Buying first truck - advice 03 2500 - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Buying first truck - advice 03 2500

Been researching and watching the local classifieds for a while, trying to find a 03-04 with higher mileage grandpa truck. Finally came across one.

If anyone has some advice or tips on what to watch out for, it would be appreciated!

Test drove a 03 2500 Laramie, QC-SB, Auto 4x4, H-O

Its been locally owned since new by an older city manager, he retired and upgraded to bigger truck. Has 365 000km, engine runs great (no blow by), minor exterior damage, minimal rust, steering is tight, front end solid, there are service records I have yet to look over.

It feels solid but has a few minor issues that I'll have to fix;

- Needs to windshield
- Power steering pump
- Electronics in the doors have issues, rear driver won't unlock or window roll down from driver door
- The door hinges need a little work, rollers and tightened


The main concern I have is the transmission (48RE)
When quickly getting on and off the throttle I felt a clunk. I wasn't mashing it, just letting off and on while going 70-80kph. I'm not sure if this is normal, shifting seemed smooth otherwise.

I know these transmission aren't the best and will need rebuilt after so many miles. Just hoping I won't have to for a few years.


The injectors seem alright, no over-fueling and smooth when letting off. Not sure if it has an in-tank pump.

Anything I should look into or plan to upgrade? e.g. FASS System


Hopefully I did this thread thing correctly! Wasn't able to put images or a link. It's on the Elite Auto Centre website

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:46 AM
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If you buy it be sure to keep in mind if the injectors are original they are going to be in the tail end of the lifespan without a doubt. This is the Achilles heal of the 3rd gen 5.9 generation.

Very good thread with alot of good information
https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/3...you-truck.html

2008 2500 6.7 4x4 68RFE deleted with smarty jr

2003 2500 5.9 4x4 NV5600
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I definitely will find that out before I purchase.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 04:29 AM
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I had an 03 HO 6spd 4.10 well modded for towing and it was a beast! The stock 341 turbo is a bad choke point for performance. Anything could go out on that truck with that many miles so don't pay too much. FWIW, 06-07.4 was supposed to be the best 5.9 autos.
I got my 2012 1-1/2 years ago with 117 k miles. Even with very good maintenance, I've been replacing a LOt of parts, ever since. It didn't have any bad noises, whatsoever, when I bought it but it's been a flood, lately. Front hubs, all four brakes and the carrier bearing in the last 2 weeks and I still have the oem front shaft and a loose steering box.
I hope you're young and handy! Craig

2012 CCLB 4wd dually, 3.73, 68rfe, Fass, Deleted, EFI engine/trans tuning, BD IH SXE 363/80/.91 w/ebrake, 4" turbo back/51" Quiet Tone. DD and tow vehicle.
Olde too soon... Schmart too late!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Noted. I've been looking at 03-04 mostly because price and simplicity but I wouldn't pass up a good 06. I don't have any experience with these trucks, but I am mechanically inclined and just finishing up high school. Looking a few other hopefully this weekend. I'm prepared to be replacing parts until everything is dialed in just wanting a good rust free base that won't leave me stranded.

Thanks for your input!
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