Several Truck Questions

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Kenneth in NC, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    1) When and which makes have the 3rd door?

    2) What is the best diesel engine?

    3) Which older (pre air bag) models get the best mpg?

    4) What is the most you've pulled with a 318-V8 Dodge Dakota?

    5) Your opinion diesel or gas? Why?

    Thank you for your help.

    Kenneth in NC
     
  2. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    I think International made the best diesel for pick up trucks. I like the older 6.9. They are mechanically injected wich means you can burn veggy oil in them with less problems.

    I used to get 18 mpg with my 78 F-250 that had the 300 straight 6.

    Years ago diesel fuel was considerably less expensive than gas, and ford and dodge used truck diesel engine manufacturers. (international, and cummins). Those diesels were 500,000 mile engines. Thats why I like diesels.

    I bought a 97 f-250 with the international diesel. I expect it will run 500,000 miles. I bought the diesel for its longjevity.
     

  3. 1_gunner

    1_gunner Active Member

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    I have a 97 F350 crewcab, lwb, 4x4, 5spd with a 7.3l powerstroke (International) diesel. MPG varies depending on temperature and highway vs. city driving. In the winter I get 18 mpg city/20 highway. In the summer 20 mpg city/24 highway. I had the airbag removed so that I wouldn't have it activate on me when off-road or when I was working on the truck. In the last 10-15 years diesels have become just as complex as modern gas engines and are more expensive to maintain. Some examples:

    14Q of oil per 3k oil change and $10 oil filters.
    32Q of coolant every 30k
    8 glow plugs every 2 to 3 years at $12 each.
    Even with Glow Plugs I have to plug in the block heater when the temps get below 20degs otherwise it's hard to get her started.
    Truck weighs 9700lbs and eats up tires an shocks like crazy.
    Diesel was cheaper than gas back when it was new. Now its usually 5 to 10 cents a gallon more than gas.

    You'll hear people say that a diesel will run for 500k. This is true if you keep up with the maintenace. I do my own so it keeps the costs down. If you don't have mechanical skills and don't have the maintenace done it will be bad ($$$$) news. Plus, my truck was $36K new 9 years ago. I could have bough 2 gas trucks back then for the same money. All that said, I wouldn't trade the big, rattly female dog in for anything.

    As for the Dakota: I had an 89 that ate 3 transmission within 90K. Hardly ever towed anything. Back then they had weak torque converters.
     
  4. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    LOL, mine either
     
  5. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

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    1) GMC & Chevy since the mid 90's. No idea on the others.

    2) These days they are all good but Cummins comes out on top for my money. Heavier built in all areas.

    3) If you don't need to haul huge loads then the old GMC/Chevy 6.2 will get you MPG in the mid 20's all day long. And if they aren't used for towing or HEAVY hauling then they will last as long as any. (And they will fit any vehicle a Chevy gas V8 will fit. I've seen them in everything from Vette's to trikes.)

    4) Never had one.

    5) Diesel. Longer life, better mileage, can run on almost any type of oil if needed. And luv the sound! Have to note though that there is a little more expense with a diesel in other areas.

    Just my nickle's worth!
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    4) I have a 92 Dakota v6 with manual tranny. I pulled 190 bu of corn with it to elevator with gravity wagons. Thats a bit over 12,000lbs with the wagon. Obviously this is 20 mph & not too great a distance, but you asked.... It takes 6,000# with the car trailer on long trips/ hwy speeds real well. The manual tranny has been rock solid.

    5) Used to be I coveted a diesel. But, here in Minnesota salt will eat up a vehicle in 10-15 years, so you end up with an engine just broken in & only rust surrounding it - worth the same as a gasser at that point. Also the new rules on sulfur has me questioning what will happen to diesels. Hopefully the soy-oil will help keep things running good, but I just don't know - new engines are going to be _fussy_ on what runs in them, and older engines might have troubles with the new fuels. In my cold climate, home-brewed fuels & such are a little scary for a traveling vehicle, I'd prefer the ethanol.

    So I don't know any more. A newer gasser that will handle E85 might make the most sense to me for the next decade, until the fuel stuff sorts itself out. Diesel has such a fluctuation on price with the heating seasons.... Oh, I farm & run 900+ gallons of diesel a year in the tractors, so I am familiar with the stuff.

    Ethanol has been used here in MN for decades, & there are plants producing it everywhere. It's an established thing. This soy-oil is just starting up, going to be a while before the bugs get worked out. The home-brew oil stuff just scares me, put that in a 500,000 mile engine & turn it into a 75,000 mile engine if you goof it.

    --->Paul
     
  7. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just to be contrary:
    1) My 1956 VW Double cab pickup has a third door. (Started with some 1959 models, I think)
    3) The VW Rabbit pickups got nearlly 50mpg
     
  8. TheBlueOne

    TheBlueOne Well-Known Member

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    I'll say; he needs to tow a heavily loaded 24' trailer.(From another thread) Which VW would be better? :) :)
     
  9. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Ford came with the three door on it's F-150 models in 1997. But you can't get a diesel unless you go up to the F-250 or bigger. The F-250 or F-350 SuperDuty pickups came with 3-door cabs in 1998, but they were introduced as new 1999 models, go figure. Chev and GMC offerred the 3 door earlier, not sure on year.
    2) The best Diesel is probably the Cummins diesel offered in the Dodge. Unfortunately, the rest of the truck does not hold up as well as Ford or Chevy.
    3) The best fuel economy was probably delivered by the 5.7L GM GAS engine for full size pickups. That or the Ford Powerstroke Diesel.
    5.) The question of diesel or gas really goes to your personal uses of the truck. Being You are in NC, the cold weather concerns can pretty much be set aside. Assuming you stick with Dodge, Ford, or GM, buying a diesel means buying a heavy duty 3/4 or 1 ton truck. Do you need this, and will you use it enough to justify additional expense?
    How many miles a year do you drive? If you drive less than 18000 miles a year, I doubt the extra investment will justify a diesel. Unless you are towing heavy loads. If you routinely tow heavy loads of 8,000 pounds and more, then Diesel is the way to go.
     
  10. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    When diesel was cheaper the lower price of fuel, plus the additional fuel mileage, plus the longevity of the engine would pay off in the long run. Now that diesel is more expensive than gasoline I'm not sure that you can drive one long enough to recoup the added cost up front.

    The old 7.3L diesel that Ford had was a very good engine. I leaned a little more to the Cummins because of the better fuel mileage. The 6.0 liter that Ford replaced the 7.3 with has been a dud. They have not been able to work the bugs out, and it's already slated for replacement in the '08 model year. I work for the county here, and all the ambulances are Ford diesels. Over half the time the only ones running are the old "standby" 7.3's. The "new" 6.0's are ALWAYS in the shop.

    I, too, love the sound of a diesel, and I used to be a diehard diesel fan for a work truck. But with the added cost of the diesel up front, the added cost of diesel fuel, and the life of the modern gasoline engines, I've just about changed my mind. I'm sure there are applications where hauling HEAVY loads day in and day out the diesel would probably hold up better, but for the average truck user, I don't think it'll pay off. Today's gasoline engines will run 300,000 or more with good maintenance. My 97 Chevy 2500 4X4 has over 200,000 and stills uses no oil.
     
  11. MN Mom

    MN Mom Well-Known Member

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    2) any one that starts

    3) wifes uncle has a late 80 chevy full size with a v6 in it that gets 28 mpg

    4) 3/4 ton dodge conversion van 55 mph. it is not how much you can pull but how well you can stop. trailer brakes are a must.

    5) diesel - pure pulling power
     
  12. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    I guess our way of thinking was influenced by the many posters that talk about their diesels getting 19-26 mpg and under heavy towing getting 17mpg. Our Dakota gets 14-17 tops.

    Also I hoping that I could trade down (1995 Dakota, 4x4, 318 V8, Ext cab w/camper shell, towing pkg) to older model diesel crew cab. DW wants one with NO airbags. Her best friend was killed by a airbag not releasing. So she is wary of them.

    Seems that the 7.3L is getting all the high marks and the 6.0L is getting an "F"

    Kenneth
     
  13. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    As Tyusclan correctly points out, the 7.3L is a very good engine, and yes the 6.0L is problematic. The 1995 to 1997 7.3L Trucks were probably the best with the refinements by that time. They can pull 19-20 mpg with enough acceleration on reserve to snap your neck back against the headrest, NOT towing, LOL. Claims of 17 MPG towing heavy loads are, IMO, exaggerations. I guess it depends on your definition of "Heavy" towing, LOL. Friend of mine is on the road 5 days a week pulling 30'
    Gooseneck Cattle trailer. He wore out 3 Ford Diesels in a row, and never got that kind of fuel economy. He is currently running an 06 Dodge CrewCab Dually Diesel with Cummins and 6-Speed Manual. Fully Loaded with Steers, he gets 13.6 MPG, which he is ecstatic about. He Laments that if only he could put that Powertrain in a Ford Truck, LOL.

    BTW anybody know what fuel economy they are getting with newer GM Duramax Diesels?
    MY Chevy 1 Ton Dually with 454 gets 6 MPG Pulling Heavy Trailers in the Snow, LOL. I guess it's days are numbered.
     
  14. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you need A workhorse Small diesel enginge find A perkins, or A herculese? they are A great engine.Or try A multifuel engine. will run on just about anything .The older internationals?used perkins diesel engines
     
  15. MN Mom

    MN Mom Well-Known Member

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    Take the fuse out.
     
  16. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    my uncle and a cousin both stuffed a perkins 345 into their pickups, one was a 77 ford the other a 71 international, my uncle got 20 mpg loaded or empty but the thing smoked to beat the band... but could probably run on any fuel oil you tried to pour in the tank.... they are a big motor [about 45 inches in length if i remember correctly] and todays vehicles being limited in room under the hood they may not fit without putting the radiator some place else... not a good thing in reconstruction lots of added cost there unless you yave those parts an pieces laying around the shop begging to be used in an extreme makeover.

    so it can be done..... but the cost probably outweighs the advantage, now a friend stuffed a 350 gas into a chevy s-10 and pulled 2 cars on a car hauler, got over 20 mpg and still exceeded 100mph in Montana coming back to Idaho pulling them..... kinda scary in my book to have that kinda power available and still get decent mileage..... he sold that little truck to a kid who wrecked it... go figger.

    William