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Discussion Starter #1
I am hoping to pick up a tow rig sometime in the near future as my Cruiser is getting less road worthy, and the closest real trail is about 5 hours away. I know it will have to be an older model as I only have about $8000 to work with. I have never really looked into fullsizes like this before but here are some of the things that are must have for this rig.

-4dr.
-a/c
-auto tranny
-single rear wheel
-deisel preferable, but I guess gas could be an option for the right amount of $$.
-will be my DD as well

I am looking mostly at fords and dodges as i haven't heard anything good about the chevys. What year models should I be looking for to find the above criteria?? Any specific things to watch out for whatever year models those fall under?:confused:
Thanks
 

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4 doors , for kids or adults ? you may want to look for an extended cab. You may be able to get an extended cab cheaper then a crew cab.
 

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this

http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/vdetail.jtmpl?car_id=120449952&dealer_id=16872604&car_year=1996&make=FORD&distance=75&max_price=9000&model=F250&end_year=2004&advcd_on=n&min_price=1&address=77014&search_type=used&advanced=n&start_year=1993&color=

http://www.autotrader.com/as/fyc/vdp_bridge.jsp?car_id=122760903&dealer_id=569427&car_year=1996&make=FORD&distance=75&max_price=9000&model=F250&end_year=2004&advcd_on=n&min_price=1&address=77014&search_type=used&advanced=n&start_year=1993&color=

http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/vdetail.jtmpl?car_id=120658970&dealer_id=80256&car_year=1994&make=FORD&distance=75&max_price=9000&model=F250&end_year=2004&advcd_on=n&min_price=1&address=77014&search_type=used&advanced=n&start_year=1993&color=

http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/vdetail.jtmpl?car_id=123165202&dealer_id=570588&car_year=1997&make=FORD&distance=75&max_price=9000&model=F350&end_year=2004&advcd_on=n&min_price=1&address=77014&search_type=used&advanced=n&start_year=1993&color=

http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/vdetail.jtmpl?car_id=123196147&dealer_id=&car_year=1996&make=FORD&distance=75&max_price=9000&model=F350&end_year=2004&advcd_on=n&min_price=1&address=77014&search_type=used&advanced=n&start_year=1993&color=

http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/vdetail.jtmpl?car_id=120289939&dealer_id=&car_year=1994&make=FORD&distance=75&max_price=9000&model=F350&end_year=2004&advcd_on=n&min_price=1&address=77014&search_type=used&advanced=n&start_year=1993&color=

http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/vdetail.jtmpl?car_id=117151149&dealer_id=80256&car_year=1995&make=FORD&distance=75&max_price=9000&model=F350&end_year=2004&advcd_on=n&min_price=1&address=77014&search_type=used&advanced=n&start_year=1993&color=

http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/vdetail.jtmpl?car_id=123165282&dealer_id=2318419&car_year=1994&make=FORD&distance=75&max_price=9000&model=F350&end_year=2004&advcd_on=n&min_price=1&address=77014&search_type=used&advanced=n&start_year=1993&color=

http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/vdetail.jtmpl?car_id=123166046&dealer_id=39429280&car_year=1995&make=FORD&distance=75&max_price=9000&model=F350&end_year=2004&advcd_on=n&min_price=1&address=77014&search_type=used&advanced=n&start_year=1993&color=

http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/vdetail.jtmpl?car_id=121489000&dealer_id=27533482&car_year=1997&make=FORD&distance=75&max_price=9000&model=F350&end_year=2004&advcd_on=n&min_price=1&address=77014&search_type=used&advanced=n&start_year=1993&color=
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Flimmy...thanks, that is awesome!! I will definitely look into those a little more.

One more question...I hope...

I have heard that the injector pumps go out on some of these at a certain number of miles...and cost near $3000 to fix/replace. What do I need to look out for as far as those are concerned??
 

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I have a 2001 Dodge CTD and have heard that if there lift pumps go out it can run $1500 but I have never heard $3000 :eek: I don't know about Fords. I have a few friends Fords and as far as I know they haven't had any problems.
 

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fj40john said:
I have heard that the injector pumps go out on some of these at a certain number of miles...and cost near $3000 to fix/replace. What do I need to look out for as far as those are concerned??
Probably about as often as the PowerStroke injection pumps, I wouldn't worry about it. They did have some lift pump(fuel pump) issues, $150.00 part. Pre 98.5 12 valve Cummins are the cheapest to get some extra power out of. Dodge didn't build any club cabs until 03, only the extra cab. If you get a PowerStroke, check up on the coolant issues. I don't think it's a big deal.
 

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fj40john,
The lift pump on the Dodges is a 98.5 (24 valve motor) and newer
problem. It is an electric pump that helps get the fuel from the tank to the fuel pump. The lift pump can be had for a about $1500.00 (less if you go aftermarket) the fuel pump is about $3000.00. The signs of a bad lift pump is low (0psi) fuel pressure at WOT, poor mpg, and low power from the motor. You will need to get a fuel pressure gage do to the trucks do not have them stock. If a truck is driven too long with a bad lift pump it will kill the fuel pump. The majority of the bad pumps are on trucks that have been "bombed" for more power that are useing more fuel. www.turbodieselregister.com is the place to go for more Cummins info.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
ok, i found a GREAT ford....its a '95 f350, 7.3 PSD, 4 dr, short bed, great condition (except the inside of the bed, but who cares?),177K miles, only $7K. Only prob is its a manual tranny...what are the pros/cons to manual vs auto?? Are there any autos that are common out there to swap in behind it??
Thanks
 

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fj40john said:
ok, i found a GREAT ford....its a '95 f350, 7.3 PSD, 4 dr, short bed, great condition (except the inside of the bed, but who cares?),177K miles, only $7K. Only prob is its a manual tranny...what are the pros/cons to manual vs auto?? Are there any autos that are common out there to swap in behind it??
Thanks
They did not make a short bed F350 Crew Cab (4dr). If you are reading a listing, it is listed wrong, or it is a F250 CC because they came with the short box.

If you are getting serious on this one (or on whatever truck you really like) I would suggest that you see if you can get an oil sample done on the engine as one of the last things to do before closing the deal. The miles are a bit high on a per/year basis and you don't know if they have been driving that 25K/year average over the entire life or if the previous owner has done 100K in the last year with only 2 oil changes on it.

It sounds silly, but the test will tell you a ton of information about the engine. If the engine is sick, then it is big bucks to have to replace. I use http://www.blackstone-labs.com/ and they seem to be the best and well liked by the diesel crowd. The only down side is that you do not have a trend to compare it to, but it will show if there are massive wear indicators and/or if there are things like fuel or AF in the oil.

If the owner is up to it, go to Wal-Mart, buy 4 gallons of Rotella-T, an oil filter, yup, Wally World has OEM filters and it's going to cost you about ~$30 total. The oil report is ~$20. So, for ~$50 you may turn up something that is seriously wrong. If it is clean and you like the truck, you just did your first 14qt oil change and if it is bad, the owner just got a free oil change and oil analysis for his time.

As for the tranny question, I would suggest staying with the manual. They seem to be a bit stronger than the stock autos. I've seen people mention rebuilds at 50K-80K mile intervals. Some go longer, some don't. There are several upgrades that are available to make the autos last longer. (Sorry, mine's a 5-speed so I really don't know more specifics about the tricks regarding the autos)

If you like the Fords, hang on until you find a 1-ton. You will be much happier in the long run. The solid axle up front is just soooooo much better than the TTB on the 250's.

I have a '97 F350 CC PSD and am totally happy with it. I've been driving it as my DD for the past 8 months or so and could not be happier with getting it. For more Ford info, visit www.thedieselstop.com.

Good Luck,
Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I guess it was a long bed then...just didn't seem as long as some of the others I have seen. It IS a 350, it was parked in a shopping center with For Sale signs on it. I guess I will have to go drive it and see how the manual is.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry...looking for deisel only now....actually I ahve narrowed the field (unless I can find a new dodge for REAL cheap)

Ford PSD, auto tranny, 4dr, 3/4 or 1 ton, SRW, less than $8000. Found a few, but nothing spectacular yet..
 

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Hey, why not a Ford van with a PSD? Cheaper than a truck, better for camping, shorter wheel base for better turning, better in the rain for gear and supplies, everything gets locked inside, standard size tows better than a truck, and they look cool with big tires and wheels! But...you would be different and you couldn't look like everyone else!
 

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fj40john said:
Only prob is its a manual tranny...what are the pros/cons to manual vs auto??
I was wanting an automatic but I kinda like the 5 speed now. I do find that the pedal seems a little heavy but this is the first vehicle I've owned with a hydraulic clutch so maybe I was expecting too much to begin with.:confused: The only bad thing that I have heard is that a clutch for it is very expensive (and I'll need one soon).

The manual tranny with the diesel makes some things you take for granted a little more difficult. You have to shift so soon that things like talking on the phone or drinking your pop (niether of which you are supposed to do but sometimes you can't avoid it) become a little more difficult. At first it was a tough adjustment from my car because I was used to shifting at 6000 rpm and by the time the diesel was turning 3000 rpm I should have shifted at least 500 rpm ago but you get used to it.
 
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