Cummins vs Powerstroke vs Duramax

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235
Location
Texas
I am considering getting a new used work truck and have been bit with the diesel bug. I drive about 40-50k per year. My Titan is almost at 250k so she's been good but almost time to put her out to pasture. I am hoping the brain trust that is BITOG can help me out. I know enough about diesel to be dangerous, but not enough to make any decisions. I know to avoid the Powerstroke 6.0, so that's out. The older PS 7.4 seems to have a great reputation and almost bulletproof if taken care of. I have never had a Chrysler product. Duramax...all I know is a friend has one and has had no complaints other than the exhaust fluid. What are the major pros and cons of each? If anyone has any input good, bad, or otherwise, it would be appreciated. What are the general diesel maintenance issues that are not present with gas engines? I'm basically looking at used 4 door trucks with under 150k on the engine. Thanks for any replies.
 
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7,180
Location
CT
They all have their warts, but the Cummins is the best motor out of them. After seeing a bunch of my contractors pour thousands into diesel trucks I'm put off by them quite frankly. I like simple NA gas trucks, fuel ain't that expensive. IMHO and from what I have seen a 6.0/6.2 is cheaper to take to 200k than a D max. If you don't tow quite frankly I'd look at a V6 half ton and enjoy the fuel savings, the new V6's put out 300hp, that's really more than enough.
 
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1,464
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Gulf Coast, MS
Never owned either but from what I hear the Dmax is good for towing. Not saying the Cummins isn't but the Dmax has low end torque while the Cummins generally have higher end. If you towing normally loads the Dmax will virtually stay in its power band the whole time. The Cummins typically have to build up (which has its advantages) but general purpose the Dmax has the low end torque that will get you up and moving quicker. It will also give better power at all speeds since it low end. The Cummins has high end torque which is good for very heavy loads since the heavier the load the higher rpm it will sit at. Its also has good passing power since it is high end but you shouldn't be passing people while towing.
 
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1,537
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texas
Speaking from experience, stay away from any diesel that requires exhaust fluid. The added complexity and high exhaust gas recirculation (= carbon build up) outweigh the benefits. Yes fun to drive and great fuel economy, gas engines now last as long as diesels with lower maintenance, so those advantages are gone too.
 

Nick1994

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Phoenix, AZ
My dad had an 04' Duramax. Was a great truck but it did need a transfer-case, injetor pump, and a fuel pump. Other than that it was an amazing truck with tons of power.
 
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3,888
Location
southern mo
I work on a lot of Ford power strokes and yes avoid the 6.0 like the plague. I see more of them come in on roll backs than any other vehicle. The duramax is decent but kind of complicated and expensive. All diesels are kind of that way though. I say a 7.3 power stroke or a Cummins. Cummins is the best engine but the 7.3 is darn good as well. Cummins is easier to work on to.
 
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2,298
Location
Michigan
No. Just, no. The whole post (except the part of not owning either, which is glaringly obvious) just no.
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Never owned either but from what I hear the Dmax is good for towing. Not saying the Cummins isn't but the Dmax has low end torque while the Cummins generally have higher end. If you towing normally loads the Dmax will virtually stay in its power band the who time. The Cummins typically have to build up (which has its advantages but general purpose the Dmax has the low end torque that will get you up and moving quicker. It will also give better power at all speeds since it low end. The Cummins has high end torque which is good for very heavy loads since the heavier the load the higher rpm it will sit at. Its also has good passing power since it is high end but you shouldn't be passing people while towing.
 
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1,464
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Gulf Coast, MS
Originally Posted By: Oil Changer
No. Just, no. The whole post (except the part of not owning either, which is glaringly obvious) just no.
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Never owned either but from what I hear the Dmax is good for towing. Not saying the Cummins isn't but the Dmax has low end torque while the Cummins generally have higher end. If you towing normally loads the Dmax will virtually stay in its power band the who time. The Cummins typically have to build up (which has its advantages but general purpose the Dmax has the low end torque that will get you up and moving quicker. It will also give better power at all speeds since it low end. The Cummins has high end torque which is good for very heavy loads since the heavier the load the higher rpm it will sit at. Its also has good passing power since it is high end but you shouldn't be passing people while towing.
And why is it wrong? Does the Dmax not have low end torque? Does the Cummins not have higher end torque. I fail to see where I'm "wrong just wrong". Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out low end torque gets you up to speed faster then high end. The Dmax sits in its power and which is an advantage since it offers more power at the speeds and rpm most people tow at. The Cummins has higher end which aids in heavier loads since it produces more power at the higher end.
 
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2,298
Location
Michigan
The 6.0 is not for the OP, no doubt. However, the 6.0's weaknesses are well documented and the aftermarket responded. When "fixed" these engines are very dependable and run hard. Edited to add: The 7.3's weren't without issue either.
 
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coachditka

Thread starter
Messages
235
Location
Texas
Originally Posted By: Oil Changer
Buy another Titan. You don't need a diesel.
Honestly, I'm sick of my Titan. I have no complaints, but really want a change. 7 years and 250k she's been good. But I really want something different. But whoever buys my Titan will be getting a great truck!
 
Messages
2,298
Location
Michigan
Good thing there's Toyota, GM, Dodge, and Ford too.
Originally Posted By: coachditka
Originally Posted By: Oil Changer
Buy another Titan. You don't need a diesel.
Honestly, I'm sick of my Titan. I have no complaints, but really want a change. 7 years and 250k she's been good. But I really want something different. But whoever buys my Titan will be getting a great truck!
 
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3,870
Location
NEUS
You can still get a Cummins with a manual transmission! I've never been a Chrysler fan, but that's the combination I'd get if I could justify a diesel truck. The Duramax would be a close second.
 
Messages
2,298
Location
Michigan
Well... 1) Cummins: [email protected] or [email protected] 2) Duramax: [email protected] You also can't compare the drivability of an inline six to a V8 diesel. Two different animals. Every Duramax and Powerstroke I've driven had way better passing power (even while towing) than the Cummins (5.7s). You can thank the higher revving V8 for that. The V8 diesels have gas engine-like horsepower and torque curves. The Cummins is relatively flat. The older Cummins (and maybe the new ones too) had what is called torque rise (torque rises as RPM's drop). It drives different and if you know how to use it, will pull down a house. Torque rise is why a bulldozer can keep pushing as the load increases. First timers bash the Cummins because they only know the feel of a gas engine. Then they drive a Duramax or Power Stroke and guess which one they buy?
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Originally Posted By: Oil Changer
No. Just, no. The whole post (except the part of not owning either, which is glaringly obvious) just no.
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Never owned either but from what I hear the Dmax is good for towing. Not saying the Cummins isn't but the Dmax has low end torque while the Cummins generally have higher end. If you towing normally loads the Dmax will virtually stay in its power band the who time. The Cummins typically have to build up (which has its advantages but general purpose the Dmax has the low end torque that will get you up and moving quicker. It will also give better power at all speeds since it low end. The Cummins has high end torque which is good for very heavy loads since the heavier the load the higher rpm it will sit at. Its also has good passing power since it is high end but you shouldn't be passing people while towing.
And why is it wrong? Does the Dmax not have low end torque? Does the Cummins not have higher end torque. I fail to see where I'm "wrong just wrong". Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out low end torque gets you up to speed faster then high end. The Dmax sits in its power and which is an advantage since it offers more power at the speeds and rpm most people tow at. The Cummins has higher end which aids in heavier loads since it produces more power at the higher end.
 
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9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
I've got a cube van with a 7.3 power stroke. Great van. Not huge on power but let's face it I'm not racing it. I've towered with every gasser out there and at 8000 pounds the trucks are working very hard so if your loads will be in excess of that gas isn't an option. If I was buying a used unit I'd care more about how it was maintained than the brand. Even the 6.0 is a great truck once the issues are addressed. But if buying used look to see if a tuner was ever installed. If so run. The transmissions are the weak link on a tuned truck and I've seen many a diesel,of all brands getting tranny problems addressed in their jacked up oil field trucks. If I was buying for myself service records are the most important part of the equation. The dmax and cummins are of course on the short list,but maintenance records and how it was operated are also very important. Our 7.3 has been very reliable. Over 400000kms on it and we've had to replace the glow plugs and injector pump. And the only oil it's ever gotten is rotella t 15w-40,even in the winter. Mind you it gets a long warm up once started. And it seems to run best when driven hard. Not abused,just lots of throttle seems to keep it peppy. If it's babied for a while it ends up getting sluggish,driving it in second gear in the city seems to fix the sluggish feeling after a few days.
 
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6,494
Location
Connecticut
Modern diesel powered pickups have jumped the shark. Newer trucks with the diesel exhaust fluid and DPFs get about 8-10 mpg. DPFs eventually get clogged and are EXPENSIVE to replace/clean. I'm talking thousands of dollars. If I had to buy a diesel truck tomorrow, I would buy a Ford with the 7.3 powerstroke. Its not a racetruck, but it will last many, many miles with proper maintenance. I drove one in highschool when I worked on a farm and it had 250k miles. I just saw it the other day and it has almost 500k. Most of those miles the truck had a 5th wheel trailer hooked to it and it also idled a lot. My next choice would be a Cummins with a manual trans. Its a solid powertrain combo, but the Dodge trucks are prone to rust and front end problems. I've even seen the dash crack on some of the newer models. The dash isn't a big deal, but when you pay 25k for a truck you expect the interior to look halfway decent. Duramax trucks I would avoid. They have a strong transmission, but they are electrical nightmares. Some of the earlier ones also blew head gaskets like the 6.0 powerstroke. I just finished helping a friend do them on his last year and what a nightmare. Absolutely no room to work. Honestly, I would stick with a nice gas truck if you can. Buying a used diesel truck is also a big gamble. Many people run tuners and run the heck out of them and then trade them in for the next biggest model. Meanwhile you think you are getting a low mileage truck when in fact it has been exposed to some really high EGTs. You should check out the "powerstrokehelp" youtube channel. Bill gives a good idea about what to look for when buying a diesel truck and also gives you an idea about what is involved with owning one.
 
Messages
2,298
Location
Michigan
I would not have guessed ram_man would say the Cummins is best.
Originally Posted By: ram_man
I work on a lot of Ford power strokes and yes avoid the 6.0 like the plague. I see more of them come in on roll backs than any other vehicle. The duramax is decent but kind of complicated and expensive. All diesels are kind of that way though. I say a 7.3 power stroke or a Cummins. Cummins is the best engine but the 7.3 is darn good as well. Cummins is easier to work on to.
 
Messages
2,280
Location
WNY
Noise [censored] me off to no end. All the goat roping kids in the area rip the exhausts off of the Cummins and PowerStrokes. Didn't know everyone has B Model Macks these days. I think the Duramax is the quietest and I have personally used and rode in them. They do their fair share of hauling with no problems. I think they're fine.
 
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