View Full Version : Advice on options for an older "work only truck".......

01-30-2011, 05:42 PM
Thought I would throw a question out there for you fine gentlemen....

My Uncle has a 1993 S-10 that he has had for years as a simple work truck only as he has a day to day vehicle. The truck is in fantastic condition and runs perfectly, but he would like to have a larger truck to help with towing for a few hobbies of his. Nothing too heavy, but he has a touring motorcycle and as strange as it sounds he plays Santa Clause during the holidays at our local Bass Pro Shop and has a ton of equipment to move. A larger truck would make this task much easier.

So, he is looking to get a larger truck with a V-8 engine to use in the same capacity driving between 3,000 and 5,000 miles a year. He is only looking to spend around $5,000 (give or take) for the new truck.

We use a local mechanic that suggested a 2001 or newer Chevy Silverado 1500. What are your thoughts on that particular model? I was wondering why the mechanic said 2001 and newer, and my thoughts are bc I know around that time, everything turned into the computer based system where the mechanic can hook up a to the vehicle to run pretty much all diagnostics. From my research thus far, I haven't turned up anything horrible about the trucks that got significantly better after 2001.

I found this one which is not too bad a drive from our hometown. Seemed to have low miles, and be in decent shape. Thought he may be able to get them to come down a little bit to get closer to his price range.


What do you fellas think?? I suggested that he use his reindeer to tow anything he needed, but he didn't think it was very funny. :???:

01-30-2011, 06:34 PM
My .02...
I have a 2000 ford 150. Sis bf has a '01 dodge. Buddy at work has an '03 chevy. All are excab 4x4 with very similar miles and equipped similar. Dodge has cheapest interior, lots of rattles and susceptable to sun damage. By far worst ride of all. My ford has good ride and no major issues so far, but engines(5.4) are known to have ex. Mani issues and spark plug issues. Buddys chevy has nicest seats and best ride by far, however has had brake probs and has sunk more money into elecronics and repairs than all of us.
If it was my cash, id look ford or chevy. Like to think I'm partial to ford, but the chevy does have a better ride and a little better mileage..

Good luck..

01-30-2011, 07:03 PM
I have the '01 Suburban with the 5.3L. Pretty good on gas for a truck. Tows OK. I got it 5 years ago with 47k on it. It's at 100k now and I would buy it again. Not sure if it's the same drive train, etc.

01-30-2011, 08:31 PM
Believe me, I have tried to convince him to buy new and ditch his other vehicle, but its not happening. He is retired and simply has no real need to have a new truck. I was shot down pretty fast when I tried to go down that route. :(

I have never owned a Chevy or an American vehicle for that matter so my experience is only based on what I find on Google and people I have spoken to. But I know he is only going to buy American.

Anyone have any thoughts on GMC, Chevy or Ford's product during th early 2000's? It seems like I remember Ford having issues around that time, but I could be wrong.

Also, I should have been more added that he did not need 4wheel drive, extended cab or really even anything fancy. His only requirement was that it not be a short bed.

Thanks in advance for any insight fellas.

01-30-2011, 09:29 PM
IMO, you can't go wrong with a chevy or a ford. I see why your mechanic is saying nothing before '01, because an '01 is already 10 yrs old. Its a guidline not a rule, but most 10 yr old vehicle are pretty worn. In '99 chevy changed its body style and again in 07. Ford body style was changed in 04.

I don't have any first hand information, but all opinions about each brand I have heard, I would agree with sandm. Had a girlfriend who had an 02 GMC, had a 180k miles when it was traded in and she did minimal maintanance and repairs. No matter what the brand, they all have issues, just different ones.

01-31-2011, 09:50 AM
Im pretty Partial to Ford. GMC is Chevy upper brand and theres no reason to get the GMC because its the same truck just has more Standard options and always comes in for a little higher price.

For an older truck you look for 2 things. Miles and shape of the body interior. These two factors tell you how well the truck has lived its life. If the body is perfect then get up under it and look at the inside of the bed panels, front and rear bumpers. If they are really clean the truck was probably a wreck and fixed up.

Also another thing to do is get under it and look for stains on the frame, drive train to show leaks as most used cars get pressure sprayed pretty heavily and you cant see leaks till its a been driven a good ways. Frame and body stains don't generally come out though.

As for Used truck if i wanted one cheap?

Chevy all the way. Get a 5.7 because this is the 350 block and there called bullet proof for a reason. Also they are dam simple to work on and pars are a dime a dozen for them so it makes repairs a lot cheaper.

Theres a reason there is more Ford and Chevy used truck still on the road today, because they are built well.

Dodge trucks are coming into there own finally but i wouldn't touch a used one. They have always been plagued with Transmission issues. Chrysler has never build a solid trans. Even the new 2010s are plagued with the same trans problems.

01-31-2011, 11:19 AM
funny you should mention that. guy here at work has a jeep grand cherokee with the v8. he has just turned 350,000 on the clock. original engine, transfer case, and actually has only replaced the water pump-starter/alt are original to the rig, but has done 3 trannys and the current one is slipping again. think it's a 98, but not sure..

one check a buddy of mine missed when he bought his '96 f250.. had a drop-in bedliner. def. go under the bed and look at the bottom of it. his had the big hole cut in for a 5th wheel he missed. turned out the truck had seen major towing usage and the owner put in a bedliner, bought a load of gravel to scuff it up, then sold it.

Ian Brantford
01-31-2011, 02:08 PM
These comments are right on the money for what my friends/family have experienced, as well as what most of the "buyers guides" say -- the ones that do surveys and have access to fleet reports. Dodge -- run away from older models. Ford and GMC: good overall, just know the issues ahead of time.

Here is the most important resource: independent mechanic. He/she will be able to do a detailed pre-purchase inspection with written report. It's well worth the money. If the seller balks at having an inspection done for ANY reason (no battery, no insurance, etc), that is a sufficient reason to pass on the vehicle. There are plenty for sale and the is no reason not to be picky about getting a very well-preserved one.

For Ford, one of the surprises can be some very expensive repairs if the spark plugs break off during a plug replacement. The issue has been well-known for a while (just Google it), so a competent mechanic should be prepared to take due care.

For GMC, there are two repeated issues: in-tank fuel pumps that overheat when not immersed in fuel (keep tank 1/3 full) and corrision-related brake issues, for which even used/remanufactured replacements are expensive. If the brakes are inspected regularly, they can sometimes be rescued without part replacement. Dashboard electronics can fail too, but I don't know how common it is.

In rural British Columbia (lumberjack country), Ford is strongly preferred over GMC due to the front end tolerating forestry roads much better.

01-31-2011, 03:49 PM
Here is the most important resource: independent mechanic. He/she will be able to do a detailed pre-purchase inspection with written report. It's well worth the money. If the seller balks at having an inspection done for ANY reason (no battery, no insurance, etc), that is a sufficient reason to pass on the vehicle. There are plenty for sale and the is no reason not to be picky about getting a very well-preserved one.

great advice for any car purchase other than new :)