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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know the diesel pickups get better MPG then most gas models, but how much better? What could I expect to get out of a lightly loaded 3/4 ton 4x4 on the hiway? I REALY want to get another truck, becouse I REALY miss my old F250, but just cant live with the 1MPG anymore. BTW, sorry Chevy guys, but mostly just intrested in a Dodge, or Ford.:D
 

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I do about 17-19 fighting traffic on the tollway. 27miles each way to work. On the open road at about 75mph, I do about 21.

On a 3300 mile trip with the back of the bed full above cab height, towing a 2 axel, 4 wheel bumper pull trailer hauling a chevy caprice classic car... I 70 heading east over the big pass into denver, I did 13.5 on that trip. Only hauled the car one way, pulled the trailer empty going back.

All of that with a '99 F250 super duty, power stroke automatic, 4x4.

-Deere
 

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Paul, I get about 22 - 23 mpg running empty. I poop along at about 57 mph though. Mileage will drop like a rock above this. At 75 mph I get around 16 - 17 mpg. Towing a load of firewood ( trailer holds about 1.5 cords so total weight is about 7,500 - 8,000 lbs. I get about 17 - 18 mpg driving about 55 mph. My previous truck (Suburban K2500 got about 14 mpg running empty and about 8 - 10 mpg towing. The extra fuel mileage is nice but I got the diesel for the torque and strong pulling power. The gas engine just didn't have the umph I expected and the gas mileage was attrocious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
WOW!! Better then I expected. Most of the time I drive about 20 min on the hiway to work, running about 67 mph.[as I get older, I relize that I am just not in a hurry to get anywere any more:D ] but in the summer we take a trip to Cape cod about every other weekend. About 3 1/2-4 hours. And I also tow a boat that is about 4500lbs. The half ton van does good, but needs a bit more power for crossing the berkseres in Mass, and only pulls down about 10 mpg towing, and 16 empty. Pluss I REALY need a truck. Seems like I am always bowering the truck from work to do something.
 

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If you use a truck for a lot of hauling and towing; a diesel might be a good way to go. Most diesel engine options cost about $5000 extra. That is MUCHO dinosaur juice that could be purchased the that much money. On the other hand, it you tow long distances with a moderate to heavy load, the diesel PROVIDED it is hooked up to a manual transmission can provide a HUGE cost savings not only in gas that would otherwise have been consumed, but repair costs on automatic transmissions and engines. The other REALLY nice advantage of a diesel/manual transmission combination is that you can use an exhaust brake with saves big bucks and hastle on vehicle breaks and related issues. In my case, I can pull a 10,000 lb. load easy with 3.55 gears and not suffer due to 6 speeds to choose from and a low granny gear.

In my opinion Ford makes the best interior CrewCab truck body. Dodge has the best power train. The Chevy Duramax falls in there somewhere between as a mix between the two. The fact that GM does not offer the Duramax with a manual transmission tells volumes about less than consumer friendly design. The Allision transmission is already maxed out with the current Duramax and did not do very well when I test drove one. The check engine light came on and the transmission was leaking profusely at the end of the test drive. (no, I did not dog the truck and drove it like I do my own :D ) Bottom line is that I would recommend you go and test drive them all and see which one is suited to your likeing. Lots of good new and used deals out there right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So any thoughts on the Ford, or Dodge auto trans? How much do you think that would drop MPG? I realy want a gear trans, BUT as you all know, we have to sell it to the CFO also. Wile she can drive a standerd, she would perfer an auto.

Also I would not be looking new. I would have to get something a few years old. What is more common out there, auto, or std? Anything to watch out for with used?
 

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I would strong advise AGAINST and automatic trans. behind a diesel. Ford and Dodge both have horrible auto transmissions with poor durability records. You also cannot use an exhaust brake with an automatic trans. without substantial modification. DTT and ATS make an upgraded or modified transmission for both Ford and Dodge that will hold up well but they are VERY expensive. In my opinion, Dodge has the best manual trans. drive train. The NV5600 transmission is the strongest in the pickup market. Chevy has the best transmission currently with the Allison 1000 series trans. but they have their share of problems too. Many folks do just fine with the automatic transmissions and are happy with them. This is just my opinion above. Here are some good forums to follow to get a feel for customer satisfaction and learn more about each particular brand. I researched for 3 years following the forums. Almost bought the Ford until I saw how many problems they had (Dodge has their share too) GM was out of the question for me. Worst of the lot in my opinion (although I know several very happy owners)

Turbo Diesel Register

The Diesel Stop

The
Diesel Page




These 3 links should cove all the big three diesel pickups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Chief. I have been reading about the problems with the 6.0l Ford. Now that was a NEW engine just the last year or so right? The older ones having the same problems, or just the 6.0's?
 

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The 6.0 came out in the last year. The 7.3 liter Power Stroke engines are much more reliable but have problems with fuel cackle. Ford covered up the problem by replacing the #8 injector with a long lead injector; it is not a very good fix. The 7.3 liters I have seen are oil leakers pretty bad. Engine compartment if very cramped and hard to work in too. The Ford automatic transmission is a really bad weak point as is the Dodge. I was not very impressed the the 7.3 Power Stroke; it did not have the low end power I like in the Cummins and you had to really rev it up high to get the power. Stock, the 7.3 Power Stroke is faster empty but looses out when towing. The Ford F-250 & 350 Crew Cabs are real nice interior wise and very practical but over all are not as reliable as the Dodge Cummins is in my opinion. Not saying you won't be happy with the Ford, but I would recommend the Dodge with a 6 speed manual. HO Cummins.
 

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I had a small 86 Isuzu pickup (Like Chevy Luv - I think built by same people) with a 58hp diesel. Got 45-50 mpg on highway but you needed a loooonnnng entrance ramp! Shouldn't of sold that truck...you don't see small diesels anymore.
 

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Chief is right. If you are going to pull fully loaded all the time, up a steep grade, get a manual, the cummins may be a better motor, but I'm not so sure about that either.

I have the 7.3 powerstroke with automatic. I've had it 4.5 years, 60,000 miles and it's been great. I drive it for a car most of the time, I've done 3000 mile road trips and I've pulled trailers. It does great at all of that.

Don't buy into the "Gotta have the cummins with the stick" song and dance because I don't think you are buying a diesel pickup to spend your whole days pulling a backhoe around on a fifth wheel trailer. If you need a step up from a 1/2 ton van, any of the diesels with auto or stick will be great for you. I wouldnt' think a lot about mpg. As with any sitck, the manual will do a little better than the auto. If you're not really a big fan of the manual shift, then the difference isn't worth thinking about. If you love the stick for other reasons, then you'll be fine with one. At the cost of these pickups and the differnce in mpg, it's not a point of consideration.

I drove a diesel with a stick and it's ok. I'm not so sure that whole "Great low end" thing makes much sense, unless you are going to be romping between stop signs and you love to shift. Who does that? Why buy based on that kind of performance?

If you want to see how that turns out, go to a lot, get in a diesel auto and out for a test drive. Any of them will have a 1/2 second pause and then they'll take off like a rocket. In the stick, you'll take off like a rocket, then pause to shift, then rocket, then shift.. good luck with that.. The auto's will run you to 70 pretty quick. Between the gear shifting and the torque convert doing it's thing to release and lock in, the shift of the auto under full power is pretty impressive. It's smooth and you can feel the power and acceleration flow through the entire shift.

My powerstroke has plenty of power at all the speeds. I love the automatic tranny. I'm seeing really bad reasons on here to go with the dodge. Good luck with whatever you pick, I'd go drive them all if I were you.

-Deere
 

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Deere, it is a diesel pickup truck, not a race car. cruisin

If you never tow as is apparent in your case, a stock automatic will probably last but not if you tow extensively with it.

You cannot use a Jake Brake on an automatic without extensive modifications. Towing a 4500 lbs. boat the Jake Brake would be a great on saving vehicle brakes especially on down hill grades. I have towed a 9500 lb. boat & trailer with both and I will never go back to an automatic.

The low end torque has nothing to do with "romping between stop signs and you love to shift". It has to do with drivability and the smooth usable deliver of power. :tractorsm

How many vehicles can pull something the size of this boat posted below idling up a boat ramp??????? The Cummins HO in the 2002 models makes about 350 ft./lbs. of torque at 1,000 rpm. :fineprint


<img src="http://dodgeram.org/tech/dsl/Facts/2001_505hp.gif">


This makes initial acceleration from a stop towing a trailer or empty as simple as engaging the clutch in 1st or 2nd gear while the engine is at idle or doing the same with my boat in 1st gear on the boat ramp. Once the clutch is fully engaged; I can apply as much or as little power as I choose in any gear.

This is not possible with an automatic trans. due to the lock-up torqure converter. Once you have exceeded a critical value on the TPS applying throttle pedal; the torque converter will unlock on an automatic transmission. You now have fluid coupling and a HUGE source of heat to the trans. You must back out of the throttle enough and slow down to allow the torque convert to achieve lock-up again which severely limits your speed (especially on hills) and in some cases such as very steep grades the automatic trans. will continue to down shift an worsen the problem.

There is NO free lunch with respect to automatic transmissions. If they worked so well, they would be used in Class 8 road tractors and other commercial trucks. With the exception of the Duramax; the engines in diesel pickups are derated to reduce power fed to the automatic transmission to protect it from being destroyed.

No "song and dance" going on here. The Suburban in the picture below I special ordered with the 4L80E transmission which is the strongest auto trans. available with the exception of the Allison 1000 series in the Duramax. I had continuous problems with this tranmission over heating do to torque converter slipage when the ECM unlocked the torque converter. In this case the 4L80E has lock-up available in OD & 3rd gear.

It is clear to me some do not fully understand the theory of operation and limitations of an automatic transmission or diesel engine torque curves as they apply to uses intended for a tow vehicle or a daily driver. ;)

As I posted earlier, my best advice is to follow the forums I posted the links to and learn about all 3 brands of diesel pickups. Go test drive them all and buy the one that you feel best meets your needs. Above all, be aware of and knowledgable about each models stength and shortcomings as they apply to your particular intended use. :driving:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well as far as towing. Pretty much they big tow is about 5k, That would be my boat, and trailer. But I do tow it about 200miles, over montins. My van does it fine, BUT that 10mpg wile doing it, is a killer
 

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An exhaust brake is basicly a valve that is mounted on the turbo charger exhuast turbine outlet that can be actuated by the driver to open and shut. In the open position the exhaust brake has no function and the engine operates as normal. When the driver wishes to slow down he down shifts a gear and actuates the exhaust brake valve. The valve closes and restricts the exhaust flow against the engine which decelerates the vehicle. As you slow down, you continue to down shift and apply exhaust brake. The engine acts as a reverse type of pump. This combined with vehicle brakes greatly improves braking performance and reduces vehicle brake wear and tear. Especially on hills.
 

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I think that was my point... If he's replacing an old half ton van, is he really looking for a jake brake, the braun that comes with the manual tranny, etc... I don't think so...

Based on the replacing the 1/2 ton van theory, I'd say he'd do fine with an auto tranny and any of the available diesel pickups on the market.

If someone comes here looking for something to tow a 38' fifth wheel with full width slideouts, and they are heading for alaska and then mexico... I think you are on track with the requirements.

Towing a backhoe around on a trailer behind one of these diesels over a 5 year period... Go with the stick and the jake brake.

Replacing a van... get what you want, don't worry about superchip or jakebrake.

-Deere
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good advice Deere. there IS something to say about over kill though:D :D :D


As I said I would PEFER the manual trans, BUT as you most probably know the wife gets the finle vote, and wile she can use, and does not mind using a clutch, she would perfer an auto.

May be a moot point though. She is kinda cold on the idea of a pickup at this time, so who knows. I am still pulling for one though. Realy NEED a truck. If not a newer one, I will have to find another car, then fix up, and reg my old Dodge plow truck. Realy can't have land in the contry without a truck.
 
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