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Isuzu Medium duty truck owners, please advise..

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Rons Rightway Lawncare, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    How dependable have your trucks been? How reasonable has the parts or service been cost and time wise?

    I am thinking of getting a newer one - maybe used, but if gas it would be one with the newer type 6.0 Chevy V-8, not the older 350 Vortec - I have not heard much feedback on how dependable these trucks are. If I bought one with the Chevy powertrain I wouldn't be too worried as I could get parts and service at pretty much anywhere. But the diesel concerns me as I hear the parts and service on those are very pricey.

    One trend I noticed is alot of the used Isuzu's in the trader magazines around here, most advertise rebuilt engines or tranmissions on trucks with only 130-150 thousand miles on them.... Most late model normal pickup trucks go beyond that with just oil changes and I would have expected these Isuzus would go WAY beyond 200-250 thousand before major repairs.

    I started a thread asking for gas milage figures. If the diesel is not much better than the gas I would simply go with gas as I know it would be easier and cheaper to get it repaired if needed, but If the diesel does get way better mpg, then I would be tempted to go that route... Oh the joys of long term decision making !:hammerhead:
  2. hobbsd

    hobbsd LawnSite Senior Member
    from west wi
    Messages: 448

    well, I'm not much help because I'm in the same boat you are. I'll be looking forward to hearing peoples answers!!!
  3. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    me toooooo*trucewhiteflag*
  4. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    We have 4-Isuzu Cab Forwards and 1-Mitsubishi FE in addition to other trucks. All are diesel, and they seem to get good mileage, although we have no real gauge against the gas jobs, and we do different jobs with the trucks all of the time. Reliability and efficiency can't be beat. 3 Isuzus are landscape bodies, 1 is a Stellar Hooklift, and the FE is a 10' Mason Dump. All are newer.

    They consistently run well, and perform their jobs adequately. The regular maintenance is no more or less than other trucks (F-350s, 550s, etc.). When something does break, we have had mixed experiences.

    Transmissions - the two different brands seem to get about 100k on a Tranny, then it is just a matter of replacement. Cost +/- 3000 for a rebuilt. We don't tow or plow with these, and they still break down. There is no fixing a broken one, and when they do break, make sure your electrical harness matches the replacement one before you mount the unit. We did one R&R ourselves, and have sent the trucks out for a couple of more.

    Engines - Only had trouble with one. A timing gear slipped because the Key fell out ?!?!?!. Zero tolerance engine = Valves got smashed. Major money, and no-one want to 'work' on them, replacement at +/- 10k is what the dealer tries to persuade you into. This happened to one with less than 100k on it, but would not stop be from buying another used or new chassis.

    Other - not much goes wrong, but I would think the diesel is a better choice than gas since the regular maintenance intervals are longer, and there is less to do. No plugs, wires, etc. Just oil changes, grease, etc. Mitsubishi has dual calipers, so it is a more expensive brake job, and they don't seem to last longer for the varied load trucks (7500mi.). Much longer on the previous FE which was a mowing truck, I think the pads lasted well into the 20,000s. In the ISUZU or GMC line get the heavier chassis - NQR or 4500/5500 because it makes a difference for loading and not much of a difference in price.

    Bottom line - we have had success buying the cab and chassis' or box trucks with about 80k on them for $18,000 or so, then adding the body, and budgeting for repairs to the tune of an extra few thousand dollars. If you get lucky you won't spend the extra money for a couple of years, if not, you spend it sooner, but at least you know what repairs were done. The option is to buy new and add a body. You'll get the warranty and peace of mind. But you'll probably pay $40,000.
  5. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    great post

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