Personal diesel truck

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Tallbastid, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Tallbastid

    Tallbastid Let's get tropical

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    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.
    #1
  2. Ko

    Ko Observant as never

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    Not a bad idea at all :deal , especially given your research on it. I prefer diesels over gassers, although today at -24 I would've taken a gassers due to getting warmer faster :lol3



    Ko
    #2
  3. wannaklr

    wannaklr Long timer

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  4. Neil E.

    Neil E. Been here awhile

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    fun - you have this covered with the manual transmission
    reliable - you have this covered with the Cummins
    comfortable - well this is the difficult part

    Only you can decide what you will put up with. Whatever you look at, drive it some before you buy. The engine noise and rough suspension might change your mind. Newer models with pilot injection will be quieter. Also coil springs on the front ride nicer than leaf springs.

    Current FI programming on manual transmission gas engine vehicles really sucks (no engine braking). A diesel has better driveability. Im curious to see if you can locate the combination you want.
    #4
  5. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >'Personal Diesel Truck' ?

    If you are not going to haul or tow stuff, I'd get a gas rig and a couple more nice bikes. The Cummins diesel has such a short powerband you will be spending a lot of the time shifting gears.

    But, if that's what you want...
    #5
  6. ImaPoser

    ImaPoser adventure imposter

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    I've done this twice now. It doesn't take long for the want factor to wear off and find its way to the more pain in the ass that is worth category.
    #6
  7. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

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    I'll sorta agree with that. However, every time I got in my PSD that 'delicate thunder of a Powerstroke' made me :D [insert Tim Allen grunting here]

    Only being able to go to certain fuel stations, having to run additives, the 3gal oil changes, etc all were a PITA but when I was pulling the ex-'s Camero (:D) it was worth it. Thank doG I had a MC to ride 'cause despite the diesel's better fuel economy, 14mpg is lots worse than 40mpg :nod

    M
    #7
  8. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    Sorry, my brain redirected to the 'smoke out' videos from youtube with tuned diesel trucks operated by douchebags.

    What is 'fun' about a diesel pickup, if you have no real use for it's towing or hauling capability? :ear
    #8
  9. Tallbastid

    Tallbastid Let's get tropical

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    Neil E: Comfort will be an upgrade from my current Jeep Wrangler (in the flea market), as will road noise and rough suspension. :D I'm also not opposed to 2004.5+ Duramax with the allison or a 7.3 with a M/T. Thanks for your information!


    Imaposer: This is one thing I'm worried about, and the reason why I'm not looking to really throw $ in it with modifications that I won't see back if I were to sell. Otherwise the only way I'd know if this would be an issue is to own one. If I can find a reliable, unmolested full size truck that will run down the highway at 25mpg and make me grin when I get on it, I'll be a happy guy for a long time. My biggest issue is I'm 6'8 and every bit of 275lbs... otherwise I'd be buying a Subaru.

    Twilight zone: The most weight I'll have back there is a trailer full of sleds or my VFR800 with camping gear and a passenger. I've been looking at newer full size gas trucks, but they just don't have the fun/grin/simplicty factor like my Jeep has... still, they seem like they'd be a good choice if I HAD to buy a truck. One of the big things I love about diesel is I could run it forever provided I keep the rust off it, just as I imagine my 4.0L Jeep could do.

    Grainbelt: For the record, I detest bro-dozer, nut wagging smoke bellowing diesels, which are usually owned by 20 year old dick bags with dad's money... which seems to be driving the prices of diesels up. I see diesel's as fun for the stock torque, interior space, longevity, and in the case of the 12v Cummins, the simplicity of the engine. Mine will not be lifted, piped, stacked, stickered, but it will be loves and maintained. I'd love to find a basic truck that will last as long as I want/need it. The newer gassers with all the new-age electrical crap worry me when it comes to true longevity. Did I mention my current (and beloved) ride is a Wrangler? With the lack of lust/love I have for newer gas trucks and the (unfortunate) lack of space in the beautiful '13 WRX I've test driven, seems my next best choice is to just keep the wrangler and buy another bike!

    Gummee: Good points, and I know you get around on your pedal bike as do I... I also have a couple bikes for summer/MPG.


    I guess this is really a therapy thread for an in-decisive gearhead who can't figure out his new ride for the life of him.
    #9
  10. shiryas

    shiryas Dragon with matches

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    I bought a 97 F350 CCLB 7.3 as a towho and play truck for the whitewater raft trips and desert trips I do.

    Money was a big factor for me. I liked some of the newer true crew cab platforms like the Tacoma and new F150 but this old truck was only $5k since it needed a transmission. I also knew I would prefer the diesel over the 460.

    For what it gets used for its great. Hauling 4 people, 3 rafts, 2 kayaks, plus food and beverages for 21 days its great. As a heavy chase / tow for our Baja race its great.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fire-Guys-Racing/217707728319231

    Its also not my primary vehicle. I am close enough to walk to work and I have a Subaru GT that pulls primary car duty. What others have said is true, I love the 5 speed but there is no way I would want one of these behemoths as a daily driver. It gets old fast when I have it in Denver traffic over a weekend.

    I like the simplicity of the inline 6 a lot, but I wanted at least an extended cab and the 'OBS' Fords are plentiful around here. The F250 has a D50 TTB up front and I was trying to avoid that, so the crew cab was it.

    Big trucks work great if you need them, but YMMV.

    Cheers, Chris
    #10
  11. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    I had a duramax as a daily driver/business vehicle for hauling my ass around. I rationalized it by looking to pile the miles on it and longevity. I sold it couple years ago and bought an fj because I was nervous about the injector$$$$.

    Anyways I decided I wanted a truck again so I went looking at the new diesels. Drove a few and didn't miss the lumbering truck feel of a hd diesel.

    I drove a tundra. That sealed the deal for me. Stupid fast when you want it, drives much much much nicer than my duramax. Much better turning radius, nicer interior, quieter etc. I'm so glad I went this way.

    Plus don't kid yourself you'll be getting 25 mpg. Ain't happening I know ten people that will swear they do but I don't believe any of them. My dmax was the most fuel efficient year motor and I ran all the tunes. Best I realistically got was about 20 and that was milking it. Combined maybe 18. My tundra gets 16 and gas is a lot cheaper here than diesel.

    Get one if you want to have a diesel, I love them too, but financially it's cheaper to own a gasser at the end of the day and it might be a better vehicle too like in my case
    #11
  12. ImaPoser

    ImaPoser adventure imposter

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    I got to really hate the warm up before you could drive away, and having to turn it off at every drive thru three times to get my food on the go. It got to the point I would just drive my work van for all my running around town stuff to avoid those situations. Once I sold my boat, there was no way I was going to keep a diesel around.
    #12
  13. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    7.3 IDI for reliability, or 7.3 PS for power! There is nothing else.
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  14. Old Blue

    Old Blue Shallow waterman

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    Had two: 6.0 and new 6.7 Fords. Loved the towing power and they were great on the highway.

    But, around town they were noisy, heavy, lumbering turds. Mileage was NOT that great (diesel owners lie about this big-time). Oil changes were awful, and their weight makes them chew up front tires fast. Plus fuel costs .80 more per gallon here. The cool factor wore off fast.

    My two cents.
    #14
  15. TooFast

    TooFast Long timer

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    I've known quite a few diesel myth believers/suckers that bought diesels for the same reasons as the OP here and before too long were very disappointed owners. They end up being more expensive to buy, maintain, and are a pain in the tush vehicle to use around town as daily drivers. The only one I know that didn't go back to a gasser is a guy who hauls his back hoe around all the time. Another bought a big $29K TH, then a $45k PU to pull it with, got tired of 8mpg, higher fuel prices, couldn't get to the good campsites anymore, now drives his suv with a hitch hauler and stays in Motels, whining about high payments and missing the good old days of camping. His "Dream TH" sits in a storage lot full of mice camping out in luxury...

    Another diesel myth is their reliability. Just ain't true in our pickups.

    Diesels are best for construction equipment, semis and those who pull very large loads, operating on a regular basis.
    #15
  16. boardrider247

    boardrider247 Weekend Anarchist

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    I just sold my 97 Cummins 4x4 5spd. Purchased with 145k sold with 202k.
    It was always a second/spare vehicle. The reliable truck we would take on road trips. I drove it about 10k miles per year.
    I had very few problems with it. That being said it was still expensive to own.
    I do all of my own work and just buying parts gets tiring.

    I made my final decision to sell when I had to drive it to work for a couple weeks this winter. Waiting for it to warm up, dealing with it chugging along for the first ten miles and not having much heat for 20 minutes got old quick.

    I very much loved driving that truck when we used it for it's intended purpose. Towing cars or machinery was a joy. But honestly if you don't need a truck that size it's not worth the extra cost of ownership.

    YMMV
    #16
  17. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    Sure, anything rotating within gravitational pull, and in presence of heat and atmosphere is bound to burn out and break... but 6.9L IDI and 7.3L IDI diesels are known for their reliability of components, injection fuel pump, and the engine. The simplicity of older diesel is very appealing. They just don't give up that easy....
    #17
  18. Tallbastid

    Tallbastid Let's get tropical

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    Thanks to all; diesel is a no go for me. :lol3 I think the cost and mythical fuel mileage were the nails in the coffin. I appreciate the help!
    #18
  19. MikeinEugene

    MikeinEugene Long timer

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    :stupid

    We picked up a crew cab F350 dually IDI 7 or 8 years ago for horse hauling duty. The 3/4 ton Chevy with 6.2 diesel & a 700R4 tranny just wasn't cutting it. We wanted shoulder belts for the kid instead of a lap belt. Crew or extra cab was the only way to go.

    Had 185k on it when we bought it. 198k on it now. Been pretty low maintenance really. Vacuum pump was out when I bought it. That was fairly cheap ($50 :dunno). Had the rear brakes done...leaky rear cylinder & I didn't want to deal with them. That was $100 labor I think. Well worth it.

    I picked up a rebuilt injector pump & 8 injectors a couple/three years ago when Uhaul parts was closing some stuff out. I think it was $250 for all the parts :clap I'm using it as a daily driver right now & it's starting to spit/sputter at startup. Time to use the spare parts I guess. They made it almost 200k though from the factory so it's not all bad :freaky
    #19
  20. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

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    I'm in an '05 Duramax/Allison Chevy extended cab long bed with a topper every day. Winter mileage is 15mpg, summer is 17. My tires last just fine, I have a set for winter and another set on rims for summer. It is comfy with a shit ton more room than any Toyota (I can't get comfy in a Toyota truck), has twice the power of a gasser, and you can haul heavy loads without even really knowing it's there (got a pallet - 2,520 pounds - of water softener salt pellets, plus the usual complement of tools in the back right now). Had to tow a car hauler to Montana last summer to get my daughter's car and had the same mileage towing that subaru as I did empty at highway speeds... of course I was a bit lighter on the go pedal, but still not below the speed limit...

    I pull pretty much all my own maintenance/repairs, so I'm only spending $$$ on parts - which are not cheap. I replaced the head gaskets last year and put out about $2500 for parts and getting the heads cleaned, surfaced, and valve guides replaced.

    Daily driver? For me, yes, cuz I am always carrying a truckload of tools and sometimes have to carry a heavy load. If you're not doing this, a gasser is definitely the way to go. Bueller will be along soon to question the economy of diesel:lol3

    To your point of worrying about the electronics of a gasser: A diesel is pretty much drive by wire, electronic injectors, and electronic transmission... You won't get away from this unless you go with a mechanical fuel pump and non common rail injection system (think way older than 10 years)...

    Comfort = Duramax/Allison...:deal

    but is sounds like you need a gasser, not a diesel.
    #20