Originally Posted by lawnmaniac883
Ask if the coolant has been changed every 5 years and if they have any proof of it. Cavitation is a HUGE problem with older poorly maintained diesels. If the coolant has never been changed then expect the block to be pitted and it will be shot relatively soon. Have an oil analysis done on this truck as well before you buy and see what the wear metals are at and if there is any coolant already in the oil. 2500 is not a bad price if it has been maintained well.
Cavitation has never been a problem with the Cummins - which is good and bad. The reason for cavitation is air pockets in coolant behind the liner that explode from heat in the combustion chamber, and cause pitting in cylinder liners. The Cummins does not use cylinder liners. The good is no problem with cavitation. The bad is more expense when it comes to rebuilding the engine as you can't simply replace the liner. Cavitation is a concern with Ford diesels, not sure about GM.
The 1st gen Dodge/Cummins was pretty much bullet proof, and could easily last a million miles (several examples). The transmission will be of concern however. And look at the A (door hinge pillar). The early trucks had a problem with developing cracks in the cowl in that area. Some of the early trucks did have problems with the frame cracking, and since this one has been hanging a plow out front, you'll want to take a good look at the frame. The only other thing I would be concerned about is if they have turned up the fuel significantly. It's easy to do with those pickups. And it's also easy to cause damage from too much heat - a result of too much fueling. Other than that, if the truck runs and drives decent, $2500 is a good price for it alone. You can decide how much the ancillary equipment is worth, based on it's condition.
Oh, and it could be a 350. In the 1st gen, (and again in the newest models) I believe you could get a SRW 1 ton, couldn't you?