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Old 07-20-2008, 05:12 PM Rookie

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Thumbs up Planning on buying a Super Duty.. have a few questions..

Right now, I have a Mazda B4000 (Ranger 4.0L 4x4 clone). I want something bigger for towing (wheel lift), and something that's roomier than what I have. I am looking at 99+ F250's, because I like the body style. There is this one that I like and is in my price range, but it has over 300K miles. Its a crew cab, 4x4, and already has a PTO pump installed, exactly what I need.

I've read the discussions of gassers vs diesels, and the consensus says that diesel's are more expensive as they are more costly to maintain. What exactly goes wrong with these diesels, and what needs to be maintained? What are the costs associated with these items?

I'm extremely worried about the high miles. Is there anything specific I should look for? Can I do a compression and leakdown test on a diesel engine? If so, what should the numbers be? I read that these engines need a rebuild close to 350K miles? What about the turbo? Trans? Head gaskets? Water pump?

I don't want to buy a truck, and have to rebuild the engine shortly after. Should I steer clear from this possible train wreck? I do all the wrenching myself on all my cars, and I don't think a diesel would be that different.


Last edited by tahleel; 07-20-2008 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:52 AM
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any truck w. the 7.3 powerstroke is the way to go...the motors are bullet proof for the most part.. the motors will run 500K if you dont have it running 80mph at 2700RPM's or more for long distance. the turbos i havent heard of anyone having them fail or anything, some guys do rebuild them and say it makes a diff. but i dont have expierence with that..
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:41 PM
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Until last year, I had a Ranger FX4 with the raised suspension and 4.0 V6. Loved the truck, but was getting fed up with the somewhat dismal fuel mileage, and that was when gas was $2.50. That, and I couldn't haul anything worth hauling in it.

Traded it in on an 06 F350 with 6.0 diesel, crew cab, and dually rear. Oh, and the King Ranch interior... I could just about park that Ranger in the back of this big monster. I think I came out quite well on that deal.

Fuel mileage - the big F350 actually does a bit better than the Ranger. On the hwy at 70, the Ranger got maybe 16, while the F350 gets around 17 with the AC running. Cut the speed to 55, and it jumps up to 20-21.

Diesel or gas - no brainer there. Diesel fuel is around 18% more expensive than gasoline, but the engine gets around 30-50% better mileage. Diesels pull loads a lot better, by virtue of their immense torque. I just hauled a ton of red oak back home from Red River Gorge, over some pretty steep mountains. The F350 just shrugged the load off, I hardly knew anything was in the back. Lost maybe 1mpg on the trip back.

Higher cost of maintenance: I will grant you, oil changes cost a lot more, 'cause they take a lot more oil. Around $100 at the dealer, but that's with 15 qts of oil. Otherwise, mine has been pretty trouble free. The diesel engines will live a lot longer - diesel doesn't wash oil off the moving parts the way gasoline will. When a diesel does break, it tends to cost more to get it fixed - not just anyone can work on them.

Look around - you're bound to find a dealer who'd love to unload a big truck for a small one, even if the future owner doesn't know that the big truck uses less fuel. You should be able to find a F250-350 with a lot lower miles that some dealer is wishing they could give away.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:36 PM
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Diesel engines do last a lot longer, but @ 350K, I'd be worried more about the other stuff. Tranny, t-case, 4-wheel running gear, etc.

I agree with JohnO, newer, lower mileage trucks are available at a reasonable price.
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