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Going to be getting a used truck real soon. I'm looking to spend no more than $5000 and possibly less. I'll be selling my car after I purchase the truck to pay myself back for the 401K loan I got.

Been looking online and stopped at one dealer that had several in my price range. It looks like I will be in the 1988 to 1996 range depending on how many miles and condition. Obviously I would like to have good condition more than anything else.

The trucks I have in mind are F-150's and Chevy 1500's. The Ford's are more plentiful in V-8 and even manual transmission which I personally prefer.

Just wondering who has experience with trucks from those years and how do you like them or what has caused problems. I've been a car guy since before I could drive and I've owned or used a few different trucks on different jobs. Basically I have a really good understanding of mechanical stuff in general and already have an opinion on things, but tell me what you think.
 

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I've got a '91 F150 that I bought used from a relative. All in all it's a pretty solid vehicle, I haven't had any major issues with it. There are a few things I don't care for, for instance the manual tranny with the bench seat. (it's just akward for me to adjust to a comfortable position) A friend of mine has a '92 with a 60/40 split bench that's a dream compared to mine, guess I could always try a junkyard and upgrade. Mine has the 300cid in-line 6 cylender engine, gas mileage is about par with a similar sized V-8. Lots of torque which is to my advantage, I work it to death. I know two Factory Ford mechanics who swear by the engine and told me 300,000 miles is well within reason. They went so far as to say that Ford discontinued the 300 because of it's reliability and longevity, personally I'll take that with a grain of salt but it could be true.

One things for sure, trucks are alot nicer now than they were in '91. Mine runs well and it's been reliable, I imagine I'll keep it when the time for a new truck comes along (hopefully I'll have someone else working out of it then!)

Over the years I've had good luck with both Chevy/GMC and Ford 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks, I think they're pretty much equal in most respects. Can't really comment on Dodge or imports since I haven't worked out of them.
 

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Let's hear it for the WW two losers!!

Oh --I should stay away from this issue.

I'm one of those guys that buys Germans and Japs because the only work on a vehicle I want to do is twisting the key.

I do have a 1989 Chevy pickup that I haul the garbage in-- it stays broken enough to keep my prejudices well enforced.

 

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I think it would boil down to how you were going to use it.

If you were just driving short distance and wanted style I would go Chevy. It has a great deal of performance upgrades that won't break the bank, also some cool style upgrades. Easy to work on, lot's of parts stay the same for many years. (cheaper)

If you were going to work it, I would go Ford. I hate the twin I beam. Hard to keep aligned, hard on shocks. Engine management components prone to get out of "spec" easily. I.E.... E.G.R, E.V.P. and I.A.C. tends to "dirty" quickly. Overall I think a little "tougher" than Chevy.

If you driving long distance to commute I would go Toyota. These things 'take a lickin and keep on ticken'. Easy to work on, parts more costly, less inherent problems overall. Still a "Ricer" tho.

That's my dos centavos aqui.
 

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Find an old V6 Toyota longbed.

Those damn things run forever.

I've been through 10 to 15 big domestic trucks and while I got alot of use out of them, I cannot deny they nickle-dimed me to death. By contrast I spent $7500 on a new 93 Nissan 4cyl. plain jainer that worked hard, never broke and kept me on the road for 8 years and 200,000 with nothing but normal maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've been thinking about an Import too beacuse my Dad had a Nissan and so did a good friend of mine. The problem with the imports or small domestics is my height and when my Dad had his we made a bunch of long distance trips in it. I'm just too tall for most imports. I'm only 6'3", but that is enough for me to have issues in them and having herniated discs in my back I have to go for comfort too.

The other issue is size because I really need a fullsize truck and the 300 inch 6 of Ford is looking better and better. They are a long lasting motor and they have the grunt. When they went to fuel injection back in the late 80's they became a much better motor.


If I could buy new it would be a Tundra or Titan, if I could buy new.........
 

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Sang, Id buy a older toyota t100. They are decently sized (not a mexican-mini truck) and they are reliable as hell. I cant remember the exact years of its production but it was early to mid 90s before the Tundras and such.
 

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ahhh bud....we meet again.
well the toyota is a kick ars truck!
i have owned one and would still if that lady wouldnt have ran that stop sign...thank god her husband was the state farm insurance guy.....
i will own another one again...
as you were asking for a ford or chevy....i would go with the ford.
i feel they are built better.
and never,ever get a dodge....they suck.
 

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Here's my .02. I've owned three trucks. First was an extened cab '85 1/2 Nissan that I bought with around 175,000 and put another 25,000 on it and sold it. This was one of the old carbureted models. It ran like a charm! No problems out of it whatsoever, and gas mileage was great. Next was a single cab '86 Toyota Pickup for $2200. This was another carbureted model. But let me tell you something, I have never had a better truck in my entire life. I bought it with 129,000 miles on it, and ended up having to sell it to my brother due to relocation. When I sold it to him it had 205,00 miles on it. The only problems I had with it was a bad starter, clutch replacement, and a carburetor rebuild. After selling it, my brother drove it until it had 245,000 and then sold it to my younger brother. Unfortunately, he ran into a ditch and banged up the front end so it sat for about a year. We ended up selling it, still running, to a friend for $200. I've never made a better investment in my life. I drove it cross country, Atlanta to Idaho and back with no problems. And those old carbureted models got excellent mileage. I think I averaged upwards of 27-28 miles to the gallon. Now, I own a 2000 Tacoma single cab. With your size, I'd definitely not recommend the "single cab" Tacoma. I'm not very big so its just fine for me. But, a Prerunner extended cab I bet would be much roomier for you. And like you said, a Tundra would also do the trick! Bud Dwyer mentioned the T100. It is in the range of years you are looking for and is also a bigger truck then the Tacoma. I think it was the prdecessor to the Tundra. This would probably be my best advice for you to get. I like Fords and Chevy's as well. Have always like the F-150's. Nice big motor, no problems pulling anything but you're gonna pay for it in the gas mileage. If you can afford the gas and it won't be an issue in the future, the F-150 would be a good choice.
 

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swingset said:
Find an old V6 Toyota longbed.

Those damn things run forever.

I've been through 10 to 15 big domestic trucks and while I got alot of use out of them, I cannot deny they nickle-dimed me to death. By contrast I spent $7500 on a new 93 Nissan 4cyl. plain jainer that worked hard, never broke and kept me on the road for 8 years and 200,000 with nothing but normal maintenance.

I defenitaly say go for the Toyota. I used to have a V6 4x4 extended cab, every day sence I sold it I've wanted it back.
 

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I am a Toyota Master Tech. I would buy a Tacoma with the 4 or the V6.
The Tundra is a nice truck if you don't have to work it, they have O2 sensor problems and most of the time the sensor will not come out and you have to replace the manifold also, they also have weak transmissions but if you don't work it they will last forever.

As for the older V6 3.0L trucks pre Tacoma and Tundra that engine is a piece of shit. They were recalled for headgaskets it is call a VO6 the 22RE(4 cylinder) was the better engine.

I would buy a older Toyota truck with a 22RE and drive it forever. You only have to put a factory oil filter on it too keep the timing chain to last.

I have a 3/4 ton 2500 Chevy with a 454 engine, 2wd, 4 speed auto trans and love it. It is a 99 and it was $8,000 cheaper than the Tundra at the time of buying new.

If I were you I would buy the Ford with a 300 6 and a stick shift. I had two of these trucks both with 300 engines and drove them for over 12 years and loved them. They were good trucks and I would buy another one over a Tundra. The only reason I bought the Chevy was for the engine and I did not like the Ford body style in the F150 in 1999.
 

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bigblock said:
If I were you I would buy the Ford with a 300 6 and a stick shift. I had two of these trucks both with 300 engines and drove them for over 12 years and loved them. They were good trucks and I would buy another one over a Tundra. The only reason I bought the Chevy was for the engine and I did not like the Ford body style in the F150 in 1999.
I concur on the 300 ci Ford six-cylinder. We have a couple of them in early-90s F150s at our plant with sticks and 120K to 170K miles and they just keep running.

BIGBLOCK: What's the 411 on the 3.0 V6 in the Highlander? I think the engine code is 1 Mike Zulu if I recall. Anything special with it or the vehicle? I have a 2001 and feed it Toy factory filters and Pennzoil 100% synthetic every 5K since new, and there's 38K on the clock.

Thanks!
 

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BRS said:
I concur on the 300 ci Ford six-cylinder. We have a couple of them in early-90s F150s at our plant with sticks and 120K to 170K miles and they just keep running.

BIGBLOCK: What's the 411 on the 3.0 V6 in the Highlander? I think the engine code is 1 Mike Zulu if I recall. Anything special with it or the vehicle? I have a 2001 and feed it Toy factory filters and Pennzoil 100% synthetic every 5K since new, and there's 38K on the clock.

Thanks!
The Highlander has a different engine than the older 3.0 V6 in the trucks and 4 Runners. The 1MZ is a very good engine as long as it is taken care of. I have seen people not take care of cars, trucks, and vans like they just didn't care. The worst one was a guy that went 48,000 miles and never changed oil only added.

I like the Highlander very much and would buy one. My aunt has one and loves it. I never hear bad things about the Highlander from people who own them. They have the same engine as in the Camry.

Remember to change the Anti-freeze at 30k along with the transfluid. I would flush the trans with a flush machine and not worry about the filter because it has a metal pick-up/strainer and it does NOT have a paper type filter. Check the fluid type before changing it, it may or may not have the special Type T IV(4) Fluid you can find this on the dip stick of the trans it will be stamped on it. Make sure to use the right kind of fluid or your trans will slip.
The spark plugs can go until 60K. Replace air filter as needed.

If you guys have Toyota question fell free to ask.
 

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bigblock said:
I would buy a older Toyota truck with a 22RE and drive it forever. You only have to put a factory oil filter on it too keep the timing chain to last.
That's it. The '86 I had that ran 230,000+ miles and then was wrecked had a "22R" motor in it. That thing would not stop even if you mistreated it.
 

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The 22R is a carburated model and the 22RE has fuel injection for you guys that didn't know.
 
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