Should I go diesel?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by MowinginEureka, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. MowinginEureka

    MowinginEureka LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    Ok so currently I have a gas truck and its eating me alive on gas. My gas bill is 500-800 a month just for this truck, I drive 1000 miles a month. The truck gets 8-9 mpg, which for having the drag of a dump bed and towing a trailer...Not too shabby. I drive 50% highway, rest is as you all know, starting the truck and driving to a new client once every half hour to an hour all day long. So Im wondering, would a diesel be a good idea? I found an 86 F350 diesel for 1200$ with nothing wrong with it other than some rust in the bed. Im gonna put my dump bed in it, so who cares? But Ive heard starting and stopping is bad for diesels because they cant warm up properly? Would that be a problem for what we do? The truck gets warmed up on my 20 minute drive into town...but would it stay warm enough to be started and stopped every half hour to an hour without harming it?
  2. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    No.........Unless you are driving up hills all the time.
  3. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I don't know much about the diesels from that time, but I doubt its going to have great fuel economy. I think in the early 2000's (2001-2005) probably had the best fuel economy (I've heard upward of 20mpg on the highway for the lb7 dmax's). But that old of a truck, I doubt the fuel economy would be much better than what your getting now.
  4. MowinginEureka

    MowinginEureka LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    Mdlawn1, no to what? No to it not hurting the truck or no would it stay warm enough to not harm it, or no to a diesel? I do have a few hills, a large one, and just a few small ones on my commute in to town. I normally have to drive the truck in 3rd gear with O/D off or else it hunts 3rd to 4th gear constantly.
  5. JPsDuramax

    JPsDuramax LawnSite Senior Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 346

    I'm not sure about diesels of that era as far as fuel economy, but you may be able to convert it to Waste Vegtable Oil. That you can still find fairly cheap. Just my .02
  6. WH401

    WH401 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 572

    The Ford of that area isn't an International sourced Powerstroke, they're "in house" built Ford diesels. It would probably either be a 6.9 or a 7.3. Those models don't have that much hp, and their also indirect injected, which can cause them to have a few more issues than direct inject ones, but I think they do ok in the mpg. How ok?, I don't know, can't say it would be hugely better than what you have now. I'm not sure how much your willing to spend, but I wouldn't just jump on the cheapest truck that pops out in front of you. If you've got some money, say 5 - 7k, which yes I know is a lot of money, I would go see if you can find a 93 - 97 Ford Powerstroke (those were the ones sourced from International), or a Dodge w/ the 5.9 Cummins of any year (the 5.9 started in the 89' MY). Either of those models can be had for around those prices and will be more reliable, have better performance, and yield you a better mpg rating, especially on the Dodge.

    As far as stopping and starting, as long as you get the engine oil up to temp on your initial drive into your first job for the day than I wouldn't worry to much about it. Diesel farm trucks sometimes spend there whole lives just idling around in 1st gear, so going from stop to stop for you shouldn't be an issue. You can always changes the engine oil early due to severe service, say every 3k instead of 5k.
  7. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    You're partially correct, those IDI motors are not Powerstrokes, but they are sourced by International, not built by Ford. The '86 would be a 6.9. Good motor in it's day, but no power by today's standards.
  8. WH401

    WH401 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 572

    Touche. Some how it's stuck in my mind that they're made by Ford, when I've been told before that they're Internationals. :laugh:
  9. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    As someone already said, fords diesels have always been Internationals, then in 94 they changed to the Power stroke name. (made them alot better!) The diesels that old got pretty decent fuel economy, but do not like to be turned on and off like this industry demands. You need to find at least a 95+ Powerstroke for this. You can get them pretty cheap now.
  10. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,865

    I had a 1986 F350 6.9 International diesel truck.( bought new in Dec 1985) I got 11 mpg pulling a 20 ft enclosed trailer full of mowers around town. I had a 4 speed manual- transmission. The input shaft broke in half w/35,000 miles on it. It was a pretty good truck but stasrted eating brakes, and drums (screwed in just a week).

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