The 4 Best Used Diesel Trucks To Buy March 10, 2014

best-used-diesel-header Diesels are the hot rods of the truck world, with their ease of tuning, great gas mileage compared to gas powered trucks of their size, and best of all, diesel engines offer a high level of reliability. A new diesel truck can set you back quite a lot, which is why a slightly used truck is a great way to get into the world of diesels for a little less cash. There are a lot of used diesel trucks out there, but many have problems ranging from engines that blow pistons easily to fuel systems that are prone to failure. It can be difficult navigating the waters of used trucks, as everything can change in half a year or less. Check out the top four trucks below for both value and quality and pick yourself up one and get in on the fun of having a diesel truck.

1996 - 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 or 3500

best used diesel dodge ram (Photo courtesy of flickr) Engine: Cummins 12-valve 5.9L What Makes It Great: These are quite possibly the most reliable diesel trucks that were ever produced. These have been known to get to 500k miles with the original engine. While the bodies often look worse for the wear, the drivetrains keep going with only standard maintenance. This means that when you buy one used, there’s a good chance that it will still treat you well. This year range feature better injection pumps as well as better transmission parts than the models before them. As for horsepower you can easily get these trucks to 400hp and with enough money you can get them to close to 2,000hp! Since these are the oldest trucks in the list, some body rust is to be expected, so gauge the price accordingly.

2006 - 2007 Chevy/GMC 2500 or 3500

best used diesel truck chevy duramax   (Photo courtesy of flickr) Engine: Duramax with LBZ engine code What Makes It Great: The 06-07 Silverado and Sierra heavy-duty trucks are in the sweet spot for engine reliability and power. Earlier versions of the Duramax engine had issues with injectors and cooling, but this small range that had the engine code starting with LBZ were just right. With a few bolt-on additions these trucks can easily see over 500hp without any reliability issues.

1999 ½ - 2000 Ford Super Duty

best used diesel truck ford super duty (Photo courtesy of flickr) Engine: 7.3L Power Stroke What Makes It Great: The 7.3L Power Stroke in this very small window has everything you’d want in a diesel truck. Forged-steel connecting rods, a 17* high-pressure oil pump, and a factory intercooler give these trucks all the good parts from previous models and just about none of the negatives. There’s no issue with taking these trucks over 500hp and it’s not that hard, either.

2008 – 2010 Ford F250 and F-350

best used diesel truck ford f350 (Photo courtesy of flickr) Engine: 6.4L Power Stroke What Makes It Great: Simple tuning and an upgraded intake and exhaust can give these trucks up to 600hp, making them muscle cars in their own right. These trucks have factory compound turbochargers. From the factory these trucks had 325hp and 600ft-lb of torque. The 2008-2010 models featured bigger axles, brakes, and wheels than the current models do, giving them a leg up without any upgrades. Fords from these years are great for resisting body rot, so don’t expect to see a lot of rust on these unless they were used as plow and salt trucks.  Also check out the best new diesel trucks.

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