Originally Posted by moodfart
Is this a stupid idea for someone who is somewhat financially conservative?
I want a fun, reliable, comfortable truck, and have about $20k I could comfortably spend. Is it worth getting a 5-10 year old diesel with 75-125k on the clock over a much newer gasser with <50k miles?
I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, but have no diesel experience. Admittedly, I don't need a diesel truck, I want one. I know which models to stay clear of, and have friends who are into diesel and know a bit. However, they are also much happier living paycheck to paycheck to finance their toys; something I plain refuse to do.
Dream truck would be a single cab longbed 4x4 cummins with 5 speed manual. Not looking to bro-doze anything, though I could see chipping it for fuel mileage and some extra power. I'm guessing lack of response means I'm an idiot for considering this.
paying cash for vehicles is a VERY smart way to go ... leaves alone your monthly cash flow to support the really important stuff .. like real estate mortgage payments.
do some digging on the diesel forum ... hard to believe that there's anything most everyone agrees on.
12 valve Cummins (1994-98.5) are the best motors followed by late model 7.3 Ford (-2003)
mechanical 12v Cummins are the most robust of all Cummins. the only true medium duty truck motor available in pickup trucks. typical mileage 20-24 mpg from my 96 12v ... 16 mpg towing 12k+ lb trailer
2003 era 7.3 Ford have advantage of a modern cab and still have a super durable diesel motor. 12v Dodge/Cummins has a pretty plain cab ...
both will easily bump to 400+ HP with little to no fuss.
catch is finding low mileage/mint examples ... they are out there but expect to pay $15k-$20k for a super nice one with under 50k miles.
most desirable are 12v 2500 Cummins with 5sp, 4x4, extra cab. for some reason very few 3/4 ton Cummins were made with 5sp. almost all had AT, which costs $$$ to upgrade to survive big HP.