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Old 02-20-2010, 03:35 PM   #1
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3/4 Ton Test Drives (8.1L Sub Gas, Exc Diesel, F250 Diesel)

First my thanks to the forum for their many ideas and guidance...I have been doing tons of research this past week and actually drove a few sub $15k "beauties" this weekend. Here are my findings:

1. If you were ever looking for a cosmetic gem that drove very, very nicely with TONS of available power, then you have got to check out the Suburban 8.1L V8 for sale at my hometown Chevy dealer. Cars for Sale: 2002 Chevrolet Suburban 4x4 2500 in Gainesville, GA 30501: Sport Utility Details - 274706338 - AutoTrader.com Again I would take the advice of the Airforum member finalcutjoe and have it thoroughly checked out by a qualified mechanic. If anyone would like my opinion of the service department at that Chevy dealer you may PM me. As far as my choice - this one is still on the list but my heart is yelling DIESEL...we'll see - it really is a very nice 3/4 ton suburban.

2. I drove a 2001 7.3L Excursion Diesel with 330k miles. The power plant was in very nice shape. The interior was understandably NOT in decent shape, but hey, this was for pulling MELODY and not for going to church as it were. Unfortunatley the rear differential started missing/grinding once I got the vehicle "warmed up" and the replacement cost combined with wondering "what else might be wrong with it" took this off the list. Still, it coulda been had for $8000 IMHO.

3. Drove a 2001 F250 SuperCab 7.3L Diesel and man oh man did my heart skip a beat...this powerplant and transmission were in MUCH nicer shape than the EXC above...I may be set on finding the perfect, used F250 7.3L but in a crew cab...the back seat of the super cab was just not quite big enough and I hate the idea of the kids' heads being right up against the rear window glass (no headrests in the SuperCabs)...wonder if I could buy replacement bucket seats with rests for the F250 SuperCab...?

4. I have ONE more 7.3L EXC to drive that seems to be in nice shape - I'll get to see it on Thursday. Wife is concerned that we need "covered space" in the back for our junk and if we had a third row seat she can hold out hope that I will allow for a third kid (now THAT's funny!!!!). So, for that reason alone, maybe I SHOULD go with the pickup?

So I'm encouraged by what I've seen only looking in North GA. I'll expand the search now that I know what I'm looking for...and my mechanic is on CALL!!! I can't stress enough that having someone you trust look at a used vehicle is SO SO critical.

Thanks for all your help!!
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_john View Post
4. I have ONE more 7.3L EXC to drive that seems to be in nice shape - I'll get to see it on Thursday. Wife is concerned that we need "covered space" in the back for our junk and if we had a third row seat she can hold out hope that I will allow for a third kid (now THAT's funny!!!!). So, for that reason alone, maybe I SHOULD go with the pickup?

Thanks for all your help!!

You better go with the TRUCK. My wife wanted a 3 rd kid too. Well this summer she got pregnant, Not a mutual thing... Well part of it was...

We just had TWINS. so we went from 2 to 4. Get the truck and go see a doctor also...
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:39 PM   #3
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BOTH of us ROFLAO!!!
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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Hi,
I see you have two posts going about different tow vehicles. I have owned an 04 excursion and a 05 3/4ton suburban. The excursion was a nice vehicle but the leather seats hurt my back very bad and I have never had that problem before. I have never had any problems towing my 34ft trailer with a suburban . My two cents would be to find a suburban with lower mileage . Happy hunting.
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:31 PM   #5
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I saw your remarks about the lack of head restraints in the back of the Ford Super Cab, that is one of the things that turned me off to purchasing one when I was looking around 4 years ago. I wound up with a Chevy Silverado Duramax extended cab. It has a more room in the back than the super cab, plus it has head restraints. I love the Dmax. If you ever go diesel, you will likely never go back. It makes towing so relaxing. I also like having the Alison tranny, hands down the best tranny behind a diesel pickup. Another thing I like about the Chevy and Dodge cabs is that they are the same cabs that are used on the 1/2 ton trucks and it is my understanding that the 1/2 ton cabs have to meet more regorious safety standards (hence the headrests). Just remember, owning a diesel is like owning a BMW, Mercedes or Audi, if you aren't willing to pay the freight when the break you shouldn't buy one. While the engines are reliable, when they do break (and you are looking at older trucks) they are much more expensive to repair. Good luck for on your choice.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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Not much to add from the above, only another vote for the F250, I've towed with an IH travelall, a Bronco (really bad!), two Suburbans, and hands down the F250 is the best, nothing touches it. The above post is correct about repair, but like a favorite pet, you don't seem to mind the vet bills! I have a 2001, 7.3, I hear there were some problems with the 2004-2006, or there abouts, but the 7.3 has been very reliable.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:04 AM   #7
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tow with a 2005 ex diesel.use as my daily driver,and after 5 yrs of ownership still like it better than any other vehicle i have owned.if you go diesel you need to drive it and not skimp on maintenance.look up bill hewitt since you live in ga.most of the 6.0 problems were due to the learning curve with the engine for techs.with 70k on mine all i have done is maintenance,of course i kept mine stock.the torqshift tranny with tow/haul mode is much better than the previous version trans.stock the engine has 325 horse and 560 lbs of torq.this is more than i will ever need.check oasis reports with ford service before you buy any used diesel that is a ford.hewitts website is powerstrokehelp.com
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:02 PM   #8
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xon - thanks!! That is awesome advice and website reference.
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