If you need to haul anything heavy, you probably own or are on the lookout for a reliable diesel truck. I recently found an interesting video that detailed the best and worst used diesel trucks you can buy. The author (The Car Wizard) has a good amount of experience and I think his list is pretty spot on.

I currently have a Toyota Tundra, but it only has the 4.7L V8 gas engine. It is a very reliable truck, but it’s not the best for towing large/heavy trailers. Some day I would like to trailer race cars to and from the track. So if you’re like me and cruise Facebook marketplace or craigslist for used diesel trucks that can pull big loads, you will be interested in this list.  

The Best Used Diesel Trucks To Buy

  • 2006-2007 Chevrolet & GMC LBZ Duramax Diesel 
    • Less emissions tech to deal with 
    • Good power 
    • Decent fuel economy
    • Can be easy to repair
  • 1989-1998 Dodge 2500 & 3500 (12 Valve Cummins Diesel)
    • More simplistic engine (easy to work on)
    • Not high horsepower, but can be tuned for higher HP
  • 1994-2003 Ford F250 & F350 (7.3L Powerstroke Diesel)
    • Good power 
    • Parts are cheap 
    • Reliable even at higher mileages 
  • 1983-1987 Ford F250 & F350 (6.9L IDI Diesel) 
    • Cold start issues are common
    • Very “bullet proof” diesel engine 

My family had one of these 80s Ford F350s and it was a solid work truck. It had a dump bed on the back that could easily fit 5 tons of gravel in the bed. It had plenty of low end torque for hauling, but the truck definitely wasn’t breaking any speed records. Here are a couple pictures of the truck before we sold it. It had a 4 speed manual with a 5th overdrive gear.

The Worst Used Diesel Trucks To Buy

  • 2003-2007 Ford F250 & F350 (6.0L Powerstroke Diesel)
    • Very infamous for bad head gaskets 
    • Fuel injection control module is a known failure point.
    • Turbo & oil cooler failures 
  • 1992-2000 Chevrolet & GMC 2500 & 3500 (6.5L Turbo Diesel)
    • Injector pump sensor is faulty  
    • Can’t run motor oil or vegetable oil for fuel with the injector pump sensors 
    • Heads can crack easily
  • 2008-2010 Ford F250 & F350 (6.4L Powerstroke Diesel)
    • Poor fuel economy
    • Restrictive emissions equipment (which can break)
    • Cab has to come off the truck for most repairs 
  • 1988-2004 Ford F250 & F350 (7.3L IDI Diesel)
    • Cylinder walls can go bad and destroy the block 
    • Cold start issues (need a block warmer)
    • High oil usage 

Here is the video from the Car Wizards YouTube Channel:

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