Skip to comments.VANITY: Freeper input invited re purchase of new (used) work truck
Posted on 10/13/2012 8:10:16 AM PDT by OKSooner
Nowhere on earth better for well-informed input, so this is the deal...
My valiant old 1993 F250, 4.9l, is blowing oil out the main seal and is being expected to perform way past its limits pulling my big (17') landscape trailer.
So, I'm trying to do some diligence on a new (used) truck. Here's what I'm thinking...
Gotta be under $10k, even less if possible. Don't mind if it's ugly so long as it works.
If 3/4 ton, 4wd is preferred. (A risky proposition, I know, but I gotta stay within certain parameters.) If 1 ton, rwd is okay.
Need to get some kinda gas mileage, considering the application. What that means to me is no fat block gassers, i.e. Ford 460, Dodge V10, et al... unless I can steal one...
Which takes us to the diesels... My impression is that the Cummins diesel is the M1 rifle of the diesel truck world. An object made by man and thus fallible, but the best bet overall.
The many different diesels that Ford has offered since I test drove a 7.3l diesel back in 1979 or whenever... I've just heard and read some different things that make me leery of them.
I don't know much about diesels except they don't have spark plugs, they ignite by compression, they burn diesel fuel, and they're often turbocharged. That's it. :)
The GM/Chevy diesels, I know little about and have less interest. (They're called duramax or something like that, aren't they? Not that it really matters.)
So - who has an opinion about a direction to look in for a reliable truck with good traction to pull my landscape trailer around town and UPHILL AT THE LEAF DUMP, and also to drive around in the snow?
Just as a starting point, I've spied the following:
1998 Dodge 3500, rwd, 240k miles, cummins diesel, some kinda redneck exhaust pipe sticking up behind the cab on the passenger side, no other known modifications. Looks like it's been taken care of other than the stupid pipe up behind the cab.
1998 Dodge 3500, 4wd, 150k miles, 5.9l v8 gasser, in good shape the best I can tell.
Ping to you for starters. :)
I don’t think you’ll find a truck like you need for $10 thousand. Worn out or nearly so, maybe.
Avoid Dodge at all costs.
I know I’m asking for a lot but I’ve gotta do something. :)
for $10K you can’t put a new engine in your truck, and even rebuild the trans?
I am a Silverado owner both the 8.1 vortec whith its awesom power plus another with the Duramax 6.6 of which I have a ton of respect for. Not a fan at all of the Intl. 7.3 though the Cummins in the Dodge is good the truck itself is poor designed. I am a diesel mechanic of over 30 years.Ford is the most reliable, Chevy more comforts, Dodge can be the bargain but is a mechanics nightmare. My personal suggestion is the Silverado 3500 dually with the 8.1 and 4wd, what I drive. Its gas but easiest to maintain.
Yes, I could, but it’d still be straining to pull that big trailer, and probably getting stuck again at the dump.
Also, at least at one point, Ford was offering lifetime warranties on dealership work. Let Ford rebuild your truck and you are set for life.
is it using oil? What is the compression readings in the cylinders?
The rear main seal is cheap. labor costs to get to it, which can be negotiated to done your self.
There are many shops that will replace that seal for a fraction of what a new or used truck costs.
Bottom line, how is the rest of the vehicle?
We are a Dodge family. Son has a 92 Dodge dually 4X4 diesel for his landscape business. In it’s previous life it was our farm truck, towing horse trailers and hay trailers. It will move a mountain if necessary.
Hubby has 99 Dodge 2500 4X4 diesel. It is our current farm truck, towes 4 horse trailer, hay trailer, dump trailer with no problem. If we need to pull the tractor on a trailer somewhere it will do it.
My vote would be an older Dodge diesel but they are hard to find. The ones after 2002 and for several years I think have problems. I’d have to ask my son what they are/were.
My step-son has a new Dodge truck(2012)gas that he loves.
I've forgotten I had a 32’ trailer with a backhoe on it.
You might want to check out the county sheriff’s offices in your area, a lot of them run auctions on vehicles. Check other auto auctions for repossed vehicles.
There are also dealer auctions, so if you know a car dealer - pay him to take you. I used to know a car dealer here in NY, he took me to auctions and I bought 2 cars at those auctions at about 60% of retail book value.
The Cummins is solid, but the Dodge trucks, not so much.
The 7.3 Ford/Navistar engine is likewise solid, but avoid the 6.0. Some people say the 6.4 is OK...I dunno. The trucks are good.
The Duramax is a very good engine. The trucks are OK.
I ended up buying a newer Chevy recently, and I have no real complaints other then the typical GM dash noises. I would rather have bought a Ford, but I don’t trust the engines from the model years I was looking at.
So what you have now is not 4wd? Ah, I get it.
Email The Magic Mechanic (Larry Perry): http://www.magicmechanic.net/
...consider rebuilding the motor, and looking around for a new lighter alumimmmmmmm trailer
I think you can find a three or four year old Ford diesel for low $20’s. If you buy a junker, you’ll make up the difference in the first few repair bills.
My choices are to either come up with another truck or go out of business.
If the body is still in good shape, get a replacement engine with a warranty. Probably would last a lot longer than a used truck for the same cost.
Getting stuck is driver error. You can get stuck with any vehicle if you aren’t paying attention to conditions.
Mid 90’s Dodge with a 5.9L Cummins, or the same vintage F series Ford with a 302 or 351W engine. Both are durable, cheap to fix, and get decent mileage. Avoid the Fords with the modular engines (4.6L, 5.4L), they are fuel pigs.
I just put a crate engine in mine just a few weeks ago. The trans was rebuilt a year ago.
Total cost for engine and install with new everything(but starter) up front include radiator, hoses, belts,etc costs $5,500. The trans rebuild was 2,500 for a super trans (racing trans). (I padded those prices since my hubby has connections.
Even with padded prices you are sitting at 8, well below your cost comfort zone.
Here a national auction site that runs auctions, search by your state, in some states you need a dealer broker or something - depends which state you are in.
Generally, look for a newer vehicle with unusually high mileage and no evidence of substantial wear or replacement of brake rotors.
A friend of mine has a late Ford diesel truck. Had troubles with the clutch/tranny, so he took it to the dealer. Shortly after getting it back it had to go back to the dealer, because of poor workmanship.
Now, he is looking for a Dodge diesel truck.
My wife has an ‘04 Dakota (we traded in her ‘94 Ram for it). Have had few problems mechanically. I don’t care for Dodge’s cheap (plastic) interiors, but the drive trains on the larger/commercial type vehicles are bulletproof, imho.
Back on ‘04 when I was starting up a new business I needed a fairly reliable pickup. I settled on a ‘97 1500 RAM because I was able to figure out what was wrong with it. It had 81000 miles, one owner (who testified to it's worthiness)But in examining the truck I sussed out that it had a slow leak in the AC, a dying water pump, and a failing fuel pump. The fuel pump was the thing that probably made him want to dump it on an unsuspecting buyer for a decent down payment on a new truck. Beware!
Oh yeah, I ended up getting 5 years and 70000 miles out of the truck which I used to tow a 3000lb compresser and 1000 lbs of tools and gear in the bed.
Yes, but if you have the right vehicle you can get unstuck.
I’m partial to older Chevy Silverados. They seem to do the job and are reliable.
Trailer got plywood in it ? use aluminum for the sides.
Sometimes a used vehicle can be a good deal or a nightmare... to many unknowns even if it has been inspected.
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