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Used diesel pickups Good / Bad


KY2674

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I know these have been discussed before but I'm going to ask again. We would like to buy a crew cab truck before the end of the year and I'm way to tight to buy new. It would pull a dual tandem gooseneck occasionally but more of a family car, I have a older 7.3 and she has a small car that we will keep for daily use. Went to a used dealer who handles only trucks this weekend and found a 19' and 2020 Ford f250 both diesel automatic. A 2020 chevy 2500 diesel automatic and a 2018 dodge dually diesel with manual transmission. We had ruled out a dodge because I'm hearing they still have transmission problems but this one is manual. The 3 3/4 tons have right at 100k miles the dodge 75k but is $10k more and is also the only one set up to pull a gooseneck now with a nice aluminum flatbed. All my equipment is older and I have never even used DEF before and after hearing about reliability problems with emissions don't know what to do. I'm not against a gas truck you just don't find 3/4 or 1 tons used around here. Any red flags with these,  I know they say buying used you're buying someone else's problems but again I'm really tight. 

 

 

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Paying almost $1.00 more for diesel isn't good.

I see many of these trucks torn down for major fuel or engine troubles.

The government took the sulfur out of the fuel, and other vital things, that can cause major high priced fuel problems.

I am a diesel man to the core but I will not own one again.

There are just to many issues that can costs very big money.

Not worth the grief for me.

 

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I have a 2016 F250 with a diesel.  It’s bone stock with one size larger tires than factory, 440hp 800ft/lb from the factory.  It pulls great when hitched to my 20K rated dual tandem gooseneck. I have had very few issues with it and add DEF about 2x a year to keep it above 1/2 which is just for my satisfaction. Fuel economy is probably 17-18 highway and 14-15 otherwise. With that said, if you gave me $100K I could only use to buy a new pickup it would be a 7.3 gasser for the way I use a pickup. I went from a gas F250 (5.4) to this current truck and hated the 5.4 in a 3/4 ton. Loved it in a 1/2 ton before that. Just my $.02

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I don’t think you will find any issues with the ZF trans in the gas automatic dodges. The cummins/manual combo was derated from the automatic option, so torque and HP will be less. IIRc from my searches the cummins/auto was an Aisin , which was available as an option behind the 6.4 hemi. Personally i am coming from GM and I would avoid a 6.0/6l90, not because of reliability, but they just will be disappointing if you are thinking diesel HP. 
the Ford 7.3 gas and 10 speed are really really impressive and around 13K less.  I have heard rumors that the motorcraft 10spd was developed with Allison, but i cant say one way or another if that is true. 

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Ford is not without transmission problems in those years either. My employer has a 2020 F350 that lost the transmission. 

I think the GM transmission was co-developed with Ford, IIRC.

2018 was the last year for the G56 manual transmission from Ram. I forget what the engine was rated at with the manual. I know in the automatic, you had two choices. The standard output engine was mated to a Chrysler 68RE and 800 ft pounds of torque. The high output version has the Aisin transmission and 930 ft pounds of torque.

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When I bought my first "big" truck (F250) in 2011 I penciled out the numbers pretty hard and from a pure economics standpoint I couldn't make the cost numbers favor a diesel truck unless it was permanently hooked to a trailer and was being used to make money every day. The higher up-front cost, higher fuel cost with only slightly better fuel economy, and higher maintenance costs really hurt the diesel. The only advantage I could see the diesel having was higher re-sale prices, but with the crap they put on the roads in WI by time you get to 200k miles there is little to no body on the truck that isn't rusted whether it's a diesel or gas engine.

I too use my current truck (F350, 7.3L gas, 10 speed) as more of a family vehicle than a pulling machine but I do pull a trailer enough to necessitate the bigger truck. It doesn't have the low end torque of a diesel but so far that has been a winning trade-off versus having all of the additional costs and maintenance of a diesel.

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9 minutes ago, FarmallFan said:

Ford is not without transmission problems in those years either. My employer has a 2020 F350 that lost the transmission. 

I think the GM transmission was co-developed with Ford, IIRC.

2018 was the last year for the G56 manual transmission from Ram. I forget what the engine was rated at with the manual. I know in the automatic, you had two choices. The standard output engine was mated to a Chrysler 68RE and 800 ft pounds of torque. The high output version has the Aisin transmission and 930 ft pounds of torque.

I hadn’t heard of trans failures, but again, I haven’t been following closely, lots of griping about harsh shifting and one twisted driveshaft in a CCLB, harsh shifting hasn’t been an issue in the 23’ but i do wonder if complaints are related to shift delay, and high idle settings. When its cold it idles around 1,000 rpm and there is a delay when you shift into gear. If you are paying attention and wait, it is not an issue, if you drop it in and accelerate it will slam in. I could see it being an issue in fleet vehicles or aggressive drivers who didn’t care. 

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7 minutes ago, Jesse in WI said:

When I bought my first "big" truck (F250) in 2011 I penciled out the numbers pretty hard and from a pure economics standpoint I couldn't make the cost numbers favor a diesel truck unless it was permanently hooked to a trailer and was being used to make money every day. The higher up-front cost, higher fuel cost with only slightly better fuel economy, and higher maintenance costs really hurt the diesel. The only advantage I could see the diesel having was higher re-sale prices, but with the crap they put on the roads in WI by time you get to 200k miles there is little to no body on the truck that isn't rusted whether it's a diesel or gas engine.

I too use my current truck (F350, 7.3L gas, 10 speed) as more of a family vehicle than a pulling machine but I do pull a trailer enough to necessitate the bigger truck. It doesn't have the low end torque of a diesel but so far that has been a winning trade-off versus having all of the additional costs and maintenance of a diesel.

^^^^this x2

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I have owned diesels since the late 80s. I’m not sure I will buy another. Like was said, unless you have a fuel card, diesel is a dollar a gallon higher, and you won’t gain enough benefits to offset it. 
If you’re serious about pulling, and put on 100,000 miles per year, maybe. 
Don’t get a dually, unless you’re pulling all the time, they are a nightmare to park. I have pulled way more with single wheeled pickup than I have with my dually. I always wanted a dually for my pride but it is dumb. 
I wouldn’t be afraid of any of the newer models. Get what you like. 

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I have a 2011 F350 CCLB 6.7 auto. I purchased it used with 213k on it. I've had gas trucks not even this size. Never saw double digits on fuel mileage with any of them. On my 6.7 as the mileage added up the fuel economy increased. Started at 13mpg. Currently getting around 18 average. If I cruise 55 mph steady I can see a 24-25mpg average. Factory trans gave out at 340k. I was told I took good care of it. Trans shop said most go around 225-250k. Short trips have always been the downfall of diesels. The answer always was let them idle. The only thing worse than a short trip on an emissions diesel is idling. The exhaust has to get up to full temp for over 20 minutes. That means 70mph for 20 minutes in intervals less than 500 miles apart. If you don't hit that then don't go diesel. The 7.3 gas is a great engine but...10mpg. for my longer trips (40minutes highway to work) I get double the mileage. Needless to say towing is not an issue either. If I made less longer trips, it'd be the 7.3gas. For now, my diesel is at 348k and going strong.

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Only other thing I would add, is Dodge corporate rearend DON’T hold up to towing. If you change carrier bearings at about 160,000 miles, if you tow, you’ll have no problems. If you let the bearings go out, you went from a $1500 repair to a $5000 repair. 

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IMG_2212.jpeg
Sorry for the blur, that’s mixed mileage, towing, highway, secondary. 14.0 mpg

7.3, 4.30 final gearing 

for another 13K plus additional maintenance/fuel expenses I couldn’t justify a diesel for my use. 

 

seems you pay the same for the diesel option used as you do new. 

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12 minutes ago, IHC_1470 said:

So what would this group consider to be to old of a pickup to buy?

In my opinion that would depend on price intended use and location. But the OP was asking about trucks under 4-5 years old

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I was very close to buying an older, Tier-2 Ram a few weeks ago.  There was no way I wanted a newer, more complex diesel for my needs. 

In the end, I went with a '19 Ranger since I don't need to pull much over 7,000 and I saved $8K up front, fuel economy was a wash, and saved on the price of diesel fuel.  I gave up a manual transmission and the pleasing sound of a 24V Cummins...those were big sacrefices for me.

My brother has a '17 Ram 2500 with the 6-spd manual.  While the transmission is strong, it doesn't shift very nice in my opinion.  He just installed a tuner for driveability's sake and that perked up the engine tremendously.  It now drives like my '98 Ram did.

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1 hour ago, vtfireman85 said:

for another 13K plus additional maintenance/fuel expenses I couldn’t justify a diesel for my use. 

 

seems you pay the same for the diesel option used as you do new. 

Indeed. I got a screaming bargain on my truck when I bought it. It was at a tiny used dealer in a town of 250 people. Gooseneck had come unhooked and played a game of tag with every part of the box. He put a new tailgate but fixed the box and covered as much inside as he could with bed liner. It was half price of anything similar at the time. Everyone in town knew what it was and steered clear but I didn't care. It ran and drove as it should and any remaining damage was only visible inside the box. I get twice the fuel mileage as gassers if that flavor for less than I could have purchased a gasser at the time.

If you need a gooseneck and buy a truck not set up, I recommend B&W. I've had others and my last one as well as my current one are B&W. Easy to install. Zero issues. My dad has a 13 Super Duty with the factory GN. I can't pull the horse trailer with it because the safety chains don't reach all the way to the wheel wells where the hooks are. It also seems very "clunky". Sure is a lot of banging and clanging going on back there compared to the B&W in my trucks. Maybe his is a fluke but I don't like it.

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2 hours ago, IHC_1470 said:

So what would this group consider to be to old of a pickup to buy?

I bought a good 93 Dodge Cummins D250 a few years ago. Have driven it everywhere. Trips up to 1000 miles. Have done some maintenance and about to rebuild the front end.

Very happy with it.

Is 30 years too old for you?

 

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21 minutes ago, acem said:

I bought a good 93 Dodge Cummins D250 a few years ago. Have driven it everywhere. Trips up to 1000 miles. Have done some maintenance and about to rebuild the front end.

Very happy with it.

Is 30 years too old for you?

 

We still run a 93 K2500 Suburban to do heavy lifting  including moving our little 464 tractor. It is an 8600 GVW 454 4OD tranny.  I joke that the only thing  original is the GM 4.11 10.5" rear end. In the past 4 years it has made 5 round trips from the Dallas area to Fayetteville Ar.  The engine was overhauled at 206,000 original miles in 2016. Neither the crankshaft or bores needed to be redone. I had the bores enlarged by .020 because I wanted to fit over 9:1 compression pistons and a different cam for more power and as a test to see if the TB injection would work with a wilder cam. Came out smelling like a rose. The AC is the problem currently, one day when I get free time,  I will make it run cold again.

New it aint, functional, reliable and rust free, it is. Just changed the oil and filter getting ready to put more miles on her back to Fayetteville.

I would not want a heavy pickup as an only vehicle, we also operate a Nissan Versa. For some reason the Texas rats chew the wiring off the Nissan. No mechanical issue with the little one but it is a 2013 with just 31,000 miles on it. Still on original tires. 

 

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1 hour ago, acem said:

I bought a good 93 Dodge Cummins D250 a few years ago. Have driven it everywhere. Trips up to 1000 miles. Have done some maintenance and about to rebuild the front end.

Very happy with it.

Is 30 years too old for you?

 

..possibly for a ''local'' Ace.....but I would be happy to have a truck like that !!

...there is a 2000   model Dodge 250   that a good friend of mine has....but it will fetch around 35 /40K  NZ...and down under diesel  is about    $9  per us Gallon equivalent while 91 petrol is  nearly $14  per US gallon equivalent...

The left wing nut jobs wouldn't even want us to harness the old Horse up for transportation....in case  of the inevitable exhaust gas from the animal which , of course, will help bring about the destruction   of the Planet.....

Mike

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I've got a 99 f350 7.3 6spd that I'll keep but it's a regular cab with some rust and a few other issues. It would make sense for us to buy a half ton But... last year we got stuck with a large tax bill. I  figured a ton truck could be depreciated out for the business or farm. 

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1 hour ago, acem said:

I bought a good 93 Dodge Cummins D250 a few years ago. Have driven it everywhere. Trips up to 1000 miles. Have done some maintenance and about to rebuild the front end.

Very happy with it.

Is 30 years too old for you?

 

  Unless some retiree has been keeping his 93 stored away since 95 it either has 350,000 miles on it or is rusted down to any steel plating it may have.  Looking for an affordable used pick up truck is like looking for the Holy Grail.  

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My daily driver/welding truck is a 2,000 2500 dodge/cummin with 345,000 miles. It is HEAVY and will 17+ miles per gallon. Our 08 3/4 ton GMC with the 6.0 and 6 speed auto will average 9 mpg empty. Drove it to Virgina 3 weeks ago to pick up 1,400lbs of supplies and it averaged 6mpg through the mountains. Its in the shop now for a transmission replacement, reman installed is going to be around $6,000. 

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10 hours ago, Sledgehammer said:

I have a 2016 F250 with a diesel.  It’s bone stock with one size larger tires than factory, 440hp 800ft/lb from the factory.  It pulls great when hitched to my 20K rated dual tandem gooseneck. I have had very few issues with it and add DEF about 2x a year to keep it above 1/2 which is just for my satisfaction. Fuel economy is probably 17-18 highway and 14-15 otherwise. With that said, if you gave me $100K I could only use to buy a new pickup it would be a 7.3 gasser for the way I use a pickup. I went from a gas F250 (5.4) to this current truck and hated the 5.4 in a 3/4 ton. Loved it in a 1/2 ton before that. Just my $.02

ditto year F350/stock/factory 20inch tires, no complaints on power or economy/its got 70K on it, bought it used 3.5 yrs ago, still nervous about the def and what not, had a def heater go out at 50K and a water pump already - all in my garage so never stranded 

i will go gasser next time and sacrifice power likely a 7.3 godzilla too because the diesel anomalies are all in the back of my mind every time i get behind the wheel and They aint cheap!!!

 

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1 hour ago, Finney said:

My daily driver/welding truck is a 2,000 2500 dodge/cummin with 345,000 miles. It is HEAVY and will 17+ miles per gallon. Our 08 3/4 ton GMC with the 6.0 and 6 speed auto will average 9 mpg empty. Drove it to Virgina 3 weeks ago to pick up 1,400lbs of supplies and it averaged 6mpg through the mountains. Its in the shop now for a transmission replacement, reman installed is going to be around $6,000. 

I’ve never checked my mileage on my GMC, but its awful. The 08 would have a 6L80 I believe, bad choice by GM, the 6L90 is equally lack luster performance but much stronger. The 4L80/6.0 was a very nice combo. I used to average around 13, which i was happy enough with. 

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