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Old 12-20-2020, 09:12 PM   #1
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Need some advice on a tow vehicle

Would love to get some opinions on what you would do in my situation. Headed out the past weekend for our camping trip and about 30 minutes into our trip my 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500HD gasser had a warning that said low oil pressure shut engine off immediately. We pulled over and checked the oil and it was full but there was no pressure. Had the truck towed to a dealership and a family member came and picked up my family and our trailer.

Got a call from the Chevy dealership and they said metal was all through out the engine and it would have to be completely replaced at a cost of $9,500. I asked if they would give me an offer to just buy the truck as is and I would use that money on a new truck. Still waiting for that number.

Iím the meantime wanted to see what you would do in this situation. Would you pay the $9,500 for a new gas engine or would you just buy a new truck with whatever the dealership offers as a value for the other truck? If I do get another truck Iím serious considering a diesel since this is the 2nd gas truck Iíve owned that had issues and left me stranded on the side of the road while towing. Current trailer is a 2013 International Serenity 30 RB. Just sent to the CAT scale 3 weeks ago and she weighs in right at 7,600 pounds fully loaded.

If I do get a new to us truck Iím just not sure if I should trust a used diesel even with low miles (less than 50K). Iíve never owned a diesel but here they can go for 200+ miles with no issues. Again just not sure if I spend a little more and get a new one or roll the dice on a used one. Or really roll the dice and fix current truck.

Thanks in advance for any and all input.
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Old 12-20-2020, 09:59 PM   #2
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Never owned a diesel. Those that have them rave about them. Those that don’t have them rave about not having them. I don’t think you will get an objective answer on this forum.

TFL truck has a good video on the pros and cons; I would search for the link on youtube. You will probably get a more balanced analysis. It is interesting that the guy who was a real diesel guy for TFL truck bought the new Ford HD with the 7.3 liter.

As an aside if you get a diesel, my son who is a diesel mechanic, says get an extended warranty.

All I can say is that it will cost you about $9500 more to get a diesel; about what it would cost for a new engine. But diesels are very nice because they have incredible power. As to new vs used there have been many improvements in new trucks which you may want to take advantage of. Tough decision.

If it was me: 1) If I towed a lot in the mountains I’d get a diesel because of the exhaust brake and the extra power. 2) If most of my towing is on the flats I’d probably stick with a gas.

New vs. used? What’s your pocket book look like
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Old 12-20-2020, 10:09 PM   #3
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I would get a second price on a new engine
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Old 12-21-2020, 04:40 AM   #4
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Definitely get a second quote for the engine, I agree with CRH. Online there are a number of truck blogs that track and report engine reliability and expected life. They provide an objective way for you to help answer your question about your current truck with a new engine. Here is one of many sites. You will find some consistency from site to site but it is good to check out two or three. https://chevytrucks.org/chevy-vortec...gine-problems/ search for Chevrolet ..... engine reliability problems or some such thing. You didn't say what engine you had, but this page has a list of them on the right.

So having looked at what you can expect from your current vehicle, if you decide to trade it in, you can use the same sites to see what you can expect from a different model, including a diesel. Towing a large trailer with a diesel does have many advantages, and you get most of the $10,000 extra cost back if and when you sell. I am sold on diesel for towing large trailers. Performance is superior by all objective towing measures. I do my own service but if you don't, the extra cost is not insignificant, so consider that. When towing you have to let the engine cool off about 5 min before turning off the engine and when not towing when you come off of highway speeds or hills. That gets a little tiresome in my opinion. Then there is the cost and hassle of DEF and dealing with (allowing for proper) soot filter regeneration so you don't get it plugged if you often drive short distances. If you are on the highway a lot it is not an issue.
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Old 12-21-2020, 06:31 AM   #5
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There are many companies out there who buy cars, as is. It’s a very simple process that involves answering a few questions online. Once the questions are answered, they make an instant offer online, then they meet you with a certified check and they take/tow the vehicle. They will likely make a better offer than the dealer. The dealer knows that they already have your vehicle and you want the transaction to be easy. They will lowball you.

I have a specific example. My son had a Subaru Forester with a similar issue. It had roughly 80,000 miles on the odometer. The Subaru dealer offered him $250 for the car. The service that I mentioned (sorry - I don’t recall which one) offered him $2,500. He used the service and then put the money towards a new Jeep Wrangler. The Subaru dealer couldn’t believe it.
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Old 12-21-2020, 07:23 AM   #6
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Tough question. HD trucks are selling at a premium right now. And may continue to. Our diesel truck has 250000 miles on it and I just spent $9000 on a rebuilt transmission and brakes at my local dealership. I looked at buying a new truck and was astounded at the price of a new diesel. And I have really gotten used to towing with this truck. I thought about trying to get a cheaper shop to fix it but when I realized I actually wanted to keep it the warranty and the trust in the shop made me go with the dealership. It took a month to get the Mopar transmission.

If I was you and I really liked the truck I had I would probably spend the $9000 to get it back on the road. To do that I would have to feel pretty good about what kind of rebuild the $9000 would get. I assume that is a GM certified rebuild of some sort with about a 3 year warranty? I would have to feel pretty good about the dealer who did the work. In some sense $9000 is not a big deal in todays market. Maybe the first years depreciation on a new truck.

A third alternative is to shop for a cheaper rebuild with maybe an eye towards trading the truck within a year or so.

My experience with dealing with major failures is that I think you will improve your position by fixing the current truck before you attempt a trade or sale and purchase.
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Old 12-21-2020, 07:36 AM   #7
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"THEY SAID"...did you eye-ball & confirm?

Did they drop the oil pan...call you in to the shop and point out the.."metal was all through out the engine".

I would first confirm the diagnosis. Low OP does not always equal metal particles. No pressure on a running engine could very well be a faulty pressure sender.

Having some experience in GM service, that R&R 'repair' will be much more expensive at a dealer.

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Old 12-21-2020, 08:10 AM   #8
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As for gas vs diesel, I have had both as tow vehicles.

My Titan XD has a 5 liter Cummins diesel. It has been flawless ó never back to the dealer for any reason. It tows my 27í Safari very nicely. It is quiet and comfortable.

But, oil changes (every 7500 miles or so) run $100. A $10 jug of DEF every 3000 miles or so. Fuel filters every 7500 miles or so are $75. Other than truck stops, there is one diesel pump for every ten gas pumps.

My previous truck, a Nissan Titan 1st Gen with a 5.6 liter gasser, ran on regular gas, an oil change was $35. No DEF, no fuel filter changes... It was quiet and comfortable. I traded it in at 216,000 miles (80,000+ towing) and everything worked but the CD player.

If my truck gets hit by a meteor, I will buy the exact same rig but with a gas prime mover...
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Old 12-21-2020, 08:11 AM   #9
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Whether to fix or replace depends a lot on how much you like your truck.

As for diesel vs gasser, I think I can provide some objective advice. I have a Ford 6.7 diesel and love it. BUT I don’t think you should buy a diesel because you think it will be more reliable or less hassle than a gasser.

The modern diesels provide incredible torque and great power for towing. To get that performance the engines are very complex....like a fuel system that can produce 30,000 psi on the fuel rail. The emissions systems are also very complex and can be a failure point. That’s not to scare you away from diesel, but that’s the reality. Diesel ownership involves more diligence and messing around (lubricity fuel additives, periodic draining of the water separator, etc). While these things are not required by Ford, after enough research and reading the Ford Powerstroke Forums, I realized it was a smart practice to adopt.

. It’s a trade off I was glad to make, but you should be aware of.

There you have it. Good luck with your decision
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:14 AM   #10
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disturbing the force....

How many miles on the other truck components? An engine swap is not trivial and if you go that way, be prepared for the call that starts "with the engine out we found..." or "as long as we are in there...". Not saying don't do it, just give a margin to your thought process; consider all those parts ran together up until now.

Echo the thought about metal all through the engine... in the aircraft world, my banker would swear off drink on hearing my reaction to those words. But rather than pulling the pan, we simply cut open the oil filter at every oil change. If you are curious about root cause, assuming visual confirmation of glitter in the pleats, Blackstone labs can analyze a small oil sample and determine the source(s) of the metal.

If you like all else with the truck and it is not on the cusp of a number of other purchases like tires, batteries, alternator, transmission etc., then a replacement engine can make sense - the earlier post mentioned depreciation on a new rig as a wise comparison for scale. Remember a new engine in anything may come with a towing limitation in the first 500-1000 miles, so plan accordingly.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:20 AM   #11
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$9600 sound like a lot to have an engine replaced. Iíd get another estimate.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:42 AM   #12
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I had a Touareg with the 3 liter diesel. It was a torque machine. My current Interstate has a similar 3 liter and climbs over the Rockies. If I were looking for a TV, I might at least give the F-150 with the 7.2kw generator a look. Does anyone know what the THD numbers are coming out of the generator?
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:43 AM   #13
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New Chevy engines have the oil filter on the pan...when the oil pan gasket O- rings fail..the oil is just going back into the pan... neighbor replaced a 5.3 for $3500 with a reman...a new one was 7000$...I like my 2500 ram 4 x 4 with the cummins.....no problems
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KK4YZ View Post
Whether to fix or replace depends a lot on how much you like your truck.

As for diesel vs gasser, I think I can provide some objective advice. I have a Ford 6.7 diesel and love it. BUT I donít think you should buy a diesel because you think it will be more reliable or less hassle than a gasser.

....Diesel ownership involves more diligence and messing around (lubricity fuel additives, periodic draining of the water separator, etc). While these things are not required by Ford, after enough research and reading the Ford Powerstroke Forums, I realized it was a smart practice to adopt.

. Itís a trade off I was glad to make, but you should be aware of.

....
Jim
Iíll certainly search for Powerstroke Forums , but if you have a list/spreadsheet of your maintenance practices and schedule above and beyond Fordís, please post/send. Thanks
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Old 12-21-2020, 10:40 AM   #15
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Hi Joel,

I brought a new 2018 Ram 2500 diesel at the end of the model year at a great discount, and couldn't be happier. The truck handles my Classic very well on hills, mountains and flat land without any difficulties. I love the exhaust brake on hills.....The local dealer I brought it from even threw in free oil changes for life....I looked around quite a bit for the best pricing and eventually made the deal with a local Ram dealer. A friend of mine just sold his older Ram diesel for almost what he paid for it new....so resale value is very high. I think you would be quite happy with the Ram model truck if you decide to buy a new one.
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Old 12-21-2020, 11:23 AM   #16
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I don't trust any dealer w/out seeing proof of prob. $9500 lot of money when rebuilt by reputable rebuilders lots less $$ still get warranty w/them. My mother fried engine because no oil. Olds Dealer in Arizona sold her new engine when she died I went to pick up her car I went to same dealer to have air checked and recharge if need as very hot in july in Az. charged to check & charge air. [picked up car & left dealer for Il.] Air did not cool when I got back in Il youngest son checked air, they drained freon when I called said had to because of new refrig. laws, wouldn't refund money pd. Son stated was old junk yard engine installed and all wires were cut and patched w/poor job. This supposed to be reputable factory dealer. IMO get second opinion for any repairs. It has happened to me w/several dealers for repair estimates in Il. I did not bite just walked fixed several my self under $25 when dealer quoted over $500 then lied but I had in writing made complaint to BBB nothing done as to complaint. IMO you do not any thing about mech. or subject having trouble w/or older as stated get 2nd opinion.
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Old 12-21-2020, 11:29 AM   #17
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As to my post #16 I have used a few rebuilt Jasper engines and Japse rebuilt w/wheel drive transfer trans all w/ good results. I'm not Jasper sales just user.
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Old 12-21-2020, 11:29 AM   #18
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I went diesel in 2008. I have never been sorry. My GMC Duramax/Allison has 207K on the odometer. At 12 years old a few gremlins have appeared recently. Nothing serious but costing 2K in repairs. I have spent about another 3K over the years on things like brake controller module, fuel gauge sending unit, glow plugs, etc. It has never left me stranded by the side of the road. It is still the best truck I have ever owned. My last gas truck cost me 6500 in repairs in five years.
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Old 12-21-2020, 11:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Read View Post
Iíll certainly search for Powerstroke Forums , but if you have a list/spreadsheet of your maintenance practices and schedule above and beyond Fordís, please post/send. Thanks
Sure. Hereís where I deviate from Fords schedule:

Oil change: Ford has oil life monitor that will vary the schedule based on actual driving conditions. I change the oil every 5-6 K miles (about $160). Typically I have 50% oil life remaining according to the truck computer. I Use shell Rotella T6.

Fuel Filters(2). Ford says to change every 22k miles. I change every other oil change. This is important since you really want to protect that high pressure fuel pump that produces the 30KPSI.

Every 1-2 months I drain about a quart of fuel from the primary filter (which also separates water out of the fuel) to get any water out of the reservoir. To date only once did I see a small pinhead volume of water in there.

Fuel additives:
1) Stanadyne Lubricity Formula. The current Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel doesnít have the lubricity of previous fuel or bio diesel. again, protecting that fuel pump.

2) I also add Better Diesel FBC to reduce the soot produced by the engine. It reduces the frequency of ďregenerationsĒ. I also figure itíll keep the EGR cooler and turbine vanes cleaner.

Opinions will vary about doing all of this, but these same considerations about protecting the fuel pump, etc apply to all modern diesels; not just Ford. Some people just drive the truck and perform recommend upkeep. Iím just more OCD about this stuff.

It sounds like a lot, but itís not so bad. I DO enjoy the diesel towing experience!

I hope that helps.
Jim
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Old 12-21-2020, 12:09 PM   #20
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I'd never have a dealer do an engine swap, and I wouldn't take the dealerships word on what's wrong. If this is an L96, you should be able to get a solid crate engine for under $5000, far less if you can find a decent motor in a junkyard. If it were me, I'd find a good independent mechanic, have him take a look, ask about options for a used swap or buying a crate, and have him get you a firm price. Only five years old, the chassis should have plenty of life left. I think there's a less expensive way to keep it on the road.
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