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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys I'm looking at a 2002 Dodge 3/4 with a Cummins that has 117,000 on it. It's a truck/camper deal and the price looks reasonable.
I haven't kept up with things in the auto world in a long time. I know the Dodge/Cummins were good stuff for a lot of years and 117,000 should be just good and broke in for that engine but there are always those models with inherent problems. Any opinions on the vehicle? Anything to look for? Any specific reasons to avoid that model??

Your input will be appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

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Father in law has an 08 with 320k on it and he's only ever changed oil fuel water separator some front end parts and brakes and tires. I would still spend the 20 bux and pull the carfax on it.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks ...... gonna do all the due diligence ......... there are things that don't come thru in carfax or most publicly published information ... like the crappy transmission I got bolted up to the nearly bulletproof V8 in my '03 Mountaineer/Explorer. Haven't had problems yet but my mechanic says I will unless I'm especially charmed. Just fishing for that kind of insight before I drop the dime.
 

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Check the dashboard for signs of weak, brittle, or cracked plastic. There was a problem in the plastic used in the late 90's early 2000's. It may or may not have been solved in 2002, but it certainly was not in 2001 as that is what my last truck was and the dash was nearly non existent when I traded it.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! that's exactly the kind of info I'm looking for!
 
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My last Dodge was a 2001 and I had the dash cracking thing too. There was also some tranny issues during that time but I'm not sure if that included the ones used with the diesel. I was warned about mine after the fact but never had a problem and I had over the cab campers and towed boats and snowmobile trailers with it all the time and never had a problem. Sold it with a shade under 200k on it. And bought another one. There are some pretty good Dodge forums where I am sure you could get good feedback.
 

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Red X Angler
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is it a 24 or 12 valve engine? check to see if you need to tab the line-up dowel pin behind the timing cover. (Google Cummins killer dowel pin) I think 2002 was still suspect. I tabbed mine it had 100,000 at the time and the pin was out about 3/8 of an inch. not a hard fix, I wouldn't want to risk an engine if it needs to be done. Other than that I am not partial to the Getrag straight drive transmission 2002 may not have those. (not sure about the newer trucks)

325,000 on my 12 valve, with an Eaton automatic, ugly faded cracking dashboard and worn out drivers seat. Transmission does some odd things at times leaks at both ends and I need to put in a quart of oil every 3 to 4000 miles, but it is still good to pull 10,000lbs or better over Black Mountain.

The 6 cly cummins will get better fuel economy, and have at least as much bottom end torque as the big V8 diesels. they are not as quick off the light but it is a world of give and take.

Darrell
 

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Mine was 2001 Ram 1500. 3 transmissions in 7 years.... Dashboard was in pieces as well.... May be different in the diesel for the transmission......
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys ..... I'm looking at a slide in camper on this truck. It's prolly a little of a waste but I doubt we drive it much on a daily basis - heck I go 2-3 days a stretch not cranking anything!
I got an old F350 with a dump bed that gets used as a real truck('cause it is a real truck:p). This thing, if I get it, will likely only be used to move the camper & pull the boat, then quick runs to the ramp or the grocery while at camp. I can live with a cracked dash or even a ratty seat, but those things make good bargaining features. A dowel pin dropping out and chewing stuff up is another matter. Since the truck is local I'll likely take it to my mechanic for the once over .. if we get serious over it. The pin and the transmission concerns are the kinds of things I need to know in advance.
 
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Check the dashboard for signs of weak, brittle, or cracked plastic. There was a problem in the plastic used in the late 90's early 2000's. It may or may not have been solved in 2002, but it certainly was not in 2001 as that is what my last truck was and the dash was nearly non existent when I traded it.

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Definatley good advice, just sold my 98 with half the dash hanging down due to cracks.
 

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Red X Angler
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Swap it all out for synthetic fluids, don't let it sit, drive it weekly. Good trucks that run forever with basic maintenance. Dashes were a weak point in all dodge trucks, they use a lot of cheap plastic. Keep a good fuel conditioner in it too.
 

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Red X Angler
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I agree with Drop on everything but changing transmission fluid if it is an automatic. If it has not had regular flush and filter at 117,000 a change of fluid could start it leaking badly. It seems that on the Eaton tranny a flush or even change of fluid will wash out sediments behind the seals and set them to leaking badly. No more than Dave will drive it I would keep the fluid checked and let it go.

Darrell
 

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These trucks are generally pretty tough, however there are some issues such as the previously mentioned dash cracking. I purchased the carpeted dash cover for my 2000 Ram 2500 4 x 4 with 112,000 miles for about $30 bucks and it looks pretty good. One thing to check out is if the fuel lift pump has been changed. The factory lift pump, which pumps fuel from the tank, through the filter, and on to the injection pump, came mounted to a bracket off the drivers' side of the engine. Dodge/Chrysler used a sorry Carter brand pump which was not designed to pull fuel and therefore failed severely. When these pumps failed while the truck was still under warranty, the dealers then retrofitted a pump in the tank itself. Again, they didn't go with a quality pump. I know this because my 2000 quit on me at a remote boat ramp on Fontana lake back in February and I had to get a rollback to get it home. After researching the problem, I decided to go with an upgraded AirDog Raptor 100 gph rated pump and position it back in its' original position on the side of the engine. Had to remove the bed for access to the tank, take out the guts of the old pump and install a new draw straw for fuel pickup. Thought I was done but then discovered that when the pump went out it got the injection pump also because it depends on the fuel lift pump for cooling and lubrication. Installed a new injection pump and everything is fine now. Also installed a fuel pressure guage inside the cab so I always know if there is sufficient pressure which should never be below 10 psi. Total cost for the lift pump, injection pump, and guage was about $1400 with me doing the work and the best parts prices I could possibly find. In my opinion, no diesel should even be sold without a fuel pressure guage for without it you're just rolling the dice as to if there is sufficient pressure in the fuel system. These trucks are a pleasure to drive out on the road, they really get up and go, are comfortable, and mine gets 20-22 mpg driving around 60-62 mph. After that, the faster you drive the mpg drops off. Am glad to share any info. which might be helpful in your decision.
Guys I'm looking at a 2002 Dodge 3/4 with a Cummins that has 117,000 on it. It's a truck/camper deal and the price looks reasonable.
I haven't kept up with things in the auto world in a long time. I know the Dodge/Cummins were good stuff for a lot of years and 117,000 should be just good and broke in for that engine but there are always those models with inherent problems. Any opinions on the vehicle? Anything to look for? Any specific reasons to avoid that model??

Your input will be appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the input guys but my decision has been made by matters other than mechanical. My wife has decided that a slide-in isn't big enough. I'm pretty much in agreement. It sure would be nice to be able to get the camper & the boat to camp in one trip and still have something to launch the boat and make grocery runs. Think it would be perfect for a single guy but for 2 adults and a kid or 2 it's just a little too cozy.
 
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I would suggest to everyone, no matter what you have or what your looking at, to search a site specific of your make.
In this case DodgeForum, or Dodge truck forum, there will be sections for rams, Dakotas, diesels, etc. You will see what other owners are working on, have worked on, best upgrades, how to's, etc....
fyi, my '97 Dak has a perfect interior/dash, maybe a sun shield for the front windshield if it's not too late on your dashes.
 

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Red X Angler
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http://gypsyjournalrv.com/2013/01/coming-to-a-campground-near-you/ maybe one of these would make a suitable option, I like the Red ford 8 pics down from the top.
I worked with a guy that made a rack to which his 16 ft Tracker up on to the top of his F250 (He had to be careful not to take out low stoplights with the tongue of the trailer) He would hook the camper behind and then add a luggage rack behind the camper with a small chest type deep freeze on it and head out for Reel Foot.

Darrell
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Now that would be a real head turner there!
 
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Red X Angler
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sounds like you need a bus and a motorcycle :)
 
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