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Whats really involved in owning a diesel?

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by metallihockey88, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. metallihockey88

    metallihockey88 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    ok...heres the deal. I have 2 trucks now, one driver and one for plowing. I plan on dumping both trucks over the summer and picking up one truck to plow and drive so it will be an HD truck since i can use it a little for work in the off season. My question is what is really involved in owning/maintaining a diesel? My dad has been a tech for close to 40 years, has worked on everything there is and he tells me to stay away from diesel, not worth all the maintanance plus think he doesnt wanna work on it when i need help :rolleyes: . but i am between a V8 or Diesel F350 most likely. But the only downfall is a want a truck with the 7.3 if i go diesel cause heard the 6.0 and 6.4 blow but also dont want a truck that old to have 7.3. But whatever, im babbling and mostly all i want is how much more and what maintanance is required by a diesel on top of a normal gas engine...thanx guys :drinkup:
     
  2. frozenokiewi

    frozenokiewi Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Diesel will cost less in the long run.

    Filters, Filters, Filters, Filters, Filters...and change the oil then maybe after 200,000 miles you may have some repairs. The cost of the truck and it's upkeep will cost you more than maintaining the engine itself. Heavier brakes and all the price that comes with a 3/4 or 1 ton truck. I would have a diesel in a heartbeat and it will be my next purchase as my daily driver. I am looking at a 2003 Excursion right now. The 7.3 is a great engine and no matter how tempting the price on a truck with the 6.0 you need to run for the hills. The buy backs and recalls on that engine alone darn near ruined Fords Power Stroke reputation. Don't rule out a Duramax either, my brother is on his 4th Duramax and has loved every one of them. Hope my little bit of insight helped, I am not a diesel mechanic but I have been around ford and chev diesel truck all my life on our farm and if you can find one with the options and toys you like to be your daily driver and plow snow...what more could you ask? :)

    Forgot to mention the power and the fuel mileage...far superior to any gas engine take than into account too, it all helps the bottom line in the long run.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  3. metallihockey88

    metallihockey88 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    yea, power isnt that big of a deal to me since dont tow much, at least not yet, diesel might change that but the fuel mileage is the big thing. I know diesel is a lot more but if it stays within a dollar of regular it would be fine. drove a diesel excursion back from oklahoma for a friend and it got 18mpg and i was flyin at like 80 or more the whole way back and our new 2500 silverado wit a 6.0 at work gets 11mpg empty on the highway which is nuts. yea, been thinkin probably duramax is i go diesel since unfortunately the ford engine problem is really ruinin my choice of a ford since i want one no more then a year or two old
     
  4. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Ok just get a Dodge with a Cummins. Use Amsoil and change the oil and filter every 20,000 miles. Change the fuel filter every 10,000 miles. That's it. The 5.9 is still the way to go unitl Dodge/Cummins and everyone else gets the new emissions equipment figured out.
     
  5. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    You have got to be kidding me on changing the oil/filter every 20,000. Unless you've done laboratory tests on your oil to prove this is ok (which I highly doubt it ever will be), then this is crazy. I notice Amsoil rates the change intervals for around that but what does cummins say? I would much rather have my oil tested and get the fact before I went to intervals like that.

    My oil, oil filter and fuel filter get chained every 5000-6000 miles and the oil gets set away for an analysis and Total Base Number evaluation. I will be extending my mileage changes until my TBN starts to show the oil does not have a lot of life left in it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  6. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    No I am not kidding you. Yes I send my oil in for analysis. Amsoil recommends 25,000 miles so I chose to actually go a little shorter than that. My viscosity on 15 weight was 14.8 when it was changed and all the other measurements are within the recommended range except for copper on the very first test, and Amsoil is known for being high in copper on its first use because it cleans out the junk in the system. I know that is not a very technical explaination, but I'm not an oil wizard.
     
  7. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    Well at least you are doing the right thing by backing it up with an analysis. That change interval is just to long to me to be comfortable. Did you get the TBN number tested? That is the main factor in an indication that the oil has life left in it, TBN is an indication of the oils acidity.


    Sorry to get off topic, I'll post up my thoughts on owning a diesel when I have more time and not at work.
     
  8. DCSpecial

    DCSpecial Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 408

    We only run diesels....six 7.3s and three 6.0s. Great trucks, love the power.

    Diesels take 15 qts of oil (I change every 3,000-5,000 miles), fuel filters ever 10,000-15,000 miles.

    The benefit of the 6.0 is the Torqshift 5r110 trans that IMO is superior to the 4R100 that comes with the 7.3. The Tow/Haul mode on the Torqshift is very nice.
     
  9. ford550

    ford550 Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    I agree, far superior tranny than the 7.3 4R100.
     
  10. Beegs

    Beegs Junior Member
    from eastern
    Messages: 5

    dieselplace.com for duramax info.
     
  11. JVRLandscaping

    JVRLandscaping Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I'd stay clear of the 6.0. It costs alot in repairs. Theres problems with the EGR coolers breaking in them leading people to think that they blew a head gasket. Also there was a problem with many of the turbos on the 6.0s (also on the 7.3s but not as common) all of the trucks that were put on the car carriers facing the rear of the trailer developed turbo problems because air was flowing through the exhaust and spinning the turbo without oil. It took a couple years and some small time mechanic to figure it out. Ford never recalled the trucks affected by this but put out a factory notice. Now all of the rear-facing trucks have the exhaust pipes capped. I'd stick with a low mileage 7.3.
     
  12. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    That's the first time I've heard of that. When you think about it. The air would have to have path (in and out) of flow to spin the turbine wheel. So let's say the air goes up the exhaust pipe to the turbine wheel, it then has to travel through the exhaust manifold and into what ever cylinder has it's exhaust valve open, then the same cylinder has to have that intake valve open(and this only happens for a limited time during valve overlap), then it has to go up into the intercooler and back through the compressor side of the turbo and out the air intake.

    Sounds kinds like a long shot to me, and if there is no path for the air to flow then the turbine wheel can't spin.

    I would be curious in learning more about the factory notice and what ford said about it thought. I'm not saying it's impossible, but just not likely.
     
  13. Turbodiesel

    Turbodiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    Ever spool up a 6.0 liter and blow away a gasser? Lots of fun
     
  14. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    That doesnt make a lick of sense
     
  15. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    You must be joking.
     
  16. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    I'm with you guys this isn't realistic.
     
  17. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    it has to be true, cause it was posted on the internet!!!:dizzy::dizzy:
     
  18. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    So to back to the OPs questions about what's really involved in owning/maintaining a diesel.

    I'd be interested in why your Father thinks that diesels are much harder and more of a pain to maintain. I'm sure he's worked on just about everything in his 40 years so he should be able to give you a few reasons. I have heard some mechanics say they don't like working on them because they are a little dirtier but hey, get over it.

    My opinions on diesel trucks are these.

    Pound for pound a diesel produces more torque, is more reliable, will outlast a gas motor by twice as much if not more, and do it all with just basic maintenance. As far as maintenance goes the only basic extra cost of maintaining one is an oil change for the simple reason the sumps are much bigger, especially if you run synthetic. A synthetic oil change can run up around 80-100bucks depending on the price of the oil and if you do it yourself or not. As far as other high costs to maintain a diesel, compare the parts to a gas motor, you still have injectors, computer, valve trains, etc, etc to fail, so when it comes down to it, it's comparable.

    If you are looking at a 7.3 seriously the only major maintenance is the oil and fuel filter change, and seriously you can change a fuel filter on a 7.3 in about 2-3mins if you are good at it. The 7.3 and 6.0 oil change intervals are important to follow not only for engine wear but for also proper operation of the High Pressure oil system which fires the injectors.

    You also should not be worried about cold starting in any of the modern diesels, any of them will start easily down to 0 degrees when the glow plugs are functioning properly.

    The 7.3 is a tried and true motor with next to no emissions to worry about, and a proven reliability record. My recommendation to you would be to find a 1999-2000 7.3 due to the fact they have stronger Forged rods in them, you can find a very reasonably priced one right now.

    I most likely will not own another gas vehicle after currently owning 3 diesel vehicles. And after seeing and working on many large scale diesels in the 10,20,30000 plus horsepower range will make you a believer real quick that a diesel will out perform a gas motor any day of the week.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  19. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    i have 2 diesels left,my original 88, and a 2002. i swore back in 88 i would never buy another gas truck again. and in the past 21 years, i have owned 16 ford diesels.
    the only reason my newest truck, a 2000 F350 is a gas engine, is because i got it for next to nothing.

    the teething problems that the 6.0 had back in 03 are all but unheard of anymore.

    in the work shop, we have 26 diesels.
    1 6.4,
    6 7.3's,
    and 19 6.0's. of those 19 trucks, we only have 2 trucks with any problems, and they are high pressure oil pump problems. the trucks will loose pump oil pressure, and then are hard to start.

    but they both also have over 400,000 miles on them.
    maintenance consists of oil changes every 5,000 miles, air filter as needed, brakes, tires, and batteries.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  20. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    4 million miles huh?

    :D