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Old 01-11-2013, 09:50 AM   #1
VMS
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Default The search has begun...but NOOBY here has some questions...

Hi Everyone,

First of all, I just want to say hello as this is my first visit and first post.

It's getting to the point in time where my ride (2003 Ram 1500, 5.7 Hemi at 227,000 miles) is getting closer to its retirement, so I am starting the process of looking for a new truck to strong enough to pull the toys with.

Guaranteed I will be looking at an HD truck (which is why I am here) in either 3/4 ton or 1 ton depending on price, options and capabilities, but here are my questions:

1. I'm not very familiar with diesel power plants(although I do know all makes have good solid dependable engines) and the idea of a DEF exhaust system needing to be refilled had me puzzled.. I think I understand how the system works well enough, but how often does that fluid need replacement or filling? And...what kind of cost would I be looking at? I did notice the 2012 Cummins power plant for Ram does not have that system, but that particular model year has lower towing and payload specs as well... 2013 specs have yet to be released, but the new power plant will have a DEF system on it.

2. I noticed gas prices in town today ($2.85 reg unleaded, $3.83 for Diesel). Given gas tanks are the same size (35 gallons just to throw out a tank size), it would cost me roughly $35 extra to fill a diesel tank. Is the gas mileage of a diesel good enough to offset the extra cost of running unleaded? (I know running E85 is no better than gas...I end up saving money by running unleaded since I didn't have to fill up as often and mileage was better...worked out to be about 4 tanks of e85 to 3 tanks unleaded) I know you can buy a bunch of unleaded for the extra $7 - 8K dropped on a diesel engine, but some deals are good enough now you are not really paying for the engine upgrade...

3. If you have a 2011 or newer Diesel engine on an HD truck (any brand, but please do not disclose that or the engine manufacture..I don't want to start the war as I am looking at all 3 brands) what kind of MPG are you seeing in town and on the road (normal use) and what do you see pulling your toys along with the gear ratio you running? I'd really like to hear from anyone pulling a 5th wheel as well....even better if you are double towing at all as I would like to have that as an option since it is legal to do in the states I normally travel to (I would be under the max length for each state..already checked that).

I know...long winded, but my analytical mind does this to me. Sorry...

And...thanks in advance!!

Steve
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
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Diesel is worth it if youre towing. My 7.3 a little older, but I find it got slightly fuel mileage than my f150 before I threw on the tuner and upgrades, now its MUCH better. But it does get much better mileage than its v10 counterpart by far when it was stock. Just the added torque from the diesel makes towing with it much easier. I tow equipment with mine, and I couldnt imagine having a gasser with what I do. Plus the life span of a diesel is double that of a gas motor, on average ha ha. a lot of gas motors go to 250 without a problem, but the diesels are known for going over 300k without any major rebuilds or problems. Transmissions are a diffrent story but I am unfamiliar with the newer transmissions. My dad bought a 2002 7.3 f250 new in early 2003, it currently has 191k without any major repairs, just the usual brakes, ball joints, alternator, starter etc... my 01 f350 has 127k and its in the tranny shop right now ha ha, but no other issues so far.

I heard the DEF systems need to be refilled about every 5k miles, and the trucks will go into limp mode if it runs dry, I also read up on the ford DEF fluid costing about as much as an oilchange. but Im sure there are cheaper brands out there by now. There are also tuners for the trucks that can override the DEF systems, There are also EGR deletes out there to get rid of all the pain in the butt emissions crap. Im sure someone with a newer truck will chime in. mines an 01 so Im only going off what I have read about the ford 6.7.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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I am in the same boat as ^this guy older truck. But honestly this forum is pretty rounded in what we drive and in my opinion all are good motors all have pros and cons but transmission is the weak point in two brands. But if you are pulling you will notice a huge difference and it is alot cheaper than gas when towing especially. My truck hardly changes mpg were I know the hemi. the big chevy gasser and the ford v10 you drop huge numbers once you get weight hooked up. My dad has owned ford and dodge his opinion dodge has the motor ford has everything else. But who doesnt love the allison transmission??? From test driving personally and reviews the newer ones all ride great now and all really quiet.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
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How heavy are the "toys" you tow?

In all honesty if your not towing 8k + lbs on a regular occasion a diesel isn't probably worth it. Especially if your looking at newer trucks.
I don't tow near as heavy or often as I did over the last 5 years. Used to tow 20k lbs a couple hundred miles 3 times a week. Now I tow 8-9k lbs maybe once a week and its for 100 miles or less. If I could afford a new truck I would buy a 2011+ F250 crew cab 4x4 with the 6.2 v8 gasser. Great power, decent mileage cheap oil changes, cheaper fuel.

You will get better mpg towing with diesel....but the more expensive fuel pretty much washes it out even. It would take years to offset the additional cost of fuel and maintenance of a diesel.

But I can't get rid of my beloved 6.0! I love the sound too much!
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:32 PM   #5
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Driving a diesel just doesn't compare ha ha.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:38 AM   #6
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Unloaded, at 75MPH, with an H&S on mild, with emissions, I'm getting ~19MPG with my 2011 Dually.

Stock, before the tuner, I was getting ~17

I'm getting about 13MPG around town if I can keep my foot under 1/4 -1/3 throttle.

I went with the diesel over a gas when I stepped up from my half ton, because the gasser got worse mileage with a negligible increase in torque over what my truck had (dyno'd at 354lb-ft, which @ 20% driveline loss put it at more than a GM 6.2 or Ford 6.2, and 5lb ft less than a 6.4 Hemi).

I'm getting comparable mileage to my old truck with this one, while empty...

But my old truck dropped to 7.5 MPG towing my 27 foot toy hauler...

If you don't tow often, don't spring for the diesel, unless you get a smoking deal... Or never want to worry about being in the slow lane up a hill, lol

Last edited by drperry; 04-16-2015 at 12:39 AM.
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