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Looking at new tow rigs- Hard to choose between the big 3 diesels!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Pookster, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, looking for some input from you guys.
    Im sorta in the market for a DD/tow rig. Im giving my dad my mazda millenia, so then I will just have two trucks. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Ok, so here goes. I was looking at the diesels for the top 3 out there. Duramax, Cummins, and the Powerstroke

    I know the cummins has the history of being the heavy duty diesel, but the new powerstroke puts out more power, but the duramax is more civilized.

    In terms of rebates, GM is giving 0% financing for 60 months, in addition to 1000 dollars rebate for getting a duramax. Dodge and Ford do not have those options.

    I find the ford interiors kinda boring, but I do like the dropped window. It also makes the truck feel very spacious.

    I find the GM interiors, much like every other GM interior. Feels virtually the same since like 1995. Very Homely.

    I find the Dodge interiors a little weirdly laid out, but livable.

    Here's my question- I am thinking about a Crew cab 4x4, short bed. The long beds are just unweildy in NYC.

    Incentive wise, im leaning toward a GM 2500/3500. Cant decide which, since the price difference is close. Any suggestions?

    Is it worthwhile to pass up the incentive and go with one of the other brands? I know a lot of people had problems with the 6.0 powerstroke.

    I think I sat in a dodge ram quad cab, and found the rear seats.. unappealing. Any personal experiences on the rear seats?

    Anyways, I want to hear all your pros and cons. IFS vs solid axle, bump steer issues, etc....
     
  2. 4GUNZ4X4Z

    4GUNZ4X4Z 1/2 ton status

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    I dont know about the Ford 3/4 and 1tons, but I have drove the 03' Dodge and Chevy 1tons recently and I must say I was impressed with both of them. The Chevy with the automatic was freak'n quick almost to quick, even with a posi it broke traction upto 3rd. Now the Dodge with the stick shift made me feel like a man. I felt like I could pull anything and go anywhere I wanted road or no road. I've drove the 2500/3500's, 2 door and quad cabs, 2wd and 4wd, stick and automatic all 03' models and I definitly liked the Dodge extended cab 4wd 1ton with a manual. Second to that was the Chevy 3/4ton 4 door 2wd automatic. I've also drove a few 03' Ford 150's, but it was more or less like driving a tall Taurus/Sable. I don't know about the 3/4 and 1tons though. As far as the interior, I liked the Dodge the best for the simple fact I don't like center consoles that run from the seat to the dash. I like having a full floorboard. Man I really like the Dodge w/the Cummins and I really like the Chevy w/the Duramax. Since driving both and all different versions of these two, I'm considering buying the Dodge, hell I darn near bought one back when I was driving them just because of how impressed I was.
     
  3. moneypit

    moneypit 1/2 ton status

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    I have a 2003 CC duramax shotbed lifted,315's,chipped, exhaust, intake. This thing smokes fORDS AND RAM'S. Towing 10000lbs and it does not hunt for gears. It is quiet and very comfy. The LT package is the only way to go. I have never been impressed with diesels but the Dmax is the shiznit! Check out the dieselpage.com
     
  4. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I have an '03 Duramax/Alli combo. Ext cab short bed. Love it. tows like a dream. I have heard of nothing but problems for the new Ford 6.0L powerstroke. The interior of the Dodge does nothing for me IMHO..

    I'm a GM man but checked out all the diesels first. Drove them all, and got to pull with them all, about 8k pounds. The chevy was the most comfortable of them all. Rode the best and had plenty of power for anything I could throw at it. I really did go in with an open mind, and the chevy still won IMO.

    John
     
  5. OL14BLAZ

    OL14BLAZ 1/2 ton status

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    I'm putting one down for the 7.3 Powerstroke Ford. My 2000 model has just a little over 53K on it and it will tow anything I put behind it with no prolbem. I always have power on tap when I need it. Personally I would never by an auto in a tow rig, I like the 6spd for ease of gear selection and durablilty. The Ford isn't all that fancy but everything is easy to get to and read. Plus I still got a floor mounted shifter for the T case. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    The new 6.0 are having prolbems but I think they will have all the bugs worked out by 2004 models. You still get a 100K warranty on the Powerstroke anyway.

    I think it will come down to your prefrence and who will give you the best deal. Honestly I don't think you could go wrong with any of the big three IMO.


    Eric
     
  6. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    i wouldn't get the new 6.0 PS. bugs are still getting worked out.

    I wouldn't buy a GM desiel. an aluminum head on a cast iron block that burns desiel? no thanks. i have enuff things to drain my funds.

    Finally, we have the Cummins TD. made to go 300,000. insane power, easily upgradeable.

    No matter what, get a manual with your choice. a auto has no buisness in a Tow Rig. unless you can find a Cummins that will mate to an Allison that you would slap into the Ford frame, body and running gear.

    Also, I'd go 1 ton.
     
  7. ramjet gmc

    ramjet gmc CK5 Staff Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Is it worthwhile to pass up the incentive and go with one of the other brands? I know a lot of people had problems with the 6.0 powerstroke.

    [/ QUOTE ]


    i just did this same thing stay a way from the 6.0 it has many bugs in it i think it will be a good moter in the late 2004 model year ant the new 5 speed auto with that noone is complaning so it must be good

    i wanted a sub but you can not get a diesel or the allson in it -----
    dodge ---trucks only
    the ford X fit the bill it is just tlike the superduty trucks i found a 2002 limted with the 7.3 and saved some $$$

    http://www.thedieselstop.com -----a good ford diesel site


    good luck
     
  8. Aquaman

    Aquaman 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    i wouldn't get the new 6.0 PS. bugs are still getting worked out.

    I wouldn't buy a GM desiel. an aluminum head on a cast iron block that burns desiel? no thanks. i have enuff things to drain my funds.

    Finally, we have the Cummins TD. made to go 300,000. insane power, easily upgradeable.

    No matter what, get a manual with your choice. a auto has no buisness in a Tow Rig. unless you can find a Cummins that will mate to an Allison that you would slap into the Ford frame, body and running gear.

    Also, I'd go 1 ton.

    [/ QUOTE ]My Father's HD pulls my truck like it's not even there, and it brakes (slows down) the same way. Haven't had any problems yet, and neither has anybody else that I have talked to that has a Duramax.

    My buddy has a Powerstroke, and he pulls his Early Bronco in overdrive with no problems. It doesn't search for the right gears at all. He hasn'd had any problems with anything on his truck.

    I don't know anybody with the Cummins, but from what I read, it's fantastic. It seems that they have fixed their tranny problems finally.

    Looks to me that it comes down to the best deal you can get, or who has the nicest salesmen /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif. Keep in mind that the PSD, and the Cummins both have straight axles, and that the Duramax has IFS. I don't know if you plan to do any wheelin with your tow rig, but straight axles give me a warm fuzzy feeling.

    I personally think that the transmissions in all three are very stout, but I still have my doubts about the Dodge transmissions as they have had a bad reputation since Chrysler started making vehicles. Manual, or Automatic, I think you'll be perfectly fine.

    Looks like your problem is a great problem to have. Have fun pickin /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  9. Aquaman

    Aquaman 1/2 ton status

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    here are a couple poseur pics of my dad's truck...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Pics don't do justice on the color /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  10. white-rhyno

    white-rhyno 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    No matter what, get a manual with your choice. a auto has no buisness in a Tow Rig.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I agree with you 100% Zakk.
     
  11. Drewminator

    Drewminator Registered Member

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    I know people with each one of them. The Duramax is much more quiet than the Ford, and the Dodge is just plain too loud - he has to shut the Dodge off to talk to someone outside the truck. The guys with the Chevy and the Ford have had no problems yet - both love their own. But the Ford is a 2001 or 2002 with the old diesel.

    Watch out for the transmissions in the Dodge. They have had all kinds of problems with their Automatic transmissions. I have a friend that had 2 Dodges with oil burners and has had nothing but trans problems with them both. Per him it's my understanding that Dodge actually de-tunes their diesel engine a little when hooked to an auto trans becuase they have had so many problems and their trans will not hold up to all that torque. Hooked to the manual they do not de-tune them but don't know if they have the same amount of problems with the manual or not.

    Didn't look to see what your pulling - if it's a GM product wouldn't you want to pull it with a GM product ? Most of the people I know would give you never ending guff for pulling your GM with a Ford (both the GM guys and the Ford guys).

    Just my 2 cents - worth what you paid for it !
     
  12. Aquaman

    Aquaman 1/2 ton status

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    And about the interiors...

    Chevy has a great interior, and it has changed a ton since 1995. Chevy just happens to have a style that they keep going, and change the actual design of the interior very much. It is very very roomy in the front seats or the rear seats, and you don't have to worry about your legs getting smashed by the front passengers/driver

    Ford also has quite a wonderful interior. Whether you get the 60/40 split bench in front, or the bucket seats, it's a wonderful set up, with lots of space just like the Duramax.

    The Dodge doesn't even have a full rear seat. It's closer to the size of a Chevy or Ford extended cab.

    Then there is the "different" factor. I have seen a million more Powerstrokes, than Duramax's. I have also seen very very few new Cummins trucks.

    You've got a hard decision, but the 0% financing, and $1000 back are some incentives to help you decide
     
  13. Aquaman

    Aquaman 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I know people with each one of them. The Duramax is much more quiet than the Ford, and the Dodge is just plain too loud - he has to shut the Dodge off to talk to someone outside the truck.

    [/ QUOTE ]Loud is good. When I take my dad's truck out for a spin, I have to shut her off to order things in the drivethrew.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Didn't look to see what your pulling - if it's a GM product wouldn't you want to pull it with a GM product ? Most of the people I know would give you never ending guff for pulling your GM with a Ford (both the GM guys and the Ford guys).

    [/ QUOTE ]This shouldn't even be brought into consideration. We are talking about $40,000 worth of truck here. What some idiot says about it, because he has a different brand wheeling truck, doesn't matter in the least. What matters is that he gets a good truck. He needs a truck that will pull his wheelin rig, get him to where he is going, keep him happy in luxury, and not brake down on him. He doesn't need to worry about retards who love a truck because of the symbol on the front.

    If I was pulling my truck with a Ford, and somebody said something to me about it, I'd be pretty pissed, and I'd tell him to shove it up his ass. Usually those are the guys who are jealous that say stuff like that anyway.

    My point is, don't worry about what some idiot thinks of the decision you make. Worry about yourself. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  14. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    The new Cummins are much quieter and won't wake up all the neighbors now like they used to. Dodge has been de-tuning the Cummins behind the automatics for years, but beginning in mid-'03 they started offering the beefed up 48RE trans behind the H.O. Cummins. It runs good but the 48RE is still only a 4-speed auto vs. the 5-speed autos available in the D-max and Powerstroke.........with the limited rpm range of the Cummins I really think it could use a 5-speed auto.

    For daily driving I personally like the Chevy (currently have an '03 2500HD crew cab, but with the 6.0L gas engine) though I drove a Dodge for several years prior. I hate to say it, but Ford generally builds a solid reliable truck but I just can't bring myself to buy one.

    The Chevy crew cab is really nice because you easily haul 4 adults around in comfort. Don't even think about doing that with an extended cab. The new Dodge ('03 for the HD's) offers the quad cab version and the back seat has a lot more room than the previous generation, but still not quite as roomy as the Chevy crew.
     
  15. ramjet gmc

    ramjet gmc CK5 Staff Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I hate to say it, but Ford generally builds a solid reliable truck but I just can't bring myself to buy one.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    me to but throw in the sold front axel and i had to get it for a tow rig /forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif
     
  16. 87BrnRsd

    87BrnRsd 1/2 ton status

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    Here is my advice.
    Dodge- The cummins engine is reliable, and has power. It is a very capable engine. The downfall to the dodge truck is its transmission. I have heard many bad things about dodge transmissions. Mainly that they have to hunt for gears too much and do not utilize all of the engine's power. The interior on dodges is a little weird. If you have to drive it everyday, you might get used to it, but it will be pretty different from most trucks.
    Chevy- The 8.1 duramax is an amazing engine. I have heard no problems from it whatsoever. It has power and is very quiet. The allison transmissions kick a@@! The allison transmission is also very reliable and utilizes the engines power well. All chevy interiors are about the same. Simple layout, but chevy doesnt let it get boring. It will feel very "homey" like someone else said. This is probably the most civilized truck of the bunch.
    Ford- The 6.1 for engine has too many bugs right now. I have heard the 7.3 powerstroke is a nice engine though. The ford can pull/hall anything! Tons of power. The ford transmission is also very good for pulling. It always finds the right gear. Ford interiors are just downright boring though. The truck is a little too rounded in my opinion. The interior is flat and dull too.
    My opinion is to go with the duramax, nbot because its a chevy, but because its going to be a DD truck. The ford might be able to pull a little more, but it wont be very nice for DD. Stay away from dodges.
    -Harrison
     
  17. Blazer1970

    Blazer1970 1/2 ton status

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    As others have said, all the diesels are good. Now my $.02 on trannies. I see a crapload of problems reported with the dual mass flywheels and the clutches that GM and Ford use behind the diesels (not sure if the Cummins uses dual mass or not?). Considering that manual trannies are in a VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE of the trucks, I am going to say that the manual trannies/clutches in these trucks have more problems than the automatics on a percentage basis. Also, the ZF six speeds that Ford and GM use are questionable IMO. My brother has about 120,000 on his '99 PS with the ZF, and a couple of the synchros are shot. He also had an '89 F350 with a 5 speed ZF, and the synchros did not hold up in that tranny either. ZFs are great if you like to grind gears. I believe that the rebuild/replace cost for one of those overcomplicated ZFs is comparable to any of the automatic trannies. I think that the NVG5600 6 speeds in the Dodges have their share of problems also. I may be biased, but the Allison (and maybe the TS in the Ford - too soon to say) are the shiznit for a pulling tranny.
     
  18. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I have an '02 DMax/Allison 4x4 Crew 2500HD with 33" ATs on forged rims. I would not even consider for a moment swapping it for a *brand new* Ford or Dodge truck of 1 ton or below. IMO, the only thing that could sway me would be needing the Cummins longevity (300K+ by some reports) and/or power (relatively simple and cheap to hit 500 hp and 700 ft lbs). But the DMax is so close in both respects, I doubt a case could be made to switch even for the Cummins. In fact, with little more than a computer reprogram (box) and 4.5" exhaust, there is a Crew Cab 4x4 2500 HD almost identical to mine that turns out honest 14.6 quarter mile times at over 7000 lbs.
     
  19. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    I don't have any of the new diesels, but have logged quite a few miles in '97 F-250 with the PS with AT. Gramps pulls a 35' 12K LB 5th wheel travel trailer all over the country with it. Hasn't had one problem tranny related. Anyways, one of the mags did a "Diesel Shootout" recently. I think the rated them #1- Ford, #2-GM, #3- Dodge. According to them, the Ford 6.0 pulled the best and out ran both the other diesels. Comments were also made on the spartan interior and wierd handling. Good words about GM's interior and tranny. Despite all of this, a friend has an .02 Duramax/Allison 4 door that has been Hyper Tech Power Programmed...Holy Geezuus Batman! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif Never been in a truck that scoots like that one does. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  20. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I recently bought a '03 GMC 2500HD D/A combo in the Crew Cab 4x4 Short Box model. First off, you really can't go too wrong with any of the Big 3, however... The 6.0 PSs are having lots of probs. Sure, they are warranted, but you can't do much towing if your rig is constantly in the shop.

    As far as aluminum heads on the Duramax, get over it. This engine has been out for numerous years now and you would be hard pressed to find ANY head failures out there. I have a friend who is a Duramax mechanic at one of the largest Chevy dealers in N Texas and he has NEVER seen a single head failure issue. Move on, guys.

    As far as the Dodge goes, the crew cab is a joke compared to the others. Their rear doors are equivalent to the extended cab doors of Ford or GM. If you want a CC, I would recommend staying away from Dodge.

    Auto vs. manual, try driving the new Allison and you won't even question why. The people that say they would NEVER have an auto in a tow rig haven't driven one of these (can't speak for the Dodge or Ford trannies). The grade braking feature is exceptional. Love it, love it, love it. During my recent trip to Colorado with my travel trailer, I ran up the passes at about 70 never breaking a sweat and very seldom ever hit the brakes on the way down because of the grade breaking/auto-downshifting capabilities of the Allison. And, it is a 5 speed!

    1-ton vs. 3/4 ton, I think you answered your own question when you said short box. Can't get a short box in the 1-ton (at least for GM). They only come in long box. And that is a lot of truck. With that said, the 3/4 and 1-tons are basically identical in axle, frame, and so on. What contributes the most to the added payload is the second set of tires. My factory set of tires is limited to 3032# max payload per tire. That limits the pin weight allowable in the 3/4 ton. The second set of tires on the 1-ton dually has a pretty big impact on the allowable pin weight. Not too mention the added lateral stability and braking capabilities (more rubber on the road) with heavy loads.

    I got my 2500HD primarily to pull my Jimmy on a 25' gooseneck flatbed as well as my 5000# boat and my 4000# camper (not all at the same time!). I also wanted something that I could use with a 5th wheel later. I wanted comfort and nice ride quality without sacrificing capabilities. The GM doesn't sit as high with as much clearance as the other two, but that makes it easier for getting in and out of! I am very pleased and would do it over again if I had the chance.
     

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