Best fuel mileage, and reliability pickup diesel?

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I searched these forums and can't find a decent thread talking about fuel mileage and reliability. I want to buy a used(150,000miles or so)DIESEL pickup, mainly because
I've always wanted one, and secondly for the fuel mileage and engine life span. I won't be pulling a trailer, nor carry abnormally large loads. I am a sales rep who is going to be driving a LOT more. I am a big Ford fan but, I need a long lasting, good fuel mileage Vehicle REGARDLESS of the brand. I hope I can get an OBJECTIVE opinion from you guys.
Here is what I've come up with so far: Dodge, worst mileage, best overall engine reliability. Ford, better mileage, not as good reliability. Chevy/GMC, best mileage, worst reliability. These results are based on what I've read concerning 1983 and up vehicles. Keep in mind, I'm using brand generalities, not engine specifics. I'm coming here to get opinions from you as to specific engine, axle, combinations, and brands for my needs. PLEASE DON"T start arguments with each other, I'm looking for ALL opinions and discussions. FORD is my preference, but if Chevy is better for me, then Chevy it is, or Dodge. All discussions are welcome, if TWO points are made, your opinion of best mileage reliability, and best fuel economy. Keep in mind, DIESEL info only.
Thanks, Clay PS. if you know of a site, which covers this in detail, I apologize in advance and ask that you point me to it! Also, I have posted this on other sites as well.
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Hello Badger,
Try www.62-65-dieselpage.com for GM diesel info. They also have a discussion forum with very helpful members.
Franko 98 Tahoe 6.5TD 4x4, 160k miles (22mpg highway/16 local) 86 Suburban 6.2 NA 2WD, 165k miles (26 mpg highway/18 local)

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I'm going to chime in with my personal opinion, just so long as you recognize that it's just an opinion and not the gospel truth.
I think your list should read as follows, based on what experience I have with my own trucks, trucks at work, and friend's trucks.
For diesel pick-ups with 150K+ miles/7-10 yrs old:
Dodge (I-6 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel, Intercooled, direct injection): Best motor, best mileage, poor automatic transmission, good manual tranny. Ford (V-8 7.3L Powerstroke turbo diesel, intercooled, direct injection): OK motor, worst mileage, poor automatic tranny, Unk manual tranny. Chevy (V-8 6.5L turbo diesel, non-intercooled, indirect injection): Motor OK but not powerful (better after '97), middle of the road mileage, best auto tranny, Unk manual tranny.
My friend still gets 23-24mpg on his 1989 Dodge with a manual tranny. I used to get 20 mpg on my '95 Chevy 6.5L turbo diesel with the automatic, and trucks at work (when we used to use Fords) got 13-14mpg at best with the automatic tranny.
I hated the Ford E4OD automatic transmissions, and I heard the Dodge automatics weren't much better. Funny how all the folks I know with Dodge trucks of that generation all had sticks - something to do with the automatic not being able to handle the torque of the Cummins 5.9L motor. Chevy always had the best tranny's but the 6.5L wasn't the motor you wanted if you wanted to pull, plus you had to really want to learn about them to keep it running reliably (the Fuel Solenoid Driver was issue #1).
My preference based on the criteria you list would be one I didn't even list - a 3-4 year old Chevy or GMC 3/4-ton with the Duramax 6.6L turbo diesel and the Allison 1000 tranny (I have a 2004). Good mileage (20-21), good reliabilty, and a great transmission. Just make sure it has a 3.73:1 rear axle for the highway.
My two cents worth - Jonathan

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What year range are you looking for? what about price range? I have seen reports of gues with the old 12V and 24V (pre1991-1998 range) Cummins Diesel trucks getting 20+ MPG. A friend of mine had a '99 Ford Excursion 4x4 Diesel, he got about 16 MPG. With the new Cummins 600, many have said the fuel economy has gone down (mainly due to such high power output) if your not pulling anything, and if you dont care about the noise, then then the 12v or older 24v would be great, (if the trans will keep up) As for Chevy, a lot of guy I have talked to said dont get a pre-Duramax. The Duramax was built in collaboration with Isuzu, (whom have been making Diesels for many years) So the engine is pretty solid (even with aluminum heads) and then the Alison trans is pretty much the way to go when it comes to transmissions. I think the Duramax gets around 15-16 as well. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about the new Ford 6.6 Liter Diesel. their old 7.4 was a pretty solid machine as I recal. just not the most fuel friendly since its a 7.4, where the Duramax is 6.6 and the Cummins is 5.9. So just in those terms, the Cummins has less displacement, and does not consume as much fuel at any given RPM (if all three engines were mapped to use the same amount of fuel per liter)
What speed will you be traveling at most? 5mph? 30, 60 85? If your sitting in slow traffic, I would think the Cummins would be better since it would be in a lower gear at a lower RPM. but if your traveling at 60-80, Chevy has a five speed trans, where Dodge has four. So the Dodge my run at a higher RPM at freeway speeds. The two trucks may be geared differently to accomodate the difference in transmissions though. If your doing a lot of empty driving, I would go with a 3.55 or higher rear end.
BTW, I am 01 few that do understand Binary.
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Just for a clarification, the new Ford Powerstroke is a V-8 6.0L (not 6.6L) turbo diesel with direct injection and an intercooler. The new tranny is also a 5-speed similar to the Allison (but Allison is the King of the Hill). The older 7.3L motors had only 2 valves per cylinder which is one reason why they weren't that efficient. The new 6.0's use aluminum in their construction similar to the Duramax, and use a variable vane turbo.
Chevy/GMC uses the Isuzu-designed Duramax V-8 6.6L turbo diesel with direct injection, pilot injection, and an intercooler. The current Allison tranny is a 5-speed, with a 6-speed automatic with selectable fully automatic or manual shifting in 2006. This is currently the largest motor of the Big Three. The latest version (LBY) uses a variable orifice turbocharger. I've heard rumors that current 5-speed Allison's are upgradeable to 6-speeds with only a computer update, although they won't have the selectable automatic/manual shifting (6th gear being a double-overdrive).
All three manufacturers currently use 4-valves per cylinder, although most were typically 2 valves per cylinder in the older models. Dodge made the switch to 4-valves first, but although I have no concrete figures to go by I can remember reading several folks writing that their mileage was pretty poor for the first generation of 24-valve motors in comparison to the older 12-valve versions. I don't really know why.
Cheers - Jonathan

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I guess I should clarify too. I need to buy an older truck because of price. 130-160000 miles or so. Clay

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I have heard many good things about the new ford engine, but also a lot of bad things. Like the pilot injection not working correctly, and having to reflash the ECU with a non pilot injection set up, causeing the new 6.9 to be louder then the old 7.3 and even louder then the Cummins
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PI was a bad idea the injectors were not up to the quick computer pulses...the intention was to make it sound like a gasser. Why? A diesel should sound like a diesel.... The 6.0 does have a tinnier sound then the 7.3 but it is not a bad engine (I have owned a 7.3 and currently own a 6.0). The 7.3 did have internal mechanical problems that developed once chipped. The 6.0 hasn't developed any problems although if you chip it you will start eating head gaskets...
mark
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A diesel should sound like a diesel - yes, but a diesel shouldn't also sound obnoxious. There are noise standards as well as emission standards. I can open the hood of my '04 Duramax at idle and have a conversation in a normal tone of voice while standing next to it. My friend's Cummins powered Dodge requires you to nearly scream at each other in order to be heard with the hood open.
Just an observation, but It seems like you are contradicting yourself by saying the 6.0L Ford has inadequate injectors and then go on to say it doesn't have any problems. I never did have any serious problems with the 7.3L Powerstroke motors at work, although it did seem that the performance fell off faster over the years than comparable Cummins powered units. It was the Ford tranny that was a nightmare, but I understand they don't use the E4OD behind a diesel any more (and with good reason).
Cheers - Jonathan

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Aren't both the Cummins and International engines now using rail injection? I was thinking they went that way to compete with the Durmax performance.
With my Durmax my wife's only comment has been "It sounds like the wind blowing" as the turbo winds down.
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Jonathan Race wrote:

Being able to have a conversation while standing next to an open hood (while the engine is running) isn't on my list of requirements for a diesel, or any other type of engine for that matter.
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Allow me to expand on my point. One of the reasons why some activities (such as motorcycles, ATV's, air boats, high-end sound systems, etc.) get such a bad reputation is because of the noise. If other people couldn't hear what you're doing, or at least if when they could hear it they weren't bothered by it, then that would be just one less thing for them to complain about. Personally, I like not bothering my neighbors early in the morning when I'm motoring out of my neighborhood.
I had an engineering professor way back when who continually claimed that noisy motors were less efficitient. It takes power to generate noise, and an engine that produced less noise due to primary design (as compared to one that spent more energy to dampen the noise) was ultimately more efficient.
Cheers - Jonathan

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That's because your parents didn't bring you up properly. You have no respect for your neighbours or any other people on the road. Heck you probably get a woody just listening to the noise that truck of yours makes... and it is noise. A Porsche, now that is a powerful sound.
Another problem is you will probably bring your kids up thinking it's OK.
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Unless you live in the middle on nowhere it should be.
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"Frank" < snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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Good idea, I was moose hunting and saw a big bull crossing the road about 300 yards ahead.. Stopped the truck, threw it in "park" got out and leaned across the hood to sight thru my scope, and..
the truck was shaking so much, I couldn't see thru the scope..
Had to reach back into the cab and shut off the engine..figured he'd be long gone by the time I finished that "dance"
Nope, he was still there: BANG ! Got 'im !
R
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That is not the point although with your replies, I can see that you just don't get it. If your truck is so loud that you cannot talk to someone else with it running (what a POS), then your neighbors must really love you when you crank up that shitbox in the morning but then again, I suspect that you really don't give a crap.
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LOL. Why do I bother...you callin' a Cummins crap? It's mighty nice of you, being such a wise and all-knowing person, to spend so much of your time trying to straighten folks out on the net.
TBone wrote:

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I was talking more about bottom end problems. Injectors seem to be a common problem in both the 7.3 and 6.0. The injectors need to pulse too fast to do the pre-shot and then the main shot so they would stumble and you would get something similar to bucking... They dropped the pilot injection and will reintroduce it in the 07 model year with much faster computers and maybe twin turbos but now the noise from Detroit is they may just stick with the single. Interestingly enough there are quite a few who still have the PI and have had no problems so it does really appear it was a hit or miss issue. I guess the sound level issue is a personal choice. I come from the days where you wanted to hear and feel the engine running but now a days some want everything silent. I'll take it loud and clanky, if you want to talk to me speak up. The E4OD was dropped a few years back in favor for the 4R100 which was dropped for the 5R110. I haven't had the E4OD but I had a 4R100 that went out a 7k miles...the current truck has the 5R110 which is not to bad but they are going through a major recall the will end up covering everything made in 04 and 05...so once fixed I have hopes it will be a good trans. The injection fuel supply systems on most internationals are similar to what the old 2-stroke Detroit's used but with higher fuel pressures and instead of being cam actuated they are electric/hydraulic (answer somebody else's post).
mark
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I will be driving unloaded 95-99% of the time, and it will be mostly highway. I really want a straight drive with a 3.4 or 3.55 ratio axle. I put a deposit on a Chevy but the guy sold it out from under me. I'll keep my eye out for a Dodge.
Clay
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That's OK son, I'm can still use basic and remember most DOS commands. Not even trying to understand Hex.
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Bud To those who have fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will ever know. Anonymously scrawled on a bunker at Khe Sahn, RVN.
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