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Old 01-01-2013, 10:04 PM   #1
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Cummins, Duramax questions

So in looking and reading a lot of threads I see the older ie.. before 2005.5 or 2006 model diesels get better MPG than the newer engines and no exhaust fluid to replace.

In reading a thread in tow/haul section a guy with a ford v-10 that was saying he was not getting the MPG like the Cummings, but not having the $200 oil changes or 2K pump replacements after getting bad fuel ..


In looking at some threads on cumming forums i see guy doing oil changes for like 80-90 bucks using rotella and duraguard filters. I also see some year models have more problems with injector pumps etc.

so when looking at diesels what the main difference between dura max and cummings good and bad, injector pumps, and all the rest..

which engine gets better fuel mileage with least problems..
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:50 AM   #2
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While this is only one persons experience, I have a 99 Dodge with the 5.9 cummins. I currently have 570,000 miles on the truck which I bought new.
I average 15 mpg or better towing Airstreams, pretty much regardless of size and every tank of fuel is documented in a spreadsheet.
I replaced the Injection pump at 458K, Still have all the original injectors. The internals of the engine have never been touched
An oil change with Rottella will NOT cost $90.
The Fleetguard filter that Cummins uses are around $ 8.00 plus 10 qts of oil at the going price should do an oil change for less than half the mentioned price. I use Mobil Delvac 1 synthetic and long change intervals but that is an individual decision.
Far and away the best truck I have ever owned.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:03 AM   #3
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There is a lot of information confusing year model production differences even within the same brand.

Big changes for DODGE at the 2003 model year. A complete re-design on the truck, and the introduction of high-pressure, common-rail injection. Not to mention 4-whl disc brakes from 2002 forward.

The potentially highest mpg with an HPCR Cummins (no "g") are in the 2003-early 2004 year models. Centers on the 305HP/555TQ engine. The late 2004 (known as 2004.5) is rated 325HP/600TQ but adds some emission tuning. Things are pretty stable through the end of 2007. 2008 adds emissions big time.

The Duramax is similar. Early 2000's production, and sorting for reliability past that.

Reliability on the rest of the truck should be more of a question. The 4WD Dodges go through ball joints too soon, and upgrading the steering to 2008 spec is popular. The auto trans needs overhaul sooner for those who add "tuners".

Service type/interval can be researched. My oil change might be more expensive than a gasser, but I can go from 7,500 to 15,000 miles. Runs me around $100 because I also choose to replace air & fuel filters at the same time. I don't care about "cheap", but choose fluids/filters based on performance: SHELL motor oil, BALDWIN fuel and MOPAR air filters. Etc.

I compared my diesel to a gasser of same year/spec with a man who used his Hemi 3/4T the same way I did (miles per year, and type of miles). In the end so long as diesel was no more than 50-cents higher than gasoline fuel use was a wash. The real difference is that at 200k miles the Cummins is expected to last another 150k while the Hemi is at end-of-life (given averages based on high mph per engine hour/use).

I'll put this from another aspect: In the oilfield for more than 10-years the only trucks that were in use for "hotshot" (gotta have the part yesterday on an oil rig standing idle) were Dodge. The others didn't have the long-term economy or power to make their purchase justified.

From the RV viewpoint, achieving 14-16 mpg with 28/ft-plus aero, aluminum TT's with a Cummins through about the 2008 model year is easy (not so with other brands; too year model specific, at best).

Choose the one you like the most. But avoid those with lift kits, signs of "tuners", or any impression owned by "children". I also avoided those with 5'er hitches and 4WD.

.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:57 AM   #4
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My dealer does my cummins oil changes for 59 dollars with a coupon. Jim
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:14 AM   #5
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I've just traded an '08 GMC Duramax with 112,000 miles. The engine/transmission has not had a wrench on it save the change of the serpentine belt at 100,000, and oil changes. The fuel mileage towing the Airstream was about 12, and I say about because it would vary from a low 10.5 to a high of 15 depending on winds. I pretty much always drove it the same....65 when conditions would permit.

I traded for a "demo" 2012 Ram 2500 with the Cummins because I got a great deal, and the 2012 Cummins is the last one not requiring urea injection in the exhaust.

I know some would say trading at only 112,000 miles is a waste, but I don't see it that way because I'm trading while my GMC still has a good value, and the Ram Larame has some features I really wanted that the GMC did not have.

Yes, gasoline engined trucks are a lot cheaper, and I considered going to a 1/2 ton (some of you may have read the thread), but in the end, I just did not want to downgrade to the power/torque of the gas engine, or limit what I could take because of payload. Wish I could get a Diesel in a HD 1/2 ton truck.

Also I always changed my own oil with synthetic Rotella from Walmart for about $60.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:36 AM   #6
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I have had both the Cummins in a 2500 RAM and two Duramax in 2500 Silverados.
I have never owned a Powerstroke.
The Cummins with its longer connecting rods provided more, low-end torque.
The Duramax is a quieter, peppier, engine with noticeably better acceleration.
My first Duramax was a 2005, a great tow vehicle. My current Duramax, a 2007 Classic, is the last year before they went to after-burner exhaust or urea injection to satisfy bogus EPA regulations.
The 2007 Duramax equipped Silverado in the non-classic design had the after-burner exhaust that really hurt fuel economy, That is one of the reason GM went to urea injection in 2008 or 2009.
I get about 15-16 mpg towing at 65 mph and 22-23 when not towing at the same speed. This is in the hills and mountains of AZ and NM. As I recall, my Cummins got 21 mpg not towing, but that was in the flat lands of NC.
Hope this helps.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post

Also I always changed my own oil with synthetic Rotella from Walmart for about $60.
Don't bother with the synthetic oil with you new truck since you cannot do extended oil changes with the emission strategy of the 2007.5 to 2012 Cummins engine. The oil change light will go on somewhere between 2500 and 7500 miles as it is based on an algorithm on how the truck is used (I have had only one early oil change event at 2500 miles due to some limited winter driving). I typically go 5000 miles between oil changes due to the recommendations on the Valvoline/Cummins bottle that the oil is good up to 5000 miles on vehicles with a DPF.


You have a nice truck and probably a good deal at the end of the year but I may have waited until the 2013's came out because the DEF system will allow for 15,000 mile oil changes, better fuel mileage and the front axle has a disconnect system (4x4 models). Fuel mileage will increase some after you reach 25k miles.

Here are two forums you may want to checkout for more information on your new truck.
Turbo Diesel Register

Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:16 AM   #8
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great info for sure. I have been more looking for the 2001 to 2005 models to avoid the emission overhead that seems to have started in 2006.

on the dodge models in the lower years, 01-04ish on the 4wd seem the front end issues are the most costly long term so maybe better to stay with 2wd.?

i understand miles is miles with these models and i guess it depends on past maintenance to determine future longevity.

how about manual over automatic .. one thing i remember about dodge / chrysler was if you owned one for over 4 or so years you will have a transmisson repaired. not if, when..

who make the duramax model?s.. i know from running over the road tractors the cummins engines are top of the heap and next was the Detroit allision models with blowers.

remember the gmc gas engine they tried to make diesel..??
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:46 AM   #9
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Carl, I spec'd my truck based solely on the following: Greatest amount of work over longest life with greatest reliability at lowest cost per mile. A 2003-2004.0 DODGE CTD is a home run based on the above. It also meant: manual transmission, SRW, and 2WD. It also was the only one from the OEM's that could meet the spec.

Solo mpg (the past 49k miles) = 14.6 cpm
Towing = 25-cpm

Now, at 10-yrs/200k miles, I am looking to start spending money. Systematically going through the truck and replacing-before-breaking. $$$$. The goal is another 7,8,9 years, so am willing to spend quite a lot.

The man trans is easy to use. Behind the Cummins it is a marriage made in heaven. Can't stall it (unlike Ford or Chevy). No clutch needed as yet.

First tires & brakes went to 120k. First batteries to nine years. Etc. All common experience with this truck year/model/spec/use. Only "repair" was u-joints at 150k, plus an ignition switch.

And, depreciation has been nil. I am second owner and have "lost" $3k in depreciation in about six years (I did get a good deal in purchase as most used buyers want a "toy": 4WD + auto + shortbed. Still, . . . . )

Good luck

.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:22 AM   #10
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Rednax sums it up well. I took a similiar approach on my 99. Repairs have been minimal.
Drilled and tapped ball joints for grease fitting (2wd) All front end parts are original.
My ownership cost per mile for the truck not including repairs is less than 5 cents a mile (cost of truck/mileage on truck) More problems with the ac than anything else
I do keep an eye out for a suitable replacement but finding an extended cab/or 4 dr with an 8 ft bed and manual xmsn is very difficult, used or even looking at new dealer stock.
Most I do see have Chrome stacks or other indications of undesirable previous ownership.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:09 PM   #11
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:56 AM   #12
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I had a stick in my toyota pickup and that was fine. My concern would be for my wife driving a stick.. she has done it but u know most women like auto better for many reasons.. one would be the stall factor but as i see that is not as big an issue with the cummings.

on one the cummins forum i was reading one gent was saying long as diesel and gas were only .50 cents apart the cost difference was a wash..

I would put that figure more like $1.50? gal difference especially with the older 2000-2005 yr models Cummings engines vs gas. I realize they use more oil, (not sure exact amount as most gassers use 5 -6 qts.) but i think the cost over head is made up especially during towing miles.. A normal gas will get 9-11 and diesel is like 13-15 some better when towing. gas get 18-19 non towing, diesel are in the 21-29ish range. that sound a whole lot better to me..

I was talking with a HVAC guy yesterday driving a almost new sprinter van loaded with stuff.. he told me that thing gets 21 mpg around town with the diesel Mercedes engine.. WOW>>> that thing was hugh inside...

here a unit is saw and it look real nice..

2000 dodge cummins

thanks for all the info..
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:37 AM   #13
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I have a 2006 Silverado/Duramax. After reading all the forums (Ford,GM,Dodge), I chose the 2006 with the LBZ Duramax motor (late 2006-2007). They seemed to have an excellent reputation for durability and fewer problems than eariler LB7 and LLY motors. Also more hp and torque. Added bonus was 6-speed Allison trans and lack of later year LMM and LML engine emission add-ons. Bought it in 2010 with about 66k miles on it. Haven't been disappointed. 12.5-15.5 mpg towing, depending on conditions, and 16-18 around town. Great truck and no plans to trade up to newer. The GM engine codes are in the VIN; eighth digit/letter indicates which motor is in the truck. (LB7=1 2001-mid 2004) (LLY = 2 mid 2004-2006) (LBZ = D late 2006-2007) Don't remember the LMM (2007-2011) or LML codes. You'll find them in the diesel forums.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I have a 2006 Silverado/Duramax. After reading all the forums (Ford,GM,Dodge), I chose the 2006 with the LBZ Duramax motor (late 2006-2007). They seemed to have an excellent reputation for durability and fewer problems than eariler LB7 and LLY motors. Also more hp and torque. Added bonus was 6-speed Allison trans and lack of later year LMM and LML engine emission add-ons. Bought it in 2010 with about 66k miles on it. Haven't been disappointed. 12.5-15.5 mpg towing, depending on conditions, and 16-18 around town. Great truck and no plans to trade up to newer. The GM engine codes are in the VIN; eighth digit/letter indicates which motor is in the truck. (LB7=1 2001-mid 2004) (LLY = 2 mid 2004-2006) (LBZ = D late 2006-2007) Don't remember the LMM (2007-2011) or LML codes. You'll find them in the diesel forums.
The later model Diesels (2007.5 on) will deliver mileage about 2-3 mpg less.
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