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Old 03-05-2015, 06:25 PM   #1
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97 Cummins

Found a 1997 Dodge 3500 DRW 5spd Cummins for sale with 245k for $6,000. Thought it might make a good dedicated tow rig. New trailer GVWR is 10,400.
I know this generation has less hp/tq but it's made at very low RPM range and the 12v Cummins is supposedly the best thing since sliced bread.
Is this a good buy at 245K? Looks great, haven't gotten to drive it yet with this crap weather but I will soon. I know look for the dowel pin replacement but that's really it.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarver View Post
Found a 1997 Dodge 3500 DRW 5spd Cummins for sale with 245k for $6,000. Thought it might make a good dedicated tow rig. New trailer GVWR is 10,400.
I know this generation has less hp/tq but it's made at very low RPM range and the 12v Cummins is supposedly the best thing since sliced bread.
Is this a good buy at 245K? Looks great, haven't gotten to drive it yet with this crap weather but I will soon. I know look for the dowel pin replacement but that's really it.
At that mileage I assume they fixed the 5th gear nut that can fall off. Easy motor tom turn up a bit if you want some more power. Should have the 215 injectors, those are good foe adding power.

Sounds like a deal!

Bought a 98 12V 5sp reg cab 2wd about a year ago with 313K and it runs great. Paid $4,500.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:51 PM   #3
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So would you trust it to tow your trailer anywhere? I've seen you bought a 2015, obviously it's doing the heavy lifting but if you had to, would you?
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:38 PM   #4
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So would you trust it to tow your trailer anywhere? I've seen you bought a 2015, obviously it's doing the heavy lifting but if you had to, would you?
Why not? I have a 1996 5.9 with 288k miles on it. The engine will run 500k under normal circumstances. Like Cummins12V98 said, these engines are easy to get more power out of, BUT, is it an auto? They can't handle much more that stock unless you do a few things to it. Mine is well over stock power and doing great!
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:09 PM   #5
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It's a 5spd manual. I'm not too worried about the engine. Its the rest of the truck lol.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:14 PM   #6
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Not sure how I missed the 5 speed...... Sorry..... Anyhow, the clutch is the weak link for now, but there are remedies for that too. The biggest thing for the transmission is to use the proper oil and don't lug it in fifth gear.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:32 AM   #7
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If body OK you will have no problem with the truck towing up to 12500 lbs. It's more capable then my previous GM 6.5L and I towed 13k lbs 5th for 9 years.
I think you have 3.52 rear end.
MPG is fantastic.
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:01 AM   #8
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It's a 5spd manual. I'm not too worried about the engine. Its the rest of the truck lol.
You are so right. The engines in these trucks are bullet proof,, the rest of the trucks,, not so much. I own a recycling yard here in Canada and see it all the time. BUT I would still not hesitate as all trucks have their "inherit" issues,,,

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Old 03-06-2015, 06:53 AM   #9
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It does have 3.54 so in a DRW I'm guessing 18+ unloaded, maybe 13+ with the trailer. Its been a Texas truck so I'm thankful for no rust. When I get back Monday hopefully I can take it for a test drive. If it drives well I'm going to get the front end looked over really well to see if anything has been replaced. Its 2wd so I'm hoping it wasn't abused. Anything else to look over? Also, I think I remember something with 5th gear these trucks being a problem, what's that about?
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:11 AM   #10
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It does have 3.54 so in a DRW I'm guessing 18+ unloaded, maybe 13+ with the trailer. Its been a Texas truck so I'm thankful for no rust. When I get back Monday hopefully I can take it for a test drive. If it drives well I'm going to get the front end looked over really well to see if anything has been replaced. Its 2wd so I'm hoping it wasn't abused. Anything else to look over? Also, I think I remember something with 5th gear these trucks being a problem, what's that about?
Here is a free PDF booklet from Turbo Diesel register.com, that can be down loaded for your needs. This should help you out in buying the 97 Dodge truck. Here is the link:

http://www.turbodieselregister.com/c...-Buyer-s-Guide

See the following pages 125 and 237 through 295.

Jim W.
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:40 AM   #11
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I wouldn't want a truck with those kind of miles as my traveling/rv truck, BUT I would probably jump on it for a work truck. The 5.9 cum a long will run 500K but the rest of the truck esp in those years is probably not in great shape.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:45 AM   #12
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96 Dodge

I have a 96 Dodge with the Cummins, It has 425,000 miles on it and runs like a top. Would not worry about hooking up and going to Alaska or anywhere else. I do have a MH now though, so, it is just a work truck.
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