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Old 05-15-2013, 05:38 AM
azjed azjed is offline
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Default Basic Diesel Engine Questions

I've never owned a diesel, or a pick up for that matter but that's where I'm headed. In my price range, there are only trucks with no less than 150,000 miles on them and most around 250,000 on them. I'm just wondering about diesel engine longevity and how to know when it's not worth putting the money into converting the engine. I'm also curious if I should have a regular diesel mechanic look at the engine before I buy it or if someone with veggy conversion experience would be best.
Any recommendations for a newbie would be great. I'm in the Phoenix area.
Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:46 AM
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Vandy Vandy is offline
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Morning

I was in your boat a year ago. A diesel is a whole new boat. Ive had several days just looking at my motor trying to figure out what things where.

What year of truck are you looking to get into? As far as a conversion goes, just know an OBS takes more work. They have a mechanical fuel system and you need to convert it to an electric system.

If you don't know much about these trucks you can take it to a mechanic. You really can't go wrong doing it. If it's an auto i would definitely suggest having it looked at. That was a reoccurring suggestion when i was looking for one.

As far as miles, if it was taken care of 150 is starting to be broke in. I bought mine with 245k. Ive got 277k now with no issues.

Good thing about where you live. The man, the myth, azdave lives down the road from you.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:05 PM
Clay Clay is offline
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The key to longevity is maintenance (like anything else) I recently bought a 1 owner 7.3 PSD Excursion and the guy had every shop recept from day 1 and I could see every oil change, trany service, repair, etc. I felt sure it had been well taken care of and other than checking for oil leaks and whatnot, I bought it without worry.
Definately take it over to Dave to gander at before buying. He knows his way around a diesel and is a hand at fine conversions also.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:03 PM
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N2GN2 N2GN2 is offline
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2000-2003 Superduty 7.3 is the best route IMHO. The 2001-2003 have PMR which would need to be replaced if you were going to make your truck a HP monster. Get a 6 speed and you won't have to worry about the tranny. Plan you truck's usage; get a crew cab if you need it, even an 8 foot bed fills up quick when you add a veg tank and extra oil for a road trip. Like others have said 150k is just starting to be broke in for these motors and a well maintained motor will last a million miles with a rebuild or three. I've heard of guys with 750k on their stock motor, but they do over the road hauling with thier rigs.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:58 PM
AzDave AzDave is offline
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In Phoenix I would go to Strictly Diesel for a used truck checkout. They have the factory scan tools and are gurus on there proper use. Ask for Nate. If you are spending enough for a Diesel truck you should have a good shop check it out first. We see things like bent frames...botched body work. Clean engine on top..bottom NEVER touched and is filthy.

Use a shop that will allow you to walk under your own truck and ask questions about things to the person checking the truck out. Now even in my shop you can not hang out under your truck because I am afraid of someone getting hurt. But a few minutes...anytime.

200 plus thousand miles on a well maintained truck is no problem. I just bought a 1996 that looks new with 220,000. On a truck with few oil changes or maintenance they a junk at 100,000.

Dave
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:55 PM
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Trusting a shop is 1 thing, and finding that shop will come from word of mouth.
Strictly is certainly one of those shops.

Knowing your own truck is more important. Spend a few hours on the forums and sift through the BS and you'll have a whole new understanding of what these trucks are about and what owning one means in terms of maintaining it after you own it.

Another thing I can't suggest enough is to shop on those same forums. You can find a truck and see it's background on the same forum. Some forums allow price policing, so if it is too high there will be several members mentioning that in the thread.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:36 AM
azjed azjed is offline
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Thanks to all the replies-very helpful.

Someone mentioned a 6 speed. What's special about a 6 speed that I won't need to worry about the transmission? Does it matter if it's manual or auto?

I will need this truck to be able to pull a trailer with a home on it (a Tiny Home). Total weight of trailer and home might be around 8,000lbs plus gear - maybe 10,000?

I notice Veggie Garage lists the V4 system for the powerstroke and cummings engines and specific years. I assume conversions can be done on other vehicles so I'm curious as to the difference in systems. Is the install be more laborious with a Chevy per say? Just trying to narrow down a truck.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:10 AM
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N2GN2 N2GN2 is offline
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It's my opinion that is shared by many but not all that the manual transmissions are built stronger and give you more control when towing especially. The Ford 4 speed autos have to be rebuilt to last from the power the trucks produce. With a manual transmission all you have to do is replace the clutch when the time comes which you can do in your garage with help from a friend. These opinions are mostly biased because only my first vehicle that I purchased was an automatic. I've purchased 4 more vehicles since then and they are all manual transmissions. I don't live in a big city so I don't experience bumper to bumper traffic. I hear the new automatic transmissions are pretty awesome though, they are just not for me. I believe the Chevy motor doesn't have the proper setup to operate a conversion without harm or extensive modification to it. I'm sure you will find some DIY guys running grease... same as you find people pouring oil into their diesel tank. The best thing about the 7.3 powerstroke is the deadhead fuel rail design. The fuel enters the fuel rail inside the head and sits there getting nice and toasty until being shot through the injector. Our blocks get HOT!!!!
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