Cummins Diesel 6-Speed: 2003 Dodge Ram 3500
I was talking a friend the other day who is a truck guy, and he asked me my advice on a diesel pickup truck. I’m not one to go around spouting off random opinions…oh wait…that is exactly what DT is, so I AM someone to go around spouting random opinions, so here goes; don’t buy a newish diesel pickup with one of them fancy twin-turbo common rail diesel V8s mated to a 8-speed auto. Instead, always insist on a classic diesel inline-6 single turbo and a manual gearbox like this next Cummins ISB 5.9 powered beasty. Find this 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 Diesel offered for $18,400 in Yuma, AZ via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
From the seller:
2003 dodge ram 3500
paint color: silver
title status: clean
2003 Dodge 3500 Quad cab 6 speed manual, it has the High Output Cummins, 3:73 rear end ratio with Locking Differential, clutch replaced a couple of years ago probably 10k on it. It has had light duty it’s whole life. It has a hideaway gooseneck ball, frame mounted cab over camper mounts, receiver hitch, brake controller, airbags 8 months old along with the heaviest sway bar made. The life it had was occasionally pulling 2 horse gooseneck trailer to equestrian events and a couple of cab over trips. It has an Edge 3 position chip which has only been used on economy position, not needed for more power. Back bed professionally rhino lined and has three barge plug locations. It has 158,975 miles and runs great, gets excellent mpg 19-23. It is two wheel drive which has higher towing capacity than 4wd, but had a drop spindle front lift to level truck without changing steering geometry, best way. Now the bad, the ac only blows cold for a short time, don’t think it’s much more than a vac and recharge, but not sure. The tires are matching and good life left. Brakes are disc front and back and good. No oil leaks or burning or funny noises. Bring your mechanic to check out. Will only discuss price in person. Will listen to legitimate realistic offers. Nice truck
See a better way to drive a diesel with a stick? email@example.com
I’m sure there’s not too many of those around!
As a 2003, this is not the 12V 6BT Cummins that the old-school folks desire so much. This is the 24V ISB version, which does utilize common rail direct injection. Certainly a nice truck in any case, especially with the manual. Having driven the older Cummins, they really are not comparable to the newest versions, which have stupid power and torque. I was happy to finally get >20k out of tires due to the torque and living on dirt roads.
The dash on this truck is almost guaranteed to have cracked, collapsed, and turned to a fine powder by now.
Pity it’s 2 wheel drive and a Dually. If it were SRW and 4×4 with this mileage and price it’d be gone! Sure this isn’t a 12V but the 5.9 24V ISB is a good mix of old and new. More reliable than the later motors with DPF & DEF and also more reliable than the earlier 24V (especially the dreadful “53” block of 98-01) nor does it have the VP44 pump issues. And let’s not forget even the venerable 12V has the KDP lurking in the shadows ready to bit you in the ass and wipe out your engine (easy and cheap fix but it’s bit a few guys).