Which would you buy ..OLDER TRUCKS... 1st gen dodge cummins vs npr vs f450

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by porge, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. porge

    porge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Which would you buy. I am looking for a old / affordable truck. These are all used from private parties, around 3k asking price.

    I just need to load up the flatbed on most days but about 1/5 of the time I will be towing dual axle 10,000 lb loaded trailer.

    86 npr manual 180k 14' flatbed, 11,300 gvwonly 115hp engine... But I must mention I don't mind cruising 55, going 30mph, or even 15mph up the grades if the truck can actually handle occasional use with trailer

    89 dodge diesel 1 ton 727 auto trans, 220k+ 12' flatbed, 11,000 gvw 160hp?

    93 7.3 ford f450 12' 5spd idi

    95 7.3 powerstroke f350 4x4 auto, this one is a little more expensive and less gvw

    Biggest concern is mpg, and I don't think the fords will do well in this regard, especially the IDI (I had one before and averaged 10-12 unloaded). I prefer the 5 spd, and the dodge cummins is an early model with non-od auto trans, might get the best mpg, but I will have to go slow. The npr's supposedly get great mpg but my experience has been this is not necessarily the case if you load them down. I will be driving with a good load on the bed most of the time...

    input appreciated!
  2. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    I just bought an IDI7.3 and get better mileage than what you posted city driving with about 4000lbs open trailer nets 15mpg 5 speed 4.10 gears. My 6.0 Ford was about the same. I'd get the Dodge out of the ones you posted then the IDI. I work on my own stuff and this is mostly what influences my opinion. Out of all of them make sure they start easy and don't have much blow by when you remove the oil cap.
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,285

    Dodge without a doubt
  4. ecurbthims

    ecurbthims LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    the dodge parts of the dodge,are just not up to the job .The front ends fall out of those trucks regularily ,and so do the brakes including the brackets that hold the calipers on .The engine is awesome but too heavy .
    The 93 ford is better than any of the others by far ,I had a fleet of over twenty of them ,they all made it to 750,000 without any major work [might of done two or three fuel pumps total for the entire fleet ] ,the powerstrokes never made it to 200,000 without very expensive repairs ,and cant say much about the npr ,never had any in my area but they are supposed to be a great truck .
  5. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    The Chassis on the dodge as well as the tranny will be the weak points. I would go with the 93 F450, that idi is a good engine. Truck prolly has a 5.18 rear so it will pull a house down, and be half decent in snow despite being 2wd.
  6. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,012

    For longevity the Cummins will outlast them all if it's been taken care of properly. Pretty much everything on that Cummins is built stronger including the block, crank, rods, pistons, and heads. Those 12 valve engine are still popular with guys who race and pull sleds at tractor pulls.

    With the additions of a bigger turbo and fueling mods that engines internals can put out 500 HP easily. That Torqueflite was a widely produced trans so getting OEM parts or beefed up aftermarket parts is cheap and easy.

    It's free to join the Cummins Forum. You should go on there and post your concerns about buying a 89 Dodge and the guys on there can give you some honest feedback. There are different sections of the forum for different model years. That 89' is called a first gen.

    I once test drove an IDI and oh my god those things are slower then death unloaded. I can't even imagine trying to pull a heavy trailer with an IDI. Diesels must have a turbo or they will be a gutless turd. A truck with a turbo will fare better at higher elevations as well.

    The only drawback to buying any older truck that sells for around $3K is you'll be replacing worn out parts on a regular basis. Things like axle seals, u-joints, tie rods, ball joints, steering boxes, steering pumps, water pumps, harmonic balancers, alternators, and so on. Older trucks can end up costing you more then what you paid for them in as little as a year or two. You need to be prepared for the possible down time and repair expenses. Older trucks are better suited for people who can do a lot of wrench work themselves.
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,285

    Chassis can be repaired if there is a problem, although those frames were far stronger than the NBS.

    Tranny's are weak, but there are sooooo very many aftermarket builders this can be overcome very simply.
  8. Dfordiesel

    Dfordiesel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Two cents... Lol ok..i bought a 7.3l idi fro uhaul in the form of the E350 box van... Got it with a new crate engine...and newer e4od trans....full maint. Log and repair work listing... Almost anything that couldve gone wrong by 200k was replaced or repaired... The 7.3 is a bit underpowered but is over reliable because of that! The cummins is superior... But @ $3k i paid for my uhaul...ive gotten my money out of it several times
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  9. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Messages: 1,022

    my vote is for the idi. i get 17mpg in my double cab dually 5 speed. it's been beyond relieable especially for a truck approaching 300,000 miles.
  10. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,060

    That time frame dodge trannys were junk.
    I will never step foot in an isuzu or any cabover after being in a head on colision in one.
    You didnt mention if you will ever use the 4x4 , if so , thats my choice. If not the 450

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