Survey Reliable beater trucks: Survey  -- Tractor Reviews Discussion Forum and Review Survey Reliable beater trucks: Survey -- Tractor Reviews Discussion Forum

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 11-14-2003, 18:28 Post: 68777
kwschumm



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 Survey Reliable beater trucks

I used to have an old beater Datsun pickup which I miss. It was great having a vehicle around that I could beat the crap out of without caring. Now I have a need for a cheap (less than, say, $3k), fairly reliable, and easy to work on 3/4 ton truck. The "easy to work on" part probably means something from the 1970's. I don't care if I have to put some work into it up front since I can fix about anything except auto trannies on these things, but I'm curious to know what old pickups others have had that may fit this description. Strong points, weak points, brand preferences, etc.






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 11-14-2003, 20:08 Post: 68787
blizzard



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 Survey Reliable beater trucks

Ken,
Lacking 4WD, my old 1964 Dodge 3/4 ton pickup was easy to work on. Had the old reliable Chrysler 318 engine. Got so it took longer to go into town to get the parts than it did to change the clutch. ('course I was a lot younger then (;>
Chained up with a pile of cordwood in the bed traction was pretty good. Paid $400 for it in 1974, cost new ( from the title) was $1836. It had a zillion miles on it, originally a U.S Forest Service truck. Owned it from '74 'till '90; disposed of it 'cause I bought a new F-150 4WD in '88 ( which I still use ) and it was just in the way...
It would, with a decent battery and maybe a touch of ether start at -35F, run on any gas that wouldn't freeze in the fuel lines, and totally DESTROY out-of control Toyata Land Cruisers.
Most 4WD vehicles are much more difficult to work on, old or new.
Ah, nostalgia..
bliz






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 11-15-2003, 16:25 Post: 68840
Chief



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 Survey Reliable beater trucks

I would have to agree with Blizzard on the older Dodge trucks. If you could find an old an old 89 - 93 Dodge Ram 4 x 4 with the Cummins 1st generation engine; that would meet the needs of pretty much anything you need to do. Those old Cummins engines are pretty reliable. Just make sure that the "killer dowel pin" (KDP) fix has been done on the engine. They are very simple basic trucks.






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 11-15-2003, 20:22 Post: 68863
kwschumm



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I'm interested to know more about the killer dowel pin problem. Where is the dowel pin located, and is there a way to tell it's been done other than taking the word of the seller?






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 11-15-2003, 21:46 Post: 68866
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 Survey Reliable beater trucks

I guess the most reliable beaters are the 80's Toyota pickups. Here they are overpriced as the hunters roar around the backroads in search of deer in hunting season. They definately hold together well.

I had an 83 Ford F350 single wheel with the 300 six and manual. Not much to go wrong and easy to fix.

Just looked at a friends 93 F350 crew cab dually with a 351 Winsor and a 4 speed. With $1600 in it I don't think he can go wrong. It runs well and has a goose neck ball.

The older Dodge diesels are good but are hard to find. Better if you are running them a lot.






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 11-15-2003, 21:48 Post: 68869
kwschumm



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I think a 89-93 Dodge diesel will exceed the budget. They seem to be going for $6k and up in our area.






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 11-15-2003, 21:55 Post: 68871
Peters

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I think that all the Dodge diesels are beyond the 6K mark no matter what the year. Could have picked up a 2000 at the dealer auction last week at 7K but that is rare. A rebuilder went for more than that at the insurance auction the other day.






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 11-16-2003, 11:26 Post: 68897
AC5ZO

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 Survey Reliable beater trucks

I had an 82 Toyota 4WD SR5 that was really tough. It was really basic with straight axles and leaf springs front and rear, but it would hold up to really hard use. I sold it for about $3500 ten years ago. I don't know what the go for now, but if I wanted another beater truck I would look into one of those again.

Currently, I have a 92 GMC K2500 that is my beater truck. It works pretty well. But, it gets parked for a week or two at a time on occasions and I have problems keeping the animals from making it their home away from home. I have had good luck with this truck, but I keep it because I don't worry about it and I don't have the slightest idea what I would replace it with. Even though it is getting a bit rough looking, the reliability and performance are the most important things for me.






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 11-16-2003, 12:14 Post: 68899
kwschumm



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There's no doubt that those small Toyotas are reliable, but they're too small. I already have a Ford Ranger so I'm not looking for another small truck. A 3/4 ton beater that can be used on occasion to tow or haul big loads is what my needs call for. That pretty much limits it to one of the domestic brands.






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 11-17-2003, 06:49 Post: 68950
Art White



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 Survey Reliable beater trucks

We have several of the old style Dodge's they talked about here. We have none with the diesel but just 318's and we have been buying them in the 3000 or less dollar range. They have been going out to 250,000 miles plus and they do get beat up in the service fleet. They are our bottom trucks and for some reason they just keep coming back.






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