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Maintaining an older truck

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by cutntrim, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    One of my trucks is a 1985 GMC 3/4 ton 4x4 that previously was mainly for backup, but now is worked daily pulling a landscape trailer and plows all winter. It's a good solid truck that only had 80,000 km on it when I bought it and has 110,000 now, three years later.

    The km's will start to climb with it being in regular service now, and although it's solid it is 18 years old. Aside from regular oil changes what are some of the other things I can do (e.g. oil/fuel treatments?) to keep it running for years to come?
     
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I would stay away from treatments and additives unless you have a real need for them.

    Regular maintenance is more than enough.Those were tough old trucks,and they last forever if taken care of.

    It still pretty low mileage for an older truck.You should be able to get 250-300,000 Km without any major problems.
     
  3. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I ran a truck that was 20 years old, and would be today except it was totaled by a rear ender. The main thing is to stay on top of the maintenance, oil changes, grease, etc. I always repaired things as soon as they showed a sign of being a problem, this truck was very reliable as a result.
     
  4. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    The '85 has been the most solid of my three trucks to date. The other two are/were both 1989's - Silverado and Sierra. The Sierra was totalled in a T-bone collision with a tractor trailer back in May so I'm down to two trucks now. Thankfully nobody was hurt, and I'll be selling the other '89 and replacing it with a brand new truck.

    I'm leaning strongly towards another GM (2500hd w/6.0l) but am curious as to which manufacturer made the biggest improvements in their '04 models. I'm not going the diesel route, so it's between each of GM, Ford, and Dodge's 3/4 ton 4x4 gassers.
     
  5. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I think any of the big three make a pretty good truck these days.As far as choosing one,I'd talk to some of the guys in your area,and find out how they like the warranty service they are getting with their trucks.A lot of the dealers around here will not warranty plow trucks,so it can be pretty expensive to have to cover the cost of a large repair like a transmission.

    Find a good dealer,who knows up front this will be a commercial plow truck,and make sure it is properly equipped,so there will be fewer warranty issues.I've found Ford to stand behind their trucks the best around here.Colony Ford truck center here in Brampton is a good one to deal with.They also have some of the best fleet pricing,and it's not too far from you.

    I also know of a few Ford F350's (super cab short box,and reg cabs,5.4L autos) coming off lease soon,if your interested.They have been well maintained,and not abused.They have Boss V's on them as well.

    As far as improvements on the 2004's,I haven't heard much info yet.
     
  6. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    Thanks for the reply Chris. I'm pretty well set on leasing brand new but appreciate the heads up on the Fords. My mechanic (and the mechanic in the neighbouring shop) are suggesting GM from a repair/servicing point of view. I"ve owned 3 GM's and I like them so that's the way I'm leaning.

    If looks were all that mattered, it'd be Dodge first, then Ford, and then GM.
     
  7. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Cut-n-trim. I never thought Id say this,but I honestly would take a new Dodge over the GM trucks for reliability reasons. I think GMs quality isnt what it used to be,and Dodge's keeps getting better. Heres why id buy a new 2500 Ram over the 2500HD Gm. First off, the Hemi outpowers the 6.0 hands down and it sounds cool, theres the solid American axle up front,very beefy and great for plowing.Also the Dodge has 14" rotors,front and rear. The ones i drove were the best stopping pickups I have ever driven. I load my trucks heavy,so brakes mean a lot to me.They both have the same rear axle assy. The transmissions,id call a draw,although the Gms has been out a lot longer,and should be stronger. Handling the new Rams handle incredible, gone is the numb feel my 4x4 has,it is easily the equal of the GM,and id say its cornering,is better,less roll,and sqeauling tires. As for Ford,I wouldnt even consider one with a V8 5.4, there just isnt enough power for an HD pickup if you want to tow,it is underpowered,Fords V10 barley outpulls GM's and Dodge's base V8's,and they both outrun the V10 easily when unloaded.,so the 6.0 PSD is the only option,and its a big gamble to take now.
     
  8. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    I think that's the only time I've heard of Dodge getting the nod for reliability. My mechanic actually owns a Dodge (older 1/2 ton) but recommends GM. I'm not qualified to argue one way or the other, but I do see that the majority of service pickups (landscaping and otherwise) are GM's. The majority of tow truck drivers are in GM's too, and I figure since their livliehood depends entirely on their trucks, there must be a reason most drive GM's.

    Ultimately, I'm leasing so hopefully any of the three would be reliable for 3-4yrs. Dealer warranty service is my biggest concern. I'm probably going to use a leasing co. affiliated with Landscape Ontario (I'm a member) and they'll lease any of the three, with any plow.

    Tentatively the plan is to go GM with 8.5' Fisher V and Snoway bed salter. We'll see...
     
  9. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    John

    You sold me on a new Dodge . where do I sign !!
     
  10. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Cut-n-trim. LikeI said i never thought id say those words 5 yrs ago. But from what i have seen personally,and what friends have had happen,it is true. Both my Dodge,.and my Dad's 01 have been basically trouble free trucks,and we are easy on them,we run them hard and the power is turned way up on them. I have had literally nothing go wrong with my Dodge since ive got it,and i have the records since it was new,the t case seal weeps a bit,it always has,thats it! it just turned 80K miles, I just put its 3rd set of pads o nthe fron,frist set went 45K,second set just changed last week,they went 35K>We have friends that own chevys,.and they are in shop[ way more than out Dodges are. When the 2nd gen Cummins rams came out in 94,they had a lot of stupid problems,I never thought Id use the word reliable,and trouble free in the same sentence with the Dodge's. The new Rams are even better,IMO than the 02's.

    Bwhite,you were already sold,.LOL. I am already sold too, I just love my 2000 so much, i cant see driving a new one-yet.
     
  11. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I don't try to push any particular brand too much,as I would prefer you choose what you want,but I will second John's recommendation on the Dodge's,they have really gotten their act together on the newer trucks.My plow truck has 400,000 KM,and has hardly been touched.And it gets beat everyday,with the motor turned up quite a bit.Trans is still original too.

    I don't think the newer GM's would hold up to the abuse my truck has taken over the last 6 years.I run a 12 ft blade in the winter,and the front end is all original (minor play in one ball joint).

    Whatever you buy,look into dealership leasing.They can usually provide better rates,and you may get better service if you get the truck through them.Just my experience anyways.With the near 0% financing out there too,you may just be better off to buy it instead of leasing.Be careful leasing the truck and plow together,as they may hose you on the price,and your paying interest on it as well.Kooy bros,and Walker equipment can do some pretty good leasing deals on the plows.Might want to look into it a little more.
     
  12. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    This may be a stupid question, but is Dodge still using the same automatic transmission that had so many problems? I remember a few winters ago, the local Dodge dealer near me had about 50 Dodge Rams parked outside the service department all waiting for new transmissions. They all broke reverse gear. This is not even an exageration, there were literally about 40-50 Dodge Rams all broken, parked outside, waiting for new automatic transmissions. Chuck probably knows which dealer Im talking about, they are the biggest one around here. Warnock Dodge on route 10 in East Hanover. Mike
     
  13. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Dodge did have a few trans problems,but not as many as reported on the web.The trannies are the same,or similar,except they have been updated and improved little by little.I haven't heard of many reverse problems.Valve body sealing problems,and seal problems,caused most of the problems.Maybe Johnny D can provide some more info.
     
  14. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Yea, I remember I was talking to someone who owned one of the Dodges that was towed there. Hes the one who told me his broke reverse and he went on to tell me how they are all doing it and how many there were sitting up at the dealer waiting for a new trans. I remember taking a ride by to see if there really was like dozens sitting outside the service department, and sure enough there was. I think alot of the guys were getting stuck plowing and ramming the trans from drive to reverse trying to get unstuck and something in there was the weak point and would break. I dont know how true any of that is, I just know what that guy told me and I did see with my own eyes all the Dodge Rams parked outside waiting to be fixed. Mike
     
  15. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Ill tell you this, the reverse in the Dodge 47RE/RH is stronger than the 4L80E reverse. I have quite a few friends with the 4L80E's ,they have there fair share of electrical problems as well. No matter what you use they all will have some problems .
     
  16. TomatoRedGMC

    TomatoRedGMC Member
    Messages: 39

    :D Hey Guys.....Was just checking out this thread and thought i'd share an adventure i had this weekend....My Brother-in-law and i had to get a 70 Torino out of our buddies yard, before he got a fine from the city, and my GMC isn't equiped with trailer brakes for our 98 CarMate Trailer....so we borrow gramps' 94 chevy...5.7 vortec 4x4, 210,000 miles!!! He bought it brand new, and i've done all the maintenence on it since then....no major problems with the exception of an intake manifold gasket, 5 sets of brakes and tires, and a couple sets of plugs and wires. I was still a little hesitant about hauling that hunk of steel, up a 4% grade to the top of the hill where the car was going to rest......but we did anyway.....going up that steep hill, holding second, it was sureal. we pulled 50mph without missing a beat, and i couldn't wipe the smile off my face....what a great feeling.....just like my gramps says, treat 'em right, and they'll treat you right. what a great truck. :D
     
  17. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    Chris & John - I am seriously considering Dodge for the reasons you've stated, and because of my particular situation. I've used the same auto mechanic since my first car (1986 Mustang) when I turned 16 (I'm 33), but he's selling his shop. That means I'll need a new service guy. I've also used the same lawn equipment mechanic since I started the business in '93. He drives a Dodge and has two friends who were mechanics at a local Dodge dealership before opening their own shop a couple of years ago. As well, my lawn equip guy says he can get me employee discount pricing on a new Dodge through his cousin, if I want to buy. I'll be following up with him on that this week.

    That's compared to leasing through Nisco National here in Burlington where I was quoted $2500 down, $514/mo for 48mo. with a $10,000 buyout on a GMC 2500hd LS reg cab 4x4 set up for plowing and towing. Frankly that's a heck of a deal, and they also can price out a Dodge (or Ford) if I want. Decisions, decisions...
     
  18. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Well if you need any more info or advice,on any truck,just let me know.You can buzz me at the shop,number is on my website.

    If you want to browse for some more info on the Dodge's,you can go here www.turbodieselregister.com It is mostly a Cummins based site,but the do have a lot of info on the Dodge's in general,and they have a newer forum for the newer 2003 and up HD's
     
  19. 76ChevKid

    76ChevKid Junior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 8

    I'm slowly starting to like Dodges again, so I won't trash them. If you have to go with the gas, then my bet would be on the Dodge with the Hemi. I've rode in them, and they haul. But the transmission is iffy, if it hasn't been upgraded. A friend of mine almost wrecked his truck when his transmission locked up (it was a manual though). He now has a new transmission, and has had to change rotors twice, and pads numerous times. Granted he does pull cattle trailers with it, but we have an old 93 Ford 1 tone with the 7.3 natural in it, and it has been the best truck I have seen (180,000 miles) and it hasn't had to have anything expensive put on it (it pulls a Case 450 dozer on a tandem axel 26' trailer). I love Ford, but the 5.4 is weak for such a big truck as a F-250 or 350. I don't know much about the V-10, other than it's mileage isn't exactly that great. If you had to get a diesel, its pretty tough decision. My dad has aa '99 F-250 with the 7.3 Powerstroke, superchip, and a K&N airfilter. It's automatic, and it flat out flies. I don't know much about the new Cummins, but I have heard really good things about the Dmax. If its gas though, go with the Hemi. Who can go wrong with a straight axle, and Hemi power? Anyways time for me to get off my soapbox.
    Cory