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TOPIC: I found a truck

I found a truck 12 Sep 2006 22:58 #1

  • Skinfaxi
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Yup. I am picking up my new old work truck Saturday. Yay! It's an '85 350 xlt lariat dually diesel. Way more truck than I need, but I'm only paying $500.00.
I just wanted a full size diesel with ext. cab....boy did I get that, hehe.

It is a bit beat up, but not too rusty, and it runs. It does need the radiator flushed and new brakes. It would like the windshield replaced and some of the dents pulled out....If it lasts a year or two I'll be satisfied.

It is my first diesel and my first dually. I've only had F150's before.
What should I look out for as far as engine trouble, and how are they to work on? Mind you, it does run, the big problem is that is gets a bit hot at idle. I figured flush the radiator, and check the thermostat. If that fails, it was suggested to install an elec. fan to the radiator and run a toggle switch to the cab. ??.

What else should I do as a checkup and pre-use maintenance?

Edit: Dang, I thought I was in Equipment ect...Any mod care to move this? Sorry. :o
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 00:00 #2

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Skinfaxi wrote:
Yup. I am picking up my new old work truck Saturday. Yay! It's an '85 350 xlt lariat dually diesel. Way more truck than I need, but I'm only paying $500.00.
I just wanted a full size diesel with ext. cab....boy did I get that, hehe.

It is a bit beat up, but not too rusty, and it runs. It does need the radiator flushed and new brakes. It would like the windshield replaced and some of the dents pulled out....If it lasts a year or two I'll be satisfied.

It is my first diesel and my first dually. I've only had F150's before.
What should I look out for as far as engine trouble, and how are they to work on? Mind you, it does run, the big problem is that is gets a bit hot at idle. I figured flush the radiator, and check the thermostat. If that fails, it was suggested to install an elec. fan to the radiator and run a toggle switch to the cab. ??.

What else should I do as a checkup and pre-use maintenance?

Edit: Dang, I thought I was in Equipment ect...Any mod care to move this? Sorry. :o
The Navistar Powerstroke diesels are great engines . . . BUT!!! There is an additive that you MUST pun in the antifreeze every 10,000 miles or so. The additive is sold at Ford Dealers - it is called FW15. This product keeps the antifreeze from boiling holes in the engine block.

Something in the alloy used to make the powerstroke engines reacts with the antifreeze. The FW15 is a "sacrificial" additive which must be added to the coolant or eventually the block gets eaten away from the inside. If you have the owner's manual for the engine (different book than the owner's manual fot the truck) this topic will be covered. A powerstroke diesel should NOT get hot at idle, in fact they idle cold and require an exaust restrictor in order to make enough heat to warm the cab at idle in the winter. If she get's hot at idle, you might want to have her checked out by somebody who is certified to work on the powerstroke.

I hope your cooling problem is something simple. Repair costs on diesels can run into thousands of dollars. OTOH, if you keep the oil changed every 5000 miles, keep a clean air filter, and keep a clean fuel filter, they will give you about a million miles of service.

Bottom line, you will always be able to sell that truck for $500 or more if you take care of it.

Try this forum: http://www.powerstrokeforum.com
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 01:13 #3

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Oh! Thanks so much Tom! :) I didn't know about the additive.

Oh, and the dually only has 140K miles on it and is automatic.

There are two trucks to pick from, for the same price. The other is a 3/4 ton gas. Late seventies/early eightys Silverado that drinks oil. :P I'm not sure it would make a better choice, though the body is better. What do you think?

Thanks for the link too.

EDIT: I don't think it is a powerstroke. It is an 1985 model. I find no powerstroke engines before 1994.
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 01:46 #4

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The only thing I can add is those old diesels are slower than mallassis in january on canadian tundra. Though they pack plenty of torq and are quick out the hole, But I hope not too much highway travel is in order. I have to admit, our 87 f350 runs great. Its a tough truck! Also Tom, power strokes didnt come out till 95 or so. This is a non turbo 6.9 liter.

Josh
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 02:29 #5

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The only thing I can add is those old diesels are slower than mallassis in january on canadian tundra. Though they pack plenty of torq and are quick out the hole, But I hope not too much highway travel is in order.

That is the truth. I drove the thing Sat. First time driving such a truck, so I thought something was wrong with it. lol.

We will use it, but I want something lighter later. Right now the price is right and we need something/anything. It will be good for hauling our tools around for a while. I imagine it will be retired as a waterhauler/trailer mover after a couple years.

Thanks for the maintenince tips guys.:)

Sarah
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 06:43 #6

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Skinfaxi wrote:
Oh! Thanks so much Tom! :) I didn't know about the additive.

Oh, and the dually only has 140K miles on it and is automatic.

There are two trucks to pick from, for the same price. The other is a 3/4 ton gas. Late seventies/early eightys Silverado that drinks oil. :P I'm not sure it would make a better choice, though the body is better. What do you think?

Thanks for the link too.

EDIT: I don't think it is a powerstroke. It is an 1985 model. I find no powerstroke engines before 1994.
Any major repairs on a diesel will cost more than the cost of replacing a gas engine with a factory rebuilt engine. If there's any way you can take the diesel for an extended test drive >100miles and make sure you do both highway and traffic driving. It would give you some confidence that it's not going to die when you drive it home for keeps.

Either way you could wind up having to invest several thousand dollars. You are gambling with $500 and hoping that you won't have to invest 3 or 4 times that much in order to have something reliable. I would go for the oil drinker if it didn't smoke or rattle. If it's just a matter of replacing a seal or a gasket, then no big deal. If the rings are sticking and oil is blowing by, you might still be OK, but you should have a mechanic do a compression test on the engine. I would go for the truck that has the best cosmetic appearance because that is important to resale value later on. Sometimes you can get a decent used engine out of a wrecked vehicle and swap it . . . maybe cost you another $500-$1500, but that depends on your mechanic's labor rate. An engine swap is about 8 hours of work for a decent mechanic. So if you have to go that route be prepared to pay for that amount of time plus the cost of a used engine.

If there's any way you can s****e together about $3000 you'll be into much better options for long term reliability. In that price range you can purchase something from a dealer with a 90 day warantee.

I know that $500 is a big chunk of change for you right now, but in a few years you might be making that much for a day of shoeing horses. What the heck, if you only spend $500 and the darn thing runs for 6 months and then dies, you made a really good investment. I paid $18,000 for my '03 F150. In another 3 years I will probably wear it out and probably spend $25,000 to replace it. So having a new truck every 5 or 6 years is going to cost $500/month - forever!

Good luck and safe truckin' :)
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 11:31 #7

Check out http://www.fordtrucks.com/forums/index.php it's a great site with some very knowledgable people.

Tim
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 15:37 #8

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I have to disagree Tom. Diesels are far more reliable than gas jobs. They are ussually more echonomical on fuel as well. Its not uncommon to get 500k+ out of a diesel (even the old ones). Gas motors are lucky if they get 200k. At 150k on that truck? That babys just broke in. =]

As far as maintanance, the diesel should not require any more than a gas truck. In fact it should require less. After all you don thave to deal with spark plugs, distributors, or ignition relatated timeing. Though one mechanical downside is they can be a pain to start in the winter. Especialy the old ones, so if you are in the cold climates plug that sucker in.

Also you DO NOT WANT TO RUN OUT OF FUEL. Make sure you keep your tank full. If you run out of fuel in an older diesel with a mechanical fuel pump, have fun priming the sucker on the side of the road. ;)
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 17:19 #9

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If there's any way you can s****e together about $3000 you'll be into much better options for long term reliability. In that price range you can purchase something from a dealer with a 90 day warantee.

I know that $500 is a big chunk of change for you right now, but in a few years you might be making that much for a day of shoeing horses. What the heck, if you only spend $500 and the darn thing runs for 6 months and then dies, you made a really good investment. I paid $18,000 for my '03 F150. In another 3 years I will probably wear it out and probably spend $25,000 to replace it. So having a new truck every 5 or 6 years is going to cost $500/month - forever!

Good luck and safe truckin'

I know what you are saying, but I figured the same thing. If it lasts 6mos-to a year I got my money out, and I'm planning on trading my '03 cavalier for a lighter truck in the semi-near future(though I do like the car, great mileage, and would like to keep it)

Thanks :)
Especialy the old ones, so if you are in the cold climates plug that sucker in.

Also you DO NOT WANT TO RUN OUT OF FUEL. Make sure you keep your tank full. If you run out of fuel in an older diesel with a mechanical fuel pump, have fun priming the sucker on the side of the road.

Yeah, it's got a plug in. :) I NEVER get below a quarter tank....ever. So I won't. ;)

Thanks for that link Tim. Nice site.
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 18:11 #10

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Skinfaxi wrote:
Yup. I am picking up my new old work truck Saturday. Yay! It's an '85 350 xlt lariat dually diesel. Way more truck than I need, but I'm only paying $500.00.
I just wanted a full size diesel with ext. cab....boy did I get that, hehe.

It is a bit beat up, but not too rusty, and it runs. It does need the radiator flushed and new brakes. It would like the windshield replaced and some of the dents pulled out....If it lasts a year or two I'll be satisfied.

It is my first diesel and my first dually. I've only had F150's before.
What should I look out for as far as engine trouble, and how are they to work on? Mind you, it does run, the big problem is that is gets a bit hot at idle. I figured flush the radiator, and check the thermostat. If that fails, it was suggested to install an elec. fan to the radiator and run a toggle switch to the cab. ??.

What else should I do as a checkup and pre-use maintenance?

Edit: Dang, I thought I was in Equipment ect...Any mod care to move this? Sorry. :o

the best of luck with it
Smitty88
John Mc Loughlin
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 19:10 #11

SlowShoe wrote:
I have to disagree Tom. Diesels are far more reliable than gas jobs. They are ussually more echonomical on fuel as well. Its not uncommon to get 500k+ out of a diesel (even the old ones). Gas motors are lucky if they get 200k. At 150k on that truck? That babys just broke in. =]

As far as maintanance, the diesel should not require any more than a gas truck. In fact it should require less. After all you don thave to deal with spark plugs, distributors, or ignition relatated timeing. Though one mechanical downside is they can be a pain to start in the winter. Especialy the old ones, so if you are in the cold climates plug that sucker in.

Also you DO NOT WANT TO RUN OUT OF FUEL. Make sure you keep your tank full. If you run out of fuel in an older diesel with a mechanical fuel pump, have fun priming the sucker on the side of the road. ;)

I agree Josh. I've been driving diesels for the last 12 years and I couldn't go back to a gas truck if I had to. My wife used to drive a '01 diesel VW bug and it would go 47 miles a gallon, shes got an '04 cherokee now and it only goes about 22 miles a gallon. I'll keep paying the higher price for diesel fuel even though its not right. I can pull anything anywhere w/out worry. The mileage and long term service is where you will win w/ a diesel engine.

The only problem that I can see is all these Ford trucks that you folks drive..... :D
Chris Clark

"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle."
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RE:I found a truck 13 Sep 2006 21:42 #12

Sarah, here is another site with alot of knowledgeable people answering questions.
It is a monitored BB so your question will not show up until a monitor reads and passes it thru. Same with answers.


http://cartalk.com

Gary
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RE:I found a truck 14 Sep 2006 01:30 #13

I may not me shoeing on my own yet, but Diesels I know. The update from ford for fw15 is fw16, or if you have an international dealer around, DCA4. I use and recommend RMI-25, Bob Riley sells is at Dieselsite.com. with the ford and navistar additive, you need to test the antifreeze for PH and nitrate levels. with out the additive, diesels without cylinder liners (most light trucks) and some with have problems with cavitation. the simplest way that it can be described is when each cylinder fires it creates bubbles which pop and as they pop, they errode away the water jacket.
these additives are called SCAs... supplement coolant additives.

the powerstroke went into ford light duty trucks half way through the 94 model year.
any diesel or mechanic questions, feel free to ask me and if you're close enough maybe I can help, this goes for anyone here. this is what I do for a living.
Jason Armstrong

"Another thousand horses"
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RE:I found a truck 14 Sep 2006 03:40 #14

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Jason have you been doing any work with alternative fuels?
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RE:I found a truck 14 Sep 2006 04:15 #15

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Yeah, I was wondering about Waste Veg. Oil and Biodiesel myself.
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