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Old 10-17-2014, 06:05 PM   #15
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EXACTLY what I have been reading. I know nothing about these things, I am so glad I asked questions here. Thank you for the detailed info about how the DPF works. I am reading about using fuel additives...? Any other excellent info I am missing?
Fuel additives are a great thing for modern diesels. Because the fuel is so refined and low in sulfur, lubrication for the high pressure fuel pumps is low. For my fleet of ambulances and diesel disaster response vehicle I use Ford diesel fuel additive. Im sure GM and Ram sells their own brand. But I would stick to those as I do not know about everything that is out there. I will warn against seafoam. From what I can tell they advertise to break down the water into smaller droplets to pass by the water separator. That is a huge issue with the high pressure pumps as it causes areas of no lubrication in the pump from that water. I know Ford says to not use additive that do that to the water and im sure GM says the same because the Ford 6.7L and GM 6.6L uses the same high pressure pump.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:26 PM   #16
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Fatboy, here's a couple observations. If you are driving the truck as a DD, you probably want to stick to a F350. The 4.30 gears are just too low and the F350 will handle your rig, no problem. My 2013 has the same GVWR (14K) as the same model year F-450. If you are only going to be towing with it, then having the lower gears is good. We have a F550 that tows a 32' gooseneck and it is a hoss, but it winds up too tight at 75 MPH on the freeway. I just drove my truck dead head from Phoenix to Austin, 980 mi with speed limits up to 80 MPH, and I would not want to do that with 4.30 gears.

The 2015's are supposed to have a bigger turbo and a functional exhaust brake. The exhaust brake on my 2013 is worthless. This is about my only complaint with the truck.

One other thing to consider, the dry weights posted by the manufacturers does not include options, like generators, w/d, bunk beds etc. My rigs actual weight off the assembly line is about 800 lbs higher than the listed dry weight. There should be a sticker inside the door jamb with the actual weight of the rig you are looking at.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:38 PM   #17
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Fatboy, here's a couple observations. If you are driving the truck as a DD, you probably want to stick to a F350. The 4.30 gears are just too low and the F350 will handle your rig, no problem. My 2013 has the same GVWR (14K) as the same model year F-450. If you are only going to be towing with it, then having the lower gears is good. We have a F550 that tows a 32' gooseneck and it is a hoss, but it winds up too tight at 75 MPH on the freeway. I just drove my truck dead head from Phoenix to Austin, 980 mi with speed limits up to 80 MPH, and I would not want to do that with 4.30 gears.

The 2015's are supposed to have a bigger turbo and a functional exhaust brake. The exhaust brake on my 2013 is worthless. This is about my only complaint with the truck.

One other thing to consider, the dry weights posted by the manufacturers does not include options, like generators, w/d, bunk beds etc. My rigs actual weight off the assembly line is about 800 lbs higher than the listed dry weight. There should be a sticker inside the door jamb with the actual weight of the rig you are looking at.
We have a 2013 F450 Superduty with the 6.7L and 4:30 gears. City driving is no issue at all with all kinds of power. If I remember correctly 70MPH down the expressway is right at 2100 or 2200 RPM.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:50 AM   #18
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We have a 2013 F450 Superduty with the 6.7L and 4:30 gears. City driving is no issue at all with all kinds of power. If I remember correctly 70MPH down the expressway is right at 2100 or 2200 RPM.

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Old 10-21-2014, 07:30 AM   #19
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We have a 2013 F450 Superduty with the 6.7L and 4:30 gears. City driving is no issue at all with all kinds of power. If I remember correctly 70MPH down the expressway is right at 2100 or 2200 RPM.
City driving, no. But My F350 runs 70 mph @ 1800, 75 @ <2000. I see a sharp decline in fuel mileage after 2000 RPM, from 15+ to around 13.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:50 PM   #20
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City driving, no. But My F350 runs 70 mph @ 1800, 75 @ <2000. I see a sharp decline in fuel mileage after 2000 RPM, from 15+ to around 13.
That is still a far cry from the engine being run up to high. We tow a 18K bumper tow disaster trailer that is over 12' tall. 75 MPH is not an issue what so ever, even driving empty those speeds are fine as the engine is so quiet and not hardly working at all. Our ambulances have in line 6 cyl in them with a fuel cut off at 2400 RPM. They are about RPM maxed out at 75 MPH. Still not an issue for those either.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:10 PM   #21
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That is still a far cry from the engine being run up to high. We tow a 18K bumper tow disaster trailer that is over 12' tall. 75 MPH is not an issue what so ever, even driving empty those speeds are fine as the engine is so quiet and not hardly working at all. Our ambulances have in line 6 cyl in them with a fuel cut off at 2400 RPM. They are about RPM maxed out at 75 MPH. Still not an issue for those either.
I didn't say it was bad for the engine, just bad for the wallet. The torque curve flattens out at 1600, and your just burning extra diesel after that.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:35 AM   #22
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:11 AM   #23
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EXACTLY what I have been reading. I know nothing about these things, I am so glad I asked questions here. Thank you for the detailed info about how the DPF works. I am reading about using fuel additives...? Any other excellent info I am missing?
The DPFs don't do well with long term idling. Many commercial vehicles and clueless owners will let these trucks sit at idle for extended periods of time to "warm up" and even when they are already up to temp and this clogs the filters etc. These engines generate so little heat that a warm engine will actually get too cold after just a few minutes at idle.
The Ram warms quickly at fast idle with the exhaust brake on. Excellent feature if needed.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:30 AM   #24
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If you do a lot of local short trips a newer emissions diesel would prove to be challenging. This is because all newer diesels have DPF's that need to be cleaned. This is an exhaust filter that cleans out the soot in the exhaust. It gets trapped in the DPF and in order to clean it out the truck will go into "regen". This is a process that adds fuel in the exhaust to raise the temps over 1000F to burn the soot in the DPF. This process can take 10-30 minutes and you need to really drive the truck on the express way for 15 or more miles to allow the regen to fully clean the DPF. If it never gets driven long enough the DPF will eventually plug up and the engine will be derated in power or idle only until the dealer performs a manual regen. So a gasser vehicle for local trips is a good idea or just be prepared to drive the truck on the express way if you get the regen message. Emergency response vehicles are having a hard time with these systems because they are hardly driven enough to fully clean the DPFs. I know someone at the local county EMS and he tells me all the time how many of their rigs go into derate on emergencies because the DPFs never get a chance to be cleaned fully.
I may be mistaken but I believe the DPF and regen system was replaced in the 2011 model year as mandated by the EPA. They now use a DEF fluid in a separate tank injected in the exhaust to reduce the NOx gasses.

Diesel exhaust fluid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:23 AM   #25
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Check into owner satisfaction with the 3 diesels before you buy. Warranty fights are no fun.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:18 PM   #26
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I may be mistaken but I believe the DPF and regen system was replaced in the 2011 model year as mandated by the EPA. They now use a DEF fluid in a separate tank injected in the exhaust to reduce the NOx gasses.

Diesel exhaust fluid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
They use both DEF and DPF. The DEF is injected into the exhaust to eliminate NOx and the DPF is a filter in the exhaust to eliminate soot. The DPF is what reduces fuel mileage when it uses diesel to super heat the exhaust, to clean the filter, sort of like cleaning an oven. In fact that is what it smells like to me. You can litterally watch your fuel mileage go down on the computer, when it goes into regen.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:49 PM   #27
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Check into owner satisfaction with the 3 diesels before you buy. Warranty fights are no fun.
What do you mean by this? (speak with 3 owners? or look @ reviews?)
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:38 AM   #28
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What do you mean by this? (speak with 3 owners? or look @ reviews?)
Best is to use a reliable source such as Consumer Reports. But CR doesn't usually report on the reliability of diesel-powered pickups. Maybe a fleet owner's forum or publication that is not tied to any brand of truck?

I suspect the only way to get the info right now is to spend a lot of time in the brand-specific diesel owner's websites, such TheDieselStop for Ford diesels, TDR Register for Dodge/Ram, and I'm sure there is a comparable website for GM diesels. On TheDieselStop, for example, you'll learn to be leery of the Navistar 6.0L engines used in 2003 thru 2007 model years unless you want to spend a lot of money to "bulletproof" the engine. The Navistar 6.4 from 2008 thru 2010 has better reliability, but MPG is not good because of the smog controls added to all diesels beginning in 2008. The 6.7 Ford diesel engines since 2011 has been surprisingly solid for a new engine from an American manufacturer.

The Cummins engines in Ram trucks had an excellent reputation until the same smog rules that blighted the Navistar engines also whooped on the Cummins engines.

Reminds me of my car-pool buddy back in 1972 or '73. He had a brand new Ford pickup with 429 big-block gas engine. Because of the relatively new smog control rules that applied to gas engines, and Ford had not yet determined how to meet those rules with an efficient engine, his pickup got only 6 to 7 MPG when empty and used as a commuter car. Plus that huge honkin' engine was not as quick as the much smaller 351 CID engines that were available in the Ford pickups back then.
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