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I have had my 98.5 dodge diesel for several years. It is a 2wd, I need a 4wd and I came across a 97 ford 250 extended cab 4wd. I pull a dump trailer about 3 or 4 times a month and am tired of getting stuck. I have been told the early 7.3 were not good pullers. This came from my friend who has a 2000 7.3. I am not a hot rodder drive like grandpaw. The dodge has 3.55 gears and gets 18mpg thats combined driving, 60hy 40 cty. The ford is a nice looking truck for a 97 and has a winch, new tires, and a lot of stuff he said he did to it. It also has 237000 miles on it. That seem to be a lot. He says it has a 5 speed and 4.11 gears and it gets 20mpg on the hwy. That is hard to believe. I'm looking for opinions.
 

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everything else aside, the 7.3 is widely considered as one of, if not "THE BEST", light duty diesel engine ever offered in a light duty truck. there are literally about 2 million of them around if i remember correctly.
so long as the truck has been kept nice, maintaned properly, and has no mechanical issues i dont think theres anything to worry about. that being said - id focus on buying the nicest one you can find if you decide to go that route. i know pride of ownership is always a factor in people's opinions - but that fact is you might just get what you pay for with an old truck.
far as pulling is concerned, a 5sp with 4:10's sure sounds like it would make a heavy trailer happy. and going to 4wd im sure would make a big difference in your capability too. lastly, with it being a manual, i think that pretty much eliminates the real weak link with these trucks.
 

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^^^ pretty much sums it up. most people that come on here who switch from cummins to powerstroke end up really liking their ford over their dodge. theres a lot of guys on here who have 4.10s who get 20 or at least say they do. real world numbers, id expect 16 to 20 on summer fuel and 13-16 on winter fuel. hope this helps, and :ORG welcome:
 

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yea i should have posted my mpg.. back when i FIRST got my truck, i did one test to track my mpg over both tanks. keeping in mind, i really did my best to get the most, and with a mix of highway and city, i got a "real world" 16 mpg with my 95 2wd dually thats auto with 4:10's. mind you - i made real effort and i have no real mods outher than an intake and straight piped exhaust. i would imagine a good tune would get me at least 2 more mpg.

a single rear wheel manual should get at least that, if not better. if your friend has a good tuner and some simple mods - 20 mpg should be pretty realistic and not some "amazing achievement". it might even get more than that if there is alot done to it.. there has been some pretty crazy mpg claims on here.

if you would like to have some things to look at before a purchase, i can give you a couple - and im sure other people would be happy to help too.
 

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ok - first thing first. here
watch his series on youtube. there are 5 in total on buying trucks. the intro - which i posted. and parts 1-4. some people on here dont like him, but i think he makes great videos and personally he has helped me a few times

under the truck - the very first things to rust and rot out are usually the factory molded abs running board steps - which they do NOT make anymore (if the truck is so equipped) and the rear leaf spring hangers and shackles. factory sets are riverted on, so if there are any bolts, that means they have been replaced. if the factory hangers are there, intact with no rust,rot or holes - then chances are the rest of the truck is pretty good as far as rust.
check all fluid levels obviously, and see if the owner will allow you to remove the intake to the turbo. check turbo for any shaft play as that will be an early warning sign of failure.
if truck has dual tanks, check to see if the level indocator works for both tanks. ive had 2 of these trucks and both had one that didnt work. also, check the rear fuel tank and straps for rust. alog with the leaf spring hangers, the rear tank is also another spot to develop problems.
obviously check the lights on the dash. make sure the wait to start light cycles on and off. make sure the struck strarts up easy and doesnt blow any smoke. some white smoke upon a cold start is ok, but it should not be blue. make sure the check engine light in not on.
make sure it runs and drives smooth. if you can, jack up front of truck and check ball joints for play. also - it is not uncommon for the manual locking hubs to get stuck engagaed, which usually just needs a good cleaning. one oil leak to be sure to check for, is the dipstick where it enters the oil pan. that one leak can be the source of a real headache, and would def be something you would rather NOT need to address.

make sure to watch the series on youtube. he does a great job..
 

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Guess I'll keep looking, called to go look at it today and he had sold it already. I'll keep looking though, thanks to all.
 

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I tend to get 17-18 depending on where I do more driving over a tank. With my 18ft gooseneck I get about 12 and the truck loaded for a trip, no trailer, highway I get 20-21. 5 speed, 4.10s, 4x4. Remember, oil leaks can be a real pain to fix on these trucks. not necessarily a deal breaker but definitely a place to bring down the price on a truck.
 

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I have had my 98.5 dodge diesel for several years. It is a 2wd, I need a 4wd and I came across a 97 ford 250 extended cab 4wd. I pull a dump trailer about 3 or 4 times a month and am tired of getting stuck. I have been told the early 7.3 were not good pullers. This came from my friend who has a 2000 7.3. I am not a hot rodder drive like grandpaw. The dodge has 3.55 gears and gets 18mpg thats combined driving, 60hy 40 cty. The ford is a nice looking truck for a 97 and has a winch, new tires, and a lot of stuff he said he did to it. It also has 237000 miles on it. That seem to be a lot. He says it has a 5 speed and 4.11 gears and it gets 20mpg on the hwy. That is hard to believe. I'm looking for opinions.
Guess I'm late to the party, but my 6" lifted truck is for sale; 4.10 gears, 18mpg city driving, 20-22mpg highway. pulls a 5k load @ 80-90mph thru ski country without sweating.

You'll like the stroker over the dodge... believe me.
 
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