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Ryan_V

Dodge Trucks

Question

Ryan_V

How are these trucks??? I've been looking for a 3/4 ton truck, preferably with a diesel bu am open to a gas with low enough miles. I've narrowed my search to Ford and Chev. because I've heard the dodge is the least desireable of the 3. That being said..... I ran across a 2003 dodge 2500 crew cab with the hemi. it has under 50,000 miles and seems to be prices fairly well at 18,000.

What kind of experiences have you guys had with these trucks??? I'm needing something that will pull so want a good engine/trans. Please let me know your impressions/advice before I move forward on this..........

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sparcebag

I went from Chev 3/4 ton to Dodge BIG MISTAKE for me anyway now I own Ford and like it more than all my Chevs. cool.gif

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Powerstroke

Different years means alot in heavy trucks lately. All of the brands have made lots of changes to stay new and exciting as well as dealing with stricter rules on emissions, height laws etc. The competition has been crazy since about 2000.

Chevy had a big block but doesn't anymore, is on its 3rd generation Duramax, 2nd Allison tranny design and is in a third appearance change. Chevy is probably the best ride and nicest interior as far as lower models go.

Ford has always been the leader in this market because of drivetain strength. Motor and tranny have many options. The 7.3L Powerstroke diesel from 2000-03/04 was the best motor for durability and ease of use. The 6.0L never really got the bugs out and was a crapshoot. There are good ones out there, but there are a lot of bad ones too. The new 6.4L diesel is still new and Ford is having problems with Navistar so it may change again in 2010.

Trannys are pretty good on stock motors. The stick shift is nearly bulletproof. People do drags and sled pulls with stock 6speeds. The auto will work with a stock motor, but they get touchy is you do engine mods.

The gas motors were good but somewhat under powered. The V-10 is a great motor, but expect single digit MPG while towing a heavy load. Otherwise 12-15 unloaded. Drivetrain was very stout. 1999-2004 had leaf springs all the way around. Went to coils but still solid axles. Great trucks. Average interiors are pretty simple, but the Lariet and King Ranch are very nice....brings them up to Chevy quality. Oh and you can still get a 4wd with a lever and not a knob and real locking hubs. (reliability and durability).

Here's where I'm not so familiar....DOdge trucks. The Cummins Diesel is an amazing motor. Tranny's were always suspect but they are getting better. Not enough gears is usually the complaint with the narrow power band of the inline-6. I don't have any personal experience with Dodge's and that kind worries me since I've worked in forestry, landscaping and some construction and rarely came across a DOdge. Those who have them love them, or at least swear by them. I'm not sure if thats brand loyalty or not.

For more info about Dodge's, I would look for info from Valv and lwnmnman2. Both have lots of experience with all of the brands and more info than I about Dodge.

For what its worth, I've always been a Ford guy. Love'm. If I could get one of the last 7.3L Powerstroke diesels in a crewcab shortbox 4wd with all the options I would do it. Right now though, say in the next year or two, I plan on buying a DOdge 3.4ton with the new cummins and the 6sp tranny. I don't mind the hand-shaker, but the new 6-sp auto sounds nice. I'll wait and see on durability. Chevyhasn't seemed to get all the bugs out of their motor and it gets the worst MPG of the 3. I like the allison, but the motor and IFS suspension keep me worried. I like simple, stout and durable.

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Ryan_V

Wow...thanks powerstroke............ that was GREAT info!! My ideal purchase right now would be about a 2001 ford 250/350 with the 7.3 diesel and around 100k miles. those are hard to come by!!! but when I look and can get the dodge 3/4 ton a few years newer with lots less miles for the same or less money, it made me think!!

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DinkADunk

Since I get employee pricing on GM and supplier pricing on Dodge my choice is between those two. I was looking at the 2500 Dodge Megacab with the diesel and although it has good towing capacity it has very little cargo capacity (1800lbs or so) if I believe the spec sheet from Dodge. I'll probably pick up a GMC Sierra 2500HD Classic in a couple of weeks.

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Down2Earth

Ryan: WE have had 2 of the very first Dodges diesels the big box styles. 2 of the new styles 1 of Which is a dually. 2 2002 Ford F350 diesels. I would recommend Both the dodge and the Ford.

Dodge pros: Almost all of the dodges miles have been used pulling a 5th wheel trailer with up to 180 horse tractors. Never had one problem with any of them. These things get beat on from employees driving them. One of them went through 2 tailgates because the driver forgot to lower it when taking the trailer off. Driving empty I have gotten 20mpg. All of them have been manuals.

Cons For dodge. After 200,000 miles the engines start to lose power. The interior falls apart just like some of the moldings on the outside. When hauling the big loads it would be nice to have another gear between 3rd and 4th.

Fords Pros: Mainly we just use them for service calls and pulling a round bailer or small trailer around. They seem to get the same mpg no matter what 12-15. Interior holds up great no problems with the trannies (auto) or engine.

Ford Cons: Both front ends have been gone through. Not as good mpg as the dodge. No other problems.

Never had a Chevy Diesel and probably never will. I truely have never seen a truck take a beating like the dodges we have do. Most of the things our Dodge Diesels do other companies use a Semi. Not that it's important but all of the trucks have been 4 wheel drive except one of the first dodges was 2 wheel drive. That thing could get stuck on dry tar. Little exaggeration their but not much.

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Valv

Ryan,

I had all 3 brands with 5 engine types in the past 7 years, all diesels. I would jump on a Dodge diesel anytime, I am a huge fan of them.

GM, I had 6.5l which were not bad in my opinion once you fixed the electronic pump issues. Duramax (which is a Isuzu engine), great engine conceptually, they haven't found a fix for some injection problems, they have the best body period, Allison tranny is great but not good on mpg

Ford, I was not impressed with them (I had 3 all called "Powerjokes"), the 7.3 was a good motor, but very hard to start in cold weather, noisy and known to drop glow plugs inside cylinder and take out the whole motor, 6.0 had issues with injection from the start, they haven't found the fix yet, I believe you won't find one alive with over 150,000 miles. Auto transmission were good, I had one with a ZF 6 speed manual and loved it but clutch was prone to failure.

Dodge, the 5.9l is practically a bulletproof motor, huge torque and power than all the others with little fuel consumption, I am on my 4th with over 200,000 miles and it's non giving up yet.

Auto transmissions were touchy, there's a shop in northern IA that rebuilds them bulletproof and I endorse it 100%. If you get the newer body style and want a good manual transmission the 6 speed is awesome, Cummins do 21mpg empty and 15mpg with a huge load, none of the others gets close to 16mpg empty (unless you believe the overhead computer calculations :grin )

I would stay away from gas engines on a large truck, if you need a good truck I have a couple of people here in the neighborhood that have some low miles exceptional price trucks all diesels, but I wouldn't buy any 3/4 ton gas, once you switch to diesel you don't go back.

Whoever says diesels are more expensive to maintain has never had a diesel, it's just bar talk.

Lately all 3 mfg have issues with emission controls with Ford at the top of the list with 9000 truck recalled for throwing flames out of the exhaust, Navistar quit Ford which is looking to find a motor for next year models, there's a talk of Volvo (which Ford owns) or Ford diesel itself.

Chevy and Dodge all have same issue since they had to install an exhaust filter to eliminate completely any smoke.

A common issue for all 3 brands:

If you add any performance chip, larger injectors, turbos, or anything that improves power (and you'll be surprised of how much it improves) you will have transmission problems, regardless of which brand (even the good Allison). Autos will destroy and clutches with blow. Try to stay away from "souped up" trucks even if they make you smile a lot when you test drive them.

In the end if you are looking for a good diesel truck I would suggest a 01/07 Dodge 5.9liter Cummins 6 speed manual, then if you really want to get others I would go GM Dmax/Allison, or 99/03 7.3 Ford.

And remember... " Real trucks don't have spark plugs " !!!! grin.gif

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dukhntr

I own an 05 Dodge 2500 with the Cummins and auto. It presently has about 60,000 miles. My son own an 06 with the Cummins and auto, and about the same miles. In short, it was the best truck for me for a number of reasons. I like the fact that across the board, the Dodges were cheaper than the Ford or Chevies. I also like the fact that the Cummins is a medium duty motor, while the Ford and Chevie diesels are a so-called light duty motor. (Not intending to start a flame or a brand war) Take a look at all of the commercial trucks running the Cummins. See if you can find a dock truck or similar with a Powerstroke or a Duramax. Some of these Cummins motors get 500K miles or better, before a major overhaul. I run my truck 300 miles round trip to the cabin every weekend, and find that my highway mpg is a very constant 18.8 - 20, at 70 mph (1900 rpm). I also get nearly the same mpg with my pop-up pick up camper on board. I think there have been issues with the trannies in the past, but as long as you don't increase the HP, or tow heavy, I doubt you will experience any issues. My thought was: Ford or Chevy: might have to replace an engine (mucho $$$) or Dodge, might have to replace a trans (less $$). I am going with the Dodge. There has also been some talk of the interior components needing work. However, I have not experienced this on any of my Dodges (4). Even so, it is generally a cheap fix. I would run as fast as I can away from a hemi powered 3/4 or 1 ton truck. I have a friend that has one and when we are loaded about the same, his mileage is a lot worse.

Remember---my truck works for me---YMMV. Good luck with your decision.

dukhntr

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cold one sd

Quote:

Wow...thanks powerstroke............ that was GREAT info!! My ideal purchase right now would be about a 2001 ford 250/350 with the 7.3 diesel and around 100k miles. those are hard to come by!!! but when I look and can get the dodge 3/4 ton a few years newer with lots less miles for the same or less money, it made me think!!


The dealer in my town may still have a 2001 F250 Super Duty SC long bed with the 7.3 and about 38,000 miles on their lot. I don't know what they are asking, but it may be worth a call to them.

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MuskieJunkie

The older Dodge diesels are very loud. I had a 2000, great truck (like others have said) but my one complaint (and it is a big one) is the noise. I know it sounds like I am nit picking but it was a pain. The newer trucks are much better.

As far as getting a gas or diesel, I've owned both and unless you tow a lot, and I mean a lot, like for your job I would go with the gas.

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firebug

Now are you sure you want a head hanger.

If you're wondering what a headhanger is I'll tell you. Your freinds will ask you if you got a new truck and you'll say yes, then they will ask you what kind, then you'll hang your head and tell them a Dodge. grin.gif

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Valv

I thought the headhangers were the Ford and GM owners when asked how many miles they have on... grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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cold one sd

Quote:

The older Dodge diesels are very loud. I had a 2000, great truck (like others have said) but my one complaint (and it is a big one) is the noise. I know it sounds like I am nit picking but it was a pain. The newer trucks are much better.

As far as getting a gas or diesel, I've owned both and unless you tow a lot, and I mean a lot, like for your job I would go with the gas.


I have to agree with you about this. I was thinking about buying a diesel but I don't pull my fifth wheel enough to justify owning a diesel. My thoughts are that it would also be a daily driver and I think the short trips would be hard on a diesel. If I were going travel around the country with the camper, a diesel would be the way to go.

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CodyDawg

I have a 2002 7.3L Ford and love it. No problems at 102K. My dad has a 2001 7.3L Ford and loves it. My neighbor has a 6.0 L Ford with about 160K and he loves it too. My cousin has a business and he has about 10 Ford diesels (7.3Ls and 6.0Ls) and he is a true believer. he has a couple over 400K miles. Cant comment on the others, but we have all been happy with Fords.

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DigitalFisherman

My father in law has a ’04 Dodge 1 ton with the Cummins and the six speed but I’m not sure why. The heaviest thing that he has pulled with it was a 4000 lb pop-up which he dragged through the mountains of Montana and Wyoming, never dropping below 19mpg. It is kind of fun to give him crap though; every time we hook up the 16’ aluminum fishing boat I pat him on the back and say “good thing you got the one ton”.

… I do have a point; in the few short years that he has owned it he has racked up more than 80k, for most of those miles he wasn’t hauling anything heaver than the weekends groceries and the truck has performed flawlessly. It may seem like overkill, but even if most of your driving is just that, driving, I think you will be happy with the Dodge… and you will still get better mileage than a comparable size gas burning truck.

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311Hemi

I own a 2003 Dodge 2500 Diesel (4 door, 4x4, on 35" all terrain tires).

The difference between my truck and the one your looking at: first and foremost mileage. That hemi (which I owned before the Cummins, you can tell by my scree name!!) with the same tires as currently on my truck would not get over 13 mpg. I had an 03' 1500 regular cab. My truck now gets 17 in the cities and close to 20 on the highway.

I like the truck a lot...even though I don't pull heavy loads much. And I don't have to worry if I have a heavy load to carry. That 1500 would squat when I had bigger loads....no worries anymore.

The cab is very spacious compared to the newer Chevies I have sat in.....and I personally like the interiors.

Other than that, I paid around $22,000 for my truck with 80,000 miles. It's just getting broke in. And you should have to worry about any tranny issues unless you bomb the truck.

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Ryan_V

Wow........thanks guys, I've pretty much decided to hold out for a diesel crew cab, still open to whether it should be a ford/chev/dodge.......... keep the advice coming!!! it helps me alot!!

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Jarrod32

Quote:

The dealer in my town may still have a 2001 F250 Super Duty SC long bed with the 7.3 and about 38,000 miles on their lot. I don't know what they are asking, but it may be worth a call to them.


I think that one is gone, but I like that Green 350 that they have up there...

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Gissert

Valv gave an excellent testimonial on the Dodge/Cummins combo, and I concur with him.

I bought a new 2001.5 (The later models in that year came with disc brakes in the rear) in October of 2005. Since then, I have put 240,000 on the clock. Not a lot of heavy pulling, but it has never left me wanting when I have towed heavy stuff like skid steers and stock trailers.

Unloaded on summer blend fuel, I have got 19-21 MPG with amazing consistancy. Towing, the milage drops to 16-17. Winter blend fuels drop the milage about .75-1mpg.

I have had zero transmission problem with the six speed manual. The only problems I have had have been a small oil leak that was fixed under warranty. It is on its third lift pump now. After the first one failed, I installed a fuel pressure gage to monitor its output so I can see when the pressure starts dropping to the injection pump. The lift pumps have cost about $150 each time. I have replaced the accelerator pedal position sensor (APPS) twice, at about $275 per time. Beyond normal maintenance items, this truck has cost me about 100 bucks per year of operation. Not too shabby.

I have no experience with Chevy Diesels, other than some friend who have the Duramax really like them.

My in-laws who farm have a couple of fords with the 7.3, and they have also been very happy with these rigs. They used to have an older non turbo ford with the IDI engine that was very reliable, just low on power compared to the turbocharged diesels of the day.

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cold one sd

Quote:

Quote:

The dealer in my town may still have a 2001 F250 Super Duty SC long bed with the 7.3 and about 38,000 miles on their lot. I don't know what they are asking, but it may be worth a call to them.


I think that one is gone, but I like that Green 350 that they have up there...


I drove a new 2008 F250 and really liked the truck. I didn't care for the $54k+ price tag though. There is a big difference in prices in the new trucks. The 3/4 ton diesels that I looked at were Dodge $37k, Chevy $47k and Ford $54k. I think I will look for another F250 V10 in about a 2004 or 2005. I have been real happy with that engine.

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311Hemi

If you can purchase a new truck (or any vehicle for the matter)....check out Chrysler's new warranty deal!! Although I heard it does not cover the Cummins trucks.....and would like to know if there are any more catches......it seems they just raised the bar for the other manufacturers.

"Chrysler today leapfrogged every other car maker by extending its powertrain warranty on every new car and truck it sells to the life of the vehicle. The warranty will apply to the entire powertrain including the engine, transmission/transaxle, drive shafts, and axles. The new warranty goes into effect today, July 26, 2007 and applies to all new 2007s that are on the dealer lots as well as 2008 models.

The warranty covers all parts and labor as long as the owner brings the car in to a Chrysler dealer at least once every five years for a free powertrain inspection. Apparently, the only fly in the ointment is that the new warranty applies to the original owner and is not transferable. If the car is sold within the first three years, the warranty reverts to the previous 3 year/36,000 mile coverage for subsequent owners. The press release is after the jump."

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river-rat4

Quote:

The new warranty goes into effect today, July 26, 2007 and applies to all new 2007s that are on the dealer lots as well as 2008 models.

The warranty covers all parts and labor as long as the owner brings the car in to a Chrysler dealer at least once every five years for a free powertrain inspection. Apparently, the only fly in the ointment is that the new warranty applies to the original owner and is not transferable. If the car is sold within the first three years, the warranty reverts to the previous 3 year/36,000 mile coverage for subsequent owners. The press release is after the jump."


I bought a new 2007 on February 28, would I be excluded from the warranty?

Thanks,

river-rat4

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river-rat4

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