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Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 #7126976 03/29/18 02:28 PM
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I am considering upgrading to a full size diesel truck in several months due to some projects later in the year that will require heavy hauling/towing. I'll also be using this for a daily driver with a 100 mile commute every 3rd day.

My last 5 vehicles have been high mileage (200k mi+) toyota pickups/4runners that have required virtually no required no repairs other that regular maintenance - oil, filters, and the occasional ball joints. I may

I understand that due to their sheer size, most used diesels will require regular replacements for consumable parts (suspension/joints/etc..) but am looking to try and make a decision that will result in the cheapest maintenance cost without having to replace any major expensive components.

Since my budget will likely be around 14k, I'll be looking for pre-2007 4x4 trucks. Most of what I have read is leading me towards the 03-06 Dodge Ram. I'm not looking for anything to dump a bunch of money into mods, just something reliable that will be less likely to need 3k in engine/transmission repairs right off the bat.

Any help is appreciated from those that have owned one. I'd ask this same question on a diesel forum, but it seems hard to find objective information from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7127120 03/29/18 04:47 PM
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Ford 7.3 Powerstroke from 1999-2002, leaf springs front and rear virtually eliminates any death wobble. The auto trans was good in those trucks. The 6.0 Powerstroke can be made good, but itís a gamble that it doesnít sound like you want to take.

For Dodge, just about anything 5.9 with a stick shift, the autos were pretty poor back then. Biggest problem you will run into with a high mileage truck from that era is the front suspension and death wobble, it can cost $3,000 to cure it.

The 2000-2004 Duramax was good with the available Allison auto. Front end isnít has its own issues with being IFS, but never seen overly expensive parts to repair them.

Those are what I would look at, just my 2cents

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7127148 03/29/18 05:33 PM
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You get what you pay for.

IFS suspension is light years ahead of a solid front axle UNLESS.... you try and run larger tires. Anything 10 years old with 200k will probably need some front end work.

Iíd get a 98-2003 Ram under your stipulations but.... the A/C and front end will need anual repairs most likely AND if the dash is still there... it will not be for long...


Originally Posted By: Chunky Monkey
Never been to a camping world. I prefer Dick's to be honest.
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: TEXASLEFTY] #7128268 03/30/18 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted By: TEXASLEFTY
You get what you pay for.

IFS suspension is light years ahead of a solid front axle UNLESS.... you try and run larger tires. Anything 10 years old with 200k will probably need some front end work.

Iíd get a 98-2003 Ram under your stipulations but.... the A/C and front end will need anual repairs most likely AND if the dash is still there... it will not be for long...


Until GM gets away from torsion bars on the HD trucks I wonít even consider them

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7129330 04/01/18 04:28 AM
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My 2007 Classic Chevy 2500HD with 6 speed Allison 4WD and Duramax has rolled up 360000 really tough miles. No issues with engine or transmission. Front hubs need replacing every 100, 000 miles and had a few rear end issues. Lots of Texas pin stripes on body. I brought it new and change oil &lube every 5000 miles

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: Jim Adams] #7129388 04/01/18 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted By: Jim Adams
My 2007 Classic Chevy 2500HD with 6 speed Allison 4WD and Duramax has rolled up 360000 really tough miles. No issues with engine or transmission. Front hubs need replacing every 100, 000 miles and had a few rear end issues. Lots of Texas pin stripes on body. I brought it new and change oil &lube every 5000 miles


That should be an LBZ engine which was the best duramax ever produced and pretty hard to find. Cost wise Iíll stand by my statement. Install a lift pump (aftermarket) on a ISB and it will run for a long time.


Originally Posted By: Chunky Monkey
Never been to a camping world. I prefer Dick's to be honest.
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7130125 04/02/18 02:25 PM
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I've driven nothing but dodge diesels, so unfortunately my opinion is a little biased. I'm currently on my 4th, but no telling how many we've had in our family over the years. Biggest issues we've had in any were the auto trannies.

My last 3 have all been standards and only the 1998.5 (24v) had an issue. It had the notorious 53 block, and it finally cracked at 297,000 miles.

If I were in your shoes, I'd be looking for a 2005-2007 cummins. You never stated 2wd or 4wd, but 4wd dodges will typically need the front end gone through every 120-150k miles. If the tranny is an auto and has STOCK power, you should be good up to around 200-250k without any issues with it. In a standard tranny, throw a good single disc clutch in it and not look back. The stock clutch is junk IMO. My current 2011 has a double disc, and although it chatters a lot (nature of the beast in a doubled disc) it's got over 100k miles on it and still has yet to slip.

We tend to keep trucks a while and have just stuck with what has worked for us.

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7131208 04/03/18 02:35 PM
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My personal preference is a cummins. Find one with a manual transmission.

That said we have an 04 duramax and an 05 duramax. Both high miles both have seen their share of towing use, very very few problems, nothing big and they run like a top.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7131622 04/03/18 09:27 PM
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Thanks for all of the responses, Iíll be on the lookout for a used 05-07 Dodge 4x4 with the 6 speed manual.

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7131628 04/03/18 09:36 PM
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2005-2006 duramax hands down

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7132657 04/04/18 09:48 PM
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5.9 cummins with a manual is hard to beat. 247k on my 97 12 valve and she runs like a clock. Like has been mentioned I'd go with a 3rd gen now.

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7132664 04/04/18 09:51 PM
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I know of an 08 manual but you'd have to up your price a little bit. Friend of mine posted it this morning.

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7134206 04/06/18 01:36 PM
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Iím on the 99-02 7.3 powerstroke bandwagon. My 2000 has 287,000 on it. I had the trans rebuilt and upgraded the trans cooler and torque converter at a cost of $3500. Two water pumps, 3 alternators, one IPS sensor, one battery cable, one shift cable. Replaced factory auto locking hubs with warn supremes. Uprgrades to 4Ē intake and turbo back exhaust but kept it quiet. TS-6 programmer always on daily driver or tow. Fixed a couple of oil leaks that was O rings off the HPOP both times.

Rebuilt the front end. Twice

As diesel 4x4s go Iíd say this is a dang cheap list for 18 years and 287k.

With travel trailer in tow this thing will (foolishly) sit up on the highway at 90-95 mile after mile with no issues. No, it still does not have the power of the new diesels but itís damn close enough for me. The difference is itís a solid $10k truck and not $50-70k.

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7134214 04/06/18 01:42 PM
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I wouldn't admit to being that stupid.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7134447 04/06/18 06:31 PM
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Iíd buy a 7.3 powerstroke long before Iíd use a common rail 5.9 somebody gave me.. if your dead set on buying a truck built from 2003-2010..... get ready to spend $$$$ on repiars or buy a gas burner.


Originally Posted By: Chunky Monkey
Never been to a camping world. I prefer Dick's to be honest.
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: wp75169] #7134735 04/07/18 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted By: wp75169
Iím on the 99-02 7.3 powerstroke bandwagon. My 2000 has 287,000 on it. I had the trans rebuilt and upgraded the trans cooler and torque converter at a cost of $3500. Two water pumps, 3 alternators, one IPS sensor, one battery cable, one shift cable. Replaced factory auto locking hubs with warn supremes. Uprgrades to 4Ē intake and turbo back exhaust but kept it quiet. TS-6 programmer always on daily driver or tow. Fixed a couple of oil leaks that was O rings off the HPOP both times.

Rebuilt the front end. Twice

As diesel 4x4s go Iíd say this is a dang cheap list for 18 years and 287k.

With travel trailer in tow this thing will (foolishly) sit up on the highway at 90-95 mile after mile with no issues. No, it still does not have the power of the new diesels but itís damn close enough for me. The difference is itís a solid $10k truck and not $50-70k.

My lord.

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: redchevy] #7135090 04/07/18 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
I wouldn't admit to being that stupid.


perspective

Last edited by wp75169; 04/07/18 03:30 PM.
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7135098 04/07/18 03:42 PM
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If you had a 7.3 Cummings in a Toyota tundra with a Allison transmission you would really have a truck.

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: don k] #7135127 04/07/18 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: don k
If you had a 7.3 Cummings in a Toyota tundra with a Allison transmission you would really have a truck.


One of the ugliest trucks ever produced with an engine that does not exist! Good call!


Originally Posted By: Chunky Monkey
Never been to a camping world. I prefer Dick's to be honest.
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7135128 04/07/18 04:47 PM
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AND thereís no G in Cummins


Originally Posted By: Chunky Monkey
Never been to a camping world. I prefer Dick's to be honest.
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: TEXASLEFTY] #7135373 04/07/18 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: TEXASLEFTY
AND thereís no G in Cummins
Thanks for correcting my spelling. I owe you one.

Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7135417 04/07/18 11:53 PM
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Still running a 01 5.9 H.O 6spd 4x4 ram everyday. Gets 19-20mpg on my commute route, had death wobble once but fixed it real quick and hasn't happened since. My new truck shows up monday, still undecided weather to sell the ol girl or keep it around.

Last edited by sdunshee; 04/08/18 12:47 AM.
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: don k] #7135420 04/07/18 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: don k
Originally Posted By: TEXASLEFTY
AND thereís no G in Cummins
Thanks for correcting my spelling. I owe you one.


Lmao! Yep!!


Originally Posted By: Chunky Monkey
Never been to a camping world. I prefer Dick's to be honest.
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: sdunshee] #7135421 04/07/18 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted By: sdunshee
Still running a 01 5.9 H.O 6spd 4x4 ram everyday. Gets 19-20mpg on my commute route, had death wobble once but fixed it real quick and hasn't happened since. My truck shows up monday, still undecided weather to sell the ol girl or keep it around.


That would be the truck Iíd buy.... If I was forced to buy a used diesel pickup.


Originally Posted By: Chunky Monkey
Never been to a camping world. I prefer Dick's to be honest.
Re: Most Reliable pre-2007 diesel 4x4 [Re: RockRiver223] #7135660 04/08/18 11:37 AM
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Just sold my 7.3 F350. 320k on it and it and ran like it was new. Original transmission as far as I know also. Have had 3 of those and can't imagine a better built truck. Used to be a Dodge guy too but quality doesn't compare to Ford.


Just like Jesus, sometimes you gotta kill some hogs.
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