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New To Diesel's with questions

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I am looking at a 99 2500 ram 24v cummins, and a 5 speed trans. The truck has 280,000 miles. the owner has all the paper work for any work done to the truck. Is there anything that I should be looking for? Any common problems to look for? He also said there is a problem with the air heating element, he said sometimes the wait to start light will not come on and the element does not heat up. When I looked at the truck it was outside in 30 degree weather and the element seemed to work fine the light came on and the truck started right up. Any ideas whats going on with it? Should I be worried about the 280,000 miles? Hopfully you can help a diesel rookie.
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Welcome! I dont think the wait to start light comes on unless it is actually cold, mine does not come on in the summer when it is hot. Check the front end, move the steering wheel back and forth to see if the front end has been serviced, it may need ball joints etc. You would likely want to see if it is a "53" block you can google this and find pictures etc. Fuel pump is also important - a guage good to check this. That is all I can think of. Good luck!
 

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For sure check for the 53 block and make sure you have fuel pressure.
 

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Check the blow by tube for excessive blow by.
 

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I have heard of guys buying a truck, and it turns out it was for sale because the crack showed up and old owner knew. Not so good a deal then. I just can not see risking it with that high of a failure rate when you can wait and get one with something else. Kinda hard when you got your heart set on one though.
 

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If its got the 53 block dont you think it would have cracked in the last 280,000 miles?! lol
 
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