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Older diesel trucks

I am looking for an affordable, larger work truck so I can use it to tow a heavy 26ft fishing boat around. I would like a diesel I think because of power, life expectancy and fuel consumption issues. I heard that the mid 90’s dodge with 230hp cummins are a good place to start. I know from boats that a cummins is a reliable engine. I am wondering if there are any other options (chevy, GMC)that may be a better choice. Also, are there any problems that I should look out for with trucks of this type?

If you’re looking for a diesel, Cummins is the best there is. They’ve been a primary source of diesel engines (and drivetrains) in heavy duty construction equipment for a very long time, well before Dodge tapped them for their pickups.

I’m an unabashed Cummins fan so I’m quite biased, that being said there is a listing of common problems in the 1994-1995.5 Dodges on the Turbo Diesel Register site.


They also have a Buyers Guide with TSBs etc.

Good luck finding the right truck!!

Thanks for the input guys, That link is pretty useful. I think cummins is a definite first choice, but living in hawaii we don’t really have as many older trucks to choose from. So could be hard to find. . .I have heard that I should stay away from ford diesels, but I haven’t heard much about older diesel chev trucks. . .any opinion on these or any other trucks and engines to keep my eyes open for. I am not worried about looks or extras so older trucks and engines are also a definite option. thanks again for the responses.

Avoid the old Chevy diesels. It was not one of their best efforts. It belongs way in the past, long forgotten.

How old of a chevy diesel are you referring to? I am looking at a 1997 GMC turbo with 55000 miles in a GMC Sevana Van.

My vote goes for the old 7.3L Powerstroke Fords. IMO the trucks themselves were more robustly constructed than the Dodge’s of the same vintage.