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Old     (DenverRider)      Join Date: Feb 2013       04-19-2014, 6:41 PM Reply   
I'm looking at upgrading my tow vehicle and I originally thought that I would be looking for a diesel but now I'm not so sure. I currently tow my 2005 SAN 210 with a Jeep Cherokee that has a little 4.7L V8. I towed it to Denver from Oklahoma with this setup and beat the piss out the Cherokee in the process. I'd like to be able to tow to Minnesota and Wyoming once a year in addition to towing to my local lake. I don't commute and I have numerous other vehicles to drive. I'm looking at spending around 15K for used. This would also be my wife's winter vehicle when there is snow. I'm starting to hear things about plugging it in on cold nights, expensive oil changes, and other various disadvantages to diesel. Should I just get a pickup with a bigger V8 or is there an advantage to diesel that I don't see? I'm really starting to think that the diesel is a bad idea.
Old     (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       04-19-2014, 6:50 PM Reply   
You could get an f150 with a 5.4 for under 15k. I tow my 210 with it no problem.

Or any other half ton with 4x4 really. Diesel is not necessary.
Old     (DenverRider)      Join Date: Feb 2013       04-19-2014, 7:24 PM Reply   
How far do you tow with no problem? The Cherokee pulls to my local lake and even to Wyoming with no problem. It's the Minnesota trip that I'm worried about. When I brought it home from Oklahoma I changed the oil once before and once after and I changed the tranny fluid and filters after. The oil was so broken down that it ran like water. I had numerous stretches where I had to be satisfied with 40mph on the freeway because my engine temp was climbing. I hated doing that.
Old     (steveo142)      Join Date: Dec 2012       04-19-2014, 8:00 PM Reply   
while you dont need a diesel to tow, plenty of other vehicles will do the job. Binnies of a diesel are more power, more torque, better fuel mileage and an engine that if taken care of properly, can out live a gas motor 3 to 1. the best part is the more you rod them out, the better mileage you get. As far as oil changes, most are set up for 10,000 mile intervals. I run a oil bypass system and full synthetic oil in mine and could go about 50,000, I still change mine out at 10,000 or once a year, which ever comes first. you can plug them in when it gets cold but unless you live in Minnesota and see -30 temps, its not really necessary. you can also add anti gel to the fuel for cheap insurance if you were worried about it. I tow my boat and my wifes horse trailer so I really love the diesel and how effortless it pulls on long trips. I would never go back to a gasser. My truck is close to 8,000 lbs, turning 480hp to the wheels and I still get about 21 MPG (unloaded) and about 17 towing. Everyone has their own needs and tastes but I couldn't be happier with mine.
Old     (wakebrdr94)      Join Date: Jul 2010       04-19-2014, 9:11 PM Reply   
Go do a test pull and you will never look back. You'll wonder why you even debated the idea. Yes oil changes are more, but less frequent, so works out to be the same. I have an 05 duramax and it has been rock solid. Only issue was had to change the water pump at 120k. 165k on her now and still runs great. Yes you may need to plug it in, if you leave outside in freezing weather, but it's not a big deal. Just remember to change the fuel filter every 20k. Fuel filter can shut down an engine on a diesel.

I've never met anyone who said they regret buying one.
Old     (Tims)      Join Date: Feb 2014       04-20-2014, 5:17 AM Reply   
Considering your budget, you will probably we looking at a 7.3 Ford, early D-Max, or 5.9 Cummins. All 3 are great engines, but with age, mileage, and condition you will have to be educated about what potential issues could come with each of them. Assuming you find a good one, they all have the capability to last a long time and deliver great fuel mileage and pulling power over a gas powered truck in the same price range.

If you narrow your choice down to a specific model, study up on what you need to look for to make sure the engine is in good shape!!!
Old     (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       04-20-2014, 7:02 AM Reply   
I bought my SAN in Minnesota and drove it to central illinois. 10 hours. I got 8 mpg. But i also have a lift and 35" tires.

If u get a diesel dont get a ford 6.0.
Old     (steveo142)      Join Date: Dec 2012       04-20-2014, 9:04 AM Reply   
my truck has a 6" lift, 35" tires and 4:10 gears, like I said, I average 17MPG while towing. So you can see the difference in the 2, gas vs diesel. and yes, if you are looking at getting a ford, look for the 7.3. I do love my D-Max though. Good luck with your purchase.
Old     (cowwboy)      Join Date: Jul 2008       04-20-2014, 9:08 AM Reply   
The 6.0 isnt horrible. If it has head studs and an egr delete it is just as sturdy as an 7.3. If you leave it stock and put a coolant filter on it nothing needs to be upgraded.
Go diesel, you will never look back.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
Old     (clubjoe)      Join Date: Sep 2005       04-20-2014, 11:34 AM Reply   
^ ^ ^ ^


Stay away from 6.0 if you go Ford... Too much bad history to take chance IMO...
And a 7.3 is hands down more reliable than a 6.0.........
Old     (03AirNautique)      Join Date: Sep 2011       04-20-2014, 1:36 PM Reply   
I used to tow a 42' enclosed trailer for my race car and bought an 05 gmc 3/4 duramax to tow with, I enjoy the boat a whole lot more than racing anymore and with my truck you don't even know the boat is back there. I set the cruise control to 75 and get 15mpg. I don't think I could go back to a gas truck.
Old     (you_da_man)      Join Date: Sep 2009       04-20-2014, 1:49 PM Reply   
While I've never owned a 6.0L Ford diesel (I have a Dodge with Cummins) but I took my friend to the service dept at the Ford dealer to get his 6.0L that was having constant overheating issues lately. It only 69,000 miles on it and even the service manager suggested he get rid of it while he can still get a good trade on it.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       04-20-2014, 1:52 PM Reply   
I won't even go back to a gas burner for daily driving..... Have had several diesels and went back to gas burners, but won't do it again. Once you drive one while towing, there's no question about it.
Old     (kx250frider617)      Join Date: Aug 2013       04-20-2014, 2:22 PM Reply   
The cool thing about the ford 6.0 is that you can buy them for cheap then spend around $5k in bullet proofing it. Then it will be very reliable. If you do end up looking at a 6.0, try and negotiate the bullet proofing cost into the equation.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       04-20-2014, 2:33 PM Reply   
Generally, yes, avoid the 6.0L unless you get one with lower miles on it that hasn't had too much damage done to it yet. Or get one that has already had the fixes applied to it.
You can fix the major issues, but it takes a bit of time, for most people at least the weekend, if not more to do.

There's some info on it here:

Kind of a PITA for something that came with these problems from the factory. But I suppose if you got a good deal and had some time, tools, and knowhow to dig into it, you might consider it.
Old     (jamespjackson95)      Join Date: Jul 2012       04-20-2014, 2:46 PM Reply   
Get a 6.0 and spend 5k and get it bulletproofed... It's gonna be the best truck for the amount of money you want to spend.
Old     (jamespjackson95)      Join Date: Jul 2012       04-20-2014, 2:48 PM Reply   
Here's mine. Has 200,000 and I'm just now getting it bulletproofed as a preventative measure. Still ran great

Old     (jamespjackson95)      Join Date: Jul 2012       04-20-2014, 2:58 PM Reply   
As far as the advantages
-better towing
-better mpg (in my case)
-turbo charger
-more power
-black smoke
-and women love em
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       04-20-2014, 3:35 PM Reply   
Advantage of owning a Piece of farm equipment that you can drive on the street.
Old     (Tims)      Join Date: Feb 2014       04-20-2014, 4:00 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by grant_west View Post
Advantage of owning a Piece of farm equipment that you can drive on the street.

I love diesel trucks, but would not have any problem seeing that guy drive his truck off the cliff. Natural selection at it's best.
Old     (wakebrdr94)      Join Date: Jul 2010       04-20-2014, 4:11 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by grant_west View Post
Advantage of owning a Piece of farm equipment that you can drive on the street.

Tell that to Audi. Those days are pretty gone.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       04-20-2014, 4:13 PM Reply   
The guy in that Cummins video is a d-bag. Weaponizing your exhaust against bicyclists is not cool. It's obvious it was intentional as well. That's like having someone in an Avalanche come close by you with their sideswipe turned on you and/or your rider. Not cool.
Old     (Redheadd)      Join Date: Apr 2014       04-20-2014, 8:05 PM Reply   
Lmfao!!!! That's great!! Get the hell off the road!!!!
Cyclist say"we have the same rights as you to the road!!" Uhhhh no you don't! I'm in a 8000 lb. truck you had better stay outta the way!
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       04-20-2014, 9:09 PM Reply   
Well, I got a diesel last year and I'm not certain I'm seeing any huge benefits that would compel me to switch from gas to diesel on it's own merit.

Essentially identical trucks, old truck was an '86 Ford with a 460 I built for towing, about 425 HP and 550 ft/lbs of torque with a ZF5 behind it (5 speed overdrive). Plenty of power and torque and got 12.5 MPG highway unloaded, 10 MPG highway towing the boat, and around 10 MPG normal mixed town/highway driving unloaded. Truck is lifted 4" on 35" tires.

New truck is an '86 Ford with a 6.9 with non wastegated turbo and C6 (automatic, no overdrive) transmission. Not sure on highway MPG, haven't towed yet either so not sure on towing MPG, and average normal mixed driving I'm seeing 12.5-13.5 MPG so far. So considering no overdrive and loss of efficiency through the torque converter on the slushbox it's more efficient. The higher cost of diesel though means it's only costing me about $.01 less per mile to drive it than the gas truck. This truck will get a ZF5 eventually and I expect better highway MPG from that and marginally better around town MPG. This truck is not lifted, so when it gets a lift it will lose slight MPG from that.

Biggest difference with the diesel is it is totally gutless. No power and no torque as compared to the big block gas truck. Note it does start to wake up once it builds around 5 psi of boost, but that's revving pretty high. Winding the diesel out over 3000 RPM is what it takes to come close to the gas truck shifting around 2000 RPM. I'm not liking the performance at all, it's slow and has no torque compared to what I'm used to. I'm sure with a more modern wastegated turbo made to build more boost and at lower RPM it would be good, but I highly doubt it would compare to my 460 truck as that truck easily walks away from worked over powerstrokes.

The only real advantage of driving a diesel I'm seeing is now that the weather is warmed up I've started burning waste motor oil. Can't argue with free fuel.

As for plugging in... I haven't plugged mine in and only had one morning it wouldn't start. It was negative temps and it cranked slow, no love. Batteries are old and as it turns out it wouldn't start because a cable was loose so it was only trying to start off one battery. Cleaned and tightened cables and haven't had any trouble not plugged in even that miserable week of negative temps overnight. Not sure on other diesels but 6.9 and 7.3 IDI Fords are designed to start down to I believe -20 without plugging in. With my experience just below zero with old batteries and cables I see no reason why starting should be a problem with healthy batteries, good cables, and good starter. They will start so long as there's enough juice to spin them fast enough.

Oil changes are marginally more expensive. My 460 truck took 7 quarts, the 6.9 takes about 11 quarts. I am using synthetic now and going 6k miles on an oil change... So with longer interval it only costs slightly more to change the oil, and I burn my oil changes so there's $10 worth of fuel for "free".

I liked my '86 460 truck, a lot. The only reason I got a diesel is this miserable state requires emissions inspection and that truck was an automatic fail as I swapped the engine from a small block to a big block. No inspection for diesels here, so it was the easiest way for me to not have to deal with fines and being hassled by the police.

Personally I prefer a well built big block as it has all the torque I need and then some. If you're considering Ford I'd avoid the newer 6.x engines. If you don't mind computer controls and can stand $3k fuel system servicing when there's an issue (typically they go 100k+ between major servicing), the powerstroke 7.3s are good engine and make a lot of power. If you want simple, reliable and cheap to maintain the 6.9 and 7.3 IDI (83-94) are reliable workhorses and cost under 1/3 to replace the fuel system as powerstrokes at similar intervals.

Just my experience and opinion, others may vary.
Old     (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       04-20-2014, 9:53 PM Reply   
Let's just say I've had both.

First truck was gas, last 2 trucks were diesel. Current gas truck is up for sale...
For a diesel

And my gasser is somewhat "built"
4.88's, cam, heads, intake mani, headers, tune, higher stall, trans goodies, blah blah.
If that tells you anything.

Last edited by Jmorlan; 04-20-2014 at 9:55 PM.
Old     (CHern5972)      Join Date: Jul 2012       04-21-2014, 7:57 AM Reply   
Had a 2006 Ford 6.0 that had no issues at all. Many trips to Forida and never had an issues. Sold It

2007 Chevy 5.3 gasser that had burning oil issues after 65k miles. Sold It

2008 GMC Denali 6.6 Duramax. This thing stayed in the shop and was a night mare. You either get a good one or a bad one. Sold It

2013 Ford EcoBoost Fx4 with max towing package.. Love this truck, tows great, and great milage.

If it were me, id look into a 7.3 ford. But thats just me
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       04-21-2014, 11:42 AM Reply   
Im looking forward the the new crop of 1/2 diesels in the pipeline.


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