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VANITY: Freeper input invited re purchase of new (used) work truck
Vanity ^ | 10-13-2012 | Vanity

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.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: diesel; trucks
A hypothetical point for sure, but informed freeper opinions invited. Anyone know of any sleepers out there to look for, like an old Ford (what year(s)?) with the original Navistar 7.3l diesel? TIA
1 posted on 10/13/2012 8:10:27 AM PDT by OKSooner
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To: Red Badger

Ping to you for starters. :)


2 posted on 10/13/2012 8:11:26 AM PDT by OKSooner
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To: OKSooner

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.


3 posted on 10/13/2012 8:14:54 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (In the game of life, there are no betting limits)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

I know I’m asking for a lot but I’ve gotta do something. :)


4 posted on 10/13/2012 8:20:03 AM PDT by OKSooner
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To: OKSooner

for $10K you can’t put a new engine in your truck, and even rebuild the trans?


5 posted on 10/13/2012 8:23:00 AM PDT by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: OKSooner

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.


6 posted on 10/13/2012 8:24:03 AM PDT by Eye of Unk (OPSEC)
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To: Excellence

Yes, I could, but it’d still be straining to pull that big trailer, and probably getting stuck again at the dump.


7 posted on 10/13/2012 8:25:28 AM PDT by OKSooner
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To: OKSooner

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.


8 posted on 10/13/2012 8:26:01 AM PDT by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: OKSooner
You did not mention the rest of the motor.

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?

9 posted on 10/13/2012 8:27:54 AM PDT by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
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To: OKSooner

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.


10 posted on 10/13/2012 8:28:05 AM PDT by Duchess47 ("One day I will leave this world and dream myself to Reality" Crazy Horse)
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To: OKSooner
Dodge 3/4 ton diesel 4x4, and you will forget you've got that 17’ trailer behind you.

I've forgotten I had a 32’ trailer with a backhoe on it.

11 posted on 10/13/2012 8:29:04 AM PDT by IMR 4350
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To: OKSooner

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.


12 posted on 10/13/2012 8:30:52 AM PDT by PMAS (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing)
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To: OKSooner

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.


13 posted on 10/13/2012 8:32:31 AM PDT by B Knotts (Just another Tenther)
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To: OKSooner

So what you have now is not 4wd? Ah, I get it.


14 posted on 10/13/2012 8:33:22 AM PDT by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: OKSooner

Email The Magic Mechanic (Larry Perry): http://www.magicmechanic.net/

bttt


15 posted on 10/13/2012 8:33:24 AM PDT by Matchett-PI ( ‘An Armed Man is a Citizen – A Disarmed Man is a Subject’ ~ Allen West)
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To: OKSooner

...consider rebuilding the motor, and looking around for a new lighter alumimmmmmmm trailer


16 posted on 10/13/2012 8:37:26 AM PDT by Doogle ((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: OKSooner

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.


17 posted on 10/13/2012 8:41:01 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (In the game of life, there are no betting limits)
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To: OKSooner
Dropped a new engine in my 95 F150 4x4 for under $5,000. Runs like a charm.
18 posted on 10/13/2012 8:42:50 AM PDT by Utah Binger (Southern Utah where the world comes to see America)
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To: OKSooner; All
To be clear: Current truck, good as it is, isn't up to pulling 17' trailer every day. Also it's rwd with a 4.10 OPEN DIFFERENTIAL and I've gotten stuck in it twice.

My choices are to either come up with another truck or go out of business.

19 posted on 10/13/2012 8:50:23 AM PDT by OKSooner
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To: OKSooner

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.


20 posted on 10/13/2012 8:54:21 AM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: OKSooner

Getting stuck is driver error. You can get stuck with any vehicle if you aren’t paying attention to conditions.


21 posted on 10/13/2012 8:59:02 AM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: OKSooner

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.


22 posted on 10/13/2012 9:05:25 AM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: Excellence

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.


23 posted on 10/13/2012 9:11:27 AM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked (Our military does not kill babies, those that commit abortion kill babies.)
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To: OKSooner

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.

Www.copart.com


24 posted on 10/13/2012 9:14:08 AM PDT by PMAS (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing)
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To: OKSooner

Generally, look for a newer vehicle with unusually high mileage and no evidence of substantial wear or replacement of brake rotors.


25 posted on 10/13/2012 9:15:13 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: OKSooner

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.


26 posted on 10/13/2012 9:27:52 AM PDT by wizr (Keep the Faith!)
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To: OKSooner
Whatever you do FIGURE OUT WHAT IS WRONG WITH WHAT YOU ARE BUYING! People 99% of the time DO NOT sell perfectly good vehicles, rather, they DUMP failing vehicles on the ignorant.

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!

27 posted on 10/13/2012 9:29:26 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: TalBlack

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.


28 posted on 10/13/2012 9:32:12 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: Kirkwood

Yes, but if you have the right vehicle you can get unstuck.


29 posted on 10/13/2012 9:44:25 AM PDT by tiki
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To: OKSooner

I’m partial to older Chevy Silverados. They seem to do the job and are reliable.


30 posted on 10/13/2012 10:03:16 AM PDT by bgill
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To: OKSooner
Have you tried to price a good used engine for your truck ? or is the body of the truck not worth putting another engine in it ?

31 posted on 10/13/2012 10:20:51 AM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: OKSooner
Found a FORD 300 CID 4.9L L6 Premium re-manufactured long block for $ 1,200 with a 5 year warentee.

If you can rent or buy a heavy duty engine hoist all you would have to do is put the old oil pan, new oil pan gasket on the remanufactured engine, and hopefully the intake is not warped place it on the new engine, value covers and new gaskets.
It would be almost like a new truck again... at least the engine will last you another 10-15 years.
Rebuilt cylinder heads would run you between $ 150 to $ 300 ... so rebuilt heads would be around $ 600-700.
You might be able to do this for around $ 2500- $ 3000. or less depending if you can do it yourself.
If you do get a rebuilt engine, take the heads to a machine shop and see if they can be machined and used again.
The heads have to be shaved and properly torqued down.
32 posted on 10/13/2012 10:34:09 AM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: OKSooner

Trailer got plywood in it ? use aluminum for the sides.


33 posted on 10/13/2012 10:36:57 AM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: Kirkwood

Sometimes a used vehicle can be a good deal or a nightmare... to many unknowns even if it has been inspected.


34 posted on 10/13/2012 10:38:55 AM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: OKSooner
If you do decide to buy a used truck check and make sure the heads have not cracked, or a blown head gasket, cracked block, bad gaskets between the head, engine, and intake.
A bad head, bad head gasket will have to tall tail sign of white smoke coming out of the tail pipe.
Worn oil rings will have the tall tail sign of blueish smoke coming out of the tail pipe while your acceleration.
Pull the dip stick and look at it, even smell it...
Does it smell like gasoline ? you have fuel leaking into the engine from somewhere.
Smell of steam ? you got either water or coolant getting into your engine.
Oil is either a Carmel clean looking color, or black from wear.
One way of checking if coolant has entered the cylinder and ran for a extended period of time without the engine being ruined is take the oil cap off the valve over and look inside the valve cover.
Take a small flash light shine it on the inside of the valve cover.
If you see anything that looks like: light brown to tan color coffee TOFO, or looks like brown hand ( AUTO ) cleaner, walk away.... don't buy the truck.
While you at it take your finger and put your finger on the upper inside of the oil filler cap hole and rub your finger on the under side.
If you see anything that looks like coolant, or brown to light tan color that looks like coffee TOFO or brown hand ( AUTO ) cleaner, don't buy the truck or car.
You are saving yourself a lot of heartache, trouble, and lost money.
Yeah, the seller could have had coolant running in the engine and could have stopped it ( Just in time ) and still could have changed the oil to just to get rid of the car or truck.
Check the dip stick also... same thing.... if the tip of the dip stick has stuff on it that looks like brown to tan color coffee TOFO, Brown to tan color AUTO hand cleaner, walk away from the deal...

35 posted on 10/13/2012 10:55:51 AM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: OKSooner
Unless the truck has already been inspected in the price it's being sold,, remember ? getting a vehicle inspected sometimes costs you more than what you were originally expecting to put in it to get it inspected.
The shop tells you it needs all new rotors and brakes.. CHA CHING.... The electrical system needs fixing.. CHA GHING.
Your old truck is already been inspected ?
Does your transmission bolt up to a larger engine ? ask a few mechanics and ask them if a larger engine can be put in it... it's a 1993 ? I don't think you have to worry to much about Emissions and OBDI and OBD2.
If the larger engine bolts up to your transmission, and have no problems hooking it up to your exhaust, cooling, no interference with the steering,, then go with a rebuilt engine that is larger.
Make sure your transmission is rated for that power range.
36 posted on 10/13/2012 11:07:25 AM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: American Constitutionalist
Sorry about this post,, won't need new cylinder heads if it's a long block.

If you or some friend can do it cheap.... then $ 1,200 ain't to bad,, but, keep shopping around for the best deal.
Also remember ? some re-mo engine sellers won't honor warranties unless they are done at a approved or certified shops.
37 posted on 10/13/2012 11:10:34 AM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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