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Old 11-30-2011, 11:43 PM   #15
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Diesels are great and they have the torque needed. Only one problem your going to Alaska. I wouldn't own a diesel in Alaska. The colder the area the harder it is to start diesels. Fuel can even Gel. You would most likely have to plug your deisel into a power source all winter to keep it warm enough to start. My power stroke has had much expense keeping the glow plug and electrical heating circuits going here in Utah. I have replaced my electrical heating element 2 times and have replaced glow plugs relays and electrical wireing in the valve cover 2 times also in 3 years. I like the power stroke but The glow plug system sucks. If you have to go diesel get a cummins it has a higher compression and starts a little easier than a power stroke in the winter. The Ford 460 is one of the best large V 8's made and takes abuse well. But your gas mileage would be around 7 MPG. Lots to think about. Good luck, sounds like a great adventure. No matter what you get enjoy the ride.

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Old 12-01-2011, 09:53 AM   #16
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If you have to go diesel get a cummins it has a higher compression and starts a little easier than a power stroke in the winter.


The Cummins does not use glow plugs nor glow plug controllers. Most diesel fuel sold is 'winterized' during the cold months at the pump. It gels at a much lower flow point temperature. However, if that is insufficient there is always additives to keep fuel from gelling.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:58 AM   #17
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As an owner of a 2007 F-350 diesel/dually I'd say go diesel and get a cummins. Not that the Ford doesn't pull well or get good mpg but the older 7.3 don't pull well, the 6.0 need about $3,000 worth of work to make them reliable and the 6.4's are even worse.

I love my truck but unless you are willing and can legally do the EGR delete, coolant filter/change, turbo clean/replace and Banks intake the truck won't make it to Alaska.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:30 AM   #18
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A lot of great advice here, and I appreciate all of it.

I've never owned a diesel so I can only go by what others have learned.

One of our big concerns is that to buy one in our price range, they are all over 100k miles. My wife's fear is that we will be buying something that is going to break down a lot, costing us money on repairs.

My thought is that if I can find one with mileage, motor, color, etc.. Everything that comes together in the middle ground, that perhaps we can get a warranty on it in the difference. We're looking at keeping the price below 20k and I figure that if I get one for 17k that has 150k on it, that extra 3k can be for a warranty.

Also, would you recommend 4WD for Alaska or for towing in general? I've found some diesels, cummings, 4wd for around 15k-20k with 120k to 150k miles.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:49 AM   #19
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Given the current price of diesel fuel, about 70-90 cents a gallon higher, one is prone to think a gas engine would be much cheaper to buy and operate. It might be true, short-term,, but when loaded to its maximum ratings it will likely cost more long-term.
A good used diesel would be my choice. There is one thing you should look for when buying a used diesel truck. "Bombing" is what the younger guys call increasing HP to extreme limits. These trucks were likely ran hard, raced or pulled a sled at some point. Walk away from these trucks because the modifications were probably done by "non-professionals".
good advice right there.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:52 AM   #20
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......One of our big concerns is that to buy one in our price range, they are all over 100k miles. My wife's fear is that we will be buying something that is going to break down a lot, costing us money on repairs.

My thought is that if I can find one with mileage, motor, color, etc.. Everything that comes together in the middle ground, that perhaps we can get a warranty on it in the difference. We're looking at keeping the price below 20k and I figure that if I get one for 17k that has 150k on it, that extra 3k can be for a warranty.

Also, would you recommend 4WD for Alaska or for towing in general? I've found some diesels, cummings, 4wd for around 15k-20k with 120k to 150k miles.
100K is not big deal at all for a diesel. they will generally outlast a gas engine 2 to 1 or in some cases 3 to1.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:06 AM   #21
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Our first travel trailer was a 28 ft gross weight 7900 lbs ( dealer told me it weighed 3600 lb ls)do they lie? bought a new ford F150 with a small v 8. It was a nightmare to pull. I could live with the lack of power but not the poor handling. It was dangerous so I highly recommend you get the right size truck and more importantly the right towing equipment ie. dual cam sway control etc. even better get a fifth wheel!!!
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:25 PM   #22
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A lot of great advice here, and I appreciate all of it.

I've never owned a diesel so I can only go by what others have learned.

One of our big concerns is that to buy one in our price range, they are all over 100k miles. My wife's fear is that we will be buying something that is going to break down a lot, costing us money on repairs.

My thought is that if I can find one with mileage, motor, color, etc.. Everything that comes together in the middle ground, that perhaps we can get a warranty on it in the difference. We're looking at keeping the price below 20k and I figure that if I get one for 17k that has 150k on it, that extra 3k can be for a warranty.

Also, would you recommend 4WD for Alaska or for towing in general? I've found some diesels, cummings, 4wd for around 15k-20k with 120k to 150k miles.
I don't think for under 20k you will find a truck that you can get an extended warranty on but you might. If you take care of a diesel (and you need to) it will go well over 300k. (can't compare a diesel to a gas engine on millage) You won't put that kind of millage on pulling a trailer in years so anything under 200k should be good. My buddy has an older Dodge Cummins with 460k on it and all that has been done to it is head work and injectors. I would say a 4WD would be a good thing in Alaska. Good luck.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:11 PM   #23
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Wish me luck, folks!

I found a Dodge 2500 SLT, 4x4, with 150k miles and a 5.9 Cummings for under 20k. Going to take a look at it tonight. I just need to add some extras (like side steps and front bar, and a brake controller. Going to check it out thoroughly and make sure it wasn't "bomb'd" as advised.

I spoke to my father who advised that I look into an Edge unit that will monitor power and performance. He said they can help when towing by telling you how temps are, etc.

I thank everyone. If we get it, I'll get some pics for you. Here's to hoping it's the one. Its exhausting work looking for the perfect fit.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:41 PM   #24
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Well wouldn't you know it...

I got there and found probably the last honest salesman on the planet. The internet sales people don't know anything other than the info they have, but the salesman had just taken the truck out with another customer earlier and they noticed that the transmission was hanging in first and shifting hard into second. It's basically what my old truck did after two years of towing - without a load, it would stay in first for a while unless you eased off the gas, then it would shift into second and go on fine.

We decided that though the truck was in good shape, we didn't want to take on an immediate repair.

My irish luck strikes again!
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:45 PM   #25
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From what I understand That's one of the weak points with Dodge. Every manufacture has a problem somewhere.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:15 AM   #26
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You didn't give the year of the Dodge you found, but with the 47RE or 48RE transmission, I'd suspect either a throttle position ("kickdown") cable adjustment (on an older pre-common rail injection model) or a sticky 1st gear solenoid as the problem. Neither are expensive repairs - the solenoid can be changed by just pulling the tranny pan.

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Old 12-02-2011, 07:48 AM   #27
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2006 model.

I actually thought about buying an ext warranty on the thing and letting them fix it because I don't have cash laying around to fix things like this atm.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:35 AM   #28
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2006 model.

I actually thought about buying an ext warranty on the thing and letting them fix it because I don't have cash laying around to fix things like this atm.
Think twice about this truck if it is otherwise in good shape. This is one of the better used vehicles due to emission stuff on the newer ones. It also has the newer better auto transmission.

No matter what you purchase, gas or diesel, you will need to budget some money for repairs, things you want to add, or just upgrades.

Get an estimate for that trans repair and work it into the price somehow if you want that truck. It really is not a big deal. It is no different than wanting new tires worked into the deal or a camper shell or towing equipment, etc. Overall the Dodge '05-'06 trucks are very reliable.
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