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Best used truck?

GarySGaryS Member Posts: 1
edited February 2014 in General
I want to solicit opinions on the best used truck
for the money. My needs are:
- costs less than $5,000
- little to no maintenance required (I am not a
skilled auto mechanic)
- large enough flatbed to carry windsurfing gear
(up to 8'8" long) without sticking out the back
- 4 wheel drive preferred (needs to do ok in
inclement weather)
- weekend usage only (this will be my second
- rides nice (is this even a criteria for owning a

Any help would be appreciated!


  • bucciconebuccicone Member Posts: 1
    Toyota 4X4 Trucks with Xtra cab for my money
    years 86-88 for $5000 or below, very reliable , easy to work on. Problem areas: Rusty beds in those years, Transmission bearings in 5sp., timing chains in 100k mile area,
  • BlongBlong Member Posts: 1
    I am under the impression Ford PUs from '90 to '94 had many mechanical problems. My problem is these are the years my budget falls in. Any specific recommendations on what to purchase or should these years be avoided at all costs? My budget is under $10,000.
  • MotormouthMotormouth Member Posts: 99
    You can research this yourself right here on

    Just click on the link for "Used Vehicles" at the top left side of this page. Then, from the list, choose your manufacturer (hint: "FORD"). Then choose the model from the next page, then year. The site will return any information to you that it has pertaining to that model. It will include hot links to recall notices etc. Good luck!
  • duckduck Member Posts: 1
    I am buying my first automobile and I was considering an F-250 4*4 diesel. Does anyone have any suggestions. I would like to keep the cost under $5000. An older one around 86 or 87 would be fine
  • MinutemanMinuteman Member Posts: 2
    I own a 93 Chevy K1500 Silverado xcab 4x4. While it doesn't fall into the categories suggested above, i.e. under $5000, it certainly performs when called upon. For years I was an absolute Ford fan. Until, however, I bought a 1983 F-100. It was an absolute lemon. Now, though, my Chevy has been virtually trouble-free. The only problem I've had is the alternator. Namely, I've gone through 3 of them in the last year. The power it produces is good, but the main alternator bearing goes bad and it starts to whine and hum loudly when going bad. So far #3 has been good. So, Chevy is my choice for best used pickup, at least if you want a full-sized one. Any other comments?
  • ClayClay Member Posts: 2
    I will be in the market for buying a used truck 1Q98. Will be looking @ 95-97 Dodge/GMC 2500 4X4 Ext Cab (LB or SB). I have not done much research on either. I am leaning toward the RAM, but am concerned about mechanical complaints I have heard. Also, would be interested in feedback re auto vs. manual transmission (for both). Any comments?
  • DDARTONDDARTON Member Posts: 2
  • DDARTONDDARTON Member Posts: 2
  • psycorampsycoram Member Posts: 3

    Please Fill out Profile

    I may a little bit baised when it comes to trucks
    But Ford Rangers are GARBAGE

    Suggest you check out the Dodge Dakota

    with 3.9 v/6 or 5.2 v/8
  • DARKWINGDARKWING Member Posts: 3
  • babalubabalu Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking for a '91-'94 4X4 pickup, and am looking at a full size Dodge, Chevy or Ford. Anybody know where I can get a list of the features (options) on these vehicles so I can get a start on picking the right one?
  • MotormouthMotormouth Member Posts: 99

    Try clicking on the "Used Vehicles" icon, enter the pertinent data and it will take you to the section that includes info on the year/make of the truck you're looking for.
  • wantaf150wantaf150 Member Posts: 19
    It appears you have your hands full directing people to the right topic areas and the appropriate chapters in the Edmund's New and Used Truck Books for answers to their questions; anyway, I certainly appreciate the hard work you obviously do; and I'll bet I could have placed this note in some other "topic area" discussion.

    Michael from Tampa
  • joeincincijoeincinci Member Posts: 1
    I'm(was?) looking for a '91-'94 Ford Ranger...
    ...mechanical problems???
    ...psycoram sez GARBAGE???
    Should I go the Dakota way???
    I'm not fond of recent Chevy S-10's, but I could
    be convinced with some +feedback... imports(but I heard Toyota was pretty good)
    Help...I need vehicle in next 2-3 weeks...
  • DARKWINGDARKWING Member Posts: 3
  • LeonardGroteLeonardGrote Member Posts: 1
    My name is Leonard. I am looking for suggestions on what kind of truck would be good for towing a 5th Wheel. Probably 8,000 to 10,000 lbs. Ford, Chevy, Dodge? What size engine would be best? 2WD or 4WD? I am looking for a used truck for under $7,000. Any one have any suggestions? Thanks!
  • pabpab Member Posts: 2
    I'm interested in buying a well-kept stock 69-72 chevy C-10 2WD auto. Any comments/cautions/recommendations on these vehicles?
  • kddkdd Member Posts: 1
    I'm seriously looking at a 1989 F-150 Ford ext-cab 4X4, AT, odometer says 77,000. The used car dealership is asking $10,900. Any input on this year and model, price, things to be aware of, etc?

    Thanks for any help
  • jefferyjeffery Member Posts: 2
    Looking at 1959 Chevy P/U needs sheetmetal work around bottom of door and has a hole in running board. Origional 235 engine runs good. I would like to know what it is worth. Just a ballpark.
  • Tim77Tim77 Member Posts: 3
    I have owned a 92 ford ranger STX ext cab 4x4 with the 4.0 liter engine since it was new. It now has 73k on it and is as good as when it was new. It had a rear seal leak at 7k that ford fixed and the valve cover gaskets are leaking just a bit but that should be an easy fix. I still have the origional spark plugs in it and think it has been a very good rig. I live in snow country so use it in 4 wheel drive a lot. It has lots of get up and go and the engine is very smooth.
  • damcardamcar Member Posts: 2
    I purchased a 1992 F-150 4x4 new and now have 68,000 trouble free miles on it. I have to "HIGHLY" recommend Ford even though prior to this I only owned Chevy's. I know of no problems with this model and year.
    Check out all vehicles thoroughly before you buy whether they are new or used. I see everyone advising buyers to have the vehicle checked by a mechanic, well don't forget a good frame shop too! My first "Special Order Truck" came in with hidden damages that were not disclosed. It took my noticing "something doesn't look right" and then investigating it before a replacement was reordered. CHECK IT! CHECK IT! CHECK IT! Good luck shoppers.
  • HAN866A2HAN866A2 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 1991 Ford F-150 5.0 litre Automatic. It has 151,000 miles on it and aside from a waterpump at 101,000 and exhaust system at 87,000 and routine maint. items, everthing is original. It runs excellent and is still has a very tight ride.
    The only area of concern should be the E4OD trans.
    if it was serviced and not abused it is relatively bulletproof, (I know people who tow over 7,000 lbs with the same combo as mine and have experienced trans. problems and then they blame the E4OD trans., when you try to explain that this combo is not rated for that type of service they just scratch their head and say I figured that it was a big truck and it could tow that kind of weight, DUH!!!) A word to the wise ADD A TRANS. COOLER if it dosen't have one. There is no reason why my truck should not go another 100,000 miles I'm that confident and would buy another one in a minute. Good Luck [email protected]
  • dcassdcass Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking at a '95 Dodge Dakota and would like to know if anyone has any information (good/bad/indifferent) on them.
  • montyjimmontyjim Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking for a late model (96 - 98)pickup with LOW miles (<30K). The LOW miles because I really want a new one but don't want to pay the price. The one thing that bothers me is - if is it a really great truck with all the features I want and it is in great condition with those really LOW miles, why did the previous owner get rid of it? If it was on a lease the previous "owner" probably didn't spent a nickel or an hour on maintenance (I wouldn't, would you?). If it wasn't on a lease, the previous owner already took the hit on depreciation, so why did they get rid of it? I think the reason they got rid of it should be a major consideration when I buy it. Would someone tell me why one would get rid of a late model LOW mile truck?
  • greyhndgreyhnd Member Posts: 2
    Insurance points: If you've got a 4X4 and get points you may want to ditch the truck to drop the insurance points.

    Increase in income: You can afford a nicer vehicle. why not step up?

    Change in lifestyle: Don't need a truck bed. You pay someone to deliver stuff or move your stuff.

    You want extreme handling and speed: Car or bike only alternative unless you lower the truck and hop it up.

    I on the other hand love my 4X4 pickup, chicks love it and my dog loves it.
    Think I'll keep it :-)

    [email protected]
  • BrutusBrutus Member Posts: 1,113
    I'm getting rid of my regular cab 1992 F-250 4x4 because I want to move up to the new 1999 Superduty. My current truck has 81,000 miles on it, and I'm confident it will run another 80,000 or so. I've maintained it well mechanically. The lack of an extended cab provided me what little persuasion I needed to make a new purchase now, rather than a few years down the road. My truck still has some good trade-in value now. The value will likely decrease significantly in the eyes of a potential purchaser after it passes the 100,000 mile mark.

    Another reason someone might be selling a good vehicle is if their needs change. I bought my truck in Alaska. A little over a year later, my job transferred me to Southern CA. I had a lot more truck than I needed when I was in CA. I held on to it because I liked the truck, but a lot of people likely would have sold it in favor of a more economical vehicle.
  • weazelweazel Member Posts: 3
    I am planning on buying a new (used) truck in the near future and I think I have narrowed down my choices. They are 90-94 Toyota Ex Cab 4X4 auto V6 and 90-94 Nissan King Cab 4X4 auto V6. If anybody has any comments on either of these please let me know. I am currently swaying toward the Toyota because of the amount of aftermarket companies that are out there compared to Nissan parts. Besides that, how are the trucks themselves...anyone??
  • greyhndgreyhnd Member Posts: 2
    I've heard the toyota trucks generally have more power and get better gas mileage. I own a 97 4x4 kingcab Nissan only because the price was extremely low and the toyotas are extremely high. I don't know about the costs after they're a few years old. If cash isn't a problem I'd take the toyota. When things break It's gonna be more expensive to fix on the Toyota I believe.


    [email protected]
  • weazelweazel Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice greyhnd. Have you had any problems with your Nissan? Any trouble finding parts like air filters or oil filters? How long have you had your Nissan? Thanks again for the help.

  • rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 601

    The only way I buy any vehicle is as slightly used as possible but not new. I have run into many reasons that people sell an almost new vehicle. Usually it is because they cant afford it or a divorce or a new kid on the way. The bottom line is just have it checked out. It will have the original warranty and sometimes a transferrable 100,000 mile warranty so the mechanicals don't scare me at all. What I look for is repaired body/ frame damage. I have run into a few that look great, seem to drive fine and I take them to my body shop and find that it should have been totaled from an accident but was fixed because it was so new. What ever the seller tells you is the reason for selling DON'T BELIEVE IT!! Have it checked out!!!
    Buying almost new, even a leased one has always saved me thousands from new and I have never been burned. I'm looking for a 96 Range Rover 4.0 SE right now and own a 96 Tacoma 4x4 and an older Rover that I bought slightly used and they have been great! When I see a new model of something I want (like the 96 Rover) I always think how I can't wait for a year or two so I can buy one. Let the guy that always has to buy a new one take the hit (there is no shortage of them).
  • zeetowzeetow Member Posts: 1
    I have a 96 Chevy C1500 ext cab with 17k miles
    I'am selling it , or trading it because I bought a
    5th wheel , which it pulls fine but , it wiggles going down the road & I'am afraid I or my wife will wreck it.
  • b1bmzayb1bmzay Member Posts: 1
    I am on the lookout for a late model Ford F-350, Crew Cab, DRW, 4:10 rear, Turbodiesel with heavy duty towing package.
  • JTOJTO Member Posts: 28
    Toyota... is the best 'small' pickup I've ever owned. 70000 miles and the only thing I've had to change (with the exception of tires/oils) is a marker light bulb. Sure beats my friends ranger and s-10's... they've changed clutches, fuel sensors (in tank) and other engine sensors. I'm now looking for a full size, and wish toyota made one I could afford!

  • IGL54IGL54 Member Posts: 1
    I have an 86 B2000 Mazda with 177000 miles.Its been great since day one the only complaint I have is about two years ago I said my nephew could have it when he gets his license. I didnt
    know they get so early in Kentucky! best ride in a small truck Ive ever seen Im looking for a replacement.
  • 97Isuzu97Isuzu Member Posts: 4
    I have a (obviously) 97 Isuzu Hombre. It has 3500 miles on it and I have only had it for 1 1/2 months does anyone know anything about them and if so what do you think?
  • rite3rite3 Member Posts: 69
    I have a 1990 Toyota xtracab v6 4x4 that I love, I am going to order a 1999 superduty ford this fall. The toy has run well and I have no complaints, although any perspective buyers should know about the head gasket problems with the 3vze v6. Toyota sent out extensions of the factory powertrain warranty to owners and I have just gone over the 80k mark the extension covers. If you recieved a truck with the bad gaskets you will more than likely have problems with them blowing. Thats why you see people advertizing a fresh top end rebuild. There is no way to tell which trucks have the bad gaskets, at least thats what my dealer told me. I havent had mine fail yet , so I think I may have lucked out. The reason for selling is that I need more room, with one kid already and one on the way the toy is just to small. We just bought a sienna ( toys new minvan), and I still am not allowed to drive it. So Im going to get the truck of my dreams, and it wont be black (toy) and it will have ac (toy) although I know I wont be able to buy it for 10k and drive it four five years, putting 50k miles on it and sell it for 9k (toy). Best of luck to all.
  • chimchimchimchim Member Posts: 3
    I have a '91 Mazda B2200 4X2 with 112,000 miles on it. I use and abuse it-- like taking it down 4X4 trails about once a month- following my buddies in their Toys, Ford and Dodge 4X4's. I towed a 4 runner with a tow strap for over an hour to get him home (after he submerged it in a river and was pulled out by 2 4x4's tied together) Though it's a "crude" truck, is only rated at 2000 lbs towing,and stuggles to break 95 mph, it has never broken! I've changed tires, oil, brake pads, and batteries but nothing as ever "went out" on me. The little thing amazes me. I have a buddy with an '89 B2200 with over 160,000 miles on it with simular luck. It tickled me to death when my roomate had to get a new transmission and clutch on his '93 Ranger. That's OK, I had a '88 Ranger that lasted only 3 years till I got fed up with it's reliability shortcomings. So, in a nutshell, if you want a tough truck that's reliable as ----, and you don't need the power/size of a full size truck, I wholeheartedly recommend a '89-'93 Mazda B-series. The '94 - present ones are really Ranger which are bigger and more powerful, but a sacrifice to build quality and reliability. My 2 cents.
  • davendaven Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1987 chevy S-10 4x4 pickup it has 214000.miles in it and still running strong, as strong as the 2.8 ever was the only problem i have is with the automatic trans, it keeps hunting for 4th gear. any one know how to get this little v-6 some more horses i sure would like to know about it. love my chevy.
  • JDIAZJDIAZ Member Posts: 23
    I just sold my 86 toy 4x4 std cab with 230,000 miles. Same engine, radiator, transmission. My key to all those many miles was oil changes and preventetive maintenance. I bought it when it had 8 miles..get my drift. I sold it for $4,000...can any one beat that....I hope so. I just purchased a T100 xcab 4x4 5 speed with a v6. I really like it, but my expectations are 200k + miles...well see.

  • kw3ukw3u Member Posts: 1
    Hi all;
    My 85 dodge ram slant 6 engine has bad
    cyl- otherwise auto/ps/full size/cap/217,000
    mi/nice condx so will put it in paper as is
    soon.. question is...haven't bought looked at
    new/used ina long time...reliability is my
    prime concern. looking for 1-3 yr old low
    miles but i guess my first concern shud be
    Toy/Nissan vs ForDodgchev's..
    any help greatly appreciated... jim
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