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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

I'm getting closer to finding a 05' to 07' 5.9L 3500 truck to buy. Does anyone have a list of inspections/tests that should be done before buying from a dealer, or individual? I can't imagine a dealer letting you have one of their trucks inspected at a diesel repair shop besides theirs, or would they? But, I can't see a private seller saying, no way, if they really want to make the sale happen. If you have to put out $25 to $30 K for a used truck, it seems like you should be allowed to have any kind of inspection/test done you want if your paying for it, what do you think?

Also, what do you think about purchasing a used truck extended service/warranty contract? This is a "BIG" investment for me, I plan to have this truck for a very long time, and I can not afford to buy a truck with any serious issues.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

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Be cautious of the extended warranty/service contracts..I paid extra for one as this was my first ever diesel and wasn't sure what kind of repair costs I would run into..however, I never made a claim on the warranty in the first few years of owning my truck and when I finally did they made up some BS about me not servicing something in the proper interval so the warranty was void..total shame for me and a waste of money that I could have saved for doing my own repairs..but I will say this was in 2012 when my truck was only 6 years old or so vs today when you are looking at trucks over 10 years old and most have been worked hard..

There are a lot of threads on here about tests to preform when looking at these trucks so do a little searching here for that, some great discussions to read thru and so much info it would be hard to give it all to you in one post!
 

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Some vehicle inspection companies will say they will compression test. They told a friend they tested his 7.3 PSD. Somehow they did this within the course of an hour along with all the other tests. Im not sure what you know about diesels, but this would be a big process and not an hour job. Just be wary of what you are getting from an inspection. There are some scammers out there.
 

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Easy motor test, is when running take off the oil filler cap and check for blow by at idle.
There wont be any if the motor is in good condition.
And when it starts it wont pump out a cloud of black smoke either, and it will easily start.
Motor should not shake too much at idle, should idle smoothly, if it does not could be injector trouble.
Look for engine oil leaks, trans leaks, leaky diffs, should not be any gross oil leakage or wet oily surfaces.

Dealer offered an extended warranty on my 2005 with 159,000 miles, I passed as I thought truck was in good shape, and I always do my own mechanical work. Cost was like $2500 for a year? I paid $18,900 for the dually Ram 3500 4 door 4wd truck, thought the price was ok. Dealer has a 30 day warrantee for buyers included for no cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all,

Appreciate the recommendations, advice, and warnings. Last night I was searching Extended Warranty/Service contracts for used trucks, and was shocked how expensive some are. I think I will take jham's advice, and save the money to pay for repairs as needed from my favorite diesel wrench here locally instead. I'll just try to find a clean one owner under 100 k mile truck that hasn't been abused.

I agree dsldude, that compression test sounds bogus. And yep, there are a lot of scammers out there. If things don't look right, you just got to move on.

Good advice sdowney. I will make sure to follow it to the letter before buying this time around. Wish I would have done that 12 years ago when I bought my 97' 5.9L 12 valve 5 spd manual 4x4 extended cab w/ 157,000 miles on it. I think I had to have about 5 k worth of work done to it in just the first 6 months!
 

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I just posted over in the power train forum to someone who was asking similar questions about inspecting a used Ram. Go take a look.

Look up a test here where you put some drops of oil from the dipstick onto s paper towel... it might give an indication of fuel in the crankcase.


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Some states like CA actually REQUIRE them to allow you to have it inspected in another shop. Sometimes they will make you take the salesman with you.
In CA again, there is also a 3 day give back law on all used cars too. Sometimes for a price.

In most cases on regular new car dealerships they will do a pretty good inspection on all used cars they keep and you can ask to see it. The shop makes a lot of their money from doing used cars' inspections and recon/repairs. At most places anything major or a significant issue or safety related will be authorized, and if they do not want to do it, they will usually wholesale the whole truck to get rid of any headaches.
If you buy at a new car dealer ALWAYS buy only FACTORY backed warranties, Never dealer or aftermarket backed warranties. Warranty Price is negotiable up to 40% off if they are willing.
Most used trucks will have 5 to 10k profit in them unless they over payed for it.
 

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Take a look at the buyers guide for the truck of interest. These guides offer good information on what to look and how.

https://www.genosgarage.com/tech_info

Run a Carfax and check the VIN against a dealers data base for recall history fulfillment and any service histories performed at Dodge. The Carfax may list independent shops who also touched the vehicle. Back check with those shops. And if there is a known and reputable independent shop, ask them how much to inspect and what inspection services they offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you TeamDoty, bigfish95971, and BR3500 for taking the time to help me out, and anyone else following this thread.

Your advice is GREATLY appreciated! I will follow up on ALL of your recommendations. I have made a few purchases from Geno's Garage over the years, and they have been great to deal with.

I am not a "gear head", but I do know the joys, trials, and tribulations of owning a Doge Cummins. And I am always grateful to those knowledgeable, experienced individuals that take their time to help us all out.

There is a lot of really good information provided on this thread, when this threads runs its course I will print it out, and keep it with me while out kicking tires.

Any more advice welcomed!
 

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If you can get it then yes get it. I have an 2005 I bought in 2007 with 26k and it has 95k now. Replaced water pump, pully and belt, all fluids twice now, batteries once. Links in the front suspension and about to do tires now that I put on at 30k. Mine has the NV5600 and is a quad cab 4 WD.

Just drove it too Florida and back no worries. Likely next on the list is to clean cable grounds on engine, tires and ball joints along with brakes. I’ve never towed anything heavier than a pontoon boat however so wear and tear is minimal. IMO it depends on the use of the truck and miles which will vary a bunch. At the minimum there should be service records of the vehicle so you can see what’s been done over the life of it.
 

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I've owned my 05 since new and now have 136,000 miles on it. If you're looking at 100K plus trucks, potential high dollar repairs include rebuilding the 48RE transmission, rebuilding a worn out front end and replacing worn out injectors. Important upgrades include adding gauges or an LED gauge set and improving fuel filtration.

When you test drive the truck, pay attention to uneven tire wear, steering wandering, engine knocking, blow by, leaks, black smoke, white smoke, smooth shifting. Check exhaust manifold for leaks, broken bolts and warping, Make sure to put it in 4Hi and 4Lo to test out transfer case. Might want to set aside a cash reserve for expected maintenance and repairs. Pay close attention to any electrical problems as these can be difficult to troubleshoot and expensive to repair.
 

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If you mention your general area,someone might know of a competent garage to check it out.
 
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