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Old 08-24-2006, 05:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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best truck 2000-2005?

My '83 F-250 has been an excellent machine for the for the 19 years that I've owned it. But time has taken its toll. It's still a great running rig, no oil consumption and 20 mpg occasionally, but I need a new diesel 4wd. I'm looking at 2000-2005 models for bugeting reasons. I don't need big towing power.
I appreciate any input.

Fuel economy and reliability being my highest priority, which of the big three has the edge in this year range?

1. Ford
2. Dodge
3. Chevy/GMC
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Old 08-24-2006, 11:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

The good and bad list of each is very long and detailed. Be careful of the Dodge automatic transmissions and lift pumps in the later years but overall the Cummins is a good engine with the best mpg. The 6.0 had it's share of problems and lower mpg as well, but it has a good transmission. Just read the 6.0 forum. The Duramax seems to be reliable with a good transmission and gets about the same mpg as the 6.0. The '06 is getting better mpg with the 6 speed auto but many complain of the car-like ride and feel.

Good Luck

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Old 08-25-2006, 08:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

My vote would be a 2002 Dodge if you wanted a regular cab or an extended cab. If you wanted a Crew Cab, my vote would be a 2003 Dodge....if you could live with a Cripple Crew Cab. Then, a 2002 Ford if you wanted a REAL Crew Cab.

For mileage and long-life, I still vote for Dodge. But I bought a Ford for the comfort and size of the REAL Crew Cab.

Well maintained, I believe either the Dodge or the Ford would last about as long as you want to drive it.

Lots of folks say they have been pleased with the 6.0 Ford engine, but enough have not been pleased that I would steer away from it.

IMHO, the next model to consider after these will be the 2013 trucks. The manufacturers will have 3 years production under their belts under the 2010 EPA emissions regulations and will most likely have all the bugs out by them. IMHO, don't buy anything new for the next 7 years....but that's just my opinion.

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Old 08-25-2006, 11:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

Strangely, I agree with FloridaEd 100%. Except I'm driving an '06 Dodge (the CrippleCrew was adequate for me!)

The '03 Rams will net you the best fuel mileage, from what I've heard.

I'm getting about 16-18 with my '06, just 2800 miles on it. We'll see if that improves once broken in. Have enough power to spin the rear wheels in 2nd-3rd gear on dry pavement with a 6000 pound gooseneck trailer in tow. Seems the more weight you throw at the truck, or the steeper the hill you climb, the more power the truck puts forth.



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Old 08-25-2006, 12:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

My vote is a 02 or 03 Ford with the old reliable 7.3. Mine has been virtually bulletproof in the 112k that I have owned mine. Mileage is around 16.5 around town and 18-20 on the highway.
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

200-2003 Ford Super Duty with 7.3PSD.
If there had of been a better one in those years, I would have bought it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

I could have bought a brand new truck, but wanted to find a used one in good shape with the 7.3. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

I'll put in a vote for the 05 6.0. We just finished up our move cross county and the big truck did awesome. I think by the time it was all said and done the trip ended up being a little over 3,000 miles taking the scenic route through Southern Texas. BTW I didn't see a stranded 6.0 the entire trip except for when I had a trailer tire blow out in Katy, TX. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/phoney.gif[/img]
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Old 08-25-2006, 01:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

The best overall pickup in those years is the '05 Super Duty.

You probably can't go wrong with a truck like mine (see sig) or an '04/'05 Dodge.
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Old 08-25-2006, 01:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

You guys mean the 05 super duty with coil over [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/vomit.gif[/img] ?
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

Ford is always the best choice for heavy duty pick-ups. The year is irrelevant.
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

What cab config do you want? How much do you want to spend?

A low mileage 99.5 or 00 or 03 7.3 would be good. 05 6.0 HOPEFULLY has the bugs worked out...
A low mileage Dodge Ram manual trans any of those years
and the early Duramaxs were fast but not nearly as reliable as the other trucks I just talked about. The newwer (lby or lbz) are pretty nice and if you do mostly driving unloaded this is the truck I'd get.
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

Even if there are nice comments on the 05 - which I also have and love - I would resist buying one NOW. They are just 2 years around. Who knows what will happen to them on the long run? If you vote for a Ford a late 7.3 is the best choice without any doubt.

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Old 08-26-2006, 01:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

Well as much as I hate to say this.... I would stay away from the 6.0. A friend of mine is a mechanic for a guy that owns a repo yard and they only run PSD Fords. Since 03 they have bought 8 6.0 PSD's. They have 15 7.3's.

The 6.0's have been in the shop 10 times more then the 7.3's and the 7.3's have a lot more miles on them. He has two 05's in the shop right now for blown head gaskets. These truck are not modified. They are worked very hard.

The only 6.0's that have not been in the shop are the two 06 PSD's. They have under 30K on them. He has several 7.3's that have never been in the shop and they have over 200K on them.

I don't think you can go wrong with the 7.3, 5.9 or 6.6. Go drive all of them and get the one that you like the best.

Good luck,

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Old 08-27-2006, 04:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

[ QUOTE ]
You guys mean the 05 super duty with coil over [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/vomit.gif[/img] ?

[/ QUOTE ]

The coil over is way better than the leafs. It's nice being able to make a turn without needing 40 acres!
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Old 08-27-2006, 04:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: best truck 2000-2005?

If we're gonna go for turning radius and ride comfort, IFS on the chevy is "better".

I'm talking work truck here, I like the leaf springs better. I'm sure there are areas where coil is better too, though.

....and yes, I know, your 6.0 will run circles around my 7.3 [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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