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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With all the crazed diesel threads lately, you probably already know that I've been in the market for a diesel truck- only not for how long. Owning one has been a life-long dream of mine and is exciting to finally become a reality.

I have to say that researching a diesel truck has by far been the longest and over analized thing that I have probably ever done. It wasn't until about a year ago that I began the in depth research (process would probably be the better word) to expand my basic understandings and not until 6 months ago that I began seriously looking for a truck. Since then I have driven both new and old ; everything from a second gen Cummins to modern day 6.7 Fords and Rams that don't even sound or smell anything this side of a diesel. While I love the Duramax, the Chevy is not offered in a solid front axle so and that is why they were out of the picture. All the vehicles that I have ever owned have been manuals and I did not really want to give that up yet so that excluded the newer 6.7. That is a true luxury type truck I will own in the future. I figure there will be a day when I'm older that I will not want to daily drive a manual any longer but until then, I'm going to stick with it. Literally.


If there is one that I learned from this research, it's that you have to decide what matters to you most and compromise where applicable. Unless you're going to buy a new truck, that is just the way that it's going to be. The configuration for me had to be a crew cab, shortbed (CCSB), manual 4x4 and preferably in white. A combo that's a little hard to find as 2010 was the last year Ford offered a manual and only about 2% of them were offered in that configuration. The majority of the Ram's were long beds and I began to like the feel of the Fords.

If you've been following my research, you may have remembered me referencing a white 6.4 that matched what I was looking for a tee. I actually like this motor quite a bit due to its performance potentials, the uniqueness of the compound turbos and the fact it can put out some extraordinary numbers in stock fashion. I had big plans for this truck part of which including a fully built motor and bulletproofing but those plans would not come for some time. I just couldn't take the chance driving it in stock form (even fully deleted) without doing the "bulletproofing" for several years until that was financially doable. The problem is, the 6.4 on the flip side has some very serious issues that can go wrong and they can break you financially if something does. The most common failures in the 6.4 (even when fully deleted) are cracked pistons, blown head gaskets, injector failures, front cover cavitation, badly worn rocker arms and HPFP failures that cost the the same as a cheap economy car. Forget about issues related to the EGR system! What's worse is that since the 6.4 is literally crammed into the truck, to do just about any repair the whole cab of the truck has to be lifted off the truck. Even just to replace an injector, the cab has to be lifted off. To pay the service cost alone to simply have the cab lifted off is over $1k in itself and to have the motor rebuilt and bulletproofed after that is anywhere from $10-$15k+ for a very mild build. Like I said, they can break you financially and I just could not take that risk and know that every time I drove it, I would worry about a failure.

To finally get down to it, I spotted this particular truck back in December of last year. I liked the truck a lot and while the 7.3 is considered one of the best diesels ever made, I decided against it as I wanted a "modern, powerful diesel." Now that I've come full circle on that issue, this truck became available again a couple of days ago so I decided to take a look. I definitely had my reservations as I was fully going into it expecting it be just another one of those overly lifted trucks going down the road on blocks that drove like trash to boot. Not the case with this one. It has a recent proper full suspension lift (no blocks or spacers) and has been very well kept. What impressed me the most was that it was the opposite of how it was going to drive. Going down the freeway and the truck drove straight and tight. It is also a six speed manual, has a manual transfer case that I was looking for as well as quite a few other desirable additions such as an in-dash DVD player/backup camera, ARB front bumper, exhaust and newer rims and tires. The interior is in excellent condition, does not feel worn out and very clean. If you know the 7.3, they are very simple in design, can be driven forever and very little issues. Needless to say, owning a 7.3 is A LOT more comforting in terms of reliability. I can sleep at night.

I love the sound, the smell of the exhaust and it's actually quite fun to drive too.

Well, here she is. The monster.



 

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Congrats, way to go!:ThumbUp:
 
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Whew, that's a doggie right there, Austen! Love it, man. Congrats and all the best with it :2th:

Ohhh, and a few more pics are in order :pics:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys!! I hardly got any sleep last night.

I am picking up the truck tonight so more photos and a video will follow. :ThumbUp:
 

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Congratulations, Austen! :cool





My truck is only slightly bigger than your ...........





bed :ROFL

I have my good ol' 96 Nissan PU. I wish I could hate it, but I just can't However, I CERTAINLY wouldn't mind a nice truck like the one you just acquired :2th:
 

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I have my good ol' 96 Nissan PU. I wish I could hate it, but I just can't
I have a '96 also, Mark. Mine's an extended cab. Quarter of a million miles....no complaints here :2th:
 

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YEA!!!!!! Congrate Austen!!! SWEET! That truck is nice right out of the box! Too cool!! I like it the way it is! Now we need more pictures AND videos! NEED SOUND!!!!!!!!
I will now drool over my speakers!!
You can UPS your Toyota to me if ya want!! Me could use with plow!! ;)
AWESOME find that Ford!! :)
Way to happy for you!! More excited than you are!!! ;)
 
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Yeah cool truck, that's like one I would like to find

:ThumbUp::ThumbUp::ThumbUp:
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
It's going to be a big change from the little Toyota Eh?
It's a whole different feel.

Congratulations, Austen! :cool
Thanks!

YEA!!!!!! Congrate Austen!!! SWEET! That truck is nice right out of the box! Too cool!! I like it the way it is! Now we need more pictures AND videos! NEED SOUND!!!!!!!!
I will now drool over my speakers!!
You can UPS your Toyota to me if ya want!! Me could use with plow!! ;)
AWESOME find that Ford!! :)
Way to happy for you!! More excited than you are!!! ;)
Hahaha,

You're the best man. I feel in a way we both got the truck. Always love your enthusiasm, never let that go. :)

Wish I could send you the Tacoma too. The truth is I'm going to be holding onto that truck for at least a couple more months or so.

Yeah cool truck, that's like one I would like to find
You're going to love it!

Congrats on the new truck, looks great!!!
Thanks!

It's not perfect by any means but I don't think it held a life as a job site truck.

Pictures and video to come, I promise. Posting this now late tonight after an hour drive bringing her home in the rain. Boy, you are sure king of the road driving this thing. The trans feels like a short throw which is nice and in first gear it wants to spin the tires on take off if you put any foot into it. The turbo obviously doesn't feel like a VGT of the modern trucks and have that instant boost, but spool up is still pretty quick. Boy, listening to it whistle through the exhaust with the windows down is amazing. It runs really well. The truck actually handles the freeway well and is a lot more stable than you'd think but the leaf spring front end, even with the after market springs, is night and day over the coil overs on my Tacoma. One of the draw backs to the earlier design but it's a heavy duty truck at the end of the day.

I think I'm going to wake up in the morning and ask myself if this was all a dream until I look out the window.
 

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Congratulations Austen! :ThumbUp:

I remember the feel of a front straight axle with leaf springs all the way around. I drove dads 1978 Jeep Wagoneer (w/Quadra-Trac) for a couple of years in the middle 80's after he found a good deal on a 83 Delta 88 Olds for himself to drive. It was what I traded in for the Elcamino in 1987. Off road I preferred the feel of it over my current 98 Silverado. Seemed to almost ride smoother off road then it did on road. Just the opposite of the Silverado. Might have just been because it was heavier too. :2th:
 

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WOW! capstan took the words out of my mouth "HOLY MOLY" a pretty-Beast:ThumbUp: I could drive my dakota 4x4 under your truck.
NICE Austen:cool
 

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Those leaf springs will give ya a ride! I drive a 1 ton E-350 work van for almost 20 years. You can tell when you are empty! That is with front coils, you got leafs all around! You will get used to the feel. You could just haul some heavy toys all the time........... Economy as a display in bed? ? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Much more to come very soon. Had a busy day today and was not able to get around to it. Expect a full photo set and an in depth video tour; you know me and how I do these things so it will come.

Here is a little sneak peak. I knew that for the very first cold start I had to film it.


Congratulations Austen! :ThumbUp:

I remember the feel of a front straight axle with leaf springs all the way around. I drove dads 1978 Jeep Wagoneer (w/Quadra-Trac) for a couple of years in the middle 80's after he found a good deal on a 83 Delta 88 Olds for himself to drive. It was what I traded in for the Elcamino in 1987. Off road I preferred the feel of it over my current 98 Silverado. Seemed to almost ride smoother off road then it did on road. Just the opposite of the Silverado. Might have just been because it was heavier too. :2th:
Thanks Mark!

Yup, a straight axle feels very different over IFS and both have their strengths and weaknesses.

WOW! capstan took the words out of my mouth "HOLY MOLY" a pretty-Beast:ThumbUp: I could drive my dakota 4x4 under your truck.
NICE Austen
Thanks Doc!

Those leaf springs will give ya a ride! I drive a 1 ton E-350 work van for almost 20 years. You can tell when you are empty! That is with front coils, you got leafs all around! You will get used to the feel. You could just haul some heavy toys all the time........... Economy as a display in bed? ? ;)
Yup! Front and rear leafs on the 7.3's.

I think the Economy could just about fit in the back. The truck has air shocks as you can see in the posted video but they each need a couple of bracket to work with the lift that I will go into in the next feature.

That would be quite a sight!
Getting it in and out would be the problem.
 

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Sounds bad on start up!! ;)
Love how you got to "hop" out of it!! ;) :sidelaugh:ThumbUp::dunno::sorry:
 
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