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Old 08-28-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default best used pickup truck on a cop's salary?

Let me start off by saying that I have no bias towards any particular truck brand. I am posting this question on Chevy, Ford, and Dodge forums in an attempt to get the best info possible. I realize most people tend to be loyal to one brand or another, so everyone's opinion and experiences will be a little different. However, I am looking for as close to unbiased answers as I can get. FYI...I know I want a full size / half ton pickup, so I don't need any recommendations for small or midsize tacomas, frontiers, etc. Also, I've read how awesome diesel trucks can be, but I prefer a gas engine.

-I am looking at buying my first pickup truck and it will have be a used one.
-I need opinions on the most reliable, easiest to maintain, longest lasting, best hp & torque, best mpg, lowest cost to insure, etc etc...best bang for my buck used truck I can get.
-This will NOT be my daily driver, nor will I be towing/hauling regularly. It will be mainly a secondary vehicle used for home projects (load of gravel or bark, wood supplies, misc home repairs, etc), moving furniture, taking a load to the dump, and going on camping trips.
-I live in the Seattle/Tacoma area, so I don't get a ton of snow. I'm not even sure if four wheel drive is worth the extra money and possible maintenance costs.
-I prefer the look of a regular cab, but an extended cab might be nice for additional seating when my wife and I have kids.
-I die a little inside each time I have to drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission or the sissy paddle shifters, but I know the manuals have just about been completely fazed out and an auto would be easier for my wife to drive if she ever needed to.
-I'm hoping to find a pickup that will last me at least 10 years and be fairly trouble free (except for routine maintenance).

Please share your opinion on the "best bang for my buck used truck" I can get at roughly the following price points...$2500, $5000, and $10,000.

Please include make, model, year, engine, 2 or 4 wheel drive, auto or manual transmission, regular/extended/crew cab, mileage/hours too expect, etc...
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:00 PM   #2
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Man some of the best trucks are older 80s and 90s models for under 5. They have lasted this long and the ones that are around have been taken care of. I just recently picked up a playtoy... 83 F150 4x4 6 in lift 35 in super swampers, rebuilt engine, rear,front diff, and new clutch kit for 2800 bucks. Needs a paintjib and windshield but thats it. 183 bucks for the windshield. Now, it loves gas, but what truck doesnt.. they are super easy to work on, dont have all the computer crap, and alot cheaper to maintain.

I also have a 04 Lariat 4x4. Ive spent alot on mods for this truck lol. Kind of addictive. As far as general maint and repairs, not too bad on the wallet. You can find them from around 5000 and up. Again just make sure to have it checked out by a qualified mechanic like any used vehicle. But your max budget of 10000 will get you an 08 or below.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alsatropine View Post
Man some of the best trucks are older 80s and 90s models for under 5. They have lasted this long and the ones that are around have been taken care of. I just recently picked up a playtoy... 83 F150 4x4 6 in lift 35 in super swampers, rebuilt engine, rear,front diff, and new clutch kit for 2800 bucks. Needs a paintjib and windshield but thats it. 183 bucks for the windshield. Now, it loves gas, but what truck doesnt.. they are super easy to work on, dont have all the computer crap, and alot cheaper to maintain.

I also have a 04 Lariat 4x4. Ive spent alot on mods for this truck lol. Kind of addictive. As far as general maint and repairs, not too bad on the wallet. You can find them from around 5000 and up. Again just make sure to have it checked out by a qualified mechanic like any used vehicle. But your max budget of 10000 will get you an 08 or below.
Part in bold. While they are not speed demons or have the greatest mpgs you make make them better with a little time and money. Easy to work on, built like a tank, easy to find parts (most of them anyway) and for $5k you can get a really nice one. This truck was still running at 260k miles when I pulled very thing out to upgrade the crap out of it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:28 PM   #4
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A 97-03 f150 with the 5.4 or a 88-98/99/00 chevy/gmc with the 5.7.

Neither gets the best mileage but good, fairly simple trucks that can take some abuse
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for welcoming me and for the advice! I've always enjoyed reading the different threads on this site. Lots of knowledgeable people with great ideas. In addition to recommended trucks, if there are any real lemons to steer clear of...I'd appreciate that info too. I know most brands have had their fair share of bad production years where their engines, transmissions, etc..were really failure prone for one reason or another. Also, is there a max mileage I should avoid...nothing over 100k miles, 150k miles, 200k miles, etc?
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:45 PM   #6
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Welcome to the site.

Tony
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