Fixes needed on a used truck purchase

   #1  

flusher

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I'm looking for a 1999-04 3/4 or 1 ton pickup to tow a 10K GVRW GN flatbed trailer hauling my parade tractors (largest one is 4500 lb or so).

Could be an F-series, a Ram or a Chevy/GMC.
Could be a gasser or a diesel.
Could be 2WD or 4WD.
Could be SRW or DRW.
I'm still looking and haven't decided on these details yet.

Also, this is the first 5-10 year old, 150K+ miles vehicle I've ever purchased so I'm in unfamiliar territory and could use some expert advise.

Question: what fixes did you have to make soon after (say within 6 months) of your purchase?

Here's what I've thought of so far. What have I missed?

I'm sure I'll find that I need to replace belts, hoses, battery, thermostat--stuff that's fairly inexpensive and easy for me to do myself.

Tires--maybe unless I find one with reasonable good rubber.

How about drive train (leaving aside engine and tranny for the time being)? U-joints, rear axle bearings/seals?

Suspension--shocks, springs?

Front wheel bearings? Steering components?

Electrical--alternator? Engine control unit? Lights/wiring?

Heater, A/C?

Dash gauges, indicators?
 
   #2  

clemsonfor

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I'd say do your best, you can take your jack and jack the front up and try and wobble the front end and the bearing to see if there is any slop. I would not worry to much about it especially if you only purchase a 10 yr old truck.

I have a ranger, now not a full size truck its a 1990 model and it has 275,000 miles on it with no major work, i am fixing to do radius arm bushings but should not be to bad. I do not hesitate to get in this truck and drive a 3 hour trip.

You are taking a risk once you get to this mileage, but also consider that trucks since the early 90's will usually run for well over 200K with little to no major repairs, just general maintenance. If it blows up after 3 years and you only gave 3k for it that is less than if you went and bought a new truck on the lot and made payments. This is the way i look at it. What would my payments cost me and what does the truck cost? Then i figure if i can make it last at least that long i break even and if it lasts longer im saving. What i mean is if your payment is 350 /month in 3 years you would have shelled out just under 13K. My point here is if you but a 5k$ truck and it lasts 3 years you have saved almost 8 grand, now you may have to fix a thing or two so it wold be that much that you saved, and if it blows after year 3 go find another or fix that one. That is considering you only bought a 13K$ used truck if you buy new your payment would be like twice that and for a year longer.

I have a 1980 k10 that i use for 4wd and to haul and tow. Granted i dont get great mileage and dont have the tow capacity of a 1995 truck but i always loved the old chevy body style. I have had the truck 5 years and drive it around every now and then and to work sometimes but in 5 years i have only put just under 10K miles on it and have only put spark plugs in it a fuel pump, it was just leaking to the outside, truck still ran, but

You probably will have to replace the brakes and or the rotors and drums if eqquipted. 3/4 - 1 tons are getting fairly espensive for drums and rotors, but there not that bad if you do it yourself. If your only hauling tractors say 5-15 times a year id say buy a 15 year old truck with 150-250k miles on it in the 3-5k range and you should be fine.:eek:. And other than an oil change every year i have not done anything to it, i just dont put that many miles on it to warrent repairs that a daily driver of that age would need.


My advice is unless you buy something that needs repairs like a starter that misses every fifth time or bad tires or brakes, dont worry about repairs. Just keep a good eye on it and fix things when they break or wear out, as long as you look it over and make sure things are safe there is no problem driving something till it breaks, that is what you do anyway with your DD, it goes to the shop or you fix it when it needs repairs, you just dont take it in with nothing worng.

Not as scary as you think , buy one and have fun with it. I have seen you talk about this for at least a month now.
 
   #3  

Diamondpilot

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I personally would change out all the fluids. That is oil, tranny, front axle, rear axle, transfer case, rad fluid, ect. That will give you a good idea on how things are underneath and you will learn your way around the truck. Belts would also be good to change and take a look at the hoses. I never change them, just lucky I guess but I have never had one fail.

If it needs tires they can get expensive on big trucks. Plan on a grand by the time you get the front end aligned and some ball joints or tie rod ends.

Like already mentioned fix anything that breaks or it will be no time and you will have a heap.

Chris
 
   #4  

brin

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On the tires if you are just using the truck locally for parades and not planning any real high speed highway travel why not consider re treads...I have had good luck with them on our farm truck which is just used locally and not at high speeds...just a thought.
 
  
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#5  
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flusher

flusher

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On the tires if you are just using the truck locally for parades and not planning any real high speed highway travel why not consider re treads...I have had good luck with them on our farm truck which is just used locally and not at high speeds...just a thought.

To clarify--the tractors I plan to haul on a 10K GN flatbed are parade tractors. The truck has to tow this load 6-8 times per year, 300-400 miles per trip, some of the miles in the foothills around here up to 4500 ft altitude.
 
  
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#6  
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flusher

flusher

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Clemsonfor:

Thanks for the input.

I lean toward inexpensive trucks and tractors that I can maintain/fix-up myself. Ideally, a $7K truck (cash deal) would work fine for me. Even if I have to stick $5-6K into repairs and upgrades, I'd feel that I would be ahead of the game. My nightmare scenario is to pay $15K for a 7-8 year old truck and then be hit by major engine or tranny repairs soon after I bought it.
 
  
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#7  
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flusher

flusher

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Getting old. Sold the ranch. Sold the tractors. Moved back to the city.
I personally would change out all the fluids. That is oil, tranny, front axle, rear axle, transfer case, rad fluid, ect. That will give you a good idea on how things are underneath and you will learn your way around the truck. Belts would also be good to change and take a look at the hoses. I never change them, just lucky I guess but I have never had one fail.

If it needs tires they can get expensive on big trucks. Plan on a grand by the time you get the front end aligned and some ball joints or tie rod ends.

Like already mentioned fix anything that breaks or it will be no time and you will have a heap.

Chris

Thanks again for the sound advice.
 
   #8  

RobertN

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FWIW, my Dodge Ram2500 Cummins 4x4 is at 127,000 miles. It is a 2001. I have done brakes and tires, batteries, and radiator hoses. At 125,000 miles, my lift fuel pump went out.

So far, things are good. Regular change of oils, filters(fuel, tranny ect) helps.

I would look, for truck prewired for a 7 wire trailer plug and brakes; ie my Dodge came from the ffactory prewired. All I had to was mount the brake controller and attach w wiring pigtail.

If I got ANY used vehicle, regardless of mileage, all fluids and filters are changed. Wheels are pulled and brakes inspected/repaired, especially if towing. All belts and hoses are checked and/or changed. And simple things, like wiper blades...

Tires... I would make sure you have "E" rated tires.

I have seen trucks like mine for $9-15k.
 
   #9  

RobertN

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Where are you towing the tractors? Redding, Red Bluff, Weavervile?

To clarify--the tractors I plan to haul on a 10K GN flatbed are parade tractors. The truck has to tow this load 6-8 times per year, 300-400 miles per trip, some of the miles in the foothills around here up to 4500 ft altitude.
 
  
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#10  
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flusher

flusher

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Where are you towing the tractors? Redding, Red Bluff, Weavervile?

My EDGE&TA chapter (Redding) members tow their tractors all over the North Sacramento Valley and surrounding foothills for various holiday parades, tractor shows, and tractor rides--Redding, Red Bluff, Corning, Chico, McCloud, Dairyville, Palo Cedro, Igo, McArthur, Bella Vista, Fortuna, Brooks (Oregon). Some of the guys tow as far south as Woodland for tractor meets. As soon as I get my 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF restored (hopefully in a few months), I plan to hit as many of these get-togethers as I can with a newly-acquired 3/4 or 1-ton PU and 10K GN flatbed trailer.
 
 
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