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Discussion Starter #1
I currently own a 09 1500 with the hemi. I have installed a cold air intake, high performance headers with exhaust and chipped it as well. I struggle to get better than 14mpg average during the summer months and 13mpg during the winter, combined city and highway. I don't tow often but I do pull a boat or a 26 ft travel trailer hear and there. My biggest issue is I drive nearly 30000 a year and I'm spending a fortune on fuel. I have to run the mid grade at $3.20-$3.30 a gallon, because of the performance upgrades, so I spend nearly $500-$600 a month in gas. By my math the ecodiesel on the low end should average me 20mpg combined. Using the same math, with diesel here running $3.60-3.80, it would cost me $400-$500 a month. Saving me $100-$200 a month. By that math alone it is worth the purchase of the ecodiesel. My question to you is. Will the other added costs of the diesel that I am unaware of be much more than that? I have never owned a diesel truck and I have never purchased a brand new vehicle.
I am just concerned that I am so excited about this truck that I am forcing the math to work out.
 

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Kind of wondering what other "added costs" you are talking about?

I have had three diesel trucks since the early 90's. Total mileage on all three would be around 525,000 miles and going. It's just awful to think about driving a gasser again. That's for all the horrible details you just related and for the low rpm engine performance and torque of the diesel compared to gas.

Now the new diesels do have an emissions system. You will have to add some Diesel Emissions Fluid (DEF) on occasion. I do not know how much and what it will total for your driving patterns. It is something though.

Oil is something I can think of. Oil capacity is more than gas but the oil change intervals are usually much longer. I would think that's a push. Only thing is the new diesels do want you to use synthetic oil. Well pricing today shows me there's not much difference between the dino and synthetic oil so I also figured that's a push.

Fuel filter issue maybe? I usually change mine around 30K miles. How often do you change the gas filters and how accessable are they? My guess is you ignore the gas filters and many also ignore the diesel fuel filters. They are usually quite easy to change on diesels and my guess is another push.

I did have injector trouble with Duramax. That was nasty and there was a class-action lawsuit against GM because of it. I did not get compensated from that but GM did help a little with the problems even though they started with over 100K on that truck. When the darn Allison transmission started trouble I gave up on that but the transmission is not diesel.

Can't write much more because I have never found anything that scares me on diesel. The parts seem to last forever so repairs are rarely needed. Might be more expensive if repairs are needed but I have no experience in my over half-million miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was always told that a diesel is more expensive tp maintain. Like I said I have never owned one so I don't really know what is true on that. I try to keep up witn all the recommend maintenance schedules for the vehicles that I drive. This darn hemi requires 16 new plugs every 30,000 miles. If I have the local shop do that is costs $250+.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess I am just afraid of a $40,000+ price tag of a new truck. My truck runs and drives fine. I usually drive a vehicle into the ground and I am then forced I to purchasing antoher vehicle.
 

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The diesel option, with transmission, is just a little over $3K than the Hemi. My take is to "drive one into the ground" would take upwards of 1/2 million miles. I did see and talk with one Cummins owner who hauled boats across the southern part of the country with his. He just got to the million mile mark and the crankshaft flexed in it's bearings, causing timing issues.

Guess it's in the ground today.

16 spark plugs every 30K? That's silly. No ... more than silly. Those darn things are often hidden away so well you have to follow the wires under covers to figure out where they might be. Then stripping out the threads going out and in, paying the stupid prices for them and the work involved makes it a big no no.

One neighbor and another friend have Hemi's. I always said they were the worst motors you could get for fuel economy. Both of them proved it and now both of them want to get rid of the creatures.
 

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...I am just concerned that I am so excited about this truck that I am forcing the math to work out.
It is a seductive package. All costs considered it will take most owners around 5 years for the diesel to show a cost benefit over an equivalent gas truck. Roughly half that in your case because you drive so much. Keep in mind that with a new truck major costs also include depreciation, insurance and fees. These costs will be much greater than for your '09 truck.

From what I have read (I've never owned a diesel) maintenance and repairs tend to be slightly more for diesel, although your '09 truck may be due for some major work soon. There will be some fuel savings with the diesel but if overall cost is your major concern then you may want to look at either detuning your Hemi or buying a new 3.6L Pentastar Ram.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I guess im heading to the dealer to build one out. Thanks for the advise. It seems to make more sense to go with the diesel. I would be more than thrilled if I could get the thing to last a half a million miles! I dont really want to go with the 3.6. It would be terrible to tow my camper in the mountains. My 09 has over 120000 miles on it and it is starting to cost me on the service schedule. The tune I am running is a tune designed for better milage, all though I don't think its working out. I need to replace the plugs and I might get another 1-2mpg.
 

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The EcoDiesel has very specific oil requirements. You will need 5W30 LOW ASH synthetic oil that meets Chrysler MS-11106. Pennzoil Ultra (they are partnered with Chrysler) is one. Expect to pay mid $9./quart. You will not find many options.....This topic has been discussed.

Olli
 

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I dont really want to go with the 3.6. It would be terrible to tow my camper in the mountains.
The 3.6L might surprise you. With 3.55 gears it has about the same towing capacity as the 3.0L diesel and has much better payload capacity. Of course, with the 3.6L fuel economy will plummet when towing and you may have to drive a little more slowly. Also, the 3.6L is not available in some trim models. It just depends on how often you tow and your expectations.

If you can afford the diesel and get the model you want it certainly would be my choice. Note that the diesel adds significant weight. Be careful to match the built curb weight with options to what you need to carry in people, gear and trailer tongue weight.
 

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We have a 2005 Jeep Liberty with the VM Motori 2.8L 4cyl diesel with 88,000 miles It has been trouble free after a couple of early on recalls and 1 glow plug under warranty. I do oil changes at 6,000 mile interval with full synthetic. With our light duty use ( wife driving mostly) I could go 12,000 miles by the owners manual, but still cheap insurance to change more frequently. I believe the 3.0 L will be as reliable and reasonable to maintain as the Liberty. My 4.7 gas '01 Dakota has 247,000 miles and has been relatively trouble free and worked pretty hard. I think the RAM 1500 with diesel is going to be hard to beat.
 

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Mal - if you have never owned a diesel, I can understand your concerns. I have owned several, starting with a 1982 Chevette with a 1.8 Izusu great motor, 3 VWs, and 2 HD trucks, 2006 Ram Cummins, and 2008 GM Duramax. My family has had probably 35-40 diesel vehicles combined. Today sister has a Mercedes, brother has 2 VWs, other brother has a Ford Excursion 6.0, and a 2000 F350 7.3 Navistar, and other brother has a 2012 Ram 6.7, and his son, my nephew has my old 2006 Ram cummins shown in the picture.
Once you own a diesel, it will be difficult for you to go back to a gas motor.. This is not to say gas motors are bad and diesels are good.... and do not read any implied logic, there is none. Diesels are just different... the power delivery, the torque, the fuel economy, and dead nuts predictable performance.
As far as maintenance, guys like Capt are a great resource, he has over 500,000 miles... read, research, look at the whole picture, and don't discount the driving experience. When in doubt about a decision, and believe me, 40,000 is a lot of money, and I am wrestling with the decision myself... you need to research, arm yourself with knowledge.... Look at past diesels, different brands, what is happening in the market, and then make a choice.
Last the gasser motors I think are mostly good, the Ford 5.0, Ram 3.6 and 5.7, GM 5.3, all pretty good motors.... but a diesel is very different.... The performance of a diesel is more steady under a broad spectrum of conditions, up hill, down hill, with load in bed, towing a trailer, the diesel excels at being really good in all areas.... and the gas motor under load or towing does OK, but drinks fuel.

To fans of diesels, the premium of $2800 to match a world class modern V6 diesel with a world class 8 speed transmission is a small price over the 5.7 hemi. Drive them and see what you think.
My take on the spending of 40,000-45,000, and believe me, I am "tight-cheeking it" on spending this money, is if I am spending this kind of money, I want my truck to be unique, to last, have good resale, and be good at many things.... that's why I will get the diesel or nothing.....
Marsman
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for the advice. I met today with a friend of mine who happens to be an auto broker. He is going to put together a few trucks for me to get a good idea on a price. Fingers are crossed that he can get me a great price!
 
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