Pick up truck question

Ive been offered a 1987 Ford F-150 Lariat long bed pickup truck by a dealer. Actual milage is 44,000. Truck was in long term storage and is
mint inside and out.
Has a bolt on Reese hitch, electric brake controller, tilt steering wheel, cruise and a very nice shell with a fully carpeted internal kit, benches that turn into beds etc etc Great tires, etc
302 fuel injected, auto tranny. Beautiful truck. Drives well , tracks well, brakes well. But feels like Im driving a boat compared to my lil Mazda B3000 supercab.
Dealer wants $3700 out the door.
Is this something I want for a service truck? Or are they fragile and have poor gas milage?
Im in need of a new (used) service truck. My Mazda/Ranger has 439,000 miles (not kilometers) on it and needs another valve job. #1 cylinder has 35psi compression (wet)
Im looking at so many different trucks, frankly Im getting a mite confused.
I normally carry about 250-500 lbs of tools and parts, and drive on average about 100 miles a day.
Im long legged and find an extended cab to be the most comfortable. My Ranger/mazda has more leg room then the above mentioned F150
I can also lay the seat back and take a nap.
Occasionally, I need to carry conduit, black pipe, or bar feeder tubes, so a ladder rack is a necessity.
I cant afford a new truck. I can maybe come up with $4k-5K for a decent truck.
Ive been working a project that is paying me VERY well..and have gotten a nice windfall commission on the sale of some equipment, but I dont want to piss it away. Whatever I buy, has to last me for a good number of years. It has to be economical to drive, and require little repair. When this job is over..I cant count on another one of this income level ..so I have to spend wisely.
My client told me to ":take a risk and buy a nice panel truck and fit it out for infrastructure maint and fill it with all the tools and parts and wire and..yada yada" and while he is a nice, warm and wonderful man..he is also very rich and I dont believe he understands what living from service call to service call means. He wants me to be optimistic..but Im either a paranoid realist..or a pessimist.. Time payments are out. OUT. Period. End program, full stop. Endit
(He thinks if I plaster my company name all over the truck Im gonna get all sorts of new business. I think doing so is asking for some moron taking a run at me in a $500 car and trying to sue.)
I have to pay cash, or not at all. Shrug.
Nationwide Auctions had two Rangers that stood out, one was an extended cab, with a phone company type shell on it side opening doors and a ladder rack..and the other with a utility body..like a plumbers truck, (bins.compartments )
Neither were avaiable to private parties "not passing smog or safey checks/pending"..and no longer show up on their web site. And both were in the San Francisco area..way far away to go look at.
I cant find either type here in Southern California, must have been customs.
Ive also posted about a 1989 Ford E350 extended body van, that I can get..but frankly Im not sure I can afford the gas on that big 351 engine.
Anyone have an helpful ideas or suggestions as to what/where/how etc as to what sort of truck to get, based on max fuel economy, service history and reliablity? Maybe Im spoiled by my old black Mazda...shrug
Help!
Gunner
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Seems like the guy is asking enough money, but it sure sounds good from here.
I'd guess you'd get decent mileage from the FI 302, that's an awful good little motor.. did you ask which auto trans it has? A C-6 would sure be the berries, warm it up and dump a bottle of Lucas goop in, add a big cooler, it'd last a long time.
I always liked a Ford pickup, one of the good things about the half-tons is the fact that a lot of pieces from the full sized FoMoCo cars fit; brake parts, axle shafts, etc.
What's the law in Cal. now on old vehicles? IIRC, it used to be a 25 year old vehicle didn't have to pass the emission test- if this is still the case, that pickup is close to being there. Lots to be said for not having to pass the emission test..
As far as fragility, I'd take a stock half ton Ford over a stock Chev/GMC or Dodge.
Rereading the description, that doesn't really sound all that bad.. can you get him to allow you anything for the Mazda?
Best of luck with it,
John
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submit press release http://www.only2press.com Gunner wrote:

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Gunner,
You seemed happy with your ford/mazda minitruck (I had/have a 91 Ranger extended cab 4x4). Mine only went 236,500 with out major repair. I'd just look for a newer model of it and keep on with what has worked for you. I got 18-22 mpg depending on winter/summer, a F150 isn't likely to do as well, especially if you load it up with stuff.
Wes
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Thats what Im starting to think. I dropped a used motor in it at 294,000, have another one sitting in a crate with 91k on it..out of a Ford Taurus that got t-boned, so wasnt planning on getting rid of it anytime soon.
I commute 150 miles each way on mondays and fridays and was thinking about leaving the :"new" work truck in LA and using the blackbitch for the weekend commute , at least until I get 500,000 miles on it. Front end is a tiny bit loose, but not bad. I was just thinking about being able to pull a bigger trailer or carry more gear which I dont do all that often.
There is a 96 Ranger with a 4.0 in it, with 194k on the odo, that the sales guy claims has a motor with 70k on it under the hood. Im not familiar with the 4.0 and dont know if it was a long lasting as the 3.0. He offered it to me for $2500. Shrug..ok looking, paint on the hood is starting to go.
Sigh...decisions decisions. For me..a newer truck is a huge one and my livelyhood depends on making a good decison.
Gunner
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I had a similar F150. Gas milage was poor. 12-15 tops. 17 once on a trip. to Houston from BR, La. It had a 2.42 rear end so it was not worth a shit for pulling a trailer, either. I'd stay away from the full size unless you really decide you need a full sized truck
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I used to own an '85 longbed with the 2.8 (which later became the 3.0). I don't remember the mileage, but I do remeber that it was reasonable. Very fun to drive.
My wife bought a '94 B4000 4x4 5sp extended cab. I don't know if it's the 4x4, the big tires, or the motor, but it $ucks for mileage, 15-18 I think? Also pings under load so prefers hi-test (though I understand there is a way to clean the carbon out of them to reduce this). Due to typical N.E. road conditions, the two rearmost spring hangers have rusted out (passenger replaced, driver's now gone as-she- sits) and the rear wheel arches are gone. If you weren't on the wrong coast I'd offer it to you gratis. Anyone else interested, slightly more. ;)
My current '96 2.3 gets 23-24, but is geared too high to tow much comfortably. Shrug. --Glenn Lyford
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On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 23:45:09 -0000, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

I was getting about 22 on the hiway, with a load of tools and whatnot.

Rust? Whats that? But I thank you deeply for the offer. The B4000 is a nice truck and would be easy to fix up.

4 bangers simply arnt on my radar screen.
Gunner
"Abortion is self defense" Bob Kolker
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On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 23:45:09 -0000, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

Ideally...Id love to have either one of these rigs
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gunnerasch /
Gunner
"Abortion is self defense" Bob Kolker
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I have a 97 F-150 that I bought about 2 years ago for the same money you're talking about. Mines a full 8 foot bed and extend cab. The 4.6L engine (while not a monster in terms of power) manages to haul stuff that I need to haul and get about 23MPG on the highway minimally loaded down.
I had a 91 ranger similar to the above, but I needed the extra cab space. The 3rd door and the seats that fold out to present a metal back are nice too.
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Sounds like a really good buy. For fuel mileage, it depends on which tranny it has, and which rear gear. I've got friends with these trucks that get as much as 22mpg, and some that get 12mpg. I think the gear is the most important. They either came with the 3-spd C-6 or 4-speed AOD. Here is the official EPA figures for fuel mileage for that truck, but they don't specify which rear gear this is for.
http://tinyurl.com/35rkjw
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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The Ford 6 is an engine that goes and goes and goes and goes. 300K without any work is quite typical.
I've got a 1995 which I bought with 180,000 on it. For $2K (took some looking, and NOT buying from dealer - closest thing a dealer had to offer was $6K and rusted through, where this one was solid), but it needed $1.5K of driveline work (since I let someone else do it) to get it "in shape". 4WD.
Manual, gets 17-ish highway, 15-ish around town.
Best truck milage will be a diesel, but there are no cheap diesels, or darn near none, and older consumer diesels were bad lashups applied to gasoline engine blocks. Your typical tool poundage is not an issue for anything - even my old Subaru brat could carry that much. Heck, my Corvair needed nearly that much tool poundage in it it all times simply to be able to keep it running...
Put a ladder rack on a station wagon and your mileage possibilities go way up, if you don't need the open bed, or can attach a trailer when you do. Given that you're looking at a truck with cap, consider a van if the station wagon does not float your boat. There are folks around here selling old bread vans (step vans) with the ford six in them that would fit your price range (not that you want to come 3,000 miles to look at a 1970 van that won't pass California emissions).
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

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On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 07:24:39 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Gunner

Remember that up until '92(?), the speedos were short the 100s digit. Mine says 17,894 but I'm the only one whose truck has that low a mileage, a single 100k before that.
See if he'll come down in price.

I got 18mpg on the way down (empty) and 14mpg on the way back (loaded, but not MexiHillbilly style) when I made the trip to your house, Gunner.

I hear that.

2-3 passengers worth of weight is no biggie.

I'm shortlegged and like the short cab. YMOV

I lie down with my knees up in the standard cab. (Point goes to the extended cab.)

Look for a shorty diesel flatbed/servicebed. With your mileage, a new truck would be a good idea. Considering all you spend on repairs, the new truck payment wouldn't be bad. $40k for a brand spankin' new LCF wouldn't be bad, eh? Put $2k down and save the other $2-3k for emergency payments. Show up in that and you can ask for more money from your clients (especially new ones), too. "Gotta pay off the truck, y'know."

Sure you can. Just mock it up again. </woo woo>

Why? You swing $300 for a valve job, clutch job, etc. all the time. Instead of repairs, this'll be for a NEW CAR SMELL. ;)
Alternatively, have him loan you the money and take it out of his service calls. Then you can talk him into more customization, more machinery, etc. to pay for it all. Done deal, dude!

It's possible, but highly improbable. I've had signs on trucks and never been hit. Don't think negatively and it usually doesn't happen. Concentrate on the negative and it draws disaster to you like a freakin' _magnet_. DAMHIKT.

Wuss!
It's OFFICIAL: You can't, especially not in LoCal.

Spoiled? I've seen your truck. No comment other than "habit." <bseg>
G'luck!
P.S: Mom looks at my old beater twice each year and keeps asking "When are you going to buy a new truck? I'll loan you the money at a nice, low interest rate." I'm eyeing a new LCF since a UNIMOG is out of my budget.
- Metaphors Be With You -
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I've driven a lot of these ford pickups into the ground. Very reliable unit. Easy to fix if you do have trouble. Parts are inexpensive, especially out of the salvage yard.
Karl
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wrote:

Gunner, this truck sounds like a good deal. Fragile? Not on your life. Poor gas mileage? It depends. As others have pointed out, the transmission and axle ratio have a lot to do with this. But there's another considersation, too. I used to know a guy who drove one of those little "half-pint" pickup trucks to pick up and deliver material for his remodeling business, and was forever making multiple trips. I tried to talk him into buying a full-size truck like mine, but he said he couldn't afford the gas -- I told him I use less gas making ONE trip at 13 mpg than he uses making TWO trips at 21. If you frequently haul large enough loads to justify the larger bed, you may wind up actually saving gas!
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Careful about the "great tires." I recently threw a chunk of tread and sidewall out of a "new" old tire while cruising down the freeway.
Look on the sidewall of the tire for a number that has a format like: D.O.T. XXX-XX-XXX or D.O.T. XXX-XX-XXXX. The last three or four digits are the date code. The first two digits of these are the week and the third digit is the year, if before 2000 or the third and fourth digits are the year if after 2000. The addition of a little triangle symbol distinguishes between 1980s and 1990s. These numbers are stamped in, not molded (like the brand name, size, etc.) and are only on one side of the tire. Multiple stamps indicate re-caps.
California is considering prohibiting tires over seven years old because after somewhere between 5 and10 years, the failure rate goes up rather dramatically. Tires that are run regularly last longer than tires that sit for long periods.
The problem is most noted on RVs, where many manufacturers recommend replacing the tires every five years.
Jerry
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On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 15:50:04 GMT, "Jerry Foster"

I have an 89 Nissan Patrol running Bridgestone Desert Duellers, the spare was about 95% worn and I had to use it when one of my tyres was staked. I think the spare must have been an original from new, anyway, I used it and after a few days noticed a thumping noise, went to use it in the morning and it was flat, the centre of the tread had blown out. I was fortunate that it happened at night while stationary, not while driving as it was on the front. I was hoping to get 100k km out of the 4, staked one was 90k, fronts now 95k with another 10k left, rears are off son's scrapped Jackaroo, about 1/2 worn and the old rear is now the spare at 90+k. I think that the comment about increased failure rate of old tyres is correct as this spare had not been used for at least 8 years Alan, in Gosnells, Western Oz. VK6 YAB VKS 737 - W 6174
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wrote:

(snip)
That could be a good deal if the vehicle fits your needs. No fullsize pickup will get the gas mileage that a smaller one does. A big vehicle has considerably more wind resistance at highway speed, regardless of what engine, tranny and rear end it may have. In city driving it takes more fuel to accelerate the greater weight, energy that is lost when brakes are applied.
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FWIW, in the book "The Millionaire Next Door", the authors/researchers of U.S. millionaires state that the most prevalent vehicle driven by U.S. millionaires at that time (1990's) was the Ford F-150 pickup. The interpretation, IIRC, was that most U.S. millionaires earned it the hard way, didn't inherit it. As for me, I owned a Detroit made car once back in the 1970's, Chevy Vega. Limped into the Toyota dealership with it burning oil at 30,000 miles and never looked back.
Do you need A/C where you live? I think 1987 precedes the changeover in automotive A/C refrigerants, should it need recharging.
David Merrill

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On Mon, 25 Jun 2007 00:07:07 GMT, "David Merrill"

A/C? Whats that? Oh..I remember...some trucks blow cold air from the dash during the summer. I think....my truck had it just before the guy pulled the engine and forgot to undo a hose. Thats been 4 yrs ago or so. Black truck, 107F...nah..dont need a/c here in the desert. Its a dry heat....
Getting R12 is easy. All I need to do is drive over the border to TJ and have it recharged.
Gunner

"Abortion is self defense" Bob Kolker
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