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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone running a diesel truck, if so whats are the upsides and the downsides. Thinking of getting one.

Tks
 

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That is a tricky question, and there are several things to consider.

First off, diesel is more expensive, and I am not so certain that you get more mileage from it (in a run around truck).

For example; If you throw in 5 gallons, and the diesel goes one kilometer more than the gas, then its not worth it. (strictly from a fuel economy point of view). However if you are towing, then diesel would be better. More torque, better towing capacity.

Depending on where you travel, there is the consideration that some remote gas stations don't carry diesel.

If you have some friends in the restaurant business, you can easily adjust your truck to run on old cooking oil. Might be good for bear hunting... smell like french fries!
 

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Better engine life too...
 

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A lot of our work trucks are GM diesels. Everything above is true and here's a few more quirks. More engine noise in the cabin, hard starting in the winter, diesels don't warm up without working them so idling to warm the vehicle in the winter is difficult. We've had problems with water in the fuel which results in changing filters. And the GM trucks have the intake for the air in the wheelwell which sucks up water from the tires and even fluffy snow. Again filter changes. Our trucks tend to idle for hours which doesn't hurt a diesel but isn't good for a gas motor. As stated above, more power for towing heavy loads, our main reason for diesels. We don't keep a vehicle long enough to be able to vouch for longevity.
 

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If your looking at new the new diesel trucks besides dodge require def exhaust fluid on top of the higher cost for fuel.
 

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If you don't intend to haul with it (and by that I don't mean a travel trailer) on a regular basis (3 to 4 times a week), than it is a waste of money IMHO. Having contemplated buying one a few years ago, and knowing guys who have had some, you really need to be using your truck A LOT, for the diesel engine to payback. Plus, if you change vehicles every 4 to 5 years, than you'll never get into your payback on the compression engine, just sayin'.

I fueled up with diesel this AM (my car) and the price/l is now comparable to gaz, go figure, oil vs gaz.... 1.39$/L.....anyway, don't want to discourage you from getting one, but it really depends if you really need it I guess. A good diesel engine will last longer than the motor mounts it sits on, but nowadays, a lot of guys get spring fever on trucks often lol! If you plan to keep your truck 10 years, and haul a lot, it might prove a good purchase, otherwise, I'd go gaz, my 2 cents.

Good luck.
 

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I don't own a diesel, but I sometimes borrow my uncles or brother in laws truck...

Brother in law has a 2004 Ford Diesel, 3/4 ton. and I usually haul a cattle trailer, I went to PEI and had a 500 Km round trip, cost me about $80 (few summers ago)

I took my uncles truck, 2007 Chevy Gas, (I think it's the 6.2 or whichever one is a pig on gas) 1 ton (single axle) and with the same trailer going about 500 kms, I put in $175 of Gas... (these 2 trips were within a couple weeks so same price of gas).

The chevy holds the loads better (but due to 1 ton vs 3/4 ton) but as far as pulling power, the diesel would beat the gas no probem.

Diesel are more expensive to fix. But depending on what your doing with it, I would lean towards the diesel. The difference in Gas consumption would probebly even the difference in price?

My 2 cents.

P.S. the Ford might be for sale...
 

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One thing to consider is the cost of buying the diesel engine. You usually have to go to at least a 3/4 ton or 1 ton. In a Dodge/Ram you could be looking at an additional $7000-9000.00. That buys a lot of gas.

As mentioned above maintenance on a diesel can be more involved and more expensive. When I worked for Dodge, we changed the fuel filter with every oil change. At the time the Cummins required about 12 litres of oil. If I remember correctly a diesel oil change was well over $100.00 and a gas engine oil change was only $14.95. That was in the early 90s and now I pay between $35 and 45 for an oil change on my Caravan. God only knows how much a Cummins diesel oil change with a fuel filter would cost.

If you are going to be working a truck hard and plan to do so for many years and drive at least 50,000 kms or more per year, get the diesel. Otherwise you are probably better off with a 1/2 ton with a gas engine.

A lot like a hybrid car. Once you pay the extra for the Hybrid package you have to keep it without repairs for like 20 years to break even.
 

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$100.00 for an oil change, geez do it yourself. Dad has a 1991 Dodge Ram with a cummings 350, he gets about the same gas mileage as my van. I actually borrowed it yesterday to haul a load of soil. That truck is still runs as good today as the day he got it. About the only thing he has had to put money into is body work and a couple paint jobs.
If you plan on upscaling your vehicle as someone said every 5 years then you aren't going to get your moneys worth out of it. If you plan on keeping it then I can't see how you'd go wrong, at least with a dodge model.
 

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hey, just read the post. If you haven't bought one yet don't bother. I'm a diesel mechanic and you won't see me driving one. If your looking at a used truck that would be your best bet. I'm a chevy guy but for diesel get a dodge with a cummins.
the pros of a diesel is better torque for towing and normally better mpg. Longer life is arguable. diesels use to last longer but speaking as a chevy guy I know the some engines like the chev 6.0L will run forever. 500K and longer.
the cons of a diesel if your buying new is diesel is a 5000$ and up option. also now they have to run DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) which is costly. the harder you work the engine the less it burns. so if your just puttin around town your going to use a fair bit. new or use diesels a expensive to repair. plugs and wires on a gas engine are 100-200$ for a v8. injectors for a duramax diesel is 2500$. Labor at a shop is usually more for repairng a diesel as well. since they have added DEF and emissions to the diesels in the last few years they have gotten harder on fuel.
even if I was towing I would buy a big block gas. cheaper to repair and what you would save buying a gas engine would pay for a lot of fuel.
this is just my 2 cents worth
 

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The only plus side I experienced with a diesel was when we rented a cube van to bring a ton of row from my wife's parents place to ours, The noise drowned out the wife! Most peaceful drive we ever had!
I told her that we should investigate these miracle engines a little further when we get back home. Humour or appreciation was not found, at all!
 

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Ambulance New Brunswick ran the diesel Econoline 350s until truck 566, from then on everything was gas. In my experience driving them I found that the diesels worked way better, but like what was said, this is usually under heavy usage. They were noisier but they had a way better time on the highways with hills, no issues at all actually. I can recall going hot to the cardiac unit in SJ and hitting the hill near Dow Settlement (Exit 212 on Hwy 2) and the diesel having no real issues while the gasoline hits about 6,000RPM and sounds like its going to explode. Both were traveling ~130kph. They are also leased until they accumulate ~300, 000 then they are returned to Malleys, reserviced and sold off to Mexico and NFLD. Some of the gas trucks are having a hard time reaching that 300, 000km mark and they are not the vehicle you want to break down when you need them moving. Our fleet guys do service to them every 8, 000kms and a complete overlook every 14, 000kms. The price of fuel is also redic when comparing the two. I've done a transfer from Hartland to Saint John and then back emtpy in a diesel, we were little below half a tank (~$80). The same run in a gas and the light popped on and we refueled for just over $170. They are work horses and do seem to do better under stress in all regards. Now that Ford is discontinueing the Econoline series, ANB is looking for an alternative and one that the parent company is testing out over at Island EMS are the diesel Sprinters, which are very quiet and 30% better on fuel than our diesels were.

Someone mentioned idling not being good for a gas engine. During my two days/two nights on, the engine probably idles for about 2 to 3 hours a day depending on how long we sit roadside. Unless they are plugged in, they are not suppose to be turned off for any length of time.

I'm not sure if this helped at all, but this is my experience with diesel vs gas and the performance I've seen under heavy usage.
 

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The reason they switch to gas engines is there are so many bugs in the DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) system that they are way to unrelyable to be in a ambulance. I was very happy to see them switch to gas engines. I work for a fleet with transports and the DEF system is one of our bigest problems on a daily bases. when I started working on diesel engines the biggest problem was the odd injector failing. Now because of emissions we have turbos, computers, wiring and all major systems failing on a daily bases. untill the goverment backs off on emissions for diesel engines you will see gas engines become more popular again. I'm already starting to see big block engines showing up in 5 ton trucks, ones used for deliverys around town like couirer and hardware store boom trucks.
 

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If you want to haul a trailer or a load diesel is great! the mpg doesn't drop off like a gas does under load. Be careful on which diesel engine you get. Cummins is the best in my opinion because they are 6 cylinder which works best as a diesel. The V8 diesel just has two cylinders that do nothing but cause problems and suck fuel. The V8's have A LOT more moving parts as well which give it more chances to fail. Then look at transmission and drive train options. Some 3/4 ton trucks have front end problems but the 1 tons don't. Same with the transmission. You will have fewer problems if you go with a manual trans as well. The DEF stuff is a pain and if you can stay away from it then that is best! It pays to ask a lot of questions to a lot of different people which makes this site great!
 

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I bought a 1975 chev 4x4 3/4 ton, my new hunt'n toy...It needs alot of work but most of you will envy me when its done haha!!You'll see, it has a 350 but i'm going to hopefully put a gutless 6.2 ltr diesel-25 +MPG all day long giant moose on back or not!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I bought a 1975 chev 4x4 3/4 ton, my new hunt'n toy...It needs alot of work but most of you will envy me when its done haha!!You'll see, it has a 350 but i'm going to hopefully put a gutless 6.2 ltr diesel-25 +MPG all day long giant moose on back or not!
Wicked, I built a 1978 one ton a few years ago for a little sunday driver. Was a good idea until I soon learned it gave me around 8 mpg. Hope you put some pics of the build up!
 

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Until 2004 I'd have told go diesel and don't even hesitate, however this 2004 anymore. Starting in 2004, diesel market changed for the worse, new emissions came into effect and diesel horsepower wars finally came into full swing. The newer generation of diesel trucks are geared more for people who shouldn't be buying one in the first place, they're tuned for high horsepower outputs and quiter operation rather than to be workhorses, both of which burn enormous extra fuel to accomplish those goals. The older engines were noiser and slower, they got far better fuel mileage(my 1990 D250 consistantly posted 25-27IMPG) and simpler to work on. The emissions on the new trucks are very finicky(new very expensive technology with bugs yet to be worked out) and then fuel mileage is no better than on a large gas V-8 or V10. As a result, the extra $10K you're paying gives more pulling power however you pay dearly for it at the pump, diesel has been as much $.20/L more than gas in last few years in the winter. My father-in-law went through this a few years ago, he decided his F350 6.8L/V-10 was too hard on gas and moved up to a F450 6.4L/TTD V-8, the mileage is actually worse on the F450 doing the same job, the maintenance costs are just astromonical. In the end it really comes down to one question, Do you haul more than 8K lbs every week? If you do, you should look at the diesel market, if don't then you probably shouldn't.
 
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