Let's talk about trucks

Righty Tighty

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I realize I'm opening a HUGE can of worms here, but let's talk trucks.

I have a 2004 Tacoma which I bought new with 28 miles on it, and now we're tipping 306,000. I had zero issues with the truck, just kept up on the maintenance. It's been great off road with its compact size and has gone everywhere I've asked it to, with the only limitation being that it lacks a locking rear differential.

It'll pull light to moderate loads, really doesn't like pulling cars, but I do anyway and just take it easy.

When the truck approached the 300,000 mark, little things started to happen. Throttle position sensor went out -- no big deal. Leaf spring broke -- no big deal. Developing a pretty good oil leak that's hard to trace, because I'm pretty sure it's coming from every possible gasket. Steering rack is making noise.

Anyway, it seems like she's getting tired and I've been considering upgrading to a full size for my next purchase. A bunch of the guys at work love the newer Fords, but I can't afford a "new" truck. I think my budget would probably allow for something around 10 years old and I'd like to increase my towing capacity. A car is likely the heaviest thing I'll tow, maybe a bumper pull camper in the future.

I considered an older Tundra, but they're still out of my price range. That kinda leaves me with the Big Three. I don't know anything about Chevys, but I have a few friends with Fords and Dodges. I've heard there are good years for engines and bad years, but it gets confusing when I try to search the web to confirm.

So, I open it up to the experts here. What are your truck experiences??
 

toolmanmike

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I realize I'm opening a HUGE can of worms here, but let's talk trucks.

I have a 2004 Tacoma which I bought new with 28 miles on it, and now we're tipping 306,000. I had zero issues with the truck, just kept up on the maintenance. It's been great off road with its compact size and has gone everywhere I've asked it to, with the only limitation being that it lacks a locking rear differential.

It'll pull light to moderate loads, really doesn't like pulling cars, but I do anyway and just take it easy.

When the truck approached the 300,000 mark, little things started to happen. Throttle position sensor went out -- no big deal. Leaf spring broke -- no big deal. Developing a pretty good oil leak that's hard to trace, because I'm pretty sure it's coming from every possible gasket. Steering rack is making noise.

Anyway, it seems like she's getting tired and I've been considering upgrading to a full size for my next purchase. A bunch of the guys at work love the newer Fords, but I can't afford a "new" truck. I think my budget would probably allow for something around 10 years old and I'd like to increase my towing capacity. A car is likely the heaviest thing I'll tow, maybe a bumper pull camper in the future.

I considered an older Tundra, but they're still out of my price range. That kinda leaves me with the Big Three. I don't know anything about Chevys, but I have a few friends with Fords and Dodges. I've heard there are good years for engines and bad years, but it gets confusing when I try to search the web to confirm.

So, I open it up to the experts here. What are your truck experiences??
Same situation here. My 96 Dakota is starting to rust away. The frame is getting soft and rust holes on the body are opening up. I am looking for another truck but don't need to spend $10-20,000 for a used one tht isn't in any better shape than the one I own. I don't really want a 4 door or a full sized so my choices are limited.
 

RustyRatRod

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When we finally have to retire our 04 Escape, my plans are to find something older and restored. Pre computer, pre 1984. Most likely a 1970s Dodge truck.
 

Steve welder

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Depending on were you live later model Tacoma's have frame rust issues. Why I got rid of mine. Your only viable option is try and find a good well cared for Tacoma
The older Rams again were I live are rusted out, The Fords and GM's I have no idea
I have a 21 Ram with the hemi, its a great driving handling truck but I dont plan on keeping it much longer than 5 to 7 years
 

cosgig

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Just lost the front gas tank strap on my ‘12 Dodge Ram, the pocket in the frame is known to rust out and the strap pull through. There is an extended warranty fix on it, unfortunately, my truck was built in Canada, so for me to get it fixed I have to take it to a dealership in Canada. Or fix it myself, which is what I’m going to do. Not too happy with the Ram trucks right now, not to mention the old Hemi tick!
 

diymirage

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how close are you to Dell ?

he is always cobbling trucks together and might be able to make you a deal
 

cojohnso

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There used to be the thought. Take a Mopar engine. Match with a GM transmission. And put it into a Ford. You may then have the best truck in the world. But Ford went with aluminum body components and other changes thus that line of thinking is now moot. I still believe Mopar hemi and Cummins diesel are the best engine platforms. Everything else is a bit of a crap shoot on year and build.
 
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toolmanmike

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I just found a nice looking 05 Dakota in Chicago. Damn thing has a 4.7. They are either good or toast.
 

Righty Tighty

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Same situation here. My 96 Dakota is starting to rust away. The frame is getting soft and rust holes on the body are opening up. I am looking for another truck but don't need to spend $10-20,000 for a used one tht isn't in any better shape than the one I own. I don't really want a 4 door or a full sized so my choices are limited.
That's kind of the predicament I'm in. With prices the way they are right now, it's tough to think of dumping this truck that really only has normal issues for one its age for another that will likely be having issues soon, and gaining a payment in the process. This truck has been paid off since 2008 and it's been quite nice. But I'd like more room in the cab and more power. Two things I can't change about this old gal.

When we finally have to retire our 04 Escape, my plans are to find something older and restored. Pre computer, pre 1984. Most likely a 1970s Dodge truck.
It would be great to have an older restored truck. Heck, even a project truck someday. I really need reliability, and if we're all being honest here, modern conveniences. I realize the trade-off is $$$ and a vehicle that's much more difficult to work on.

Depending on were you live later model Tacoma's have frame rust issues. Why I got rid of mine. Your only viable option is try and find a good well cared for Tacoma
The older Rams again were I live are rusted out, The Fords and GM's I have no idea
I have a 21 Ram with the hemi, its a great driving handling truck but I dont plan on keeping it much longer than 5 to 7 years
Luckily, I'm in AZ so this truck has absolutely no rust anywhere. And being in the SW, it's easy to find trucks that are pretty clean.
 

Righty Tighty

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Just lost the front gas tank strap on my ‘12 Dodge Ram, the pocket in the frame is known to rust out and the strap pull through. There is an extended warranty fix on it, unfortunately, my truck was built in Canada, so for me to get it fixed I have to take it to a dealership in Canada. Or fix it myself, which is what I’m going to do. Not too happy with the Ram trucks right now, not to mention the old Hemi tick!
I really feel for the folks who have to deal with rust.
 

YY1

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When we finally have to retire our 04 Escape, my plans are to find something older and restored. Pre computer, pre 1984. Most likely a 1970s Dodge truck.

Those are getting expensive.

Nice one can be 10K or more.

I've seen a few decent ones for about 6-7.

Power Wagon, LRE or Warlock? Fagiddaboudit.
 

RustyRatRod

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Those are getting expensive.

Nice one can be 10K or more.

I've seen a few decent ones for about 6-7.

Power Wagon, LRE or Warlock? Fagiddaboudit.
I know. I would put aside a budget somewhere around 20-25K when and if we do it. But we want something old because one, that's what we like and two, we can do the upkeep ourselves. I'm not gonna be dependent on anyone to work on something that takes a computer degree. Not happenin.
 

barbee6043

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You Yankees in the rust belt. WHY don't you all take a vacation down SOUTH and buy a used truck? You drive it back and wife drives the other back.
Reminds me of seeing the bottom side pis of your Northern project cars on here, and the owner is so excited as he prolaims it so much better than 99% of the worse ones! I just say "oh chit!"
 

YY1

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Agree.

My 2000 Dakota is the last vehicle I can actually work on, meaning major repairs.

Any vehicle We've bought since has been with the understanding that after the warranty, it's potentially a throw away.
Kind of a hard pill to swallow for 20K
 

toolmanmike

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You Yankees in the rust belt. WHY don't you all take a vacation down SOUTH and buy a used truck? You drive it back and wife drives the other back.
Reminds me of seeing the bottom side pis of your Northern project cars on here, and the owner is so excited as he prolaims it so much better than 99% of the worse ones! I just say "oh chit!"
That's where I have been looking. ROAD TRIP !!!!!!!
 

toolmanmike

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Too bad all the 05 Dakotas only have 3.7 V6 and (2) 4.7 V8's. The dual overhead cam engines. No thanks.
 

cojohnso

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I really feel for the folks who have to deal with rust.
I live in Minnesota. Rust HUGE issue. I bought my '07 Ram 3500 with then new 6.7l Cummins in Arkansas in 2018. For the primary reasons of rust. Plus. I insisted on a 6-speed manual transmission. (Which is non-existent since 2019.) Just not trusting the Chrysler auto. (I have sence learned. To upgrade Chrysler's auto transmission cooling fans and pump does wonder.) That's its vulnerability.

My race trailer is 32' 10,000 lbs empty. And the 6-speed manual hiked 24k+ lbs total package weight up over the Colorado mountains more than once. It was grunting for sure. But so were the big rigs. 30 MPH max at 6° plus hills.

695386-d4cf778b1080a0e7d9ac90c5f1a22562.jpg
 

volaredon

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I'm a fleet mechanic for the state I live in, and for some reason Illinois state govt is in love with ford's. At least anyone with any purchase power. As the guy who has to patch them up I say STAY AWAY.
If you're not into dodges go with the Chevy.
If I had to go buy a Ford truck it better be pre 97.
And Toyota? Not even for free on a dare
 

67dart/cuda

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I realize I'm opening a HUGE can of worms here, but let's talk trucks.

I have a 2004 Tacoma which I bought new with 28 miles on it, and now we're tipping 306,000. I had zero issues with the truck, just kept up on the maintenance. It's been great off road with its compact size and has gone everywhere I've asked it to, with the only limitation being that it lacks a locking rear differential.

It'll pull light to moderate loads, really doesn't like pulling cars, but I do anyway and just take it easy.

When the truck approached the 300,000 mark, little things started to happen. Throttle position sensor went out -- no big deal. Leaf spring broke -- no big deal. Developing a pretty good oil leak that's hard to trace, because I'm pretty sure it's coming from every possible gasket. Steering rack is making noise.

Anyway, it seems like she's getting tired and I've been considering upgrading to a full size for my next purchase. A bunch of the guys at work love the newer Fords, but I can't afford a "new" truck. I think my budget would probably allow for something around 10 years old and I'd like to increase my towing capacity. A car is likely the heaviest thing I'll tow, maybe a bumper pull camper in the future.

I considered an older Tundra, but they're still out of my price range. That kinda leaves me with the Big Three. I don't know anything about Chevys, but I have a few friends with Fords and Dodges. I've heard there are good years for engines and bad years, but it gets confusing when I try to search the web to confirm.

So, I open it up to the experts here. What are your truck experiences??


I had a 67 Dodge regular cab D100 factory big block. Great truck, but it did not fit my needs anymore pulling the boat and getting the family to the lake plus I was pulling an enclosed car trailer once in awhile longer distances. It also was tough to go long distances lacking any modern conveniences. I was looking to upgrade to heavier duty truck to pull an enclosed 24' race car trailer once in awhile. I ended up finding a 99 F350 crew cab DRW with the 7.3 Powerstroke. (Pre-emissions) It only has 53,000 miles and barely broke in. LOL This is a fantastic truck with creature comforts and pre-emissions for a diesel) It is not a rocket ship by today's standards but a great pulling truck. I could not afford the $45,000 for a newer used HD truck with 180,000 miles and all of the emissions crap that you have to put up with on the newer trucks and some day the EPA will crack down on deleted trucks across the country.
 

Righty Tighty

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I'm a fleet mechanic for the state I live in, and for some reason Illinois state govt is in love with ford's. At least anyone with any purchase power. As the guy who has to patch them up I say STAY AWAY.
If you're not into dodges go with the Chevy.
If I had to go buy a Ford truck it better be pre 97.
And Toyota? Not even for free on a dare
I know, I opened myself up wide open for criticism of the Toyota, but I’m okay with that. It has been a wonderfully reliable truck, especially considering how hard I drive it sometimes.

Im with the fire department, and I’d say at least 95% of our ambulances are on Ford chassis. But, they seem to start acting up around 200,000 and become problem children from then on.
 

volaredon

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I recently bought a 12 Dodge reluctantly as it was the oldest I could buy with bank assistance.
I had a HELL of a time finding anything that wasn't a damn 4 Door with useless short bed.
I have an 85 D150 in the garage that I'm slowly redoing.much more "truck".all of today's fluff is just more that can leave you stranded.dont need or want any of it. My 12 used to belong to Fastenal.
 

cojohnso

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You Yankees in the rust belt. WHY don't you all take a vacation down SOUTH and buy a used truck? You drive it back and wife drives the other back.
Reminds me of seeing the bottom side pis of your Northern project cars on here, and the owner is so excited as he prolaims it so much better than 99% of the worse ones! I just say "oh chit!"
I do that. As I posted. Rust is like cancer. There is no pro side of the issue.

My last purchase in Arkansas. I flew down. Drove truck back. Added $1000 to the purchase. Which was more than made up having a rust free truck in Minnesota.
 

George Jets

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I sure like my 2000 E150 Van with the Triton 5.4 V8.

200,000 miles on it now, I am sure it will easily go another 100,000 miles.

I keep it out of the snow, salt and mud, needless to say the body is like new yet. New carrier bearings and diff parts, other than that it's been great.

Mopar parts hauler, cross country traveler.

1230171459.jpg
 
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