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  #16  
Old 04-26-2004, 12:15 AM
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I have 98 1/2 Dodge 3/4 ton 4x4 HD pickup with the Cummins Turbo Diesel. IMHO the best darn truck out there. When I was shopping around for a new rig I spoke to many many people. One was a Ford diesel mechanic. His experience told him that the Cummins was a very long lasting motor whereas the the Powerstroke would need work at 100k, no doubt about it. At the time the Powerstroke had more torque and hp but the longevity of the motor was a serious question mark. The Cummins is a proven motor.

I would stay away from an automatic mated with the Cummins. You can count on eating them for lunch, espically when any towing is done. Look for the HD model. It has the 1 ton rear end and with the 5 speed manual you got a serious mix of running gear.

I test drove both the Ford and Dodge, I think the Ford won hands down for fit and finish for the interior, body and ride. The dodge will probably fall apart around the motor, trans, and running gear but the motor will probably outlast me. I think the 24-valves are rated at 450k between rebuilds.
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  #17  
Old 04-26-2004, 12:22 AM
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I think, other than the shift kit, the secret to making the auto last behind a big diesel is to drive it like it has half the horsepower when towing. Take all 30 or seconds to get to 60, 40 would be better, and it will live much longer with a good cooler. Factory coolers are worthless loaded....

Having all that power inclines one to drive it "like a car" -- with the expeted results. Tranny is overworked, and the brakes burn up. My brother is on the local volunteer fire department, and they have put 5 sets of brakes (and rotors) on the new truck in three years -- you can normally smell burning brakes when the truck is parked from all the guys (and girls) driving with their foot to the floor on the gas except when standing on the brakes to stop. Gentle driving allows the heat to dissipate rather than fry things, and reduces the torque load on the frictions so they don't slip.

The overdrive isn't intended for use while towing, as noted.

That said, none of the autos, including the Allison, are really reliable -- again, the vehicle and drivetrain is too light for real towing. If pulling a large amount of weight, you really NEED a heavy truck. Cheaper in the long run, as it won't be broken nearly as much. Pickups are LIGHT trucks, and GVW ratings are somewhat optimistic. I have one friend who belatedly discovered that his Ford Dually (with the fake "dual" rear end) as 2000 lbs over GVW when he dropped his SunDowner horse trailer on empty. Add in a couple tons of feed and tack and 4500 lbs of horse, and there goes the tranny.

I watched some idiot burn off six tires on a similar setup on I71, too -- running 70 mph, half the time on the rumble strip on the shoulder, tires bulged out and smoking. Shed the treads off all the right side (including front) and the left side trailer rear axle. Didn't crash, why I don't know, but a very good example of why you cannot use a 3/4 ton pickup to tow 25,000 lbs GVW.

Peter

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  #18  
Old 04-26-2004, 12:45 AM
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After many of these replies, there's a resounding message; get a heavier truck.

Problem is, all the 1-tons I've found or seen are duallies. That WON'T work for where we hunt, a dually couldn't even THINK of getting into where we pack in from.

Also, they're just too wide and we're trying to get away from something that's too long already.

Anyone know of a 1-ton that is NOT a dually? (Towed with a '78 Ford once that was a single, but don't know of anything modern with single.)
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  #19  
Old 04-26-2004, 01:00 AM
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All three of the American companies make SRW one-tons now, although Dodge didn't until '03. I don't know when GM started with SRW 1 ton's, but I know that Ford was making them in the '80's...

BTW, my attitude towards Chevy is about the same as your attitude to Ford (added by my anger with them over ruining the U.S. diesel market with the 350 diesel)

That said, when Peter was advising you to get a larger truck, I think he's talking about you getting a medium-duty, such as a Freightliner FL50 or a GMC Kodiak or an IH or an F-650...
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  #20  
Old 04-26-2004, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Warden
All three of the American companies make SRW one-tons now, although Dodge didn't until '03. I don't know when GM started with SRW 1 ton's, but I know that Ford was making them in the '80's...
Anything newer than about 1997 won't work, can't afford it.




Quote:
Originally posted by The Warden

BTW, my attitude towards Chevy is about the same as your attitude to Ford (added by my anger with them over ruining the U.S. diesel market with the 350 diesel)
They did do that. What a POS. Who's bright friggin' idea was it to take a SBC 350 gas engine and bolt up a couple of ill designed "diesel" heads on it and call it a "diesel engine". Don't know how many I saw come through with <25k on them and blown to pieces and leaking everything everywhere.


Quote:
Originally posted by The Warden

That said, when Peter was advising you to get a larger truck, I think he's talking about you getting a medium-duty, such as a Freightliner FL50 or a GMC Kodiak or an IH or an F-650...
Sheesh, not even a SLIM chance of that. Not only can't I afford it, but I can't have a single purpose vehicle just for the occasional trailer towing. Hell, my Jeep can do that if a 3/4 ton diesel can't and I could just buy a 1982 chevy 1/2 ton pickup for hauling turkey feathers (apparently anything else would severely overload a diesel pickup chassis, no matter what the rating) and be done with it for a few k LESS than what I'd sell this gasser for.

That TH400 I had in the Jeep must've been made out of armor. It held up towing a 6k lb trailer accross the highest passes and in the hottest summers. That was in a 1/2 ton chassis no less. Guess they REALLY don't make 'em like they used to.
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  #21  
Old 04-26-2004, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TomJ
Well...., the truck I'll be trading on it is my Dads 3/4 Chevy 454, 4X4 LB, Ext Cab, 59k, that he can no longer drive due to a stroke.

He was very proud to be able to give me his pride and joy. Trade this in on a Ford? He had a stroke, but he can still pull a trigger!

Having worked on them all and many Fords in my day, I've developed an aversion to them. The trucks are made well and the powerstroke has a good rep, but it's still a F**d.
Tom, I didn't know all the details before, you don't need to get a bigger truck. Your dad's 3/4 ton 4X4 truck with the 454 is plenty to do most anything you'll probably ever need to do with a truck. You can easily haul a ton of whatever in the bed and tow 5 times that. At 59K miles its not even broken in. With proper maintenance a 454 will last as long as any F**d or Dodge diesel because it doesn't have to work so hard to do the same job. Its already lasted longer than those 6.2/6.5 diesels.
I'm sure your dad took good care of that truck. You know its history. Don't do something you'll regret. Why are trucks for sale? Because 9 times out of 10 there's something wrong with it.
Keep the truck!
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  #22  
Old 04-26-2004, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lietuviai
Tom, I didn't know all the details before, you don't need to get a bigger truck. Your dad's 3/4 ton 4X4 truck with the 454 is plenty to do most anything you'll probably ever need to do with a truck. You can easily haul a ton of whatever in the bed and tow 5 times that. At 59K miles its not even broken in. With proper maintenance a 454 will last as long as any F**d or Dodge diesel because it doesn't have to work so hard to do the same job. Its already lasted longer than those 6.2/6.5 diesels.
I'm sure your dad took good care of that truck. You know its history. Don't do something you'll regret. Why are trucks for sale? Because 9 times out of 10 there's something wrong with it.
Keep the truck!
Yes, I know this truck is a good hauler, I've towed with it, problem is, it's WAY too long. We never drive it because it takes two blocks to turn it around. Extended cab AND longbed make for a truck that's too long to take hunting where we go, too long to take to the store and park ANYWHERE in Boulder. Uses too much gas (though it gets an honest 14.5 on the hiway towing a Mercedes behind it) and is just not a pleasure to drive at all.

Another thing, I want to go to diesel so I can use homebrew biodiesel in it and store fuel at the house in large qty's (as in SVO/WVO/BioD)

Can't do that with this truck. It'll just sit and fall apart or rust away here with 59k on it. Would rather it go to someone working oil fields or a farm where there's plenty of room to turn it around.

Your point isn't lost on me though, I too, have a feeling I'm trading a known-good, solid truck off for someone else's problem truck. If nothing else, I'll sell this to someone who can and will get some use out of it though, just can't see it rotting away in our front yard. It's been driven about 28 miles in the last 6 months. It'll fall apart from de-composition at that rate.
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  #23  
Old 04-26-2004, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TomJ
That TH400 I had in the Jeep must've been made out of armor. It held up towing a 6k lb trailer accross the highest passes and in the hottest summers. That was in a 1/2 ton chassis no less. Guess they REALLY don't make 'em like they used to.
There's two reasons that most autos don't like diesels. First, the 4 speed OD autos aren't as strong as the original 3 speeds, like the TH400 were. Before designing the E4POS, Ford put their C6 3 speed behind their diesels, and that tranny was a tank! Dodge put the Torqflite 727 behind the Cummins for a brief period in '89 and early '90 before "upgrading" to the 4 speed, with similar results.

Second, diesels run at lower RPM's than gas engines. The automatic trannies' oil pumps are driven by the shaft coming from the engine IIRC, and as a result don't get quite as much lubrication at low RPM as at high RPM. More importantly, the oil doesn't go through the oil cooler as fast, and this is coupled with the TC slipping more at low speeds. Again, I think the 3 speeds could take this better than the 4 speeds cab.

I think what Peter was trying to say was that your Jeep truck was also overloaded, but I'm not going to go there; I didn't read that part as well as he did. In Dodge's case, their 3/4 ton trucks between '94 and '98 actually have almost the same weight rating as the 1 tons. With manual-tranny trucks, the exact same axle was used on the 2500's as on the 3500's, and the same front end, springs, frame, etc were used. The only real difference was that the 3500 has training wheels. Automatic-equipped 2500's were given a Dana 70 instead of a Dana 80, but the Dana 70 is plenty strong by itself. IMHO the big advantage a Dodge 3500 gives you is the stability from having a wider wheelbase on the back, so you wouldn't really be losing much by getting a 2500.

This has probably changed since '03 when Dodge started offering a SRW 3500, but that's a moot point, eh?

Also, no offense DJ but a Cummins, especially with 3.54 gears, should be able to get 15mpg at a MINIMUM (I would expect more like 17 to 19 unless you BOMB the engine). What sort of mileage is the 454 getting? And, again, IMHO the longevity speaks for itself...

DJ, BTW, even I was surprised when I saw what DIS was asking for the 6.5l elec. pump. I had thought it was in the $700 range. OTOH, the 6.2l pump price has gone up as well. The 6.2l uses basically the same Stanadyne DB2 pump that my 6.9l has (BTW, Stanadyne's USELESS), and i paid $325 for my pump a while back. The Dodge pump was even more expensive, but unlike the 6.2l/6.5l pump, it should never need replacing...gotta love inline pumps
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  #24  
Old 04-26-2004, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TomJ
Extended cab AND longbed make for a truck that's too long to take hunting where we go, too long to take to the store and park ANYWHERE in Boulder.
I feel your pain...I've got the same problem with my F-250. I really want a regular-cab Dodge, but there's no way I'm ever getting rid of this truck for personal reasons...but there's a reason I named it the Nimitz

BTW, not all people are selling trucks due to problems. Many people just decided to buy new (enticed/seduced by claims of more power, comfort, etc) and figured they could get more on the private market. In fact, some of these people have actively regretted selling their old trucks...this is especially true on the Ford site; quite a few people traded perfectly good 7.3l's in for the new 6.0l and are having endless problems with the 6.0l... Getting records would be a good idea but assuming you've got an idea on the vehicle history, I really wouldn't be concerned at all about a 12 valve Cummins. I will admit, though, that some concern could exist about the 24 valve; if the lift pump on that engine goes out, the injector pump often follows (doesn't like being run dry)...
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  #25  
Old 04-26-2004, 02:09 AM
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Okay I'm tired of this crap. Simply no reason why a SRW 3/4HD or 1ton won't do what TomJ wants to do with it. The big three all have their issues and here they are:

Dodge: Great engine, tons of power and longevity too. Auto trannys need to have an upgraded torque converter with a lower stall speed to better match the Cummins torque curve installed, a shift kit to installed to increase the clutch pack clamp pressures. A trans temp gauge and a larger trans cooler is a good idea if you pull heavy all the time. A 5speed is a better option IMHO, the NV4500 is virtually bulletproof.

Ford: Great engine, tons of power but longevity has been a problem due to cavitation issues. Cavitation is a known phenomenon in the HD diesel world. Additives need to be maintained in the coolant to prevent the cavitation. This is a maintainence issue. If the engine has been maintained then there will not be a problem with cavitation. End of issue. Ford auto trannys have had their share of problems but again most issues occur from overheating. A larger trans cooler and a gauge is cheap insurance. Banks also makes a chip that modifys the shifting and line pressures to increase performance and longevity. Ford autos are still much better than the Dodges. Again, the 5speed is a slightly more reliable option.

GM: Marginal engine, moderate power, longevity issues under heavy use. Electronic injection pumps (94+) should be avoided. The GM engine is an old design that was pitted against the PS and Cummins in a battle it couldn't win. Period. Then it was saddled with a crappy EFI pump in 94 that really killed it. Since it wasn't intercooled from the factory, runs half the boost and is a lighter design this shouldn't be a suprise. They are known for breaking crankshafts and cracking the engine blocks around the journals. This occurs because the harmonic balancers fail and the vibration does the rest. Its easy to see when the balancer is deteriorating and simply replace it so IMHO this is really a maintainence issue. Part is about $100. If you are not careful the airbox doesn't seal correctly when you change the airfilter. Chronic dirt ingestion kills the #7 cylinder first so a compression test will reveal this issue easily. Simply paying attention to how the airfilter fits will prevent this. The mechanical pump GM is quite reliable as the pump is basically the same one used on Ford IDI 7.3/6.9's GM auto trannys are far and away the most reliable in HD use. The 4L80E is basically a TH400 with OD and a lockup converter. Obviously the same logic applies with overheating as the other trannys mentioned above. Towing in OD is not an issue IF the trans mods have been done. In OD the torque converter should be locked up. If it doesn't lock up it can be manually controlled with a device like a BD Torque Lock. Locking the converter essentially makes it direct drive like a manual and since there is no slip from the converter heat is drastically reduced. The 4L80E will live and last behind the 454 and 502gassers towing and it also does fine with the 6.5. If you think the Allison 5speed auto is a crappy transmission you are either a complete moron or on drugs. Since the Allison is used in medium duty trucks along with the Dmax it is more than p to the job. The 5speed NV4500 is the same as used in the Dodge with the same durable results. GM has been making SRW 1tons since '88.

Obviously I have a preference to GM, even the old supposedly crappy 6.5 I own. Since the first 100K of its life it pulled a triple-axle roundbale hay trailer in south TX and then I have used it heavily to pull 7-10K loads to its current 198K it hasn't had an easy life. It still runs great, gets 20mpg and has nothing but regular maintainence done to it I guess I am biased. Gee, did I get the one good one made or are the problems vastly overstated? I use my truck every day as a construction vehicle. All the other contractors I know have diesel trucks too and many use them far harder than I do. I don't know of a single instance of a major issue with ANY of the Big Three products provided the maintainence is performed and precautions are taken not to overheat things. This is 10years of experience of seeing trucks at lumberyards, jobsites, towing our boats and campers on weekends, etc. Unless TomJ is planning on towing 10+K ALL the time a medium duty truck is pure overkill. Aren't DOT tags required on vehicles with a GVW over 10K? Can you register a medium duty as anything but a commercial vehicle? Is it legal on parkways? I dunno all the answers to these questions but you better answer them before you go recommending a medium duty truck. The bottom line is any of the 3/4HD to 1ton SRW pickups will handle 7-8K all day, every day. To not agree with this is simply exercise in blindness. What do you think all the equipment, landscape, construction, car, horse, farm, camper, etc. trailers are towed with? Medium duty's? Look again. RT
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  #26  
Old 04-26-2004, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rwthomas1
Ford: Great engine, tons of power but longevity has been a problem due to cavitation issues.
FYI, cavitation's primarily a problem with the 7.3l IDI. The 6.9l doesn't really have this problem simply because the cylinder walls are thicker, and the Powerstroke has a completely different block. It's a moot point, though, 'cause it looks like Tom's chances of getting a Ford are about equal to my chances of getting a Chebby

Quote:
The mechanical pump GM is quite reliable as the pump is basically the same one used on Ford IDI 7.3/6.9's
I beg to differ on the "quite reliable" part, unless they made the (same model, essentially) pump stronger somehow on the GM version. At least the Ford version of the Stanadyne DB2 pump usually runs for about 100K miles before needing to be replaced. One of the main reasons is that nylon flex ring in the governor, but I've heard of other failure modes as well. There's also the throwaway injectors; again, this may be limited to Fords, but those two factors, I think, are pretty fair justifications for my "Stanadyne's USELESS" comment above. While still tougher than g@$$er parts, the Stanadyne fuel injection systems on the Ford IDI's (and probably GM's as well) don't hold a candle to the Bosch system that Cummins used or the setup on our M-B's.

On the medium-duty stuff, I think that Peter was thinking that Tom was planning to tow a lot more than he is. I wasn't attempting to push Tom in that direction; while a medium-duty is fun to drive it's not practical for a daily driver in most places and, to me, doesn't really sound like what he needs (and certainly not what he wants). It is true that many pickup trucks out there are overloaded, but it doesn't sound like that's what Tom wants to do at all. Lastly, when I say "overloaded", I'm not referring to the drivetrain or the suspension/frame...I'm referring to the braking system. The drivetrain (even on my 175 hp 6.9l) and suspension on most of these trucks can handle a lot more weight than the brakes can safely stop. BUT, if you keep to the load ratings (I do disagree with Peter's saying that the GVWR ratings on pickup trucks are "optimistic"), you should be safe. Also, trailer brakes are our friends.
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  #27  
Old 04-26-2004, 02:48 AM
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Warden,
The Stanadyne DB2 on my truck has 198K, runs and starts perfect although I will admit I think its down on power just a bit recently so maybe its almost time for a pump. Yep, they are basically the same DB2's as on the Fords. The Stanadyne pumps don't tolerate water well and thats what kills most. Keep the filter changes frequent or install a big Racor and the problems go away. Bosch injectors on mine, rebuilts with new nozzles run $38/ea. I will agree that an inline pump is superior though. All the Ford guys I know run the anticav additive in the PS's. Maybe they are freaked from the IDI stories? The HD versions of the 3/4ton GM's (like mine) are rated at 8600gvw and have the 8 lug wheels, full floating axle, 1ton brakes and frame. Only the springs are derated. Towing a trailer weighing more than 50% than the empty tow vehicle weight WITHOUT trailer brakes is asking for trouble. Since my truck empty is 6100lbs thats about 3K. I've had almost 10K behind it but I run the Prodigy controller, load distributing setup and brakes on all axles not just the fronts. Never had a problem and never felt unsafe. I could feel the trailer slowing the truck down. If the 6.5 ever blows I may put a Cummins in her. Then I'll have the perfect truck. RT
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  #28  
Old 04-26-2004, 10:30 AM
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You guys should check out www.thedieselstop.com. This is a Mercedes Benz forum.

Good luck,
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  #29  
Old 04-26-2004, 02:19 PM
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Wow, thanks Larry I almost forgot.... Next time I see a non-MB diesel related post I will be sure to direct the poster to the correct website where they can ask for advice from people they are completely unfamiliar with. I fail to see how the occasional non-MB post to see what MB dieselers think about XYZ product is detrimental to the community of this board. Most helpful. Good luck. RT
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  #30  
Old 04-26-2004, 03:24 PM
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I was simply trying to point out a website where you can find replies from many more people that are familiar with these vehicles. It seems that where there are more people and more experience with these particular vehicles, that you could get more and better responses.

But I guess it makes sense, ask the MB enthusiasts about something totally different than what they are experienced with. I guess my logic is wrong.

Excuse the H$!! out of me!
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