Potential New Truck Owner - Tips Please

Discussion in 'General Truck Forum' started by moditude, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. moditude

    moditude Full Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm not mechanically inclined or a very handy guy, I'm trying to improve on it. I'm thinking of getting a used pick up truck so I can haul simple stuff around like lumber for small DIY projects. I have no idea how to tell if a vehicle is in good mechanical condition and am concerned about buying a lemon.

    Right now I'm aiming at spending $2000 Canadian Dollars (I'm in Canada) on a 99-2001 Pick Up Truck. I was hoping to get a long box with a canopy.

    Any tips?
     
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  2. Bad88

    Bad88 Full Member

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    Hi moditude welcome to the Forum!

    I've owned Ford's, Chevys/GMC's, & Dodges. I prefer General Motors "just because".

    Are you looking for a full size pick up?

    Mechanically speaking, I cannot tell you which years, makes, or models had problems. I do know that you could but two identical trucks and one could have a slew of problems and the other runs like a Swiss watch! Crazy; but sometimes it works like that.

    I would pay for a CarFax report just to make sure the truck was not totally wrecked and repaired or had a history of problems. Ask to see the maintenance records for the truck as well. Be sure to take someone with you when you look it over or ask the seller to let you take it to a reputable shop and have them do an inspection as well as run diagnostics to make sure everything is A-OK.

    Have you contacted your insurance company just to see how much your premiums would be?

    Have you decided whether you want a regular cab, extended cab, or a crew cab? If you have kids, dogs, or haul stuff around for camping or hiking, or mountain climbing (hobby kind of stuff) a crew cab is nice. I'm not sure what a canopy is but I think you may mean bed top / cover? Are you looking for a 2 wheel drive or a 4x4?

    I put a Bestop EZ roll tonneau cover on my truck. I like it a lot! I have a 2013 GMC Sierra Z71 4x4. Since I have the extended cab my bed is only 6' 6" long. I like the longer bed for hauling lumber and other things but it was the trade off I made for the extended cab.

    Owning a truck is so convenient. I've had trucks since I was 15 and have been driving since I was very young - well, I grew up on a farm and little kids (age 9 & 10) drive tractors and other equipment at an early age - and I'm 54 now.

    When I was a kid we could ride in the BACK of trucks! We'd go for a Sunday drive to the ice cream place 20 miles away and rode in the back standing up looking over the cab! We drove pretty slow and it was really neat being able to look around. Or, you could sit down with your back to the cab and just chill-lax.
     
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  3. moditude

    moditude Full Member

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    Hey Bad88,

    Appreciate the huge response. I'm looking for a truck preferably with a long bed and a cover (if you google Truck Canopy that's what I mean, is that a cover? I think bed top isn't what I want) ? I'm fine with a regular cab since the truck will only be used to haul trash and DIY stuff. It's possible in the future I use it for small live stock as well. I haven't checked into insurance yet, I just assumed it couldn't be that high for a $2000 vehicle.

    I was looking at a V4 Ford Ranger 2000 with 100kish miles on it but was worried about it needing spark plugs changed and/or timing belt. Also, some chevy 98 and 99 trucks with 130-140k miles.

    Any opinion?
     
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  4. Bad88

    Bad88 Full Member

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    Any used truck will most likely need some tinkering. For $2000 I would expect it might need tires soon; brake work; maybe even some exhaust parts. With used vehicles I always worry about beat up engines, failing transmissions, and 4x4 stuff - if equipped. I would replace the timing belt but that is just me.

    No real opinions on what to buy but I suggest having a shop give it a thorough inspection. CarFax for sure!
     
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  5. MrMarty51

    MrMarty51 Full Member

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    Canopy = Topper A fiberglass or aluminum canopy/topper that will cover over the bed and be about as high as the roof of the truck and, will use the existing floor of the bed of the truck. I hope that helps.
    YUP, if You know not what to look for, when making a wehicle purchase then, have a friend go along, drive it like You would, in the roughest of situations. Make sure the trans shifts good and tight, You should feel it shift, without slipping or sort of dragging on through the shift.
    Of a manual trans, be sure that it shifts smoothly, going up through the gears and then, coming back down through the gear while decelerating. No grinding whatever in any of the forwards gears. Make sure the clutch holds good and tight and, applies without any chatter or jumping.
    Listen, smell, feel, Your hands and the seat of Your pants is the best indicators if some thing is not right, be sure that, there is no whining, clunking, squeaking or pounding noises.
    See how slow it will go in a higher gear, if a manual trans, watch, feel for any bucking, shuddering or, rough running engine.
    Your choice on the brands, two or four weeel drive, I recommend four X four though, even if You think You will not need it, time will come when You will say, darn, I could of had four weeel drive.
    I will say that, Fords are a good outfit, I just find them more complicated to work on. Parts are a bit more too, along with, the resale value will be less than an equivelant in a GM wehicle.
     
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  6. gmctrucks

    gmctrucks Full Member

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    GM all the way here.
     
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  7. moditude

    moditude Full Member

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    What you guys think of a truck like this? Ford ranger truck

    I'm concerned about timing belt and spark plugs cause it's at that mileage/kms.
     
  8. moditude

    moditude Full Member

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    How about a Ford F150 Extended Cab, Long Box with Canopy for $1600. 302,000 km though which is 187,000 miles.
     
  9. ISLAND TRITON

    ISLAND TRITON Full Member

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    year? if a 90's or early 00s 8 cyl, that's nothing to them. (as well as the 300 I6 used until 96). but anything has a breaking point somewhere. make sure the trucks been looked after of course

    I'll add that the 88-98 GMs are great trucks. with a few exceptions, the 99+(though the generations do overlap) I don't care so much for but one might make a decent truck all the same. the 94-01 dodges have some great engines but known for questionable transmissions. I'd stick with ford or GM in that era.
     
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  10. moditude

    moditude Full Member

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    I can't believe I didn't add year. 1997
     

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