Watch out for the early 24v, the "53" block had cracking problems. I would say go diesel but I'm kinda biased. The automatics unless built will fail with any extra power thrown at them. You can get a tuner for the 24v that will get you a little better mileage. I've seen 24mpg from a 24v with a 6 speed manual, it was also 500hp. My truck gets 28mpg at 65 mph, but its a half ton with a 12v in it. The old magnums are gas pigs.