PDA

View Full Version : I need a truck. Overwhelmed.



eesterson
Jun. 9, 2012, 06:02 PM
I currently haul a two horse steal stock GN trailer but would like a three-horse.
I have a 1995 Dodge Ram, 2500. Gas. 4wd. It's been a decent truck (but I've put three trannies in it!) but it's starting to be a money pit, and I want a diesel.

Do I need a 3500?
What brand? Ford? Dodge? Chevy? GMC?
Which engine? how many liter engine? Any trucks I should avoid? I've been told to look for a Ford 7.3l but those seem to be few and far between.

Under 20k if possible. Help me narrow it down.

kathy s.
Jun. 9, 2012, 08:52 PM
I currently haul a two horse steal stock GN trailer but would like a three-horse.
I have a 1995 Dodge Ram, 2500. Gas. 4wd. It's been a decent truck (but I've put three trannies in it!) but it's starting to be a money pit, and I want a diesel.

Do I need a 3500?
What brand? Ford? Dodge? Chevy? GMC?
Which engine? how many liter engine? Any trucks I should avoid? I've been told to look for a Ford 7.3l but those seem to be few and far between.

Under 20k if possible. Help me narrow it down.


There is a thread on here titled something to do with a high mileage truck. That may be a starting point. I love the new Ford diesels but don't know how long they will hold up. Good luck with your search!

Lucassb
Jun. 9, 2012, 09:59 PM
I would definitely endorse the 7.3L Fords... I have one and love it. It took me a while to find one in really good condition but it was worth the wait. Try the diesel truck forums - they have online classifieds and I bet you will be able to find one.

mvp
Jun. 10, 2012, 01:12 AM
How much does your trailer weight-- empty, and loaded with all the crap you'll ever put in it?

That will help Trucky COTHers advise you on the 3/4 ton vs 1 ton thing. The engines will be the same.

How much time do you have for the truck search?

You probably can still find a Ford 7.3L out there thats the right truck for your money. But you will hunt. You will compete with other skilled 7.3 hunters. You need to be ready to pounce when you see The Truck For You.

I wouldn't buy any of the 6.Whatever Fords. Those will be made after 2003.5.

Otherwise, go sit in some Chevy/GMC and Dodge diesels. Listen to as much biased lore about the brands as you can stand. See which you believe. People have their favorites, usually based on a tiny sample of trucks.

Look at your local CL and see what's out there and what people are asking. Then look at the NADA data base and see what those vehicles are worth. You'll teach yourself a lot about how to recognize the right truck when you see it and pounce like a skilled diesel hunter.

And $20K for a used truck is plenty.

There is something to be said for going back to a big gasoline engine if you don't find a great diesel deal. I might keep my mind open to a big ol' V10 Ford thing.

lilitiger2
Jun. 10, 2012, 01:30 AM
Agree with advice above except..avoid Ford V10, like the plague, run run run away! Waaaaaaay too many problems.

I think you will definitely find a used diesel for your price (Iknow someone right now with a used F350 6.0 for 15,500, has a performance chip and a bunch of other stuff). People have their favs-I love the Dodge diesels up to about a 2005, others like the chevy duramax -post 2004 or so, or various fords.

For what you are pulling you could get by with a 3/4 ton.

You will get opinions here but sure,check out the truck forums. Ask what others drive. I drive a 2005 3/4 ton dodge diesel and I absolutely love it. Tows, have speed, is comfortable, a great great truck. Others are pretty loyal to theirs as well! Ask your mechanic, and ask tow truck drivers what they tow the least!

mvp
Jun. 10, 2012, 01:40 AM
Nothing personal to litiger2, but....

For the love of God and non-piss-poor-engine-design-that-results-in-litigation-as-well-as-huge-after-market-fixes-paid-for-by-the-truck-owner, do some research on the Ford 6 liters prior to 2012. Just google it.

sketcher
Jun. 10, 2012, 07:22 AM
Agree with advice above except..avoid Ford V10, like the plague, run run run away! Waaaaaaay too many problems.

I think you will definitely find a used diesel for your price (Iknow someone right now with a used F350 6.0 for 15,500, has a performance chip and a bunch of other stuff).

Are you actually dissing a Ford 7.3L and promoting a 6L Ford Diesel? You have got it backwards.

lilitiger2
Jun. 10, 2012, 10:53 AM
ha ha ha h, you will NEVER see me promoting fords, of any variety, just happened to know of an older ford in the price range! Piss-poor, litigation, horrendous design, all that, could not agree more, no offense to people who actually enjoy driving those POS's (and some do, so I was trying to be sort of neutral on it!!:))

Run run run away indeed (to a cummins!)

mvp
Jun. 10, 2012, 03:13 PM
Pro-Ford here (a required disclaimer for this discussion).

It is not acceptable to be "neutral" with respect to the 6.Disasters that Ford built. Friends don't let friends buy them.

Otherwise, the company at least didn't do the "too big to fail" thing. And many complain about the truck built around the nice Cummins engine.

I don't know what to tell the OP with respect to Ford's big V-10 engine or any comparably-sized gassers. Truck buddies of mine considered the V-10 a pretty tried-n-true design. For all gassers, no one hauling will like the fuel milage. That's the nature of these.

But! It's a big math problem because diesels are more expensive to run. I believe Guilherme worked out some formula that explains when a diesel begins to turn around and start becoming the better investment. He was talking about starting with new trucks. So the big question is how long a gasoline engine lasts. And then you get into stories of very short and very long life spans.

suz
Jun. 10, 2012, 04:25 PM
and don't forget to factor in the life of the body if you live in the rust belt, as i do.
my 2002 7.3 f350 has almost 190 k on it and i have a lot of rust on the truck bed.
i know the tranny will go soon, so i have to plan on that plus replace the bed and four doors soon.

cloudyandcallie
Jun. 10, 2012, 05:02 PM
Do you know any local people with trucks? If so, talk to them about their trucks and ask to drive the trucks.

When I went truck hunting, I was working in the piney woods of rural GA. I asked every cop and deputy what he drove and why. And asked everyone what I needed to tow a trailer with a tb and a wb in it. Everyone was extremely helpful. Including a couple whose son had been murdered. They let me drive his diesel chevy truck to see if I would get nauseated in a diesel.

I bought the Ford F350 7.3 diesel and have loved it. Crew cab for dogs and for taking barn kids to rodeos and shows and rock concerts. It saved my life 2x when I was hit at high speed by cars. But I do understand that Ford has had problems with the smaller 6.0 engine and I don't know if it has been corrected.

My farrier had a Ford truck which was great, but getting high mileage on it, and traded it in in 2010 for a gas Chevy 1500. (Because he'd read of the Ford 6.0 problems.) That chevy truck spent more time in the shop, under warranty, than he drove it. The transmission went out w/i a year. He traded it for a new Dodge diesel 2500 turbo and he likes it. We'll see as when the state patrol changed from crown vics to chargers last year, turns out the chargers spent 5x in the shop as the crown vics did.

So I won't recommend the Ford truck to you altho mine is great. i would recommend that you drive other people's trucks and ask people who those trucks have held up. All the guys that I asked were very helpful and very honest about what problems and advantages each of the Fod and Chevy and Dodge trucks had that they owned.

mvp
Jun. 10, 2012, 05:09 PM
and don't forget to factor in the life of the body if you live in the rust belt, as i do.
my 2002 7.3 f350 has almost 190 k on it and i have a lot of rust on the truck bed.
i know the tranny will go soon, so i have to plan on that plus replace the bed and four doors soon.

Ooh... time to get a custom and bad-a$$ flat bed. It's not your fault. You had to.

Snowflake
Jun. 10, 2012, 05:51 PM
Ooh... time to get a custom and bad-a$$ flat bed. It's not your fault. You had to.

:yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes:

suz
Jun. 10, 2012, 09:19 PM
lol, i so want a stake body. i have no idea where to get one however.

cowboymom
Jun. 10, 2012, 09:52 PM
Well... we use the crud out of our trucks, my husband uses them to their maximum capacity and he's not really much on maintenance or prevention... I have witnesses on this board that have seen him in action, any torque or wear or tear or abuse that a truck can be put through my DH somehow manages to do it over my crabby protests.

We have two 7.3 Powerstrokes, one 1996 and one 1999. They meet him where he's at-neither one has ever broken down on us, we've had minimal repairs on each (each truck has about 130K on them now, we bought them both with less than 100K). I won't buy another truck for him or me. I love Fords anyway, just do... he is a person that needs a Ford. They may lose their AC or the door handle may cease to function but they will dang sure keep going down the road and that's what we need with a 20 foot trailer, six horses, two kids, three dogs and "miles to go before I sleep".... There are good things in all the other trucks but really pound for pound the Fords in a 7.3 are right for us. No 6.0 for us, thanks anyway. :yes:

lilitiger2
Jun. 10, 2012, 10:25 PM
On cheapness of upkeep, I would say both gassers and diesels have their issues. In general, if you plan on keeping your truck for several (say longer than five-six years) years, I would say go diesel. They have good warranties, and they have great longetivity. If you plan on trading in your truck after 3-4 four years, probably better to go gas, again depending on what you want to do with it.

I would not trade my diesel for anything, and I would not get a half ton. I wanted to make sure I had towing power when I wanted it, wanted an engine with a generally good rep, decent mileage (I get 23-26 mpg) and one that is relatively comfortable. I spoke with everyone who couldn't run away fast enough, heard about fords and chevys and dodges. I looked up consumer report. Even with a husband who is a serious Dodge lover. I have had, over the 7 years, 160k, one injector line go bad (cracked). I have replaced a water pump. That thing has been all over hell on the res and hunting camps and Montana back roads. And drives comfortably down the freeway across the country four times! It has been in a major accident and saved my life.

My neighbors on both sides have fords and love them, but it has been one thing after another with them (at least one plans on getting a dodge next time out). Sure, there have been problems with soem of the later (post 2008) Dodge diesels, have no idea if those have been ironed out yet. But one thing I HAVE learned from my neighbors and the trucks that come in for my husband to work on is I don't have the $$ to maintain a ford, I need something that runs reliably and affordably!!

My advice is to talk to everyone! If people love their chevy's fords, dodges, toyotas, ask them why. At the end of the day, probably most of them would work fine for you (except the V10, really, avoid that one!). It might be whaterver dealerships are offering great deals for you! you likely won't go wrong with a 3/4 ton of some type, i love diesels (obviously) but others love their gassers and will likely be happy to tell you why!

You don't have to be a burly truck drivin' toothpick sucking guy to drive and maintain a diesel

lilitiger2
Jun. 10, 2012, 10:36 PM
I don't know what to tell the OP with respect to Ford's big V-10 engine or any comparably-sized gassers. Truck buddies of mine considered the V-10 a pretty tried-n-true design.

Although the Ford V10 is NOT well loved by most qualified mechanics (or probably anyone who has had to actually work on them!)- a terrible terrible design- I do think they are working on it, maybe the new ones are better, but they have an awful repuation. However, the Dodge hemi (a v8) IS a good design and has been, I think, a good engine (check out the forums on them) so if that is what they mean by comparable I would totally agree.

cowboymom
Jun. 10, 2012, 10:38 PM
I have to say, it has not at all been one thing after another with ours. All we've driven have been Ford trucks and cars in 15 years of hard hard use. I can remember U joints a long time ago, front end work on that 96 which is predictable-heavy engine on a light front end which we turned to a heavy front end, a clip in the engine of the 1999 that would have been costly except the fordenthusiasts board talked us through it so it cost .50...glowplugs on the 96... I really can't remember much mechanic work on either truck. Batteries. The 96 now needs a new clutch which is more than understandable for how we use it and one engine mount is loose... They have their little quirks but they go and go and go. Tougher than bad news. And for that matter, our Focus, Tbird and F150's were the same way. We don't have a regular mechanic-our vehicles run and run and run. Nearly all Fords. In Montana, no garage, no special treatment, tons of gravel roads. <shrug> People can gripe about them but I know that I can go out there on a -40 blizzard morning and drive all day and my Ford will start up.

wildlifer
Jun. 11, 2012, 02:49 PM
I've had three Fords that were excellent -- never any problem that was not normal wear. The one I have now is an '01 7.3L and you will pry that one out of my dead hands. I love it so much, I feel pity when I see people driving other trucks, ROFL.

But truck brands are like religions and horses -- ask six people and you will get seven answers. I have driven them all for work, and we run our office trucks hard, on road and off, and I can tell you I wouldn't touch a Dodge with a ten foot pole and the Chevies are pretty and comfy but the Ford is the one that holds up to serious work. I am sure someone else can tell you exactly the opposite, LOL.

So decide what will accommodate the maximum load you are going to pull in the worst conditions, decide on your budget and that will answer some questions for you.

rmh_rider
Jun. 11, 2012, 06:17 PM
Get an allison transmission is the most important thing. That is in the GM and Chevy, only.

Not in the Fix Or Repair Daily line of trucks will have this.

Nothing beats this tranny.

I like chevy better. Traditionally Chevy has a much more comfy cab than FORD. I have ridden in plenty of fords.

A duramax would be good too if you want to go diesel.

$20k is a lot of bucks to get a really good truck. Go chevy WITH an allision tranny.

Yes, on the 4wd. It is a farm truck, and you never know when you may need it.

wildlifer
Jun. 12, 2012, 12:08 PM
One other thing to keep in mind (and to help confuse you some more) is that all brands have peak reliability years). For example, my 93 Ford was a hot mess, but my 98 I had for a decade and never had a single issue, I loved it. My '01 is indestructible and never has problems, shifts smooth as silk even on its original 4r100 tranny, which many have looked down their nose at, at 140K. It was impeccably taken care of and driven primarily on the highway by a computer salesman before I bought it.

Dodge and Chevy have the same things, some years they have a good model, other years are torture devices. Dodge had quite a few years of horrible transmissions and blocks that were cracking at 100,000 miles. Chevy has had it's own share, it happens to all of them. Chevy does market the crap out of their Allison transmission, but they are a little misleading as it's very different from the big rig transmission that won Allison its fame. But hey, if it makes the owners happy, then to each their own.

More important than ANY name or fad is how well the vehicle has been maintained. THIS is what makes or breaks a truck. A well cared for vehicle, no matter what the make will always be a better choice, even if it costs more, than one which has had hit or miss maintenance or driven hard and fast.

But go to the truck forums, you'll find FAR more informed answers there to help you out, than you will here with anecdotes.

KMRyan
Jun. 23, 2012, 03:33 PM
Sort of joining in the conversation a tad late here... But my money source is my used car dealership. I've had a variety of vehicles - all makes and models- and the ones that have cost me the least amount in the shop have been Fords. Consistently all trucks are junk, they all will eat through tires and brakes and don't you dare go over a deep pothole or you're going to learn all about leaf springs. I buy trucks all day long and am more than happy to help fellow horse people in any way! Happy shopping!!!

ReSomething
Jun. 23, 2012, 05:53 PM
lol, i so want a stake body. i have no idea where to get one however.

Aah, it's not so hard as you might think! But not cheap either. Our local ford dealer used to have a row of bobtail F350's and higher for the farm customers, sort of in the back, and you could go out and pick out your cab+chassis and then customize the bed. You'd pick out your flatbed from a number of companies that do nothing but make custom beds and bodies for say, the phone company, utilities, railway support, and it'd be shipped to the dealership and plonked on to your cab+chassis. You could get a flatbed that dumps!

We had a Knapheide flatbed on one truck of ours, with a wooden deck. It was a Good Thing, but in that state once you got the custom bed you moved into commercial truck country, so be wary.

DH threatens to yank off the bed and put on a flatbed all the time, if we didn't build one ourselves (which you can do, out of all wood so it never rusts) we'd probably start at the junkyard because those guys often know an awful lot about specialty shops and who to talk to who could put one on for you.

Hampton Bay
Jun. 23, 2012, 07:46 PM
I had an 85 diesel Suburban that kicked ass, original everything with 330k miles, before I totaled it. My new F150 has turned me off from anything Ford ever again unless its a 7.3L. My friend has one that would tow my house off its foundation.

So in my limited opinion, if you can't get a 7.3L Ford, get a Chevy. They tend to last longer from the people I know who buy the same brands every time. Fords and Dodges seem to not wear as well. And if you pay attention, you'll see a lot more older Chevy trucks on the road than Ford or Dodge.

lilitiger2
Jun. 23, 2012, 09:02 PM
Well, older chevys had the 350 and 327s, great engines, and easy to work on (unlike Fords). That 350 is a really really good engine. And they had a popular,nice looking body style. But today, the times they are a changin'-people will drive whatever they have that they like (that lasts) and, at least here, you'll see many more Dodges!! Of course, the BEST would be a cummins with an allison tranny on a ford chassis, but...not in the cards for most of us!