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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm new to the forum, I'm thinking of buying a 2003 2500 diesel to pull an 8000 lb. race car trailer. I'm going to try to find one with a mileage of 100k-150k to save myself some money at purchase and since I'll probably only put 8k or so miles a year on it myself. I've never really owned a large truck/diesel before or done any serious towing.

I'm looking for any advice on this such as: Are there some problem areas I should look for or be aware of? Am I right in thinking the truck should run many many more thousands of miles with good regular maintenance? How do the transmissions/driveline hold up with this many miles? Do any of you have these with high mileage and how are they holding up?

Thanks!
 

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i bought a 2003 4x4 2500 this spring .it's a long bed quad cab it has the 250 hp diesel with a 5 spd manual tranny. it had 112000 when i got it,its up to 118000.i pull a 24' camper with it(5000 lbs +/-)so far no complaints other than the price of diesel fuel.i like the manual tranny better but i guess each to their own.just keep the fuel filter and motor oil/filter changed on a regular basis.
 

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Watch for the early 2003's with the 47RE tranny. I would opt for a later 03 with the 48RE instead. I would also opt for the HO instead of the SO if I was pulling.

2003 S.O. Federal Emissions: 250HP/460lb.ft. Available with NV4500 or 47RE
2003 S.O. Calif. Emissions: 235HP/460lb.ft. Available with NV4500 or 47RE
2003 H.O. Federal Emissions: 305HP/555lb.ft. Only available with NV5600
2003.5 The 47RE was replaced by the 48RE automatic transmission and available with the H.O.
 

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But you couldn't get an H.O. engine with an auto trans in 03 could you? I thought with the auto your only option was the standard output 5.9L.
And there were no 2003 diesels with a 5 speed manual that I ever saw. In 03 they used the 6 speed NV 5600 yet, am I wrong? Or was there still a 5speed in early 2003?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How can I tell which tranny it has? Also, is there an easy way to tell whether or not it has the HO engine?
 

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Where state are you from? How much are you looking at spending? Mine might be up for sale. I just put a monster box transmission in it to handle the hp and tq.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm in North Carolina. I've done lots of performance mods to my car, but I'd probably want a pretty much stock truck.
 

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powerfulhemi said:
But you couldn't get an H.O. engine with an auto trans in 03 could you? I thought with the auto your only option was the standard output 5.9L.
And there were no 2003 diesels with a 5 speed manual that I ever saw. In 03 they used the 6 speed NV 5600 yet, am I wrong? Or was there still a 5speed in early 2003?
Until January 03 you couldn't get the HO with the auto because they only had the 47RE. In January they swapped out the the 48RE and you could get it with the HO. There was also no 5 speed in 03. Look at the chart I have in my post above yours.
 

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foscoe944 said:
How can I tell which tranny it has? Also, is there an easy way to tell whether or not it has the HO engine?
There will be a tag in the engine compartment with the HP rating. If its a 305 HP then it is automatically the 48RE. If its the 250 HP or the 235 HP it could be either, you would have to look for the date of manufacture on the door to tell if it is the 48RE or the earlier 47RE
 

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Yes you could get a 5 speed in an 03 SO truck. I know several people with them. You could get the 6-speed in the HOs. And yes, as RamDually said you could finally get an HO with an auto in 03 when Dodge came out with the 48re trans.
There are a few dealers in Texas that specialize in high mileage trucks like you are looking for. Look on E-Bay. Lots to choose from. They all say one owner but what that means is one company owned them and pulled a lot of trailers with them........
 

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I've got the HO 6 speed and 65K miles. The only problem I had was early on with a defective board for the remote unlock which was replaced under warranty. Still running like new. I pull a couple of gooseneck trailers through out the year.
 

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I wouldn't hesitate a second before buying what you're looking for. My only advice would be to make sure that all of the TSBs and service campaigns for the truck have been dealt with. My 03 3500 had a couple of campaigns for aux. transmission cooler problems, neither of which had been taken care of.
Also, you should know that even though the 48RE is a beefed up version of the 47RE, the automatic will never last as long as the manual. That said, I am tagged for 36000#s, and if properly equiped, the tranny should last I hope a couple hundred thou :thatfunny ........hope i'm not smokin crack again!
 
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