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I am looking at a 97 ford F450 super duty truck dump truck, I has the 7.3L Turbo Diesel engine. Only has 62,000 miles (I carfaxed it and it seems to be correct) for $3000, yes really?!

The good:
Body is in very good shape as far as rust goes, very little even underneath is very clean, frame as well, very solid. Even the brake and fuel lines look good.

Dual fuel tanks (nice to have not a big deal though..)

Dump box works well and is solid, 10’ true dump box.

Has a very strong scissors setup and large cylinder (electric pump setup)

All 6 Tires are in very good shape, pretty new from what I can tell (1 of the rears is flat but probably can be fixed, has dulies on it.

5 speed std shift, clutch feels very good, gears seem fine (see about reverse in bad, minor issue)
Brakes seem good, E brake sticks though but not a big deal, I was able to move it by hand under the truck, probably has not been used in a while..

Engine starts right up and sounds good and I think it runs well but may have an issue, not sure, see the “bad”

No black smoke at all that we could see from the cab mirrors driving it, or when It was started.

Engine is clean looking

Price is only $3000!

The bad
Body has some minor dings, nothing huge, interior a bit beat up as well, but still ok for a work truck
Missing tail gate (can be made easily)

Engine did not want to rev up when cold (idled for a few min, then I drove it) not until the temp gauge was on the low end of warm would it rev up (before warm it only wanted to run at maybe 1800rpm, maybe 2K). After warmed up I could rev it up and hear the turbo kick in around 2000, maybe 2500 rpm and it felt strong then. I only had it up to around 3K rpm, maybe a little more (yellow is around 3500rpm) I am not used to diesels and this probably needs a good filter change over, maybe the air filter is preventing the turbo from getting air.. Not sure. I called my mechanic and he told me to buy it, the engine is worth at least that alone. He said change the filters and get some fresh fuel in it and see what it does. His thought is with that low of miles on it it has probably sat for a bit and may just need a good tune up.

One other odd thing it did, 2x was it just cut out for a spit second, then was running fine again. It was so fast you did not have a chance to act, and before you did, it was running. There is an open recall on the truck (found it from carfax) on the cam shaft sensor and it can be done for free by the local dealer. The dealer said that sensor could do that, but normally they would have a no start condition if that was bad.

Front end pulled a bit and a little loose, seemed odd for a truck with really not that many miles, seems like maybe the steering box was loose, the joints seemed tight (but could not tell the ball joints or if it even has them, but the tires are not work odd, they look even.
One other thing, when in reverse you have to keep a slight amount of pressure on the stick shift or it wanted to come out when you let off the throttle. The previous owner said it did this the entire time he had it (this is the guy before the guy who has it now) and was never an issue. Does not grind etc, just have to keep a little pressure on it.

Over all I was planning on buying it (waiting for the guy to get a copy of the title). I think the truck is worth more than the price for sure and figured it was hard to get hurt. I did call the ford dealer and they say these engines run and run and at 62K miles it is just broken in. they also told me a std 1 ton (not dump) that year and engine would be worth 6-7K

We are building a new house and it will have a 1000 foot driveway, so thought we could get some of our own gravel (gravel pit is maybe 5 miles away). My thought is with a dump I can get my stone when I want it and a little bit at a time, few loads a week would work for me, we are not in a huge rush. When we are done, we will sell it, probably for more than I have in it I would expect.
Anyone have any thoughts on the truck?
Any idea what kind of fuel mileage it would get? It is geared pretty low, in 5th gear, 50mph was around 2200rpm, would have thought it would have been lower, but after all it is supposed to carry some weight.

Any one have any idea what kind of weight it will hold? I hear the typical 1 ton dump truck can hold about 3 tons (never did understand how a 1 ton truck can hold 3?.) was thinking this should take a bit more, it is a beefier truck than a 1 ton for sure.

Thanks in advance?
 

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If it were me, I would spend the money on a dump trailer instead this truck or use the money to have material delivered. It sounds like there could be some underlying problems that will suck additional $$$ from you. I built a house with a long driveway(850') and I had a medium dump truck. Trust me, going to the quarry to get a load is a big pain in the "edit for bad language", and I could haul 7 tons. Doing it 3 tons each trip will take a lot of time and is not worth the convenience. Having a 12-14 ton load delivered gives you a lot of material to work with at once, and when you're building time is the most valuable commodity. Delivery should cost $85 +/- per load. Calculate the tons required and the time/fuel/truck cost/repairs it will take you to move this volume of stone. Because you're close to a quarry(Kinsella???) maybe you can negotiate a lower delivery rate - maybe they can make deliveries on one of their slower days.
 

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just check rear brakes , rotors , make sure they`re not cracked . is this a power stroke ?
It is , IDI 7.3 ended in 93

As stated , it's hard to justify the purchase for a driveway project when you could probably get a lead with a 50 ton dump trailer there on about the same amount of fuel , no insurance to pay , plates are expensive and your time has the greatest value .
 

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thanks for the info, not sure what I am going to do, but the dump trailer does sound like a good idea. My delema is I only have my 1/2 ton suburban to all it with and that can only haul just so much. I am also considering a 1 ton 4x4 dump, at least we can plow with that as well, then we will get more use out of it.

you are right about paying for gravel to be brought, I can get a 15-20 ton load (20 if they top off the truch) for 65 a load, not really that bad.
 

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sounds too good to be true.
take it to a tech. for a good inspection.
I was thinking the same thing.

Those are good engines and they will run for alot of miles as long as the are properly maintained (fuel and air filters and oil changes)The 450 is not a 1 ton truck its like a ton and 1/4 and they never made them in a 4x4 from the factory.You could plow snow with it no problem just put a load of dirt in the box it will push the snow no problem.As far as the trans goes it sounds like the syncro is going out for reverse.And the cam sensor can make the engine cut out also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks again.

I got some good info from another guy on sledfreak.com who has a number of these trucks. He said that there is a flap on the pipe going to the turbo that gets hung up of the truck sits and that will make it doggy when cold, my local mechanic said the same thing. He also told me about the crank sensor and this can get a new one on a recal that is open on it. He also said there is a plug on the top of one of the valve covers that tends to be a problem and can make it cut out, he said to spray it with something like WD-40 then contact cleaner.

I would bet the box is worth at least 2k if I had to sell it in parts...

still may get it.. my mechanic said this should be worht over 6k easy and would re-sell if I did not want to keep it.

I also talked to the previous owner, who had it for a year, said it always started, even in the very cold, and always did what they need, hauling, dumping etc...
 
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