x4 with a 6 cylinder diesel. Since we know nothing of diesels, can anyone comment on the 6 cylinder. The most towing he will do is with a 2 horse trailer.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    trailer and a cummins...the engine will hardly notice the trailer behind it. Will pull it with no problems what so ever and get good mileage doing it (compared to a gas or other diesel). Also a note, a co-worker has a well taken car of 94 cummins...195,000 miles and no leaks still running strong!!!
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    The inline 6 cyl engine design is very popular in applications that permit the use of a long engine block under the hood.
    The inline 6 cyl design is inherently naturally balanced. This allows for low wear and tear on vital engine components.
    I have not heard a great deal of complaints about the reliabilty of the Cummins diesel. The automatic tranny Dodge puts behind it is another story completely. It has been the source of a great number of failures and problems. I would only recommend a Dodge if it has a manual tranny.
This discussion has been closed.