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Old 05-04-2011, 06:13 PM
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Default The truth about Dodge and Cummins

Okay I have read so many things I think I have confused myself and definitely scared myself. All you Dodge owners speak up and let me know the deal as boat owners.

I am interested in purchasing a used 2500 Dodge 4x4 with the 5.9 Cummins engine with an automatic transmission probably a 2004-2006 with less than 100k miles as close to stock as possible. I have read great reviews about the trucks, their longevity and the fuel mileage is better than some. I also have looked on some other websites where owners are talking about the failures they are experiencing especially with the transmissions, fuel injectors, and fuel pumps. Some of the fuel problems are causing total engine failure. It seems some of these failures occur at low mileages.

Are my concerns legitimate or are these owners tuning the computers and changing the systems causing the failures? I plan on using the truck to pull a 8000-10000 pound boat and a lighter camper and don't plan on modifying anything. It probable won't be used much to drive around town. Am I going to be disappointed with decision?

Ford and Chevy guys don't weigh in just yet...
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by fishenmore2001 View Post
Okay I have read so many things I think I have confused myself and definitely scared myself. All you Dodge owners speak up and let me know the deal as boat owners.

I am interested in purchasing a used 2500 Dodge 4x4 with the 5.9 Cummins engine with an automatic transmission probably a 2004-2006 with less than 100k miles as close to stock as possible. I have read great reviews about the trucks, their longevity and the fuel mileage is better than some. I also have looked on some other websites where owners are talking about the failures they are experiencing especially with the transmissions, fuel injectors, and fuel pumps. Some of the fuel problems are causing total engine failure. It seems some of these failures occur at low mileages.

Are my concerns legitimate or are these owners tuning the computers and changing the systems causing the failures? I plan on using the truck to pull a 8000-10000 pound boat and a lighter camper and don't plan on modifying anything. It probable won't be used much to drive around town. Am I going to be disappointed with decision?

Ford and Chevy guys don't weigh in just yet...

I recently bought a '99 Dodge/Cummins/2500/4x4/auto w/ 250k miles. I did quite a bit of research because I wanted to buy a little older (2 kids in college) but wanted reliability. I would have bought a Ford with 7.3 but found the Dodge 1st. The fuel pump issue in my series (as I understand it) has to do with the injection pump failing (which is a $1k repair) due to a faulty lift pump. The lift pump (pre-fuel pump) is supposed to supply the injection pump with adequate fuel pressure. When the lift pump goes bad it supplies reduced fuel pressure and takes the expensive injection pump out. A lot of guys install a fuel pressure gauge between the 2 pumps to monitor that important reading. My lift and injection pumps were both recently replaced before I bought it. The transmission went out in my truck at 160k, I'm hoping it goes another 160k which is 70k from when I bought it. That will last me about 7 years. I sold a 2002 Dodge Dakota 4 door V-8 and bought the 2500 with a little change left over. Diesel costs a little more but I get 2mpg better than the much smaller Dakota so it's pretty much a wash as far as fuel costs. After my research 250k miles didn't scare me. I've put about 4k trouble free miles so far and like the truck. 1st highway trip to beach I got 17mpg at around 79mph and a little over 2100 rpm's. I've since read that economy is much better if you keep it under 2000. I've been staying around 2000 which is about 75mph but have not checked mileage yet.



Check out:
http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:04 PM
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I bought an '05 Laramie 5.9 nearly one year ago....I was looking for the same thing, stock, same year/model with the 5.9 and it's an excellent truck! BayPro21's truck (1999) had the problems he explained, but the models you're looking at no longer had that concern.

Auto tranny was a concern on the earlier trucks, but were re-tooled in the years you're looking at. I did a LOT of research and continue to monitor things, but as far as I'm able to tell, as long as you keep it mostly stock and don't build the H.P. & torque to 600hp & 1000ft torque and race it, you'll be fine. My 325 H.P. and 600ft torque is MORE than enough to pull my 9000 lb boat around, no problem...70mph highway, drives safe and clean. With that said, if you build any of the trucks way beyond what they were originally built to handle (tranny), you're going to burn it up no matter what....it's just too easy to "roll the coal" and burn your tires, tranny, pumps, etc. with all the mods folks do.

Bottom line, find a clean, non-abused stock Cummins 4X4 lin those years like I did and you'll be VERY pleased with your purchase! I have no regrets, love the truck...I have no interest in racing it, so no need for me to "build" it....I'll buy a car for that, not a S.D. diesel truck...
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:27 PM
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Keep it coming...

I have looked at the cumminsforum website and that is where I see so much trouble. I am beginning to wonder if it isn't what dini12 is saying about modifying these trucks far beyond what they are designed to do.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:29 PM
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Example:

http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/3r...mmon-rail.html

Hopefully this isn't against forum rules, if so sorry...
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:52 PM
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Take into account that when people do have a problem nowadays they go to a forum for info on fixing it, so alot of what you're seeing is the worst of the worst. With that said I was a Dodge guy thru and thru until just recently, I may go back. I let my 07 CTD go because Dodge kept jerking me around on a transmission issue on a completey stock, low mileage truck and I was just tired of the size of the back seat, actually the lack of size. I've had 4 of them since 1998 with no problems until the 07. It went its first 11000 miles 7 quarts low on tranny fluid without any indication until I got a larger boat.. take that for what its worth. It left the pre-sale inspection low on fluid and it got delivered from Fort Lauderdale that way also. Look for solid maint records on a truck and you should be ok with the CTD. I like the way the new ones look and the back seat is normal sized so maybe I'll go back in the future. Right now I drive a Chevy Duramax and am loving it just as much as my Dodge. It is decked out though, from the tuner to the lift and tires so its fun to drive. You can't go wrong towing with a diesel and the CTD is definately a strong one. Good luck
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:01 PM
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Go for it! I have an 04 dodge cummins, 120k miles with an auto trans. It tows almost everyday and no problems at all. I had the transmission built at around 100k simply because I wanted a tighter more efficient trans, the stock transmission is too loose for my liking but functions just fine. Excellent truck.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:09 PM
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Don't rule out the 6.7. Yes the EGR and DPF is crap but as long as you pull those off you have an engine just as reliable as a 5.9 but with more power and a better transmission behind it.

So many guys are having problems with the emissions stuff on the 6.7 that you can find newer 6.7 trucks for the same price as a 5.9.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:42 PM
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I am on my second Dodge Cummins.
First one was a 1992 12 valve 4x4 5 spd and I had it for 14 years. Other than 1 steering box no problems. Mileage was much better than my 2006.
The 2006 is 24valve, auto, quadcab, short box and so far have had absolutely no problems. It is totally stock and has enough power, but it is not as economical as the 92. In my opinion the Cummins engine is an excellent engine. Make sure to get one that has not been modified to increase the power output be it injectors or a power module.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:05 AM
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Don't usually pull Dodge but hit the Jessup yard yesterday and got a suprise
Had to take 5 new Dodge 1500 Big something to woodbridge.
Rememberd seeing a thread, not sure if it was on here or not but the guy was asking if everyone thought he got a good deal. Said they wanted $50,000 for a 1500.. I kinda flipped on that and felt he was joking but seen the stick prices on them yesterday.
Think its big ranch/mountain but looks to me like they copyed the Fords on the inside. Very nice insides , really nice leather job but the one with the 50g sticker was all hipe with flames around the gauges, beds been changed, you now have pockets or cooler storage in the back beds,, I call it show trucks and a lot of thrill and grill but 50,000g which to me and just my views is way to much for a 1500
Then I seen a black Dodge 3500. Just knew I was going to see a sticker of 58 on that. All that special crap sure adds up and the sticker on a solid black, drop dead beautiful 3500 diesel was only 43,000

The 2000 dodge 3500 I have just got a new clutch week before last. That and a heater core is all that has been done to the truck in 9 years I've had her other than adding AC once in a while. Planning on keeping the truck another 15 years so went with a duel disk. No more problem with clutches. I'm chipped, open exhaust, air box but know how to drive the thing. Diesels are not designed to run at high RPM or race. They will fly if you play with them but their short lived once you start. We use to shim the trucks in the 70's and 80's and we would fly but 500,000 miles was a lucky number to reach playing with that much on those motors. Keep the rpms down and these things will go 400,000 easy. No different than the boats and any captain will tell you. Up the fuel pressure and boost and run them at higher RPMs you get more Knots but you also shorten the life on the motors.
Chevy gas, has two different heads they run on the car/truck. Head number 317 with are 70CC's are for the trucks and 63cc #242/243 on the older motors for the cars for more comp and power. Diesels don't.
With prices as they are, more folks are going to be keeping the car or trucks longer. Myself no way on this earth will I ever pay 50,000 for a 1500 but I know the value of buying a diesel used and making it last 20 years.
All three now build nice units. Dodge, ford, Chevy. All three also have one thing in common. Low rpm torque motors. We all know > If Allison would back Cummins, there would only be one truck to own....
Diesels will handle the extra boost and fuel at lower rpms but as soon as you start trying to be a car, your going to run into trouble with any of them.

PS Only 134,000 on the clock on Gone Fishing..

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Old 05-05-2011, 06:32 AM
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I can honestly say . My 1 ton dodge diesel is a 1999. I have had it from day 1 of it's life, kind of like a kid.
It now has 395,500 miles on it.. I only had to rebuild the transmission 1 time and a injector pump
In the same time I also had a ford 6.7 turbo f450 for about 9 months.I got rid of it as breakdowns were way to common . I didn't trade in the dodge as it had alot of value to me and not the ford dealer . I am back driving the dodge and glade I never traded it in.
I did have to put new seat covers on it
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by fishenmore2001 View Post
Okay I have read so many things I think I have confused myself and definitely scared myself. All you Dodge owners speak up and let me know the deal as boat owners.

I am interested in purchasing a used 2500 Dodge 4x4 with the 5.9 Cummins engine with an automatic transmission probably a 2004-2006 with less than 100k miles as close to stock as possible. I have read great reviews about the trucks, their longevity and the fuel mileage is better than some. I also have looked on some other websites where owners are talking about the failures they are experiencing especially with the transmissions, fuel injectors, and fuel pumps. Some of the fuel problems are causing total engine failure. It seems some of these failures occur at low mileages.

Are my concerns legitimate or are these owners tuning the computers and changing the systems causing the failures? I plan on using the truck to pull a 8000-10000 pound boat and a lighter camper and don't plan on modifying anything. It probable won't be used much to drive around town. Am I going to be disappointed with decision?

Ford and Chevy guys don't weigh in just yet...


The "failures" you speak of have to be taken in context. What I mean is, you are looking at Cumminsforum.com, so you are looking at a group, mostly modders. Taken in total, not representative of all cummins owners. ( i mean the 100's ofthousands on the road) For example, I see VP44 Trucks everyday with 200K plus miles that have never had a failure of any kind. I see 12 Valve trucks with 1/2 a million miles going strong. I have a Commonrail truck in my shop right now iwth a leaking $5000 high pressure pump. The trans I would say (auto) is the weakes, or rather, most likely failure area for 2nd gen trucks, or any trucks making big power. With that said, they ( transmisiions) are easily made bulletproof. The next are is the VP44, but their fialure is usually an issue of fueling, not the unit. So, if you do get a VP44 truck, get a fuel pressure gauge.

My personal truck is a 2002 Quad Cab 4X4 with the NV4500 5-speed. It has about 120K currently. Ive never done anything to it. It averages about 19.5 corrected MPG. I have a 2010 6.7, but its only 40K miles, so to new to rate.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:32 AM
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If you go on just about any diesel truck forum you will see threads from people having injector problems with all of them (Ford, Dodge, Chevy). Injector problems are relatively rare with all generations of Cummins 5.9's, but as mentioned above most people go on truck forums and post only when they have a problem so it can appear to be a more frequent issue than it really is. The key to preventing injector problems is clean fuel. The stock Cummins 5.9 fuel filter is 10 microns, but you can easily add an aftermarket 2 micron spin-on filter that is relatively cheap (Glacier Diesel Power is where I got mine).

As far as the years go, there are some differences between the 05's and 06's...and there are also differences between the 06 and 06.5's.

05's have some different transmission programming with regards to the Tow/Haul feature. The 06's have an updated Tow/Haul program that makes the tranny act more like the Allison in Tow/Haul. It locks the torque converter in lower gears and also holds it locked when you let off the throttle (to use the engine breaking like a manual trans would). These programming differences allowed Dodge to offer an optional exhaust brake on the 06's. I'm not positive, but I think you might be able to have the 05 programming updated to the 06 version.

The 06's were then changed to a CAN-Bus electrical system in 06.5. There appear to be some other ECM differences between the two...and some say the 06.5's tend to run a little hotter on the EGT's.

IMO I would say the early 06's are the best of the best. You get the trans improvements but don't have to deal with the CAN-Bus system.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:41 AM
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I have an 01 with 155k on it.

the injector pump pooped out at 120k due to the reasons you have read about. It was nearly $2k for a good replacement. (Blue chip diesel). Other than that the engine is solid. And yes I did have it chipped up at one point but only after I had replaced the injector pump.

The 47 RE auto trannies were solid but not solid enough so they upgraded them to the 48 RE which beefed up the clutches and the changed the valve bodies to all computer controlled vs the pressure controlled 47RE. I believe they also fixed an issue where the high pressure side would leak back to the low pressure side and cause premature wear of some of the bearings. ( this is all from memory so take it with a grain of salt. )

In the 155 K I have had it we have hauled trailers all over the place including a trip up to Fairbanks Alaska with a big travel trailer. We also haul horses and the boat. Get it serviced every 30K or so and you should be fine. From the info I have seen/heard it is often an issue of the fluid going bad that causes them to fail.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:13 AM
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Mine is an 04 with only 66k on it. So far not a single issue. I went synthetic at about 50k in engine, tranny, and rear. I hope this is my last truck. I expect to have to rebuild the tranny at some point, but that is the case with ALL automatics somewhere down the road. When I do it will be upgraded. I expect to have to rebuild the front end at some point, tho there are no signs of wear yet. I will go with Moog parts and that should be the end of that.
You got it right about keeping it stock. The mechanics I talk to tell me that most of the engine failures are on trucks that are not stock. Hard, fast take offs put a LOT of stress on the drive train. The 5.9 is happiest at 1800 rpms.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:46 AM
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I have an 07' with around 77k on it totally stock. The only thing that I have replaced due to failure is a water pump about three thousand miles ago.....fixed under warranty.

I have a co-worker with the exact same truck and the same mileage. His is jacked up a few inches, massive tires, intake, tuner, exhaust the whole deal. He is always fixing something it seems like. Nothing terribly major, but repairs of worn out broken parts frequently.

Anyway, I would have no issue recomending this truck to someone else or purchasing another one myself.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:10 AM
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On most of the 5.9 cummins you will have to replace the lift pump at some point and if you wait to long it will burn up the injector pump. Other than that the greatest diesel motor ever made! If you want good mileage out of one of these get a stick 6 speed. No mods 2002 3/4 ton 4x4 89,000 miles 20-22 on avg tank. I dont have a big boat, but it will get 15-16 pullin my 2072 alumacraft est. 3000lbs.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:13 PM
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I recently bought a '99 Dodge/Cummins/2500/4x4/auto w/ 250k miles. I did quite a bit of research because I wanted to buy a little older (2 kids in college) but wanted reliability. I would have bought a Ford with 7.3 but found the Dodge 1st. The fuel pump issue in my series (as I understand it) has to do with the injection pump failing (which is a $1k repair) due to a faulty lift pump. The lift pump (pre-fuel pump) is supposed to supply the injection pump with adequate fuel pressure. When the lift pump goes bad it supplies reduced fuel pressure and takes the expensive injection pump out. A lot of guys install a fuel pressure gauge between the 2 pumps to monitor that important reading. My lift and injection pumps were both recently replaced before I bought it. The transmission went out in my truck at 160k, I'm hoping it goes another 160k which is 70k from when I bought it. That will last me about 7 years. I sold a 2002 Dodge Dakota 4 door V-8 and bought the 2500 with a little change left over. Diesel costs a little more but I get 2mpg better than the much smaller Dakota so it's pretty much a wash as far as fuel costs. After my research 250k miles didn't scare me. I've put about 4k trouble free miles so far and like the truck. 1st highway trip to beach I got 17mpg at around 79mph and a little over 2100 rpm's. I've since read that economy is much better if you keep it under 2000. I've been staying around 2000 which is about 75mph but have not checked mileage yet.



Check out:
http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/
You need some bigger tires, I run 315/17 on my 03 3500, a little smaller would work on your 2500.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:43 PM
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Default Diesel Truck buyers guide

For anyone interested you can find the Turbo Diesel Truck buyers guide here:
http://www.turbodieselregister.com/magazines/buyersguide.phtml

You can download the guide (PDF format) here:http://www.turbodieselregister.com/i...sGuide2010.pdf

It is a free guide put out by the Turbo Diesel Registry which is dedicated to the Dodge / Cummins truck crowd.
They put out a good write up on the different years and potential issues.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:46 PM
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Hey I appreciate everyone on here letting me know the truth...I really like the Cummins package primarily due to the expected longevity of the truck. I need something that will last a while and not give me too much trouble or bust the budget with rebuilds or replacements every month or so...THanks again...
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