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Old 07-28-2007, 02:42 AM   #1
mikecee48
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Going to Buy '02 or '03 Dodge 2500 Diesel

I'm planning on buying an '02 or '03 2500 diesel to tow a fifth wheel trailer weighing between 8000 and 12,000lbs. I prefer the auto trans. I've read where Dodge made changes in the injection system in both these years and that the '03 is quieter as a result.

What I'd like to know is what to watch out for as far as wear and tear factors to beware of, which of the two may be a better choice and anything anyone can add to assist in the decision process. Although the diesel engine can handle high miles, what about the other parts, like the tranny, rear end, etc.?

Also, would a 2000 or '01 year model serve the purpose as well?

I've made my decision to go with a Dodge, since I believe the Cummins diesel is far more reliable than the GM or Ford diesels. Is that a correct assumption for all practical purposes?

Thanks
Mike
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:56 AM   #2
Chris Stewart
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Re: Going to Buy '02 or '03 Dodge 2500 Diesel

Here's a little info for the '98.5-'02 but I can't off much about the '03 & newer.

Welcome to the site ,
Your Dodge/Cummins has fuel milage and power capabilities far beyond a basic gasser but it isn't gas-n-go like a gasser either...it's a bit involved but not difficult to manage.
Obtain a repair manual at your favorite auto parts store so you can get up quick on your truck. You also need gauges to get info from your truck but more on that later..
Your 24 valver has a Lift Pump that takes fuel from the fuel tank and delivers it to your Injector Pump(VP44). This VP44 is the weak link and because it's so expensive, it deserves extra consideration. For years the owners have been trying different things to get the VP44 to live and through basic R&D, they've discovered a few things that help most and are running up the miles.
Fuel lubes and cools the VP44 and we watch that with the Lift Pump fuel pressure. We generally like to see 13-15psi idle, 12-13psi cruising hwy speed and no less the 5-7 psi at wide open throttle(WOT).
A fuel pressure test gauge available at your favorite auto parts store, connected by pressure line to the Schrader Valve on your injector pump and installed in the cabwill get you lift pump fuel pressure to watch.
Diesel fuel has very little if any lubricating abilities so fuel treatments like Power Service, Howes, Lucas and Stanadyne add lubrication to the fuel. I use the MFG's recommend on dosages.
There is fuel returned to the fuel tank from the fuel system and because some of it comes from a passage in the cylinder head of the motor, it's hot. This is fine in the winter because diesel fuel can gel in very cold temperatures BUT in the summer, it can get hot enough that it won't cool electrical components in the VP44. Most folks are keeping their fuel tank 1/2 full or better. We're currently looking for an end all fuel cooler that does not restrict flow or pressure.
Many folks have found that they had no lift pump pressure after they install a gauge or change the fuel filter so be ready for that.
Type "lift pump" in the search box for lots of info.
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1997 Bravada, 101K, stock...was "called away"

"Cornbread Red", 2001 Dodge 2500,4X4,HO Cummins Diesel,QC,SWB,6spd.,Banks boost&pyro,US Gage fuel press.,Edge Drag Comp,4"exh.,cowl hood, bhaf, black Holley pump, 140gph...13psi WOT, Vulcan Big Line, kevlar/ceramic single disc clutch, cheapo fuel cooler, 8x.010" vco injector nozzles, Cat turbo 62-65-.70A/R, 497hp 1089 tq 8/25/14

Time to turn so's you don't burn.
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:05 AM   #3
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Re: Going to Buy '02 or '03 Dodge 2500 Diesel

Thanks, Chris.
That's the type of information I was looking for. I also noticed on eBay that those lift pumps changed for the 2003 model and are more expensive.
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