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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. I'm new here. I did a lot of looking around the forum, and have found a lot of great information.I am currently looking for a Dodge/Ram truck with the Cummins Diesel. I've always had Ford trucks before, and my last was a 2000 F250 SD with the 7.3L PS and a 6 spd. It was a beast, but I sold it after I sold my landscaping business. Now, living much further out in the rural PA area, I find that I still actually need a truck, due to changes in lifestyle and family situation. It won't be a daily driver, but will need to be reliable for long trips. I am looking to buy a 2003-2007 quad or mega cab 3500 manual trans. I want to be able to tow some larger trailers with it, but long bed vs short bed doesn't matter too much. What are specific things I should check and/or be cautious about while looking? The prices on many of these are pretty ridiculous, especially given the high mileage of some of them. (I.e. a 2002 with 300k mile for $19k. What?) I'm also not interested in lots of mods or a high lift. I would go with a cold air intake and a chip/tuner, but probably not much else. I live in PA, so I kno wthat surface rust is a thing, but where should I look to see iff the rust is more severe tahn at first apparent, of in case it has been painted over with an undercoating to hide the severity?

Here are two that I plan to go try to look at.

This one, the guy says was in an accident, so he replaced two doors and rear fender, then painted the truck. I really like it, but I am understandably skeptical due to the possiblilty of unknown or hidden damage, frame issues, etc. I am waiting to hear back from him about pictures of the damage before he fixed and painted it, and I think it has a rebuilt title. Is it reasonable to be asking $18k for something like this with an R title? what are specific areas I should look at if it was in a side impact collision?

This one, I don't know if its an '04 or '04.5 engine-wise, but if it's in decent condition, would probably work well for me. It's listed as having a clean title and no accidents. Is this a reasonable price?
 

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If the first one has a rebuilt title, he's crazy IMHO. At least around here, a rebuilt title will see 50-60% of a clean title of same condition. I've seen trucks that clean around me (also in the rust belt) for mid 20s for a megacab/manual. Sounds like he's trying to recoup the money he spent to fix it, when he's going to be looking at a loss. I'd also be wanting paperwork on the paint job, because they aren't cheap unless he had a cheap maaco paintjob done. If he did it himself, then I'd want some proof he does it as a day job. Not going to be a fun time when it all starts peeling :). lol.

The second one honestly doesn't seem terrible for a rust belt truck if it's as clean as it looks. The only thing I'd say, not that most anymore won't have something, is for it to have gauges it probably was tuned + who knows what else. I didn't see that mentioned in the ad. There is also a toggle switch below the cluster and don't see that mentioned. Need to investigate some of that, could negotiate the price a little using Genos Garage for pricing of a new seat cover + cushion, etc. Might be able to knock them down some if the truck checks out.
 

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Renaissance Redneck BCVP
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I’d be way more into the ‘04. Just my opinion. And it wouldn’t matter to me if it were ‘04 or ‘04.5...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why is that? Just due to the R title, or is there specific reasons the 04 might be better?
 

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Renaissance Redneck BCVP
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Why is that? Just due to the R title, or is there specific reasons the 04 might be better?
Partially the rebuilt title, but mostly because the 8’ box is way more useful, unless you’ve got 6’ tall teenagers mega cabs are a waste of space, and the ‘04 era doesn’t have the same canbus system that the ‘06 does. The electronics are fiddly in these trucks, but even more so in the ‘06 models.

You should go look at both trucks though, if they are local. Before you start the truck, cycle the key on and off 3x (without starting) and any stored codes will come up in the odometer. Have your phone on video and rolling on the odometer as they cycle through fairly quickly. It will say “done” after the last one, or if there aren’t any. You can also see how many idle hours they have on the odometer but I forget how to do that. Search it on here and it will come up.

To me it would be worth it to have a “good” diesel shop do a once over on anything you are serious about. I did that after the fact on my new to me ‘05, but I got it for $4100 so I knew I was spending some money on it. For the money those guys are asking (trucks like those are running anywhere from $15-25,000 in the Seattle area) I’d definitely want to make sure I wasn’t buying a trans or injectors soon.
 

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I would also go with the second listing. I would steer away from anything thats been in an accident and has had some major repair. Unless he's got a hell of a lot of good documentation proving the accident wasn't that bad, and the work done was quality.

Plenty of good trucks out there without having to get someone else's beat up old wreck.
 
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