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Opinions on Diesel
I was just cruising through the Craiglist vans.  Several diesels there. 

I don't know anything about diesel engines.  Could you folks give me a simple list of basic pros and cons?

For myself I like a quiet gas engine unless I’m towing a heavy trailer. Diesel engines produce more torque for towing. I’m used to gas engines, didn’t try a diesel until middle age, so I’m biased. 
Diesel fuel has slightly higher energy density than gas so can travel further per gallon. 
If maintained well Diesel engines have a long work life. 
If not maintained Diesel engines are expensive to repair. 
There’s lots of trade offs. Diesel engines are supposed to be warmed up and cooled down. 
Expensive fuel additives for diesel “stiction” take away fuel economy savings over gas engines. 
Diesel engines can be run on vegetable oil or used engine oil in a emergency. 
Diesel engines can be loud and smoky. The engines “growl”. 
I had two Chevy vans, a 96 with a gas engine and 97 with a diesel, and I sold the diesel and kept the gas van. In the diesel I could not hear what a passenger was saying or hear music. Also I was only planning to tow a small cargo trailer so I thought the gas engine would be adequate. I do notice the slightly less fuel economy. I get 10-11 mpg with the gas engine and got 13 mpg with the diesel. 
The first time my friend who drives a diesel rode in my gas rig he said “wow, it’s so smooth!!”  
Having said all this I bought a Isuzu diesel Motorhome a few months ago. It gets 13-17 mpg. 
My 2 cents.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Roadtripp for this post:
  • CatPerson (01-03-2020)
A diesel engine is the best for towing and running hard, but often very expensive to repair if they break down on a long trip. Several friends of mine have spent $3000 to $5000 on a long trip to get going again. A new gas motor in a pickup truck could cost $5000, while a new diesel engine could be $15,000. If you have plenty of cash on hand all the time and need lots of towing power, I'd get a diesel.
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  • CatPerson (01-03-2020)
It all depends on what brand & model gas or diesel engines as with most things you can't give blanket answers as there are great engines in both & many to stay away from but in general diesels last way longer, get much better milage (I get 16-18 in the ambo & have a 1 ton Dodgw/Cummins I get 24 mpg) & have more power. They are usually louder on the outside of the vehicle but mine are not on the inside. I'll never buy a gas vehicle again. On any vehicle if you can get the service logs that's a plus & if you find one to buy pay a good mechanic to go over it in detail even if it cost $500 before you buy. I also have all the fluids, hoses, belts, etc checked and changed so I start with a baseline when I buy it. If you deside & find a diesel post what engine make, model & year & we can help help with that ones general history. Good luck!
"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." - Thomas Jefferson
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Gr8ful for this post:
  • CatPerson (01-03-2020)
This was on the Sportsmobile forum. It's in Alaska but that might be fun. E-350 is a 1 ton & probably what you want. I don't facebook so I don't know if there's any pics. Being older in many cases is a good thing IMHO, less engine electronics, sensors, computer problems, etc.
1996 E350 Cargo 7.3 power stroke
Unfortunately, it's white, and located here in Juneau, Alaska.

Fortunately, 62,000 miles 2wd, drives great new battery, starter and alternator needs wiper motor and arms 2000 obo
"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." - Thomas Jefferson
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Gr8ful for this post:
  • CatPerson (01-03-2020)
This is always a controversial topic! I currently own a 2003 Ford Excursion diesel 7.3; probably the best diesel ever made for light and medium truck application. Mine is just coming up on 200,000 miles. I bought it because at the time I was moving heavy printing equipment and needed the torque and power.

When I replace this vehicle it will be one with a gas engine, as I don’t need the extra power anymore. Here’s why, based upon my experience:

1) Although the engine will last a long time, the rest of the truck does not hold up as well. Suspension, electrical, and FWD components have all failed.

2) Maintenance is expensive, even routine maintenance. Oil and filter changes around $250.

3) Diesels cost more to purchase. My Excursion was abt $4000 more for the diesel option.

4) Diesels never “pay” for themselves. X never crosses Y where diesels start saving you money when compared to gas.

5) Diesel fuel is always more expensive than gasoline.

I know it’s cool to say you have a diesel; and they sound awesome. But unless you have a real need for one I would recommend against; especially if you are buying used. NEVER buy a Ford 6 liter diesel.

Just my opinion . . . hope it helps.
[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to speedhighway46 for this post:
  • CatPerson (01-03-2020), Everyroadleadshome (01-04-2020)
Besides the ambo I have a '98 dodge 1 ton 12' flatbed with the last month they made the 12 valve cummins. Awesome engine, no computer, they have a million mile club & now a 2 million mile club which the engines have never been taken apart & still going strong. The added cost of the cummins when new was $5000, when I bought it about 5 years ago the used blue book price adder for the cummings was $5000, exactly what it was new & worth more than the rest of the truck. A set of injectors for your 7.3 PowerStroke costs $3000. A set for my 7.3 & my Cummins cost under $300 so I know where the Stroke comes from in yours. I agree NEVER buy a 6.0 ford diesel. My last gas pickup was totalled because a mouse peed on the computer but I had storage insurance for $50/year which paid for the truck. This may help I have the last full year of the IDI 1993 with the 250 amp alt & surp belt & no turbo with 88,000 miles. The Cummins has 115,000. No computer on either just as I like it.
"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." - Thomas Jefferson
[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to Gr8ful for this post:
  • CatPerson (01-03-2020), speedhighway46 (01-03-2020)
diesels can be great,longevity,torque,mpg,my big issue is the smell,i cant stand it
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Blacktank for this post:
  • CatPerson (01-03-2020)
Just sun the word diesel
"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." - Thomas Jefferson
<--I vote diesel all the way. But stay WAY away from Ford 6.0 liter diesels. They are lemon engines. Junk Junk Junk !! I had one.
That's why when I shopped for my bus I made sure to get the 7.3 liter Powerstroke engine. Reliable engines. I got one 1995 Ford f350 dually that has 385K miles on original 7.3. Still doesn't miss a lick. Then theres my 1997 F350 Single wheel 4dr. It had 287K miles on it. No problems.
The bus engine i started with originally was crap from the get go. (Church didn't use any antifreeze ever on the bus. It got overheated one too many times I guess and cracked up.). My 2 cents. David
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to American Nomad Patriot for this post:
  • CatPerson (01-04-2020)

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