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Old 04-14-2011, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
513 posts, read 950,752 times
Reputation: 274

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Hey,
I previously started a thread asking for help with a truck being able to carry 4x8 feet panel laying flat. I got some good advices. Can you compare these trucks if it comes to their reliability and gas saving:

Ford F150/F250
Chevy S10
Dodge Dakota
other American

Are there any engines that I should avoid? This will be my first truck so I don't know much. Price must be lower than $5k so no newer models.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 9,199,252 times
Reputation: 1531
S10 won't do it flat, so cross that off your list.

An older Ford with the I6 will be better in gas mileage, then comes all the others. For heavier hauling, go for a V8 - you'll welcome the extra torque. For the price point, look for one that's been kept up the best, inclusive of city fleets. Indeed, at work, the shop truck was an '89 Ford F250. It was an ex-fleet vehicle bought at an auction; by the time it was retired (in '05), we estimate it had 720k miles.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:22 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 19,532,509 times
Reputation: 6764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narfcake View Post
S10 won't do it flat, so cross that off your list.

An older Ford with the I6 will be better in gas mileage, then comes all the others. For heavier hauling, go for a V8 - you'll welcome the extra torque. For the price point, look for one that's been kept up the best, inclusive of city fleets. Indeed, at work, the shop truck was an '89 Ford F250. It was an ex-fleet vehicle bought at an auction; by the time it was retired (in '05), we estimate it had 720k miles.
I've looked at a couple trucks at police auctions. They're well maintained and often have upgraded cooling and electrical systems.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Poway, CA
2,698 posts, read 9,521,804 times
Reputation: 2206
While the old Ford 4.9L (300ci) inline six is a GREAT workhorse, it's mileage isn't really all that better than the 5.0L V8 or even the 5.8L. I owned a 90 F150 shortbed with the 4.9L and then a 89 F250 with the 5.8L. Mileage was damn near identical. Both were GREAT trucks, though. I'm a big fan of the 87-96 F-series trucks, and would recommend the following:

F-250 (pick your year)
4.9L six or the 5.8L V8. 5.0L wasn't bad, but wasn't great either. May as well go with one of these instead
5-speed
2WD (unless you need 4WD, of course)

By going with the F-250 (vs the 150), you're getting the stronger Sterling rear end (not that the Ford 8.8" was bad) andyou're getting the heavy duty ZF 5-speed with the granny 1st gear. That transmission is a BEAST and much more reliable than the fragile Mazda 5-speed they put in the half tons (although i think there was a 4-speed option in the earlier years that was pretty good, just no OD).

Mike
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,484,624 times
Reputation: 4846
At this price point, you're buying on condition, not on brand. A beat on "good" vehicle will be less reliable than a properly maintained poorer vehicle. Buy the best condtion one you can afford, especially if you can't do work on them yourself.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,024 posts, read 1,897,471 times
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Why just Americans? I would certainly look around for Toyota Tacomas or Nissan Hardbody Pickups. Rock solid and routinely go beyond 300k.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 9,199,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor Griff View Post
Why just Americans? I would certainly look around for Toyota Tacomas or Nissan Hardbody Pickups. Rock solid and routinely go beyond 300k.
The OP calls for 4x8 sheets to fit flat ... and those compacts won't do it within the confines of the rear wheel wells.

The Toyota T100 does fit the bill, but the 3.0L V6 is not a good engine and the 2.7L 4-cylinder strains when moving any load. Full size pickup ... 4 cylinder. Enough said.
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
513 posts, read 950,752 times
Reputation: 274
Thank you people. Of course the condition is a priority but in Chicago there can be found all of them in good condition and low miles, this ain't a small town here. Why American? I'm moving to North Dakota and from what I saw everyone has American truck there so I may have problem getting parts for Japanese in those small towns. Thanks Narfcake - S10 is crossed off - must have 8' bed because I have some long furniture to load and there is a lot of room to park it in ND. Any opinions on Dodge Dakota or Chevies other than S10? F150/F250 with I6 4.9 is what I find recommended (and I like it) but Dakotas are cheaper in Chicago, less reliable? I just don't want it to break down in the middle of nowhere but can't afford pricier one than $5-6k.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:45 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,792 posts, read 37,451,783 times
Reputation: 20814
You can haul about 100 4x8 sheets in a 1st Gen Dodge Cummins and still get 20 mpg on free fryer grease. All for under $5000 (excluding the cargo).

I have bought them for under $2000 that needed a little TLC. (~$1000).

They will run well over 1 million miles. (they ride a little rough, but you did say you were looking for a Truck!)

I use my VW pickup ($35) with Snowbear Trailer ($300) for the ultimate econo-hauler (50 mpg on free waste oil) AND will haul 4.5 x 12' flat and fully supported. Check your neighbor's brier patch, I find VW Rabbits for free doing that.

I would be looking in SW USA or TX (no Salt) for a good used pickup, definately not Chicago.
The ones I buy there, I drive home and part them out (rust). I just take a $89 flight on SWA to fetch stuff and drive home over a weekend.

Trust me, you DO NOT WANT a Dakota
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 35,415,173 times
Reputation: 2147483647
Take your time and look around. For instance, my neighbor has a 1984 F-250 with a pop up camper on it. It's 4 wheel drive. He's asking $4000. Sounds high until you look and it's only got 41,000 original miles.

A year ago, my son found, and bought, a 1984 F-250, 4 wheel drive, diesel with 81,000 miles on it. He paid $2500. It's got electric windows, carpeted, etc... Runs like a champ and he'll get a lot of miles out of it.

So if you look, might take some time, you'll find what you want. Both of the above trucks were never advertised in a paper. The owners simply put a For Sale sign in the window with a phone number.
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