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Old 03-15-2014, 05:33 PM   #1
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2003 Dodge diesel or newer gasser??

I see a nice 2003 dodge2500 HD*** LARAMIE PKG with 5.9 turbo Cummings for sale in my area with only 141K miles for a TV,, or should i look at a 2009 or so gas motor in the 4.7 to 5.7 V8 type..

Remember reading about the change in diesel fuel in 2005 so was wondering about older diesel motors and what could be plus or negatives of the new fuel and pumps in older motors..

ps the dodge is going for $14,500 sounds like a deal. the truck is pristine condition just in looking at pictures.

opinions welcome.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:47 PM   #2
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If you get it, use it. The biggest problems with those trucks is letting it sit a month or six weeks, then trying to use it. One of our shop trucks is this basic configuration, and the problems we have with it seem to be from sitting around too much.
So, it sounds like a good excuse to go camping often.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:58 PM   #3
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thanks terry,,
it would be something i am looking at in the future. was more interested in the fuel aspect of ownership of an older ie, pre 2005 model and how they handle the new UL sulfur diesel fuel.

and i agree with not letting a truck sit for long periods of time.. even in the gas models they like to get out every so often and wramp a bit.

now if i had something to pull....
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:44 PM   #4
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Not trying to influence which way you go, however, I have a 99 Dodge Cummins I bought new and it curently has 576,000 miles on it. The change to ULSD fuel may have had an insignificant affect on mileage but did not hurt the truck in any way.
I replaced the original injection pump at 458,000 and the injectors are still original so that pretty well says the newer fuel is not a problem.
The engine has never been touched other than that
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:36 AM   #5
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thanks rick.
that is nice to know for sure.

When i was in trucking in the early 80's one company i drove for used all 290 Cummings engines and another one used the 8v71 Detroit diesels. The DD would spin up faster but it seem to me the 290 had more torque overall and run at lower rpm. I think the 290 were topping out at 1800 rpm or so and the DD would run some 24-2500 rpm..

sorta reminds me of a ninja motor cycle spinning at 10K rpm..

That make the cumming engine, to me, a more desirable one. Would love to buy something now but will not have a TT for a couple more years at least so this would get little use during the year.

what years were they having problem with fuel pump on the dodge cummings..? i seem to remember reading about this as well. and injectors seem to be come a problem but that could be a different year.

again thanks
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:59 AM   #6
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I've got a 98 Ram with the Cummins, and it's doing just fine thank you very much. 141k means it's barely broken in.....Phil.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:20 AM   #7
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Carl,

If you've never owned or driven a Dodge Cummins, go test drive the one you're interested in before passing on it. That engine lives to pull.

Gary
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:47 AM   #8
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I have a 2003 Ram 2500 diesel 4X4 automatic with the Laramie package. It is a quad cab with a short bed.

I have owned it since new and have had no problems with it. It is an excellent tow vehicle for my Classic 31. It climbs the Rocky Mountain passes easily.

I have no problems with the ULSD fuel, although at the advice of others who know more than I, I add a bottle of this at each fill up.

Stanadyne Performance Formula :: The most comprehensive, multi-function diesel fuel additive available

It's purpose is to restore the lubricant lost with removal of the sulphur.

My truck has only 72,000 miles as it is used only for towing and household hauling. I do make a point of driving it at least once every couple weeks and make sure it gets to drive a while at normal operating temperature.

Here is a picture of our dodge. It now has a shell in place of the tonneau so the bikes can stay dry and we carry more stuff. If we take the kayaks now, they travel on a rack on the shell.

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Old 03-16-2014, 11:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl2591 View Post
thanks rick.
that is nice to know for sure.


what years were they having problem with fuel pump on the dodge cummings..? i seem to remember reading about this as well. and injectors seem to be come a problem but that could be a different year.

again thanks
My 99 and probably a couple later had problems with the lift pump (not the injection pump) There are various aftermarket pumps and Dodge also had a fix installing an in tank pump.
I think I am on my 4th one. Never had any damage or noticeable running problems from them. I would check the fuel pressure when changing the fuel filter. If the pressure was low or the pump sounded funny I would change it. The original pump can be treated as a maintenance item and just changed every 100,000 or so. Later they went to an in tank pump and I have not heard of many problems.
I would still take the 99 anywhere even with half a million on it but we recently bought a 2013 and moved the 99 back to second truck status.

My experience with the 99 has been so positive that I did not even consider another brand, although I am sure they are good products also
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:43 AM   #10
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Those early Cummins are really loud and all diesels have more maintenance and fuel issues/expensive than do gas engines. It's all a matter of "want" rather than "need" when it comes to a decision of diesel vs gasoline engines.
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:25 PM   #11
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Those early Cummins are really loud and all diesels have more maintenance and fuel issues/expensive than do gas engines. It's all a matter of "want" rather than "need" when it comes to a decision of diesel vs gasoline engines.
I think you are talking about things you have heard, not things you have experienced. I don't know what early Cummins you are talking about, because My 2003 (which is the year we are discussing) Dodge is significantly quieter than the same year Ford, and not a whole lot noisier than a gas truck. When you are driving it, you don't really notice any diesel specific noise at all. There has been no more maintenance required than there would be on a similarly equipped gasoline truck. I do however agree that it is a matter of choice. So are most things in life.

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Old 03-16-2014, 12:31 PM   #12
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These threads always seem to morph in this direction, don't they?
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:48 PM   #13
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The One thing that is keeping me from wanting to get a newer diesel is this stuff:

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)


Just what I need is one more thing to have become empty and cause the engine not to run.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that 2003 and the first half of 2004 are the last Dodge diesels that can accept regular (not LSD or ULSD) diesel. I don't know, however, if that is in use anywhere in the world anymore. However, it gives me a secure feeling knowing that I can dump just about anything (almost) in it, in an emergency.

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Old 03-16-2014, 01:53 PM   #14
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Diesel Exhaust fluid is not a problem..It is now readily available at truck stops at the pump and even in walmart. Consumption seems to be in the neighborhood of 1000 miles to the gallon. On my 2013 I filled the DEF tank at 2000 miles. Don't know how much was there from the dealer originally. I also bought a jug of the stuff figuring I would need to carry some. Been carrying it since september and figure I need to get it in the truck before it gets too old but after 2500 miles I am not sure I could get the whole 2.5 gallons in as the gauge still has the 5.5 gallon tank 3/4 full.

What remains to be seen is how reliable the delivery system will be, but the cost of the fluid and the amount used is insignificant.
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:05 PM   #15
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Diesel Exhaust fluid is not a problem..It is now readily available at truck stops at the pump and even in walmart. Consumption seems to be in the neighborhood of 1000 miles to the gallon. On my 2013 I filled the DEF tank at 2000 miles. Don't know how much was there from the dealer originally. I also bought a jug of the stuff figuring I would need to carry some. Been carrying it since september and figure I need to get it in the truck before it gets too old but after 2500 miles I am not sure I could get the whole 2.5 gallons in as the gauge still has the 5.5 gallon tank 3/4 full.

What remains to be seen is how reliable the delivery system will be, but the cost of the fluid and the amount used is insignificant.
Thanks,

That is helpful information.

Ken
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:31 PM   #16
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nice rig man.. what is your mpg towing and not towing. I know how diesels can go up hill pulling with no problem but i wonder the difference in fuel cost between gas and diesel over time.

I think a good older 2003 ish diesel with under 200k miles for 13-15K can be a good deal vs a 2008 gaser with 130K miles. for 21-23K. It will take a while to use up the difference in fuel.

also see the kayaks on top.. i was looking at the sea eagle inflatables Sport Kayaks – Inflatable Kayaks For One or Two Adults – from SeaEagle.com - Prices start at just $239. FREE SHIPPING to lower 48 US States.
in reading some reviews on amazon guy like u that are hard shell users give the boat a thumbs up and when done they deflate and fold up to put in a bag..
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:00 PM   #17
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nice rig man.. what is your mpg towing and not towing. I know how diesels can go up hill pulling with no problem but i wonder the difference in fuel cost between gas and diesel over time.

I think a good older 2003 ish diesel with under 200k miles for 13-15K can be a good deal vs a 2008 gaser with 130K miles. for 21-23K. It will take a while to use up the difference in fuel.

also see the kayaks on top.. i was looking at the sea eagle inflatables Sport Kayaks – Inflatable Kayaks For One or Two Adults – from SeaEagle.com - Prices start at just $239. FREE SHIPPING to lower 48 US States.
in reading some reviews on amazon guy like u that are hard shell users give the boat a thumbs up and when done they deflate and fold up to put in a bag..
I find that I do a lot better psychologically if I don't think much about MPG.

However the truck empty on the highway at 60-65 gets about 19 MPG. If I'm willing to drive 55mph it can be a bit over 20. It will go down to about 17 or so at freeway 75 MPH.

We do a lot of towing on the interstate. Our self imposed speed limit is 65. I have found that our here in the west, the wind direction and velocity have a lot to do with MPG. On a calm day on the level at 65 mph we will show about 14 MPG. A good tail wind can make it about 15.5 Max. However a stiff headwind will drop it as low as 11.5 I'm happy when its around 13.

When we carry the kayaks on the shell, I can fit a wider cross bar, so they ride flat rather than on edge. We secure them very well, because my worst nightmare would be to glance in the rear view mirror just in time to see one slam into the front of the trailer.

The inflatables would be a great camping solution.

I am an avid bicycle rider and have arthritis a bit in both shoulders, so these Hobie mirage drives are great for me.

We originally had a tandem, but since we are both fairly independent (stubborn), we decided that two singles were better for our relationship.





Ken
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:10 PM   #18
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Here we go; there is no doubt that most diesels will get better mileage, if all things are equal, but they aren't. Diesel engines cost as much as $9,000 more to start with vs a gasser. The you must add the additional cost of the diesel fuel over gasoline, plus the added cost of oil changes (15 qts vs 7 qts for a gasser), then there's the cost of fuel filters ($25-50 for a diesel vs $10 for a gas), and now, there is the urea tank issue that costs upwards of $75 every time you change oil or need to add it. If you happen to run low, the sensor will shut off your engine, so you must always carry some with you. The older diesels have a "sootbag" that collects all of the diesel soot and must be "regenerated" and burned off, which ruins your fuel mileage at the least, or plugs up the sensor and shuts off your engine. All said and done, diesels are made to tow, and if you tow a lot, then a diesel may be made for you. But if you only tow a short period of time, then you are waisting your time and money.....but again, that's your choice.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:19 PM   #19
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Here we go; there is no doubt that most diesels will get better mileage, if all things are equal, but they aren't. Diesel engines cost as much as $9,000 more to start with vs a gasser. The you must add the additional cost of the diesel fuel over gasoline, plus the added cost of oil changes (15 qts vs 7 qts for a gasser), then there's the cost of fuel filters ($25-50 for a diesel vs $10 for a gas), and now, there is the urea tank issue that costs upwards of $75 every time you change oil or need to add it. If you happen to run low, the sensor will shut off your engine, so you must always carry some with you. The older diesels have a "sootbag" that collects all of the diesel soot and must be "regenerated" and burned off, which ruins your fuel mileage at the least, or plugs up the sensor and shuts off your engine. All said and done, diesels are made to tow, and if you tow a lot, then a diesel may be made for you. But if you only tow a short period of time, then you are waisting your time and money.....but again, that's your choice.
We're not going to go anywhere, because he asked about a particular older truck (the same year and model that I own), versus buying a newer gas truck. So unless you have some personal experience to relate about a 2003 Dodge Ram Diesel, that I take exception to, I'm not going to react to your generalizations except to say that much of what you say does not apply to this year and model, if it does to any.

Ken
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:38 PM   #20
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, and now, there is the urea tank issue that costs upwards of $75 every time you change oil or need to add it. If you happen to run low, the sensor will shut off your engine, so you must always carry some with you..
Even though I did post on the DEF issue the OP is right, It does not have anything to do with the truck in question, nor does regeneration.
Not sure where the $75. number comes from either
DEF at the pump is $ 2.79 a gallon and is readily available at any auto part store as well. There is no need to carry any. $15. worth of DEF will run thousands of miles and if running low the truck gives warning for 100's of mile in advance of going to a limp mode.
The truck won't run if you run out of fuel either but most of us don't feel the need to carry an extra jug of it around.
It is pointless to argue about the difference between what you NEED and what you want.
If we bought what we need most of us wouldn't own an Airstream either.

My apology for encouraging this off topic argument. I will try to resist doing it again.
As the owner of 2 Cummins diesels at the present time (99 and 2013) and a member of the Cummins High Mileage club my comments are based on real world experience
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