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Would you buy a Cummins cheap if it had some problems?

Fubeca

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I've been looking for a Powerstroke or Cummins for a while now. Since I'm still pretty poor I'm looking at older stuff (95-98) with well over 100,000. Today I came accross a 1996 Dodge 3500 dually 4x4 5spd with 258,000 miles on it. They were asking $12,500 but then the fifth gear went out. It has some other issues: no power to radio, exhaust brake installed -- but doesn't work, missing rear seat and several plastic trim pieces, needs 2 tires. I drove it around and it drives nicer than a lot of the newer ones I've looked at. I think I could get it for close to $6,000. Is it worth a shot? I think I can do all of the work it needs for ~$1,000 + my time which I have plenty of.

What kind of offer would you make, it has been on the lot for 6 mo+ and the owner just wants to get rid of it?
I am also looking at a 1996 f-350 crew cab that is in very good shape with 240,000 asking $8,500 so the Dodge would have to be pretty cheap to be worthwhile.
 

Wingnutt

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Personally with that many miles and it's rough shape, I wouldn't give them $2500 for it. If that tranny is having problems, you can bet that the engine ain't far behind, and diesels are very expensive to rebuild. That thing would be lucky to bring $3000 on e-bay. One thing car dealers are having a tough time accepting is that because of e-bay, and $1200 coast to coast shipping, they longer have to compete in thier city or state, but with everybody in the US. Personally I would look elsewhere.
 

84_Chevy_K10

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I disagree. I wouldn't give them $6k for it, but if you can pick it up cheap, by all means, go for it.

ONLY go for manual trans/diesel combos as high mileage automatics behind Diesels are on borrowed time.

If you can get it for $3k I'd be all over that. Have the trans rebuilt, put a new clutch in, change the oil, and you'll have a solid truck good for another 300,000 miles.

It is uninteligent to say that if the trans is out, the engine isn't far behind. The Cummins is a fine engine, and should go many hundreds of thousands of miles, outlasting the entire drivetrain and even the body of the truck with ease.
 

willyswanter

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I would definately pay $6500 for it. The exhaust brake is an easy fix usually and the radio is too. The 5th gear problem is a very common deal and very easy to fix. It's mostly referred to as the 5th gear nut coming loose. Theres tons of posts on TDR about it. Theres also a kit you can buy that replaces the nut so it doesn't fall off anymore. If that truck was local to here and 4wd I'd be all over it.
 

ben427

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Yeah id be all over it. 258,000 on a cummins in nuthing to be afraid of. Theyre real engines, not like powerstokes or GMs. The tranny problem is no biggie like Jason said, its common. And the exhaust brake is probably just an electrical connection gone awry.
 

BlazerGuy

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Damn! I'd jump on it like jailbait! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif That's a pretty good find. Everything you listed is a easy fix. MMMMMM.....12V Cummins....MMMMMM
 

bowtiepower00

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I'd be on that like a hobo on a ham sandwich. Like Willys said, 5th is a easy fix, everything else should be too. Clean it up and get it running right, and it'll sell for 12K+ in no time on Autotrader. That drivetrain is just getting broken in. Might want to take the truck to the local Cummins dealer and get it checked out, if not treated right they get fussy at higher mileage. Personally, I wouldn't buy a high mileage stroker, they aren't half the motor the Cummins is, and cost twice as much to "upgrade".
 

K30CJ

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Get it, dude. That Cummins is just getting broken in (well, practically). There are documented cases of over a million miles with just basic maintenance. Definitely stay away from the strokes, especially if you're in the high miles/low cost market. They can not compare to the Cummins in engine life, not to mention pulling power. I don't care for the training wheels myself, but that's just my opinion. If you're willing to do the work, it sounds like a decent deal.
 

Wingnutt

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Guess I was wrong on this one./forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gifI'm used to hearing horror stories about high mileage p'strokes and duramaxes. I'm not too familiar with the Cummings My thinking was that if they had worn out 5th gear (didn't know that was a common problem with that tranny) the vehicle had been used long and hard with little mainance provided to it. Guess I learn something new every day.
 

willyswanter

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It's not a worn out 5th gear. There is a nut that just loosens up from the low end grunt of the cummins and falls off. You put it back on and tightne it up, and your good to go. Or buy the upgrade which replaces it and never have to deal with it again.
 

BlazerGuy

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What does the upgrade actually do? I've just heard of people welding the damn thing on... /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
 

willyswanter

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It's an upgraded main shaft that doesn't use the same nut. It's $289.95 for the kit.

[ QUOTE ]
The NV4500 has presented a new set of challenges. The 5th gear problem was due in large part to the half splines on the mainshaft under 5th instead of a full splined shaft. We are now stocking the upgrade kit that has the full spline shaft & a new 5th gear. They are available for the 2 or 4 wheel drive unit & sell for around $290.00.

[/ QUOTE ]
 

kennyw

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[ QUOTE ]
What does the upgrade actually do? I've just heard of people welding the damn thing on... /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

The upgrade is just a locknut that takes a little longer to fall off. A friend of mine put the upgrade on his '96 Dodge cummins truck then a few months later was in there again and just tack welded it in place (no problems since then in 1 yr +).
 

willyswanter

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Umm, that may be one upgrade, but it's not THE upgrade /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
 

6.2Blazer

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A high mileage Dodge Cummins will most likely NOT be cheap in the long run. Even if the engine has a lot of miles left, the rest of the truck will probably "nickel and dime" you to death.

If you can't afford to buy a nicer truck, than you probably can't afford to fix this one.
 

Fubeca

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/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif on the 5.13s

The fifth gear problem is because of the partial splines on the shaft. A fix is to replace the nut and sometimes the gear, but it usually happens again. THE fix is to replace the shaft with a full splined version and a new nut and gear.

I was going to talk to him this morning about trading the blazer for it but I just discovered that the blazer needs a new rear end. So I'm looking at the price of differential parts /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif
 

90blzr

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I would think you could pick up a complete rearend cheaper than what someone would charge to fix yours.
Assuming your axle is a stock 10bolt /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
 

Fubeca

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That is what got me into this mess. I picked up a used rear end a while ago and It seemed fine. I've been hearing funny noises lately so I pulled it apart today. The bearing closest to the gear on the pinion spun on the pinion and it needs a carrier, spider gears, and prolly axle shafts. I can get it all new for ~$640 or I can swap in another for around $300 and hope for the best. Maybe I can find someone local that has a cheap 10b rearend.
 

BlazerGuy

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Check out the for sale forum. There's 10 & 12s in there all the time going for about 30-50 bones. Man, 300 bones....does that include a kiss & KY Jelly?
 
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