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Dodge Dump

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by sgoalie23, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    I am currently looking at purchasing a used truck for mulch and plowing. Right now i can't afford more than $20,000. I saw a 97 Dodge 3500 diesel dually, mason dump, and plow. I have some questions pertaining to the truck. First, is a PTO dump better than an electric dump? If it is, how so? Also, since i don't see many dodge dumps in my area (90% fords) is there a reason for it? Also what particular type of diesel engine is in a 97 dodge? Are there any faults with that particular diesel engine? And lasty, I have heard the Dodge's aren't reliable for plowing, mainly, front ends basically breaking, Is this true, or will the 3500 handle fine for plowing?

    Thanx in advance,

  2. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    All I can contribute on is the engine. I think it is one of the best built diesels out there. It is used though a wide variety of applications other than dodge trucks. It is a solid built engine. The only better engine is their newer 24 valve diesel engine.
  3. Eclipse

    Eclipse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,149

    That's debatable :) The Cummins 12 valve engines used in the Dodge trucks from 1994 though mid year 1998 are arguably the best engine that has been put in a Dodge truck. Very, very reliable and no electronics. There is only one small thing that I would suggest you take care of if you buy a truck of that vintage. Also it would be a good idea to have the valves set and fuel pressure checked.

    The reason you see more Ford and Chevy dumps, IMHO, is because they have a higher GVWR. Dodge did make a 15,000 lbb GVWR truck but there is not that many of them out there. There are many more Chevy 3500 HD and Ford F-450 than there is 15,000 lb Dodge Cab & Chassis trucks.

    PTO vs. Electric Dump. I perfer a properly sized electric dump but a PTO dump is not bad.

    Plow is hard on all trucks front end parts. I don't think the Fords and Chevys are an exception
  4. Boycea

    Boycea LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 451

    One thing that I heard is that their transmissions are not reliable. I heard that they use plastic components in them and that they tend to wear out or break. I have never owned a dodge, this is all just hearsay, so it might be better to get a dodge owners perspective.
  5. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    While the 12 valve is a very nice engine the 24 is so much quieter, has more hp, torque and gets better fuel economy. The 12v is less likely to have overall problems because of its simplistic nature but know several guys that have well over a half million miles on their 1999 and 2000 dodge 24v Cummings. One guy has only changed the oil and put diesel in. The other has had to change injectors, but other than that, oil and diesel.
    The fords and Chevy diesels are way to loud and have heard some not so good things about them.

    I do agree about dodges weakest link is the transmission. If only they could beef up their trans a bit. Other than that Dodge has the best price of any of the work trucks with a diesel. Ford wanted 9 grand more when I bought mine for the same comparable vehicle. I do think that ford has a nicer interior but heck for 9 grand I can have the entire interior made over if need be.

    When looking at a used truck I don't think it really matters on make or model so much as it does on what has the truck seen through its life. Was it babied? or was it beat to death? Only a qualified mechanic can tell you roughly how much life it has left in it.
  6. Eclipse

    Eclipse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,149

    It's Cummins not Cummings :) Simple mistake.

    The 24v are a good engine if you address their poor fuel supply problem. No doubt they have the potential to run just as many miles as a 12v if this is addressed and monitored. I would bet my truck that the 24v you speak of with 500k on it has had a little more than just oil and filter changes. In 500k it has gone though a few lift pumps and if not caught in time it may have puked and injection pump as well.

    Stock the 24v's have more HP and torque, and I'll agree that bone stock the 24v feel a little stronger. 12v's are very easy to tune and it only takes a little bit of tweaking by an experienced technician to get it to perform equally as well, or better depending on the model year and tranny.

    As far as it being quieter, that is a bit subjective. IMO there is not much difference between a 12v and a 24v (1998.5-2002). I know some that feel their 24v's are louder than their 12v and some who feel the other way around. I guess not all trucks are the same. However in 2003 the 24v's with the introduction of a new injection system did have a considerable decrease in "clatter".

    Note: when referencing a 24v I am referring to the 1998.5-2002 model year trucks.

    In stock form the 47RE's used in the 1994-2002 trucks were ok and if driven and maintained properly they could last a long time (most people overlook these two important things). The 48RE (found in the 2003 and newer trucks) is built stonger and I would not be concerned one bit about it holding up.
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

  8. Eclipse

    Eclipse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,149

    FWIW - I am a Cummins owner. I happended to be a Dodge guy before I was a diesel guy so the fit worked excellent for me. If Dodge drops the Cummins someone else will pick them up, probably Ford, and I will then unfortunatly start buying Fords :) All years of Cummins have their issues, as all trucks do, and if one is aware of them they should be happy with whatever they purchase.

    As many Dodge Cummins trucks that I have worked on, driven, and come in contact with I'm still finding it impossible to believe there was no fuel supply issues on either of the trucks mentioned. I guess there are some "special" ones out there.
  9. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    If dodge drops cummins there will only be two manufactures of american made diesel pickups. Ford and GMC. Dodge wont make it with out the cummins. Unless they build a somewhat reliable 15000 dollar diesel 1 ton.
  10. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    Well guys, my father and I drove to Mass to see the dump. We tried to get as much info as possible over the phone, yeah, yeah the truck is in great condition. They all say that. We get there and the bed of the dump had actually had been fiberglass coated and painted (poorly I might add) over the outside bottom edge of the mason dump body. Unbelievable!!. My father went to the salesman to discuss the condition of the dump body and the salesman's comeback was, So? We got out of there as quick as possible. At least the steak dinner on the way was good.

    Thanks for all our your help.

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