Mud in my Veins
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Paducah, KY
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Re: Diesel trucks
Being the owner of a Dodge Ram half ton because I couldn't afford to insure a 3/4 ton diesel (damn black ice[img]images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]), I can say the CAD engagement system and front design of the Dodge solid front axles isn't the best. However, given the choices you said, I'd first off eliminate the Chevy/GMC right away. I had my fill of GM IFS. POS. Skip it. If you're going to spend some money on a new truck, that might even see only a little time offroad, get a solid front axle. IFS is ment for cars, HMMWV's, race trucks, and that's about it. Duramax or not, I'll never waste my money on GM IFS again.
On the Fords, watch the front axle. 2003 was only the first year that they started putting Dana 60's under the front of them for sure. 99-02 the front is probably a Dana 50, which is only a little bit better than a Dana 44. Only duallys and the highest GVWR SRW Super Duties had Dana 60's. A Dana 50's light years better than IFS, but don't be expecting it to stand up to 38's and bigger, or much more than a Dana 44 and any sort of wheeling.
Like I said before, the front axles on the 94-2002 Dodge's aren't the greatest setup. I like having a coil sprung D44 front axle, but a normal setup of hubs and axle shafts would make it better. I'm eyeing a couple D44's out of 70's F-150's should the need ever arise.[img]images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] Again, like I said above, the Dodge D60 is still much better than GM IFS.
[bleep]ins I6 or International V8 diesel, they are both good engines. The Cummins will probably last longer, but I'd say either will fit the bill nicely. As to the whole length of time it takes a diesel pay for itself [img]images/graemlins/bs.gif[/img], go tow 10,000lbs with some 3/4 ton trucks. Which do you think is going to move it better, the small block V8, big block V8 or V10, or the diesel? The big block or V10's might be able to move it fine, but you're going to spend the whole time with your foot in it and at high rpms. Gas mileage? Forget about it. The diesel will be idleing along having a good ol' time. I've always looked at initial purchase and maintenance as just something you have to do when you own a vehicle. What concerns me more is using it and the cost to use it daily. A diesel with tons of torque off the bat and 16-20mpg unloaded works for me.
Used 3/4 ton diesel, I'd get a 94-02 Dodge 2500 with the CTD and stick. I'd try for a 94-98.5 with the 12 valve Cummins. Easier to modify and mess with. Unless someone can find me a used 03 SRW Super Duty diesel with a stick for a good price, a D60 with front hubs is hard to beat.[img]images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
New, brand new off the lot, as mentioned above, the Super Duty gets my pick because of the hubs and conventional D60 front. I hear the 03+ big Rams use a different (hopefully better) engagement system in their AAM Co front axles, but they haven't been out long enough to hear of any sort of problems. Not to mention parts and upgrades for the axles are still scarce.