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View Full Version : Looking At A '97 F350 Diesel


FearThisDeere
06-01-2006, 07:03 AM
I found this truck for sale a few minutes from my house. I really had my heart set on a Cummins Ram, but this is the body style of the F350s I love. It is a 1997 with the 7.3 Powerstroke (I don't know if it is turbo or not; were they all turbo or what?). Has a Diamond plow with it. Rebuilt tranny. Everything seems to be in working condition. It is loaded with every option... even power mirrors! It has a CD player. Regular cab. 8' bed with bed mat. There are a few very light scrathches which I think I can get out, but that is it. I might put a bedliner in it eventually as it is a little scratched in the bed, but it is a work truck. There are no rust or dents. Brand new meaty tires. I forgot to check the mileage... I was in a rush. He want $10,800 for it with everything, but said he could got lower. I was thinking I could get him to $10000. So, what should I look for? Are these fairly good truck? I will be using is mainly to pull my 6'x10' dump trailer and a few horse trailers. Should I hold out for a Cummins? What MPG does the 7.3 get?

PJDiesel
06-01-2006, 07:15 AM
I too like the looks of an F series. BUT I have never regretted getting my Dodge.
You're talking about apples and oranges. The 5.9 Cummins is a medium duty inline 6 v.s any other light truck which will have a LIGHT duty v-8 (yuk).

If you want a truck that will be reliable to about 250K miles, go ahead and get that Ford. If you want one that will easily go 400-500K, and be simple to modify and maintain, get the Cummins.

Do yourself a favor. Visit www.dieseltruckresource.com
There is a vast amount of information, literally thousands of Cummins owners. Don't be afraid to ask about the Powerstroke, you wouldn't be the first one. To my understanding, the 7.3 L was a pretty reliable engine, the 6.0 on the other hand has been a disaster and has been abandoned already as of this year.
Good Luck. You are on the right track at least, Diesel is the only way to fly.:rolleyes:

PJDiesel
06-01-2006, 07:18 AM
My father in law has a 1994 F-250. He averages (If I remember correctly) about 13.5-14.5 MPG. My truck consistently gets over 17.5, even with occasionally road rage and me romping on it ever once in a while.

I have averaged 19.2 on a 400 mile trip to pick up a trailer.

efaubert1
06-01-2006, 10:44 AM
Ok, the 1997 is turbo. Yes, that engine is pretty reliable, I had two of them. As for the price, if it's 4x4 it's not bad. The rebuilt tranny is a good thing. I had a F350 (97) Crew Cab 4x4 with the 7.3 and got 21mpg highway empty, about 16mpg around town, and 14mpg loaded with 11K horse trailer.

Qualey
06-01-2006, 10:55 AM
Those are nice trucks, I had one and should have kept it. Not the power and fuel mileage of a similar year Cummins, and the trans is a piece of ****, but those are a tough drivetrain. Thats a good price.

PJDiesel
06-01-2006, 11:15 AM
Those are nice trucks, I had one and should have kept it. Not the power and fuel mileage of a similar year Cummins, and the trans is a piece of ****, but those are a tough drivetrain. Thats a good price.
Oh, and my father inlaws trnas lasted a whole 17,000 miles before a complete rebuild under warranty. I blame that on overloading and towing in OD.

Not that you are going to do any better with a Dodge, my fist trans took a dump at 40K.:waving:

FearThisDeere
06-01-2006, 05:19 PM
It is a 4x4. Glad to hear that it is a turbo. I am going to give it some thought. I was not planning on buying a diesel fo another year or so, but this might just be too good of a deal to pass up on. I am going to try to get the mileage tonight and take a pic or two.

Scag48
06-01-2006, 08:50 PM
We continue to buy Ford. I've talked to too many people that have blown Dodge trannies, not that the Ford trannies are bulletproof, but our F350 had 150K on it before it's first tranny and it tows 4-6 times a week. Until we start blowing trannies like crazy, we'll continue to buy Ford. I wish Ford would still produce the 7.3, best engine ever.

lwcmattlifter
06-01-2006, 08:53 PM
What gears are in the axles? That will make a significant difference in mileage, especially if you are driving in stop and go traffic with a heavy load. Before I put a dump insert in my 1997 F-350 it was getting about 15 mpg pulling about 3-3500 lbs in stop and go traffic. Now that the truck has a dump insert and it tows closer to 6k lbs the mileage has dropped off to around 11-12. My only gripe with the 7.3 is the glow plug wiring sucks big time. The wires are just too thin to handle the current that goes through them. I end up replacing at least one valve cover gasket or injector/gp wiring harness every other year. Otherwise it's a very solid truck and you just can't bead the body style.

P.S. I have the factory bed liner with tailgate protector from my 1997 that's free to anyone that wants to drive to VA and take it.

stroker51
06-01-2006, 10:32 PM
[ My only gripe with the 7.3 is the glow plug wiring sucks big time. The wires are just too thin to handle the current that goes through them. I end up replacing at least one valve cover gasket or injector/gp wiring harness every other year. Otherwise it's a very solid truck and you just can't bead the body style.

Yup, that is what I hate about my '96, and since i got a F250 the Twin I beam front end is junk too, but that F350 won't give you a problem. I am tryin to find one right now to make into a dump/maintenance truck. I am around PSD's every day w/ 250-300K miles. 2 of em have autos that have never been rebuilt, both over 250K. I wouldnt use that as the rule though:) I would buy it, you can't hardly go wrong with the 7.3 trucks, those first PSD's where the best ones built.

Mowingman
06-01-2006, 10:34 PM
We have had 3 of the 1997, F350 crewcab diesel pickups. All had about 225,000 miles when we bought them. All now are approaching 300,000 miles, with no sign of seroius engine problems. Great engine, a little low of torque compared to the Cummins, and, fuel mileage, pulling a landscape trailer, is not much over 11MPG. Ours were all automatics, the standard trans. get better fuel mileage.

FearThisDeere
06-02-2006, 06:52 AM
I went by yesterday and the truck was out behind the guys garage and he was not home,, so I don't know if it has sold or not. Probably has at that price!:dizzy:

Randy J
06-02-2006, 08:35 AM
Sounds like a nice truck. A couple of things to check out: 1) glow plugs and glow plug relay are notorious for going bad on those. 2) You didn't say if it was auto or manual - given the rebuild I would assume auto, but if it's manual, the dual-mass flywheel gave some problems. 3) fuel pumps tend to leak. 4) make sure the coolant additive has been used - the powerstrokes are prone to cavitation. It's unlikely that you will see all these problems, but these are areas to check out. It's well worth your money to take to a diesel mechanic and have them check it out thoroughly.

FearThisDeere
06-02-2006, 01:40 PM
It is a manual. I hope it is still for sale. I have back ups if it is not. 2001 Dodge 2500 Quad Cab 8 foot bed 4x4 121k loaded for $16500 with warranty or a 1999 F350 crew cab 8 foot bed 4x4 7.3 loaded 133k for $14500 and the dealer said they would pay for me to take it to my mechanic no matter if there was anything wrong with it or not! The 1999 F350 is just one long truck, actually the both are.

FearThisDeere
06-02-2006, 01:46 PM
It is a manual. I hope it is still for sale. I have back ups if it is not. 2000 Dodge 2500 Quad Cab 8 foot bed 4x4 121k loaded for $16500 with warranty or a 1999 F350 crew cab 8 foot bed 4x4 7.3 loaded 133k for $14500 and the dealer said they would pay for me to take it to my mechanic no matter if there was anything wrong with it or not! The 1999 F350 is just one long truck, actually the both are.

Randy J
06-02-2006, 06:48 PM
It is a manual. I hope it is still for sale. I have back ups if it is not. 2000 Dodge 2500 Quad Cab 8 foot bed 4x4 121k loaded for $16500 with warranty or a 1999 F350 crew cab 8 foot bed 4x4 7.3 loaded 133k for $14500 and the dealer said they would pay for me to take it to my mechanic no matter if there was anything wrong with it or not! The 1999 F350 is just one long truck, actually the both are.

Wow, that Dodge looks nice!

FearThisDeere
06-03-2006, 10:59 AM
It looks really nice, I am just a tad too short on the cash end of it. I bet I could get them down to $16,000 or so, but that still leaves a big difference. It is advertised gor $16,700. I have never bought anything form a dealer before. Usually, how much wiggle room is there. I know that this truck is worth every penny and my mon knows the owner.:drinkup:

ALarsh
06-03-2006, 07:37 PM
The Dodge is nice looking on the outside, but I wouldn't buy one. I have plowed for a local contractor here in the same truck you posted pics to, except it was black. It had leather and all the wistles. After being in that truck for 10 hours, it felt soo good getting back into my Chevy 2500 HD. I just didn't feel at home in it and couldn't get comfortable. Maybe because it was 5 in the morning? Well... just my 2 cents.

FearThisDeere
06-03-2006, 09:40 PM
I know what you mean. I hate driving anybody else's truck other than mine, no matter what. I just don't feel right. I think Dodge trucks are pretty conftorable over all, but the A Pillars obstruct the view for people in corss walks and such, atleast in my dad's Dakota.

Itsgottobegreen
06-03-2006, 10:19 PM
. I wish Ford would still produce the 7.3, best engine ever.


Yep


I had a dealer try to talk me into a F-550. They promised they would build the truck exactly the way a customer wanted. Ok wise ass. I want a F-550 12' landscape dump 4x4 auto, super cab xlt. Oh and a 7.3 diesel. Sales guy"ummm we can't do that" ok why not just get a 7.3 crate motor and drop the sucker in. sales guy "we can't do that" Build a truck any way I want is a load of crap here. (this is where I walked out):drinkup:

Randy J
06-04-2006, 06:45 AM
Yep


I had a dealer try to talk me into a F-550. They promised they would build the truck exactly the way a customer wanted. Ok wise ass. I want a F-550 12' landscape dump 4x4 auto, super cab xlt. Oh and a 7.3 diesel. Sales guy"ummm we can't do that" ok why not just get a 7.3 crate motor and drop the sucker in. sales guy "we can't do that" Build a truck any way I want is a load of crap here. (this is where I walked out):drinkup:

Couldn't you get either a CAT or Cummins in that truck though? Or does it have to be a little larger to get those engines?

Fearthis, is it a 6-speed or a 5-speed? If a 5-speed, check to see if they towed much with it. The 5th gear nut has a tendancy to work it's way off, doing a lot of damage, if the truck is lugged in top gear with a load. There are fixes for it, though it never did last for a friend of mine. The 6-speed is a real good transmission.

J&R Landscaping
06-06-2006, 11:39 AM
Those 7.3 diesels were the best v-8 diesel engine on the market but still no comparison to the cummins. My dad's company has 3 f350 diesels, and 2 f-superdutys with the 7.3 non turbo IDI. The 3 F350's are 99's and 1 superduty is a 88 and the other a 91. The 88 has just over 450k on it still going strong. The 91 has a bit over 400k still going strong and all 3 99's have a bit more than 200-240k on them. My dad considered trading the 88 in for an 06 but he hated the 6.0!
I can't wait to see the new dodge ram 3500hd though! I'm holding out for one of them, if not then a GMC 2500hd 6.0 or a F250 6.8.

Scag48
06-06-2006, 01:11 PM
The Cummins is a better motor than the Powerstroke, no doubt, especially the 24 valve in the mid-90's when they were first released, those trucks were insanely powerful. Dodge's problem, however, is coupling the beastly Cummins to an automatic tranny that can handle all that power. As soon as Dodge puts a bombproof automatic in their pickups, they will sell like none other. I've said this before and I'll say it again, it's not that Dodge's trannies are bad, it's just that the Cummins is just too much for them to handle.