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1997 7.3ldiesel Ford vs. 1999 5.9l gas Dodge

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by EJD Lawnpride, May 4, 2009.

  1. EJD Lawnpride

    EJD Lawnpride LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 313

    I'm looking at two trucks right now.
    1. 1997 Ford f350 7.3l diesel with 143,000mi for $7000 obo

    2. 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9l gas with 92,000mi with Myers plow for $7000 obo

    What is the better truck to buy?
  2. ZTR_Diesel

    ZTR_Diesel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 371

    Before I answer - I'll ask you a question: What do you need, or What is your application?

    That's a pretty big differance there, a Gas Dodge vs. a diesel Ford. The 1997 Ford is the older "block" model that is very strong but has issues with rust,and rides, well, uh...like a buckboard unloaded. Good engine with the 7.3L PSD but if an auto it may need a new E4OD at some point.

    The Dodge with the gas 5.9 isn't attractive to me, an the plow would knock it down a couple more points. Plowing is very hard on any truck. These also have some rust issues and are PIGS with gas (try 11 mpg and you're not far off). I would only consider a second gen Dodge with the Cummins diesel, and then I'd prefer an older 12 valve as they didn't have the VP-44 injection & lift pump issues. Thier auto trans will fail, gas or diesel, at some point as well.

    That said, for $7k both trucks seem about 1500 - 2000 too much.

    I'd keep looking and visit some truck-specific sites as well.
  3. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    The 97 Powerstroke is the much better truck of the 2, hands down. You should be able to get it for about $5-6k depending on cab configuration and all that.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Well for one the 7.3 will get better fuel mileage the 360 Dodge gas engine is a pig on fuel. The F-350 Ford is a more reliable 4 wheeldrive the F-350 has a Dana 60 with manual hubs pretty basic some trucks came with automatics but can be changed over to manuals.

    I would take the 97 Ford over the Dodge.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Find out what the 7.3 was used for. I do believe that the 97 didn't have the auto high idle setting. If, and I say a big if, the 97 ford idle most of it's life, then I would stay away. Before the high idle was introduced, it would tend to "wet stack" the valves when idled for long periods, thus changing the valve lash and seating. Otherwise, many people will say that the 7.3 from that era was the best Navistar ever built.

    Otherwise, I'd stay away from the 90's dodge. Nothing but a headache from what people have told me about them. The auto trannies were junk in them anyways and the cummins diesel would trash the auto fairly quickly in the diesel models.
  6. EJD Lawnpride

    EJD Lawnpride LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 313

    The Ford is actually owned by a guy that used it for driving back and forth to work. But didn't drive as much due to having another vehicle. he can't afford the payments anymore, and owes about $5500and wants to try to walk away with a little extra. I already have a 2001 Dodge ram 1500 5.9 gas and had the tranny rebuilt last summer, It now has a noise from the rear. I thought maybe a 2500 would be better for towing my 16" trailer with 2 ztrs and 1 36 walk.
  7. WH401

    WH401 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 572

    Go with the Ford. The 7.3 Powerstroke is the best diesel ever put in a FORD and it will handle that trailer of yours much better than the 5.9 gasser. Those year 7.3's can have camshaft sensor and glow plug relay issues, but there minor compared to the benefit that the 7.3 will give you. Both of those things are simple fixes.
  8. outlaw1960

    outlaw1960 LawnSite Senior Member
    from denver
    Posts: 307

  9. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,446

    The ford is the better truck out of those two hands down. And that is coming from a dodge guy.
  10. EJD Lawnpride

    EJD Lawnpride LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 313

    ok, here is the details the ford has 186k on it. had all new brakes,alt, rebuilt trans, ball joints, batteries and tires. it also comes with a 7.5 ft western plow. Said he used it twice and hated plowing,which i believe because my worker knows him and said he didn't even know he had a plow. The price is $4900,which he owes on it. What do you think? It is clean! I saw it a few weeks ago. How many miles can i expect on the 7.3 powerstroke?

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