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Test drove some new trucks!

 
  #1  
Old 09-27-2005, 09:49 AM
bigbluebronco43
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Test drove some new trucks!

Well its been awhile since I've posted on this site-mainly because I got a job where I am not around a computer and because I purchased a car-I'm in outside sales. Anyways, I purchased an 03 Mustang GT with 24k miles on it, owned it for a month and had the dealership buy it back because the tranny started to grind 2nd and 3rd no matter how lightly you tried to put it into gear. I did some reading and apparently there is a TSB for this but it doesn't fix the problem-the dealer agreed to buy the car back. SO I purchased a leftover brand new SRT4 turbo neon. I gotta say this thing is a fast little bugger that is great on gas. Anyways, I just got a new job that won't require much driving as I'll be behind a desk-and I have the itch for a new truck again. I have a week off until I start-Oct. 3rd - so I figured I'd look around at these "employee discounted" trucks.
I've been in or driven these trucks before, but I've been driving a car for a little over a year now, so please bare with me on my small reviews:
First-
2005 SuperDuty 250
These things are huge. Huge inside, huge outside, everything is huge. I loved the feeling of being inside a large hall, and being "on top of the world" You could probably fit my neon in the cab. The first one I drove was an XLT priced at about $28k with the family discount and $2000 rebate. It had the 5.4, 4x4, pw/pl/ac/cc and that was it. I wanted a plow so the plow package was included. Driving it felt great. I drive a small, light, quick car so I was expecting sluggish steering-I was wrong. It felt light and responsive, and the ride was great also. Those bumps I would try to avoid in my car were soaked up easily by the massive rig. The trucks only fault was its power. From a get-go it felt like it would pull very hard, since a quick mash of the pedal would push you back a bit, but holding the pedal down would slowly increase speed. Overall I loved the truck but wished it had more power, so I asked to drive the diesel- That price was around $35k which is out of my range- But that definitely solved the problem of not being powerful enough. This thing took off and kept pulling. Very nice, and it felt like a completely different truck. My only concern is the previous issues that had arose with the 6.0, plus I believe Ford is coming out with a new Diesel with their redesign-Yes/No?

Chevy 2500/1500
I driven and ridden in a bunch of these. Probably my favorite "all around" trucks. They ride nice, handle okay-kinda float when you're on the highway which I don't like (1500 only), and they have decent power from smaller powerplants. The 1500 with the 5.3 was an extended cab, 4x4, pw/pl/cc and was priced in the high $20's. It didn't feel torquey but had plenty of get up and go, that only got faster with the RPM's. For a daily driver this truck would be fine-good power, smooth boaty ride, and gets the best gas mileage of any 1500 out there, which I've found in real world driving from my best friends 01 1500. These things sip gas compared the the larger engines offered by Ford and Dodge. As for the 2500 I love the duramax. Simple mods really wake up this engine and this thing holds its value. In my area these things have upwards of 100k miles and are still going for mid to high 20's. They get awesome gas mileage, are reliable, and very powerful. Once again I was turned off at the fact it has a redesign coming, but the duramax will live and being a 650lb/ft monster! I hope the new Allison tranny is up to the task.

Ram 2500
I've been in plenty 1500's and love the HEMI power in those but I've only driven a Cummins 2500 which was my cousins truck. It had great power, the ride was like the Super Duty being fairly stiff but quiet, and had that huge interior presence. I love the bulging hood and overall large feeling. I was actually surprised that the HEMI felt powerful even in an extended cab 4x4 pw/pl/cc setup 2500 truck. They are a couple hundred pounds heavier so I figured they'd lose a lot of oomph. It had the initial pull that the 5.4 had but kept going on up to the redline whereas the 5.4 felt like the power platuead (spelling?). Obviously this is because the HEMI likes to rev, but I was surprised at the torque it had off the line. The ride was stiff, but it handled highway driving with ease. Set the cruise, and the truck rode like it was on air. I used to hate the older style extended cab Rams because they would buck you everytime you went over a bump but this one didn't do this. It took the bump with stride. I was impressed but then it came to the interior. Overall I like the look of it, and I know its a truck surving a purpose to be a truck, but I really didn't like how hard the dash plastic was. The other trucks weren't much better but at least the different plastics had a different "hardness/softness" to them. Oh well, this truck is going to be seeing a redesign which they had a new Power Wagon there. I like that interior much better.

Overall I was very impressed with what is available right now. I did drive an F150 and it rode like a dream, but I was once again asking for more power, plus I plan on using this truck to plow and haul which was why I tried to keep it to 2500+. My situation is that I'll be driving about 20 miles a day to/from work, and will be heading up north to New Hampshire and Maine on weekends. My girlfriend and I are looking at land and will be clearing/building on our own. I'll need the truck to plow in the winter-mostly light duty-but I need it to haul equipment up north for the clearing and building. An old co-worker turned good friend has an 03 Duramax Chevy that hauled a 14 foot enclosed trailer with a car in it without a problem-we didn't know it was there and it road nice. I'm looking for that same situation-good power, reliability, and decent gas mileage. What this has come down to is either a 99-01 Superduty Diesel (I'd rather a 7.3) or an 03+Ram 2500 Cummins. Obviously the Superduty is cheaper because of the age difference, but these two trucks felt the best for me. They were big, had plenty of space for my 140lb English Mastiff dog, my luggage/tools, and my girlfriend. The chevy was lacking in space and that "big" feeling. Sorry for the book, but feel free to comment on any experience you've had with either of these trucks. Also, has the 6.0 gremlin's been worked out?
 
  #2  
Old 09-27-2005, 04:31 PM
sinister73
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Nice post there bigbluebronco43. The best place to find info for the 6.0 and it's current reliability is obviously the 6.0 forum. For what it's worth, I see many of them every day, and I feel it's a great engine.
 
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:39 PM
bigbluebronco43
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Yeah I try to take stuff I read online/forums with a grain of salt as it really only represents a small crowd that actually care to come online and voice their opinions. I've been talking to friends, mechanics, business owners, etc, and they all have different opinions, but nothing slamming any of the trucks I listed. It seems the biggest thing I hear about with the SuperDuty is they're prone to ball joint problems, especially with plowing. Now I doubt this would be much of an issue for me as I don't plan on using anything bigger than a 7'6" plow just for my driveway and my parents, and it also seems like the other Heavy Duty trucks have this issue after awhile also. How do the 7.3's stack up?
 
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:43 PM
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have you consider the v10 it is only about 1 mpg less or so than the 5.4 and really has the power . and it is only a 600.00 option.
 
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:18 PM
bigbluebronco43
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I considered it, but I personally don't see it being that good on gas. I'm probably wrong, but I'd rather stick to a V8 or diesel.
 
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Old 09-27-2005, 06:48 PM
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Very good post indeed. There is one area that I think should be addressed, however. Your idea to install a plow is probably not exactly the best thing to do on a newer truck. All 3 of the......um, big 3.... have gone to the unitized hub bearing design which is marginal at best for everyday daily driving. Adding that much extra weight is not going to do any of them any good. They have a hard time lasting more than about 60K-80K miles with highway duty and adding more stress to them is going to kill them in a hurry.

I'm just adding my $.02 so take it for what it's worth....not much.

Cody
 
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Old 09-27-2005, 07:11 PM
bigbluebronco43
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No that makes tons of sense, and I completely agree. My only issue is that I don't want a very old truck simply because the new ones have so much more power and comfort. The issue with the plow is that its only going to be on the truck for 2 driveways, and probably 30-40minutes per storm-of course how many storms is up to mother nature. Secondly a 7'6" plow is fairly small for any of these trucks, and is usually the one recommended for 1500 series trucks. The truck will see more towing, hauling, driving duty than anything.

I'm going out tomorrow to test drive some older models- 98-01 Ram1500 5.9's, 96-99 Chevy 1500's w/5.7&5.3's, and some 97-03 F150's w/5.4, and possibly a 99-02 Superduty. I am also thinking of these trucks simply because I can find them for around $10-$14k with 50k miles on them,and they are fairly new/powerful/comfortable yet old enough to beat up on a bit.
 
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Old 09-28-2005, 01:46 AM
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For all the trouble and expense a plow can bring why don't you just save the plow money and buy two really big snowblowers? Plows are around $3400 right? A good 11.5 HP snowthrower is around $1200.





(And yes: I used to live where it snows. And yes: I used to have a plow truck. What's that? Would I want another one? Not on yer life! I live in paradise now!! )
 
  #9  
Old 09-28-2005, 06:17 AM
F250Wildman
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The '04 F-150 had a snow plow option
 
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Old 09-28-2005, 08:14 AM
bigbluebronco43
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Monsta-I'm very jealous

I had a 1994 F150 with a 5.0 (RC LB) up until about March of this year. When I bought the truck it didn't have a plow, but I wanted to try and make some money while I was still in college-I was in New Hampshire- so I found a used Fisher Minute Mount 7 1/2 ft plow. It was only a few years old and the owner got it with the truck he bought used from a dealership, it was like new condition, and I got the entire thing for $800. Around here you can sell them used for $2000 all day, so when I sold my F150 I put the plow behind my parents house and pondered the idea of selling it-but I didn't. So I still have the plow

F250wildman-My reasoning for not getting a 150-at least one with an independent front suspension, is that they sag way too much with a plow on. My truck nearly bottomed out with the plow on it, and its horrible on all of the suspension components. I then took a ride in my buddies F250 with a solid axle and upgraded suspension, and it handled a plow with ease-plus I like the stiffer ride better.
 
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Old 09-28-2005, 11:47 AM
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are you people old school or what? if you like a stiff ride i will sell you a horse and buggie.

on the IFS of chevy idk about ford, but on gm you can crank up the torsion bars and it won't sag near as much.
 
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Old 09-28-2005, 12:34 PM
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If you crank up the torsion bars, not only does your ride quality suffer, but you put extra strain on the suspension. Right now, Stacy from trucks is just shaking his head in shame.
 
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Old 09-28-2005, 12:42 PM
F250Wildman
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'04 and up F-150 has coil springs. they do not use torsion bars.
 
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Old 09-28-2005, 12:59 PM
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The new 250s have coils but the 150s still have torsion bars I believe.
 
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Old 09-28-2005, 01:34 PM
F250Wildman
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My '99 did, ford did away with torsion bars. My '04 has coils. If you look at the F150 order guide with will have the heavy duty package for snow plowing.
 

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