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  • OT/Mid 90's diesel trucks?

    Hey guys! I've been travelling back and forth from Saskatchewan in my ol' bulletproof 1976 2wd one ton crewwcab dually.
    Well...it's winter now...and I came back in a horrible blizzard the other day.
    I need a 4wd again.
    Gotta be a one ton dually crewcab...
    Looks like I can only afford a mid nineties or so truck.
    I've always been a big block gas engine fan...and have done all the math. They get crappy mileage but it doesn't cost $100 for an oil change or $2000 for an injector pump.
    My ol mildly souped up 454 USED to pull with the early diesels....not so anymore!
    I followed a bud of mine...both of us with horse trailers. He has a bone stock 2002 Ford f350 with 7.3 turbo. That thing is unreal how hard it pulls and he gets 6 or 7 miles to the gallon better than me when loaded...much better when empty.
    I'm having a lot of trouble finding a Ford here...found a few Dodges...equally good or better power but ugly transmissions and front drive failures.
    I'm finding a few very nice mid 90's Chevies with the 6.5 turbo engines.
    Anyone have any recommendations about the Chevs? Good, bad....otherwise?
    Thanks!
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  • #2
    Chevy didn't have a puller till the Duramax. The 6.2 I've been around ran and ran but very doggy. I don't think the 6.5 was a vast improvement.

    Comment


    • #3
      The 6.2 and the 6.5 are basically the same engine, the 6.5 being built with a turbocharger. True, they were not the most powerful diesels, but they were reliable. If I were looking for a diesel, I'd start shopping the DuraMax. Early ones had some minor issues with injector sleeves leaking, but after 2003 a cylinder head redesign made them virtually bulletproof. GM has a far better transmission than Ford or Chrysler. In fact, some Ford diesels use the GM Hydromatic Alison transmission. Ford had a good engine with the 7.3. It wasn't the cleanest or most efficient, but it was strong and reliable. Glow plug controllers seemed to be their weak link. When they went to the redesigned 6.6 "Powerstroke" everything went to heck in a handbasket. Some Ford dealers had to put on as many as six diesel specialists to handle the work. Dodge has been lucky with their Cummins 5.9 diesel. But remember that it was intended for use in an industrial application.
      The Cummins has always been strong and reliable, but noisy, smoky, and leaky. When they went to the 24 valve head, things started going haywire.
      Unfortunately, Dodge trucks have a tendency to disintegrate around the Cummins diesel. Bear in mind, serviceable parts for the Cummins, thanks to the Germans' brief ownership of Chrysler, are hideously priced. A waterpump, bought over the counter, is well over $700, and, if you're lucky, a clutch will cost less than $1400. If you buy a Cummins, be aware of the dowel pin aligning the timing cover on the front of the engine. For some reason, it has a habit of falling out. If you're extremely lucky, the pin will drop out past the timing gears and fall harmlessly into the oil pan. If your luck is anything like mine, the pin will drop onto the timing gears and destroy the front cover and the gears. A seemingly stupid oversight CDJ never saw the need to address or even warn the public about. Makes one wonder what other gremlins are waiting to ruin your day, thanks Chrysler...
      No good deed goes unpunished.

      Comment


      • #4
        Mid 90s - buy the Ford. I drove both the 96 Ford and Dodge trucks within an hour, and there was no comparison. In particular, the PowerStroke rev'd to 3400 rpm, and made over 200 hp from 2000 rpm to 3400. The Dodge rev'd at the time to 2500 IIRC, and thus had much difficulty since their transmission didn't have enough gears to match the power curve of the engine.

        Friends w/ the GM diesels were not happy.

        My 96 Powerstroke has been very reliable, even though it doesn't get driven much (just vacations, trailer pulling, etc). !60K miles and only non-routine repair has been replacing a burst power steering hose.

        - Bart
        Bart Smaalders
        http://smaalders.net/barts

        Comment


        • #5
          I'd pass on any 6.5 Chevy, they have fixes for the pumps but too many went way too soon for my likin, that and not very powerful.......

          I'm always lookin for an 89-93 Dodge Cummins standard, not great power but excellent mileage and mechanical pump, they ran forever getting up to almost 30 mpg (2wd) on our big gallons up here, problem is they only had the clubcab and they still are pricey used.......

          98.5 to ~2000 had some bad block cores although the real bad ones should have cracked by now.......Dodge had some problems w transmission cases stretching also on the standards, and light front ends.......put on a better lift pump

          Ford stay w a 7.3.......

          I just missed a 03 1 ton Duramax dually......$6500, had lots of recent work, 400k, the early duramax had internal injectors and you used to have to pull the heads to change em, they had some head gasket failures also.......04 and on had external access to the injectors, don't go past 06 cause the mileage went down.......

          They have some federal govt auctions in sask where you can buy military and RCMP units cheap............military has diesel units, cops just seem to run gassers........
          Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....

          Comment


          • #6
            I know your suffering for lack of time/shop right now, but you would be hard pressed to beat a Dodge CTD from that era. Get it with manual tans, manual xfer, and 4WD for now, to get by, and hope the front drive doesn't take a crap. A few tweaks and the NV4500/5600 isn't bad at all. And for about $1k+ the autos will survive some abuse. Then swap in an earlier king pin 60 when you have time. I had a 97 I really liked, but I'm not sure how well the Dodge bodies hold up up there. But no real crew cab option in those, which was a big part of my reason for getting my Duramax.

            Too bad you can't fine a pre-6.0 Powerstroke up there. They seemed about the best "out of the box" back then.

            Good luck Russ...
            Russ
            Master Floor Sweeper

            Comment


            • #7
              Rumor has it that the 6.5 GMs did not have piston oil cooling so that when engine temp reached a certain level under hard work the computer would cut the power lever around 40 hp.
              Apparently they are OK when commuting to work with only your lunch aboard.

              .

              Comment


              • #8
                I suggest that, before you make your decision, you go to The Diesel Page and read what can and should be done to and with the GM diesels. Also remember that the '93 GMs were mechanically injected and did not suffer with the injection pump problems of the following models.

                The AMGeneral engines are superior in every way and are very tough engines but properly setup the earlier 6.5s are much better engines than their detractors say and can "beat the pants off" contemparary Ford and Dodges.

                Vernon

                Comment


                • #9
                  My company service truck is a 1998 Chev 3500 cube van. It has a 6.5 litre diesel and I am impressed with the power and fuel economy. It weighs 9600 Lbs and has a big flat front, not very aerodynamic. Averages 14.5 miles per gallon 60% city 40% highway driving. Last summer I had to replace the oil cooler lines as they were starting to drip oil on the shop floor. Definitely a good engine.
                  At my previous job we had two mid 90s Dodge one ton 4x4 dually service trucks with heavy service bodies on them and Auto Cranes, the Cummins engines were bullet proof in fact never even had a drive train problem kept them for around 200,000km. We tortured them working on logging equipment in the mountains in northern B.C. the brakes were not the greatest but the the trucks stood up well.

                  Terry
                  Last edited by terry_g; 12-10-2009, 09:20 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "but properly setup the earlier 6.5s are much better engines than their detractors say and can "beat the pants off" contemparary Ford and Dodges."

                    LOL.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ford 7.3 is good or the Dodge dually BEFORE they changed body styles.

                      The GM 6.2 or 6.5 are dogs and always will be.Isuzu built GM a good engine in the Duramax,it's the rest of the truck around it that leaves a lot to be desired.
                      I just need one more tool,just one!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Torker, I have a 83 chev 6.2l 1 ton with 300k miles on it. No trouble with it , but it is no puller. Had a ford f350 and know several people with them , only major complaint is the cost of the high pressure oil pump and related hassels. I am runing a 06 dodge 1 ton with the cumins and love it,but none of mine were/are 4wd so I can't address that. But after being a gm guy with exception to the one ford , I am now a cumins -dodge guy .
                        You owe Me a pm response also on a earlier topic unless You meant to ignore it.

                        Steve

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the input guys!
                          Geez...I went to my engine guru's shop yesterday.
                          Wow...did I get an earfull when I told him I was thinking of buying a 6.5.
                          He showed me a busted crank from one...and a block with a bunch of spyder web cracks thru the mains.
                          He said they are ok motors for just driving down the road but they needed a lot of work to make them live while pulling hard. Changing out the pistons is the #1 thing to lower the compression ratio.
                          BTW...I did go to the Diesel Place and they confirmed that.
                          So...it's back to the drawing board.
                          He said that Ford did have early problems but he figures the Ford is the best bet all around.
                          My trailer loaded with 4 horses and all the tack is easily over 10,000 pounds so it's a workout.
                          Even Saskatchewan has some very long hills...it's just that they are layin down more than the BC hills
                          Steve...sorry...I forgot...recieved a pile of emails at that time.
                          Russ
                          I have tools I don't even know I own...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I had a 2002 7.3 Ford. I put 102,000 miles on it in 3 years, and it never even burped. That's the only vehicle I have ever owned that I still miss 4 years after I sold it.

                            I didn't buy it for towing. I was commuting 57 miles to work when I bought it and if I held it to 2,000 RPM, that was 70 MPH it would get about 21.5 MPG. At 55 MPH it would get almost 30 MPG. It was cool because I got it paid for in about 8 months, then I drove it for the next 2 1/2 years with no payments.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by torker
                              Hey guys! I've been travelling back and forth from Saskatchewan in my ol' bulletproof 1976 2wd one ton crewwcab dually.
                              Well...it's winter now...and I came back in a horrible blizzard the other day.
                              I need a 4wd again.
                              Gotta be a one ton dually crewcab...
                              Looks like I can only afford a mid nineties or so truck.
                              I've always been a big block gas engine fan...and have done all the math. They get crappy mileage but it doesn't cost $100 for an oil change or $2000 for an injector pump.
                              My ol mildly souped up 454 USED to pull with the early diesels....not so anymore!
                              I followed a bud of mine...both of us with horse trailers. He has a bone stock 2002 Ford f350 with 7.3 turbo. That thing is unreal how hard it pulls and he gets 6 or 7 miles to the gallon better than me when loaded...much better when empty.
                              I'm having a lot of trouble finding a Ford here...found a few Dodges...equally good or better power but ugly transmissions and front drive failures.
                              I'm finding a few very nice mid 90's Chevies with the 6.5 turbo engines.
                              Anyone have any recommendations about the Chevs? Good, bad....otherwise?
                              Thanks!
                              Russ
                              I read this this morning and just came back from town where I spied a '95 chev 3500 4wd, 6.5, manual trans, 4wd, standard cab with a flatbed. Looked perty good with 74k miles and asking $7500. Its near Salem Oregon if your willing to travel

                              EDIT Reread ur message and seen the crew cab detail, this is standard cab.



                              lg
                              no neat sig line
                              Last edited by larry_g; 12-11-2009, 09:56 PM.

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