Thread: Need more power
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:42 PM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Western N.C.
Age: 61
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Vehicle: 1998.5 Dodge 2500HD 4x4
Trim Level: SLT Laramie
Color: Black
Engine: 1998-1998 359ci (5.9L) Cummins ISB 24-valve Diesel I6 235hp 420lb/ft (manual), 215hp 420lb/ft(auto)
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. . . Right now in town it get's 8-10 and maybe I'll get 15 on the interstate if I'm lucky (again unloaded).... Should I sell it and buy a 3/4 ton manual? Any input is appreciated, and I'm also a college student, so price kinda matters. . . .
There are several things you can do to get more power out of the 318 V-8 but none of them are cheap & if you can find a deal on a 2500 (or 3500) diesel, that would be the way to go in my book. I ordered a 1998 2500 SLT with the Cummins diesel because I intended to carry heavy loads & pull trailers & the worst fuel mileage I've ever gotten was 15.6 -- that was in Colorado pulling a tandem axle enclosed trailer with motorcycles & tools on the way to the Bonneville salt flats (got 3 records out there). I've pulled a 9300 lb. travel trailer down the interstate with the cruise control & A/C on & the speed never varied more than 1 mph -- the diesel just has so much more torque & more than you'll ever get from a 318.

The diesels are hard to find used because people tend to keep them forever (I'll keep mine forever), but if you keep your eyes open you can probably find one. A good friend of mine bought a 3500 diesel new in 1997 & he wrecked it a few years ago -- it was fixable, but for some reason the Dodge dealers never could get a new front bumper, grille, radiator support, etc. for it so he took the insurance money & they considered it 'totaled". He found another one pretty much the same as what he had (different color) & only paid $8500 for it -- a "steal" for a Dodge / Cummins diesel with less than 100,000 miles on it!

Now his is a "dually" but he owns a vending machine company & he needs that big of a truck, but from time to time you may see a 2500 with single rear wheels if an extended cab dually is too big for you. But I've always said I can't imagine anyone buying a full-size pickup with a gasoline engine since the good diesels came out -- the diesels will generally get double the fuel mileage & have WAY more torque for towing. Also, the overhaul interval is generally 500,000 miles & you can rebuild a Cummins over & over again -- I've driven one with almost 2 million miles on it --overhauled 3 times, coming up on #4!

So personally, I can't see spending a lot of $$$ on a gasoline-engine truck when you need to be able to carry loads and/or tow fairly often when a diesel pickup was designed to do that to begin with.
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