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Old 09-13-2007, 09:56 PM   #29
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How Important is diesel?

You definately do not need a diesel. Here is why. 1st. Your criteria states 6 trips from 500-2000 miles each per year. Your only putting on what 8 thousand miles per year? Any good gas engine will last 200,000 miles of highway driving if properly maintained. A diesel is an extra 5-7K dollars and it is of value only if used a lot. 2nd. Will you ever be boondocking? If so you need a truck to haul your generator in the bed. Generators inside an SUV--Not Good. 3rd. Ford diesel SUV was an excursion not expedition. Great vehicles but so heavy the gas models got maybe 9mpg empty. 4th You can save 2K and 10-12% on fuel if you forego the 4wd.

Its your cash but I would choose a Chevy 3/4 ton with the 8.1 engine and the Allison transmission just because the Allison is the standard of excellence. The 3/4 ton will have bigger breaks. The sleeper is a Dodge V10 circa 99'-03'. Gas guzzler for sure but smooth magnificent power and they can be had on the cheap--like 8-10K cheaper. So what if you only get 10 mpg instead of 13 with a Chevy or a Ford, 8K buys a lot of gas. Cheers
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:04 PM   #30
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one more thing

In over twenty years of diesel pick ups...used hard...I never had to buy a spark plug, rebuild a carburator, buy points or have any sort of "tune up."
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:53 AM   #31
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oh yeah......

One of the reasons I went with diesel is that you cant find a Turbo on a stock gas truck. I live at around 6,000 feet and a turbo helps at high altitude.

The downside is that it gets Cold here and Diesels dont warm up to fast.
The Powerstroke is a 900lb engine block (dry) so it would typicaly take 10-20 minutes before the heater would start blowing warm air, which was about the length of my comute.
I compensated by installing a remote starter, to fire her up 10 minutes before I leave in the morning when its cold. Our neighbor down the street was about ready to call the fire dept. the first time I did this on account of the grey smoke that filled the block.

I could plug in the block heater overnight if I parked the truck in the driveway. But I can't theirs a trailer in the way.

Diesel maintanance is a little different than gas maintanance.
You need motor oil designed for diesel engines. I think I remember reading its because sulferic acid is a by product of the combustion process, but dont hold me to that.
Rotella T is the most poplular choice and is pretty cheap at wally world or Sams club. You need 15 quarts for a normal change.
Jiffy Lube does Diesel oil changes with Rotella for around $60.

There are 2 batteries to run the glow plugs and turn over the really, really big starter.

Fuel filters should be changed on every oil change (my preference) as they will muck up.
Also there is a fuel/water seperator that needs to be drained when the idiot light comes on.

The 7.3L PSD in the Fords is a Navistar (International-Harvister) T444E that International puts in its school busses and smaller haulers. Its an industrial engine thats designed to be easy to maintain for a fleet.
This also means that you can go to the local International dealer for engine parts and save 20-50% off what the Ford dealer will charge you.

A word on Cavitation:
I dont know if this applies to any other diesel than Internationals, but I believe it does.
Diesels vibrate a lot, and all that vibration can cause bubbles in the coolant around the combustion chamber. A few 100,000 miles of this and you get little pin-holes in youre cylinders.
A really important, and often overlooked coolant additive is CCA. (dont ask me what it stands for) that prevents this.
International sells little "pregnancy strips" to test the level of CCA in the coolant. It changes color based on the PH ballance, like in a swimming pool.

So, If you buy a diesel used, make sure they used the additive in the coolant.
The local JIffy lube never heard of the stuff, so I ended up taking my truck to the Ford Dealership heavy truck center to have them flush the coolant and put the right mix back in.

Your local Ford/Dodge/Chevy dealer should have a truck service center that will look over the rig before you buy it for a modest fee.


But on the other hand, you will never have to deal with spark plugs, spark plug gap, spark plug wires, coils, distributors or electronic ignition ever again.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:09 AM   #32
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One other thought; now that you have the proper camper-AS-and you get a proper TV-3/4 ton-I am willing to bet you will start venturing out further and more often...

Bill
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:00 AM   #33
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Diesel:The only way to go if your goin to tow. If you don't take these words of advise some day you will say,"They Told Me So".
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:25 PM   #34
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There was a thread a few months ago that the big 3 were all coming out this year with a full size p/u with a smaller diesel engine. For my 71 and 73 diesel options now available seem to be overkill. I don't a truck that will pull 6 tons. I stopped in my local Chevy dealer last week and asked about the new engine and he said he had not heard a thing. A smaller diesel engine in a full size trip would fill my niche. Wild rumor or what?
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:45 PM   #35
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Check out the new Dodge 6.7L Diesel. You won't be disappointed.

Oh, and for pricing of which ever truck you decide to purchase. For the best price, check out

CarsDirect.com -- America's #1 way to buy cars online!
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Old 09-15-2007, 05:11 PM   #36
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As for saying "4WD isn't worth the money," you'll never regret having it the first time you really need it! All it takes is wet grass to stop a rig dead in it's tracks - and most of us have experienced that very situation. As for problems with algae in diesel fuel, if you know the truck is going to sit for several months, there is a very common additive - available everywhere - that you simply add to the tank to arrest algae growth. The other important thing to do is to keep the tank full to minimize condensation. I had a diesel-powered trawler with two 50 gallon tanks. Due to our location, only minutes from a fantastic anchorage where we spent weekends, the 4 kw diesel generator probably used more fuel than the main engine. In any event, we never used more than 100 gals per year and all I did was to put the anti-algae additive in the tanks ever so often. I never had a problem - however, with respect to condensation, most marine diesel setups have fairly good fuel-water separators as standard equipment. I change the synthetic oil on the Duramax, on the average, about every 7,500 miles - where the computer shows around 33% life remaining. I know that it's overkill, but I also change the fuel filter with every oil change. Cheap insurance.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:38 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
There was a thread a few months ago that the big 3 were all coming out this year with a full size p/u with a smaller diesel engine. For my 71 and 73 diesel options now available seem to be overkill. I don't a truck that will pull 6 tons. I stopped in my local Chevy dealer last week and asked about the new engine and he said he had not heard a thing. A smaller diesel engine in a full size trip would fill my niche. Wild rumor or what?
I thought the same thing briefly, but then came to realize that the half ton trucks with diesel probally still wouldnt have the heavier body and breaks and so forth. Its been pointed out before, its not just how much weight you can get moving on the highway that counts.
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Old 09-15-2007, 10:09 PM   #38
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I drive a Dodge diesel 45,000 miles a year but I stand by my statement that if your making six trips a year from 500-2000 miles per trip (3,000-12,000) miles per annum and not using the vehicle otherwise you do not need the diesel. Only you can decide if a 4wd is a worth it based on where you travel to. Historically the longevity of a diesel engine over that of a gas engine disappears when they are not in use. You should get 200,000 miles out of a gas engine and I'll bet that is a good long lifetime of towing.
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Old 09-15-2007, 10:41 PM   #39
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I tow a 2007 25' Airstream Safari behind a 2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD diesel. Have been towing for 5,550 miles of the 9,300 miles currently on the truck. It tows great and you don't get pushed around when you are passed by an 18 wheeler. The truck and trailer combination tows better than my previous rig with a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 2,000 lb pop-up. Just returned from a week trip and averaged 14 mpg towing.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:36 AM   #40
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Exclamation Wheelbase

Wheelbase, Unloaded/Loaded GVW of TV, & Wheelbase - that's what's important. Ya gotta have wheelbase for a comfortable tow.

A V-10 will do the job quite well and the fuel price will not be impacted by the 'tree-hugger' additives that diesel prices are.

(I've owned 5 different Ford V-10's - F250's & Excursions - towed horse trailers & Airstreams X country, well satisified)
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:01 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by ABRACADABRA
A V-10 will do the job quite well and the fuel price will not be impacted by the 'tree-hugger' additives that diesel prices are.

(I've owned 5 different Ford V-10's - F250's & Excursions - towed horse trailers & Airstreams X country, well satisified)
Just an observation; in my area (New England) diesel prices over the last few years, for better or worse, stay much more stable than gasoline. In fact, I can't remember the last time it moved at all, $2.89/gal.

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Old 09-17-2007, 09:57 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by volvophile
........But Diesel fuel has a tendancy to rot and grow algea if it sits for to long....
Until this thread, I've never heard of this. Does anybody know why this is? Presumably, it's becuase there is water in the fuel. How does this happen? Are diesel fuel tanks more prone to leak, gas caps more poorly made? Can't have anything to do with the refining process. How is the water introduced into the equation?

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