Used truck advice. Delete/tuning questions???

Gearhead22

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I currently own a 2017 1500 express 4x4 with the hemi, American racing headers and tuned. Well due to accident this morning my truck will more than likely be totaled (shout out to iron bull bumpers for potentially saving my life). So until I hear back from the insurance company I’m looking at use trucks. I’ve never owned a diesel before but I do a fair amount of towing with my truck and interested in getting into a 2500 and of coarse I want any truck to last the longest life possible and I know deleting is healthier for the motor in the long run. But not knowing much about the diesel side of things is there any particular year that is more reliable than others? What would be some things to look out for when buying a used diesel that’s possibly deleted and tuned already? And any recommendations for tuners and delete kits?
 

zogg

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2018 Ram Express Quad Cab
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Hemi 5.7
We bought a 5th wheel some years ago and thought a diesel would be the way to go. So, I bought a ram Cummins and it towed like crazy.

But a diesel is a whole different world. Lots of extra maintenance and expense.

I froze all winter because diesels don’t create a lot of heat. My neighbor asked why I didn’t plug it in? Huh?? Sure enough there was a plug near the grill to plug in at night. Problem solved….until I forgot to unplug it one morning from the extension cord that was routed behind my too box. As I backed out of the garage, my tool box dumped over and caught the corner of the front bumper. Ugh

Then there was the first oil change where I put a 10 quart pan under the engine and watched 12QUARTS drain out….all over the dammm floor!!!! Ugh

The oil filter was installed by some ex football player and was so tight I could not get it loose. The can crushed with the oil filter wrench, so I drove a screw driver through the filter hoping to use it to unscrew the filter. Well, the bottom of the canister ripped completely off and it took two hours to drive the filter off with a chisel tapping around the filter mounting flange. Ugh

Then my wife constantly complained about diesel fumes in the house flowing from the garage. Ugh.

When changing the fuel filter I took a bath in diesel fuel when I tipped the filter over as I removed it from under the hood. Ugh

Then there was the time we were on a trip in a very rural area and almost ran out of fuel because we could not find a gas station that sold diesel fuel. Ugh.

After 14 months, I drove away from the ram dealer with my new ram 6.4 GAS truck. Did not pull as well but did the job fine. No more diesels for me EVER!!

Good luck!!
 

SouthTexan

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408 CTD
Never had the issues as the guy above. I don't have to maintain my diesel more than my friends 6.4L. He changes his oil ever 8k versus while I change it every 15k. Don't have an issue with heat since I have an insulated garage that stay around 70F. Even if I leave it outside in the cold, the heated seats and steering wheel do nicely while you have to wait that extra minute or two compared to my gas vehicles. I read owner manuals so I know not to put a 10 qt pan under a 12 qt engine. My diesel fumes are just as bad as the fumes from my gas Jeep. They just smell different. I can change both fuel filters within 10 minutes without getting a drop on me (pro tip- drain the filter before taking it off). In my state, there are more diesel pumps in rural areas than many city areas since most famers and ranchers use diesel trucks.

As far as your question. 2014 and above are the good years of the engine and truck for the 2500. The engine had the DEF system which had less carbon buildup from the EGR and the 2500 had the better suspension and frame. Make sure you check the idle time versus total engine run hours. It is one of the menus on the gauges. Divide idle time by the total time. Preferably you would want to stay below 15% idle time. If you do get a tuned truck that is a 2013 or below, I would stay away from one that had a Mini Max tuner or anything besides EFI Live. Mini Maxx's were known to pop head gaskets do to their aggressive timing. If you do tune it, I would highly recommend you upgrade the transmission valve to the Revmax. The 68RFE is known for burning up overdrive clutches even with a little power because the stock valve body does not push out a lot of line pressure.

Good luck!
 

18CrewDually

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15-18s are great newer trucks. 21-22s are ok if you want to spend more money. 19-20 have a prone to fail CP4 pump that has not been fully resolved yet by RAM so I'd stay away from those unless you set aside money for one of the kits to switch it to a CP3 style pump.
You'll be hard pressed to get anyone to talk about delete kits or companies offering tuning unless they're from Canada. Good luck with that.
Looking at used trucks, if its deleted, leveled out or lifted, wide mall cruiser wheels, modded out with some extraordinary large exhaust I'd pass because chances are it was run on its highest tuned setting smoking tires in some parking lot and beat to hell. Not every one, but commonly that's what you see.
As far as service, it's no different than any other except the fuel filters are pricey. What that previous post went through can happen on any vehicle so know the capacities, don't turn a filter upside down after you just removed it, don't run ANY vehicle so it pumps exhaust fumes into the house, and get a proper tools for the job such as a screw in filter plug for spill proof oil filter removal and a swivel type oil filter strap wrench for ease of removal.
Good luck with the search.
 

MADDOG

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I've owned both gas & diesel powered HD trucks, using them as towing vehicles and road warriors on long trips.

Here's what I've learned:

Diesel trucks generally cost more to purchase than a comparably equipped gas engine truck.

Diesel powered trucks move heavy loads from a dead stop better than gas powered rigs due to the available torque.

Diesel powered trucks generally get better loaded & unloaded fuel mileage.

Diesel fuel, at this moment in my area, is generally cheaper than mid-grade & premium gasoline. YMMV

Diesel engines do cost a bit more to maintain & repair vs. a gasoline engine especially with the fuel and engine lubrication systems.

Diesel trucks can be oily, smelly and if you do your own maintenance you have to prepare for that.

A deleted truck may, or may not, be illegal in your area.

Diesel trucks have a lower payload capacity than their gas-powered peers due to the additional weight of the diesel engine and associated equipment. Remember that payload includes tongue weight or pin weight depending on what type of trailer you are towing.

There is nothing that will bring a grin to my face faster than a WOT run in a fully deleted, tuned, diesel truck. A gas powered HD, with the right mods, can be a lot of fun as well.

Deleting and tuning a diesel truck used to be a fairly easy thing to do. With more stringent regulations & state-level DEQ/EPA enforcement actions many shops no longer sell the parts, tuners and services needed to make those performance modifications. This may not be the case in your area (it was in mine after I deleted & tuned my CTD) but it may be worth your time to research the regulations, read up on emissions testing that may be required and talk to some local shops.

It may be much easier, and cheaper, to modify a gas powered HD truck these days. I added a cold air intake, programmer, custom tune & freer flowing exhaust to my 6.4L powered HD Ram. That truck was a real performer after those mods were done. But it would not turn over the rear wheels at 60 MPH on the freeway when shifting down and hammering the throttle like my CTD could.

So there are pros and cons to each type truck. Give some consideration to how you will generally use the truck, how heavy you will be towing and how much you are willing to spend to purchase and maintain the truck.

Gas vs. Diesel:

14 65.jpg

20170615_105715.jpg

Performance:

2014 6.4L WOT

6.7L CTD Cold Start

Deleted 6.7L CTD

Of course, if you want more specifics on the delete and tune parts then PM me and I'll fill you in on what I used.

Good luck with your choices.
 

zogg

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Sorry guys, I did no mean to imply that diesels are a no go!!

I noted my poor experiences with a diesel because the op never had one before…same as me.

I was trying to high light the differences and offer a few warnings to the inexperienced purchaser.

I am a strong proponent of diesels and see them everywhere in campgrounds and on the roads. Most of the issues I had were self-induced because I “thought “ I knew what to do. A good thorough read of the owners manual would have made my life easier, and I freely admit that.

My son has a Cummins and loves it and I’ve helped him work on it. He pulls everything with it with no issue and reliability is outstanding.

Bottom line….if you want a diesel and never had one, be prepared and all should be well. For me, I’ll defer to my dopy gas truck.
 
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Gearhead22

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Thanks for the reply’s. The 15-18’s seem to be more in my price range. I’m not worried so much about state emissions testing. Im in Florida and there currently are none at this point. But I understand that on a federal level there has been a crack down on tuning and aftermarket performance parts in the past year or so. I’m not interested in breaking any land speed records or roll coal on every prius that’s parked next to me. I’m looking to get into a reliable daily/hauler that will last the most mileage possible. Im not scared of the maintenance side of things (7.5 years as a marine technician) I’m pretty good with a wrench and getting in tight places.
 
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Gearhead22

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Sorry guys, I did no mean to imply that diesels are a no go!!

I noted my poor experiences with a diesel because the op never had one before…same as me.

I was trying to high light the differences and offer a few warnings to the inexperienced purchaser.

I am a strong proponent of diesels and see them everywhere in campgrounds and on the roads. Most of the issues I had were self-induced because I “thought “ I knew what to do. A good thorough read of the owners manual would have made my life easier, and I freely admit that.

My son has a Cummins and loves it and I’ve helped him work on it. He pulls everything with it with no issue and reliability is outstanding.

Bottom line….if you want a diesel and never had one, be prepared and all should be well. For me, I’ll defer to my dopy gas truck.
I really appreciate the feedback from someone who’s never owned one such as myself. I know my way pretty good around a gas truck so the in site as to what to expect form switching to a diesel is what I’m looking for as well.
 

jejb

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On a DEF truck, the fumes are not an issue. My wife hates diesel fumes, so really disliked the winter time start in the garage with my older Duramax and PSD. But our 18 Ram does not have that problem. No smoke, no fumes.

As far as the maint issues, I read up about all that stuff here and elsewhere before doing my first oil and fuel filter changes. And I also bought a valve for the drain pan, as I do for all of our diesels. No drama on the maint stuff. But as mentioned, name brand filters are pricey.
 

Gordo2212

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I currently own a 2017 1500 express 4x4 with the hemi, American racing headers and tuned. Well due to accident this morning my truck will more than likely be totaled (shout out to iron bull bumpers for potentially saving my life). So until I hear back from the insurance company I’m looking at use trucks. I’ve never owned a diesel before but I do a fair amount of towing with my truck and interested in getting into a 2500 and of coarse I want any truck to last the longest life possible and I know deleting is healthier for the motor in the long run. But not knowing much about the diesel side of things is there any particular year that is more reliable than others? What would be some things to look out for when buying a used diesel that’s possibly deleted and tuned already? And any recommendations for tuners and delete kits?
What do you tow? Only issue you could run into with 2500 diesel is payload. That big engine takes a lot of weight from payload capacity. I’ve read that anything under 13K lbs and you’re totally fine with a gas truck, especially the 6.4l (which I have). And getting over 13K you’ll run out of payload for a 2500 diesel pretty quick. Just something to think about.

Those Cummins are great trucks though so good luck and sorry to hear about your accident.
 
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