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



  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    Is that just b/c of the altitude and grade and stuff. I knew of a guys old dodge that was that way, but 75 would be too slow for passing on some roads I would think. What am I missing?
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    there are 6 gears.
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    400,ooo miles??? How many times do you intend to replace the truck surrounding the engine to get that far? Pray for half that and if you get lucky it will make it.
  • That's is what I am hoping for. Being able to keep the truck together for 300k miles.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    I told ya I was missing something. Haha, that was it. L8r
  • mesazonemesazone Posts: 51
    I've got the pickup you are questioning. It will throw you around if the roads you drive on are rough. Just driving down the street/highway, it is just fine. There is a dirt area on the way home from town my boys (3 and 5) like me to drive over. It bounces pretty good which is what they like. My tires are at 52PSI.
  • richcolorichcolo Posts: 81
    I don't intend to have to "replace the truck surrounding the engine". I currently have 175,000 on a 1991 GMC 1500 V-6, and nobody believes me when I say this, but it has the original clutch and brakes, the paint was stripped and reshot because of flaking back in 1994, and it still shines, and has not flaked...lousy primer originally, GM paid, I didn't. Now that I have the new 2500HD I do notice a few squeaks and rattles in the '91, but it drives nicer than many sedans with 50,000 miles. My wife drives a '99 Honda Odyssey which at 50,000 miles does not have any of it's original brakes, its sliding doors creak, and its seats look more worn than the '91.

    When I was looking at the new trucks more than one dealer bragged that the new brakes on the 2500HD were designed to be 3x more durable than on the older trucks...I guess I'll still have the originals at 400,000 (I don't believe that claim myself). I expect that I'll ahve to do some interior work, but I expect the body and suspension will be in good shape until I turn it over to my soon to be 4 year old son, in 12 years. After that....
  • mesazonemesazone Posts: 51
    Here is something that I've thought about for a while.

    Why is it that a diesel engine can have more torque and less HP then a gas engine of the same size? Why is the gap between HP and torque larger for diesel then gas? Is it all in the fuel? Do the removal of the spark plugs have anything to do with it?
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Posts: 2,721
    Horsepower is the product of torque times rpm. Diesels have lots of torque but operate best at low rpm, thus lower hp than you expect.

    It really comes down to the fuel. Diesel fuel has more BTUs per pound than gasoline, but gasoline is more refined, and gives a controlled burn over time. Because of this, by adjusting the timing of the ignition spark, i.e. advancing it as rpm increases, a gas engine can operate over a wider range of rpms. There's not much control to the diesel burn rate. So unlike a gas engine, where a mixture of fuel and air is compressed, in the case of diesel only air is compressed. This makes the air HOT (1st law of thermodynamics). At the precise optimum time, raw diesel fuel is injected into the compressed mass of hot air causing immediate ignition. You get more violent ignition, and more power per stroke, due to the higher BTU content, but because the rate of burn is limited, so is the range of rpms over which you can achieve this.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    It all boils down to the bore vs. stroke relationship. Well, not entirely, fuel is a part of the equation. But in the interest of simplicity I'll leave that one out.

    High performance engines, i.e. race engines, have a short stroke in relation to the width of the bore. A short stroke engine turns higher rpms, therefore creating more horsepower, but not as much torque.

    Tractor engines have a long stroke in relation to the width of their bore. This long stroke is not very conducive to high rpms, but will produce a lot of torque.

    Torque is what actually gets the work done. That is why us truck guys talk about torque, but rarely about horsepower. A racer friend of mine described it to me this way; "Torque is what gets you there, horsepower is what keeps you there." I guess what he means is the torque is what allows you to accelerate from idle, where very little horsepower is being made, but torque is. Once you get up to speed, the engine is making enough horsepower to keep you at speed.

    The spark plugs have nothing to do with it. They are simply the way gasoline is ignited, and they are not needed in a diesel engine.

    I hope I have not confused you further. I'm not an expert by any means, just a shade tree mechanic who has learned out of neccessity.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    looks like we covered both sides at once.
  • jcave1jcave1 Posts: 137
    And good job too. From both y'all.
  • plutoniousplutonious Posts: 799
    Diesel engines have a compression ratio of about 22:1, while gasoline engines have a ratio of about 10:1. As you can imagine, a longer stroke is required in the diesel to acheive the higher compression ratio and as others have already explained, a longer stroke equates to more torque. A longer stroke has a larger "leveraging" effect on the crankshaft but it will not spin as fast. And as quadrunner500 pointed out, horsepower is a product of torque and RPM. The diesel's lower RPMs (due to its long stroke) is what makes the diesel have lower horsepower figures.

    But that's not the only factor that influences the diesel's lower horsepower figures. The inherent high pressure in diesels require heavy pistons and connecting rods. This combination of high compression and heavy pistons and rods also prevent the engine from revving fast, resulting in a loss of horsepower.

    Also, diesel fuel is able to combust with a very lean mixture, as opposed to gasoline which requires a much richer mixture. Of course, the diesel's leaner mixture is what enables it to get relatively good gas mileage but at the expense of less horsepower.
  • mesazonemesazone Posts: 51
    Thanks everyone. I took small engine repair in middle school and had to actually tear down a small engine and rebuild it but that was 19 years or so ago, so I know most of how an engine works. I just wasn't sure why diesel got more torque and less HP. Now I understand.

    Also made for a great conversation piece to keep this group alive.

    I guess that with the "violent" explosion in the cylinder is what causes all the noise. How is it then that the Duramax is so quiet and my Power Stroke is so loud? (Why am I asking these questions AFTER buying it?) Could it be a thicker block for the Duramax?

    mullins87, I've heard that quote about HP and torque. That's how I keep them separated and understandable and why torque is needed for heavier loads.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Posts: 2,721
    Having serviced Hartridge fuel injection test stands for a Caterpillar dealer, I can tell you that lots of noise comes from the injectors and pump. On these test stands, a variable speed dc electric motor drives a pump. They open up the injectors and pump an inert fluid into beakers as a test to see if they flow at the same rate. You'd be surprised how much that test stand sounds like a full fledged diesel engine.

    Having said that, the Duramax (like mine) isn't always so much quieter, only when the pilot injection circuit is enabled by the computer. Pilot injection (Bosch) works by squirting a pre-charge of fuel to start the combustion process sooner, before the full charge is sprayed-in later. It helps make things quite, but doesn't operate under all conditions.
  • mesazonemesazone Posts: 51
    Well, I can say I learned a lot of new things today. Thanks for all your information.
  • badrammanbadramman Posts: 61
    WOW I'm very impressed.
    I guess you learn something new every day.
  • warfishwarfish Posts: 117
    I am a 6 months per year camper, pulling a 12,000 lb fifth wheel with a 2001 Dodge Cummins with 3.5 gears and automatic. After 26,000 miles the truck is still rock solid. The only modification I made was to install EGT, boost and transmission temp gauges, and all they do is keep me happy with what is going on up front.
    As anyone who pulls a camper knows, campers talk to each other very freely about their rigs. I've met many couples who tow much larger rigs than mine with Dodge Cummins automatics and I have yet to meet the guy who says his transmission is junk. Some of these guys have 150 and 200k on their trucks and still no problems.
    As far as the GM duramax/Allison rigs go, it's still early to tell, but I think most of the problems we read about are urban legends, or maybe a few stories that have been repeated so many times it sounds like a great deal more than actually have happened. I've talked to a lot of owners in the campgrounds and have not found one who is not very happy with his rig.
    The Fords are OK too. With a little tweaking they are very good. But for comfort, long term reliability and the ease of access to the engine, I'll take my Dodge Cummins over the rest.
  • Indian3 -

    Your original question was which diesel engine is the best. Between having driven all three current offerings and older GM diesels along with public available information I would have to say the the Cummins dodge uses is the best engine. I currently have a GM diesel.

    This will be even more the case with the new Cummins engine in the upcoming Dodge 2003 HDs. The will have the common rail injection system like the GM offering to improve severe cold starting and emissions and offer 305 hp and 555 ft of torque ratter at 23K pounds of towing.

    It is the only one of the three engines that is rated as a true medinum duty truck engine. It seven main bearings for six cylinders and is certified as an average of 350,000 miles between major overhauls. Also, inline sixes are a more simple stright foreward design and inline engines always will run smother.

    Dodge has not had an automatic transmission that has been upto the Cummins engine. They are gonig to offer a new 5-speed automatic midway through the 2003 MY but I would go with the new 6-speed manual transmission.

    I can not understand why Dodge did not get their new automatic transmissions from Allison. That automatic is great but expensive.

    As for which truck that hese engines are in is the best I can not be sure, but the best engine is Cummins. By the way, Ford is going to be droping the International unit in their 2004 trucks because of issues they are having with the engine.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Posts: 2,721
    >The will have the common rail injection system like the GM offering to improve severe cold starting and emissions and offer 305 hp and 555 ft of torque ratter at 23K pounds of towing.<

    If the noisy Cummins is already better than the Duramax diesel, why do they need to copy it?

    >I can not understand why Dodge did not get their new automatic transmissions from Allison. That automatic is great but expensive.<

    Is it because G.M. purchased, and now owns Allison, 100% lock, stock and barrel?
  • trucktrickstrucktricks Posts: 45
    I have heard that Ford will be going to the International 6.0 liter replacing the 7.3 liter.

    Jamesfletcher2: Is this what you mean when you say "Ford is dropping the International in 2004"

    Also a comment on Horsepower and Torque. It is Horsepower that is the measure for the ability to do work. Torque is a component of an engines ability to provide that horsepower. The other component is speed. So if you want to carry a load up a hill at a given MPH, this will require a fixed amount of Horsepower, not Torque.

    Another way to think of it is that it is possible to produce 500 lb-ft of torque from a 5 HP Briggs and Stratton engine by gearing the output down. But installing that package in you pickup to pull your 5th wheel up the Grapevine is not going to work very well.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Torque is the measure by which work is done, not horsepower. If that were the case, why do trucks have high torque, low horsepower engines while sports cars have low torque, high horsepower engines? You are right that horsepower is a function of torque at a given rpm and that horsepower is required to do a job quickly. Your example of the 5hp B&S to pull a 5th wheel is correct. With enough gear reduction, that engine will put a tremendous amount of torque to the ground, it just won't do it very quickly. You will get to the top, but at less than 1 mph.
  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    in here many times. "Torque gets the load moving, HP keeps the load moving."
    As this pertains to trucks and towing. Seeing that there is a lot of wind resistance with a truck and even more when towing, the truck acts like it is always trying to accelerate and that is why it is more important to have torque than HP in a truck.
  • hunter98hunter98 Posts: 273

    There is a fixed relationship,
    Horsepower will equal torque always at 5252 RPM, and above this point horsepower will always be greater than the torque.

    The reason that we want as much torque as possible for a pulling truck is that the higher the torque number at pulling RPM, the more available horsepower to pull with. This is why the Duramax has more pulling power at 2000 RPMs than the 8100. This is even though the HP is 340 on the big block, and only 300 on the Duramax. THe 8100 will outpull the Duramax if both are at peak HP levels, but this depends on the gearing situation. IT IS VERY DESIRABLE TO PULL AT RPMS AROUND 1800-2000 RATHER THAN 3000-3500 FOR THE FUEL ECONOMY, NOISE, AND LONGEVITY ISSUES.


    ON ANOTHER NOTE, ALL OF OUR FARM TRACTORS, COMBINES, ECT ARE RATED BY HORSEPOWER AT RATED LOAD RPM, SUCH AS 235 HORSEPOWER AT 2000 RPMS, that engine has a max governed RPM of 2200 rpms, and is 95% of the time operated at full throttle, with the load pulling the RPMS down to 1900-2100 RPMs, under no load, 2200 RPMs.


    Hope you all get it now!
  • adunkeradunker Posts: 32
    Let me start out by stating that I am currently and Internet Manager at a Chevy dealership in Texas. I have worked for Dodge dealerships also.
    The base of almost all discussions goes back to the "tried and true" diesel engines. Dodge has the Cummins engine which has made a few improvements in the last few years, however the other components the engine is coupled with will not last with the engine. My friend works right next door at a Dodge dealership and has replaced many transmissions in these trucks due to not being able to keep up with the diesel. Also, this is a great engine, but why in the next year or so is DaimlerChrysler going to give a choice between Cummins and Mercedes Diesel?
    Ford with it's PowerStroke is a good choice for low mileage uses. By low mileage I am insinuating 150K or less. After this threshold, the truck loses its characteristics that made it such a good truck. Diesels are supposed to be built rugged enough to last 200-even500K miles. Seen the resale value of an older model Powerstroke lately? It isn't pretty. Also, this engine brings to the table relatively close the same numbers that Chevy and Dodge offers. The problem with this is the abundance of 7.3 liters. As well as higher maintenance costs, you also have poor gas mileage to add to it.
    Now to the Chevy. This Duramax is new to the Chevy, but it is built by Isuzu. If you didn't know, Isuzu has been building diesel engines longer than any other auto manufacturer. Are far as "tried and true," Chevy takes pride in the fact that they test out everything thoroughly before producing it for the public. This in turn reduces the number of problems in the long run. Am I saying that Chevy has no problems? No, but the chances of having a major problem with your new Chevy truck is very slim. How do you think Chevy can keep its slogan "Like A Rock" for as long as it has with no hassles. If you haven't driven a Chevy, just go test drive one. The ride quality in this Diesel truck will greatly impress you.
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    Nice try Adam."My friend works right next door at a Dodge dealership and has replaced many transmissions in these trucks..."
    My Sierra 2500HD has it's THIRD Allison in it.

    "why in the next year or sois DaimlerChrysler going to give a choice between Cummins and Mercedes Diasel?"

    "Chevy takes pride in the fact that they test out everything thoroughly before producing it for the public"
    TWO transmissions were taken out of my ONE truck and returned to Allison "for research"because of an electronic programming problem.
    AND if you want to keep selling Chevys you can't say anything about why GM is STILL producing knocking engines after THREE YEARS.

  • 26psiboost26psiboost Posts: 15
    Judging by the literally thousands and thousands of posts in Town Hall regarding Silverado, Engine Knock, Allison, and Duramax problems I would say GM needs to work a little harder at the proving grounds before releasing a new vehicle. GM has had some better ideas lately than the competition, but it hasn't launched anything new in the last 5 years that hasn't been a POS in its first two years of infancy ranging from the vette to the Tahoe's and the Town Hall and Consumer Reports confirms it.

    Just because GM outsourced a motor and trans from reputable manufacturers (finally) doesn't prove any long term quality or re-sale issues for it's new HD. Neither this motor nor this trans are identical to anything that has been on the road for years as they were specifically made for GM.

    If these trucks are so good and somebody really would like one I suggest contacting dealers in Georgia where there are huge rebates on new 2001 Duramax's that dealers still have in inventory. Good luck finding an ad for a new '01 Ford or Dodge diesel.

    As far as re-sale goes my recently traded '99.5 F-250 SC SD PSD with 90K miles depreciated only $8000 from what I paid for it new on trade and that was with X-plan on the new '02 PSD CC truck so they couldn't make up for the difference on the new vehicle as its price was out of their control. What else seats six, will pull virtually anything and only depreciates roughly 8 cents per mile with very high mileage in a relatively short period of time?

    I'm also curious to see what the thick head gasket between iron block and aluminum head on the Duramax is going to do around 100-125K, but only time will tell.

    As a matter of fact go back to you little cubicle and post again when the 1 millionth Duramax is placed in a HD. Ford placed its 1 millionth Powerstroke in the Turtle V Expedition F-550 on August 30, 1999 and they most likely will reach the second million mark by the end of this model ('02) year.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Posts: 2,721
    I don't think you can find 30 complaints in Town Hall about the Duramax diesel, but I digress.

    What I really wanted to interject, was the subject of torque and horsepower. In the simplest terms, torque is work, but horsepower is the time rate of doing work.

    If you followed that, torque is Force times Radius, Horsepower is Torque times Rpm.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    The reason everything is rating in HP is because that is the number most of us understand. If HP were king, we would have 10k rpm screemers turning out 500 hp in our trucks and tractors, but they would only be producing 263ftlbs of torque. We all know that would never get the job done. Your example of the tractor producing 235hp @ 2k rpm; Do you have any idea how much torque that engine is producing @ 2k rpm???? Try 618ftlbs!!!! Couple that with the overall gearing, a huge amount of torque is being put to the ground.

    Being on the farm and working on equipment all the time, I assume you are familiar with a torque wrench and how it works. What does a torque wrench measure? How much force (work) is being applied to the nut/bolt. A dyno, the device used to measure an engines HP, works in much the same way as a torque wrench, only it uses a viscous fluid to measure forces applied. The engine attempts to turn the shaft of the dyno while the dyno attempts to shut the engine down by not letting the shaft be turned. This is where the torque of the engine is measured. Horsepower alone could never turn that shaft. Of course, you cannot have horsepower without some torque.

    Torque measures how much work can be done and horsepower measures how quickly it can be done. I apologize for ever responding to Rick, I'm afraid I may have started another discussion on a long since worn out subject.
  • hunter98hunter98 Posts: 273
    First off, the Duramax is great, have 13,000 miles on farm with mine without a lick of problems. I also know of quite a few others that have had no problems. "Although I know a guy whose neighbor works at a Chevy Dealership and they have replaced DOZENS of sets of heads and head gaskets" I WAS LAUGHING AS HE SAID THIS TO ME, HE DRIVES A POWERSTROKE, WHAT CAN I SAY.

    Anyways, on the torque, horsepower debate. Our tractors have 12, 16, 18, or say 24 gears to allow us to go the proper speed in the field. One tractor for example makes 220 Horsepower at 1900 RPMs, and another tractor makes the same horsepower at 2600 RPMs. They both will pull the same load, but have different torque curves and numbers. It is the producing of a given amount of horsepower at different RPMs, and using gearing to provide equal ground speed that allows the same amount of work to be done.

    Two engines of the same horsepower, one produces 600 ft lbs at 1500 RPMs, and the other produces 400 ft lbs at 1500 RPMs, the one with the 600 ft lbs, will pull 50% more than the other one at that given RPM, but both at peak HP, will pull equally.


  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    Basically if you had 1 gear Torque would be #1 and on the other side if you had an unlimited number of gears and RPM was not a consern HP would be #1. Last nigh I thought about it and I remembered something that helps explain torque vs Hp. Torque is Rotational force and Hp is straight line.
  • adunkeradunker Posts: 32
    KG11- Seems you got a problem truck. These types of trucks or cars aren't limited to the GM brand. All manufacturers of any type of product have a few that get out and have problems. Unfortunatly, people, like you, that end up with these products usually don't buy another one and spread around that they have a bad product.
    Oh, and Chrysler doesn't own Mercedes. Mercedes bailed Chrysler out when there business was down in the dumps. I worked for them when that merger took affect. I a sense, it hurt Mercedes more than it helped Chrysler because now Mercedes has to take care of all the problems.
    26PSIBOOST- Good luck finding huge sales on '01 Dodge Diesels? Our Ford and Dodge dealerships have their diesels marked down to close to $21,000 just to try to get rid of them. The problem with Dodge is that the new body style is hurting the heavy duty trucks. People would rather wait another year to get a new body style than get a new '01 and have the resale value drop after they redesign them.
    Your trade-in value is easy to make seem higher or lower than what it should be, even if you have a fixed price. Check out the real trade-in values through Edmund's or Kelley Blue Book. Don't be fooled by your obvious inexperience. Trust me, I was fooled once when I was younger. It won't happen again to me. But I also know the car business better now.
  • trucktrickstrucktricks Posts: 45
    Quadrunner500, you are close to being right on the money. But….

    Torque is really not work, it is rotational force. Or to say it another way, it is force acting at a distance (radius).

    Work is force acting through a distance (pushing on an object with 5 lbs. of force for a distance of 5 feet is 25 ft-lbs. of work).

    And Power is the rate of doing work (pushing that same object 5 feet in 1 sec is 25 ft-lbs/sec or .04545455 horsepower).

    And for those of you out there that are wondering why this is so important, it is because this does have relevance to owning and enjoying trucks. Trucks are about pulling, hauling, acceleration, torque, horsepower, work and cool stuff like that.

    On the Duramax, GM grossly underestimated the demand for this marvelous engine so they are capacity limited. This is the reason for the long waits. They could have sold 50% more if they had the production capacity. You can be assured that they are addressing this as we speak.
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    My point was not that I got a problem truck ,rather that GM DID NOT "test thoroughly" before releasing this product.My truck WAS THE TEST VEHICLE.Two mechanically sound transmissions were removed from my truck because GM didn't know anything about them,and THAT'S WHAT PISSES ME OFF.
    I didn't say my truck is a P.O.S. but you must admit it wasn't ready for market when it was released 3 or 4 months late.

  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Posts: 2,721
    Hold on!

    Force equals mass times acceleration.

    Work equals force times distance.

    Oops! That makes you right and me wrong. Thanks for correcting!
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Im looking to buy a diesel with a six speed in it. I curently have a 97 Ram 2500 4X4 diesel, love the truck, hate the tranny (auto). Had it rebuilt at 69K and had a shift kit installed havent had any problems since, but i like the freedom of a manual. And please limit the responces between Dodge and Ford for two reasons. #1 GM is way to expensive. #2 Of all the looking i have done here in minnesota, i have yet to find a six speed in a GM.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    I have a '99 F-350 PSD with the 6-speed. I don't think I would like the auto with the diesel either. You won't win any drag races between stop lights, but then again, if that is what you are after, you wouldn't be looking at a big truck. I like not having to worry too much about tranny failures. I know things can and do break on manuals, but they don't seem to be as frequent. I, like yourself, like the total control a manual gives me.
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    A couple of things to consider. First, Dodge's current manual tranny is a 5 speed, made by Mopar. They will offer a 6 speed in the new 03 trucks. Both chevy and Ford use the same 6 speed manual in their trucks, I can't remember who makes it for them right now.
    However, if you are ruling out the Chevy, and you want a 6 speed, I would go with the Ford over the new Dodge.
    This will be a new truck with many new parts. Historically this proves to provide some unreliable vehicles while the manufacturers work all the bugs out.
    Personally I believe the new Cummins will be a great reliable engine, but I would be concerned about the electronics controlling it and the rest of the truck.
    The PSD has proven itself, and with the manual tranny it is a great package.
    I agree wholeheartedly about the problems with autos.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    both use the ZF 6-speed tranny. It is a great unit, however I do have one complaint with it. It will growl rather loudly at off-idle engine speeds. This is normal and characteristic of a heavy-duty tranny. Upgrading to synthetic ATF such as Mobil One, Redline Oil, or Amsoil will help.

    So far I have 106+ on mine with no problems.
  • textruckrtextruckr Posts: 22
    Transmissions are made by the New Venture gear company. A joint venture between GM and (the then) Chrysler Corp. It is an NV-4500, which is still used in the base model heavy duty GM pickups too. It is an excellent unit and has proven itself over many miles. New Venture has been offering the NV-5600 six speed for almost two years now, and I thought it was a special order option available on the Dodge trucks from 2001 (but I could have heard wrong). The NV-4500 has been great in my '94 C-3500 Chevy Crewcab Dually. Seen a lot of miles under heavy hauling and other than the synchros starting to wear, it has been flawless. The light duty five speed (NV-3500) is also shared between GM and Daimler-Chrysler 1/2 ton trucks.
    The ZF is a good transmission too. My only complaint on the one in our '94 Ford F-350 Crewcab, SRW is that it just won't synchro-shift like the NV-4500. Of course the clutch is a lot lighter in the Ford so it evens out.

    Texas Truck - r
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who can't synchro-shift that thing. I can do it, but I either have to be absolutely perfect or the shift is extremely rough! Finally I just gave up and use the clutch.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    I know from like 00-02 the six speed on Rams was for the HO cummins option. those are more the trucks im looking at.
  • sawdinsawdin Posts: 5

    I need to get a new vehicle in the next six months or so. I am considering a 3/4 ton diesel. It will only have to pull a 2-horse trailer for the next year or so (5500lbs total) 4-6 times/month between May and October on mainly short hauls of less than 60 miles. I live in Maine, so it is not totally flat. But then I might get a 4-horse and be up around 9-12K lbs depending on the configuration). What are the advantages of the diesel? Disadvantages? Does it only make sense to pay extra for the diesel if you haul all the time or plan to run the truck into the ground and keep it forever?

    TIA for any and all suggestions,

  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    I would say it all depends on how long you will keep the truck and how many miles you will put on it. I'm a Ford guy, so I'll use the F-250 as an example. It will pull the 12k pound trailer no problem, so that's no issue. Ford has a V-10 gasser that is nearly equal to the PSD in terms of torque, so that is no issue.

    The advantages of the PSD: durability, longevity. The disadvantages: the oil changes will cost you about $35 for the oil and filter, 15 quarts of oil! Plus there are other maintenance items as the fuel filter, air filter, coolant additives, I'm sure I have left something out.

    Depending on fuel prices and your fuel mileage, seems the break even point on a diesel purchase is around 100k miles. Remember, that diesel option will set you back about $4,500 up front, you get that back in fuel mileage savings over the gasser. Figure around 18 mpg empty with the diesel and around 13 mpg with the V-10.

    I have a '99 F-350 dually PSD. First off, I love diesels, so my decision was as much a love affair as it was what I "needed". I could have gotten by with the V-10 very easily considering what I pull. But, the deciding factor for me was the longevity issue. With the mileage I drive, my truck will have approximately 300k miles before I can get another one. I don't expect any gasser to make it that far, although it has been done. My annual fuel bill has dropped a little over $1,000 since I bought the PSD. My truck has over 100k on it so far, so I am almost to the break even point on my truck. This winter the diesel option will have paid for itself.

    If you are going to put 75k miles on it, then trade it in, I'd say get the V-10. But, if you are going to put LOTS AND LOTS of miles on it, get the diesel.
  • stampboystampboy Posts: 3
    I have owned Powerstroke and loved it. Now however I need a used dually and would prefer a 4x4 to offset the negatives of a dually during the North Dakota winters. Ford did not make their duallies with 4WD untill 1999. "99" is too new for my budget. Duallies in our area are scarce at best. I have found a "93" 3500 Chevy but it has the 6.5 ltr. diesel. I will say it has had only one owner for all 127,00 miles. It is also obvious he took extemely good care of the vehicle the whole time. IS A 93 CHEVY 3500 (CREWCAB/DUALLY) WITH A 6.5 DIESEL A MISTAKE? PLEASE ADVISE!!! Thanks for the input.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    I'd say it depends on the price, around here the Chevy 6.5 will sell for about half what a similar Powerstroke sells for. As far as the 4x4 Ford dually goes, there are several pre-99's around here. Maybe they are SRW conversions, but I don't think so.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    No in Minnesota i have seen quite a few pre-99 duallys. if your interested i can give you a website that has some good ones in the cities here stampboy
  • tim6392tim6392 Posts: 1
    I have a compact pickup now BIG MISTAKE.
    I am looking to buy a used 94-98 fullsize truck,ext. cab or quad.( need room for a car seat and work stuff) I have a "99" with 115,000 miles on it. I don't do any towing. But i do need a truck that i can be comfortable in and that will last, i'm very good at maint. scheds. What would be better a gas truck or diesel? I was thinking about a 6 cylinder diesel because i don't tow , just a 165 mile r/t commute to work 6 days a week any info would be helpful
  • stampboystampboy Posts: 3
    We have Ford dullies here in North Dakota that are pre '99 but all are conversions. The factory OEM 4x4 duallies do not exist before the body style was changed in '99. Edmunds used vehicle search will substantiate that fact. I briefly considered converting my '94 F350 but it takes a lot of changes, and then I was not sure of what I would have. I even found a dually box to help with the change over. However I was warned that other things would not be up to spec. My real GAWR would not be changed because of other limitations. For example, my braking capacity would not necessarily be sufficient. I haul a 4200 lb. (before water, provisions, etc) slide-in truck camper in the box, and my SRW F350 has blown several tires for good reason. They weren't designed for a load of 8000 pounds on that axle. (only 6084 lbs.) This draws me to an OEM dually and Ford doesn't have any factory dually old enough for my budget.
  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    I remember seeing a "conversion" kit in the JCWhitney magazines that looked to be a spacer and bolt extensions to attach another standard rim outside the existing rim.
    It may have been totally cosmetic. I don't remember if there were claims of effective load distribution across the extra tires.
    There are 4x4 shops here in Northern Nevada that can set up just about anything you want. Must be some there too. Keeping the 4X4 gear ratios correct for the front to back is just part of the deal.
    Cost vs safety. Blowing tires can't be very safe.
    Good luck.
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