Diesel Truck Motor Longevity

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 3M-TA3, Jan 15, 2018.


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  1. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Calling our diesel experts! I'm looking at a pretty solid 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 4WD with a 5.9 liter diesel. Everything looks good, but miles are 365K. Assuming halfway decent maintenance, how many more miles would I likely be able to get out of this motor? What might I be looking at in terms of troubles, expenses, preventative maintenance, etc? Any high mileage power train issues to look for?

    The price is right, or I'd probably be looking at under 200K miles. It's low enough that I wouldn't mind putting a couple thousand in the motor for PM.
     
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  2. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    What is the price range they are asking for it. With that mileage, you are probably close to doing some overhaul, glow plug change out and such. I would suggest running it by a mechanic to check the soundness of the motor and the truck overall. Crawl underneath and look for deep scrapes to the undercarriage and such, for structural issues..... rough four wheeling will show some damage, indicating hard use on the motor as well. Check the oil for any foreign debris (metal shavings or other), a smart seller would have just changed the oil. As far as power train issues, the motor is strong and can tear up a drive line.....(I did it to mine).

    I have the 2006 3500 with 145K on the 5.9 motor and it runs like a champ. Never had any mechanical issue with the motor or any critical components, other than cracking my Bell Housing and replacing the drive line a couple of years ago. I have a custom exhaust, it is chipped, Air-raid intake and so on. Pushing a lot of horsepower is fun in a big truck. :)
     
  3. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Sage advice.

    They are asking $11K, but I just found a 2007 2500 w/navigation, same motor w/163K miles for $15,000. Both vehicles have minor damage that doesn't bother me. I'm thinking maybe dicker the newer one down to $13,500 if it otherwise looks good. At that mileage the diesel motor should just now be broken in. I've heard that a properly maintained diesel should go way beyond 500K miles, and the 5.9 is one of the better motors.
     
  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Parking Humor with a big truck.... :)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    You could always buy mine....getting ready to sell it in the next couple of weeks for $19K or so.:whistle:
     
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Contact the ENGINE supplier directly and find out what the recommended rebuild intervals are. There should, under "normal" circumstances be no problem with half a million miles on the engine,. but after that it's teardown time. Years ago, Cat wanted to do top ends at 350K and full upper and lower at 500K. I'm certain beyond question that is no longer good info.
     
  7. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Would you take 13,500? :LOL: 15K is my budget (paying ca$h - no more financing vehicles ever), otherwise my wife will want to spend more on hers :eek: Too bad because you've discussed your truck before and I know it would be perfect, even the blends in everywhere gray color. The newer truck I'm looking at is blue, which at least isn't red, yellow, or orange.

    What are you replacing it with?
     
  8. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    My favorite targets are the free electricity for your electric car only spots... It irritates me that a store will pay for one customer's fuel but not another's.
     
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  9. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I think my minimum would be around $17K....

    My current company I work for provides me a F-150 4X4, for my day to day travels, so the 3500 sits a lot. I am taking on a new job that will be giving me a car allowance, and the 3500 will not be viable for going into downtown areas, let alone parking garages and such. It has a 4 inch lift and 35-inch MT tires.....she is hard to park. I have not decided yet, but leaning towards the Jeep Grand Cherokee....lots of rebates right now and a better price than some comparable rigs.
     
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Before you yump onna yeep, take a close squint at the reliability. Mostly NFG according to the folks I know that have them,and for some reason obscure to me, the GC is the worst.
     
  11. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Hey @3M-TA3 I'm your Huckleberry! I can tell you any thing you ever wanted to know about the Dodge trucks, and specifically the Cummins powered ones! I have 3 of them currently, all are 1992. two are commercial extra cab flat beds, and my new daily driver is a standard cab, with 5 speed trans. I also have the 2 Old Power Wagons with the BT-4 Cummins and an 5 speed in the 41 and a upgraded auto in the 46!
    So, lets be honest here first, the cost of the Cummins vs life span vs savings isn't really a benefit. Diesel fuel cost more, which offsets the mileage gains. Life span increase isn't really going to matter unless you keep a Cummins for a LONG time, and the reliability and cost of maintence factors into the time you plan to keep it! A newer Dodge with the 5.9 ( 360 Magnum) Gas is a pretty stout performer, and the even newer Hemi is a nice improvement with more power and better fuel economy, so that's something to think about! With proper maintence, a Gas truck will last many years, and the known issues are small and not worthy of discussion.
    A Cummins is a whole different matter. There is no factory recommended over haul recommendation, BUT Cummins recommends a good look see @250K, and a set of Glow Plugs and injectors at that time. Costs of an inframe vary widely, depending on who does it and what it includes.
    Fuel mileage should be some where between 17 and 22 MPG ( depending on gear ratios, and trans type,) the newer 6 speeds being the best. The older trucks ( Pre Computer) seem to be the most reliable, but also the least powerful, with the 1989 to 1990 putting out only 195 HP, and the slightly upgraded 1991-2 intercooled making 210 to 235 HP. the second gen Cummins make around 250HP and can be easily modded to just under 300HP. Now your into Ford 7.3 DI power, but with better reliability and pulling torque.
    The must have are the older Mechanical engines that have been converted to the 24 valve head! Mine is currently making 345 HP with factory intake and exhaust, and the next size up turbo. I plan to mod this one with the 80 HP "upgrade" injectors and fuel plate, and a new low restriction exhaust manifold and the much desirable Holset 3125XX turbo from the Cummins ISC 8.3! It should be in the 425 to 450 HP range at that point, and will shred all four tires on dry pavement! ( My 3.9 in my '46 is close to this power) and still a very reliable engine!
    One serious thing to know, All Dodge trucks from 1994 up will need to have the front suspension up graded, Dodge still hasn't "Fixed" this issue, and it's even more an issue on the Cummins powered trucks then the Gas powered ones. Call Les Schauwb and ask them, they will tell you all you need to know, and also tell you what your options are, and more importantly, you will have a bargaining chip to play in negotiating the price! Hint, no matter what or who has done the front end work, plan to take it in and have it re done, PERIOD! I don't own one of the newer trucks with this issue, so I will need to dig in and see what and where to go with it to fix it and make it right!!!
    Nothing wrong with a Cummins, they don't have any real concerns, but plan on replacing the lift pump when you do get one, save you a call to AAA and an expensive tow and several hours labor to repair and then bleed the fuel system and get her running again! Known issues, mainly effect 2014 and newer trucks, with computer issues, mainly related to emissions systems, and worse, the even newer trucks have had a lot of issues with the "Exhaust Fuel" systems and electronic controls!!! I personally know of 5 trucks that Dodge had to buy back from the owners, so keep this in mind!
    One other issue, Automatic transmitions will not hold up to power upgrades unless you have the trans upgraded at the same time, this is EXPENSIVE, but once done, they are about bomb proof reliable and can take some SERIOUS power! The 5 speed transmitions also need upgrading, especially the front input shaft, there is a easy fix for these, and other then the time and labor, pretty inexpensive! The Newer 6 speeds don't have the issues with strength, and can take a pretty good upgrade before you need to address them, but at that point, your into some SERIOUS power! I plan to upgrade my newest '92 to the Six Speed soon!

    Hope this gives you a window into the Dodge truck world, I have owned 9 Dodge trucks over the last 11 years, and have 5 currently, with 2 being 'Company Property" so those get treated a little differently. Those 2 have well over 400k on the clocks, and I have yet to have any serious work done, and they still run very well, and get about 17 MPG pulling 11K fifth wheel travel trailers! My 4 Fords don't get any where near this mileage, and I have had issues with all 4, and while minor, still a head ach to deal with!
    If you wanted to look at FORD diesels, let me know, I can give you the low down on them too! Forget G.M. Diesels, and no matter what any one tells you about how good those Allison Transmitions are, the damn trucks are Junk, and the electronics are about the worst in the auto industry! G.M. should be ashamed of them selves, seriously, After 1973, Chevy and G.M.C. haven't built a truck worth a damn!!!
     
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  12. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    @Yard Dart Be careful on the Jeep G.C. they have some serious issues. the biggest one being transmition issues. The Wife and I were seriously looking at them, and with all the complaints, ( and dealing with Jeep on the warranty, which is a hassle) we ended up getting the Dodge Durango SRT-8 Hemi! And it was cheaper then Da Yeep, by quite a lot. Ours is a 2016 and only had 26k on it, we got it for $34k and still has the full warranty! The SRT-8 isn't needed, a person can do quite well with the standard Durango Citadel with the Hemi, that version is a stellar rig with all the goodies, just not the hot rod stuff, and I was surprised the Wife went with the SRT, as it needs special steel wheels if you want to run studded tires, and the ground effects hurt off road performance ( not that we have any of that to worry about, Just a good gravel road) so I would say stay away from the G.C! We really wanted a Cherokee, but it has issues too, so we stayed out of the Jeeps, SADLY, I sold my Wagoneer, but it was too big, and used to much gas for the wife's commute of 128 miles per day! Our Durango gets about 22 MPG if the Wife keeps her foot out of it, ( hard to do for her) and I have gotten 23 out of it so far!
     
  13. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    [ditto] what @Yard Dart @Ura-Ki @ghrit have said

    one of our monkeys @Homunculi has been having issues with a Ford diesel :( :( the repair costs are yuuuuuuuuuuge (n) (n)

    other diesels can have issues too

    they can become a boat on wheels, B.O.A.T = Bust Out Another Thousand

    a diesel truck can be a life saver in some situations (y) however it can also be a yuuuuuuge liability (n)

    a gasoline powered vehicle might be a better choice [chopper]
     
  14. apache235

    apache235 Monkey++

    Ura-Ki, thanks for the info. I put a 94 5.9 Cummins/5 speed in my 65 Power Wagon. It had about 150K on the motor and what a change from the 318 that I blew up (holed piston, gas in the oil and boom). Now I need to get wipers that actually work and some insulation as it is a bit loud.
     
  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Lol! My 46 with the 3.9 Cummins is loud as hell! I tried several mufflers, but nothing really worked. That truck Needs the whole cab insulated heavy! It's so loud, the wife won't ride in it!
     
  16. Homunculi

    Homunculi Monkey+

    depends on how the truck was run .. tuned or factory ?? .. reg maint intervals ??? was it beaten or cared for .... take it to a diesel specialty shop have it looked at and gone over ... yes it is $200 to $300 but it is money well spent to make sure the engine is sound ... i got to drive the truck i bought for 7 months (for free) before i decided to buy ... working in the dealerships i have seen diesel engines last 700k to 1mil + ...
    some that did not get the care they needed died in the 400k-500k range ....
    it is all in pref ... diesels have torque ...
    gas is easier to care for .. and some items are almost as exp as a diesel at times ....
    make a pro and con sheet ... get everything listed ....
    fuel ... additives (anti gel.. water .. injector lubes )... care ... injector costs ...
    block heater .. electric costs for running that ...

    filter ( air fuel and oil) vs a gas engine ...
    also if you do decide to go diesel ... watch out where you purchase fuel... it can be a nightmare if you stop into a station that does not keep the underground tanks tested and flushed
     
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  17. sdr

    sdr Monkey+

    Hmm... Think my bubble just might have burst. Might need to reconsider my search for a pre-powerstroke diesel 350
     
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  18. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Nothing wrong with a Ford 7.3 powerstroke, they run strong and don' have many issues! Stick with the second gen Turbo, square body style and your truck will last for ever if you take care of it! About the only thing wrong is the fuel milege sucks!
     
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  19. sdr

    sdr Monkey+

    I was considering the 7.3 IDI engine. Easier to work on from what I hear and parts costs way less.

    I've asked a few people who own the Ford diesels about mpg. Seems around 18 is average.
     
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  20. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    [winkthumb] @Ura-Ki

    heard the 6.0 is not as gud ..

    maintenance is key, although some trucks do have some design flaws as well

    @3M-TA3 do ya have the full history of the truck plus all of the maintenance records?

    it might need a mid-life overhaul, or rebuild or .. @ 400k or 500k

    some diesels can last a really long time with proper maintenance, however that can get really expensive
     
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