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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a strong, dependable farm truck. I'd like it to be Crewcab, 4x4, diesel, DRW and dependable. Needs are for all things associated with building a 84ac horse farm in KY. I mainly need it for towing, dump trailer, flat bed for equipment, hauling everything and anything that won't or would be better NOT going into or onto a trailer. Basically... I need a work truck.

I'm not looking for fancy... I'm looking for ability and dependability. Longevity is not the precise need, i.e. I'd be most happy with a $8k beater truck that could dependably tow within 150mi of home for 5 years. At that point, financially I'd be in a better spot to purchase a better (more expensive) vehicle should the $8k die. But... I'll admit, I'm not an extremely knowledgeable man when it comes to diesel trucks. I grew up on a farm where we drove old trucks til they dies. None of which were diesels. And since then, I've been in gas SUVs.

But now,I have a need, and am looking for recommendations. There are a lot of choices out there, and I'm doing my best to purchase the 5yr dependability and ability I need, for the least amount of money. I'd love to find a truck that will last for 10 or 20 more years, but my goal is less $ and a dependable 5 yrs. (you guys will know better whether this goal makes sense for 6.0Ls).

I've been looking for quite some time, and have found 2 general 'trucks'.

One is 190-200k mi Texas trucks, used but not visibly abused, running about $16k. The second is 100k trucks of uncertain lineage but that look very nice and run in the $25K range.

Obviously, the $16K truck is more attractive to me, financially. But with twice as much mileage... There lies the crux of my topic...

*** HOW MUCH MONEY ARE THOSE EXTRA 70-100K MILES WORTH IN YOUR OPINION, when thinking about my needs?***

I can swing the lower mileage truck, but I'd need to take a small loan and I'd really like to avoid adding a monthly payment if at all possible. I can swing a CASH purchase of the higher mile trucks.

You guys will have a better idea about what mileage means on these trucks. And... I know, it's the TYPE OF MILEAGE that counts, but that is so variable, I'd like to leave that out of this discussion for now. I understand 100K hard towing would be harder on the truck than 150k easy country driving. But for this purpose, given I'm not likely to know what type of miles were driven without specifically looking at the trucks in person, I'm most interested in apples to apples comparisons.

Is $10k worth 80-100k miles difference in a 2007 6.0L crew, 4x4, DRW, DIESEL?

Couple of examples I'm thinking about that represent this issue

Ford F 350 Lariat | eBay

And

Cars for Sale: Used 2007 Ford F350 in XLT, Rocky Mount VA: 24151 Details - Truck - Autotrader
 

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IMO if you want dependable you should look for a decent 7.3 My 2000 is the workhorse of my farm. I use the 6.0 whenever I need 2 trucks but most duties go to the 7.3. After the IDIs the 7.3 powerstroke is best engine Ford ever dropped into a truck. And stay away from a 6.4 Lots of power and lots of problems, if you can find a 6.0 that already has studs and HGs, maybe new OEM oil cooler, 6.0s have good power and the problems are well documented and fixable.
Best thing you can do when you find a truck you like, spend $200 and take it to a shop that knows these trucks and get it checked out.
 

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As a guy that loves my 6.0L. I would still have to agree with Sparky, look for a clean 7.3L 99-03 years. A pre 04 Dodge Cummins 5spd would not be a bad choice for what you are doing either if you can find one in good shape that has been carefully inspected by a knowledgeable mechanic. No automatic though IMO for that truck,

Unless you want to learn to be a 6.0L diesel mechanic, I believe a 6.0L truck will end badly for you.
 

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I would also go with a 7.3 for a farm truck. You can get 500,000 miles out of most 7.3s with ease. I have 276,000 miles on mine and plan on driving it another 10 years to haul my dump trailer, tractor, rv, and boat. It is a great work horse. You should be able to find one for a good deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I found a 2001 4x4 Crew, 7.3L with 300K for $10K

It was actually offered to me by an acquaintance who is also a Used car/truck dealer. Gets his stock from auctions.

Its his truck, he just took it to Sturgis pulling a trailer with a Harley. He says it runs great.

The price is right, but I had just passed on it because it was a 7.3L with 300K. I had thought this was 'too much' and it was well past time to start falling apart.

I haven't even seen it in person. I certainly haven't taken it in to a mechanic.

I would pay $10K to get an additional 200K out of it, every day of the week.

What is the power like on these trucks? Given that I will be towing for the most part? Not long haul/long distances... at least that isn't the main thing. Can't say I won't hoof it every once in a while to pick up a piece of equipment or horse.

But my goal with this truck is farm building... towing a dump/GN trailer... etc etc etc... along those lines.

Would $10K for a 300K miles truck be 'a good buy' if the truck looks relatively clean to a mechanic?
 

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If it passes the blowby test with the oil cap, and if he has taken care of the wear items along the way like tie rods, ball joints, shocks, brakes etc. By 300k most of those should have been replaced, just make sure. You should be able to find one under 200k if you keep looking, but even then you still have the wear items (on any truck over 100k)
They don't have as much power as a 6.0 but with a cold air intake, a freeflowing exhaust and either a Hydra or 6 position with PHP tunes and it'll pull all you want. Also any diesel you get that will be used for towing you'll want an EGT probe. One last thing a 7.3 with an automatic needs an upgraded trans cooler for towing, lot's of guys put a 6.0 cooler on em, or better yet get one with a ZF6. Good luck with your search but I use my 7.3 on the farm the most, just picked up a 12k dump trailer Saturday, pulls a stock trailer, and a 14K GN deckover mostly for round bales. I use my 6.0 whenever I'm off the farm and have hay or equipment off the farm, but I still put the heavier stuff on the 7.3 for 2 reasons, one it's a dually and two the 6.0 is pretty much all stock with no bulletproofing done at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Concerning the 2007 6.0L which was what I had initially decided would get me the most bang for my buck...

I have heard that they are trouble without 'bulletproofing' but that when they are 'bulletproofed' they are very good vehicles. People have told me that I can get 'more for my money' with a 6.0L and putting $1500 into 'bulletproofing' it than I could get for the same money in a different brand truck.

That was the drive of my initial thoughts about a 2007 6.0 F-350

I'm reconsidering given the thoughts about the 7.3L... but I'd like to know whether that line of thinking was accurate? I don't mind putting in $15K then an additional $1500 if I get a superior vehicle. But, if I'm just 'buying problems' then I want no part of it.
 

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You won't bulletproof for $1500, search it on here, there is plenty of discussion regarding what to do to fully bulletproof and what it will costs.

Aside from bulletproofing, a bad turbo, a few weak injectors, a dead clutch fan, bad FICM, these are all real possibilities with a used 6.0L and none of them fall inside the normal list of repairs to bulletproof it. These repairs run from $500 for a clutch fan, FICM upgrade or 1-2 injectors and go north from there to $2K if a full set of injectors is needed....then you start on the bulletproofing.

Remember all of the above is outside of any other surprises that buying any almost 10 year old truck can offer.

If you know a good 6.0L guy that can inspect and thoroughly test drive the truck with a proper scan tool connected to it, you stand a reasonable shot at getting it, driving it and planning for bulletproofing a few months down the road but if not.... you could be walking into a landmine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate it Phil...

I'm looking harder and harder at the 7.3Ls.

Anything specific about them that are 'typical issues' to look for?
 

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The two 7.3's that I owned were bought new in 99 (a late 99.5) & 02 (an '03 built just a few weeks before the 6.0L went online) and I didn't mile either one of them up too far before trading, the 99 had 303,000 km on it (about 185K miles) and the 03 had about 100,000 miles on in before trading on an '04 6.0L. The 99 ate a water pump, nothing else other than maintenance, the '03 ate an engine at 15 months old, started drinking coolant by the quart. Dealer never figured out what happened to it but swapped in a reman in under warranty. Not a normal issue for 7.3's by any stretch.

So water pumps are known issues, beyond that, the pre- '05 trucks ate ball joints fairly regularly. You had to be a bit careful with the trans, you could heat them up pretty quick pushing a trailer in reverse. Beyond that, hopefully someone else will chime in and let you know what to look for when they got a little older.
 

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Check for blow-by, preferably when the engine is cold, other than that not much to check unless you have a scanner to check for codes. I would take any used diesel to a mechanic for a physical. Cost a couple hundred bucks and could save lots. The 7.3 was far and away the most dependable powerstroke. I have a 7.3 & a 6.0 and sold a 6.4 The newer trucks make lots of power but have more emission crap on em that caused the majority of the problems. That and Ford turned up the 6.0 from what Navistar designed and that didn't help when guys got tuners and turned em up even more.
 
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