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Old 03-17-2008, 12:38 PM   #1
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Dodge or Ford?

I am in the market for an SMB, hence all of my questions. I would preferred to buy a used SMB if I can find one mostly equipped the way I like it, no small achievement. It seems like there are more Fords than Dodges, and what Dodges there are sell for less. Any reason to prefer Fords to Dodges? Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:33 PM   #2
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personally I think Ford makes better vans than Dodge or Chevy, but then again I have owned a few Fords and have a preference to them. Is there a scientific reason?

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Old 03-18-2008, 12:00 PM   #3
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I've owned all three brands in different configurations. If buying new, then I'd go with Chevy because of the Duramax and a better history when it comes to transmissions. Ford would be second on my list. I have developed a complete hatred of Mopar products. I've had bad luck with anything Mopar (Dodge, Chrylser, Jeep). If comparing motors (diesel) only, the somewhat accepted breakdown for many from best to worse is Chev, Dodge, Ford. Opinions will vary, I'm sure. I own a Ford SMB and a big Chev pickup (that I still need to sell). To answer your specific question regarding used SMB Ford vs. Dodge, then Ford all the way. I believe you want to avoid '99 older 7.3s due to small turbo and some other issues I can't remember right now. Also, I've heard of issues regarding the first 6.0 motors. The V-10 is bombproof and came with a better trans for a number of years (until both the diesel and the V-10 came with the better trans (at least that's the info I got from....Quadvan?). Want to say '04-on for the better diesel trans, but can't remember for sure. Someone here knows for sure, I'd wager. I have a '03 and the trans crapped out at 82k.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback deminimis. My instincts on Dodges (and Chryslers generally) are similar to your take. There is, however, a 2002 Dodge RB 50 with a 5.2L V8, around 51,000 miles. If Dodge vans are a bit more maintenance heavy, I might be willing to live with it as I likely won't be putting that many miles on it per year. If they are a major headache on the other hand, I would just as soon pass......
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:14 PM   #5
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Most of my buddies have Dodges (pickups (most of them also have Harleys, so that tells you something)). $300-$500 fuel pump problems (yup, I had that failure too) and trans failures most all under 100k (yup, that cost us some money as well). Ours was gas. Then there were the little things. Just seemed like a whole lot of little sensor hassles about once a year and other PITA issues. Finally got rid of our last Mopar product back in the Fall. Once warmed up, it would crank and crank and crank before it would start. Replaced the nightmare Crank Position Sensor as that was the only code that would show. Still didn't fix it. I freak'n hate Mopar! Those bastards owe me a skin graph for all the times I scraped my knuckles working on one. Sorry, just had a little flashback there. Not trying to get into a debate folks, its just my opinion.
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:13 PM   #6
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My experience with all makes is they all have problems.

The newer the vehicle the fewer problems.

Dodge transmissions are finicky about trans fluid.
Dodge steering couplers are garbage

A quick check on www.allpar.com finds common issues. Trans problems are an issue with Chrysler, but several service shops will replace the trans rather than change fluid or adjust bands. like here--> http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html

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That being said, GM right now has the most improved van and great engines with more power and similar fuel economy. Especially better for SMB's is the EB which features a longer wheelbase than the Ford or old dodge...better for towing and ride, much better for our top heavy SMB's.
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:35 AM   #7
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Persoanlly, I'd take a Cummins diesel over anything from Ford or Chevy. Reliable and easy to get additional power out of.

Dodge's newest diesel engine (still an inline 6) gets 350hp at 3000 rpm, and 650 ft-lbs at 1500 rpm. Downside is, you can't get it in a van and Dodge hasn't even made passenger vans (unless you consider a Sprinter) for years.

For the combination of van chassis, body, engine and transmission, the Ford was the best choice for me.


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