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failboat
failboat SuperDork
1/14/14 4:27 p.m.

+1 on old fullsize.

paid $975 for this one last spring and really havent had to anything to it. I6 and 4 speed w/ overdrive. sure it could use a lot of little things, but generally it hasnt missed a beat. was getting real tired of always having to pump up dry rotted and/or used tires that would go flat while it sat for a week or two, splurged on some properly sized wheels and new tires about a week ago.

its awesome for doing truck stuffs. the downside of a standard cab is it kind of sucks doing non truck stuff. like going out for a big trip to the grocery store with SWMBO. Yeah you have the bed but what if it is hot outside. or if you want to go do other shopping. you cant just leave stuff out. Just a thought. I was looking for an extended cab something or other when this one popped up, compared to other asking prices for similar trucks and the fact it was relatively rust free, i thought it was a good enough deal that I compromised by getting the standard cab. Im stil sort of looking for a camper top cap for occasional use.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory Dork
1/14/14 4:49 p.m.

I paid $2,200 for the one in my avatar. 1995 F150, 122,000 miles, 4x4, 5.0 E4OD 3:55's with factory tow package.

(Looking to sell it soon! New water pump, rear tank, new calipers and rotors with all new hard and soft brake lines, new TRE

linnjb
linnjb New Reader
1/14/14 5:02 p.m.

My 01 Odyssey measures 51" at its tallest.

iceracer
iceracer UberDork
1/14/14 5:10 p.m.

Whatever you can find in the best condition and price and meets your needs.

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/14/14 5:16 p.m.

Can't beat a 4-banger S-truck IMO. They do tend to rust pretty quickly though, even in non-salt areas.

I will also echo the 300-straight-6 F150/F100. They are in pretty high demand, so they tend to be a bit more expensive for what you get.

JKleiner
JKleiner Reader
1/14/14 6:54 p.m.

My DD; '03 Dakota Club Cab 4X4 3.9 V6, 157K miles. Daughter's DD; '01 Dakota Quad Cab 4X4 4.7 V8, 160K miles.

Purchased both new. Both positively dead reliable with nothing more than replacement of typical wear items; brakes, 1 u-joint, 2 ball joints, 1 water pump. The V6 makes lots less power than the V8 and uses the same amount of fuel while doing so.

Given Mother Mopar's traditional poor resale value you could probably get into a decent one at your price point.

mw
mw Dork
1/14/14 7:09 p.m.

I think in your price range you can get a much better minivan, than truck. Trucks keep their value, cause even a beater truck is kind of cool. A slightly beat up van is worthless. Find one that's been daily driven and being replaced by a shiny new van and they almost give them away.

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/14/14 7:28 p.m.
JKleiner wrote: My DD; '03 Dakota Club Cab 4X4 3.9 V6, 157K miles. Daughter's DD; '01 Dakota Quad Cab 4X4 4.7 V8, 160K miles. Purchased both new. Both positively dead reliable with nothing more than replacement of typical wear items; brakes, 1 u-joint, 2 ball joints, 1 water pump. The V6 makes lots less power than the V8 and uses the same amount of fuel while doing so. Given Mother Mopar's traditional poor resale value you could probably get into a decent one at your price point.

I may just have a lemon, but I am so tired of my 02 Dakota and I've only had it since July. Its a club cab, 3.9 V6, 4x4, only 87k. Rear axle is already toast (common issue). It constantly stalls when you back off the throttle, and its noisy and rattly. I'm also pretty furious that it is so pathetically wimpy and yet only returns 14mpg on a good day. I have replaced plugs, wires, cap, rotor, coil, have done a compression test, cleaned the TB, cleaned out the IAC, and tried a known-good EGR. Still a pile of E36 M3.

After owning a few 4.3L V6 S-trucks that consistently gave 23 mpg with the reliability of a japanese sewing machine, I'm itching to get rid of this one. Fortunately, I didn't pay much for this one.

trigun7469
trigun7469 Reader
1/14/14 9:07 p.m.

I am in the same boat, I am not a huge fan of a trailer. Paying the insurance, maintaining, mpg, and finding place to park truck/van is a pain. I like the idea of a truck because it is useable but room interior sucks. Van is a lame ride but can fit karts and other stuff, but you can't find a manual.

chknhwk
chknhwk HalfDork
1/15/14 12:55 a.m.

In reply to failboat:

That's a beautiful truck.

ebonyandivory wrote: I paid $2,200 for the one in my avatar. 1995 F150, 122,000 miles, 4x4, 5.0 E4OD 3:55's with factory tow package. (Looking to sell it soon! New water pump, rear tank, new calipers and rotors with all new hard and soft brake lines, new TRE

INTERESTED! I'll shoot you a message.

RossD
RossD PowerDork
1/15/14 9:10 a.m.

If you don't plan on DD'ing it and you have the physical room for a full size truck, I'd mirror the others saying 'go for an older full size'. Just find the one in the best condition. I'd probably start in the '80s. I'd even look for a full size Jeep pickup.

Vigo
Vigo UberDork
1/15/14 10:41 a.m.
curtis73 wrote:
JKleiner wrote: My DD; '03 Dakota Club Cab 4X4 3.9 V6, 157K miles. Daughter's DD; '01 Dakota Quad Cab 4X4 4.7 V8, 160K miles. Purchased both new. Both positively dead reliable with nothing more than replacement of typical wear items; brakes, 1 u-joint, 2 ball joints, 1 water pump. The V6 makes lots less power than the V8 and uses the same amount of fuel while doing so. Given Mother Mopar's traditional poor resale value you could probably get into a decent one at your price point.
I may just have a lemon, but I am so tired of my 02 Dakota and I've only had it since July. Its a club cab, 3.9 V6, 4x4, only 87k. Rear axle is already toast (common issue). It constantly stalls when you back off the throttle, and its noisy and rattly. I'm also pretty furious that it is so pathetically wimpy and yet only returns 14mpg on a good day. I have replaced plugs, wires, cap, rotor, coil, have done a compression test, cleaned the TB, cleaned out the IAC, and tried a known-good EGR. Still a pile of E36 M3. After owning a few 4.3L V6 S-trucks that consistently gave 23 mpg with the reliability of a japanese sewing machine, I'm itching to get rid of this one. Fortunately, I didn't pay much for this one.

Yeah, i would say lemon. We just FINALLY got rid of my dad's 3.9 dakota at 245k. It never had real driveability issues in the 230k we put on it. It needed 2 water pumps, a heater core, trans rebuild at 205k (which i did only because the dried up seals were making it crap to drive for the first 5 mins, it was not a hard parts failure), and a timing set (newer ones may have the factory tensioner). I think it needed 2 radiators. Pretty normal stuff for 245k i would say. When the freeze plugs all rotted out at once i parked it for a v8 swap, bought a bum motor and lost momentum, and then he bought a ram so we sold the dakota. It got 21-22mpg highway if you were nice to it. 17-18 in town. I loved that truck and was sad to see it go.

If not for the auto requirement i would be all about the dakota in this thread. I helped some friends buy a '00 2.5/5spd ext cab last year. I borrowed it for a 600 mile trip to get some stuff for another city. It got 23-24mpg @75mph. I really like that truck. I think if you are stuck with autos, other options will get better mpg than the dodge autos since their smallest auto truck is a 3.9L.

gofastbobby
gofastbobby Reader
1/15/14 11:03 a.m.

I really like my '02 ranger reg cab short bed, 4cyl, 5spd. When it comes to rangers I would own mine, or an ext cab 2wd with a 4.0L. Even being in MI, I haven't yet convinced myself I need 4wd.

BTW, I get 20-22mpg with 80% city driving and 25-27mpg with 80% highway.

92dxman
92dxman HalfDork
1/15/14 1:51 p.m.

I would go out on a limb here and if you are okay with a slushbox, look for a late 90s/early 00s Caravan. You could one in your price range, the seats are removable and probably would be able to get a better bang for a buck than a truck in that price range. If you want a truck, I'd look for the nicest Ranger you can find.

Vigo
Vigo UberDork
1/15/14 2:14 p.m.

And before anyone makes a comment about caravan auto transmissions, they are more reliable than the ones in the Ranger... Ranger auto trans is one of the best reasons to get an f150 instead.

But yeah if you spend 2k you can have your pick of pretty much any pre-2000 Caravan in good condition. For the record i hauled a Honda Elite scooter to the dragstrip in the back of my 1990 Caravan. 96-up are much larger in every way.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav Dork
1/15/14 2:19 p.m.

In reply to 92dxman:

I've started checking out caravans. It looks like several sportbikers have used them to transport bikes, just had to remove the mirrors and windscreen. From what I can gather, they may have more floor to ceiling room in the pre-stow-n-go models, but I'm not certain. Also, I'm gathering that the 3.3 has a slight reliability edge over the 3.8, and that I probably don't want the 2.4 in a van that big. Are their transmissions as bad as the rep? If so, any idea what I should budget for a potential rebuild?

Oh, quick explanation on the automatic requirement. My wife can drive a manual, but prefers not to on the street. After an injury a few years back, I insist on having a second automatic car in the fleet for myself, just in case, or if my wife's car is down, and she needs a backup. So, if I get this vehicle as an auto, in the next few years, I could conceivably trade in my DD Honda Fit automatic on something sportier...

gofastbobby
gofastbobby Reader
1/15/14 7:43 p.m.

In reply to 92dxman:

http://youtu.be/iiPwnqoEPbA

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
1/15/14 7:46 p.m.

Vigo
Vigo UberDork
1/15/14 8:05 p.m.
gofastbobby wrote: In reply to 92dxman: http://youtu.be/iiPwnqoEPbA

And, surprisingly, there is also an auto trans that will bolt to a TDI and to one of the mounts and the shifter stuff in a caravan, but you'd have to make axles for it.

I think any difference in 3.3/3.8 reliability is made up. They are the same motor other than bore/stroke. The 3.3 probably has a slight edge in TRANS reliability due to lower torque. In general either the 3.3 or 3.8 are amazingly reliable. I've owned at least one 3.3/3.8 vehicle every day since 2001 and i had never seen the inside of one until i parted one of mine out last year. I worked most of that time as an auto tech and even then i NEVER had cause to go any deeper than valve covers or lower intake gasket on one of those motors. In my opinion the 96-00 vans are the one you'd want because the engines are slightly more reliable (the upper intake wont melt from a failed EGR valve because it's not plastic, unlike the newer ones..) and there is no stow-n-go so the benches are fully removable with no space compromise. The 3.3/3.8 both came with the same 4spd trans. Ideally you'd want a van WITH a trans cooler and WITHOUT a hitch on it, just as context clues pointing to happy transmission. Past that you can only really go on fluid condition and how it drives. If you're feeling abundantly cautious you can test drive one to a place with a scanner and see if there are any stored trans codes.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav Dork
1/15/14 8:37 p.m.

In reply to Vigo:

Thanks. I'm going to keep my eyes out for Caravans and T&Cs, along with pickups. Any experience with the Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest twins? I had one for a short while and liked it, but didn't keep it long enough to find any problems. Seems like the main complaints with those we're piston slap (which mine had) and cracked exhaust manifolds. Both seemed like more of a nuisance than something that would cause mechanical failure.

If weather is alright, I'm going to try to find something this weekend.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav Dork
1/15/14 8:46 p.m.

Seeing multiple 96-99 Chrysler minivans that seem to have gauge cluster issues, specifically mentioning the speedometer/odometer going out. Is this an easy fix?

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
1/15/14 9:29 p.m.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav Dork
1/16/14 11:54 a.m.

Also seeing a lot of second-gen GM minivans in my price range. Is the 3.4 as bad as its internet reputation?

failboat
failboat SuperDork
1/16/14 11:57 a.m.

If that is the same 3.4 in the Aztek I wouldnt run away from it. Seem to be very reliable if cared for. Coworker has an Aztek with something like 270k miles on it or something.

Vigo
Vigo UberDork
1/16/14 1:36 p.m.

They will live forever if you pre-emptively take the engine halfway apart every 80k miles. I would say they are as long-lived as the dodge 3.3/3.8 except the 3.3/3.8 you dont ever have to take halfway apart, ever.

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