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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Your opinions please
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Dave 2N    Posted 11-24-2004 at 05:57:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
God morning, everyone.

It's getting on toward that time where I need to start looking for a different pickup. I won't buy a new one because of the outrageaous prices so I'll be looking "used." My current truck is a '94 Ranger 4x4 that has been a great truck. However, I want to move up to a full size, probably a 1/2 ton with an 8 cylinder engine. My driving consists of mainly hard roads but I need 4x4 because of where I live and the occasional times we get hit with bad weather and I have to "get there."

Finding a good used truck has been frustrating; I'm not about to pay $12,000 for a used 4x4 that has 111,000 miles on it.

So--since everyone on this board is never shy about expressing their opinions, and since I know there are many years of experience out there, give me your thoughts, opinions and experiences about what I should look for and what I should stay away from.

Thanks for your input and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. (Even you too, Burr.)


Jimbob    Posted 11-24-2004 at 11:28:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I had a 1995 4-wheel drive GM with the 4.3 Vortec engine. Also still have a 1994 4-wheel drive GM Astrovan. The truck is my kids now (moved away) and has about 150,000 miles without any maintenance beyond tires, oil changes, etc.

The GM Astro van has 220,000 miles and still does not use any oil. Trans still shifts perfect, etc. Maintenance is same as the truck.

Other vehicle was a 1994 Dodge Caravan. The trans let go at 41,000 miles. Chrysler refused full warranty as issues such as slipping plus poor shifts were noted at the dealship before end of 36,000 mile warrarty. Chrysler only supplied the parts & we had to pay all labor. Bottom line- You can not trust Chysler and they lied about 1000s of vans that year with transmission problems (3-speed auto only). They stated no problems existed. The engine was ok at 170,000 but other items needed repair.

The GM products are still tight body wise and far superior porducts. That 4.3 Vortec is a tough engine. I guess the Astro van will still run good at 300,000 miles. We change oil & filter at every 3000 to 5000 miles. we also service the transmissions per the owners manual.



EngineerJoyce    Posted 11-24-2004 at 11:11:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
That sticker shock is the reason my husband and I have decided to go SUV. Got a used 4x4 SUV. Haul feed and such in the back. For larger loads or messy loads, we bought a $200 trailer. Seems to work well for us so far.

As long as we don't need to hook a gooseneck trailer, we'll probably stick with this set-up while it's cheaper.


Burrhead    Posted 11-24-2004 at 11:30:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
get the extree large moon roof and pull a goose neck anyway 8^)


Burrhead    Posted 11-24-2004 at 10:58:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
I do like Errin and build my own.

Happy holdays to you too Dave and be sure to give Hillary my best.


Errin OH    Posted 11-24-2004 at 09:49:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't know if your able or not but this is how I avoid the high cost.

Look for a dead truck in excelent condition. You'd be surpised what you'll find. Then pull the motor and trans and spend a few bucks on them. Not a cheap rebuild but get something like a Jasper (3y - 30,000m Warr) Under 10g and have a truck that runs like new. I have done it three times in the last 10 years and have no regrets.

In 92 bought a 87 chevy mini van, 78,000m for $1300, add $2300 engine (no trans work) and drove it to 200,000+ @22mpg over 7 years.

In 98 I bought a 94 f-150 4x4, 74,000m for $2500 $2200 Engine, $1800, trans had a 11,000 dollar truck sitting in the driveway. Tax man gave me fits on this one, still have it today.
FYI - avoid the e40d trans (junk)

Last year needed a heavy truck to pull cattle trailer. Found an near mint 85 F250 (8600 GVW) 89,000m for $150. Put a $1800 engine, flat bed, and set of duals on it. Under $3000 and use it just like those $20,000 2-3 year olds with 100,000m on them.



ron,ar    Posted 11-24-2004 at 09:38:12       [Reply]  [No Email]

Last june I paid 12 grand for a 2002 F150 with 35000 miles on it. Really clean, V-6 good fuel mileage automatic trans. Works out great but my advice here is this-My truck is a short wheelbase, my first swb, never again. It rides too rough unloaded and will spin the rear tires at the first sign of anything slick, mud, water, ice too I'm sure. I carry my 4 wheeler around most of the time and it rides good and has enough traction for most normal rural situations. Never again on the swb. JMO


Greg VT    Posted 11-24-2004 at 09:07:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
I went through this same thing three years ago when my 87 Ranger finally died on me.

I needed something a little bigger to tow with and started out looking fo a good used fullsized Ford. I found that, because of the huge demand around here for used pickups, the prices on rigs with 60000 miles on them were not that much better then going with a new rig.

So, I did something I SWORE I would never do and bought a new Ford F150 4x4 with the 7700 payload package. I financed for five years with the intention of paying it off in three.

I have had to scrimp in some other areas the last three years but I will be making my last payment in January 05 and I will own an 02 pickup with around 40000 miles on it free and clear.



JK-NY    Posted 11-24-2004 at 08:38:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Dave , I have bought my last 2 trucks new due to the high price of good used 4wd pickups. If you can be satisfied with a reg cab 4wd without alot of extras you can get into one for 18-19,000 if you look around . The financing is always better on new trucks and I figure getting a couple 3 more years use makes the $$$ worth while, also many people who trade frequently do very litle maintanance anymore so you can spend alot on a used truck thats half worn out.That being said if youre looking for used I'd try to buy one used mostly as a commuter vehicle with highr than average miles, thats the only way to buy one right. Good Luck JK


OH Boy    Posted 11-24-2004 at 07:59:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
I was in the same spot a few months ago, the old 91 Ranger just wasn't cutting it anymore.

I did a search on AutoTrader.com and was very pleased with how many hits it gave me. It also gave me a pretty good idea of what things are actually selling for. You cannot trust dealer asking prices to be anywhere near reality!

I was looking for a 97-98 Expedition 4x4. There were about 200 of 'em listed on AutoTrader within 200 miles of me. The ones in the 60-70K mileage range were priced anywhere from 10 thousand to 17 thousand!

I finally started visiting some dealers, found a good clean one I liked. They were asking $12,900 for it and NADA blue book was $13,300. I offered them $10,500 and they took it right away. Shoulda offered less I guess!

So my point is that if you are looking for a used vehicle, find a deal where you pay way less than blue book price, I came in 25% under it. There are deals like this out there if you shop around.


donna in w.v    Posted 11-24-2004 at 07:34:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
we have a 1998 ford F150 extended cab 4x4 short bed and we have 160,000 miles on it. it is a great truck and excect for normal stuff like tires,brakes and muffler we have spent very little money. i love this truck and we bought it when it was a year old and took over the payments from a family friend who couldn't make the payments but didn't want to wreck his credit.


screaminghollow    Posted 11-24-2004 at 07:30:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
In the mountainous rural areas of PA, there is a very noticeable pattern when you drive down the road. Each family has a compact "commuter type" car and a full size 4x4, either truck, Suburban Explorer etc. We have a front wheel drive minivan and a full size 4x4 truck. The front wheel drive can get me through all but the really deep snows. and the truck really good up to about 12 or 14 inches of snow and then it really isn't that good. I find the 4x4 more useful, in the mud and slick grass than in the snow. And I don't care what anybody says, 4x4 or front wheel isn't worth jack squat in a hard freezing rain/ice storm. We get some doozies around here. Of the folks I know, who recently bought trucks, Fords and Dodges seem to be the preference. I can't think of but one guy who has a Chevy, and his is a "priss" truck, all shine and never off road.


Willy-N    Posted 11-24-2004 at 07:02:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
I sure like our newer 1998 Dodge 2500 4X4 3/4 ton Extended Cab with the 360 CID Gas Magnum in it. I realy like the 4 small doors to get stuff in the back seat. Mark H.


Fawteen    Posted 11-24-2004 at 06:42:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have you looked at Dodge Dakotas? "Mid-size" I guess they call them. I picked up a 2001 Quad Cab 4x4 with the 4.7 V8 in November of 2002 for $17,000. Had 32,000 miles on it. It's my second Dakota (still have the first, an '88 4x2) and I'll buy a third as soon as this one is paid off to replace the '88.


Steve from TN    Posted 11-24-2004 at 06:40:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Dave, I bought a 2 wheel-drive Tundra(2000) in December of '01 for $17,000 with less than 14K. Tundra is just about as American-made as Ford and the rest of them. I know that my last Ford had a Mazda transmission. I liked it a lot as well. I put in to pasture with about 200K. My next truck will be a Tundra.(If I can still afford it.) When I was looking for a used Tundra,I found that the resale on them is tremenduous. They are hard to find. People hold on to a good thing, I guess.


mark/mn    Posted 11-24-2004 at 06:21:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Kind of made the same switch last spring.
My 88 Ranger finally bit the dust after years of
tough use and abuse. I wasn't about to spend
20 - 30000 bucks on a truck since mine end
up getting used hard.

If you don't mind shifting you can find good
deals. I picked up a 94 150 extended cab 4x4,
clean, 100,000 for $5000 after all was said
and done. Anything with an auto tranny started
at a couple thousand more and weren't in as
good a shape.


deadcarp    Posted 11-24-2004 at 07:32:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
we probly got bit but got a 96 windstar last winter for $5000. it had big miles (160,000) but had been maintained. in a few months it needed a $1700 tranny but outside of that, it just runs amd fits us. i don't like detroit's behemoths nowdays - i'm not buying one for my ego. if i went new truck shopping it'd probly be for a nissan. used would be toyota. they shamelessly compete and last forever. i put 250,000 miles on a 76 datsun & couldn't kill it.:)


mark/mn    Posted 11-24-2004 at 07:46:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
I liked my little Ranger but after pulling a trailer
load of my Belgians around a couple times I
figured a full size would be a bit safer. Other
than that I did more with that small truck than
most folks do with their full sized ones and it
just kept coming back for more.


mark/mn    Posted 11-24-2004 at 07:41:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
With all the trips to Grand Forks last year I
killed my wifes old car. Found a 2001 LaSabre
with 140,000, loaded for 4000. It's an " Old
Farts " car so it wasn't moving. Thing runs like
a dream, for the ride it has I'll gladdly look like
an old fart.


KellyGa    Posted 11-24-2004 at 06:07:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am partial to Dodge. I have a 2000 Ram Sport, all red. I bought it a year and a half old, and never had a lick of trouble, I absolutely love it. My dad recently bought him a 2000 Ram Laramie, and he absolutely loves it. Had it for a year, no troubles.

Now, one of our very good friends found him a used 1995 Ram 1500, it had the huge tires, the jacked up kit, its a 4x4, its his toy, and he got it for 5000 dollars, and LOVES it. NO troubles.

Just my experience. My FIL is a Ford man, and he works for Ford, so I thought he would disown me when I came home with a Dodge, but he actually liked the truck, and he liked our friends too, so I guess there is something to be said for a Ford man saying something good about Dodge products. :)

Anyhow, good luck, hope you find what you are looking for!


mud    Posted 11-24-2004 at 06:02:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
hello there dave 2n-
since you are a ford man, why not a '99 f-250 or 350 with psd? you will pay more, but if you choose the right rig it will outlast a gasser.

happy thanksgiving-


Kevin Brown    Posted 01-09-2007 at 14:35:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The Best Pickup I Ever Had Was A 1984 Chrysler E-Class 4 Door LOL.I Pack More Stuff In That Bugger Then I Do In My Pickup. The Old Girl Has 250,000 Miles On It I Paid 400.00 5 Years Ago And She Has Never Let Me Down I Go Through More Snow Then A 4 Wheel Drive Something About That Old Car I Dunno Giggles She Has Done Me Good.


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