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#31 Wheel Horse Kid OFFLINE  

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Posted September 04, 2013 - 07:57 AM

I dont think he was needing just a heavy towing  truck or was going to mainly tow with the truck, so while your advice is sound, his needs are what will determine his truck purchase., ha ha, thats what e tell our wives. Pre 2000 7.3, hmmm most I see of that year or older have 200-300 thousand and not sure I would buy it from a guy I didn't know how it was maintained. A old diesel may kill you on repairs, some diesels have been known to have <gasp> deficiencies. Some of the old Dodge, Ford, and Chevy engines had their problems, wouldn't want one of those13 years old or more. Everyone has a story about a great diesel, but when you google these trucks the reviews aren't always as favorable, we study this phenomenon in Soc-Psyche. Unless I got a low mile (150,000 or less)well maintained diesel I wouldnt think too much about it as the maintenance and repairs could kill you for the amount of times you would need it to tow a large heavy trailer, just sayin

I guess everyone has an opinion. I just thought since he was looking for something dependable, that could go a long time, get pretty good fuel mpg (better than most gas trucks), and tow a large trailer, a diesel would be a good option for him. Really, you would not want to buy any vehicle without knowing how it was maintained (diesel or gas). And yes, diesel's can go to 400K+. My dad's diesel is not a big deal to maintain at all. Basically, since he got it, all he has done was fix a fuel leak, changed tires with our other truck, added another battery, and changed the oil every 5,000 miles (No more than a gas truck). Sure, oil is more costly and a repair (which can be few and far between) can cost you big, but when you consider all the other good benefits, he should really think about it as a option if he can afford it. And up till recently, diesel fuel was costing the same or less than gas. My dad uses his as a daily driver and he gets wayyy much better fuel milage than he did with his Ford F150 5.0. Not trying to pick a fight or anything, I just want Ryan to be able to see all the option's on the table, and in the end, it is up to him what truck he get's. Who knows, he may decide to get a Honda Civic instead of a truck! LOL! :)


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Posted September 04, 2013 - 08:35 AM

As you've seen,asking for opinions on trucks, you will get a whole tons of answers. 

Personally for me, if you gave me a Ford, the only way I would take it is if I could immediately turn and burn and sell it. I have owned 3 Ford products through my wife ( her dad's A plan) and I will not own another.

So, I do not think you really need a 3/4 ton truck to pull what you want. Most 1/2 tons are rated for 6000-7000#'s, a trailer with 3500# dual axles maxes at 7000 ( then minus trailer weight)  so you are at max weight with trailer anyhow.

Gas mileage..... throw that out the door, you are looking for a truck. Granted some of the diesels do pretty well, but in general, just ignore that issue. 

Speaking of diesels, the maintenance costs will be a little higher, I don't care what anyone will say. The parts are just generally higher in price.

I would recommend an 88-98 GM 1/2 ton ext cab. If you ever plan to add a over the rail in bed tool box, look for 8' bed. Once you put a tool box in the short bed, you are down to about a 5' bed. I currently inherited my dad's 93 Chevy 1/2 ton 8' bed ext cab 4x4 with a 350 and extra leaves in the rear. I've seen that truck haul as much as any 3/4 ton.He worked it pretty hard and with 182K on it, tranny finally gave out. A GM 350 will give you whatever power you need, Chevy used them in many of their 1 ton trucks and they do very well. They last forever and are easily maintained. Just check for rust under rockers, GM for some reason, can't get this figured out in their trucks. The 68-72's had it, 73-87's had it, 88-98's had it and even the newer ones also.

The newer GM's '99 and up are also good trucks. The 5.3 and 6.0 are decent motors. I've seen alot of the 99-2001 with rocker rot in the midwest salt belt. They also had issues with the autotrac transfer cases, "pump rub" which can wear a hole in the outer case. 

I regularly pull a 2000# or so trailer then loaded with my tractors, sometimes a car, gravel/mulch, etc with my 99 Tahoe with a 350. I added some air bags as it has softer springs in the rear along with electric brakes. I have no issues pulling 5000#'s or so. A truck will give you some higher rated weight it can pull, but just using example of you do not have to have a big HD truck to get the job done.

I gasp to say it, but don't overlook the Dodges either. Older cummins are very good motors, even the 360's are decent. If you can get past the horrible interiors and overall general looks, maybe consider them. Best part of them are, the are straight front axle, much cheaper to lift  :D

#33 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  



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Posted September 04, 2013 - 05:11 PM

I did some math and found out that a truck that gets 15mpg would cost about 25 cents per mile at $3.80 a gallon. Also, if a 7.3 diesel gets 20mpg then it would only cost 20 cents per mile at $4.10 a gallon. Maybe an f250 with a 7.3? That is all the power I would ever need, and that's a good thing because I would not be able to go any bigger!

Hi Ryan, I've been reading through this thread and wanted to put in my two cents.  I upgraded from a 1999 ford Ranger to a 2004 Ford F-150 extended cab with the 8 ft bed and the 5.4 engine.  Yes, your gas costs will go up a certain amount.  But every other cost goes up as well.  $400 put a set of tires on the Ranger.  The F-150 cost $400 for just two tires.  More oil at every change, brake pads are larger and more expensive, the list goes on.  So don't be fooled thinking about just gas cost.   As someone else pointed out, a big long truck is harder to park than a smaller one too.


Think HARD about how much towing you will be doing.  Full size pickups 1/2 ton and above should be pretty capable of towing what you have listed if you take some care of them.  (A quick glance shows even the 4.2 V6 is rated above 5000 lbs in automatic.  Call Ford with the VIN for help with a particular model)  You may need to add a transmission cooler etc. if you plan to tow.  I'd also suggest that you might want to pass on a truck that is already setup to tow, it may well have been used more heavily than you would think because of the towing.   Automatic transmissions will probably have a better tow rating than a manual trans.  I've towed with both a manual clutch and an automatic, I can tell you the automatic is much easier.  Yes, manual will get slightly better mileage, but if you are moving loads near the capacity of your tow rating, you will pay a lot in clutches and you'll probably become proficient in dropping the trans out of the truck.


Good luck with the search, it can be both enjoyable and frustrating.

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#34 Bmerf OFFLINE  


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Posted September 04, 2013 - 07:14 PM

Ryan, Ford, Dodge, or Chevy, they will all do what you want. I would stick to a half ton as they are more than capable of doing what you intend to do with it. Gas mileage is about the same.


My only suggestion is to take your time and not get into a hurry. Search and search some more, there are deals out there. If you get into a hurry, you may "fall in love" with a POS, that will only cost you more in the end. Look and ask around for a one or two owner truck, one that the current owner has had for a few years. Usually they will be taken care of and the owner might be willing to give you a good deal especially if they think you will take care of their "baby." Good Luck on the search.

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#35 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  



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Posted September 04, 2013 - 08:56 PM

I have an 04 ram 1500 with a hemi. Get terrible gas mileage. 15 to 18. Pulls like a horse and is pretty quick to boot.

I like it. I dont daily drive it. I have a 99 ford ranger 2 wheel deal with a 5 speed. 25 to 27 mp. Serves me well. Only time I drive the ram is to haul firewood, snow days and picking up tractors. I daily drove it when I bought it new till last year. Its paid off now and worth more to me using it sometimes than selling. When you need a truck you need s truck.

#36 Username OFFLINE  



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Posted September 04, 2013 - 09:57 PM

A 3/4 ton generally has better brakes than a 1/2 ton and your ride quality is generally better with a 1/2 ton.That means a lot to me traveling on Pa roads.I have a 96 Silverado 1/2 ton with a 5.7 and usually tow under 7000 and it handles it well.I have air bags and 8 ply tires.I like the 96 and older as they have the vortex.

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Posted September 04, 2013 - 11:04 PM

I like the 96 and older as they have the vortex.

'96 and newer had the Vortec. '95 and older had the Throttle Body Injection.

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#38 Username OFFLINE  



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Posted September 05, 2013 - 06:47 AM

'96 and newer had the Vortec. '95 and older had the Throttle Body Injection.

That's what I was meenin to say.

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#39 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 05, 2013 - 07:24 AM

Here is an interesting one near me. http://newlondon.cra...4045669825.html

#40 916 hydro OFFLINE  

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Posted September 06, 2013 - 01:20 PM

my suggestion would be a 1987-1996 (EFI) ford f150 with a 300 inline 6 and a 5 speed. decent gas mileage all the power you need. good torque and they last forever. just when you look at one of these trucks they will be a little rusty. check the rear spring hangers they tend to rust off. not a huge problem to fix but it is something to be aware of 

#41 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 06, 2013 - 04:02 PM


the only question I have is, do you plan to drive it everyday or just when you need it? That may be the biggest factor here. I've had Fords all my life, but I wouldn't rule out chevy or dodge especially if it's for occasional use, and your budget. How far and how often you plan on towing?

everybody here has made valid points, the big thing, IMO is take your time and do research and be honest with yourself with what you really need . 

Good Luck ,Tom