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Giving up on the Chevy, What truck Next??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mark13, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,795

    Alright, well apparently my Chevy 1/2ton is trying to get a message across to me. This morning it started to drip coolant again so when I pulled off the top radiator/fan shroud I also noticed it was leaking trans oil. I've fixed both these problems about 4x before and they keep comming back and each time it's something a little different. But besides that, now the real reason for this thread:

    Which truck to look into for the replacement??

    Thoughts so far:
    Ford (I know, I know :eek:)
    96-97 F350 7.3, auto or 5spd
    02-03 F250/F350 7.3, auto or 6spd (don't like the seats in the 99-01's)

    97-98.4 2500 12v/5spd
    03- 2500/(3500srw?) 600 series/6spd

    98-00 (obs) k2500/3500srw 350/454 auto or 6.5 diesel/ 5spd (possible 12v swap in the future)
    03-04 2500hd/3500srw, 6.6/ally or 6spd

    I'm not so much worried about the good, and don't even start on the ifs/ sfa argument. I have ifs now, it works fine for plowing. I want to know the bad or area's of weakness or poor design in the above trucks. I can figure out the benefits to each truck, most are widely known, I need first hand experience from owners of the above trucks who plow and work them on what to watch out for, what to check, and what to stay away from.

    What I need the most help on as I've never driven one:
    96-97 f350 (I've driven a 97 fsuperduty a tiny bit, but not enough to get an opinion on it)
    97-98 and 03 dodge (never driven either)
    6.5 GM's, driven one about 200ft, again not enough to make an impression on it

    What I've noticed:
    Ford-99+ 7.3s that several friends own seem to go through ball joints like crazy, some a set a year or every year and a half, oil pan rust and cps sensors also for any 7.3
    Dodge has hit or miss auto transmissions behind the diesels, 5th gear nut backing off on the nv4500s, kdp in the 12v's
    Chevy- couldn't get a 12v or dmax factory in an obs :realmad:

    And another important bit of information with stupidly high fuel. What's a real world expectation of the above trucks? Plowing, Towing (up to 12,000), and as a Daily Driver (or coffee getter for JD)

    And I'm trying to stay under $13500 roughly on the truck. So anything much newer then 03 is probably out and even most of those will probably be out due to high milage or beat up.

    Alright fellow PS members, Discuss! :waving:
  2. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    I have a 96 F250 powerstroke with a Boss 9.2 V that has been plowing com lots for ten years now. And pulled the landscape trailer for 2 years. After 125,000 miles we finally had to rebuild the trans this winter. Only other item is we only get 50,000 miles out of the alternators.Ball joints replaced once, CPS sensor just replaced 2 weeks ago. Glow plugs a couple times. I have owned it since 1997. Its been a good truck overall. This truck will plow for 12 hours on one 20 gal tank of fuel.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  3. WilliamOak

    WilliamOak PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,988

    posting just to be subscribed here! I am proud of you for including the fords too lol. I will have lived a good life the day I see mark park a ford truck in his driveway for good!
  4. timmy1

    timmy1 Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 470

    Get a 98 Dodge 12 Valve.

    Have the tranny done, fix the KDP and put in a Thuren track bar. The ultimate plowing machine.
  5. DCSpecial

    DCSpecial Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 408

    Odd...I haven't had any ball joint issues with our 7.3s. Although I don't plow with them....but one rolls on 38/15.50R20 tires on 20x12 wheels so it stresses out the front end.
    CPS...not a huge issue IMO. I do carry a spare with me though. Ford came out with a new CPS (gray in color) that is supposedly an improvement.....not sure as I still have the black ones in.

    What I do not like about the 7.3 is the stock 4R100 trans if you plan on chipping the truck.
    The ZF-6 is nice, but I wouldn't want one if this is also going to be your daily driver. Just personal preference really...my 2000 F-450 has the ZF-6. Great for hauling weight though.

    Stock height 7.3 with stock tires can get 16-19mpg around town, 20mpg+ highway, I've never paid attention towing.
  6. I have a 96 Ford F-250 Heavy Duty (pictured in signature) that hauls 3000 pounds of liquid and equipment all day every day from April to November. This truck has been a beast. Its on its 3rd year as a sealer hauler and I have not put one cent into it for repairs. Its a 2wd so its not plowing in winters, just have it haul the blowers around.

    My other truck is a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 V8 Magnum with 8' plow and I'd put it up against a 2500 any day of the week and bet my last dollar it would perform as good or better.

    My last mechanic use to praise Chevy trucks and told me they are far better than any dodge or ford. Funny thing was he was always fixing the same problems over and over again on the same Chevy trucks and not having to do squat to my Ford or Dodge.
  7. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,795

    Your funny Colin, almost.

    The truck would stay stock for a bit but all my friend's diesel's are tweaked a little so I'd have to play along. That's kinda why I was looking into the manual tran's trucks also. Seems like you can go a little farther with the mods before you really have to open the wallet for big tranny mods.

    I've never dd a manual for a long period of time but I seem to enjoy it. I seem to get "bored" just driving along and all I control is the gas and the wheel.

    As far as ball joint's my friends 02 f350 is on set 3 at under 60k. He plows a little and is running 295 tires. My plow is on and I plow way more then he does with my truck.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  8. DCSpecial

    DCSpecial Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 408

    What about a built auto trans over a ZF-6?

    Although for towing I like the ZF-6 as I can down shift. With the 4R100 depending on what tuning you get on a chip you can get it to downshift out of OD.

    I'd drive a SD with a ZF-6 first if you decide to go that route.
    Mainly the only time I don't like it is crawling in traffic.....and the fact that I drop boost everytime I shift.
  9. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    Find whatever you can that you can afford. All trucks have their downfalls.
  10. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,264

    Its about time!:drinkup:

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    49 block killer dow pins
    46 re only last 150k

    24 valves are quieter then 12 valve

    i can list all the pros of dodges if need them.

    i'll tell you truth....
    when buying a used truck, it is only as good as the last owner has taken care of it. if they beat it then it will need work often, if they took care of it then it be a good truck.
    you can get good or bad in each brand
  12. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,795

    One of my friends has a 99 7.3 with the zf6 so maybe I can bum it off him for a day or so. I wish I would have known, he was in florida for a week, would have been the perfect time to drive it so he wasn't out a truck for work.

    As far as traffic I rarely drive in it, if I am in traffic it's for no more then 5 minutes then I'm back on moving the speed limit.
    O be quiet you! Don't you have some grass to mow or leaves to rake in snowless NJ? Or did you actually get something for once?:D
    46re? Are you talking about the 24v with the vp 44 pumps?

    As far as sound I'm not real worried about it, truck will end up straight piped anyway.

    Before I get one I'm going to look them all over, make sure I talk to the owners a lot and see if I'm able to see it at their house to get an idea what it was used for. I'd probably walk away from one if I pulled in and it was a semi rundown farm with older equipment that's all been worked hard and put away wet. The goal is to find one that was used by old timers for pulling a travel trailer and occasionally used to go to bingo night.
  13. Gettindirty

    Gettindirty Member
    Messages: 38

    I picked up a 98 3500 dump with a 9' Poly. So far so good. This spring I will have the trans beefed up. It was just re rubber banded this summer. The truck is a beast in the snow and not too bad around town. Plowed last week for 11 hrs straight used 1/2 tank of gas. I'm not too heavy on the pedal though.
  14. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    LOL you're kidding right? See my sig. I would walk all over that truck. No offense personally.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  15. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,795

    Chevy, GMC, Dodge??
  16. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,795

    I saw that too and didn't feel the need to respond.
  17. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    It's 53 block!

    Be careful, there is a lot of bad info "out there"
  18. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    You are apparently older, wiser, and more mature than me then! Or at least the later 2.

    For what its worth, I had to replace the front and rear u joints on my truck around 60,000 miles, and, the engine mounted fuel pump died and was relocated into the tank at 54,000 miles. The dealer completed all of this work for a total of $200 in deductables.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  19. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,795

    Probably none of the above. At the ripe old age of 19 I still got a lot to learn.
  20. WilliamOak

    WilliamOak PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,988

    Hey mark, why is the 6.Oh yes included in the list??? lol just kiddin.