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Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       12-21-2010, 8:23 AM Reply   
Well I am looking at getting a diesel and selling my 07 Tundra. I just want to get the better mileage while driving/towing and the added benefit of towing the boat and being able to slap a plow on the front so I can plow the foot of snow out of my drive (i live in the country.... not a city boy)..

So what is the best engine out there for fuel mileage that is a DIESEL
Old    SamIngram            12-21-2010, 8:35 AM Reply   
New or Used? What size, 3/4 ton - 1 ton?

I had 1992 Dodge 3/4 ton truck with a Cummins 6BT that would regularly get 32 mpg on the highway... but had a 2.70 rear end in it...
Old     (helinut)      Join Date: Apr 2007       12-21-2010, 8:37 AM Reply   
My new F350 gets 18.5 or so on the freeway at 70 ish mph. Not sure yet of what the "average" is including highway and in town driving. I'm thinking around 16 or so. It's a big azz truck though.
Old     (flattirenotube)      Join Date: May 2007       12-21-2010, 9:13 AM Reply   
For straight up fuel economy, I would probably say the Cummins, followed by the Duramax and lastly the Powerstroke. But as a caveat to this opinion, it is going to vary wildly depending on year, mileage as well as gear ratio.
Old     (moon)      Join Date: Oct 2008       12-21-2010, 9:21 AM Reply   
Try to find a low milage 5.9 cummins.
Old     (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       12-21-2010, 9:28 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by moon View Post
Try to find a low milage 5.9 cummins.
I've got one, 06' megacab with 48K on it. There are actually several that I've seen.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-21-2010, 11:03 AM Reply   
I just had one of my best customers in and asked him how his 2011 F350 is doing he said 22/16 is what he was getting. I routinely here that 19-22 highway number from customers.

Shawn, your's should improve around the 4k miles mark. Try keeping the RPMS at under 2K if you're not already, to see an improvement in economy.
Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       12-21-2010, 1:19 PM Reply   
definitely used...

prolly just a 3/4 ton 4x4 is what I am looking for.... like I said it will pull a boat, snowmobiles, and lawn mowers.... and then it will push snow in the winter... that not all that heavy duty but my tundra is getting about 12mpg on a good day pulling the boat to and from the lake.... I live in central IL and we have the flattest land in the world prolly so I don't even need a truck that can power thru mountainous climbs... what gears do you guys recommend?
Old     (helinut)      Join Date: Apr 2007       12-21-2010, 2:36 PM Reply   
Hey Hate,

Yeah mine is still under 500 miles and I do baby the hell out of it so far. Hoping to see that 19-22. That would rock. I did get around 19 one way to Spokane on a 30 minute average though. I haven't taken it on a road trip and done the real math yet. Probably the first of the year will be a good test.

How many miles did your customer have on his so far?
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       12-21-2010, 2:48 PM Reply   
My mom had a '94 2wd RCLB 3/4 ton 5.9 Cummins that got about 25 unloaded on the highway. It had ~3.73 gears and towed very well.
Old    SamIngram            12-22-2010, 9:55 AM Reply   
This is probably one of the best trucks out there for the money in your area. It will do everything that you need, including work as a plow truck. It should get about 20 mpg and will be stone cold reliable. The only week part is the automatic transmission, but that is good for plowing. I'm from Monmouth, IL over by Galesburg or the Quad Cities, where are you from?
1998 Dodge Ram

I would buy it myself if I didn't just buy a 1997. This is almost the Holy Grail of trucks... a 4x4, four door, 12 valve... the only negative is the dually part, it won't get stuck though...
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Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       12-22-2010, 11:19 AM Reply   
im 30 miles north of Champaign... sorry just not looking for a dually...
Old     (chattwake)      Join Date: Jan 2010       12-22-2010, 11:27 AM Reply   
I've got a 2005 Dodge 2500 4x4 quad cab with the Cummins 5.9, edge juice with attitude programmer, cia, and 5'' exhaust. With 35'' Mickey Thompson ATZ's, I'm getting a real world hand calculated 17.5 mpg combined with 75 highway / 25 city driving.

People who tell you their diesel's are getting over 20 mph either (a) are relying on the on board computer readout, which are so inaccurate its not even funny; (b) have 2wd trucks with high gear ratio rear ends; (c) are lying; or (b) keep a truck bone stock, live in Texas where the road is completely flat, and don't drive over 65 mph.

In the real world, to be able to average 17-18 mpg with a full sized 4x4 diesel, you have to pick the right truck (to me it was the dodge with the high output 5.9 that predated the emissions systems on the new motor) and drive it conservatively.

If you drive around blowing black smoke out of your diesel by flooring it all the time, you're going to get horrible mileage no matter what brand you have.

Buying a diesel truck is worse than buying a wakeboard boat, imo. There's no perfect diesel ont he market. The best motor ever made, imo, was the cummins high output 5.9. However, the interior of my truck is bobo compaired to a Ford or Chevy. Also, the transmissions in the 5.9 ho dodge's isn't that great. However, unless you're pulling a dozer or large fifth wheel around all the time, you should be ok.

The 6.0l ford trucks are prone to engine problems. The GMC and Chevy duramax trucks offer a solid motor with a bulletproof transmission, and have great creature comforts. However, the ford and chevy/gmc trucks are high dollar.

I bought my '05 with all of the aftermarket stuff on it, with 75k miles, for 26k last year. I've driven it for a year now and the only issues I've had is that I've replaced the upper and lower ball joints in the front end. Overall, I'm very pleased with my rig.
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Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-22-2010, 12:35 PM Reply   
"This is almost the Holy Grail of trucks". Yep, almost being the key word there. Holy Grail would be the 24 valve, common rail, manual trans, pre smog Cummins 5.9 like my 03.
Old     (chilidog)      Join Date: Dec 2007       12-22-2010, 12:38 PM Reply   
I have an 09 Dodge 6.7 with 4.10s. When it was new I could get 17-19 on the freeway by the onboard computer, 13-14 around town.

I put on 35s and now the computer has me around 12-13 all the time, 16 on its best day on the freeway at 65. I'm about 50 50 town/highway. I have a friend with an 11 Ford with 3.31 gears and he gets 18town 22 highway. I have done the hand calc and my computer is pretty close, although with the 35s my speedo reads slower the faster I go, so it will compute less miles for more gallons although I'm sure its a minimal dfference. I do like to get into it every now and then. But the 4.10s are the killer, I got them when new to compensate for the bigger tires i knew I would eventually get. I think a new intake and exhaust will help eventually along with a smarty.
Old    SamIngram            12-22-2010, 12:45 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by wake_upppp View Post
"This is almost the Holy Grail of trucks". Yep, almost being the key word there. Holy Grail would be the 24 valve, common rail, manual trans, pre smog Cummins 5.9 like my 03.
24 valve, the Holy Grail? Come on! All the electronic crap ain't gonna make it through the apocalypse! I can run on people fat too! Good luck trying to run on people fat in that 24 valve... I dig all Cummins though... Thumbs up on the trucks guys!
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-22-2010, 12:48 PM Reply   
I have 4.10's as well with the 5 speed manual but I added a Gear Vendors Overdrive/Splitter. Now I have 8 gears to choose from and get the best of both worlds. Monster torque at lower speeds and tall gears for the highway. It tachs 1700 @ 70 mph and will knock down 24 mpg on the highway un loaded, 15 mpg towing the boat. Not bad for a 1 ton that comes in @ 7200 lbs empty!

Last edited by wake_upppp; 12-22-2010 at 12:54 PM.
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-22-2010, 1:01 PM Reply   
Apocalypse?? Good one! Lol
Old    SamIngram            12-22-2010, 2:03 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by wake_upppp View Post
Apocalypse?? Good one! Lol
You have to consider these things when choosing a vehicle these days...

Surgeon Busted For Using Human Fat to Fuel Cars
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-22-2010, 5:03 PM Reply   
^^^^^So what exactly do you think WOULD survive this apocalypse you speak of Chicken Little? Still laughing about that one! ha ha ha
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-22-2010, 5:57 PM Reply   
MMMM, I'm gonna have to beg to differ on the holy grail of trucks. Although your 24V shaker is close, I'd have to give the edge to an 03 7.3 Man/Auto doesn't matter. They're bullet proof and rarer than hens teeth. I may be looking at it through the eyes of a salesman though
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-22-2010, 11:43 PM Reply   
Pete, what's your budget? That's really important because there's a lot of options from $10K all the way up to $60K. I do recall you saying used.

What gears? Ive had several diesel trucks, all with 3:73's. I've had 1 truck with 4:10's, and it was awful (not a diesel though).

I do like all the big 3, but Chevy/GMC is my favorite for the price range I stay in. Truck prices right now are really crazy. A friend of mine (owner of Country Chevrolet in Benton, KY) picked up a 2006 Chevy crew cab, short bed, LBZ Duramax, 6-spd auto with 80,000 miles, and as a dealer he had to give $28,000. That's almost what most people expect to pay for one. It's priced right now $500 over what they paid. I have the same truck but less miles and a long bed and gave quite a bit more for it.

I'll offer this, if you look at the Chevy/GMC Duramax's, don't go older then an 06. Earlier generations had problems. The LB7 (first gen) have injector issues, and the LLY had overheat issues. In 2006 they went to the LBZ (360hp, 600ft lbs) and it has been a great setup so far. I get around 17.5 on the highway with mine. It actually came from up around your neck of the woods in Merrillville IN.

Check out,,,
Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       12-23-2010, 6:41 AM Reply   
25k MAX.... it can be a high mileage truck as long as its in great condition... I won't be driving this truck everyday as I have a beater 05 Vibe to drive to work everyday... I will be using the truck for everything I have listed above... also I am not in a huge hurry to sell the Tundra off I am just testing the waters to get a feel for what I can do...
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-23-2010, 8:20 AM Reply   
i drive a 7.3 ford but my buddys 5.9 gets better mileage, problem is the dodge truck its bolted in
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-23-2010, 8:22 AM Reply   
You should be able to find something pretty nice in that price range.
Old     (michridr69)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-23-2010, 8:29 AM Reply   
buy mine 25k and its urs, 60k on her, 11 mpg with this girl behind her

Last edited by michridr69; 12-23-2010 at 8:31 AM. Reason: ..
Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       12-23-2010, 8:49 AM Reply   
where you located? what rear end do you got? would you consider trading for an 07 Tundra?
Old    SamIngram            12-23-2010, 9:46 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by michridr69 View Post
buy mine 25k and its urs, 60k on her, 11 mpg with this girl behind her
and its been babied all of it's life right??
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-23-2010, 10:08 AM Reply   
A 5.9 gets better mileage than a 7.3? Damn who woulda thunk it! Lol
Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       12-24-2010, 6:35 AM Reply   
i have been doing some research on the trucks and it really comes down to the gear ratio... 3.55 or 3.73 ~ gears will get you the 18-19 (at it and you could do a lot better) but if you get the 4.10 gears and you can watch your gas guage drop... I appreciate all your inputs
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-24-2010, 9:35 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by 882001 View Post
problem is the dodge truck its bolted in
his truck is modded pretty good, compound turbo, stacked chip and tuner, he will run off and leave me. pulling trailers or not. but all the window switches, sun visors busted seats are as hard as a wood bench, he has had the death wobble issue. i did see a 12 valve 5.9 in a 2007 ford and it had the allison, it was the perfect truck.
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-24-2010, 9:36 AM Reply   
Old     (fuzzball147)      Join Date: Apr 2010       12-30-2010, 3:59 AM Reply   
Hey Pete, don't want to hijack your thread but i live just east of Champaign. We'll have to meet up at clinton some day this season!
Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       12-30-2010, 10:27 AM Reply   
sounds good what boat do you have? 2001 Tige 20 i here
Old     (greg2)      Join Date: May 2002       12-30-2010, 6:43 PM Reply   
I've been over to Clinton a few times since I got to Ohio...nice lake. Especially in the spring when it's still a little chilly.
Old     (fuzzball147)      Join Date: Apr 2010       01-03-2011, 8:27 AM Reply   
I'll be in the '08 Epic. You can't miss it. Yeah Greg, we actually got out in April last year on a warm air day. Just had to go closer to the discharge end. Still pretty freakin cold though!
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Old     (jtaubrey)      Join Date: Dec 2010       01-03-2011, 2:22 PM Reply   
I can concur, the Dodge 5.9 is a machine. I traded my 08 Ford F250 and bought an 06 Dodge 2500. It is a pulling machine and gets amazing fuel mileage. Hand calculated on the highway going 70-80Mph I am averaging around 19Mpg. Truck is stock except for a bullydog programmer. I don't have a boat but have a 32' travel trailer that weighs 9800lbs and pulling it 65-70 I am averaging 11mpg. The interior is not anywhere near as nice as my ford was and that was the 3rd ford diesel I have had, but it pulls like a dream. Forgot to mention mine is a 4x4. The 2 wheel drive ones get over 20mpg.

Last edited by jtaubrey; 01-03-2011 at 2:24 PM. Reason: added 4 wheel drive.
Old     (greg2)      Join Date: May 2002       01-03-2011, 4:21 PM Reply   

I think we'll be over again this spring...I'll let you know when we head that way. We had a sets ended any where, but the discharge!
Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       01-07-2011, 7:13 AM Reply   
yeah its nice when its cooler out cause the water is warm... but let me tell you when its 95 degrees and the sun is baring down on you and add on top of that the water temp is around 100 degrees.... it sucks!! no one even goes near the discharge then
Old     (greg2)      Join Date: May 2002       01-07-2011, 5:44 PM Reply   
We did last water on the lake, but water temp was running 102-104.
Old     (michridr69)      Join Date: Dec 2008       01-14-2011, 12:26 PM Reply   
99-03 ford 7.3 with a dp tuner intake and exhaust will get you 18mpg, all day long, cummins far from it, when people say they have bullydog on there truck, chances are they have no idea what there talking about unless they release the CL download. And when u do u should upgrade your VB and TQ or ur trans fill fall apart. And if you guys wanna check about fuel mileage for a 06 or 07 5.9, go to and they will tell you the same thing, they do not get good fuel mileage and everyone else tells you they get. And yes my built in mpg reader says 15. But hand calculated it is 12.5.

Last edited by michridr69; 01-14-2011 at 12:28 PM. Reason: ..
Old     (chattwake)      Join Date: Jan 2010       01-14-2011, 1:38 PM Reply   
I hand calculate mine...


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