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Old 03-25-2012, 05:18 PM   #1
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More Diesel Truck Questions

Hi All,

Having never driven anything with a diesel engine, I am totally new at this. I am buying a new, small, fifth wheel RV, and need to get something to tow it with. The 5er is 6910 lbs. dry, and will probably max out around 9000 lbs. in use.

So far, I have determined that I want a used 3/4 ton diesel truck. The extra height of a 4x4 causes an interference problem with the 5er, so I am only looking at two wheel drive. That greatly reduces the pool of available trucks. I am 70 years old. My current car, and most previous ones, are 5 speeds, but my wife wants auto, so auto it must be. Beyond that, I am still very confused.

Two trucks that I have found are a '08 Ford 6.4L with 70,600 miles and a '02 Dodge 5.9L with 91,400 miles. Neither are real close to home.

Much of our towing will be in mountains with steep grades. I am sure that either of them would take me up the hill with no problem, but I am somewhat concerned about descending. If I get the Dodge, I would add an exhaust brake. I just discovered that there are no exhaust brakes made for the Ford, so I would have to rely on the Tow/Haul mode to assist in the braking. Can any of you give me some idea as to how effective the Tow/Haul mode actually is?

My second question concerns fuel economy. With the larger engine and all of the additional pollution controls on the newer Ford, should I expect to see significantly better MPG on the Dodge?

One last question. Not knowing much about diesels, I would like to have it inspected. Do you have any advice on how to go about locating a competent diesel mechanic 100 to 200 miles from home?

I know this was a little long winded. Thanks for your patience.

Joel
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:37 PM   #2
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We just traded in a 07 Chev 1 ton diesel & a 40ft fithwheel. I loved it. Drove it in all the states west of the MS river, including some very tall mountains. Averaged 10-11 MPG pulling the camper, (14,500lbs) and 15-18 without. I know some will say Fords & Dodges are prefered. Not saying they are not good vehicles, but don't think one can beat the GM Duramax hooked to an Allison 6 speed automatic. The Allison is equiped with a tow haul option that works well in braking during mountian driving. The truck had disc brakes front and rear. I never had any problems what so ever driving the "Million Dollar Highway" in the CO mountians.
Have upgraded to a motor home is the only reason fo parting with it
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:49 PM   #3
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JMHO, but I would not get the Ford. They have had problems with diesels ever since they quit making the 7.3. The Dodge 5.9 is a good engine, been making it for years, as is the Chevy/GM Duramax...an added advantage is the Allison transmission.

Good idea re the inspection. If you can't find a mechanic through friends or other recommendations, you could alway take it to a dealer.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:04 PM   #4
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Of the two the the Dodge would be better for a noob :-) . The Ford is fine but to make it function properly, trouble resistant, it needs some help ( modifications ). Certain parts more or less were not properly sized.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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If you can find a good low milage ford with the 7.3 I'd consider it. I have last year of 7.3 Excursion. I'll pay anything to keep it on road. Great for pulling our camper and our boat. At separate times of course. With four kids and eight paws even a crew cab doesn't work for us.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:38 PM   #6
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If you can find a good low milage ford with the 7.3 I'd consider it. I have last year of 7.3 Excursion. I'll pay anything to keep it on road. Great for pulling our camper and our boat. At separate times of course. With four kids and eight paws even a crew cab doesn't work for us.
The older the pick up the lower the towing capacity. Pretty sure You should think about a F350 diesel. The 6.0 Ford F350 was a problamatic engine The new Ford made 6.7 F350 apparently is a good engine. Theres a lot of opinions out there about which brand of 1 ton to buy. Check out the engines and the trannys before making a decision. Personally my next truck is an 6.7 F350. Remember don't get a truck that is close to the max. Insurers arent pleased with accidents involving over weight vehicles. Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:03 AM   #7
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If you are looking for a used diesel truck than I would suggest that you used this PDF booklet to review on what to look for.
http://www.turbodieselregister.com/magazines/buyersguide.phtml
This is a free book that you can down load from the internet.
I might be wrong but the 02 Dodge might not be able to use an exhaust brake without some modifications to the engine. You may need to install heavier duty exhaust valve springs for the exhaust brake to work properly on the 02. Dodge did have some issues with the 47RE transmission for that year. The lift pump in the fuel tank may need to be replaced to prevent the CP3 fuel pump from falling on the engine. Most users of that year have added a secondary fuel lift pump and filters. I would also make sure that you have the following gages add to any diesel truck. They are Boost, EGT (exhaust gas temperature) fuel pressure and Trans temperature.
By the way I am 63 year young.
Jim W.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
I might be wrong but the 02 Dodge might not be able to use an exhaust brake without some modifications to the engine. You may need to install heavier duty exhaust valve springs for the exhaust brake to work properly on the 02. Heavier exhaust springs were only required on the 12 valve engines with "30 lb" springs. The '02 is a 24 valve engine and does NOT require heavier exhaust valve springs - the 24 valve engines were designed to use an exhaust brake from the git-go. In fact, the Jacobs brake was available as a dealer-installed Mopar accessory covered by the Dodge factory warranty for the manual transmission trucks.


Dodge did have some issues with the 47RE transmission for that year. In order to use the exhaust brake with the 47RE transmission (NOT approved by Dodge), you would need to add an aftermarket torque converter lockup controller - these typically can be supplied by your aftermarket exhaust brake supplier.


The lift pump in the fuel tank may need to be replaced to prevent the CP3 fuel pump from falling on the engine. Most users of that year have added a secondary fuel lift pump and filters. The 2002 is NOT a HPCR engine. It originally used an engine-mounted lift pump (none in the tank unless it has been retrofit by Dodge subsequent to a failure of the original lift pump) with a Bosch VP-44 fuel injection pump - the CP3 didn't come into play until 2003. Since the VP-44 depends on fuel flow for lubrication and cooling, a lift pump failure can take out a VP-44 due to fuel starvation. Therefore, check for OBDII codes that would indicate a looming VP-44 failure, install a fuel pressure gauge after the lift pump and don't ever let it get lower than 8 PSIG.
See my comments above.

Rusty
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:11 PM   #9
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I'm curently hauling 28ft 5th about 9000lbs with a 2008 F350 with the 6.4 and auto trans. So far I have not had any isues. I've done a fair amount of towing on steep grades with it. I havnt done any long hauls with it yet though. So far Im getting about 10mpg on the hills towing but I have had the chance to do a real good long drive so I dont know how good or bad the mpg realy is yet. The truck has no problem getting speed up and going up the hill, regularly passing other rigs on the road. On the down hill the Tow/Haul mode has now problem holding the trailer back and its a good ride all the way. I am going to get some better long haul data in the next two weeks as I'm taking it on a two week trip from Victoria BC down to Las Vegas Navada.
Another option for you may be to get the axels fliped on the 5th wheel to give that couple inches extra hight if you need it to fit over a 4X4. May open up the choice of trucks for you.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:02 PM   #10
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I agree with vettehead about the Chevy duramax/allison. I drove a 2007/2500 from Florida to Alaska and back and it is one great towing vehicle. I towed a 29 foot 5th wheel around 10,000 lbs. Never once did I feel that the braking of the duramax and allison wasn't enough. Try to find a nice Chevy if possible.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:22 PM   #11
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it will be hard to beat the 5.9 Ram. I have an 01' 2500, 4x4, extended cab long bed, 5.9L diesel. I tow a 30' TT and get about 14 MPG. W/O TT I get 22 +. Have almost 300,000 miles, run better than the day I purchased it NEW in 2000!
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:36 PM   #12
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I am a Ford lover and the last good diesel Ford had was the 7.3L. If I had to replace my truck now, I'd go with a Dodge Cummins.

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Old 03-27-2012, 08:56 AM   #13
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Thanks

Thanks All,

You have given me a lot to think about. My conclusion is that to get the ideal truck, I should buy a Ford, a Dodge, and a Chevy. I should strip the engine and tranny out of the Ford and throw them away. Then I should replace them with the Cummins engine and Allison transmission. Finally, I should add an exhaust brake.

In a more practical sense, I'll just have to settle for a reasonable compromise. I sense that I should look for a 5.9L Chevy/GMC in the '05 - '07 era. Damn, those are hard to find.

Joel
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:05 AM   #14
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Get the dodge.
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