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View Full Version : Tow Rig Hunting...



Steven_Mc
May 15th, 2011, 04:27 AM
First off I'll put it up front I'm a complete newb when it comes to diesels.

I'm looking to spend less than $20K. What do I need to know? I'm not afraid to drive or fly to bring home the right truck, and I've already come across several that appear to be good deals. What kind of things do I need to be leery of or watch out for? I've heard from several folks that great deals can be found especially when you get away from the metro areas.

At this 10 seconds I'm leaning toward an 05 to 07 Ford F250 or 350. In my searches most trucks around this price range are right around 100K miles, I know this is no big deal for a diesel, but are there things I should expect to have to pay for right from the get go (maintenance, upgrades, mods, etc)?

Eventually I'll get a trailer to haul the jeep, but for the most part this will be a part time DD, and just general use truck to haul stuff or help people move.

Manual or Automatic?

What other resources or websites are out there for info and such on these trucks?

TIA!

madbob
May 15th, 2011, 05:38 AM
I have an '02 F350 (I beleive the last year of the 7.3) and love it. I know a couple guys with newer fords with the 6.0 and they have all had problems. I think the head bolts are weak and lead to head gasket problems. Other than that, good luck with your search.

pluto
May 15th, 2011, 06:10 AM
In that price range I would get a LLY Duramax. You get a good strong 6 speed Allison and you don't have the injector issues the Lb7's have.

I would avoid the 6.0 Fords, Dodge automatics from 2006 and earlier, the LB7 duramax, and the Ford auto behind the 7.3. Your best bet is to go test drive them all and see what you like, they all have pros and cons.

ENHRider14
May 15th, 2011, 07:21 AM
Stay away from the 6.0L Ford and the newer 6.4L Ford. They are junk.

Impaired
May 15th, 2011, 07:42 AM
In that price range I would get a LLY Duramax.

This. hopefully find one bone stock with no mods at all.


We had probs with all of our 05-06 fords and dodges. I have a friend running a 2002 ford 7.3L with 190k on it and still runs strong. tranny is about done but motor is good.

Steven_Mc
May 15th, 2011, 07:50 AM
I have an '02 F350 (I beleive the last year of the 7.3) and love it. I know a couple guys with newer fords with the 6.0 and they have all had problems. I think the head bolts are weak and lead to head gasket problems. Other than that, good luck with your search.


Stay away from the 6.0L Ford and the newer 6.4L Ford. They are junk.

Ok, so you are saying every 6.0L that came from Ford from '02 to '06 was junk? They stopped making the 7.3 in '02 (very hard to find as I understand) and the '08s are out of my price range. Should I just steer clear of Ford entirely?


In that price range I would get a LLY Duramax. You get a good strong 6 speed Allison and you don't have the injector issues the Lb7's have.

I would avoid the 6.0 Fords, Dodge automatics from 2006 and earlier, the LB7 duramax, and the Ford auto behind the 7.3. Your best bet is to go test drive them all and see what you like, they all have pros and cons.

How do I distinguish an LLY Duramax from the LB7?

I'm looking for something that will be reliable and hopefully not present a ton of issues. I knew the Fords had some years with problems, but I didn't realize all of the 6.0L were plagued with problems.

Thanks! Keep the info coming!

lj06
May 15th, 2011, 07:55 AM
2wd or 4wd
they all have their share of problems
go test drive them all and try to find a stock one

Steve
May 15th, 2011, 07:56 AM
Ok, so you are saying every 6.0L that came from Ford from '02 to '06 was junk?

That is complete and utter :bs:

Every one of these threads here is long on opinions and short on facts unfortunately. One person saying something on an interweb forum with no facts to back it up doesn't make it true. Every brand and year has pros and cons. If you're looking for a DD and very occasional tow rig, they'll all work if you get one in decent condition.

FWIW I've had my '05 F250 with the 6.0 for several years and have had no problems with it. YMMV.

lj06
May 15th, 2011, 08:17 AM
remember back in those days money was easy So alot of people just would just buy a diesel Then go out and buy what ever was the newest programmer was, put the largest tire on and go blown smoke around town I feel sorry for you having to sort through all the abused and unmaintained trucks out there and shit on the web

Bostonbob
May 15th, 2011, 09:45 AM
go w/ a stock truck, preferably a 1 owner, not a 20 year olds toy 1ooo lb ft of tq and 700 hp sounds good untill you have to fix it

pluto
May 15th, 2011, 10:54 AM
The LLY is from 04.5 up into 06, For 20 I would also look a the LBZ Duramax. Personally I like a little older trucks to save on tags every year. As for what Steve said on the 6.0 :rolleyes: Take a look over at Dieselstop in the 6.0 forum. I can tell you the 6.0 runs very strong but they are plagued with very very expensive problems. The 6.0 is like playing russian roulette.

I had a 7.3, I liked it, the Tranny sucked and even the 4k tranny I put in it couldn't compare to the Allison in my Dmax. I have the LB7, I love it. Very powerful and gets amazing fuel economy. I haven't had any injector problems but new about it when I bought it. I don't like car payments so I was willing to risk some repair expense. In the newer duramax LLY and LBZ, you don't have the injector issues and the Allison is the six speed, it can hold quit a bit more power than the 5 speed in the LB7. I still think you should drive them all and look in all the forums and make up your own mind.

commandoNate
May 15th, 2011, 11:01 AM
I just picked up a 2000 f350, 7.3, auto for 11k. 130,000 miles, 1 owner, bone stock and its an awesome truck. The 7.3 will drag a house and still get 10+mpg. 14 or so with no mods around town. The 4R100 auto is a beefy unit and will last as long as you change the fluid and filter every 25k miles or so.

I would also recommend taking a hard look at some of the later year dodge's with the 5.9 cummins. (I believe they went to the 6.7 cummins in 08 or so) That is a tried and true motor that has been around for decades. As stated earlier their auto's leave something to be desired in stock form but can be built to handle anything you can throw at it. Many of them will have the 6 speed manual which is damn sweet.

I don't know a damn thing about the duramax trucks, take your advise on those from someone who knows more than I do.

Good luck on your search. And remember with the price of diesel climbing, the price of trucks might come down a bit in the next 6 months.

quadracer812
May 15th, 2011, 11:29 AM
I did a ton of research on the 6.0 powerstroke before I purchased my 05. everyone on the interweb will tell you they are junk. talk to people who own them and they say most have had not problems. the 03 and early 04 had the most problems. they changed alot in 04 1/2 and some more in 05. try to get a 05 and newer. the main problems are the oil cooler plugging and melting the egr cooler, if diagnosed wrong they act like a head gasket and alot of people put head gaskets on without needing to.

Steven_Mc
May 15th, 2011, 12:43 PM
That is complete and utter :bs:

Every one of these threads here is long on opinions and short on facts unfortunately. One person saying something on an interweb forum with no facts to back it up doesn't make it true. Every brand and year has pros and cons. If you're looking for a DD and very occasional tow rig, they'll all work if you get one in decent condition.

FWIW I've had my '05 F250 with the 6.0 for several years and have had no problems with it. YMMV.

My parents taught me at a young age not to believe everything I read, I think that is truer now than ever!

Thanks all for the opinions. Keep them coming! I'm not in a rush, and I do intend to drive each of the diesels on the market and decide for myself. Knowing what gotchas to look out for will just make my hunt all the more effective!

Steve
May 15th, 2011, 03:28 PM
As for what Steve said on the 6.0 :rolleyes: Take a look over at Dieselstop in the 6.0 forum. I can tell you the 6.0 runs very strong but they are plagued with very very expensive problems. The 6.0 is like playing russian roulette.

The vast majority of 6.0's have zero problems. Those owners don't post about how good their trucks are. The owners with problems do. That's to be expected.

The 2001 Cummins I had was complete junk and cost me thousands in very expensive repairs. I guess in some people's world that means all 5.9 Cummins are "plagued with very very expensive problems" too. :rolleyes:

Chris Halvorson
May 15th, 2011, 05:53 PM
I would go test drive every single one. First find what you like.

Get on some of the diesel forums and do some research. I personally would not be asking diesel advice on here....opinions vary....and we have way to many die hard brand lunatics.

You may find the one you like is not the one for you.

If you think none of the big 3 have issues, your in for a big eye opener. 100k miles isn't much for a diesel, but it is still a few miles...don't kid yourself.

Steve
May 15th, 2011, 06:01 PM
I would go test drive every single one. First find what you like.

Get on some of the diesel forums and do some research. I personally would not be asking diesel advice on here....opinions vary....and we have way to many die hard brand lunatics.

You may find the one you like is not the one for you.

If you think none of the big 3 have issues, your in for a big eye opener. 100k miles isn't much for a diesel, but it is still a few miles...don't kid yourself.

Best advice so far. :thumbsup: They all have pros and cons.

osue077
May 15th, 2011, 10:07 PM
Just know up front, Diesels are much more expensive, PERIOD. Maintenance, fuel, repairs, everything is just more.
I have a 6.0 Ford, and I've had a 7.3 My dad has a cummins, and my uncle and next door neighbor both have (one just got a new engine) a duramax. They all have issues and they are all junk, with lots of power.
If you buy a used 6.0 - get an oasis from Ford and plan on this (http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/general-6-0l-discussion/192578-you-ostrich-your-head-sand.html).

If you have any questions PM me. I gladly answer any questions regarding these trucks.

GPP33
May 15th, 2011, 10:13 PM
After you drive them all and decide which one you want start looking at brand specific web sites for that truck to find out what to look for as far as potential problems.

I'll say it again, they all have problems, some years of some brands have more, others have less. Just remember, most of the stuff you'll read on line will focus on the problems, those are the people who post. I am yet to get on line and post about how my truck just passed another 10k without any problems what-so-ever. Oh wait, I just did.....

And 100k is nothing for the engine. Remember though, that engine is attached to a tranny, u-joints, and axles. There's ball joints, TRE's, electronics, controls and all sorts of other stuff to go wrong. Not to mention wear on the interior and exterior of the truck.