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2001-2005 Dodge 2500 diesel trucks

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by lyube, May 26, 2009.

  1. lyube

    lyube LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,597

    Which year is the best? I beleive they discontinued the 5.9l in 2006, but I'm not sure. I don't drive a dodge, I drive fords mostly.

    I know this:

    A) Most dodge guys buy the truck because of the engine.
    B) The cummins is a great engine
    C) Interiors suck on ALL years
    D) Decent torque, MPG
    E) Automatic trans are NOT one of dodge's specialities.

    Sometime in late 10 I am going to be truck shopping. Due to recent decisions on my part, I can either buy a retired military m800 5 ton truck to tow around some heavy armor and get a toyota tacoma as a DD, or get a 2500/3500 series truck to do all with.

    Got some time to think it out though.
  2. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,463

    Well youve got two different body styles there. the 03-05 is much better. they discontinued the 5.9 in 07 actually. cummins is great, fuel mileage is good, and the newer interiors are decent. But the 01-02's you mentioned are loud and awesome. Just start test drivin some. You'll find out which are better. I prefer the 03-07 5.9's. The Autos are really quite good. Especially 04+.
  3. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    If I were you I would be looking for a truck this year for one the prices are good. When the economy picks up again you will be paying alot more for a truck. Two the newer trucks are getting worse the 6.7 Cummins is turning out to be a emmissions nightmare.

    The older trucks especailly the pre 6.7 trucks will become more in demand.

    I'am not a Dodge fan but I would say your better off with a 5.9 Common rail engine. It has more power and best of all its quieter.

    I have been around enough noise over the years the 24 valve Cummins are too noisy.
  4. WH401

    WH401 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 571

    Well you've got 2 different body styles with there own certain mechanical attributes. The 01' - 02's have the original 24 valve engine which has the VP44 injection pump. There have been known issues with the Carter lift pumps that feed the VP44 failing and then taking out the VP44 in the process. The fuel pump replacement cost is about $3k. But this problem can be prevented with a fuel pressure gauge and I wouldn't hesitate for a second to buy one of these MY trucks. There the last Cummins trucks that actually sound loud like a diesel should. The 47re transmission in these trucks is a decent and reliable transmission when the engine is kept stock. Like any other stock transmission, if you mod the engine than you need to watch the trans. They have looser TC's than most would like, but they get the job done. These trucks get pretty good MPG as well. The interiors on these trucks are hit or miss with most people, you either like them or you don't. They don't bother me and wouldn't keep me from purchasing one.

    The 03 - 05 trucks have the common rail version of the 5.9. The biggest thing is that it is much much quieter than the former 24 valve engine. The 03 - 04's have the 305/555 engine and they don't have any kind of emission equipment what so ever. The 04.5's to early 07's have the HO 325/600 - 610 motor and only have the addition of a CAT in the exhaust pipe, it's really not that big of a deal. The 03 - 04's tend to get the best mileage because they are a slightly lower HP and don't have a 3rd injection event like the HO engine does. Early 03's had the 47re transmission, but most 03's - early 07's ahve the 48re transmission. The 48re was a great upgrade over the 47re and is nice reliable transmission in stock form. In the 06's Dodge added a switch so that you could have both the option of Tow/Haul and Overdrive Off for the transmission. The 03 - 04 trucks can still have fuel pump issues because of the FP being mounted on the block up until about the 04.5. The retrofit factory fix for this was a fuel tank mounted FP which solved this issue. If a truck has been to the dealer for this problem than usually Dodge will put the retrofit kit on the truck as a warranty claim. Or you could just go buy an aftermarket pump such as an Airdog and be done with it. The interiors on these trucks are the nicest of the Cummins trucks ever made so far. The seats could be a little more comfortable but that would be my only gripe. The front wheel hubs on these trucks lock the front drivetrain at the axles, as opposed to the free spinning hubs of the 89 - 93's and the unlocked Dana axles of the 94 - 02's, so the entire front drivetrain is turning as you go down the road. This causing extra wear and a loss of 1 - 2 mpg over the older models. You can solve this by buying an aftermarket free spinning hubs kit. Honestly, there's no issue these trucks have that would keep me from buying another one.
  5. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,510

    Very good post. All info accurate. I have an 04.5 and love it. Oh, and it goes 0-60 in 4.7 seconds so far. :dizzy:
  6. ZTR_Diesel

    ZTR_Diesel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 371

    In addition to what has already been stated, the 01.5 and 02 trucks (called second gen) are fitted with 4-wheel disk brakes. Vast improvement over the rear drums such as my '96 has. Personally, I would stick to the '03 and newer units as the VP-44 injection pump and associated lift pump are prone to fail at any time on the '01 & 02's. Also the 47RE, without modification WILL fail even running stock engine power levels sooner or later.

    Now - something else you said "All thier interiors suck." Where are you getting this information from? Actual experance, or hearsay? Let me say this, that while the dash & door panels are different in my '96, I know of no other veichle with 350,000 miles on it such as mine has, that has so few squeaks, rattles or things falling loose inside. In eight years of ownership I have yet to have had one electrical glitch, and nothing seems to have loosened up even with fairly hard use (not to mention Illinois roadways and thier cratered existance.) Even a 1995 Volvo 850 turbo I owned that are supposed to be screwed together to last a lifetime rattled like crazy at 75,000 miles. People give Dodge a hard time as they were always a bit different. I have ZERO brand loyalty (which is really just living in partial blindness anyway) and simply buy what fits my needs. I wanted an I-6 diesel with a manual transmission, and Ford & GM didn't provide that package.

    That being said, I would also encourage you to try a Dmax-Allison combo as they are also just a really well put together rig.
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    My brothers 94 is horrible with brakes they don't last long and they always pull to the right.

    You definalty want a truck with 4 wheel disk brakes the old drum brakes are archaic.
  8. ZTR_Diesel

    ZTR_Diesel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 371

    Perhaps he should check into a full four-wheel alignment.

    Evne when my rear drum rotors developed an oval internal shape, soon after I bought my truck, I still have not had an issue with it pulling left or right. I'd start with the alignment, and then look into front & rear disk/drum rotors. Or - has his frame been tweaked somehow?
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Every truck in that same era in this area has the exact same problem and I mean exact. The brakes are problematic. The passenger side steer tire wears off bald before the drivers side.

    Trust me the alinement shops have tried and there is nothing they can do.

    My brothers 94 just had all the front end replaced and it still pulls to the one side.

    Today at one of the repair shops I have friends at they were joking today do you really want to buy a Chrysler product. Its all they work on is people with problems with their Dodge's. Like I said parts the worst there is customers vehicals that sit for a week waiting for parts. One thing about it you CAN'T use aftermarket parts on a Dodge especially brakes. Dodge has so many d*mn variation in parts from year to year and in the same year.

    The mechanics hate working on Dodge vehicals because they are poorly designed and very frustrating to work on. They work on Dodge vehicals because its good money. The "F" word is used alot when working on a Chrysler product.

    I have spent many years pulling wrenches and I can see the frustration when I look at what needs to be repaired on Dodge P/U trucks. The word cheap POS is used alot also.
  10. ZTR_Diesel

    ZTR_Diesel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 371

    Too bad - never had those problem with mine. Guess I'm just fortunate, and I have lots of people who ask if they could buy my truck...

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