Letters and Emails

Published in the December 2010 Issue December 2010 Column

Dear DT,
I just bought a 1990 Dodge W250 diesel 4x4 with 100,000 miles . It had been a previous farm truck with a few dings in the body. Nothing that can't be fixed. It does need a new in tank fuel module. We went to the Dodge dealership to get one, but the said that it is not available and that the part has been discontinued since 2001. They didn't know if the 1991 Dodge fuel module would fit and work. I really would like to replace it with a new part rather than a used one. Is there any place that I could purchase a NOS part, aftermarket direct replacement part, or is there a fix from Dodge that my dealership doesn't know about. Great magazine with very informative diesel info.

Greg Pownell

I consulted one of our Dodge techs who deals a lot with 1st Gen trucks. Here's his response:

I assume by module, he's talking about the fuel sending unit.

If the truck's sending unit has gone out and needs replacement and you want to install a new part, you'll need to change the fuel tank so that it will accept the 1991-2002 sending unit that's available from the dealer. It should be fairly easy to find a fuel tank that's in good condition out of a 1991 through 1993 truck from a salvage yard. These model years will fit 1989 through 1990 trucks. Just be sure to get a tank from a truck with dimensions that match your truck (long bed, extended cab, etc). -Dustin

Hope that helps. -Ed


Dear DT,
Let me start this off by saying thank you for putting out an amazing magazine, with that being said let me begin with the nature of this letter. I have been obsessed with diesel trucks since childhood. For the twenty years I have known my stepdad, he has owned and operated his own trucking company. So, from a young age I was "helping" him and loving every second of it.

When I was twenty-one I bought my first diesel. It was a white 2000 Ford F-350 SRW 4x4. I thought I was big stuff. Within the first week I had it chipped and stacked. Then it was onto turbo, fuel, clutch, intercooler, and wheels and tire upgrades.

After I had my son, I decided it was time to upgrade to a bigger truck. That's when I made my first mistake. I traded in my 7.3 for a black 2003 Ford 6.0 because it had 4 full doors. Well I started pouring the power to it and it started draining my wallet. Finally, the head gaskets went. Shortly after that I lost my job. So the truck was sitting broken down in the parking lot staring at me every day. Now keep in mind, I'm still paying over 650 dollars a month for this truck that I can't even get started, and what was worse, I did not have a job to fix the issue. Unfortunately, I am like most working class men out there and I lived paycheck to pay check. It wasn't long before the finance company sent a rollback after it. Now I am broke, out of a job, don't have transportation to go get a new job, and my pride has taken the biggest hit I have ever felt. It was a terrible struggle for me and my family. I swore then and there that I would never have another truck payment as long as I lived.

This is where the whole story really begins. A little over a year ago a friend of mine who knew what kind of spot I was in gave me a gray 1992 Isuzu pup truck. It was absolutely hideous. No title, running on three cylinders, and there was not a single straight piece of metal anywhere to be found. As appreciative as I was, after my vow to myself not to have a truck payment it was killing me driving to piece of junk everywhere. I drove it for about a week when I decided to see what I could turn it into.

As long as I can remember I have been quite the trader and I always had an eye for a good deal. For the first two months of this episode I was still unemployed. I sold the pup for 450 bucks and bought a black 1989 S-10 for 500 dollars. It wasn't much better than the pup truck but it ran much better and at least it had a title.

Within 3 weeks I traded even for a red 1979 Chevy short bed truck that was in pretty good shape for the S-10. At that time I found a new job and that's when things started looking up for me.

From the 1979 Chevy I traded even for a gray 1992 Yukon with an eight inch lift and 35's.

Still not yet satisfied, I sold the Yukon for 5500 dollars and decided that I wanted to go fast. I bought a white 1996 cobra mustang for 5000 bucks. I kept it for a grand total of nine hours and then traded it even for a black 1995 mustang GT convertible. The whole time I'm going through these trades and sales all I can think about is how much I missed the whistle of a turbo or a giant cloud of smoke behind me. The GT didn't last but about 3 weeks and I sold it for 5500 dollars.

Then I bought a bluish-purple 1987 fox body mustang with a ridiculous list of mods for 3500. It was a blast to drive but yet still not a diesel. I have found that most everybody that wants a mustang only has mustangs to trade with, and it seems in this economy that trades are the only way to move things you have. So I traded for yet another mustang. It was a white 2002 GT.

Desperate to get away from mustangs and get something that would interest a diesel owner I traded the 02 for a high mileage 00 model Tahoe and 1800 cash.

Finally, I found someone crazy enough to trade me an immaculate black 1995 Dodge 12 valve dually with 430k miles. I thought I had won the lottery. I hadn't been that happy in a long time. But never the less, I still was not satisfied, so back to craigslist I went. I ended up selling that truck to a fella out of Canada for 10k.

After the 12 valve, I came across a nice 2001 24 valve with 260k miles I paid $9700 for it. It was what I had been wanting. A 4x4 extended cab Cummins with a manual transmission, but I still wasn't happy so I sold it for 12k.

Feeling like I had hit my lottery again, I bought a maroon 2001 Dodge 24 valve 4x4 for 12k. It was a fully built pulling truck and had most everything I could possibly want or need. It wasn't the best of daily drivers but I absolutely loved the raw power it had and you couldn't beat the sound.

It ended up getting traded to a young man outside of my hometown for a black 2005 4 door 3500 Dodge Laramie dually with 130k mile (even trade). Now that I have made all my friends envious because I have ended up with a $20k plus truck for absolutely free plus cash in my pocket. I figured why let it stop there so I listed it on the internet and sold it to a guy in Kentucky for 24k.

Then I made a 500 mile journey to the other side of Tennessee and bought a 2003 Dodge 2500 on 8 inches of lift and 40's thinking that was a great decision. I was happy for a grand total of 2 hours. The truck killed my back with all of the bouncing around on the interstate and I decided immediately that it had to go.

I traded it for the truck I currently have and the one I intend on keeping. It's a 2003 Dodge 3500 four door dually 4x4 with a 2008 front clip and Alcoa 22.5's in almost showroom condition.

I wanted to share this story with diesel enthusiasts like myself to remind them when that life gets you down hold your head up and stay positive.. it won't last forever. To get back up dust yourself off and start over.

I'm happy to say that all is well in my neck of the woods I have started my own repair shop and now have 2 amazing Cummins trucks which I have been paid to own.

I owe a huge thanks to my fiancé for sticking by me and all of my craziness with the late night running all over the place looking for and swapping vehicles. Thanks to all of my friends that ran me all over God's creation to find these deals. A big thanks to Chris Houk for donating the pup truck. And a huge thanks to craigslist.com for making it all possible. It has been my dream since childhood to have a truck featured in a magazine.

It has been a wild journey through all of these vehicles. I'm 25 years old and I have been through 238 (and counting) different automobiles. Grand total, I have pocketed $3750 (that just about covered the fuel it took running around to buy, sell, and trade) plus the truck, free and clear title in my name. I hope this letter finds its way to some sort of positive message for you or your readers. Once again thanks for your time and countless efforts in creating the number one diesel performance magazines to date.

Brad Edwards

I've heard a lot of people having bad experiences once they bought a 6.0L Ford, but you win... Thanks for sharing your story. -Ed


Dear DT,
In the article Long Live the King article (July 2010), the truck has a 2008 Super Duty tailgate on it. Is there any special modification done to get that tailgate to fit or can I go buy one and have it go right on? Keep up the great articles in you magazine. Hands down the best magazine out there without all the extra advertising.

Jeff Howard

You just need to replace the driver's side hinge. The part is available from any Ford dealer. Otherwise, it fits in like the original tailgate. -Ed

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