Poll

newer or older diesel pickups

Get the newest truck you can afford
5 (62.5%)
Get the oldest truck you can afford
0 (0%)
somewhere in between
3 (37.5%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Author Topic: diesel trucks new v old(er)  (Read 1424 times)

Offline morticaixavier

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diesel trucks new v old(er)
« on: October 08, 2014, 09:42:57 PM »
I'm looking at getting a diesel pickup for a long road trip hauling a camper soon. Looking around on craigslist I see a variety of trucks in my general price range and they range from early 2000's ford/dodge/chevy to late 1980's ford/dodge/chevy. They all have 100k plus milage but that doesn't scare me off on a diesel engine. I've always sort of felt that an older truck would be better because things are less automated and computerized so there is a)less to go wrong and b) easier to fix when things DO go wrong.

But they I started wondering if that is old thinking. I mean when I was a kid looking at getting a car or truck this was true but that was 20 years ago so the choice was a 1980's-1990's vehicle or a 1970's vehicle. Would getting a 20+ year old truck gain me anything in terms of simplicity or would I just lose out on reliability and safety improvements since the 80's?
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Offline erockrph

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2014, 12:46:28 AM »
I must admit, I'm not familiar with diesels in particular, but I feel that somewhere in the early 80's the quality and craftsmanship of American vehicles took a nosedive. Like you alluded to in your post, the difference between 70's and 90's US trucks is much more significant the difference between 80's/90's and 00's, IMO. Given that, I'd go with a more modern truck that has seen fewer winters. (Caveat - being a New Englander, the number of winters a vehicle has been through may be a lot more significant to me than it is out your way)
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2014, 12:58:18 AM »
If its a California truck you probably don't have the road salt issue but you do have the emissions stuff. My choice would be the lowest mileage Cummins/Allison truck I could afford, no smaller than 3/4 ton, preferably 1 ton. No frills like fancy stereo etc.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2014, 01:41:31 AM »
I'm buying it in CA and moving it to VT actually so it's the number of winters it's still got in it.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2014, 01:43:22 AM »
You want a diesel with an inter cooled turbocharged engine. You want a modern transmission with 6 or more speeds. Any American truck from the early 2000s on have good quality and reliability.
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Offline yso191

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2014, 05:10:12 AM »
I had a 3/4 ton Dodge with a Cummins in it.  I LOVED it.  You won't find a better motor IMO.  The older ones had some automatic transmission issues (older than ~2000 if I recall correctly).  They also had some engine seal problems that developed around 200K+ miles.  I heard someone say once that the Dodge Cummins was a million mile motor in a 250K mile truck.  I tend to agree.  You'll get other opinions but the Cummins is the only motor I'd buy if I was in the market.

I had a manual transmission with a 5 speed/granny gear.  It would pull stumps.  And I had a 90's era 26' travel trailer that it would pull up any hill at 60 as long as I hit it in its power band.  One time a pulled a single trailer semi off of a snow berm with it.  That was cool.

I also would only be interested in a 4WD.  Trucks are so light in the back end that I'll never buy a 2WD truck.  It is surprising how often I need it.  (I have a Toyota Tacoma 4WD now and love it but it is not in the same class)
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Offline erockrph

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2014, 03:24:29 AM »
I also would only be interested in a 4WD.  Trucks are so light in the back end that I'll never buy a 2WD truck.  It is surprising how often I need it.  (I have a Toyota Tacoma 4WD now and love it but it is not in the same class)

+1 - My Tundra just celebrated its 10th birthday and still going strong. 4WD is non-negotiable on a truck AFAIC. If you don't need 4WD on a truck, then you don't need a truck.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2014, 02:58:39 PM »
4wd is a must for sure. I'm leaning towards an early 2000's in the range of an F250, ram 2500 sort of thing. I'm going to be travelling with 1 wife, 1 child, 1 dog, and 1 cat so I'm looking at the quad cab/super crew cab.

I'd look at at toyota and nissan but I'm a diesel snob after 10 plus years driving VW TDIs.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2014, 05:27:14 PM »
4wd is a must for sure. I'm leaning towards an early 2000's in the range of an F250, ram 2500 sort of thing. I'm going to be travelling with 1 wife, 1 child, 1 dog, and 1 cat so I'm looking at the quad cab/super crew cab.

I'd look at at toyota and nissan but I'm a diesel snob after 10 plus years driving VW TDIs.
I completely understand. I'm planning on getting a new vehicle in a year or two. I had been planning on keeping my Tundra for hauling/off-roading/winter driving and getting a car for everyday use. But now that the 2016 Tundra's are supposedly getting a Cummins, I may just upgrade outright.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2014, 10:30:20 PM »
A 2016 Tundra one ton with cummins and an Alison would rock

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2014, 12:10:36 PM »
I also would only be interested in a 4WD.  Trucks are so light in the back end that I'll never buy a 2WD truck.  It is surprising how often I need it.  (I have a Toyota Tacoma 4WD now and love it but it is not in the same class)

+1 - My Tundra just celebrated its 10th birthday and still going strong. 4WD is non-negotiable on a truck AFAIC. If you don't need 4WD on a truck, then you don't need a truck.

My 13 year old, 4x2, F150 pickup might argue with you.   :)

If you need a truck for heavy day-in, day-out working I agree go 4x4 but some folks, like me, need a truck for light general hauling.  I don't need all the extra expense of the second drive train.  In Des Moines so many people think "4x4 go fast on snow and ice" but it never occurs to them that their 4x4 will not help them stop.

I don't have any advice on a diesel but felt the need to defend my old blue beast.  ;)

Paul
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2014, 04:51:31 PM »
Update on this.

Ended up with a 2005 F250 with 140k. single owner and all the retrofits done to make it a solid reliable diesel engine.

I think it's going to be a good truck. next up is finding the right camper.
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Offline pinnah

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2014, 10:08:46 PM »
Hey cool...a new truck!   8)  One owner is nice, and not many miles.
"all the retrofits done"   

not sure what that is...you mean it is turned up or something?  Maybe she already runs on vege oil?  ;)

How about when you say a camper...is that something you are going to tow or put in the bed? 
Sounds like a cross country adventure! Yeehaw


Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2014, 10:39:04 PM »
That sounds like a workhorse to me. 140K is just nicely broken in for a well maintained diesel.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2014, 11:49:20 PM »
Hey cool...a new truck!   8)  One owner is nice, and not many miles.
"all the retrofits done"   

not sure what that is...you mean it is turned up or something?  Maybe she already runs on vege oil?  ;)

How about when you say a camper...is that something you are going to tow or put in the bed? 
Sounds like a cross country adventure! Yeehaw

This engine had some issue out of the factory with the EGR failing catastrophically and snowballing into a blown head gasket and all manner of other issues at between 50k-150k miles. There are after market parts that can prevent this problem but it's spendy.

Looking for a pull behind trailer style camper as we are going to live in it for a few months this summer while we get the house dried in (hopefully) before winter gets too wintery to work outdoors.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce