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Talk me out of a Dodge Diesel

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I have been bouncing around the idea to jump from my trusted bow tie '02 Chevy 2500HD extra cab and going to a '06 3500 MegaCab...


I know, what am I thinking. I won't bother posting on the diesel specific sites, they are going to say diesel or die. I won't post on the Dodge sites, they are going to say Dodge or die...I need some common ground and maybe someone has some ideas I haven't yet thought of.


I have had my '02 for going on 7 years, just has under 280,000 kms (173k miles). Its been a good trust daily driver and tows the small holiday trailer in the summer and hauls two sleds on the deck in the winter in the mountains. Actual payload is a concern for me so keeping at least something with 2500 pounds of payload is important. Two sleds, sled deck, gear, extra fuel, people, whatever else. Summer time next holiday trailer is under 3500 pounds. Current one is small.


Daily commute is under 30 mins one way. Every weekend in winter is hauling the sleds, every other week in summer is hauling bikes and trailer. So only moderate towing.


I have found two trucks I am trying to flip a coin on. 09 Silverado LTZ Quad cab 6.0 2500HD and the 06 SLT Megacab 3500 with the 5.9 Auto. Both low miles, excellent shape. Prices are not to far apart. The reason to look at the 3500 Ram is the weight of the diesel megacab is quite a lot.


It would be nice to have the cabin space of the megacab. For road trips having a few people and a few dogs is cramped in most of my buddies quad cabs, my extra cab is pointless. We could easily fold the seats down in the Megacab and have a nap on a long road trip, or use it to store additional gear, or just about anything really. It would also be nice to have that extra torque for all the mountain passes I drive on in the Canadian Rockies. Service costs for oil and fuel filter changes and so on is really mute for me. If I can get 8000-10000 km on an oil change with good oil in the diesel or gasser I am fine spending more for the diesel. I am fully aware of injector concerns in diesels, fuel filters, lift pumps, turbos and so on. I am not into big lifts, big tires and expensive tunes either.


Classic Duramax GM/Chevs fetch big coin around here. I can get into the Dodge, or the gaser Chevy for several thousand less and lower mile LBZ's are becoming harder to find. The oil patch doesn't leave much on the table in these parts.


I can get about 15.5L/100km (15.5-16 mpg) on the hiway unloaded with the gaser. I am not a heavy footed driver. That gives me barely enough range for most of our trips. I wish I could get the solid 650-700 km out of a fill. I hate running the tank low on fuel as well. Obviously loaded that number is cut in half with my gaser. I am told to expect the same unloaded numbers when hauling the diesel loaded up. That is a plus for me. Diesel and gas prices are a wash. Diesel is more expensive here in winter, cheaper than gas in the summer.


What to do!? Entertain me, mock me, support me, help a guy out.

Edited by takethebounce
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I traded my 06 Megacab for my 2011 Sierra extended cab.....BIG MISTAKE. The Dodge got better mileage with the Hemi and pulled about the same, and the cab was wonderful.


I had swapped a cummins for the megacab hemi.....i am really stupid. I thought I did not need a diesel, but I sure miss.


I was talking to a buddy the other day who has a Ford crew cab with a 6.0 diesel that is ready for a rebuild.


I remember saying that the perfect truck is a cummins megacab....if you dont buy it, tell me where it is and I will snap it up....hahahahaha

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All our work trucks are Dodge diesels. They drive nice. The megacab I have driven is a 2006 with all the options. Even on 19.5's the ride is very good. Stereo that is just as good as Bose in my truck. Handles decent for a big truck. This is with approximately 120k miles on it. The last year with the 5.9 is very very desirable. Kind of like the GM's from 2006/7.


In my opinion you'd be better off with the gasser for a few reasons. Mainly, I don't care what any Cummins fanboys say, Cummins are EXTREMELY expensive to work on, even if you do it yourself. Parts cost an arm and a leg, and don't let them tell you you'll make it to 200k miles without spending a penny on repairs, that might happen for 1 out of 20 owners.


On the other hand, parts are cheaper and labor is easier on the trusty Chevy 6.0. All in all I like the Megacabs, the room can't be beat. But if it was my money I'd pick the GM any day.


I forgot to mention, the front ends under the Dodges are trash. They generally need work at least once a year.

Edited by kstruckcountry
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On the Jobsite /Tow Trucks/ and any person hauling a trailer out there is pulling with a GM/Chev or a Ford.

Dodge is very rare to see around here cause the people who buy them leave them parked ? Maybe they hold better resale value when they have no miles/klms on them.


Just look around for yourself, and you'll know What I Mean.

Good Luck


Edited by scooby5121
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thanks for all the input so far. I will agree the front ends on the Dodges are a weak point. But there are fixes out there for them too. Carli I believe does complete kits with upgraded and stronger components. It all comes at a cost.


Even with my Chev I have done all the regular stuff twice...ball joints, pitman, idler, tie rods, axle seals, and the typical transfer case rub, plus normal wear items like fuel pump, water pump, alternator, knock sensors due to water, manifold bolts and gaskets, shift indicator light, window regulators, cooler lines, power steering pump and lines, and the list goes on. I can do many of the repairs required on a 5.9 myself. Injectors either reman or rebuilt will run me $1500 a set when needed. Add an espar coolant heater for our Canadian environment or a remote start with cold temp auto start and winter isn't an issue.


See I am trying to talk myself into the Dodge. :) No truck used as a truck is exempt from wear and tear. I get that.


It's a nice thought to have a loaded LBZ but its a nice thought to pass that logging truck in that 500 foot passing lane before being stuck behind him for the next half hour. I am not hauling 10,000 pounds, and Fords are a dime a dozen out here for good reason. 6.0 Powersmoke, no thanks, twin turbo regen, forget it.


This is the land of diesels. Maybe that's why I am being lead towards the evil coal burning machines. sent from a top secret location

Edited by takethebounce
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I think you're already settled on the dodge, and I'd go with what I wanted. I personally think the mega cab is the ugliest truck out there, so my opinion wouldn't count :-)

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I haven't settled...far from it. I actually don't mind the look of it. Overall its I believe the same overall length as the quad cab GM or near the same. That being said, I love driving my Chev. And the NBS is awesome looking. The fit and finish on the LBZ excellent.


One minute I feel I have done well enough with the 6.0 and live with the fuel economy as it is what it is but I have always chased the idea of more hauling power for the mountains. Is it needed? No, would I use it, yes.


The dodge I found out I can now get $4000 less than the Chev gaser. sent from a top secret location

Edited by takethebounce
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The Mega cab is thr length of a crew cab long bed GM. We have a 2008 hemi mega cab 2500. That thing has so many problems. The mega cab only comes in a 6'4" bed as well.


Sent from my Samsung GS4 using Xparent Red Tapatalk 2



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Well lets put it this way, if you need to be talked into a truck then you shouldn't get it. That means you are second guessing yourself and going against your decision which will always result in unhappiness in the long run.


With that little bit of trailering weight you do then a Diesel would be way over kill.

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If you need it then buy it, but...


I came out of a 2004.5 Cummins, NV5600 6spd, 4.10s. It took a long time to get that truck, well, perfect. In the 275k I owned it, I only put in injectors ($2600), a water pump ($35 and 15 minutes to change), two complete rebuilds of the front suspension (i.e. ball joints, tierods, etc.), replaced the steering box and added a Borgeson shaft, alternator, every u-joint by 70k because the OE units are junk, and a clutch (thanks to a Smarty programmer); besides changing fluids. Besides that, I had a bypass filter (actually several iterations), an auxiliary tank to prefilter all my fuel to prevent another toasted set of injectors, aftermarket fuel pump (first a FASS and later an Airdog) to replace the fault-prone OE lift pump, Dynatrac hubs to rid me of the failure prone unit bearings, added a steering brace to help prevent another failed steering box, among other things...you see what I'm driving now, and I cut my teeth on an 1989 Dodge 12-valve Cummins, owned several 2nd gens in both the 12-valve and 24-valve configuration, and the 3rd gen that I last had...


Couple things about a 2006...


The pre-06 had fused relays that ran the trailer light wiring, the 06 and later use the PCM. The pre-06 would typically pop a fuse before it hurt anything, and rarely a relay failed causing you to replace the PCM (or fix it if you were handy). The 06-later trucks pull the power to a circuit with a short circuit using the PCM, which the you have to take to Dodge and have reset...after three faults/resets, the PCM gets replaced at $600 (not including labor). There was a guy building basically a box with relays that took the load off the factory wiring and simply used it to power the relays so that you should never have a problem. There were lots of guys having issues with these back in the day.


The dual climate control trucks suffer blend door breakage, which is a PITA to repair both in $$ and time...the entire dash has to come out to fix it via OEM methods (there are aftermarket kits that short circuit some of the repair process and make it cheaper/faster/easier).


Look at the top of the fuel tank, there should be two short stubs of hose. These are open to the tank, if they are not there; then there is a possibility water/dirt/grim has gotten into the fuel system. The hoses were the OE answer to the issue, the DIY answer was to plumb both ports into a tee, then into a small fuel filter ziptied high in the bedside.


The 06 also had a very bad reputation for failed instrument clusters, which are fairly expensive to replace because they also house the BCM. They are also a Chrysler STAR part, which means Dodge has to authorize the replacement because they have the odometer and are VIN specific...they can take a while to get.


I'm sure there are more issues than I can remember right now...I pretty much was up on them at one time, but since buying this Silverado over a year ago; I have left that all behind.


They aren't a bad truck overall...the 3rd gens have gobs of power, and can be easily pumped up with a simple programmer. In the Dodge world, MADS Smarty is your friend. What really turned me off was the fact they never fixed/improved the failure prone pieces (front suspension) and you have to pay extra for a better OE fuel filter (Dodge offers a upgrade replacement filter) to protect the injection system.

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