Personal diesel truck

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

  1. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

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    How about recycling a government vehicle!

    I purchased my 3/4 ton truck at VDOT auction which is run twice annually in Harrisonburg VA (5-yrs ago) for $1800.

    1994 6.5 Diesel Chevy 2500 normally aspirated/non turbo.

    It had 160k Miles on it. I have just shy of 200k on it now. I purposely was looking for something w/out a turbo and power windows for the sake of keeping it simple and less expensive to maintain.

    I spent another 3k in repairs (new ac compressor, tranny rebuild, brakes, class III hitch, tires etc). So, for under 5k I have a truck that runs like new. It's cheap to maintain and gets 20mpg. It sure beats having $10k - 15k - 20k - 25k or more tied up in a truck. It's a great comfortable ride. I only wish it was a standard shift, but otherwise it's a joy to drive. It's my daily driver and it cost less than either of my bikes.

    [​IMG]
    #21
  2. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I just bought a 20 year old Nissan UD 1800. It's a Class 5 truck (an F350 is "only" a Class 3) and the previous owner told me to expect 13mpg unloaded. My tests indicate that if I keep it in the green zone of the tach and max maybe 50 mph (not hard on Texas country roads) I am getting more like 20 mpg.

    20 years old, 400k miles, and the steering and brakes are still excellent.

    Then again I bought it as a trailer hauler with little expectation of putting major miles on it and expecting that I'd spend some money reconditioning it.

    Isn't Jeep starting production of a small diesel Wrangler for the US market?

    And the diesel Porsche Cayenne is getting excellent reviews.

    I guess that the moral of the story is that not all diesels are the same.

    Oh, and I am typing this from a motel en Mexico. Border diesel is, as I recall, about $1/gallon cheaper than in the USA. I will check tomorrow on the legality of filling my truck up here but am pretty sure that it's not going to be too much of am issue.

    [​IMG]


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    #22
  3. Tallbastid

    Tallbastid Let's get tropical

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    #23
  4. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    My priorities for my diesel purchase---although not really a truck.
    For my wants---after looking at this vehicle I didn't want a truck.

    1. Diesel
    2. Over 25 mpg
    3. Powerful
    4. Haul 2 bikes---inside.
    5. can rough camp in it.
    6. Plenty of power to pull a trailer if I want.
    7. way less than $20,000

    It's a 2006 Dodge Sprinter with a 2.7L turbocharged diesel with a 5 speed automatic that can be shifted manually if you want.

    [​IMG]




    I mounted 2 ATK bike shoes in the rear to hold the bikes.
    They can be removed in 3 seconds as they are fastened to a piece of 3/4" plywood and I can be left with
    an empty cargo area making this vehicle very uselful for other uses.
    This partition seperating the back from the front was what pushed me completley over the edge of buying this Sprinter.
    It was already in there and has a sliding door.
    If it hadn't been in this van already I would have put one in but would have never done this nice of a job.
    It looks factory made to me.
    I can stand up in it easily.
    It gets 27mpg---man am I happy with this thing.

    [​IMG]
    #24
  5. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    Wrong. I love diesels, but I feel compelled to point out that between the higher cost of fuel and the premium one pays to get and maintain the diesel option it just doesn't pay off - unless you are regularly hauling lots of stuff like you are, or driving a ton of highway miles.

    What pisses me off about diesel offerings in the U.S. in general is the manufacturers are ruining the Diesel's inherent, built in economy in favor of more power. While that might make sense for a truck, it makes no sense in a VW Jetta or a Chevrolet Cruze.
    #25
  6. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    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.
    #26
  7. ivel_86

    ivel_86 Oops

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    I have had three diesels now. First was an '04 Duramax. With a cheap programmer and CAI I saw around 24mpg on summer fuel (once on an all expressway trip figured out at the pump not with the computer thingy).

    My '93 Cummins saw around 18-21 mpg on summer fuel sometimes higher if it was straight up highway travel. It was lifted with 35s, I tuned the pump myself built a $40 CAI and nice exhaust. It was awesome sold it at 290xxx running awesome.

    My current pig is a 2000 Dodge Cummins 3500 dually. With a Air dog fuel pump cai exhaust and edge juice with attitude. I have only had it since September and love it but rarely see 18mpg hopefully summer fuel with new injectors will bump me into 20mpg. I rarely pull a trailer and not one big enough to warrant owning a diesel, but I love it. The durability and longevity of it is worth it to "me". I have never ever had an issue trying to find fuel. But I love diesels.
    #27
  8. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    Spit & Sputter on start-up is usually air intrusion! How is hot start?
    #28
  9. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    It all depends how much you have paid for your truck initially. For example, paying under $2k for a nice example of old government maintained diesel truck is a no brainier over a used dealer 5.4 Triton. My truck has cost me: $50 in vacuum pump, $200 in brakes and brake cables, $100 to replace all glowplugs, $30 air filter, $25 for fuel filter, $5 for a windshield wiper, $25 for fuel line kit, $90 in coolant, $100 for oil change (3 gal + filter), $30 in a freezeplug heater, and $800 for a set of 4 new tires. Which puts me slightly under $3k investment for my truck.. That's really hard to beat around here, unless you are wanting single-cab Triton. The diesel does not really need more or less maintenance than the gas truck... Yes, diesel is more expensive, and the cost can not be recouped even if you drive the crap out of them.. Your cost is offset with your initial investment.

    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    OMG PirateJohn! You and your trucks!!! What kind of build are you making this time?
    #30
  11. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    [​IMG]

    The lift helps too!
    #31
  12. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    This argument has about as much use as the seemingly countless arguments we've seen here in which the "used KLR purchaser" tells everyone who bought any bike less than 10 years old and with more than one cylinder how badly they got ripped off.

    My comments are aimed at apples to apples comparisons, and in that context they are certainly accurate. More on point, I can buy a similarly aged gas truck to your diesel and the parts needed for any repairs are generally cheaper. And remember, the diesel needs to get 25% - 30% better mileage to offset the fuel cost.

    Again, I love diesels and was originally trained as a heavy truck/construction equipment diesel Tech. I've been inside engines from Detroit, Cats, Cummins, and Mack, and really enjoyed the work. But in a light truck or passenger car application the only real payoff comes when you need absolute tow/haul capability or are buying a high mileage diesel passenger car. Unfortunately the trend in diesel passengers cars is to sacrifice mileage for power. I have trouble understanding what was wrong with the '05 TDI we owned that could pull two bikes on a trailer while getting 31 mpg, or 48 - 50 mpg without the trailer - while still having plenty of power to pull a hill or merge into traffic. Look at the current TDI - more power, but mileage is off by at least 15%.
    #32
  13. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    You have a point.... but, not to go back to F250.. take two F250s for example, 351 or 460 and a 7.3L IDI, most of the parts are interchangeable (besides the motor), and depending on what you consider maintenance, those intervals are about the same... I think it comes to a wash at that argument, and I still have to defer back to my point, and maybe I didnt word it right...

    But if you are comparing trucks of same vintage, and class, and you can score a nice truck, regardless of diesel or gasoline, that requires no additional investment, then go for it -- diesel or gasoline.... It makes no sense to pay more for something, that's almost the same and or marginally better or worse.
    #33
  14. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

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    I have a diesel truck (99 F250 powersmoke) and a wrx. Guess which I prefer to drive?

    Diesel is great if you need it, but it doesn't sound like you do. My truck is a work truck, and it does great backing up somebody's steep driveway with a full pallet of concrete in the back and the service body chock full of tools. The noise gets old. The waiting 15 minutes every morning before the heater works gets old. The 3 gallon oil changes are a pain. And stock (like mine is) they are s-l-o-w. Well, the 7.3 is, newer trucks are not- but the stratospheric cost of fixing a major engine problem on a duramax or a 6.7 ford would scare the hell out of me- I can't afford for my truck to not work for a week, much less to spend 10 grand on engine work.

    Love the wrx, mine's an 02 with 130k, it's been great.
    #34
  15. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    #35
  16. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Probably just going to repair some rot in the body of the one that I have; it's a surprisingly strong runner so far considering it's age.

    I'd like to have a box with a lift for a motorcycle installed behind the cab so that might get done. In an ideal world I would prefer a slightly longer wheelbase and a box for 2 bikes. I am buying enough spares for a second truck but they say that the drivetrain on the one with a longer wheelbase is shot and not worth rebuilding. We shall see.


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    #36
  17. Tallbastid

    Tallbastid Let's get tropical

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    Is there a mileage bench mark you wouldn't want to buy past on a diesel? I'd assume most would say 100k for gassers... But I've seen some nice diesels with 200k...
    #37
  18. MikeinEugene

    MikeinEugene Long timer

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    It fires right away when cold, not like when the lines drain & it takes forever to get fuel to the ip.

    When it stumbles I see a puff of blue smoke out of the exhaust so assume it's unburned fuel.

    One of my return lines is leaking a bit, but like I said, not enough to have any issues with starting cold.

    No hot start issues...if you're asking if it stumbles when warm/hot I'm not sure. I usually drive to work & stop then drive home 8 hours later and stop. Use the bike or the little car for errands :lol3
    #38
  19. Tallbastid

    Tallbastid Let's get tropical

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    You basically nailed my point of view on this. The torque would be nice, and the noise fun... at first. After reading the information in this thread and around the web, it seems like it would get old quick... not to mention anything I spend 15-20k on will most likely require work and still be 10 years old. I'm moving back towards the WRX/Tacoma. Should only be 4-6 more months til I make up my damn mind. :rofl
    #39
  20. liquidsmile

    liquidsmile Long timer

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    #40