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How to Pick a Pickup



  • Johnny, thanks for the inputs. The fifthwheeler I am planning on will be close to the max GVWR of both Dodge and Ford, but I plan to make sure it does not exceed the manufactures set limits. Safety is first. Yes, I will put the engine bread on either one I get.

    I would like to get the manual 6-sp tranny. But the wife is saying she will not drive a truck with a manual transmission, and I really want her too. With a 6-sp manual transmission, both trucks would be much better tow machines.

    The question is, which is the better tow truck with an automatic Dodge or Ford. Dodge reduces the horsepower and torque on the diesel engine for the Automatic, Ford does not. Is Dodge/Cummins playing it safer? Is Ford/PSD saying more transmission failers are okay? If we had the failure information from Dodge and Ford, than we would know.
  • jacarljacarl Posts: 4
    Thanks for the input.

  • RoclesRocles Posts: 985
    No knock on Dodge but the reason for higher figures on the Ford is because they make a better tranny to match their diesel.
  • bham1bham1 Posts: 1
    I WANT TO BUY 4-5 YEAR OLD TRUCK. Will carry wife 2 kids. Want it for light duty on farm and to drive to office. What is better Ford, Chevy, Dodge? Looks aren't as important as reliability
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230

    You really need to give more info. Other than driving to work, and driving around farm, what else are you going to do. How long is your drive to office? Towing? Camper? Hauling? How bad are the roads on the ranch? How much money are you willing to pay?

    These are vital. Almost universally speaking, Dodge and Ford have excellent diesels and better 3/4-tons & 1/2-tons for heavy use, GM has great V-8 engines (good power & mileage) for their 1/2-tons & 3/4-tons for light and moderate use. Dodge offers a mid-size truck (Dakota) that can accomplish a lot that the big-guys do in an easier-to-handle package. Toyota, Nissan and Ford (Mazda is same as Ford) have good compact trucks, although their backseats are probably too small for your use. You need to elaborate your needs.
  • rs_pettyrs_petty Posts: 423
    The all time best recommendation I've heard on this topic is to pick out your camper first then purchase a pickup that meets the requirements. There is a lot of difference in weight between brands and sizes. You may find that a 3/4 ton just won't do the job comfortably for a 12 foot slide in and you really should go with a 1 ton dually, but you don't need a 1 ton for an 8 foot pop-top.
  • Hello intrepid truck drivers.

    My father is looking to get a used pickup truck (about a '93 or so). He primarily will use the vehicle for commuting in Southern California with heavy use on weekends for hauling landscaping and home improvement supplies. His expressed concerns are reliability/service costs and gas mileage.

    He's leaning toward a full-size p.u. He's already nixed getting a Ford (please no hate mail!) based on past experience. Opinions on the T100 vs. a Chevy C/K based on his needs?

  • His commute during the week is about 50 miles round-trip freeway driving plus work-related drives to various So Cal vendors w/ his comfort is important too.

    Weekend cargo duties would mostly be various items like lumber, gravel, soil, and of course the dog. Light use on dirt roads would only be an occasional factor and 4WD is not required.

    Price range is apx. $8-9K.
  • br459br459 Posts: 12
    Is there anyone out there that owns a 93 or older Mazda pickup? I have to say that these little trucks are about the most reliable trucks I have ever had. I have 256,000 on mine and several of my friends have well over 200K on theirs. Not a problem. Not much power, but I don't need it anyway. Why they stopped making the Japanese version of this truck I will never know. Probably because dealer mechanics had nothing to do at Mazda dealerships. :-}
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Get the Chevy C/K with the 350. Should be more comfortable, more powerful, better mileage (yes, the 350 can/should get better than 20 mpg; the T100 would be less than that and have WAY less power). The T100 is not that good of a truck from all I've heard. They really aren't a full-size pickup.
  • just to add the price range is in Canadian Dollars
  • I'm looking for a new pickup. Primary use will be to tow a popup trailer (GVW 3500 lbs) and perhaps later to tow a larger trailer about 5000-6000 lbs. I favour the 2000 GMC Sierra 1500, extended cab, short box, 2WD; engine - Vortec 4800 V8, Auto Trans., Trailer package, locking diff., 3,73 rear axle ratio.
    Other possibilities I'm considering are Ford F150 and Dodge Ram 1500.
    Can any of you tell me which of these vehicles you prefer and why you favour it? Also which of these would you avoid and why?

    Thanks in advance.

    Clark in Toronto
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Consider the Sierra with the 5.3L. You won't regret the added power (economy will be very comparable). GM has been having some innitial quality problems (rattles, shutters, etc.), particularly on the 1500s, but I think it is probably hit & miss (there are plenty of very happy customers, warranty will cover, and they have hopefully corrected problems for Y2K). Of the trucks you are considering, however, this is the most complete (best back seat, ride, power, economy). GM has the best gas powerplants.

    I'm a Dodge owner and like the Rams (mainly the 3/4-tons w/diesel), but I think their 1500s are inferior to Ford & GM (aged design).

    The Ford may have the best quality/dependability, but does not offer as good engine, backseat as the GM.
  • Thanks for your advice. The 5.3L will cost me about another $1200 over the 4.8L - my budget is already stretched. According to specs. in the GM brochure, with the combination I indicated, I should be able to tow a trailer with 7800 GVW which is more than I should need (unless I'm being short-sighted. Can you expand on your reasons for suggesting the 5.3L? Thanks
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Power, better resale value, power, hardly any drop in economy, power, less stress on the engine for same use - better longevity and dependability (no data to support, just my opinion), and power. I'm sure the 4.8L is a good engine, too. Are you sure the 5.3 will cost that much more? It seems a little high to me. At any rate, the difference isn't that much in the whole scheme of things, but I know how your feeling. I'm struggling with a similar problem trying to decide if I can afford to get a new Cummins over a gas-powered engine.
  • Actually the difference is about $1100 (CDN). Perhaps you're thinking in U.S. dollars - don't know where you live. In any event, I'll take you advice into consideration with everything else. Thanks for your help.
  • RoclesRocles Posts: 985
    Oh I think I may vomit.......

    The 5.4L isn't a good engine????

    Come on! Who are we fooling here? The 5.4 is every bit as good as the 5.3 if not better for a half-ton. Period. In fact, she pulls more and has better HP to boot! Oh my.......
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Hey there, is the 5.4 the Ford equiv? Seriously, I haven't been following Ford offerings. I just haven't heard anything very positive or negative about the current Trident lineup. Nothing particularly positive about power or mileage. Seems like you're the first one to really defend them. I'm sure they are adequate, like my Dodge 5.2L, I just haven't heard anyone say anything about them being as good as the GM gas engines (trust me, I'm not a GM fan, never had a GM truck). But I have gained a real appreciation for the power, economy, and dependability of the GM 350s and the new 5.3.
  • RoclesRocles Posts: 985
    The 5.3 is not the 350 therefore needs time to build rep. The 351 was a great motor (to any neophyte who thought that only the 350 was a keeper--difference? oil sump) and has as much relation to the 5.4 as the 5.3 does to the 350!
    The 5.4 dogs the 5.3 in HP and Torque but gets worse gas mileage.
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Although I have never had a brand allegiance, the closest I ever came was with Ford. My first car was a '77 Heavy half (F-150) which we went through 3 351s. So I'm not a fan of the 351. Probably just bad luck, but I don't care for them. I love the Ford 302. Had one in my '73 bronco and still have one in our inboard jet fishing boat. The 302 in my Bronco was a hot plant and the only thing that I wasn't continually tinkering with. Didn't want to mess with a good thing. That little small block pushes our 19' v-bottom to nearly 50 mph.
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