Looking At A '97 F350 Diesel

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by FearThisDeere, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. FearThisDeere

    FearThisDeere LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,168

    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?
     
  2. PJDiesel

    PJDiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    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:
     
  3. PJDiesel

    PJDiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    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.
     
  4. efaubert1

    efaubert1 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 109

    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.
     
  5. Qualey

    Qualey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 144

    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.
     
  6. PJDiesel

    PJDiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    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:
     
  7. FearThisDeere

    FearThisDeere LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,168

    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.
     
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    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.
     
  9. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 859

    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.
     
  10. stroker51

    stroker51 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 819

    [ 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.
     

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