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Old 10-06-2019, 03:51 PM   #1
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Diesel Engines Outlast Gas in a Tow Vehicle?

OK, all, I'm moving from MH to fifth wheel. First, I'm shopping for a used tow vehicle. I'm told that if a 2003 Ford F350 diesel has 189,000 miles, it's only just broken in.

I'm skeptical. Can I get some debate going?
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:59 PM   #2
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A lot will have to do with the quality and quantity of the maintenance that's been done. Are there records showing oil changes etc for the truck.
One recommendation would be to get an oil sample and see if there any indications of excessive where. Also look for higher levels of silica (dirt).

Check the condition of the air intake system making sure it is all intact, no hole or loose clamps. Check the inside of the air intake tubing to see how dirty it is. Excessive dirt or dusting is a primary cause for a premature engine failure.

If everything looks good there's no reason not to expect another 200K out of the engine.

Next you'll have to be concerned with the transmission. What kind of duty cycle was it pulling>>> heavy loads??? Maintenance records, oil analysis yada yada yada!!!!
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:59 PM   #3
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03 ford diesel is prob a 6.0. Many have bad things to say about them.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:19 PM   #4
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We had a Ford 6.0 in our delivery truck fleet. Will never own another one. The rebuild shop had little good to say about them. I heard that the new Ford diesels were having head gasket problems before they reach 100k.

Get a Cummins or Duramax diesel.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:37 PM   #5
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Diesel

Diesel will Outlast gas engines. It all depends on maintenance. The new diesels with all the emissions on then don't like long idiling. All of them have years to stay clear of. Ford 7.3s are great just slow. Stay clear of ford 6.0s and 6.4s. Ford's 6.7 is a great engine. Dodge Cummins 5.9 is great. First years Cummins 6.7 had emissions issues. Newer Cummins 6.7 are great. First 2 years of Chevy Duramax had inector issues. After that they had some emissions issue but newer Chevy Duramax are geat. Changing oil and fuel filters on diesels is important. Fuel quality is also important. Find a stock truck. Modified trucks can have issues and will usually damage the trans if no mods. Diesels will last 500k miles if properly cared for.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:03 PM   #6
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If I was looking for a used diesel engine I would look for a factory stock 2011 Ram diesel. GM and Ford used DEF in 2011 but Ram did not use DEF until 2012. The emissions systems are the weakest part of modern diesel engines. It is very important to change the oil and filters to keep soot from getting into and damaging the engine.

The modern diesel engine from 2011 on have gobs of power.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:28 PM   #7
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If I was looking for a used diesel engine I would look for a factory stock 2011 Ram diesel. GM and Ford used DEF in 2011 but Ram did not use DEF until 2012. The emissions systems are the weakest part of modern diesel engines. It is very important to change the oil and filters to keep soot from getting into and damaging the engine.

The modern diesel engine from 2011 on have gobs of power.
The 2012 CTD does not have DEF either. No DEF in my truck.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:31 PM   #8
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as stated above modern diesels have lots of power.however.....i own a repair shop. i would not own a diesel. in general it's not the engine that's the problem. it's the fuel system, the turbos . the emissions the def the dpf etc. all are extremely expensive to repair and NO diesel pickup is going to go much over 200000 miles without needing major service to those components. often times it starts at under 100000. my choice currently for pulling a 5er would be a ford 6.2 gas. decent power and is one of fords best engine ever. also much simpler and less expensive to repair if repairs are needed.
just my 2 cents
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dave1194 View Post
OK, all, I'm moving from MH to fifth wheel. First, I'm shopping for a used tow vehicle. I'm told that if a 2003 Ford F350 diesel has 189,000 miles, it's only just broken in.

I'm skeptical. Can I get some debate going?
Good idea being skeptical!

189,000 mi on a small diesel engine is about ready for assisted living home !!
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:03 PM   #10
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It depends almost entirely on maintenance history. At 190,000 miles, it's more than broken in, but not necessarily ready to fall apart. A 2003 could be either a 7.3 or a 6.0. The 6.0's are normally referred to as a 2003 1/2. The 7.3 is a more reliable engine than the 6.0, but it's not as powerful. Either way, you're talking about an almost 20 year old truck. I'd be worried about the non-engine parts falling apart by now.

A well maintained and not abused diesel will last 300,000 or more miles. Those are two very big strings though. It had to have been well maintained, which includes getting rid of the emissions equipment. Unfortunately, that requires a tuner, which is where the second string comes in. Once you delete and tune a diesel, it's really easy to abuse them. I had an old Ford 6.4L diesel that was deleted and tuned. I could outrun those little pony cars all day long. You had to get them into the 500 hp range before they posed a threat to me. Nothing is more fun than seeing the look on some brat's face when his precious new Camaro gets smoked by a big slow pickup truck. That truck was awesome fun, but I abused it like a runaway red-headed step child. (No offense to red-heads out there.) That truck didn't make it far past 200,000, and I didn't expect it to. You can't double the power output of an engine and expect it to last forever.

Anyway, as long as you stay on top of fluid changes and don't treat the truck like you stole it, a diesel will last twice as long as a gas engine. If you don't believe me, I'd have two Ford 6.4L diesels. One that I abused the snot out of, and another that I actually treated well. That one made it to 400,000 miles before I got rid of it and it was still running fine. I just wanted 4 wheel drive.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1194 View Post
OK, all, I'm moving from MH to fifth wheel. First, I'm shopping for a used tow vehicle. I'm told that if a 2003 Ford F350 diesel has 189,000 miles, it's only just broken in.

I'm skeptical. Can I get some debate going?

Is the 2003 a 7.3 or 6.0? If a 6.0 walk away as fast as you can!


I just sold my 2001 Ram Cummins 5.9 with 315,000 miles, bought used at 234,000 miles. The only engine issue was an leaking tappet cover gasket and near 300,000 miles. Took a $20 gasket and about 4 hours of my time to replace.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:52 AM   #12
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OK, all, I'm moving from MH to fifth wheel. ....

Going to be even harder to get both a tow vehicle and 5'er for under 30K IMO.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:35 AM   #13
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Ya, dont buy a 6.0, worst diesel ever made. Lol.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:46 AM   #14
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OK, all, I'm moving from MH to fifth wheel. First, I'm shopping for a used tow vehicle. I'm told that if a 2003 Ford F350 diesel has 189,000 miles, it's only just broken in.

I'm skeptical. Can I get some debate going?
Honestly, i like diesels 07 and older. No one cares about emissions on them. At that stage of the game though, what you buy is absolutely critical. A 6.0 is good for a ton of miles if its been gone through and dealerproofed. This process is not cheap and thats why the 6.0s are typically cheap to buy. Doing an egr delete is just about mandatory on these motors and heads/ studs may or may not be necessary. Check out ford truck enthusiasts, they have a complete buyers guide on there for the 6.0. I have an 03, i drove it from pittsburgh to the keys this summer. Aside from a mishimoto radiator issue the truck ran nice. It just pulled at near 20k a 12% grade here in pa at near 19k combined at 50mph without getting after it hard. Its not tuned, just deleted. This forum can keep talking trash on them, it keeps decent trucks cheap. This forum has a cult like love for rams but everyone else in the world will tell you theyre garbage.
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