Chevy or Dodge or Ford 1 ton with diesel

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I am trying to decide which truck to go with and was hopeing I could get some advice from the group. Are there any advantages or disadvantages to any
of the diesel engines offered by the different mnufacturers?
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Drive a Dodge and be happy for ever!! :-)

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The Ford diesel is a Navistar, and has some problems since its introduction. The GM diesel is a joint venture with Isuzu, and is an aluminum headed design, which can be problematic. The most important difference, regardless of the design details is the main design feature. The Dodge has a Cummins inline six, the others are a V8.
Ford:
Navistar V8 7th(?) year of manufacture: has had seal problems on the turbo, and generally is not the leader of the pack in this race. Not a terrible engine, and is a reputable manufacturer. Transmission is typical Ford design, which is to say, more complex and more electronics than really needs to be. Result is that it can be a bastard to fix if it fails.
Chevy:
Isuzu designed V8, 5year of manufacture: Aluminum heads, which are a problem on gasoline engines, are applied to the high compression world of diesel, with mixed results. One thing is sure, just as in the gasoline world, the aluminum head on an iron block is a point of gasket failure, and the added stress of high compression is no help. Transmission is the much talked about Allison, but word is running around (with some reliability) that the Alllison can fail at the 60k mark due to various reasons. I suspect this may be for reasons other than design, but this Allison isn't as good as the Allison reputation from what I'm hearing.
Dodge:
Cummins ISBe, with more than 20 years of manufacture starting with the B5.9, then BTA 5.9, then ISB, and now ISBe: Engine design is from a pioneering manufacturer that makes only diesel engines. Design has had 20+ years of evolution. Inline six is design type that is proven to make the most torque from the smallest displacement. Engine is heavy in all respects, and has a longer life expectancy to first major overhaul than the others. Trans is the proven 48RE, which has 20 years of manufacture on the OD unit, plus 20 more for the main transmission.
Overall, if you plan on towing a lot, the Dodge is the one to get.
--
Max

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And since the Cummins is an inline 6, it has fewer moving parts (read "points of failure") than either of the other two.
Greg
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On Sun, 17 Jul 2005 11:47:59 GMT, "Greg Surratt"

Also worth noting is the fact that the heavy road horses don't as a rule use v8 diesels. They all for the most part use the inline 6. I've been told that the v8's were tried but had cooling problems in the rear cylinders. That forced the engineers to up the waterpump flows which in turn led to increased galvanic corrision problems.....
Anyone check their coolant on the cummins? Is it an issue? DE
-
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Drove a Cummins V8 years ago for a little while. Biggest POS I ever ran in a big rig. I know what the advertised numbers said, but it just didn't have the grunt that any of the inline 6's had. My next engine was a KTA-600 Inline 6 with dual turbos in series. Dynamite engine!
I have a very, very slow leak in my Ram at the driver's side front. Otherwise, I change the coolant on the factory schedule every 30,000 miles.
And for Paul O.:
I was a die-hard GM fan for gas engines. When it came time to trade last time, I didn't buy a Dodge Ram, I bought a Cummins engine - it just happened to come in a Dodge wrapper. ;-)
The wife and I have agreed that a new truck and fiver will be in order to start our full-timing retirement in 2008. I may (gasp) consider the GM for some of the creature comforts, but the Cummins will still be a major factor.
Greg
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Good info Max Dodge. As a lurker here, I would just like to say that I've always been a Ford guy when it comes to trucks(gassers). If I were wanting a diesel to tow with, I'd switch to Dodge in a heartbeat. That engine is the only proven one as far as I'm concerned, and it's been a good one.
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Paul O.
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"Paul O." wrote:

FYI while I do not have the weight for a Ford CC diesel I do for and dodge and the chevy because I looked at them a lot with my friend who like I said was a ford man and wanted a cummins. The like equiped dodge truck was nearly 700 lbs heavier than the chevy with that all beiing the engine and the the front axle to carry it. If you tow a lot the cummins is a sturdy engine without doubt but it also mean that you will have to haul at least 700 lbs less with a dodge vs chevy for CDL reasons. (my friend uses his in work and whent with the Chevy) so at any give time you are hauling 700lbs more with cummins and in 2wd in snow or on soft slick ground it will suck with that nearly 5000 lb front end For what it is worth.
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Thought the new Ford 6.0 was Aluminum headed too?? From what I hear the Powerstroke 7.3 was a much better engine.
My big concern would be with automatic transmissions. They all seem to be questionable.
Al 2004 600CTD, 4X4, six speed.
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I've read, possibly here, that a good transmisson shop can make them pretty much bullet proof for about $2500. Not too much more of an investment considering the cost of a nice 1 ton dually diesel. Shouldn't have to do that, but might be worth it for serious towing.
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of all the automatics (excluding the Allison), the Ford 4R100 is the better unit
it's now the '5R110', as they started using the OD unit to give an extra gear between first and what used to be 2nd and is now 3rd, under heavy loads
built right, with lots of external cooler and a converter matched to the useage, it's very good
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Interesting. So it shifts 1st, 1st OD, 2ond, 3rd, and od?
Al
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"Max Dodge" wrote:

headed
really
talked
the
20
Ford is by far the noisest and they have had a LOT of problems with the current Power Stroke and their auto trannies do not have the best record behind a diesel and they cannot compete with Dodge or Chevy on MPG either. The other two have better fuel efficency.
This comment on aluminum heads being a problem on automotive engines is pure BS. THere is NOTHIN wrong with properly designed aluminum head as they are a lot lighter, easy to repair if damaged and they cool better to and have less hot spots becuae they conduct heat much better than cast iron too. There are the perfect head and cost is the only reason there are not more wide spread. Imports have been using aluminun head for over 35 years now too. Also Isuzu has been make light and medium duty diesel for a very long time and make some of the best light duty diesel out there period (BTW a SUV is considered light duty), THe Alison tranny they put behind it is the best out there right now in its class.
The Cummins is not a bad engine but is not as smooth as the Dmax in operation and while it will rev beyong 2200 rpm, it is not happy because you can feel it and above 2500 RPM it get even more unhappy where the Dmax pulls very smoothly to redline. The cummins also weighs 1300 lbs and the logic of a 1300lb motor is a 6000lb truck escapes me, in a 20,000lb comercail truck fine but not a P/U. . Dodge has had a lot of front axle problems in 4x4 Cummins trucks because of the weight and quietly upgrade front axle in 03 to control the problem some. Jury is still out on this fix. Also Dodge has had a LOT of trouble with automatics behind Cummins and the tranny has been redesigned in 05 but jury is still out on that too. Cummins does have a little better low speed responce (below 2000 RPM) but feels unhappy much past that. And, in chysler infinate lack of wisdom, when they came out with new front axle in the HD 4x4 in 03, they removeded the front axle disconnect in it and are using a bastard hub design that is not user freindly for service nor supports the installation of lockout hubs to free wheel front end in 2wd. So in 2wd you are ALWAYS turning the front axle and drive shaft and it wil cost you at least about 1 mpg on highway and likely more when it is cold. (I know from 30 plus years of experiance with 4x4 trucks) Given today energy market, to design a truck this way with this built in handicapp is irresponsible. Yes you could say the increased economy of the Cummins helps but the point is gas or diesel in a Dodge 4x4, it would do better MPG wise if front axle could be disabled in 2wd. Dodge is the ONLY detriot manufacturer that does this too
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Please explain then, the problems that Ford Escorts had with the heads, the GM 2.0 has with its aluminum head, and the Mopar 2.2/2.5 had with its head. All had aluminum, and ALL have head gasket faliures as part of their history. All decent engines, but all blew head gaskets because of the aluminum vs cast iron expansion rates and the effect on a head gasket.

While true, its not the head iteself which its the problem (unless ya count the Escorts cracking irreperably, the Mopars cracking around the valve seats, and the Chevies just cracking in general)

Rubbish. Cost enters as a factor, and often it cost more to repair than to replace. The Escorts heads were so rare in salvage yards that new heads were often the answer.

Thats a TERRIFIC thing, if you burn gasoline. But on a diesel, its a STUPID idea. Diesels use heat to burn the fuel, and coincidentally, ALL engines use the heat of combustion to expand gases and push a piston down. So in an engine used to haul a big truck around (no need for weight savings) usually for work (no need for high performance) and fueld by diesel/compression ignition, why would it be a good idea to get rid of as much heat as possible through the head? You'll only lose MORE heat on the next cycle, when you want to USE it to power the truck.

More rubbish. Metal casting in general is about the same cost, depending on materials costs, which fluctuate. Further, if aluminum so expensive, why did it see WIDESPREAD use in Escorts, Cavaliers, and damn near ANYTHING Chrysler built in the 80's?

Yet they are some of the cheapest to buy, further making your comment on expense look stupid.

Isuzu is about the only thing the Duramax has going for it, considering GM's reputation in the small diesel market.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

More rubbish. The inline six design is well known as the smoothest running of the two designs.

More hogwash. I can stand on my accelerator and the engine just does its thing, no unhappiness, no odd vibration, no complaints, nothing. And yeah, I'll do that in neutral as well, with the same results.

As does the Cummins

Funny, mine weights 1100lbs

Weight of the block is inherent in durability and heat retention, both characteristics of a good diesel. Besides, I can out pull any Ford or Chevy in a snow situtation, all esle being equal.

Actually, thats false as well. I've see no evidence of front axle problems. The "quiet upgrade" happened in 2000, but I fail to see where a 4800b axle rating is that much worse than the 5200lb rating when the engine only weights 1100lbs.

Hogwash
More rubbish. The AT's behind the Cummins perform exactly as advertised IF they are used within the specifications that they are advertised with. Further, the trans was not redesigned in 05, it simply gained a few clutch plates in 02.

Very true

Again, rubbish.

This was true way back in 94. Where have you been?

More bullshit. The difference I see in MPG between 2wd and 4wd operation suggests that there is NO difference between a Cummins 4x4 operating in either 4x or 2x mode.

Too bad none of those 30 years seem to have been in a Dodge Ram with a Cummins engine.

Thats false. No fullsize pickup is currently available from the factory with lock out hubs. Shift on the fly is the "in thing", which negates lock outs.
--
Max

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Max Dodge wrote:

What year cars are you referring to? The old early to mid 70's aluminum heads on cast blocks were major problems. Ya it was because of the different expansion rates. I had thought that by the 90's most of these issues had long been resolved. Don't some of the high end sports cars out now have aluminum heads? I could be wrong but I believe my 1999 Isuzu Amigo V6 3.2L I recently sold did. Ran flawless for 100K and ran like new when sold.
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I would think the engineers would have thought about this and designed accordingly. However, if you over heat the engine, this may lead to operating the engine outside of its designed parameters, thus, giving results outside of its designed results.
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Most of my reference in the post was to stuff that is 80's to present. The big key to any of the engines standing up well over time was operator care. Over heat it one time, even just a bit, and bingo, you have a problem. Other times, it simply was because of a higher failure rate on alum/iron vs. iron/iron. Yes, many high end sports cars have aluminum heads, Viper and Corvette to name just two. However, they aren't econobuckets, and generally recieve more engineering attention. Although, in the Vette, there was a problem with the goo associated with electrolysis in the aluminum headed engines scumming up the "low coolant" sensor.
This is not to say that the Duramax design cannot work, just that certain design elements have a higher failure rate than the Cummins design will, and make a bit less sense than they should to call it a proven design.
--
Max

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I have not owned the Ford or Chevrolet (diesel products), so I can't say with any certainly that mechanically they are inferior. I just looked around on the NG's and got the overall opinion of people that did own the respective models. And ... I used a little of my own logic (YIKES!).
This is the conclusion I came to based on what I read and researched:
Ford:
Positives: I love the look of the truck. I've had Fords (gassers) in the past and never really had any trouble with the brand.
Negatives: The Power Stroke is LOUD. It sounds like tin cans being banged together. It's a V8 ... so it has more moving parts. Pricey.
Chevrolet:
Positives: Quiet operation.
Negatives: No matter how good the engine is, GMC and Chevy make a butt-ugly truck and it's expensive. I don't care for Isuzu products. They are a step above a Yugo in my opinion. And since this engine was party designed/engineered by them ... it was an easy decision. Every GM product I have ever owned has been a piece of shit.
Dodge:
Positives: Cummins has a great reputation for reliability and longevity. Inline 6 cyl. Fewer moving parts = fewer possible problems. Quiet operation. Great looking truck. Always had decent success with Dodge products.
Negatives: Some negative talk about the tranny (47RE). I have the 48RE and have not experienced any problems and have not read of anyone that has. So, perhaps I waited the right amount of time (for the new and improved tranny).
Hope this helps.
Craig C. 2004 Ram 2500, CRD, 4x4, QC
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The look isn't bad, but everybody has copied the RAM. Hell, my Dakota even copied the RAM <g>

How can this be a negative? Damn, I love the fact that my work truck for the last 4 years has been loud. Loud and obnoxious is why I *LOVE* a diesel. F350 club cab with dual gas tanks and 100 gallon slip tank in the bed. It just screams "Get the hell out of my way !!!" If there was a negative to be had, I would say it was electrical. I've personally had 3 work trucks ( all F350 club cab 8'bed diesel's ) and all have had *minor* electrical issues. I've always taken them to the dealer, and all were resolved, but all had same type of problems. ( cab light not working when doors were open, buzzer not going off when key is in ignition and door is open, interior dash lighs blinking, etc ). Nothing major, but all a PITA.

Although, I don't necessarily agree it's butt-ugly, it's not going to win any styling awards either. I personally know 3 people with the Duramax and they love it. I think the bigger downfall is that they haven't been making the engines as long, so the R&D information is not as vast as what Ford and Dodge have

I agree with requtation and reliablility, but IMHO, the looks make me want to throw up. In this day and age of one-upping the competition, the front of the truck looks like some jack-ass took a samuari sward and made it into a snub nose bulldog look. I guess it's my opinion, but I loved the look of the truck 5 years ago, now it just a abortion of the original.

my useless 2 cents ...
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Regards,
Slick Willy
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Regarding my comment about the loudness of the Ford ... I guess I should further quailfy it. I do love the sound of a diesel. Something about the glug, glug, glug ...
However, the Ford sounds "tinny". Very high pitched and loud. I prefer the quieter (although not too quiet) and deeper sounds of the Cummins.
Speaking of quiet diesels ... I was with my gal looking at the new Jeep Liberty with the 2.8 CRD in it ... unless you are really listening closely, you can't tell it's a diesel. In fact, she asked me after I fired it up if we were test driving the 3.7.
Craig C.
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