View Full Version : Used Truck Advice?

Mar. 30, 2012, 11:20 PM
Ok, we are looking at 3/4 ton pick-up trucks to tow this trailer with: http://goretrailers.com/trailer3a.htm We take two horses and always pack more cr*p then we need :lol:

Here are some trucks for sale that I have found. I would love advice from people who have owned any of these trucks, pros/cons, etc.






http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listingId=2850936&listingRecNum=3&criteria=prMx%3D17000%26sf1Dir%3DDESC%26prMn%3D0%2 6alMdId%3D21802%26alMdId%3D21115%26mkId%3D20012%26 mkId%3D20015%26stkTyp%3DU%26mdId%3D21802%26mdId%3D 21115%26rd%3D150%26crSrtFlds%3DstkTypId-feedSegId-mkId-mdId-pseudoPrice%26zc%3D75214%26rn%3D0%26PMmt%3D2-2-0%26stkTypId%3D28881%26sf2Dir%3DASC%26sf1Nm%3Dpric e%26sf2Nm%3Dmiles%26isDealerGrouping%3Dfalse%26alM kId%3D20012%26alMkId%3D20015%26rpp%3D50%26feedSegI d%3D28705&aff=aybsema&listType=1

I have NEVER had a pick-up and I have NEVER had a diesel. The diesel engines kinda scare me because it seems that they need to be driven frequently (can't sit up) and the oil changes are much more expensive then on a gas engine.

We are going to use the truck ONLY for towing the trailer so it will sit parked at the barn with the trailer. We take 2 long trips a year (around 700-800 miles round trip) and bi-monthly shorter (100 miles round trip) trips.

Looking to stay under $16,000 if possible.

If there is a truck that I haven't listed a link to that I should look for, please let me know.

Opinions please?


Mar. 31, 2012, 12:28 AM
Honestly, if you look at all the other truck threads, everyone has a different opinion.

Some facts:

1. Some years of Ford engines were just CRAP. Even die-hard Ford lovers will tell you so.

2. Dodge transmissions, on the whole, need to be checked out THOROUGHLY. And even then you'll probably have to replace them.

3. Chevy/GMCs can be prone to rotting out...but you're looking at new enough that that shouldn't be an issue. There is one year that the breaklines put on the trucks were lacking a coating or something, and are therefore faulty and can blow out. You'll want to figure out what year that was, and ask if they've been looked at/replaced.

My family has owned nothing but Chevys/GMCs and never had any issues. We work our trucks hard. The diesel Suburban was at 232,xxx when we sold her, and the GMC gas is at 245,xxx. Those are just the most recent.

What you SHOULD do is spend the $40 for a Consumer Reports membership and thoroughly check out any truck that you're considering, right down to the year/transmission/gearing setup that the specific truck has. Consumer Reports has a great format that will highlight troublesome years. And it's unbiased and factual. Which cannot be said for this board of opinionated horse women (and the occasional grumpy man!)

Mar. 31, 2012, 01:13 AM
The first one is my favorite but it is the 6.0 engine. One's we looked at last
year similar in years and mileage were going for quite a bit more.

We had a 96 Ford F250 with the 7.3L engine we sold last fall with 285K.
We also traded a 2006 Dodge quad 4x4 with the hemi engine...it was not particular impressive towing a two horse steel slant with dressing room after the Ford diesel. And it slurped gas, especially with a trailer behind it.

We got a 2007 Dodge diesel with the 5.9 engine and love it. Had more miles
on it than we wanted but one owner, great price and is the mega cab which
is awesome.

When we were looking in 2006 for a new truck, the Dodge diesels had more punch than the Ford's. Dodge salesman said in the early 2000's, there were
transmission problems but had been resolved in the new ones were were looking at. He was also a farm boy that drove one himself. For what it's worth, his opinion was cattle folks drove Dodge's and horse folks drove Fords.

Way back when searching for our first truck in 1998, I didn't care about brand. DH was a Ford or nothing guy. We went to a big show and he had me
look at the makes of trucks where the exhibitors parked and it was overwhelming Fords.

The cost of the oil change is more than made up with the increased mpg you
get from a diesel, or at least some of them. The new Dodge is running about
22 plus on the highway and 18 around town. Right now diesel is only 15 to 20 cents around here than gas. That can vary, especially in the winter where the spread is much greater. We've had a mild winter nationwide so less diesel has gone for heating oil.

Mar. 31, 2012, 09:30 AM
The F250 with the V10 would be my pick of those choices. Being used that little, and only for towing a small trailer the diesel is not necessary and would only be added expense.

FYI, a diesel has no problem sitting. Not sure where this myth comes from. Plenty of farm/construction equipment/old guys pulling rvs sit for extended periods without issue. Basically the same 'storage' precautions apply for a diesel. As with any engine, when it is used, make sure it is run long enough to get everything completely warm.....which isn't hard when it's only job is to pull a trailer.

Mar. 31, 2012, 01:09 PM
I bought my F250 SD v10 Lariat for quite a bit under your price range- it's older but I only use for hauling. Love it.

Mar. 31, 2012, 01:46 PM
I have a 2001 Ford F350 with the PowerStoke 7.3 and it only has 66K on it. It spends a lot of time sitting, especially when the cost of fuel gets crazy. That being said, I have had almost no issues with it. I 've done regular maintanence, placed batteries, brakes pads and rotors, and fixed a small transmission leak. Hopefully it will last another 11 years!

Mar. 31, 2012, 08:57 PM
From that list, the last one but overall, go diesel, go Dodge.
Powerstroke(Ford) sucks-husband has done nothing but work on his. Now and again someoen gets a good Ford with PS but its rare. Dodge has the Cummins and it rocks. The diesel has been low maintenance, great mileage (26mpg) and comfortable, and is great for towing. Many Chevys have low clearance which may not be an issue for you but would be if you are on a dirt road. But for good, reliable, towing, go Dodge. And I would definitely recommend diesel!

Mar. 31, 2012, 10:44 PM
Diesels aren't scary, they're awesome :)

I have a 99 F250 Powerstroke diesel - the much vaunted 7.3L powerhouse. I use it almost solely for towing, have had it for years and zero problems. Those trucks are built to last and my mechanic in CT who gave it a once over before I moved down to GA offered to buy it outright anytime I wanted to sell. I thought about it, because I don't actually need a truck and trailer now that I board with a very good friend who has her own shipping service, but I waffled because I was worried I'd never be able to find that truck again if I changed my mind!

Mar. 31, 2012, 11:24 PM
Ok everyone, thanks for the input!

I checked the Consumer Reports buying guide, the 3/4 ton trucks they recommend are older, ranging from 2000 to 2003.

Getting a 12 year old truck means higher mileage, when looking at the mileage, how high is too high (in ya'lls opinion) for the mileage on a gas engine and a diesel engine?

Of course I will have anything I am seriously interested in checked out by a mechanic, but I can save time looking at ads if I need to narrow down by miles.

I know diesels can go a TON of miles, but when looking for a truck to buy, how high is TOO high?

And what about gas engines? I've always thought that 100,000 miles on a gas engine was a lot but maybe I'm incorrect in thinking that?

Mar. 31, 2012, 11:28 PM
I sold my F-350 7.3 diesel in January with 415k miles on it..it was still purring like a kitten.

Apr. 1, 2012, 12:26 AM
I would say it would depend on how the truck was used, as far as miles go, and how it was maintained. 180,000k would not bother me with a Dodge (with Cummins). Those powerstrokes you do have to be careful with the years. Dodge's may not have the power of that 7.3 but they have plenty of towing power and get better mileage, IMO. If you decide to go diesel, use a fuel additive. My husband has me use stanadyne but whatever they use in your neckof the woods.

Apr. 1, 2012, 12:39 AM
I did just check with my husband (who is a mechanic, foreman,for gov't agency) and he concurred to stay away from Fords (particularly the V10). But, in spite of what I said above (I LOVE my 3/4 ton diesel) you could get away with a gasser as you are not towing a lot, but you will use a lot of gas, no matter what kind of truck you get. He said they do not have a lot of problems with those Hemis but the fuel mileage really drops off when towing.

I still love mine, and yes, maintainence is likely higher and an oil change is definitely more expensive.

I just noticed that last one is 2WD?? Make sure you are getting 4 x4 (I didn't check the others). you will not be sorry!!!

Apr. 1, 2012, 12:52 AM
On a final note, I 'd say you should look at a 2000/2001 Dodge, 4WD, diesel, 3/4 ton with about 180k on it. For 16k they should have done work on the injector pump (have a diesel rated garage test the pump pressure). If the pressure is okay (work or no work) you will likely not have to think about it. At that mileage, either the problem would have shown up or its gonna likely be okay. Butyou do not want to be stuck getting that pump, they should knock off the price quite a bit (its an expensive repair 3500 or so).

I love trucks, hope you have fun looking!!

Blue Yonder
Apr. 1, 2012, 01:22 PM
Pcostx, do you have a deadline to buy a truck? As in, do you need one now, or can you keep an eye out for a while?

There are deals to be found if you take your time, but are ready to move on the right truck. When it was time to replace my old gas Ford F250, I scoured the newspaper, craigslist, etc., for probably close to 2 months, and stumbled across an '01 7.3L Ford with 40k miles, for $1500 under your cap. It is my favorite truck in the universe. :-) That engine gets my serious vote for consideration, it's a monster and has been 100% trouble free since I bought it.

The guy I bought it from is a private dealer who buys for folks at auctions in S. Texas, and has been doing so for years -- totally above-board, knew his stuff, honest and reasonably priced for sure. PM me if you might like his info.

Truck shopping is a little like horse shopping -- fun and painful at the same time. The PPE's are cheaper for trucks, though! [grin] Best of luck!

Apr. 1, 2012, 03:37 PM
We're not in a hurry. I've actually found a few low mileage trucks, check out this one:


We actually put a deposit down on a 2005 Ford F250 with the 6.0L diesel, then I started reading about them and found out about all the problems they have. Then I looked in Consumer Reports and that model was listed as one of the WORST used cars/trucks. SO back to the drawing board!

It sounds like you got a GREAT truck!!:yes:

Apr. 1, 2012, 06:19 PM
I still think you would really appreciate a 4WD. You may not need it much of the time but when you DO need it you REALLY need it!!

Thoroughbred in Color
Apr. 1, 2012, 07:20 PM
If you are doing a lot of distance, Chevy/GMC is the way to go. By far the most comfortable trucks I have ever driven. I'm pretty sure the people at Ford hate anything that might possibly be comfortable, and Dodge isn't much better. Every Ford I've dealt with seemed like it spent more time in the shop than anywhere else.

Right now I have a 2004 Silverado extended cab and couldn't be happier unless it was a diesel. This is my second Silverado, I bought the first one, a gas 97, with about 80k on it. I put about 350k on it before I traded it in, and I never had any major issues with it, just changed oil and did brakes and tires when needed.

The 04 I have now I have put about 90k on so far, and the only issues I have had with it have to do with water damage it sustained before I got it. (BTW, Carfax is great, wish I had used it before I bought the truck). I don't do a lot of towing with it, but I routinely haul a ton of hay at a time in the bed and it does just fine. The downside is that it gets 3-4 mpg less than my SO's bigger, heavier, diesel Silverado.

All of our trucks at work are either Silverados or Sierras and we beat the crap out of them. They tow great and last a LONG time. We frequently let the diesels sit for long periods of time and never have a problem, just make sure when you park it for the end of the season it has a full tank and put fuel stabilizer in it.

Apr. 1, 2012, 10:31 PM
Thats funny...the GM seats hurt my back so bad. Never a problem in my Ford for all of those 415k miles! But I always say, that's why they make 31 flavors!

Apr. 1, 2012, 11:53 PM
On a final note, I 'd say you should look at a 2000/2001 Dodge, 4WD, diesel, 3/4 ton with about 180k on it. For 16k they should have done work on the injector pump (have a diesel rated garage test the pump pressure). If the pressure is okay (work or no work) you will likely not have to think about it. At that mileage, either the problem would have shown up or its gonna likely be okay. Butyou do not want to be stuck getting that pump, they should knock off the price quite a bit (its an expensive repair 3500 or so).

I love trucks, hope you have fun looking!!

Whatt? For 16k the OP should be able to find a heckuvah better deal than a ten year old truck with 180k on it.....

OP, for what it's worth, I really would not let mileage scare you as long as the truck has been maintained. I have a 1999 gas GMC 2500 with over 200k on it....she's had all the right stuff done at the right time (although she could probably use a transmission, it gets a little slippery under load....but at 235k I'm okay with that!) and was well taken care of, continues to purr along. $1200 on craigslist. For the around-town hauling that I do (although she did a six hour all-75mph-highway trip haul last summer) she's all I need.

Apr. 2, 2012, 07:59 AM
Well, I would think that a 2001, with mileage somewhere in the area of 180,000 would go around 10k, if in good condition. If someone can find it, a nice middle aged truck (diesel engines can run forever if maintained) would be perfect, with 4WD. Maybe they go a lot cheaper in the east? I haven't looked for quite a while, but I would be very surprised to find that for $1200. IF such a truck were available for that price, I would buy it sight unseen!

Apr. 2, 2012, 09:28 AM
Well, I would think that a 2001, with mileage somewhere in the area of 180,000 would go around 10k, if in good condition. If someone can find it, a nice middle aged truck (diesel engines can run forever if maintained) would be perfect, with 4WD. Maybe they go a lot cheaper in the east? I haven't looked for quite a while, but I would be very surprised to find that for $1200. IF such a truck were available for that price, I would buy it sight unseen!

2001, diesel, Chevy 2500, 127k, $9.5k without the plow

2001, diesel, Dodge 2500, 99k, $13k

Gorgeous F350 diesel, loaded with leather, dually. This one does have high miles (173k) but is a nice truck. $12k.

I certainly wouldn't buy a 2001 with double the miles for $16k when I could have all those trucks. Maybe I'm lucky and trucks are just cheaper in my area? The gasser's go for even cheaper. You can pick up gas 3/4 ton's with under 100k for under $10k on craigslist all day long. Although I'm a diesel girl through and through (last truck was) there's nothing wrong with a gas engine if you're just towing around town....at that point the nicer mileage of a diesel is nice, but may not make up for the maintenance costs of keeping one for just a few trips a month.

And yes, I called about my truck within two hours of it being posted...thank goodness it was close because I was like "I'm coming up in 45 minutes with the full asking price in cash, hold it!" She could probably use a paintjob (some peeling on the hood and rockers) but other than that she's a good, solid truck. And $1200 pays for itself quite quickly in just a few hauls!

Apr. 2, 2012, 09:43 AM
Thread hijack alert! I am also looking for a used Ford F250 or Dodge 2500 and wondered what years to avoid? Gas or diesel. Thanks!

Apr. 2, 2012, 09:53 AM
I'd look hard at that dodge 2500, thats a great deal! Pretty darn close to exactly what the OP is looking for! I guess they are cheaper on the east coast!

On that last posting, Mr. LT is selling his F350, diesel, 4WD, 164k, long box, xtra set of tires, two years left on its drive train warranty (transferable) for $15,700 and he will deliver it (if fuel is covered). It has been lovingly maintained by my OCD Mr LT. 4 Door, TOPPER, great condition. Probably sell for 15,400 without the topper, it does have a rubber bed pad. That thing will pull almost anything you can think of. I don't think of 160-180k as "high miles" when considering a diesel as the longevity of a diesel is over twice that of a gasser,with normal maintainence but certainly not a "new" truck.

I have loved my quad cab and like Mr LTs 4 door, makes it very comfortable to ride in. But I'd still look hard at that dodge in Western Mass. That could be perfect!

Apr. 2, 2012, 08:33 PM
if anyone has a body shop of their own mine is soon to be for sale.
f350 2002 7.3 liter
lariet with leather and power etc.
awesome engine, body has rust but not frame.

Apr. 3, 2012, 09:24 AM
UPDATE: Last night we bought a 2001 Ford F250 with the wonderful 7.3L diesel engine !! :D

It has 129,000 miles on it, same owner for last 10 years. It is in GREAT condition.

It is white with the grey cloth. It has the full 4 doors, in fact the dogs already took a ride in the new truck last night!

Interior looks brand new, as does exterior. I don't think this truck was ever used for towing, there is no brake controller (most of the used 3/4 ton trucks we looked at had a brake controller installed and some had a gooseneck hitch, this truck has neither).

We drove it home on the highway last night and it purred along, it doesn't even sound like a diesel and the ride is VERY good. I think the seats are comfortable too!


Apr. 3, 2012, 10:35 AM
Congrats!!! New wheels are fun fun fun!! And you will not regret the diesel!!! glad the dogs like it!

Apr. 3, 2012, 01:00 PM
Jealous :D I started looking at new-to-me trucks a week or so ago, but my budget is half of yours....in my price range, I've been told I'm just buying someone else's problem :eek:

But the Chevy 1500 with 220k+ miles gives me a darn-near heart attack anytime I go somewhere now. "What's that sound? does it normally do that? Did you feel that??"

I noticed you looked at trucks with plows - I'd always been told not to consider a truck that has been used for plowing because it is hard on the transmission. Anyone know anything about that?

Apr. 3, 2012, 03:02 PM
awaywego, I did not personally look at any trucks with plows, I think someone else posted a couple of ads where the trucks had plows.

I have also been told to avoid trucks used as snow plows.

We paid $12,000 for the truck we purchased and they gave us $9500:D trade-in on my 2006 Saab SUV!! Whoo Hoo!

I drove the new truck to the barn this AM (all highway) and really enjoyed it!

Now were looking for a camper top to put on it, we stopped by the local truck accessories store and the cheapest they had was $1100 total, including tax and installation. Hubby and I didn't know they would be so expensive.