Pre-2013 Diesel PUs

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SissyBoyFloyd

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Joined
Aug 14, 2012
Posts
102
Location
San Diego
Is buying a well kept low mileage p/u that doesn't require the regulated fuel additive a worthwhile consideration, or are newer diesel p/us that much better for towing?  I see very nice well kept 2012 duallys for sale,and they all seem to loudly point out that no fuel additive needed.  Opinions welcomed.
 

Broke Boater

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Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Posts
286
Location
Brentwood, Northern Kookafonia
I have 2012 Dodge 3500 Cummins Dually, the last year Dodge diesels w/o DEF. 12.5 -14 mpg driving around town and highway combined. I change my oil every 4-4.5k miles, it gets black with carbon, but I only put on about 8k miles per year on the truck, so its not too bad. Def trucks, from I read on truck forums go longer. Emission sensors on diesels are a PITA, more CEL over gas trucks because of the EGR pushing carbon into the turbo. EPA has all  todays diesel trucks smogged down horribly. Getting a pre DEF with low mileage <80k may be a tough search . I wouldn't go back to a gas rig for what we do with our truck, been there with a gasser. Expect 9.5-10.5 mpg average with a cabover, its a lot of air to push out of the way. Towing my 7k fishing boat that has a Pilothouse that is 10 1/2' high on the trailer, boat only, about 10.5-11 mpg to the harbor and back, half freeway half city traffic, interesting comparison between towing high profile and  having it on the truck,,,gregg
 

Lou Schneider

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11,781
It's not so much the DEF additive itself as the related engine changes that are the issue.  The extra emission system components do require regular maintenance but they don't affect the basic engine performance.  Kind of like when EGR and other emission controls were added to gas engines in the 1980s. 

The DEF is poured into a seperate tank and is injected into the engine's exhaust to reduce the emissions.  It's not mixed into the fuel tank.

Dodge with the Cummins diesel has a good reputation regardless of whether it's pre or post DEF.  Ford isn't so lucky.  Their pre-emissions 7.3L Powerstroke was a real workhorse, rivalling the Cummins in durability.  But their later engines especially the 6.0L diesel have several issues that can cause premature failure if worked hard unless you spend money to strenghten their weak points.  It's called Bulletproofing for the aftermarket company that developed the upgraded parts.
 

skyhammer

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Joined
Aug 22, 2016
Posts
46
Location
NW California
IMO, DEF is the best thing to happen to diesel engines that have a particulate filter(2007- up).
My 2011 Ford runs much better than the 2007.5 Dodge and 2009 Ford that didn't require DEF.
My 2011 Fords exhaust pipe is as clean as the day I bought the truck. It also gets much better mileage as it requires much less fuel when it goes into regeneration mode.
 

Roy M

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Joined
May 31, 2017
Posts
1,400
Location
southern British Columbia
I don't understand the big worry about DEF, it is cheap and no more complicated than adding washer fluid. The truck is not going to come to a screeching halt if it runs out and the driver gets plenty of warning. It's here to stay whether we like it or not.
 

scale obsession

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Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Posts
139
My personal opinion, if you must have diesel. I would shy away from any ford 6.0 or 6.4s. I drive a 6.4 daily (work truck) and every time I turn around, the its "cleaning " the exhaust filter and smokes like speed racers smoke screen. It also continually has a check engine light. Been through multiple radiators, and various other issues. Head gaskets are just a matter of time. The DEF isn't a make or break IMO. Its here to stay. I wouldn't be concerned about a DEF truck. If you really want a non emissions, basic diesel, if you dig deep and find an old 12 or 24v cummins dodge , the engine will run forever, but you'll be fighting transmissions.
 
S

sightseers

Guest
It used to be that a diesel was the most reliable type engine you could have...but that all changed with DEF.

Talk to people diesel owners now days and about 1/2 of them have gone into "Limp" mode, .. or have been towed in for emission system repairs.





 

Lou Schneider

Site Team
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
11,781
sightseers said:
It used to be that a diesel was the most reliable type engine you could have...but that all changed with DEF.

Talk to people diesel owners now days and about 1/2 of them have gone into "Limp" mode, .. or have been towed in for emission system repairs.

I'm looking forward to Ford's new 7.4L gas V-8 with the 10 speed automatic transmission.  It's being introduced with the 2020 model year and is designed as a true medium duty truck engine, not a light duty engine like the V-10 it's replacing.
 

Isaac-1

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Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
5,855
Location
SW Louisiana
I personally think the troublsome years for diesels in general were the first few post 2007 models with enhanced exhaust emissions process.  That is not to say that all pre-07 engines were that great, the Ford 6.0 used from mid 03-07 was a disaster.
 

jeffj

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Posts
17
Location
Victorville, CA
In 2011, I purchased my 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab 5.9L Cummins with only 40K miles. I looked very hard for this year/make/model and I'm glad I took the time. Unfortunately, the "planned" fifth wheel for this came up too heavy so I opted for something much lighter and smaller - Lance 825 Slide-in. It's is/was the smallest Lance camper with a wet bath.

The Dodge gets great mileage with or without the camper and has been crazy reliable. I change the oil, oil filter, gas filter and air filters way more than recommended. Meticulous maintenance records.
 

Carrrver

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Posts
11
Broke Boater said:
I have 2012 Dodge 3500 Cummins Dually, the last year Dodge diesels w/o DEF. 12.5 -14 mpg driving around town and highway combined. I change my oil every 4-4.5k miles, it gets black with carbon, but I only put on about 8k miles per year on the truck, so its not too bad. Def trucks, from I read on truck forums go longer. Emission sensors on diesels are a PITA, more CEL over gas trucks because of the EGR pushing carbon into the turbo. EPA has all  todays diesel trucks smogged down horribly. Getting a pre DEF with low mileage <80k may be a tough search . I wouldn't go back to a gas rig for what we do with our truck, been there with a gasser. Expect 9.5-10.5 mpg average with a cabover, its a lot of air to push out of the way. Towing my 7k fishing boat that has a Pilothouse that is 10 1/2' high on the trailer, boat only, about 10.5-11 mpg to the harbor and back, half freeway half city traffic, interesting comparison between towing high profile and  having it on the truck,,,gregg
Gas ones is cheaper and less emissions
Diesel is a fuel of the past, really
 

2 Piece

New member
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Posts
3
Carrrver said:
Gas ones is cheaper and less emissions
Diesel is a fuel of the past, really
Do what? Don't tell all the freight trains, ocean liners, cargo ships, tractor trailers (other than California) that diesel is a fuel of the past.
 

Rob&Deryl

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Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
2,199
Location
On the road from mid NH
I have a 2015 Cummins. DEF isn?t a big deal. About every 3k miles I fill it up at the truck stop. I got one of those magnetic things you put over the nozzle to open the pump. Big trucks have em built in to the DEF tank filler. Keeps sleepy or distracted drivers from putting it in the fuel tank.
The truck pulls like a locomotive and I get better fuel mileage driving around or towing than I got with my previous hemi engined truck.
The pre-DEF (pre 09) trucks have such complicated pollution controls that need regular maintenance to clean out the egr filter.
The DEF Cummins does an automatic regeneration every so often.

I love my truck. I bought it 2 years ago with 60k miles. Oh, and 10k between fuel filters and 15k for oil & filters.

 

donn

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Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
5,361
Boy, this is a tough one.  My 07 6.7L Cummins was rock solid and got decent fuel economy.  It added over the 5.9 a wonderful 6 speed auto and a factory exhaust brake.  The 5.9L had fewer emissions.  The early 6.7s have hundres of aftermarket parts to eliminate almoat all of the emissions.  The later DEF trucks do run cleaner, the trade off is more maintenance and way more things to go wrong.  If I werw to choose a dieael truck today I would pick a 2008,9,10 Ram Cummins 6.7L.  The 5.9s because of age are getting long in the tooth milage wise.  Early Ford 6.0, 6.4 werw horrible motors  the later Ford diesels did have some lift pump issues early on that Ford would not warrant, while GM uaing the same pump took care of their customers.  Bottom line there is no perfect truck.  They all will have issues.  A potiential buyer needs to do his due dilligence and pick his best option based on overall condition of the truck.
 

Broke Boater

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Posts
286
Location
Brentwood, Northern Kookafonia
Carrrver said:
Gas ones is cheaper and less emissions
Diesel is a fuel of the past, really
That's hilarious, my 12 Cummings HO has 800lbs torque, and 29k tow rating my big block Chevy had 400lbs. The newer  big three have gone way past the 800lb mark. You can go to your church and I'll go to mine,,,gregg
 

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