on Jun 12, 2011 in Diesel Trucks
| 41 comments
There are definitely some advantages of owning a diesel truck. They offer tremendous torque, easy maintenance, are quite reliable and can save you a considerable amount when it comes to re-fueling. However, due to the high cost of diesel trucks, you may very well need to consider buying a used diesel truck.
There are several things to consider in order to make an informed choice when it comes to these 4×4 off road trucks.
- If you are considering a Dodge 12-Valve Cummins Truck you should know that the manual transmission is probably the best option though they can be very difficult to find. If you end up with one that has an automatic with Overdrive you will likely need to have it rebuilt. Their main advantage is their tremendous power and reliability. This is probably the truck that began the trend of offering heavy-duty diesel powered light trucks.
- Some of the most common of all the older diesel-powered light trucks are the Ford 6.9 and the 7.3L. These are great because their parts are widely available from multiple sources and they have many options in aftermarket products because of their popularity so upgrading is simple and rather inexpensive. Generally, the motors in these will outlive their transmissions. Especially in the E40D automatic with Overdrive you will run into problems when turbo is added.
- General Motors 6.2 and 6.5L have engines that were designed to be serviceable and reliable. In fact, the U.S. military has used these for many years. If you decide to look for this kind of diesel truck a military surplus auction is a good place to start. These engines are fairly quiet compared to other diesel trucks, which can be another advantage. One draw back to this truck is a lack of power when compared to other diesel engines. Though power is probably not the only thing to consider when purchasing a diesel truck.
- One of the main things to look for when test driving any used diesel is how it starts up after not being driven for a while. If the owner does not want you to start it up cold, you should be suspicious. If it smokes on start up, that is normal but it should not continue even under acceleration. There should not be any excessive black smoke as that can be a sign of injector-related problems. If there is continuous white smoke it may indicate a problem with the glow plug system or thermostat. While test-driving be sure to pay attention to the transmission to be sure it does not slip while shifting and how long it takes to engage when a gear is selected.
- There is a decent chance that you will need to buy a new set of tires so keep that in mind while negotiating the price. A set of 4×4 tires is generally not a cheap investment. However, if you know where to look it may be possible to find a set of cheap mud tires for trucks. Auto auctions as well as the Internet are good places to look.
- A huge advantage of owning a diesel truck is that they can run on a variety of oils and fuels. As advances are being made in alternate fuels (such as biodiesel) you will be able to take advantage of these less expensive fuels as they become more widely available.