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  #1  
Old December 30th, 2003, 01:26 AM
tbmcneill

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Tow Rig survey - sort of....

i'm seriously looking at buying a bigger tow rig (or should I say 'A tow rig' ... I don't think the LWB classifes as a tow rig) I'm looking to purchase before the end of the year assuming I can get the right deal.

so, what are people's opinions? what do you own? how long? & what problems have you had? ... preferably first person experience.

the rig has got to be at least 3/4 ton, diesel, crew cab .... i've test driven the 'big 3' ... Dodge 2500 w/ Cummins H.O., Ford f250 & f350 with the powerstroke (the 6.0 and the 7.3 ... & yes, I've read about all the problems with the 6.0), and the GMC Sierra 2500HD with the Duramax and Allison tranny. Honestly, I like the new Dodges the best .... if that backseat just wasn't so small!!!

I'm looking primarily at '02-04s.

So, anyone got an opinion?
T
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  #2  
Old December 30th, 2003, 02:25 AM
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Dennis Newman
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I would stick with the 7.3 powerstroke if it were up to me. My moderately modded 7.3 crew cab, leveled 75hp/150ftlb chipped crew running on 35s would accelerate up eisenhower pass either direction as though i were on flat land. I had a pyro and it ran plenty cool. Towing my dad's car trailer with my shelby in the back was pure joy.

The 7.3 with a chip outran my buddies stock duramax but once he chipped his it hauled.

I would avoid either the new chevy or ford just because of all the problems. I have a buddy that has had his 6.0 truck in several times for new code on the trucks computer, and while it has not had any major issues I am leery of it due to all the bad press. My other buddy with the duramax finally traded it in a month or two ago after swapping injectors a couple times. Apparently the combination of poor quality US diesel and the higher pressure common fuel rail injection makes for a bad combination. Its hard to say if either new engine will have the same longevity.

I think the dodge is a good truck and the cummins is very strong, i just like the solid front axle on the ford and the spacious crew cab. That and I really don't know anyone who has had one to hear about it.

If you get a 7.3 let me know, as I did about everything you could do to them and still use them for towing. You can also check out http://www.thedieselstop.com for more info. I should have never sold my F250 .
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  #3  
Old December 30th, 2003, 09:38 AM
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At a local tractor pull they were letting all the guys hook thier trucks to the sled at the end of the show and the cummins made the PS and Dmax look bad. I know people that have owned the PS before the 6.0 as well as the Cummins. I would go with the Cummins. I dont know anything about the Duramax.
FWIW IMHO
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  #4  
Old December 30th, 2003, 11:39 AM
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I use a Dodge Cummins (1ton) to pull around a 16k pound trailer all the time. No problem...hell some times it accelerates so hard the wheels spin...that's dual wheel mind you. No chip just stock. But I would not say anything bad about the 7.3 except my dad has one on his 450 and it has gone through 3 transmission and he only has about 55k miles on it. His truck is pretty heavy, (13k) but he does no towing to speak of. I have never had the Dodge in the shop for any thing other than the interior coming apart from not being about to stand the rough ride of the truck. I think that the Ford way out does Dodge in the interior quality department. I have have heard nothing but bad things about the Duramax, but I have no first hand knowledge. Well that my two cents.
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  #5  
Old December 30th, 2003, 11:58 AM
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I've owned a Dodge Ram 2500 with the Cummins since 1996 (2 different ones) and there is NOTHING BETTER for towing (IMHO). I used to pull a 19' travel trailer that weighed about 7,000 lbs fully loaded and I could accelerate up hills in overdrive. I used to run the a/c on the hottest days of summer towing that thing and still get 15mpg. I drove the Powerstroke before buying the Dodge and it is slightly more powerful but if you talk to the Ford owners they will always have a complaint or two. The turbo boosters are notorious for failing. Usually small stuff, but my point is, I have NEVER in 8 yrs, had to make any repairs on the engine. My only complaint would be...they are freakin' loud!


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  #6  
Old December 30th, 2003, 12:03 PM
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I have had all of these trucks, and I have to say by far that the Ford is the best. I have never had a minutes trouble out of my 02 F-250. I had two trucks with the Cummins, and I would not let someone I hated drive those POS's! They are loud and weak. I had one of my trucks crack two exhaust manifolds, after warranty had expired of course. If you see someone who has a cummins that is strong, it is becaue the fueling has been increased, which makes fuel mileage go to hell. The Duramax I had was OK, nothing bad to say about it really. I did not like the fact that when idling, the oil pressure was REALLY low, like 20 lbs. The dealers said this was normal. I did not like this, as I usually don't cut my truck off during the day. I just got an F-450 with the new 6.0L, and haven't had time yet to have troubles with it. The only thing I can say about the problems with the 6.0 is that it is to be expected, as it is a new model. You think there weren't problems when they switched to the 7.3L PS? Well, just my $.02.

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  #7  
Old December 30th, 2003, 12:38 PM
tbmcneill

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good info .... thanks.

what year Cummins did you have that was so loud? granted, the engines are loud when you're standing outside the truck, but the '04 I drove yesterday was quieter than the '04 6.0 Ford (though, they are both reasonable) I test drove. The loudest thing was the wind whistling around the trailer mirrors at highway speed. Just wondering if they've put in more sound dampening in the new models???

and, I'm sure Ford will (or has) work(ed) out any problems with the 6.0. The point is I don't want to be the one the problems get worked out on if they haven't already ... thus I'm leaning more towards a 7.3L if I go the Ford route ... unfortunately, the Fords with the 7.3Ls are the loudest vehicles I've driven (I haven't driven an older Dodge, though).

what tranny did the f450 have ... & what year?
T
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  #8  
Old December 30th, 2003, 12:46 PM
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Troy - My current truck is a 2001. The 2003 model yr supposedly had a redesigned engine that was both more powerful and much quieter. I haven't seen one yet so I can't speak about it. It sounds like they did a good job though if you didn't notice it to be particularly loud. It's not that big of a deal anyway. A minor annoyance which is far outweighed by the benefits.

PT
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  #9  
Old December 30th, 2003, 01:18 PM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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I test drove all three my self and I say go with the F250-350 if you don't mind the new generation coming out soon. Ford always had problem with their engine when they first come out and all the problems get taken care of in the next year trucks so if you buy an 04 then you should be good as they fixed the problems with 6.0's. The Dodge 2500 is a nice truck lot's of power but the not as good in the rear seat section, the quad cab dodge is very close to the extended cab size F250 and that the only bad thing about the dodge. GMC duramax is good to.

Bottom line is there is no bad choice, they will all do what you want and they have a good amount of torque and hp.

Dennis is right about power adders. With the turbo diesel engine you can boost the power very quick. You can run Banks power exhaust, bull dog chip, and K&N air intake and you'll have close to 700 torque and 400+ hp, and if you want to have a truck that will smoke most sports cars then go with Banks power pack, and propane and be ready to run 13's in 1/4 miles here in this altitude.
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  #10  
Old December 30th, 2003, 01:24 PM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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Yeah the 2nd generation cummins were way to loud, you had to turn off the engine for you to able to take to someone, but the new cummins is simply awesome, very quit and more powerful than the old engine or that's how it felt to me.

P.S. If you are looking to buy a new dodge act soon since the cummnis will no longer be available since Daimler is working to but some turbo diesel that is made in Germany that Mercedes uses. I guess they no longer like the idea of Ford producing the cummins anymore.
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  #11  
Old December 30th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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oh one more thing. If you decide to go with Dodge then make sure to buy the 04 they redesigned the interior.
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  #12  
Old December 30th, 2003, 02:19 PM
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I'll say one more thing as well before shutting up. I partially agree with Yousef in that you can't really go wrong between the Ford and Dodge. I have no experience with the duramax so I wouldn't steer anybody that way. This was the deciding factor for me; The Cummins has been around longer and has a more proven track record. It also has a lot fewer parts (i.e. the more parts, the more potential for mechanical failure). In the end, it comes down to which one you personally are more comfortable with. They're both good choices. Get the leather interior, it's worth the extra $, especially if you have dogs.

BTW - I have the quad-cab and have plenty of room in the back of the cab.

And get yourself one of these security systems.
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  #13  
Old December 30th, 2003, 02:44 PM
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As you know I just bought an 04 F250, from everything I've gathered motors built after 9/03 have had no issues and the big compaint(injectors) was taken care of earlier in the year. Jack and Wes who both have different versions of the 7.3 say the 6.0 has significant power gains after driving mine. I'd say Ford or Dodge, you will probably like either one.

Tis
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  #14  
Old December 30th, 2003, 04:20 PM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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Hey Phil, where can I get one of those security system
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  #15  
Old December 30th, 2003, 04:52 PM
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Right here, brother. That's what I do for a living. I'm a professional dog trainer. I specialize in police K9 but I also do personal protection/executive protection dogs for select civilian clients. That's one of my personal dogs in the photo. He's trained to bite anyone coming into the vehicle but he won't leave the vehicle.

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Old December 30th, 2003, 07:18 PM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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Awesome, you'll be hearing from me soon

Sorry for the hijack Troy finally something I can trust for the kids
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  #17  
Old December 30th, 2003, 09:00 PM
tbmcneill

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I'm glad you mentioned the dog BEFORE I ran into you at some trailhead!!

Did some more driving/research today .... FWIW:
*the Dodges win for longevity for vehicles still on the road (Poll name escapes me at the moment, but its for % of '83-'02 HD pick-ups still on the road as of 2003).
*And, JT is right about the 6.0s power ... it has significantly more HP and moderately more torque than the 7.3L
*... although nothing a chip couldn't help correct !
*overall, warranty is better on the Dodge. All are 3/36 bumper to bumper. Dodge is 7/70 on entire powertrain. Ford is 5/100 on engine only. GMC is 100k on engine (can't recall years).

I don't know ... I may have to talk to a couple tomorrow being the last day of the year and all.
T
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Old December 31st, 2003, 12:20 AM
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Michael Slade
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Well...my tow rig got an unexpected workout this Christmas.



Go ahead...write your best caption.

Wishing I was driving my dad's Duramax. Even with the 350, the CrewCab is grossly underpowered for any heavy weight long-distance towing. Flat-towing the 80-inch is one thing, but this, well, this was a definite workout.
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  #19  
Old December 31st, 2003, 08:59 AM
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Your giving the 350 a real workout. What did you get for gas milage?
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  #20  
Old December 31st, 2003, 11:20 AM
tbmcneill

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was that on purpose?
T
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