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Old 03-17-2004, 10:06 AM   #1
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Truck dependability

I read a post earlier about the high cost of auto repairs and that was one of the reasons why they chose to purchase a gas engine rather than a diesel.
I service my vechicles on a regular basis and make repairs as needed. I have owned 4 cars in the last 12 years that I have put over 500,000 miles on them without any major engine/ transmission repairs with one exception the t-bird lost an engine at 175k miles. Have others had the same experience? My Jeep has 130K and my Dodge 250 has 120K.
What are your experiences?
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:17 AM   #2
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I've had good results on all of my gasoline tow vehicles. I do the oil changes, and transmission oil changes with adherence to schedule and use of the synthetics or semi-synthetic lubricants.

Tune up times on newer vehicles have been pushed to 100,000 miles, anti-freeze is 5 years, and my reliability has been excellent.

A move to diesal power for me would only be related to capacity issues where a gasoline fuel engine wasn't available.

Jack
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:24 AM   #3
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83 Honda Accord - 128,000 miles ... no major repairs
89 Honda Accord - 152,000 miles ... ditto
91 Ford Explorer - 126,000 miles ... ditto
98 Ford Windstar - 148,000 miles ... trans blew up at 140,000

Change all your fluids and filters early and often ... avoid short trips ... rotate your tires and keep 'em inflated ... warm it up for about a minute before driving ... and don't lug the engine.
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:32 AM   #4
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I agree - keep the fluids fresh and the tires aired up and balanced.

I drive my '03 F250 with the V10 gas engine approximately 150 miles a day. I change the oil every 5,000, trans every 15 to 20,000. Had tires put on at 44,000 and brakes at 52,000. Right now it has 57,000 and is ready for the oil change. Our 2000 Land Rover has 70,000 and it goes to the dealer for all it's factory recommended service at the recommended intervals. Only problems with it have been blown head gaskets at 40,000 miles. (Supposedly due to using regular unleaded as opposed to the recommended super unleaded.) We've also have a '95 F350 with the 460 auto that is a shop truck. It's had the same service program as the '03 truck and it's sitting at 260,000 miles on the original engine. Trans was replaced at 125,000. Still see's use everyday around town.

On a side note, just replaced the 700-15 LR "D" tires on the Overlander with Goodyear Marathons. Goodyear had them on sale for 89.95 which is not as cheap as Sam's but they were in stock. Also picked up a set of Centramatic wheel balancers to take care of balancing the running gear. I'm curious to see if the trailer tows any differently with the Marathon's.
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:00 PM   #5
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Truck dependability

My current (1999) Suburban is the only the fourth truck (other tow vehicles are/were cars) that I have used as my tow vehicle; and it is the best by far with my '84 Jeep Grand Wagoneer running a near second (186,000 miles at trade-in). The contest for the most exasperating tow vehicle would be between my '83 GMC G20 Vandura (45,000 miles at trade-in) and my '95 K1500 Z-71 Chevrolet Pickup (45,000 miles at trade-in). The frist two trucks towed my Overlander beatifully anywhere I wanted to go with minimal maintenance while the last two had deplorable towing performance and spent far too much time in the shop. All of the vehicles were purchased new except the Jeep, and all came with the highest rated trailer towing package.

The Suburban has covered 125,000 miles and continues to perform to my every expectation. No major repairs other than the electronic swtiching mechnism on the transfer case that was replaced under warranty five times - - a revised part that seems to have expected durability was installed at 80,000 miles (no more problems to date). The first set of tires (Firestone Steeltex Radials) had to be replaced at 44,000 miles. The current Michelin tires have 81,000 miles and just passed my dealer's inspection for another 6,000 miles. New disc pads were required at 70,000 miles and rear shoes were required at 98,000 miles. So far, my expenses on the Suburban (6 years/125,000 miles) have been less (other than for LOF) than with the '95 K1500 Chevrolet (3 years/45,000 miles) by in excess of $1,500. My current goal for the Suburban is 300,000 miles - - it was treated to the complete Ziebart/Tidy Car package when it was new as well as the annual maintenance so its appearance belies its actual mileage/age.

All four of my truck-based tow vehicles received recommended maintenance from my new car dealer. This included 3,000 mile oil change interval, 30,000 mile transmission service interval, new hoses and belts every fourth season, and radiator flush annually.

Kevin
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:08 PM   #6
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Kevin - just read your post concerning replacing the Firestone tires at 44,000 miles. That is exactly when they had to be replaced on my '03 F250 and on the 2000 F250 I had prior. The '95 F350 came with them and they too were replaced at 44,000 miles. That must be a magic number for the Steeltex. The F350 had the Steeltex highway tread and the F250s had the all terrain tread. I switched to Michelin on the '03, the XPS traction tires. Just had them rotated and balanced yesterday and with 13,000 miles on them they don't even look like they have started to wear.
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:44 PM   #7
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Truck dependability

Quote:
I switched to Michelin on the '03, the XPS traction tires. Just had them rotated and balanced yesterday and with 13,000 miles on them they don't even look like they have started to wear.
Even with 81,000 miles the Michelins still have adequate tread - - the tread-wear-bars aren't even beginning to make an appearance. If I wasn't aware of the number of miles on the tires, I wouldn't even be worried about replacement. Given the number of miles on the Michelins, I am planning on another set of similar Michelins before I start my major travels this summer - - the first two trips will be with my '75 Cadillac and Argosy Minuet - - probably won't be taking the Suburban on the road with a trailer until after the WBCCI International in July.

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Old 03-17-2004, 01:33 PM   #8
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High milage

The people I have work on some of my older cars, have a 1979 Chevrolet half ton pickup with Over 500,000 miles on it. It looks and runs like new. He rebuilt the engine at 300,000, and still uses the original starter and alternator(rebuilt many times but still the one that came with the car) This garage is a real time warp, they wont work on A/C systems or cars with computers.He said the biggest repair item is the windshield(9 times). His shop still has equiptment that is 30-40 years old, looking like new, including a dynomometer. A true site to be seen. Long appointment times, however. PJ
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:20 PM   #9
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I'll buy GM

I'm on my third Chevy truck; they have been flawless so far. none of them has ever been in for more than routine service from the day I drove them out of the dealer. The best thing I ever did was to buy a diesel for towing; it's a revelation how well it performs and the good mileage it gets while towing. I'll never tow a heavy trailer without a diesel again.

My one foray into the Dodge camp resulted in a transmission full of metal chips. The Allison gives me a real feeling of security.

If I can prevent anyone from running into me, this diesel should last out my towing days.
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:21 PM   #10
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I had a VW rabbit diesel that ran for 300K
I buy 2 year old and if I dont get 200K I think that I have been cheated.
Its all in the maint.
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:20 PM   #11
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Sold 1984 Old's 98 last year. 412,000...recored radiator, rebuilt trans twice and replaced water pump. Valve covers never off and carb. never touched. 305 V8...Valvoline 15w40 every 4000 miles.

Last rear wheel drive Old's 98.
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Old 03-17-2004, 05:26 PM   #12
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1997 Ranger, 4.0 5 speed-190,000 miles
1995 Ranger, 3.0 5 speed-132,000 miles
1988 Olds Delta 88-397,426 miles-blew engine, wiped out transmission when engine locked.
1995 Dakota, 5.2 Liter, 518 transmission, 119,000 miles, transmission replaced @117.000 miles
The "baby"- 1991 Jeep Cherokee, 4.0 Auto, 58,600 miles, replaced transmission @56,000.

Keeping the fluids changed seemed to really help most of my vehicles, the last two were the victims of the previous owners' neglect, never changed any fluids on them.
Terry
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Old 03-17-2004, 05:58 PM   #13
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It sounds like we all take care of our equipment. Almost without fail when a mechanical part failed aboard ship it was because of lack of lubrication. I'm a big fan of synthetic oil and use it in my Jeep, but not 100% convinced on using it in the Cummins, still using Shell Rotella T there. I am expecting 300K miles out of the engine pulling the 34' and I see no reason why I houldn't get it.
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Old 03-17-2004, 06:22 PM   #14
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Towing dependabilty

I agree with most of the other people, the secert to dependabilty is PM. We have never had a problem with any of ours. I always use Mobile One oil and a K&N air filter. We are currently near the Max of the Yukons rating with our 28ft CCD so we are changing over to a Ford V10. Desiel was an option but it was a $6,000 option. I have heard that deisels last forever but $6,000 will pay for a lot of PM and a lot of gas. Several people in our group do use diesels, I still feel that the american car makers are not using them to there full potintial. In europe you cant tell if its gas or deisel till you open the fule fill door, here you can hear a diesel from a mile away.
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