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Hello From Almost 1St Time Diesel Owner From Nj


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Whats up all! Nick 23 from Jersey. Glad do be a part of this forum I have actually been on here for a couple months educating myself on these trucks in silence. As the title currently states I am in the market for my 1st diesel truck. After only owning 2 cars my whole life 1st was a 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8 (hence the username) 2nd being a 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X both of them modded an built by me (although just bolt ons and minor mods such as cams) I am now in the market for my first truck. I own a quad (03 LTZ 400 I just rebuilt from the ground up) and my business requires us to move decent sized freezers and air compressors and I may be picking up a small trailer to haul cars for a used car dealership I am currently in the process of starting so this is my next logical purchase. My budget and taste puts me perfectly in the market for a 2nd Gen cummins and while the past 5 months have gone by searching for a truck I have not really quite hit the hotspot yet. I recently just came across a truck that may be it and I need all of your help on wether I am going to take the leap or not. I need help with determining of the value of the truck is worth it or not so here goes! PS Thanks for any help in general beforehand this forum has been a great learning experience already!

The truck I am looking at is a white 2000 Dodge 3500 Cummins DRW 4X4 automatic Laramie slt which has 160,000 miles on it. Previous owner used to tow light gooseneck trailer for his construction business and already upgraded to another cummins because he couldn't afford the downtime on the injection pump and he got a great deal off a friend.

The body is in okay shape the truck has one accident on its record which was a rear end and the truck still has no rear bumper on it because of this and one of the rear fenders needs a hole repaired. Underneath the frame has zero holes and surprisingly a very small amount of rust also a very very minuscule amount under the hood. All in all I would rate the exterior about a 5-6/10

The interior is all cloth seats with the flip up center console which is in decent shape except for a rip in the drivers seat bolster which from my conclusion looks as if its from getting in/out of the truck which I see on many of these interiors. Has a stock radio and all other controls seem okay looking and stock as well it also has that small digital computer up top which shows (I believe) MPG and maybe miles till empty?

i would probably rate the interior a 6.5-7/10 I know its a truck they get used and dirty!!!!

Both the interior and exterior need a bit of work to make them acceptable in my standards but in paterson where I work there is a great upholstery guy around the corner who could prob fix the seats/ redo the carpet if I see necessary. I also have access to a huge junkyard which my childhood friends father runs so I can also get decent deals on anything I want/need if I see fit. My brothers neighbor does a bit of body work to fix the rust on the door and I am so anal about rust I will prob have the chassis and underbody sandblasted and coated to prevent and rid the rust that is there now.

Now the nitty Gritty on the truck I couldn't test drive it due to bad injection pump but here is how it was described to me.

Shocks are original (I would like to do at least a leveling kit it not a 4 inch lift so this doesn't bother me too much)

4X4 works fine

Front end is good

Batteries and alternator are about 1 year old

has all basically new tires

Rear hitch was replaced last year by dealer because of recall (he typed reese hitch but I believe it was a spelling error)

He is asking 5k for the truck!!!!

If I were to purchase this bad boy my first steps would be as follows

Bluechips Diesel upgraded injection pump (they call it the best upgraded one? $1875

A DTT Assasins Mechinical Lift pump $585

Injectors (not sure which yet)

full exhaust (he said it has exhaust on it not sure which but I would add whatever is needed)


and I would probably do the intake manifold while I was replacing the pump (since it will be off already)

All to go with an Edge Juice with attitude and the CTS monitor so I don't need multiple gauges

I am open to suggestions on any of the following parts. From what I have read on the forums here and at CF these seem to be the best combo of parts and almost bulletproof (I wish such thing existed!!) I have a buddy who is extremely mechanically inclined (tears apart exotics such as ferrari lambo etc) but neither of us have ever worked on Diesels before so this will be our first shot but I feel there are adequate how to on the net to do the work (unless someone on here is willing to work on it obv paid in my area)

Again thanks for all the help!

P.S. I will add pictures of my other toys when I get a chance!!

Thanks- Nick btw Michael I left you a message on the phone today lol






















Edited by BbYeVoViii
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Welcome to the site, we are all glad to be of assistance to you.



A big red flag for me is the $1875 Bluechip vp44, just get a regular SO vp44 from the vendors on this site for exactly half that price and be happy you have 900 bucks to spend on some of the other thngs you want to do. The standard SO pump is better than any HRVP, I ran both on my 02 and I would never do another HRVP again for the minimal gains and the lopey tendancies of them.

Edited by Wild and Free
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I agree just get regular pump. Also for the intake go with a bhaf. Dont believe everything you read about intakes, they arent worth the money you spend on them. I couldnt find if its an auto or manual. You need to look at the steering components and remember lifts and bigger tires wear out suspensions, transmissions, and steering.

Reese is a hitch manufacure.

Edited by mopartechnician
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I'm definitley going with the bhaf sorry forgot to mention that and it is an automatic. From what I read the upgraded vp44 was the way to go for better mileage/ more power/ reliability

I am looking at this cheaper truck so I can do all the things I want to it and stay within budget

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Don't believe all you read on the advertising of big brand name components, an SO VP44 is as quality as good as they get if it comes from an authorized Bosch reman facility they should all meet the same criteria and any extra money put forth is just to pay for the name on the box. :cool:

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I'd  recommend you  just  getting it   100%  road worthy first..  Then  see   about  the  mods!    This  is your  first  diesel,  and   'getting to know' your new  machine  helps  when it's  still  basically stock.   (that way,  you'll   actually   see and feel  the differences  when  you do  upgrade)

I agree  with the  above  posts about the   IP,  and   intake system.



Look to see  if   you  have  a  53 block.      It  can be a  problem  with   a   crack  in the water jacket  towards  the  back of  the  block.     There are a lot of   no-problem   53 blocks  out there  however.    

Yours  may be one of them,  or  already  fixed.    I don't have  a handy  pic to  post,  but  a  quick search  will give you plenty of  pics to see what I'm talking about.

Fixed right,   it's  a  pretty  long lasting  fix.    Just  so you know!

Above all,  get an  aftermarket   fuel supply pump.. to feed the  injection pump!


oh,  btw,  the  intake  manifold   doesn't need to come off,  just  the   intake  'neck'  and   grid heater,  to   change  the  IP.

Now  would be a perfect time to  adjust the valves too!

5000 bucks   is  about  right for  what  you've described..      finding  a  low rust  vehicle on the east coast  is  tuff!    especially  one that is  14 years old.

Edited by rancherman
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Thanks for all the feedback already guys. Coming from a pretty decently modded set of cars I understand the value of getting to know the vehicle first but because of the circumstance of the parts already being old and broken I figured why not spend the money and get what I wanted. I know about the 53 blocks and have read a lot about them but did not have a chance to check if it was or was not I will be checking for the block stamp on Saturday when I go to possibly pick it up (it's 2 hours away)

Edited by BbYeVoViii
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Looks pretty tough and not being able to drive it to confirm any other needs would lead me in the opposite direction on that one, just in what it needs to make it drivable is already putting you in a price category of a nicer rig to start out with.


My opinion is walk away and find another one in better shape for just a bit more.

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How did the roof get buckled? Make sure you look closely at the frame and all the body mounts to make sure nothing is twisted.

Your kind of taking a gamble by not being able to hear it run, I would be closely inspecting all fluids to make sure nothing is out of wack. Brand new oil in any vehicle makes me suspicious, unless they can provide service records to show that it was due. 

For the amount of work the bed needs you would probably be money ahead to find a nice straight rust free bed and paint it to match.

Unless your labor is free/cheap the hours will add up fast.

Another thing you should ask yourself is do you really need a dually? From what you described above I would venture to say no, but maybe you have other plans down the road that would require one. Duallys have their advantages, but if you are not hauling anything with a heavy pin weight or a big slide in camper they are too big and cumbersome IMO. 2 extra tires to wear out, wider stance means less maneuverability than a single rear wheel truck, blind spots in the mirrors, and a big one for me, not as capable off road. I can tow 10-12k on my 22 foot tilt trailer with my 3/4 ton single wheel comfortably, and occasionally a little more. I wouldn't do it on a regular basis, but the trucks are capable.

Just trying to give you some things to consider, not trying to bash your decision. In the end you buy what you can afford and make due. if money was no option I would have one of every generation CTD!

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  • Owner

Mechanical Gauges are a MUST.


As for the VP44 I would look at DAP or Vulcan Performance for Injection pumps being both sell pumps with brand new electronics (PSG).


As for the Assassin Pump its kind of questionable yet. Regulator issues?


4" exhaust would be best.


As for injectors that is a wide topics and goes both ways. Depends on what you planing on doing to HP/TQ gains or MPG gains.

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Welcome to the family. I might look around some more especially since you could not drive or hear the engine run. I have  a Blue Chip pump my self. Not the one you are looking at however. The only thing I dont like about that one is it has a rebuilt computer. It does seem to say it is rebuilt by Bosch, but I just dont know about the rebuilt. I have had mine for 85K with no issues and it came with a new computer, thats the main reason I bought it. At the time it was the only one I could find with a new computer. On that same thought there are many others that have good mileage on their non Blue chip pumps. DAP and others do sell them with new computers at better pricing. I do like the idea of 20 more HP and 10% better mileage but I am a little skeptical of the gains. In the end you get to make that decision for your self. Either way you go you will find alot of help here just as I have. It is an ongoing education for me.

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IMHO I would look for a different truck. Everything this one will take to get running again plus the cosmetic damage would turn me away from it personally. Find one that was someone's baby, not just someone's work truck. You will be much happier in the end.

Welcome to the fam and I hope to see ya around!!

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  • Staff

Looks pretty tough and not being able to drive it to confirm any other needs would lead me in the opposite direction on that one, just in what it needs to make it drivable is already putting you in a price category of a nicer rig to start out with.


My opinion is walk away and find another one in better shape for just a bit more.

I second this opinion. I think the truck is in pretty rough shape, been neglected and will cost more than a good clean truck when all is done that needs to be done. I mean that without going to extreme expense either.

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