Ford’s legendary F-series pickup has been available with a diesel for many years, but it has usually been an International, and lately, a Ford diesel engine. Ford even put a Perkins diesel in some cars sold in Argentina, but as far as I know Ford never put a Cummins diesel in their light duty pickup (although you could get a Cummins 6.7 liter in an F650/750 from 2010-2015..but that isn’t exactly light duty). However, just because the Ford factory never put a Cummins in an F250 doesn’t mean you can’t buy one, because just about every engine swap possible has been done or is in the works. Personally, I’m waiting until someone swaps a 2-stroke 3-cylinder Saab engine into a Tesla…but until that time you can own a Cummins 6BT 12-valve swapped F250 known as the Fummins. Find this 1984 Ford F250 Cummins Power with “manuel transmission” offered for $7500 in San Rafael, CA via craigslist.
Back before Volkswagen got in massive trouble for their diesel emissions cheating scheme, VW sold diesel powered Golf and Jettas that only cheated their owners out of performance. I’ve never owned a Mk 1 Jetta, but I did have a Rabbit diesel with the same 1.6 liter diesel lump of scrap iron and it was slow. Mind-numbingly slow. But the advantage of having an engine with the BMEP of a balloon animal is that the engine will last forever, or at least past 421k miles like this next thing. Find this 1984 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel offered for $2500 in Salem, MA via craigslist. Tip from ME.
This next car is an interesting piece of technology — it came from the factory with a M57Y twin-turbo diesel engine that pushed 265 horsepower and 425 ft-lbs of torque through a SCR system and who knowns what kind of diesel particulate filter. The result was a clean diesel that pulled like a truck, but todays example has had all of that backpressure increasing stuff removed and pushes over 300 horsepower and 500 ft-lbs of coal rolling black death into the air. Find this 2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d offered for $6600 in Rutland, VT via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The 2nd generation of the Jeep Wrangler was known as the “TJ” and it was built from 1997 through 2006. This is probably the best year you can get for a car, if you ask the luddites around the DT HQ — it is new enough to have safety features like seat belts and ABS, […]
We posted a Land Rover Series III the other day that was really just a collection of parts. Commenter Mountainwoodie got it right when he suggested the seller’s spouse had probably said: ”You better get that pile of junk out of the garage or I’m taking the kids and going to my mothers!” At least it was cheap. Anyway, this next Series III Land Mover is assembled and is probably worth the bump up in price. Find this 1981 Land Rover Series III 109 Diesel offered for $15,000 in Blue Island, IL via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
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 and 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!
Mercedes-Benz spent serious effort in promoting their diesel engines back in the 1980s and 1990s, in fact it is hard to know from searching craigslist that you could get a W123 Benz with a gasoline engine in the USA back in the day. Regardless, the OM-series oil burners were good for basic transportation, but not much of an upgrade for power/speed on most vehicles..however, if you want an upgrade in reliability and fuel economy, it does the trick. This next feature is the cheap and dirty version of the nice Chevrobenz Truck swap we featured the other day. Find this 1990ish Chevrolet S-10 Blazer offered for $2500 in Ford Washington, MD via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car is offered at a price that is typically reserved for wrecked or rusted cars…and it appears to be neither. The seller admits that the driver’s seat needs fixin, and the window handle (yes…this means it has manual windows – score!) is broken…but then admits that part of the reason the price is so low is because it won’t turn off when you turn the ignition/key off. You need to dump the clutch and hold your foot on the brake — and I know a thing-or-two about this problem because I had a W123 with the same vacuum related issue that causes the mechanical fuel shut-off valve to stop working. It won’t stop you from getting the car home and it could be as simple as replacing a few dried vacuum hoses…but with new tires/brakes/rotors/steering column/starter…this thing had its value in maintenance in recent times. Seems like a great first car for a kid or 17th car for CFlo. Find this 1981 Mercedes-Benz 240D offered for $2000 in Napa County, CA via craigslist.
What’s not to love in this next car? It is a rare 2-door SUV from the 80s with a turbo diesel engine, rust, crust, and a toilet paper holder mounted on the side. Or is that a towel rack? Or a wet-suit drying rack for a surfer, perhaps? I’m gonna stick with the TP holder as my final answer, Regis. Find this 1986 Isuzu Trooper DXL 4WD Turbo Diesel 2-Door offered for $6,500 in San Diego, CA via craigslist.
Sometimes you find a car that must be a good deal because it is offered at a fraction of the cost of the parts to build it, nevermind the builder/seller’s time involved. This next truck is one of the millions of the third generation C/K trucks built by Chevy over a 19 year production lifespan (1972-1991)…but it has a diesel title and a built 402 ci big block under the hood — not a bad combo for California if I say so myself. Find this 1982 Chevrolet C20 Scottsdale offered for $8999 in West Hills of the SF Valley, CA via craigslist.