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switching from Gas to Diesel

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by PerfiCut L&L, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 178

    Im looking to pick up a 3rd truck and am considering going diesel. I've never owned a diesel so have little knowledge of maintenance needs and such for a diesel. I'm constantly told diesels are the way to go. Much more power, last much longer.. so on and so on. Which is why im considering switching,

    Question is, Im looking for used truck about 3-5 years old. Im finding diesels with 150k to 175k miles. And am told this is just broke in. Whats the truth about this many miles on a diesel, and what sort of maintenance might be needed or expected with this many miles?

  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I just switched from diesel to gas. Never again. Any repairs and maintenance are much more expensive. The neighborhood mechanic couldn't work on it - had to go to a dealership with a diesel mechanic for about twice the labor charge. Maybe just my engine, but I had a lot of problems related to the injector pump. Then it was harder to start in the winter and had to be kept plugged into a block heater. Diesel is usually more expensive than gas (right now .40+ more per gallon), Diesel fuel and exhaust stinks up the garage. Did I mention how much more expensive EVERYTHING ABOUT IT was? Including tolls. Yes, it had more "umph" - maybe - if it didn't die from injector problems. Plus the three Pump Mounted Drivers I had to replace within three years. At the end, the engine had 106,000 miles (like you said - barely broken in) but the rest of the vehicle was falling apart around it. Some from rust (doors, fuel and brake lines), some from broken stuff (hood latch, window track) and did I mention that everything about it was more expensive - even to the state inspection and towing? My opinion is that diesel has it's place, but definitely not unless you can justify it by the heavy loads it'll be hauling and over many miles on a regular basis.

    As far as power, my 6.0 gas has it all over the 6.5TD that I had.
  3. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    If your working your truck hard then consider a diesel. A diesel truck with 150-175k miles may have an engine that "is just broke in". But what about all the other components. Drive train and suspension components are probably well worn and nearing time for repair or replacement.
  4. M&M Services

    M&M Services Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 485

    If you are working your truck and drive alot go with the diesel...Some guys cant justify the cost of a diesel because they dont do that much driving..I love my diesel and personally know of at least 10 fords from 01 to current up to 225k on them no major problems, just normal maintenance. AND before this turns into a Ford bashing thread, they all have problems...Not one brand is perfect..I am a Ford man all the way will never own anything but them...If the mileage concerns you, then you can find them with less miles...I absolutely love my diesel, but my dad loves his 05 with the 3 valve 5.4 truck runs great and plows with an 8'6" MVP all winter....Let us know how it works out it also helps when you find one have someone run the oasis report, or ask the dealer to do it that will tell you how many times and for what it went to the shop for!
  5. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    Diesels are expensive to fix. If you work the bejesus out of your truck, and haul heavy loads all the time, then go for it. If not, stick to gas. Cheaper to maintain, and cheaper to fill. I have a one ton dually, that sits all winter, cause it is 2wd. Diesel. Great for pulling/hauling, but terrible on the pocketbook to fix. Prefer gas, for everyday driving. JMO
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Yes, I alluded to it, but did not specify. In five years, I averaged only 4,000 miles a year. Most of that was plowing. And that was with a round trip from Maine to Nebraska one year. It only hauled my 200 pounds in the summer with the exception of a couple loads of firewood. I just can't justify the cost.
  7. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    83 k on my diesel nuttin but filters and front brakes, oh ya and a pulley and a belt thats it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I get double the miledge of my old truck. So diesel could be double what gas is for it to affect me. I would never ever buy another gas truck. Im all set with the 10 mpg I got from my 01 silverado 2500.
  8. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    Perficut, I think you are making a very wise decision. It sounds like you work your trucks and are starting to develop a fleet. People who work their trucks make money with them. Usually lots of money. A couple hundred here or there isnt gong to sink the company for reapairs. Brand new trucks or old trucks need routine maintenance and repair. I started off with a gas truck. I will NEVER EVER go back to a gasoline truck as long as I am towing and plowing. Personal trucks are a different story. I love the power a diesel posses. If you get something a couple of years old, you might get something still under factory waranty. I would say hold short of something with over 100k. Your truck is your companies image. People dont accept that you can plow them out because your truck is broke down. Good luck to you. I highly doubt you will regret your decision. It sounded like Mick had a bad experience with an old motor. Save up, spend the extra few bucks, and get something that hasnt been worked hard and has low miles. After that, you do the abusing. Good luck to you
  9. JPLTrucking

    JPLTrucking Member
    Messages: 64

    I love my diesel. I got rid of my gas sucking 2500 with its 9 mpg. My diesel gets between 17 & 19 on the highway and its a one ton. The Ford 7.3 Powerstroke is a great engine. Can't wait to push snow this winter!!!! payup
  10. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    all the new trucks i have ever bought have been diesel, they are great!! however two of the used plow trucks i recently bought are gas and i feel gas is the way to go on a " 3rd" plow truck. yes the diesel motor will last longer but the trucks are still built the same. and who cares if the gas motor goes bad, just replace it. most likely if this will be your third plow truck your guys will put very few miles on it and you will probably never drive it. my two gas plow trucks get driven about 500 miles per year each, so in this case gas is the way to go. our 2002 f250 7.3 psd only got driven about 400 miles in the last year, no savings in fuel here and the one oil change per year is much higher than gas oil change. i know i'll get crap for not using our trucks much but roofing has been really slow this year, had to cut back to three full timers, and we only had 8" of snow last year.
  11. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    The big pro's on a diesel are resale value,and better fuel economy.

    One thing so far no one has mentioned (could be wrong?) is that gas trucks are much more quiet and are excellant if you do much residential where neighbours or your own client is likely to complain with early morning plowing.

    As Mick said its much easier to seach out a mechanic for a gasser than a diesel at a moments notice.
  12. UpstateDzlGuy

    UpstateDzlGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    I do Residential with my truck and no one complains. With the plowing I do I am away from Fuel Pumps for quite a while and the diesel is perfect, plow forever on a tank without a need to refuel. I know a few with gas and they complain about having to drive back to town to refuel during a storm. Chris
  13. dieseld

    dieseld Senior Member
    from 90210
    Messages: 627

    If you were buying a daily truck I would recommend a diesel, but as a third I would strongly consider a gas. If you are plowing with it you are not really concerned about gas mileage going from reverse to drive. You may be able to go longer on a tank of fuel but you are making money with it so who cares how gas it uses in a snowstorm. If you fill a gas 3/4 ton pickup with two tanks a storm, what does that cost-80 or 90$. Big deal, 20 minutes of work to pay for gas to plow all day or night at 200-300+$/hr.
  14. mrbrickman

    mrbrickman Senior Member
    from montana
    Messages: 138

    always diesel, gassers are for wussies!...
    theyre so easy to fiix before 1995, but if you can get all the covers and junk off then 1995 to present arent hard to fix either...

    id reccomend being slighty mechanically inclined before buying one, i do all my own repairs and maint. and id prolly cry if i had to pay someone else to do it..

    my 1994 is up to 345k and still doing great..gets 20mpg whereas the 5.4 superduty gets 9-13

    hey, at least with a diesel you can pull up next to that moron with his window down blasting his rap in his civic who cut you off at the red light before....and hold your pedal to the floor and have his car full of nasty smoke before he can get the window up
  15. John B

    John B Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 8

    I have a 91 Dodge with the Cummins with almost 300,000 miles on the clock and it still pushes snow every year.It runs just as well as it ever did.Its all about how they are taken care of.
  16. snatchal

    snatchal Member
    Messages: 31

    Real trucks don't have spark-plugs.
  17. Bigblue250

    Bigblue250 Member
    Messages: 54

    Once you have an oil burner you will never go back period.prsport
  18. dilligafdog

    dilligafdog Member
    Messages: 53

    if you keep it in a heated garage diesel's are fine. they rumble real hard when you start them cold. they do out last the body if you take care of them. plenty of power if you haul allot. as far as maintenance parts are a little more, such as 3 1/2 gallons of oil . and as far as mileage i have an 02 f-350 i get 11 towing a loaded trailer and 15 highway. basically if you keep it in a heated garage and need the power (trailer towing) then a diesel is for you other wise stick to what you know.:dizzy: don't get me wrong i do love my diesel.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2006
  19. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    Go Go Go!

    3rd truck? how much use and need will you have(will spend a lot nore for no spark plugs)--- I own a diesel and it's my personal ride as well-- there is no going back once you plow with it! It has its pros and cons which most have been aired here. Most who own love them and there are always the occasional ex-owner haters-(I was one(early 80's GMC). If you can find a used clean one with under 100k; I would snag it up, but its all on if the use will pay for it when it all said and done!
  20. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    Ive neve had to put mine in a heated garage or plug my truck in ever. Maintainace is the key to good starting. And the newer ones start even better. got to love technoligy.