Why you would ever ditch a Dodge for an OBS
or any powerstroke is beyond belief...
Unless you like spending large amounts of money on a dog engine that doesnt really get fun till 40K is spent on it.
Id literally kill the nearest hippy for a dodge and gladly retire my OBS
to an aircraft hanger in a remote tibetan village.
However to answer your questions an not rant.
-> late 95-97 were best years, buy the F350 OBS
-> Auto trans are great if you spend 5000 on a custom built one, or 4000 on rebuild. If your super anal you can get an OBS
E40D to maybe last you 120k, purely a conservative estimate and not probable if you plan on upgrading the engine, plowing, or towing anything, unless you plan to not go up hills...
-> Body style is a strong point, Ford/IH combine effort an failure with the Engine would be the main weakness, as well as not having a hydraulically lifting body off of the chassis, or a forward tilt hood like semi-trucks.
-> Had a buddy take his 7.3L to 500k miles, hauled rodeo stock all over creation. Btw
, that was the original block... bout all that was left stock.