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2000 Ford Superduty with Cummins?

13

Comments

  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    First of all, if all it is about is test driving and buying, then why are you participating in this forum? Really, why? I thought people were here to learn and share ideas. There's a heck of a lot you can learn here.

    I was just saying that if someone's considering resale as a reason to get a diesel (which is certainly not the primary reason for me), then it is after it has had a LOT of miles that it starts to count. HIGH miles is when the gas engine's values take a serious nose dive, and diesels retain a far greater percentage of value.

    We'll see if you still think gas is best when the diesels get new transmitions that can handle their massive torque so they (Cummins, Powerstroke & Duramax) can stop detuning them and start putting out well over 500 lbs torque and over 300 HP, while still getting around 20 mpg. All in the most dependable and longest living rigs. Best powerplant? - yes. Can you afford to buy one? - maybe not. Kinda like asking what's better, a Mustang or a Lamborghini. Both sporty, but one is vastly superior - and you pay for it.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    I think we've all shared info back and forth on the pros and cons of both powertrains and I also think you're correct in the longevity issue. One of the biggest questions has been WHEN is that magical breakeven point which has varied from a minimum of 80,000 miles to upwards of 200,000 miles. So I think it's all been covered, That's why I suggested driving them. I personally can't live with a diesel in it's current state. I think they are sluggish, noisy, and smelly. I realize those are MY opinions and other people actually love that same stuff, hence the suggestion to drive 'em. I maybe put 10,000 miles a year on my truck and I do plan on keeping my next truck a little longer than my current lease cycle I've been in. Even if I liked the diesel better (which I obviously don't) it would take at least 10 years to get my money back. If I thought the diesel was a better engine I wouldn't care about price. Why would some one buy something that they didn't like on the test drive just in hopes of some day getting there initial investment back. On the other hand that test drive might convince you to damn the price I want the diesel despite the up front costs. Sorry if my suggestion offended you in any way.
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    I hope I didn't sound offended. Just defending the forums for their value since there is SO MUCH that you can learn here and can't learn from a test drive. I would never, however, want someone to buy something they don't want (no matter how wrong they are, hehehe).

    I don't know what diesel you have driven, but the '97 cummins I drive can jerk you at the line if you want to drive it that way, and it has plenty of passing power. It's not a Viper, but that's not why you are buying a heavy duty truck.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    There is the time value of money factor. You're pulling the $4,000 out of your pocket today, whereas you're not getting the $2,500 until several years down the road. $2,500 in five years discounted back at around 8% is like only having a little over $1,600 in your pocket today.

    The bottom line is if you want or need a diesel, you should get one. If you don't need it, and aren't particularly sure you want one, you shouldn't get it based on financial calculations. On the other hand, if you do need it or if you really want a diesel, and you can afford the extra it will cost on the monthly payment, you shouldn't buy a gasser based on financial calculations.
  • RoclesRocles Posts: 985
    Break even points are subjective. One must buy what is right for them regardless of any mythical "break-even" point. If I was to haul horses and heavy loads all day, I would only consider a diesel despit how many miles I would need to put on it to equal a gas job in cost.
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Glad to hear someone else saying what I've been saying. Forget the "break even points". Get the best if you want it and can afford it. If you want and can afford a sports car, don't get a Ford Escort. If you want the best towing/hauling rig, and can afford it, get the diesel. You'll have the most dependable, most powerful, most efficient rig available (Cummins or Powerstroke).
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    We've always been in agreement of get what you want, and maybe some people will disagree but $80 a month extra for a diesel aint no thing when your spending $30,000. The problem is; even being cheaper the gas motor is a better all around truck unless you're towing humungous loads the MAJORITY of the time. Okay diesel owners I'm ready for round two!!
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Better all around? Now that's relative. If you never tow, or ONLY tow a very light trailer, or haul a very light camper (with low wind resistance), then I guess the gas is the "better all around" engine (even then, it's a maybe). Otherwise, if you tow or haul anything of even moderate size, EVER, the modern turbo-diesels are the "better all around engine". You may not be able to afford them, but they are still the best, and decide to get a gas engine based on the price, then fine, you'll probably be happy with it. However, it is not the BEST (regardless of price) for what I consider real pickup use. For the purposes of this discussion of what is the BEST engine, forget the price.

    Modern turbo-diesels have very responsive accelleration (more than adequate) in normal city traffic and highway passing, have the most torque, work the easiest under a load (I really value this), have the greatest range, and have the greatest longevity. I am most familiar with the Ram/Cummins, and find it plenty refined for every day driving. The noise is bad outside, but not a problem inside.

    Now what I consider real pickup use is mostly normal driving (i.e. to and from work), occasional-to-frequent light towing or hauling, and rare-to-infrequent heavy hauling/towing. The diesel is slightly inferior to the gas in the first category, but superior in the second two. Since the second two categories stress the engine most, I want the best engine under those stresses. Since I think the diesel is more than competent for normal driving, I believe it is the best choice.

    Now, if you really think gas is even reasonably comparable to diesels for moderate-to-heavy use, why are diesels in all new small delivery trucks, tow trucks, buses, semis, RVs, military vehicles such as the Humvee, and a high percentage of construction pickups.

    Further, diesels are better for "normal" driving conditions than they get credit for in the U.S.. I think this is partially to do with the disaster of the diesel Rabbits, Oldsmobile and other GM diesels that clogged the roads in the '70s and '80s. Diesels are common and popular in light duty cars (such as Mercedes) and boats around the world. When turbo charged, they perform more than adequately. Diesels aren't in sports cars, but I don't believe that type of driving should be a primary consideration when buying a pickup. In normal pickup driving, you should be able to pass with power, get off the line at the stoplight, and get up to speed when entering the highway. I've never complained about any of these when driving the '97 Ram/Cummins.

    Now, you tell me where the gas engine is better for pickup use, and why that is the primary consideration for calling it the better pickup engine.
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    I may still buy a gas engine in my next pickup (a 3/4-ton). My decision will be based only on what I can afford. But I will not be deluded into thinking the gas is the best engine.
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    To summarize your points:

    1) Gas better than diesel for accelleration
    2) Gas better than diesel for short trips (??)
    3) You say that gas is nearly as good as the diesel for towing (??)
    4) Gas is in most Class C RVs.
    5) More costly to maintain.
    6) Smelly diesels

    Rebuttal
    1) As I've said now, who knows how many times, the diesel has plenty of power to take off at the line and pass. Now unless you like driving like a teenager or a mid-life crisis hot-rodder, jerking your head back and not caring a lick about your passenger's or your own comfort, the diesel has the accelleration necessary for normal pickup driving. If your primary consideration for choosing a pickup is off the line accelleration, then sure, the gas does have more snap. But I've driven both gas and diesel plenty (not just test drives), and I do not feel lacking with the Cummins when passing or starting from a stop. It is a different feeling, however, and that might make you think it can't get the job done. It's kind of like the accelleration in a Porsche 911 Turbo versus an old muscle car. The 911 doesn't have the initial snap as the muscle car, but it spools up and ends up blowing the big beast away at the end of 0-60, 1/4-mile, or passing speeds. The diesel has a similar lag, but you learn how to minimize it, and can acheive pretty good snap. I'm not saying the diesel will end up blowing gas away, just saying they do get up and go. The diesel will blow by the gas towing a big load up a hill, however. To clarify things, I am relatively young and appreciate accelleration more then the common Joe, so don't think I am some old fuddy duddy that doesn't care when I get places.
    *Teenage accelleration - advantage gas.

    2) I've heard the short driving thing a lot, but I've posed the question a lot in these forums to what specifically goes wrong (consistently) or if anyone has actually had a diesel die at a much shorter longevity due to lots of short trip - style driving. I understand the logic behind why the short trips would be hard on diesels. But lots of diesels are used for construction work, which usually involves short trips. I've yet to hear any consistent problems related to this. I'm sure the short trips aren't as good for the engine, but that type of driving isn't good for gas engines' longevity either. This was partly my point for bringing up diesel cars in my last post. I've not heard any problems related to short-range driving of diesel cars. I've heard that the diesel Mercedes commonly last over 500K miles.
    *Longevity and dependability - advantage diesel.

    3) Although some of the gas engines are rated as high or nearly as high for towing, it does not mean that they are as good at it. The diesels work much less hard at those high levels than the gas engines, get better range (especially loaded down), and will last longer in heavy use. No matter what, you pretty much admitted that the diesel is better in this realm anyway.
    *Towing & hauling - advantage diesel.

    4) Diesel pushers are becoming increasingly popular in smaller RVs. This is a new market that is growing rapidly. Many of these RVs are built here in Oregon, and I am very familiar with them through my work. They are generally recognized as the best engines in this market, but do cost more. *Range & power/torque - advantage diesel.

    5) Diesels use more oil and more expensive filters. But as time goes by, the diesel (particularly the Cummins) will be less costly. Normal maintenance costs (non-repair work) are one facet I will give you.
    *Maintenance cost - advantage gas (although I don't care about the $20-$30 annual difference when changing my own oil. Besides, this difference is made up by the better efficiency).

    6) Unless you are spending lots of time at the gas station (which you will spend less time there with a diesel), driving around with a 65-mph tail wind, or have the exhaust plumbed into your cab, I don't think the smell will be a problem to the driver or passengers in the diesel pickup.
    *Mute point

    Now if you can afford to have two pickups, I guess you could say a gas pickup would be better for the light use, knowing you can use the diesel for the heavy use. But if you are like me, and will only have one truck, having driven both alot, I know which is the best choice. I know the diesel is best when push comes to shove (towing & hauling). I know it is civilized enough for everyday driving. I know it has the best range. I know it will last the longest (whether I keep it forever or not, it gives me more confidence).
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    I dug up an old Trailer Life from earlier this year that tested two Superduty trucks, one was with the 99 Ford V-10 and the other with the PSD. I don't have the article with me. It was a pretty vague article. I don't really agreee with the way they matched the trucks either. They tried to get trucks with even tow ratings. I think they ended up with the V-10 truck being an extended cab with 4.30 against a regular cab PSD with 3.73. I would have preferred a test with identical trucks except the engine. The PSD should have had the 4.10. They also didn't say how heavy the trailer was, but I would guess it was in the 7,500 pound range.

    Regardless, on an extended 6% grade, both trucks drove side-by-side to the top. The V-10 was in a lower gear pulling more rpms obviously. The mpg for the V-10 was around 7.5 towing and just over 12 empty and the PSD was around 10.5 towing and just over 18 empty. They calculated maintenance costs related to routine service over 100,000 miles and the amounts were quite a bit higher than what has been quoted. The V-10 holds 7 quarts of oil compared to 15 for the PSD. They also mentioned the extra cost of the oil filters and the cost of 1-2 fuel filters that the diesel requires during the first 100,000 miles.

    Their break-even analysis came up to exactly what most of us have debated on this site. Depending on the price of guel, the amount of towing (where the mpg variance is less), the amount of empty driving, etc., the break-even point was somewhere between 88,000 and 188,000.

    The mpg figures seem realistic to me. I've got a 99 F-350 dually 4x4 with V-10 and 4.30. I get close to 12 running empty and about 8.5-9 with my camper. Towing 7,000+ pounds, I could see 7.5-8. As for the PSD, the empty mpg would probably drop 1-2mpg with the 4.10 running empty. I'm not sure I would expect to see much of a difference in the towing mpg. My folks have a 97 F-350 dually 2x4 PSD with 4.10 and tow an 11,000+ pound 35 foot 5th wheel. They average 16 empty and about 10 towing. I'd say the difference in mpg between the V-10 and PSD with 4.30 and 4.10 axle ratios is about 3mpg towing and 5 empty.

    One advantage of the diesel that wasn't mentioned in the article is driving in altitudes. A gas engine loses something like 10% power for every 1000 feet in altitude. A diesel doesn't start losing power until you hit about 10,000 feet. If you're towing in the mountains, this could be a big factor.
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Lets be happy about one thing. Gas and diesel engines have advanced to the point where most of these arguments are even possible. Not too many years ago (before Cummins & Powerstroke) it would have been impossible. Gas was definitely superior, although they were full-blown gas hogs. Diesels, although much more efficient, were truly gutless (accellerating), although gas engines had less torque.

    The gap has narrowed in all areas where one or the other was superior. But most importantly, gas and diesel engines have both advanced to the point where 400+ pounds torque and 250+ horsepower are possible in both engine types. I'm glad you mentioned the GM 6.0L, that is one great engine that I might actually end up with. That much power and the ability to get over 15 mpg is pretty darn good.

    I think the best engine is the toughest most powerful one, especially when it has better mileage/range and presents no serious drawbacks (IMO). [if you drove the Cummins for any period of time like I have, I think you would back off your accelleration pitch, its pretty darn good]. I prefer overkill in most things. I've never regretted having more power than needed or a large safety margin. I greatly appreciate the highest quality in all things. That's why I love the Cummins. But I agree that the gas engines are excellent engines, especially the GM 6.0L, that are far better than adequate. Just not the best (initial purchase price aside).

    It will be interesting in coming years to see how much power they squeeze out of these engines when they couple them with trannys that can handle more power. Sounds like Cummins/Powerstroke/Duramax are all capable of over 500 lbs torque and over 300 hp, while still getting over 20 mpg. No gas engine, current or proposed, is capable of those figures.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    Trailer Life tested a 2000 6.0L 2500 4x4 with 4.10 about a month ago towing about a 6500 pound trailer. The best mpg running empty was about 13.5 on flat interestate at 65mph. If I remember right, they got about 8.9 towing. Overall, the article was positive for the 6.0L, but if you get a similar setup, you will likely have trouble getting 15mpg, especially around town. A 2x4 and a different axle ratio might get you there.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    I didn't drive the Cummins only because everything I had read said the Powerstroke outperformed it. I did look at a Cummins in August and was surprised to see the Cummins de-tuned for the automatics. They were offering the truck at $1 over invoice AND a $1000 rebate. I considered it for a while but I had 2 payments left on my lease and I really wanted a crew cab. I've decided to order my F-350 short bed 4x4 crew cab v10 very shortly at about $300 over invoice. Actually liked the G.M. 6.0l a lot but liked the crew cab, full floating rear axle and looks better of the Super Duty. Like buying computer equipment I know whatever I buy will be surpassed by something in 6 months or less. Oh well.
    Take it easy guys.
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    "$1 over invoice AND a $1000 rebate". Man, I've never seen that for a Cummins.

    Yeah, on paper I know the Powerstroke is supposed to outperform the Cummins, but it seems that the Cummins has a more dedicated market. I don't know what the power-to-weight ratio is on the two. I know the Cummins is considered to be a truer diesel configuration and probably more durable. Sounds like the PS has that injector problem.

    Dodge has definitely pulled a GM by not offering the Crew Cab, handing over that market share without challenge to Ford.

    Brutus, my 15 mpg estimate is coming from the reports on the post set up for 6.0L mileage. Sounds like over 15 is very capable with highway driving (maybe up to 17, even).
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    The 4.10 axle ratio could have something to do with the mpg in the test vehicle. Also, I'm sure Trailer Life test are done with new trucks. The mpg can often improve through the first 5-7,000 miles.
  • RoclesRocles Posts: 985
    A Cummins de-tuned you say? That's because of the inferior Dodge tranny made to mate with that great engine. Injectors aside, Ford has a more reliable package because of a better tranny for the Navistar.
    Just my two pennies offered on this one.......
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Yeah, I'm trying to decide what to do about the Ram/Cummins. My dad has had no tranny problems with two Ram/Cummins ('89 & '97), but I guess the newer engines are putting out more power and testing the Trannys. I just don't know how bad the problem is. I don't know if it's not a problem unless you are towing huge 5th wheels or otherwise really pushing the tranny. I know Dodge is going to remedy the problem with a new automatic, but it sounds like it might be a year to a year and a half out. I'm not a patient person.
  • It will be 2003 model year before Dodge gets a New Automatic Trans. Also may not be a Cummins Diesel. Steve
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    I have a feeling, judging from all the Cummins owners I have talked to at campgrounds and at farms and ranches, that this is one of those things where the trannys could certainly be better, but they are way better than many like to make them out to be in these forums. I still think the Ram/Cummins is the best all-around 3/4-ton, even with the weaker automatic. I won't be pushing it to the limits, so I'm guessing I shouldn't have to worry about the tranny. It would be nice if it wasn't an issue at all, though.
  • muzzydmuzzyd Posts: 12
    This talk about the Cummins w/automatic in the dodges is exactly that..just talk. Check out the forum "Ford vs Dodge" #297 for the correct answer.
    The tranny problems reported were not with the automatic, there were problems with the standard transmission though.
    I just took delivery of a Y2K 3500 Ram Quadcab with the Cummins/Automatic and absolutly love it. I traded a Ram 2500 4x4 w/automatic Quadcab and the 5.9L gas. A real nice truck but not enough power for my 5th wheel. This truck is beautiful.
    I tride a friends Ford 350 PS and didnt like the ride or handling. It has plenty of power but I can't tell the difference between them in that catagorie. I just figure the Cummins is a proven motor and the Dodge looks great.
    Why else is every other truck maker trying to copy the look.

    Muzzyd
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    Ford owners would dispute the similarity in appearance. Set a 92 F-250 next to a 99 F-250 and 99 Ram 3/4 ton truck and there is no doubt about which trucks are related. Side by side, the Ram and the new Ford have very little in common when it comes to exterior styling.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    about 3% per 1000ft if you adjust jetting....
  • I have read through all these forums and have a couple questions that I'm sure one can answer for me. I am new to the diesel engine as far as owning, so am unfamiliar with many of the things that separate them from gas.

    I ordered a 2000 F-250 SD Crew Cab 4x4 w/PSD and long bed. I will get it in the next few weeks. Cost was not an issue with the diesel, so my choice came down to longevity, mileage (which translates to better range), and after test-driving both gas and diesel, I liked the diesel better.

    My first question is: How cold does it need to get before the diesel will not start w/o the engine heater? Is there an easy way to start the engine in the cold without using the heater? What happens if you're parked in a place w/o access to plug it in (in the mountains elk hunting and it's -20F)?

    What type of oil does this engine take, and is it better to use synthetic or a blend?

    As for the regular maintenance and such I have no qualms with taking care of these things myself. With a 100,000 mile warranty for the engine one would feel somewhat safe in that regards as to any costs up to that point, but I put a higher cost on being stranded/broken down than the cost to repair. I have heard a lot of negative things with the Ford trucks in general to make me a little uncomfortable heading off into the wilderness with this truck. I have been a Toyota owner for the last 12 years, and even though they don't have the work capabilities or interior room of the larger trucks, the one thing they DO have is reliability. And I put a pretty high price on that.
  • muzzydmuzzyd Posts: 12
    Let's not compare the F250, rather that "big beefy looking F350" design. You know the one.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    muzzy,

    When I said F-250, I meant the Superduty F-250 not the F-250LD. The F-250 Superduty looks just like the F-350 Superduty. But for the point of discussion, if you put a 99 F-350 Superduty next to a 92 F-350 and a 99 1 ton Dodge, there is no doubt which two trucks are related.

    The only real similarity between the Dodge and the Superduty is the raised hood. However, the Dodge design gets to the rise in a much more dramatic way, which I'm not saying is better or worse, only different. If you did one of those morph commercials, it would be a lot easier to morph a 92 Ford into a 99 Ford than to morph a 99 Ford into a 99 Dodge. Like I said, the only real similarity is the raised hood. Look at the headlights and grill, etc.

    You can also see one of the reasons that Ford raised the hood. They shortened the length of the front end, which necessitated the increased height. I've got a 99 F-350 Superduty dually with the V-10. There is absolutely no empty space in the engine compartment. That engine barely fits. At the same time, no doubt, some of the raised hood is style related.

    As far as comparing a 92 F-150 or F-250 with a 99 F-150 or F-250LD, there is no comparison. I can't see any real resemblence between the F-150 design that came out in 1997 and the older trucks, although I can see the similarities between the Superduty and the 92-97 heavy duty trucks. Just my opinion.....
  • muzzydmuzzyd Posts: 12
    Bruts,
    Good information. I'm not into slammin' someone else's choice I think both are good trucks. Actually I prefer the style of the new Chevy, but I just dont think there as much of a work house as they would like you to believe. As for the motor I prefer the Cummins as proven reliable and low maintenance engine.
    I've been in the Fire Service for over thirty years and have seen Cat's, Detroit's and Cummins in service. The Cummins always win out here in longevity. Going back to the original topic "looks", it's a matter of preferance.
    I've owned good&bad Chevy's,Fords and Chrysler products but this latest Dodge is my third and I can say I've only had one problem with any of the Dodges and that was a rear main seal on the 94'Ram
    As you say..it's only my opinon, but I like the Dodge.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    I've got a Ford bias. I like the overall package. If I was looking at a diesel, I like the track record of the Cummins, so I'd have to take a good look. I plan to give diesels a good hard look next time I buy, which won't be for another 5 years or so. Dodge, Chevy and Ford will all have their new diesels in full production by then.

    On the other hand, I also expect to see some changes with the gas engines. The advantages of the diesels have always been torque, longevity, and mpg. The gas engines are lasting longer, getting stronger, and getting better mpg. The diesels appear to have caught up in the hp race, and they also appear to be widening the gap in the torque. Although the diesels still have longevity on their side, it's not out of the question for gas engines to give you 200,000 before a major overhaul. The gas engines have also closed the gap a little in the mpg area. The difference is about 5-6 mpg empty and around 3 mpg towing. I'm not sure how much more the gassers can improve in any of these areas. My guess is that 12 cylinders will be available in a few more years. A higher number of smaller cylinders looks like it might be some of the reason for the better efficiency (more power, better mpg, longer lasting).

    One of my biggest concerns about diesels is cold weather starting and too many start and stops without adequate warm-up time for the diesel. I live in Alaska and there are a lot of diesels up here. As long as you can plug it in, you're fine, but I plan to do some winter camping and suspect that I would have to be starting the truck up periodically throughout the night if the temps dropped down around zero or below. We hit 10 below last night. Neither the neighbor or I plugged our trucks in. I had to give him a jump. I have the V-10. He has a diesel (6.5L Chevy).
  • tomf9tomf9 Posts: 3
    I have a 97 Ram cummins, and I live in Minnesota. I have to plug my truck in when it gets below zero. But Im not that worried about the cold now, seeing as how the auto tranny just dropped reverse the other night. But as far as not having a plug in near by, just start it up periodically during the time you are out and you shouldn't have a problem
  • tom60tom60 Posts: 10
    I have the F250 SD, PSD with no problems on cold weather starting. A whole forum on cold weather starting was done on the Ford-Diesel web page. (www.Ford-Diesel.com) Folks from AK, and all the other winter weather states have comments. IU do plug mine in when it is down to around 10 degrees just to save warm up time and I don't keep the neighbors up nearly as long when I leave at 5 am.
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