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Old 03-26-2012, 09:23 PM   #21
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I have had two Dodge diesels. One was a '97 with a four speed. The one I have now is a '98 Dually. The weak link in the earlier Dodges was the auto transmission, but they have improved in the recent years. The early Dodges when they went to the electronics had issues with lift pumps.
Another major issue with the Cummins engine was the use of the 53 block. There are some horror stories about them.
If you consider purchasing the Dodge, come over and read some postings on:

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Old 03-26-2012, 09:38 PM   #22
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A buddy has a 02 dodge 3500 dually. He bought it with 100K on the odo and almost immediately put in a lift pump. He used to run a superchips programmer and it netted him great mpg but he's on his 4th automatic tranny. He pulls a 48' race trailer that is probably alot heavier than most campers. Another friend had an 03 dodge dually with the 6 speed manual and pulled an old 5th wheel with a ski boat behind it. All together different truck, more power and only one tranny. I'd get a dodge but one made after 02 for sure.

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Old 03-26-2012, 09:49 PM   #23
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The tow/haul feature is great. It increases line pressure, helps with upshifting and downshifting and locks out OD in high gear.
But for towing in the hills that the original poster described especially when going downhill, it's the exhaust brake that will save your bacon.
He was trying to decide between two diesel trucks. Neither have an exhaust brake but he can add one to the Dodge he was considering. He didn't have that option with the other truck. My opinion, go with the one that you can add the exhaust brake to. It will keep you from overheating your brakes on those long, steep downgrades.
Just my 2c
Steve & Lauren
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:41 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Acableguy06 View Post
On the Fords when you apply the brake it will down shift to use the engine's braking HP's
Diesel's in general are very poor at slowing the vehicle with engine RPM alone, because unlike a gasoline engine, the diesel does not have a throttle plate.

The Tow/Haul mode does nothing even remotely similar to exhaust braking.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:26 PM   #25
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I can only speak for the Dodge and Cummins here, never owned a Ford. I bought my 2001 CTD Ram 2500 when it was a year old. I wanted the 5 speed manual because back then, as has been mentioned, the autos were problematic, they couldn't handle all the torque the Cummins put through them. This was corrected in the next generation ("3rd generation") of Rams. +1 on the engine outlasting the truck. +1 on replacing the lift pump, and possibly the high pressure injector pump (do a search on "VP44" and you'll be reading for hours.). Buying used, make sure the PO replaced these items if the truck is anywhere near 100k, or plan on doing it yourself. My truck gets 18-20 empty and 9-10 towing the TT. It will also burn waste oil (properly filtered,) which you can't do in a newer, direct-injected CTD. And +1 on taking it to a Dodge dealer for a once-over. You can even get the exhaust brake from the dealer, it has a Mopar part number. Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:26 AM   #26
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Some of the newer diesel engines have a variable-geometry turbocharger that have a ring of aerodynamically-shaped vanes in the turbine housing at the turbine inlet. The vanes rotate to vary the gas swirl angle and the cross sectional area. The area between the tips of the vanes changes, leading to a variable aspect ratio.
I assume when you decelerate and the vanes close down they restrict the exhaust flow thereby simulating an exhaust brake.
I don't know how well they work at controlling your rig's speed when going down a 6% grade so if someone's truck is equipped with one of these turbos, please tell us your real life towing experiences with them.
Steve & Lauren
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:46 AM   #27
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This is quickly turning into one of those testosterone filled, chest thumping, childish threads about my truck is better than your truck.

I’m not a mechanic, just an RV’er. I’ve taken my 2010 F250 with the 6.4 diesel through the Rockies pulling my Wildcat fifth wheel and had no issues whatsoever. All I know is that going down mountain grades was no problem with the tow/haul mode and when it downshifted, it slowed our rig down and I didn’t have to worry about overheating the brakes. It works and I don’t really care how or why.

If you want to buy a Dodge, Ford, or Chevy, buy it. They all make great trucks. But if you’re going to haul a heavy trailer up and down mountain grades, then definitely get a diesel.

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Old 03-27-2012, 08:47 AM   #28
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Wink Thanks

Thanks All,

You have given me a lot to think about. My conclusion is that to get the ideal truck, I should buy a Ford, a Dodge, and a Chevy. I should strip the engine and tranny out of the Ford and throw them away. Then I should replace them with the Cummins engine and Allison transmission. Finally, I should add an exhaust brake.

In a more practical sense, I'll just have to settle for a reasonable compromise. I sense that I should look for a 5.9L Chevy/GMC in the '05 - '07 era. Damn, those are hard to find.

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Old 03-27-2012, 08:50 AM   #29
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I am quite happy with my GMC Duramax/Allison. The new 2500HDs have almost 1000 pounds more GVWR than my 2008. They are attractively priced and the dealers are dealing.

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Old 03-27-2012, 09:06 AM   #30
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With the cost of diesel fuel and some of the horror stories of the past 3 Ford motors and the diminished fuel economy that has been seen with the new generation diesel engines, I would be scared to buy a truck that expensive. I'm glad I own a V10 to tow with. Won't win any races and is thirsty, but the money I saved on the purchase price has bought me a ton of unleaded fuel. But if you are hell bent on a diesel, then I would stay away from Ford period. Even though the 7.3 is claimed to be bullet proof, all those engines are high mileage by now and even their output numbers are no better than the current gas offerings from Ford, Dodge, and Chevy. I'm sure there are lots of happy owners of 6.0, 6.4, and 6.7 Ford diesels, but for the money they want for them, I would be scared to buy.

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