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Concerns About Reliability and Maintenance Costs

17233 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  SixInARow
The last diesel I owned was a 1973 290 Cummins and that was back in 1976. Other than oil changes, fuel filters, and a fan belt replacement, it was zero maintenance and bullet proof reliable. Of course, its FI system was 100% mechanical and would run fine w/o batteries and alternator.

I want to buy a diesel pickup for towing and hauling. I like the Ford truck best but the 6.0 has a goofy engine - 2 piece crankcase, some Mickey Mouse arrangement for the top end as well, and a reputation for leaking oil. I like the Dodge/Cummins but it seems they are made in Mexico and I have no desire to support the Mexican economy. I like the GMC Sierra a lot, have an 04 GMC 2500 4x4 gasser and it has not been back to the dealer since I bought it. Same for my previous trucks - a Y2K F350 4x4 and a 98 Explorer 4x4 with 120,000 miles between them.

In reading the Dmax forums I get the impression that the Dmax is a high maintenance item with overheating problems, EGR problems, and MPG all over the place. (I get 14+ overall, calculated, on my 6.0 gasser, no towing) Do the posts showing so many problems represent only a small % of the Dmax trucks or am I going to spend a lot of time at the dealer if I buy a Diesel?

Maybe I'm spoiled, but 3 trucks in the past 9 years and zero problems. BTW, the engine I'm considering is the LLY with a manual tranny.

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Well, I have about 31000 trouble free miles. The only problems that I have had do not deal with the engine. I think you only hear about the bad problems and not the good. As far as overheating and EGR problems, I believe that the trucks affected by that are the 2004-2005 LLY engine. I have the LB7. The MPG is pretty good unloaded in good weather. In the summer, I average about 16-18 around town and probably 19 on the highway unloaded. Around here in AK there are no real highways, just 2 lane roads that go places. If you are looking at getting a used one, make sure you have a VIN check done, so you know what you are getting into. I do believe that the problems are from a small % of the actual fleet sold. It seems you hear about the bad stuff way before you hear about the good stuff. The bad things you hear always stick in your head too. JMO though.
Thanks, I sorta figured I was only hearing about a small % of the Dmax. I really like my 04 Sierra gasser though it only has 14,000 miles. I plan to get the new one in July 07. That's when mine comes up for smog and new tags. My wife will be trading her Yukon for a new one at the same time so I'm hoping we can negotiate a better deal for two vehicles. It looks like the LBZ is auto only but I want a manual tranny so I'll be stuck with the LLY.

BTW, I was at the dealers yesterday for a bed liner and saw the 07 Yukons. I figure the trucks will be the same with a box in back. Thats what they are now stylewise. Anyway, the 07 looks great. Front fender more squared like the Chevys, and the body not nearly so curvy (feminine) looking. Interior was OK but had that fake wood like my F350 and silvery metal trim that looked a bit cheapo. OTW, I think they have a winner. Can't wait to see the actual 07 trucks.

Hey John just to clear up a few of your concerns on the Ford 6.0 PSD, the oil leaks have been a lot of minor things that have been fixed for the newer years like the 05 and 06 trucks. The only real thing that they haven't fixed is the fact that there aren't enough head bolts and many people have had gasket failures with them. They fail mostly because of the higher hp chips (mild ones have done well) when the turbo pushes so much boost into the engine, and the extreme pressure causes the bolts to stretch....and then comes the problem. They're not going to fix it because Ford is actually coming out with another all new powerstroke for either the 07 or 08 year. It's a 6.4 and has been heavily rumored to be a twin/staged turbo engine, with a common rail fuel system and other new to the PSD things. It's still in testing and so far it's been said that all the 6.0 problems will not carry over to it. I think Ford learned their lesson.
Good point. One thing you always do hear about is the problems.
From what I've learned the new PSD will have common rail fuel and twin turbo. My understanding of the head gasket problem is that its related to stretching of the head bolts and yes, most likely when combustion chamber pressures are jacked up. My Y2K F350 was a great truck but I have no complaints with my GMC 2500 either.

I do prefer Ford's solid front axle and also the available manual transfer case. The electronic push-button 4WD is convenient but I don't mind getting out to lock my hubs and the electronic 4WD strikes me as one more thing to go south. Since my next truck will likely be my last, I want it to be as reliable as possible. If the Dodge/Cummins weren't made in Mexico one of them would get serious consideration.

True, the head bolts are stretched....they're Torque-to-yield and already stretched enough.
I too prefer to have a manual transer case. That's how my old 95 chevy was, floor shifted and not button or knob operated. I don't mind getting out to unlock my hubs either, so long as they're going to hold up longer than autos. No matter how good the GM duramax engines are, i'll never buy a heavy duty truck with an independent front end....especially with the added weight of a diesel over the top of it. I'm not saying it's not a bad supsension or weak by any means, but come's a truck, and if you want it to ride like a car put a car suspension on it and see how it holds up. My 99 solid axle F250 PSD rides better than my 95 chevy z71 with IFS. And how long will it take GM to beef up the tie rods? I've seen those bend countless times, although they were on trucks with mods. I do like the GM trucks, they are capable. But I still think they should really rework them. My uncles 02 crew still looks and feels a lot smaller than my 99f250 crew. Even the stock tires on it are somewhat puny looking. The duallys look pretty nice with the molded in fender, but what happens if you get a hole in the fender itself, replace the entire bed???
As for the dodge I've never heard that it's built in Mexico, but i'm disputing it. I think the cummins is just as good an engine as the other two. But like I's got a solid front axle so i'd but it before a GM. Only complaints about dodge is they wimped out on a true crew cab when the newer trucks came out a few years back, then completely overdid it with the megacab. Some days I like it, other days I think that extra body behind the back doors looks stupid and they should have just matched or slightly outdid the CC's that Ford offers. Why they didn't just get it right to begin with is beyond my understanding.....And they can't build a good enough tranny to really hold up behind that high powered cummins. Other than that, solid truck, i'd buy one.
Even though I own a PSD I don't entirely favor the Ford. They've all got strong and weak points. In fact my next truck is probably 80% likely to be a cummins. I've had a Chevy that I was very pleased with, and I've been more than pleased with my Ford. Now I think i'm ready to try a Dodge and see what happens....
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The way I found that Dodge trucks were made in Mexico is I went to the Dodge website and clicked on "Build Your Truck" (or what ever they called it) I "built" my truck then when you go to "View Your Truck" there is an option that lets you look an which dealers have a near match. Go to the dealer's site and click on something like "View the Invoice" (I don't exactly remember the names, but I can look up them up if you'd like) Anyway, on the dealer's invoices they read "Imported from Saltillo, Mexico."

I absolutely won't buy a foreign made vehicle when Ford and GM are closing plants where Americans are loosing their jobs. Guess I'm something of a Dynosaur. Also, Chrysler is now foreign owned. BTW, one of the reasons I sold my Y2K F350 was after I'd had it about a month I read inside the door jam "Hecho En Mexico" I really felt betrayed and cheated by my dealer. I think most are made in Louisville, but mine was, for certain, "Heco En Mexico."

Interesting post. I thought that all the super duty trucks were made either at the kentucky truck plant or in canada. I haven't ever heard of them being made in mexico....
I believe my V10 engine was made in Canada. If I do buy the Ford, and it is a definite possibility, I will make bloody certain its made in Kentucky. Hopefully some Dodges are U.S. built. Maybe somebody can help with info. But, definitely the stickers I checked for Dodge/Cummins indicated they were imported from Mexico. My GMC 2500 is from Flint MI, and the wife's Yukon is from Arlington, TX. So, a new GMC is not out of the question, but I sure like Cummins.

Hey Runnin I have a friend who worked at Cummins in Columbus, Indiana last year. I live in Indianapolis. I'll see what he tells me..
As for the Cummins, I do like the cummins a lot. I'd love to have a 5.9 in my F250. But i'm more than satisfied with my Power Stroke. The best selling pickup surrounding it just that much more.
Keep in mind, no matter what diesel engine you choose you're going to get a terrific engine no matter what.
People generally come to forums looking for help to solve their problems..or for performance upgrade help.
So you are only seeing a smalllllll group of people compared to all of the Duramaxs sold!

I believe all the Cummins Dodges are assembled in Mexico and put on a train to the US.

LB7 Trucks are available with a manual transmission...its just that not many Manuals are sold comapred to the Allison Auto.

Did A Dura Do Dat said:
No matter how good the GM duramax engines are, i'll never buy a heavy duty truck with an independent front end....especially with the added weight of a diesel over the top of it. I'm not saying it's not a bad supsension or weak by any means, but come's a truck, and if you want it to ride like a car put a car suspension on it and see how it holds up.
The IFS is a stout setup I run it with a 9' Fisher problems. I prefer the softer ride the IFS provides..but it also can handle the weight when I need it to. :beer
I never said it wasn't stout. I'm saying I don't want it under my heavy duty truck. I've seen a lot of broken IFS parts at truck events...not near as many with other suspension setups
i agree. if you want a soft wussy ride, buy a car. there aint nothin in the world like a solid axle with leaf springs to give you that good ole truck feeling. i believe independent suspensions were designed by yuppies and built for yuppies.
Although I would rather have a coil spring setup on my truck than the leafs.....I like the tighter turning radius...
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