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Diesel or Gas?

So I have a 00' Harley F150 80k miles and I'm wondering if I should stick with it or invest in a diesel. I like the 7.3 or the new 6.4 (never a 6.0).

Main concerns are not getting any worse on gas mileage, and daily driver reliability. I've always wanted a diesel but since I know so little about them I wanted to ask others who had more knowledge.

Thoughts?
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Sparky83

Virginia Chapter member
5,564
217
Norlina NC
why be hatin on the 6.0?? besides their undeserved reputation... which if you dont want the 6.0 simply because of its rep you might as well remove the 6.4 from the list too..

as far as the gas vs diesel debate... unless your pulling constant heavy loads you dont really need it... both are equally as reliable as each other.. the routine maint cost when you sit down and actually do the math they balance out each other tbh... with gas your doing 4-6 qts every 3-6K miles (depending on your choice of intervals..) the diesels 14-16 qts every 6-10K miles... cost of parts to replace on a gasser.. lot cheaper than diesel parts cost..

and even when you get into the SD trucks the gassers are rated to pull just as much as the diesels are... only downside with the gasser is your fuel efficiency starts to tank the closer you get to pulling the max of the truck.. but even then gearing changes quite a bit in there as well..
 

LEB Ben

Arrogant A-hole At-Large
34,919
1,124
outside your house
What Shawn said...no idea how the perception came around that everyone with an 8x10 yard trailer needed a diesel, not saying that's you, just utterly surprised by the number of folks that willingly pay the 30-40% mark up and eat the maintenance cost, that don't really need it. But I suppose, that's what expendable income is for. Keeping in mind that just 30 years ago, people were hauling campers/trailers with the family station wagon that had 150hp/300tq. That being said, my lawn care business towed 10,000lb trailers and 20,000lb tractors daily with gassers for 7 years, did the job just fine. Bought a brand new Dodge 6.7 dually a month ago. Killer rebates/deals as far as diesels are concerned, but what I paid extra and above what a similarly equipped gasser would have cost, I could have a bought a lot of gasoline...and any mpg cost improvements, I'm sure will be eaten up in maintenance. And guess what, it doesn't get any of the jobs done quicker, better or more efficiently. Hindsight being 20/20, shoulda bought a 10 year old gasser for 6-10k and saved myself 30 grand.

As for the 6.0, if you sink the $4k in to it (or it's already been done) to bulletproof it, you'll have no issues. My one experience with a 6.0 though, brother bought it, on the 29th day of ownership, poof...white smoke party out the tailpipe.
 

Sparky83

Virginia Chapter member
5,564
217
Norlina NC
As for the 6.0, if you sink the $4k in to it (or it's already been done) to bulletproof it, you'll have no issues. My one experience with a 6.0 though, brother bought it, on the 29th day of ownership, poof...white smoke party out the tailpipe.

agree about the yard trailers.. that drives me nuts sometimes... same with the little john boat people..

there are some out there that really dont need the bulletproofing.. but all depends on what people do to it too is the biggest problem.. ntm what run they got.. the later ones were better than the earlier ones.. but that was all for the same reason youll have no matter what engine you get.. the first couple years are the "trial and error" years.. by the end the problems tend to be worked out.. there are several guys i know on another board that have over 300K on their trucks and still bone stock.. biggest problem i have had with mine was because the PO didnt do the maint.. and with close tolerance drive trains thats not something you want to neglect.. when the HG went in mine it pissed it down the back of the block and not in the cyls..
 

O'Rattlecan

Redneck Prognosticator
26,687
797
Belton, MO
Having only driven gassers, there's never been a scenario where I "needed" a diesel for that extra bit of power. There have been campers, flatbeds, other cars behind me, and the gas engines did what they needed to do.

The diesels are great, and please don't hear me knocking them. But for 95% of folks out there, they aren't a "need." They're a "want."

If someone's wanting to retire and pull a 35' camper around as a second home, by all means, get the diesel. If you're pulling a skid steer every single day, consider that diesel. But make sure you know what the "need" and "wants" are, and then consider the price tag associated, and decide if that "want" is worth the cost.

Ryan
 
Agree with Shawn , Ben and Ryan. It all comes down to what you want to achieve ...... if you are more concerned about reliability then if i was you i'd either stick with what you know and have or trade up to something newer with less miles rather than worry about the gas/diesel equation. I have an old 87 F150 5.0 which i paid 7.5k for 7 years ago , about the same time a good mate of mine paid 22k for a 93 k2500 6.5 turbo diesel. His does tow better (neither of us tow regularly) and is better on fuel (plus diesel is 1/2 the price of gas here) but when you take into account the fact that the average mileage here is only about 6-7000 miles/year it has taken this long to reach the point where you could say that we are about even in the money equation. To be brutally honest i think Ryan sum's it up perfectly when he say's it's all about what you want and would be happiest with.
 

dustybumpers

don't play well w others
I have a couple of IDI 7.3's, a couple of power stroke 7.3's, and a 6.8 v10
Each has it's own "habits", and each has it's own job.
all pull well.
The 6.8 will out pull the stock power stroke, but it is not good on fuel doing it
 

LEB Ben

Arrogant A-hole At-Large
34,919
1,124
outside your house
I have a couple of IDI 7.3's, a couple of power stroke 7.3's, and a 6.8 v10
Each has it's own "habits", and each has it's own job.
all pull well.
The 6.8 will out pull the stock power stroke, but it is not good on fuel doing it

Another reason I don't understand the pre-2000 diesel craze. Through 97 the 460 had more hp and within 5-20ft/lbs of tq vs the 7.3 and the 460 will do it in a broader power band. Longevity is relatively moot considering not many people own a vehicle 3-400,000 miles. So the only real benefit, as you noted are the mpg's while towing.
 

Sparky83

Virginia Chapter member
5,564
217
Norlina NC
Another reason I don't understand the pre-2000 diesel craze. Through 97 the 460 had more hp and within 5-20ft/lbs of tq vs the 7.3 and the 460 will do it in a broader power band. Longevity is relatively moot considering not many people own a vehicle 3-400,000 miles. So the only real benefit, as you noted are the mpg's while towing.

biggest reason people still want the 7.3 was because they were extremely reliable. you could pretty much do anything to them and would still keep going. ntm the further back you go the less computer is involved in its running.

or were you meaning the gas vs diesel and not the "i dont want anything newer" craze? lol
 

LEB Ben

Arrogant A-hole At-Large
34,919
1,124
outside your house
biggest reason people still want the 7.3 was because they were extremely reliable. you could pretty much do anything to them and would still keep going. ntm the further back you go the less computer is involved in its running.

or were you meaning the gas vs diesel and not the "i dont want anything newer" craze? lol

Gas vs Diesel. I understand simplicity. And my longevity/mileage comment was eluding to the reliability of both. So you get 300k out of a 460 or 400k out of a 7.3. I'd bet less than 5% of people have put 3 or 400k on an individual vehicle, much less one of those specific engines. So to me, the 'reliability' aspect of things is a draw between those two engines anyway.
 

Sparky83

Virginia Chapter member
5,564
217
Norlina NC
couldnt say... my old 350 turned the odometer over on the old suburban... only reason it got parked was because it could not pass the "safety" (coughtaxcough) inspections here..
 

dustybumpers

don't play well w others
I have a 89 f-350 4x4 with a 4.9 5 spd. It has over 500,000 miles on the original engine, with only minor repairs to the engine.
ANY engine will go the length if properly taken care of.
 

Sparky83

Virginia Chapter member
5,564
217
Norlina NC
I have a 89 f-350 4x4 with a 4.9 5 spd. It has over 500,000 miles on the original engine, with only minor repairs to the engine. ANY engine will go the length if properly taken care of.

smiliewhathesaid
 

polarbear

just growing older not up
12,878
607
Boring, Oregon
Gas vs. Diesel... brings back memories on how many times this subject has been gone over. The real (and only) issue in comparing gas to diesel is power in the newer versions vs. cost differential- which is significant. Where I live, towing East or West involves mountains... and any NA gas motor will leave you feeling like you left 1/4 to 1/3 of the HP herd in the valley. Turbos, by nature, are not as affected by altitude changes (which explains their first usage in airplanes). For this, though, you pay many thousands of $$$$'s in a price premium, plus more expensive maintenance costs. As an offset, though, most of that money comes back come trade-in time.

Another draw to the diesel is it's ability to be modded to "beyond stoopid" HP and Torque. Often forgotten, these mods can open up some very expensive cans of worms. Take the Ford 6.0 as an example. Some 6.0's were quite reliable (note the wordage though). But while tuners existed for this motor, they virtually guaranteed a series of very expensive trips to a mechanic. It's safe to say the 6.0, in it's stock form, was at the limit of it's reliable HP and torque ratings bone stock. The Dodge Cummins is a motor with 1000HP waiting to happen. Keeping in mind the automatic transmission in earlier versions was as durable as a potato chip, without the additional twisting. This is also true for the Ford 7.3- a bombproof motor with an Automatic saddled behind it that frequently liked to grenade long before the motor reached it's life expectancy.

Sooo... it all comes down to your priorities and the size of your budget.

**A note about diesel durability. The Ram Cummins goes 300K-500K miles between overhauls not because it's a diesel, but because Cummins designed the motor as such. Ditto all commercial-use diesels. Given proper care and maintenance (and a little luck), there's no reason a gas motor couldn't go the same distance. My first F150 5.0 had 310K miles on it, and still didn't use a quart of oil between changes. The second had 275K on it, and had zero motor issues when we sold it.
 
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Sparky83

Virginia Chapter member
5,564
217
Norlina NC
Take the Ford 6.0 as an example. Some 6.0's were quite reliable (note the wordage though). But while tuners existed for this motor, they virtually guaranteed a series of very expensive trips to a mechanic. It's safe to say the 6.0, in it's stock form, was at the limit of it's reliable HP and torque ratings bone stock. The Dodge Cummins is a motor with 1000HP waiting to happen. Keeping in mind the automatic transmission in earlier versions was as durable as a potato chip, without the additional twisting. This is also true for the Ford 7.3- a bombproof motor with an Automatic saddled behind it that frequently liked to grenade long before the motor reached it's life expectancy.

in some instances that wasnt true either.. part of the problem with the 6.0's resulted from Ford's tinkering AFTER getting it from Navstar.. Navstar built and designed the engine, along with making the original tuning.. then gave it to ford to install. Ford wasnt happy with the output numbers compared to GM/dodge #'s and turned the tuning up further. Navstar warned Ford not to do this as they had designed and tuned to work in the engines comfort safe levels. Because of this change it brought in other issues. While i do agree tuners exacerbated the problem by pushing it even further beyond the designed limits.

the other issue that caused many of the earlier models HG failures was due the poor casting of the heads. which resulted in "warped"/"bowed" heads being installed on the blocks. They used the TTY bolts to pull the heads flat causing the bolts to eventually succumb to fatigue. which in turn resulted in the gaskets failure.

sadly the 6.4 is pretty much a 6.0 v2.. same block.. same heads some issues corrected but many still remained.
 

dustybumpers

don't play well w others
Like Polar bear stated, on my 92 IDI 7.3, I installed a turbo kit

You would not know it was the same truck!
 

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