Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum banner

thinking about pickin up a 2003 cummins?

983 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  my02ctd
like it says up there... I have been slowly looking around for a new truck and diesels have definitly caught my eye in the last couple years. never having owned a diesel im definitly not firmiliar with the trucks... i have a chance to pick up whut seems to be a nice 2003 4 door cummins here in town with low milage. my question is when i head over to look at it what should i be looking for? is there specific problems with the 03's? anything i should know before diving in? thanks!
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
How many miles does it have? What transmission? 4 wheel drive or 2 wheel drive.

Dodge transmissions are about the worst in terms of durability relative to the other 2 American truck manufacturers. Determine if the fluid is in good shape.

The suspension in these trucks seem to be severely underdesigned. Especially on 4 wheel drives. Upgraded parts are available but it'll cost ya.

Has the lift pump been replaced? On a 2003, the stock lift pump is attached to the back of the fuel filter bowl, and is a poor and unreliable design.

If the owner will let you, take the cap off the fuel filter bowl (a large-ish adjustable wrench will get it off without much problem in lieu of a socket for the large hex on the cap) and take a look at the fuel filter. It should be white or light tan. If it's dark brown or black, the owner hasn't kept up on maintenance.

Take the oil fill cap out of the valve cover while it's running when it's warmed up. Slight wisps of white vapor is fine, chugging like a locomotive is not.

Basically, these trucks are fine if they're taken care of. If they're neglected, it'll cost ya.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Good Luck to ya, I love my truck, got it two weeks ago. The dealer thought I was crazy when I was checking the truck out on the lot. He wanted to Bla,bla,bla about the dealership. i just wanted to crawl on the ground, shake things around, check for leaks, crawl around the engine bay.

There is alot of great information on this forum. Take your time and find a truck in good shape. It took me two years to settle into one I really liked.

Once your in it youll never get out!! :thumbsup:

Not much help on the ? , just my .02
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,105 Posts
Check maintenence records or ask for some. Ball joints is a big issue on these trucks too? Ask if they've been changed, look for any modifications and if your just not sure, take it to a diesel shop and have a vehicle inspection done on it. The 60 bones it might cost you could save you thousands in the long run.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
like he said up there, the dodge auto trans are junk, if you can drive a standard i would recogmend one. ive had sticks and autos and mine is currently an auto and i hate it.

ive never really seem to have an issue with front ends but im knocking on wood here.

it doesnt hurt to take an extra 15 minutes going over everthing again.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
alright this thing has 112,000km's on it.. excellent shape.. just like the day it roled off the lot, the maintenance has been kept up on it by the shop here in town.. but the guy wants 23,500 CDN for it... I figured that was a bit much so i looked it up and this truck in excellent shape should be goin for 18 at best apperently?? how much do you guys think this truck is worth?... auto trans by the way..
 

· Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
It would probably be worth the extra money to purchase a well-maintained vehicle. Did it have any of the preventative maintenances performed, like transmission flush and frequent fuel filter changes? Or was it just replace-parts-as-they-break maintenance?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Cekkent gave some really good advice on his first post. I am a truck technician for Cat. I highly reccommend looking down in the filter bowl to see if it's full of water or dirt. Also like Cekkent said check the blowby with the cap off. A clean exterior engine doesn't always mean a well maintained engine. These common rail engines have incredible fuel pressures and any debris in the fuel system will cause problems. I have a 4 speed auto 48RE transmission in my 2006 model. I really dislike the fact that it is not a 5 or 6 speed auto. There is too large of a ratio difference between gears. I drive mine in tow/haul mode all the time, but I don't believe that is an option on the 2003 transmission. I believe a 2003 is equiped with a 47RE. If you are not planning on pulling much it should work just fine, but expect at least 2-3 mpg less than what someone with a manual transmission has. I would recommend a manual transmission, but use your own judgement. There's alot of good people on here that know alot about these trucks. Good luck in your purchase.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
I have a '02 thats in my sig and my son has an '03 auto reg cab 4x4. I have pulled the heck out of my truck for 187,000 miles so far and no problems with the auto tranny and put in an injection pump at 150,000 cause I got a load of water in my fuel when I fueled up.. My son does the same with his and it has 125,000 on it. The only problem with his was 2 months after he bought it, well maintained with 110,000 on it, the injectors went out. Ran good , started good until one afternoon he stopped at the local truck stop for fuel and wouldnt start. Put in reman injectors and complete new fuel system. Runnin great!!
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top