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Thread: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

  1. #1
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    Default Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I'm on the verge of buying a little farm soon and have been putting off buying another pickup after selling mine in 2008, not having a need for managing another vehicle for which I had no work.

    I've always liked the way the older Dodge trucks look (late 80's early 90's). Based on the anticipated
    needs to:

    1. rebuild any existing farmhouse
    2. move equipment and small animals on dirt lanes in driving rain
    3. occasionally pull 12-14K lbs of boat and trailer in and out of my barn/boat shed

    I'm focusing on Dodge 2500 4WD trucks. Many pop up in the search with the Cummins Diesel engine.
    A quick survey shows rebuilt longblocks are priced around $3500. I've rebuilt my fair share of gas engines as well as one diesel,
    so making a dent in engine rebuilding by DIY is an avenue I'd consider.

    Which model years were problematic?
    Where any of the transmissions 'dogs'?
    Is the longblock the "tip of the iceberg"? (i.e. are there other high ticket items I'm missing like turbo, manifolds, etc?)

    Again, based on 'entry pricing', the late 80's and early 90's trucks are looking attractive.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    From what I understand the earlier 12V engines are very trouble-free, but they are also very noisy. More economical that the newer ones too. Do a Google search for dodge diesel forums and you should find out exactly what you want to know.

    Ken

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianM View Post
    the late 80's and early 90's trucks are looking attractive.

    Thanks
    The ruputation for Dodge Trucks of that era is that the Cummins will outlast the rest of the truck, and also that build quality of the body especially wasn't as good as equivalent Chevy and Fords. If I were going that old and looking for a diesel I think I'd look for a Ford for overall quality, the Chevy diesels were crap until they went to their Duramax motors after year 2002 or so.

    FWIW, I know you didn't ask. . . I've owned a bunch of full size Chevy trucks and in my opinion the gas motor 1500 4x4 Silverado extended cabs from 1995 to 1999 were the best trucks they ever made quality wise. This was before they started making thrid door models or weakening the frames to meet crash standards. Very solid trucks.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Your problem will be finding a clean one. You want one that didn't do anything for a living except mount a camper and has under a 100k miles. That makes Ford by far the best bet, as they made more full-sized trucks than all the other manufacturers combined.

    And while there's nothing wrong with the Cummins except noise, Ford's IDI 7.3L NA diesel made from 88-94 routinely runs 450k miles without a rebuild (with routine oil changes), as do their T-18 and C-6 transmissions. The only down side to Fords are weak front ends. Figure in 1100 bucks for ball joints at the 150k mile mark.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_F250

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    The ruputation for Dodge Trucks of that era is that the Cummins will outlast the rest of the truck.
    This is the key. Also, the transmission is a weak point. Basically, the Cummins is great, but the rest of it is questionable. Ok, I might be a little opinionated. Sorry.

    You have lots of choices in heavy duty trucks.
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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Lots of good tips. I'll throw the normally aspirated late 80's Fords into the mix. Locally these two pop up in Craigs:

    Ford F250 Turbo Diesel 4x4 (1990) - $2900 (los gatos)


    Date: 2011-10-23, 11:45PM PDT
    Reply to: sale-w2rjw-2665646071@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

    Good condition! 260,000 miles. Owned by family member who changed the oil every 1000 miles. Will probably run forever. I'll consider trading for older Toyota Corrola or other commuter car with good mpg. Will also consider trade for 85' or older Toyota 4x4 truck.

    • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests




    Ford F250 DIESEL 1989 - $2600 (santa rosa)


    Date: 2011-10-23, 5:43PM PDT
    Reply to: sale-yzzzn-2665327224@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

    IM SELLING MY FORD F250 DIESEL 1989 FOR $2600 THE RESON IM SELLING IT ITS BECAUSE I PAY TO MUCH INSURANCE FOR ALL OF THE CARS THAT I HAVE. THE TRUCK IS IN GREAT CONDITIONS. THE TRUCK IS NOT 4*4, IT HAS 2 GAS TANKS. THE ENGINE IS A 7.3 ENGINE. IT GETS 21 MILES PER GALLON. IT HAS OVER 200*** MILES ON IT. IT RUNS GREAT. IF INTERESTED OR ANY QUESTIONS CONTACT ME AT 707-483-4718. ANY TIME IS GOOD.(NO TRADES),(PRICE IS FIRM)

    • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests



    I'll go take a look if they aren't already gone.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianM View Post

    I'll go take a look if they aren't already gone.
    Fine. But look harder before you break out the wallet. There are plenty of trucks with much lower mileage out there...you just have to find them. I also expand my search area to around a thousand miles when looking. Include eBay. Dealers use it and have some occasional clean bargains.

    Back the 4WD Fords up around 20 feet, then get out and look at the front wheels. If they are toed in any more than very slightly, they need ball joints.

    And I like canopies, ideally with a clean or absent trailer hitch. They aren't for me, they usually mean the truck didn't do much except haul tools.

    Also avoid trucks with beds that look like they've had the snot kicked out of them. If they look like a front-end loader dumped 4X8 rocks in there routinely...then one probably did.

    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 10-26-2011 at 12:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    IT HAS 2 GAS TANKS.
    There's an implied warning in there somewhere!
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Smalser View Post
    The only down side to Fords are weak front ends.
    I see a lot of Fords of that era with broken body mount bushings, especially at the rear of the cab and the front of the bed, makes them look swaybacked.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    I see a lot of Fords of that era with broken body mount bushings, especially at the rear of the cab and the front of the bed, makes them look swaybacked.
    The center pivot bolt/bushing mounting the front axle is prone to breakage on trucks used off-road, exacerbating toe-in. A relatively inexpensive repair, but such trucks also usually need ball joints.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I'm taking my time and am not in a rush. I don't want to bother a bunch of sellers tire kicking without a reasonable probability that the model I'm looking at will work out in the end.

    I appreciate the tips on body mounts and front suspension for the Fords. Now that you point it out, I do recall seeing plenty of trucks with the beds looking low at the cab. I thought it was from overloading the frames and it had not occured to me that it could be body mounts. Either cause is clue enough to keep walking.

    I've seen a jewell of a F250 gas powered 2WD which evidently lived it life mostly garaged. Ultra clean bed and exterior paint, but clearly original.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/ctd/2661632945.html

    very clean, but gas is not my first choice, especially if a rebuild is in the works in the next 50K miles.

    Lots to think about.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    BTW, here is a handy Search Engine for Craigslist that let's you search as far as you want in one shot:

    http://zimkiv.com/

    simple but reliable.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Been driving a 1993 Dodge 250 Club Cab four years and would agree with Paul Pless. One important diference in Cummins Diesels is the old 12-valve (like mine) and the newer 24-valve (not sure when they changed). Nothing really wrong witrh the 24's, but the 12's are bullet proof. I traded a newer 2000 Chevy gasoline-fueled ext-cab for the Dodge because I wanted to run on waste vegetable oil. The Doidge has not dissapointed; it has way more torqu for towing my boat, too.

    There is another difference in the Cummins involving injection pumps between mid 1990's and 1998 where they won't handle vegetable oil very well. My older model if fine, and so are the ones after '98. If you're inteested in burning waste veg oil, the websites like Golden Fuels and Greasecar can furnish more info and the specific model years to avoid.

    People talk about the Cummins' noise, but I think Fords are louder. No worries; I drove a school bus for a few years when my industrial job was outsourced to China, and got used to the purr of those International Diesel Busses.

    Moby Nick

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I had a 99 3500 Dodge dually with a Cummins. Cruise on 75-80 most of the way from FL to VT (empty) & averaged 24 MPG with an automatic & no front axle hubs. Got on a ferry in Virginia & the guy collecting tickets said "99, huh?" I said "How'd you know?" & he replied that he'd sold Dodges for years & that 99's were the noisiest. Also said they got the best mileage. I'm guessing that the extra rattle is due to a bit more advance on the injection timing - which will boost mileage (to a point).

    That Dodge had torque like nothing I've seen before. Seemed more than Fords - even the 7.3 (aka the International motor). Chevy diesels don't come close to the torque of the Cummins (though I haven't driven any later than about 2006, so I can't speak to the newest ones).

    My 89 F250 Ford had almost 200,000 on the 351W when I sold it. Had it's oil changed every 3,000 & it ran perfectly. With proper care, modern gas engines will last a long time. I'm currently driving a 6.0 2500 Chevy which has tons of power, but stinks in the mileage department (13). However, most diesels 2004 & up only get 18 or so (4WD) & the $3,000-4,000 extra for 5 mpg (with higher priced fuel) buys a lotta gas....

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    I had a 99 3500 Dodge dually with a Cummins. Cruise on 75-80 most of the way from FL to VT (empty) & averaged 24 MPG with an automatic & no front axle hubs. Got on a ferry in Virginia & the guy collecting tickets said "99, huh?" I said "How'd you know?" & he replied that he'd sold Dodges for years & that 99's were the noisiest. Also said they got the best mileage. I'm guessing that the extra rattle is due to a bit more advance on the injection timing - which will boost mileage (to a point).

    That Dodge had torque like nothing I've seen before. Seemed more than Fords - even the 7.3 (aka the International motor). Chevy diesels don't come close to the torque of the Cummins (though I haven't driven any later than about 2006, so I can't speak to the newest ones).

    My 89 F250 Ford had almost 200,000 on the 351W when I sold it. Had it's oil changed every 3,000 & it ran perfectly. With proper care, modern gas engines will last a long time. I'm currently driving a 6.0 2500 Chevy which has tons of power, but stinks in the mileage department (13). However, most diesels 2004 & up only get 18 or so (4WD) & the $3,000-4,000 extra for 5 mpg (with higher priced fuel) buys a lotta gas....
    Well noted on the cost penalty for diesel, which in my view, is why I'm reaching so far back in model year to keep the costs contained. It will be primarily a work truck so I can get by with beat up interior/paint etc which comes with age. On almost every used vehicle I've ever owned, I end up rebuilding the brakes and suspension anyhow, maybe not immediately, but soon enough. Until I start my own business, the truck is just another "toy", so I can't plow lots of dough into it and am not interested in late model units. (They tend to be just heavier anyhow loaded with more "creature comforts", airbags, and other complications).

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Yeah - you can do that. Around here, an early 90's truck is so rusted it's unsafe for the road. Even if you can get another year or 2, it'll need all new brake lines, fuel lines, etc. etc. Road salt & therefore rust is a nightmare.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    We've got a 2007 Dodge 2500HD with the last of the 5.9l diesel. But that's way to new for you.

    My old '93 F250 with the same 7.3l IDI that Bob likes (but with the turbo) is still running strong. It eats glow plugs annually, and sometimes the starter grinds horribly loud (but only in town, when everyone is looking), and yes, I had to have the ball joints replaced. Also had to replace all four rear leaf spring mounts as they were breaking due to rust.

    I've been eyeballing this one in Oregon...

    http://autos.yahoo.com/used-cars/for...any&picstart=1

    ...but the dealer is way overpriced.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I've got a 99 dodge 4x4 with the 24v cummins, the thing to watch for with the early 24s was that the lift pump would fail causing the injector pump to take over pulling fuel from the tank and eventually fail. This is an expensive repair. You can tell if the lift pump is functioning by bleeding the fuel filter, it should pump fuel out of the vent quite fast, if its just a dribble its no good. this is common from '98 1/2 to 2000, they put in a beefier pump in 2001. I have the 5 speed manual, no issues in 240 000km. The 24v cummins is a nicer daily driver, way more power, but for a second vehicle the earlier 12v cummins up to '94, are easier to repair, maintain and really easy on the fuel. Get one with a manual transmission if you can find it, you'll be much happier with the performance.
    I've had 6.2l gm diesels, early IDI fords, and currently a '99 f-550 w/ 6.7l powerstroke, by far the best out of all of them has been the cummins.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I've got a friend who owns a 1995 Dodge 2500 Clubcab with Cummins. He bought it new and still loves it. He's got a plow on it and says it's lousy for plowing unless you throw a lot of weight in the back. Noisy as Hell!! Ever since the price of diesal went up, he pretty much keeps it parked and drives his wife's mini-van.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Well, I'm biased, but if I were you I would stick with your original search. Those early Dodge/Cummins combos blow away anything from the same era, imo. Ford and Chevy caught on by the mid 90's and started making some nice diesel work trucks, but prior to 94 or so the Dodge was way ahead of the others. I've put 350,000 on my '93 Dodge, it's still strong as ever. Probably the best single purchase I've ever made, and I've never spoken to anyone who has owned a first generation Dodge/Cummins who regretted it.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    A friend inherited his dad's 92 that is approaching 500,000 miles. Body sure is rough, but the engine is great.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I know it's not what you are after, but I had a 1962 (or 64?) Dodge 114 with a Valiant slant six engine when I lived in Alice Springs, when I left one of my mates talked me into selling it to him and it is the one vehicle in my life that I really regret parting with. With a limited slip diff' and the ground clearance it could go anywhere that a 4WD could go, just as long as it had plenty of weight over the rear axle. If I could find another in similar condition I'd grab it and restore it.
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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I've been driving a 90 Dodge deisel 4wd for the past six or so years. The engine and transmission are great, good fuel economy for such a beast, but the body is crap. I know of folks around here who are approaching 500,000 miles on early 90's Dodges.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I have a '92 D350 dually with the Getrag 5 spd. I bought mine in 2003, it was in bad shape (everything but drive line) and had served 174k rough miles as a firewood delivery truck, -- mine for the princely sum of $2500. Now, 8 years later, the body is worse than ever, but it just keeps running. At over 280k miles now, it doesn't leak or burn oil, it still gets over 20 mpg, and (best of all) it still starts on the first compression stroke -- every time.

    My brother has a '94 Ford F350 diesel 5 spd and we swap trucks every once and a while, and we both agree that all around, the Dodge is the better truck. Both of the vehicles have had consistent "issues" of one kind or another, but there is just no question that the Cummins is the better engine. While John has not had lots of trouble with his IH engine, he has had some. The Cummins has simply had none at all, is much quieter in the cab, and delivers significantly better fuel mileage to boot. The Ford is much less rusty, but then it spent much of it's life in Florida, while mine has lived on the salted roads of Northern NY since it was new.

    I'm not a flag waving brand loyalist of any kind, but for a cheap diesel work truck, I think the first series Dodge/Cummins is pretty hard to beat. Now if I lived somewhere that BJ 75 Landcruisers were available, it might be a different story!

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by moTthediesel View Post
    I have a '92 D350 dually with the Getrag 5 spd. I bought mine in 2003, it was in bad shape (everything but drive line) and had served 174k rough miles as a firewood delivery truck, -- mine for the princely sum of $2500. Now, 8 years later, the body is worse than ever, but it just keeps running. At over 280k miles now, it doesn't leak or burn oil, it still gets over 20 mpg, and (best of all) it still starts on the first compression stroke -- every time.

    My brother has a '94 Ford F350 diesel 5 spd and we swap trucks every once and a while, and we both agree that all around, the Dodge is the better truck. Both of the vehicles have had consistent "issues" of one kind or another, but there is just no question that the Cummins is the better engine. While John has not had lots of trouble with his IH engine, he has had some. The Cummins has simply had none at all, is much quieter in the cab, and delivers significantly better fuel mileage to boot. The Ford is much less rusty, but then it spent much of it's life in Florida, while mine has lived on the salted roads of Northern NY since it was new.

    I'm not a flag waving brand loyalist of any kind, but for a cheap diesel work truck, I think the first series Dodge/Cummins is pretty hard to beat. Now if I lived somewhere that BJ 75 Landcruisers were available, it might be a different story!
    That's a great back to back comparison. Sounds like if I could find a clean bodies California late 80's early 90's Dodge, rebuilding would be well worth it (if it even needed it). The fuel economy is a big motivator for me.

    Thanks to Everyone for the tips on Fords and Dodge.

    Brian

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Fully 1 year later, almost to the day.. i finally found "my" truck. '92 Dodge 350 Dually locally.

    1992 DODGE 1TON DUALLY EXTRA CAB LIMITED EDITION ,CUMMINS TURBO DIESEL. Stock engine(no mod's)Intercooled,holset turbo KN airfilter,Eagle aluminum wheels(all six)Straight body W/ no rust(Ca. vehicle),A/C,Power windows,mirrors,locks,C/C(n/w),2nd owner,Oil changed every 3 thousand miles!!!, Truck Maintained by local shop.,Imron paint 4 yrs. old Dana 80 rear 4.10 gears,Rebuilt Trans. -Automaticw/overdrive approx. 60k, no towing on trans.,Fully rebuilt front end ( ball joints, etc.),towing brake controller,5th(fifth) wheel hitch included not installed,Uniroyal 10ply E rated tires all around( 2/3),Newer battery,Tachometer,Bosch alternator,New grill and trim at time of repaint,Brakes, u joints ,carrier bearing,trns. mount all replaced,Alpine stereo w/remote.Custom half lumber rack,full bed length and slide out removeable-w/mounted lumber binder.Okay truck has 366k, Runs excellent! Bought a newer dodge cummins truck. Thats it!
    looking for a well maintained tow beast -here you go. Lots of receipts

    Just repainted with NEW time pieces (nothing like putting scratched faded trim on a new paint job to ruin it)



    Gonna go see it tomorrow. I really like the 1st generation trucks, and this one looks like it might be "the one".

  27. #27

    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Looks nice. Bring a magnet.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Is it ok to ask what a truck like that sells for in the US? It certainly looks tidy.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    with 406k I would be afraid of what hasn't been repaired. but this thread has been very informative. i hope you will tell us, brian, how it went. good luck!

    ps i think a ford 1991 f250 diesel is the ideal truck for me. can't find one, like bob said, that has been sitting in a barn with 100k on it.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiletto View Post
    Is it ok to ask what a truck like that sells for in the US? It certainly looks tidy.
    Sorry, I guess its not OK.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiletto View Post
    Sorry, I guess its not OK.
    Here's a pile of them.
    http://ontario.kijiji.ca/f-dodge-die...nceSearchZtrue

    I have no clue about the sale prices.
    R
    "Now Ron,don't you do anything stupid!" - Grandma B.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiletto View Post
    Sorry, I guess its not OK.
    I'd say since that one's pretty much a rarity - making it a collectors item, the price is whatever the seller can get - & the buyer pay. There is no 'nation wide' normal on older used vehicles.. those in the north east rot out quickly from salt & moisture meaning they have no real value while an AZ truck (like my 91 F250 IDI) from a dry climate is still worth a bit - & there are the various in betweens.. not completely rotted, but with rust on body & frame - all have different prices.

    This google search will show all 3500 cummins 12v hits on the site 'craigslist.org', meaning _all_ craigslist sites.

    I found this one on a quick search
    92 dodge d350 for trade not sell - $7500 (Cypress)


    Date: 2012-10-11, 8:52AM CDT
    hp66p-3331264029@sale.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

    I have a dodge d350 with right under 120kkk original miles automatic 5.9 12v cummins I don't have to sell it it's my daily and it's my baby send me a txt I work from 7-5 mon-fri so txt please xxx xxx-xxxx The paint on the hood could be redone the ax doesn't work it's straight piped 3" it's automatic has captain chairs I have the bench seat for the back ext cab

    Key words dodge diesel cummins 3500 ram trade dually 12 valve 1992 one ton









    That 'value' is about $2,000 above what similar 2 year younger (different body style) vehicles seem to be going for.

    hope that helps!

    enjoy
    bobby

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Thanks Bobby and Ron. We dont commonly see many American pickups here, They seem like a lot of truck for the money you guys pay.

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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Hi All,
    The Dodge is now mine.

    The "Good"
    I crawled all over (and under) it for 2 hours. Couldn't find any rust except for minor surface rust in the bed. California Car.
    The exhaust does not smoke (at idle, or when you goose it), and more importantly, smells "sweet" (I can smell burning crankcase oil in a diesel a mile away.. don't ask me why I have come to be an expert with that... )
    It has crisp throttle response, shifts very smoothly and everything but the cruise control works.

    The transmission, rear end, and front suspension all had the signs of being rebuilt as reported. Fresh/clean bushings, shiny hardware, sealant etc.

    The "BAD":
    Reported to use 1 quart every 3K miles. Since it didn't smell like it was burning it.. where did that oil go?? All over the engine of course!
    I scrapped about 2 lbs of oil/crud off the front of the engine and front frame rails. The main seal is likely leaking and the Gear Timing Cover nuts were not tight. I don't relish pulling off the balancer on an automatic transmission truck to get to seal until I get a big enough garage to do it indoors.
    The water pump seized up on me (at the Department of Motor Vehicles of course! IRONY:1, BRIAN:0 )
    Put in a new pump yesterday and serpentine belt. Some previous owner had been turning the engine over by gripping the 5" diameter pulley with a pipe wrench, so I ground and sanded down all the raised belt-wearing gouges before re-installing.
    Degreased everything before reassembly, so I will be able to track where the oil is coming from.

    I was hoping to find a source for new carpets and upholstery as they are original and trashed. LMC trucks supports old Fords, Chevys and Dodge (but only to 1993). I'm thinking of just throwing out the existing collapsing captain's chairs, and installing a later model set of seats from another pickup at the local "Pick-and-Pull". Going to have to search further to find carpet.

    In the end, not a bad buy for $4800!

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    'tween maine & arizona.. usually
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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiletto View Post
    Thanks Bobby and Ron. We don't commonly see many American pickups here, They seem like a lot of truck for the money you guys pay.
    They seem pretty nice to me, tho my experience outside the U.S. is sadly lacking! My F250 (91 4x4 7.3 IDI diesel) can carry w a y more than the 3/4 ton it is rated for & my F350 (89 4x4 7.3 IDI diesel) wasn't even comfortable to drive _until_ it had at very near its rated ton in the back.. meaning they are stout. The 2 12v cummins (both 2500's - 3/4 ton) I have driven were even nicer (I did notice the Navistar IDI's are a fair bit noisier than the 12v's) - both they & the Power Strokes (around 2000/2004) I have driven seem more powerful at highway speeds.. but the Power Strokes (esp) seemed lacking in off the mark pulling power - of course, they were auto's & I tend to only buy sticks. To my mind, nothing beats a stick with, if needed, a two speed transfer case.. Understand, this is a very informal & biased 'test', IE, very much IMHO.. ;-)

    I'm glad you (Brian) found your dream truck - nothing beats finding 'just the right vehicle'! I (we'd) love to see pics of the 'finished' truck! - Forum rules - No pics == Not real!

    My 'dream' truck might just be my (from AZ so rust free frame & body) 91 4x4 5spd F250 with the Cummins 12v adapter & the 4 cyl version of the Cummins - unloaded mileage (most of my driving) would go up, pulling power, about the same - but the cost of the conversion would buy way too many gallons of fuel! Still, if I could 'upfront' the money.. ;-) It's certainly what the industry _should_ have offered us. The number of conversions done (considering the cost) shows it is very much desired by we, the 'consumer'!

    enjoy
    bobby

  36. #36
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    Sep 2002
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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?



    This is the truck

  37. #37
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    Jan 2003
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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    That is a good looking truck at a good looking price! Well done!

  38. #38
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    Sep 2002
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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiletto View Post
    That is a good looking truck at a good looking price! Well done!
    I got lucky... lucky that there are some very well to do Grape Growers in the Napa Valley.. The guy I bought it from had a very new looking 4WD Ford Crew Cab F350.

    That's a $45 or $50K they write off as a business expense.

    Not a bad place to visit:


  39. #39
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    Apr 2005
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    Hills of Vermont, USA
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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I have a friend here in VT with a late 80's (I think it's late 80's) 3/4 ton 2WD auto trans. Cummins that is for sale. Rusty - but runs fantastic as far as I know. He'd sell it for well under $2,000. It could be brought back (repair the floor & replace/repair the bed) - but would also make a great parts truck.

    I know not to post commercial stuff here - but I won't make anything on it - just mentioning it in case anyone could use it.

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Too far inland.
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    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Good score!

    I'd put running boards on it immediately to save that new paintjob.

    And if it hasn't been done very recently, treat yourself to a new windshield. Any car feels new with a nice clear windshield.
    We must go too far in order to know how far to go. Yeah.

  41. #41
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    Oct 2005
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    Home At Last in MD
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    619

    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I wouldn't worry too much about pulling the balancer even without a garage. I had to remove the timing cover on my '97 12V to address the 'killer dowel pin' issue (not a problem pre-'94 they say; so you shouldn't have to worry about that). Replacing the seal is part of that procedure and it wasn't a bad job at all, done outdoors, took just a couple of hours including locking in the dowel pin. Looks like a sweet ride you've got there, congratulations. As others have said, the 12V Cummins is pretty much bullet-proof. Coming up on 370K on mine and couldn't be happier. One alternator, one delivery pump; that's been pretty much it as far as the engine goes (and to my way of thinking, the alternator doesn't really count as part of the engine). I did replace the tranny with a Jasper rebuilt at 280K. The original wasn't giving me problems but the common wisdom seemed to be that at that mileage I was running on borrowed time. And I do some towing.

    Last edited by FSS172; 11-08-2012 at 09:19 PM.

  42. #42
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    Feb 2004
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    Downingtown Pa (S/V UTOPIA down in Somer's Point, NJ)
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    2,465

    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I do like the 7.3 diesel in the older Fords..... but the best arrangement I ever saw was a F-350 with a natural Detroit 3-71...

    That truck had Balls... it was an aftermarket engine, but the guy who did it said it wasn't too hard to do.
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

  43. #43
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    Aug 2006
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    Rockford, IL
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    6,512

    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    I've got a '93 Dodge/5.9 Cummins and another guy who had a slightly older edition was the first to ask whether I'd had "the dreaded pin" fixed. After replying with a question as to what he was talking about, and getting the full story, I had the pin fixed.

  44. #44
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    Oct 2005
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    Home At Last in MD
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    619

    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    I've got a '93 Dodge/5.9 Cummins and another guy who had a slightly older edition was the first to ask whether I'd had "the dreaded pin" fixed. After replying with a question as to what he was talking about, and getting the full story, I had the pin fixed.
    I had the impression it was only a problem from '94 to early '98 (until the 24 valve engine came out). But if it's also a problem in the earlier engines it's certainly something to take care of; just Google 'killer dowel pin'. When I opened mine up the pin was about halfway out so it would only have been a matter of time.

  45. #45
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    Sep 2002
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    Petaluma, CA
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    853

    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by FSS172 View Post
    I had the impression it was only a problem from '94 to early '98 (until the 24 valve engine came out). But if it's also a problem in the earlier engines it's certainly something to take care of; just Google 'killer dowel pin'. When I opened mine up the pin was about halfway out so it would only have been a matter of time.
    I'm aware of the "Killer Dowel Pin" (KDP) problem in these engines. The article I read on the problem and repair left me with the impression that it was an issue on all 12 valve (1st and 2nd Generation) engines. When I saw oil all over the front of my engine, I was expecting to find a cracked timing cover, but got lucky.

  46. #46
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    Sep 2002
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    Petaluma, CA
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    853

    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by FSS172 View Post
    I wouldn't worry too much about pulling the balancer even without a garage. I had to remove the timing cover on my '97 12V to address the 'killer dowel pin' issue (not a problem pre-'94 they say; so you shouldn't have to worry about that). Replacing the seal is part of that procedure and it wasn't a bad job at all, done outdoors, took just a couple of hours including locking in the dowel pin. Looks like a sweet ride you've got there, congratulations. As others have said, the 12V Cummins is pretty much bullet-proof. Coming up on 370K on mine and couldn't be happier. One alternator, one delivery pump; that's been pretty much it as far as the engine goes (and to my way of thinking, the alternator doesn't really count as part of the engine). I did replace the tranny with a Jasper rebuilt at 280K. The original wasn't giving me problems but the common wisdom seemed to be that at that mileage I was running on borrowed time. And I do some towing.

    After taking a look at a couple of photos more closely, I see that the balancer is secured by 4 bolts:



    I have a puller, but where I currently live, working on a car in the street will attract quite a bit of attention, and rainy season is about to start.
    If I'm lucky, by years end, I'll have a 40' x 80' barn with concrete floor to spread out in, and do the repair out
    of the rain

    I hate getting covered in goo working on a filthy engine, so I spent quite a bit of time with a scraper demucking the
    front end. All the cleaning solvent I used to clean boat project paint brushes got re-used to scrub things down ( I caught it in a pan),
    then detergent and hot water from a hose to my garage water heater made things tidy.

    I still think you are pretty fast to pull the radiator, fan, shroud, balancer and timing cover to get to the gaskets.
    I'm assuming you changed all the seals while you where in there?

    It looks like the vacuum pump main seal and o-ring should be changed while you have things apart since this is a common oil leak (although mine is dry back there).

    I had found that my timing cover bolts were loose when I changed out the water pump. Torquing them down has so far seemed to stem the oil leaks
    that gummed things up originally, but duly noted, I'll be back in there to fix the dowel pin as soon as I can.

  47. #47
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianM View Post
    Hi All,
    The Dodge is now mine.

    The "Good"
    I crawled all over (and under) it for 2 hours. Couldn't find any rust except for minor surface rust in the bed. California Car.
    The exhaust does not smoke (at idle, or when you goose it), and more importantly, smells "sweet" (I can smell burning crankcase oil in a diesel a mile away.. don't ask me why I have come to be an expert with that... )
    It has crisp throttle response, shifts very smoothly and everything but the cruise control works.

    The transmission, rear end, and front suspension all had the signs of being rebuilt as reported. Fresh/clean bushings, shiny hardware, sealant etc.

    The "BAD":
    Reported to use 1 quart every 3K miles. Since it didn't smell like it was burning it.. where did that oil go?? All over the engine of course!
    I scrapped about 2 lbs of oil/crud off the front of the engine and front frame rails. The main seal is likely leaking and the Gear Timing Cover nuts were not tight. I don't relish pulling off the balancer on an automatic transmission truck to get to seal until I get a big enough garage to do it indoors.
    The water pump seized up on me (at the Department of Motor Vehicles of course! IRONY:1, BRIAN:0 )
    Put in a new pump yesterday and serpentine belt. Some previous owner had been turning the engine over by gripping the 5" diameter pulley with a pipe wrench, so I ground and sanded down all the raised belt-wearing gouges before re-installing.
    Degreased everything before reassembly, so I will be able to track where the oil is coming from.

    I was hoping to find a source for new carpets and upholstery as they are original and trashed. LMC trucks supports old Fords, Chevys and Dodge (but only to 1993). I'm thinking of just throwing out the existing collapsing captain's chairs, and installing a later model set of seats from another pickup at the local "Pick-and-Pull". Going to have to search further to find carpet.

    In the end, not a bad buy for $4800!
    Nice truck. I have two of them. Bought a '96 3500 5 speed to see if all the rumors were true. I'll take this one to my grave. Wound up with a 2001 2500 with an Auto. Jury is still out on this one. Drives nice and the auto trans is nice in traffic. Doesn't hold a candle to the '96 when it comes to pulling. In my restoration of the '96, I have the left over carpet and seats sitting here. The truck is an extra cab like yours. Drivers seat is power and has the typical tear on the outboard side about 10" long and the carpet needs cleaned. Perfect other than that. An upholstery shop quoted $200 to fix. They need a home. I am in San Diego if you are interested. Don't want to advertise, just help recycle perfectly good parts.

  48. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Petaluma, CA
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    853

    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy_O View Post
    Nice truck. I have two of them. Bought a '96 3500 5 speed to see if all the rumors were true. I'll take this one to my grave. Wound up with a 2001 2500 with an Auto. Jury is still out on this one. Drives nice and the auto trans is nice in traffic. Doesn't hold a candle to the '96 when it comes to pulling. In my restoration of the '96, I have the left over carpet and seats sitting here. The truck is an extra cab like yours. Drivers seat is power and has the typical tear on the outboard side about 10" long and the carpet needs cleaned. Perfect other than that. An upholstery shop quoted $200 to fix. They need a home. I am in San Diego if you are interested. Don't want to advertise, just help recycle perfectly good parts.

    I'd be interested in some photos of those seats. My backseats are the inward facing "jump seats". The 1st generation "Extra Cab" is probably shorter/smaller than the 2nd generation trucks. Is you front seat a split bench or two buckets?

    Send me a PM for my email.

    Thanks

  49. #49
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Dodge Trucks with Cummins Diesel, which model year is best?

    pm sent

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