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Old 09-25-2013, 11:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Diesel Buying Advice

I am getting ready to buy a bucket truck (the type At&t always drives). I have found a good deal on an 1993 F600 diesel. But... I really don't know what to look for when buying a truck of this type and age. Any suggestions? I may hire a mechanic to review the vehicle, but I would really like to hear thoughts about quality etc from you guys. It has 146k miles, and it looks good.
I have never bought anything bigger than a minivan.
The asking price is $8k.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wrong section, needs to be in the Garage section
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i think you will be fine. Fed Ex was always good to me until my wifes dog bit the driver. they usually don't avoid you unless they have a reason.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The 1993 F600 should have a 5.9L DI 12 Valve Cummins motor [~160hp and 400lb-ft torque stock] potentially mated to an Allison transmission [a great transmission]. Here is Cummins spec sheet 5.9L 12V 6BT Specs

This is a very good and reliable motor that should go for many hundreds of thousands miles. Given that you are not a diesel mechanic I would recommend having one look at the truck for you. While these are good reliable motors if it was not maintained properly it could be a nightmare. I love diesel motors but they are way more expensive to work on then a gas motor.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Dont... UNLESS

If you are going to use a Diesel as a Diesel thats fine. If you are going to take advantage of the torque and / or run it for hours at a time than its fine. I see a lot of people, however, who buy a diesel to replace a gas truck. They run it for 5-10 minutes at a time, never reach operating temperature, and never see any advantage to owning it. They do, however, see the repair bills which are virtually always more expensive than a similiar gas vehicle.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The bucket runs off the motor. That is the only reason it would be run for long periods.

Any concern about the age?
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grendel View Post
The 1993 F600 should have a 5.9L DI 12 Valve Cummins motor [~160hp and 400lb-ft torque stock] potentially mated to an Allison transmission [a great transmission]. Here is Cummins spec sheet 5.9L 12V 6BT Specs

This is a very good and reliable motor that should go for many hundreds of thousands miles. Given that you are not a diesel mechanic I would recommend having one look at the truck for you. While these are good reliable motors if it was not maintained properly it could be a nightmare. I love diesel motors but they are way more expensive to work on then a gas motor.
Thank you for this post. I asked the seller about this. He said the transmission is an Allison, but the motor is a Ford 6.6L. Does that change anything in your mind? I hope to have it checked out on Sunday or Monday.
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jellyghost View Post
Thank you for this post. I asked the seller about this. He said the transmission is an Allison, but the motor is a Ford 6.6L. Does that change anything in your mind? I hope to have it checked out on Sunday or Monday.
If it really is a 6.6L inline 6 cylinder diesel it is a good torquey motor. This engine was originally designed and used in Ford/New Holland Tractors. In use as part of a bucket truck setup it should serve fine. It has the advantage of being a mechanically injected diesel [so anyone with any mechanical ability can work on them]. The Allison tranny should either be an AT545 [okay/serviceable] or MT643 [stout/reliable]. Basically you are getting a tractor with a truck body. These are not very peppy motors but slow and high torque [no racing from stop light to stop light ]. So if you are wanting a reliable bucket truck then you could do a lot worse [given in good mechanical condition].
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I want to thank everybody who posted, but I want to especially thank Grendel. You gave me a diesel buying checklist that is really worth keeping. The two finalists were an F600 diesel and a F350 gas. The F350 won out because it does not require commercial insurance. Here is a funny blog about my daughter getting her first truck!
Baby Girl’s New Truck | A Simple House
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Very cute little girl there

You are welcome, and I hope you found just what you needed. F350s are stout trucks and the maintenance on gas engines is definitely cheaper the diesel.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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great blog post!

You should put an ad on craigslist (since it is free) and offer lightbulb replacement for companies that have lights on poles, or lights mounted on their buildings. It is an easy way to make money on the weekend with a bucket truck!
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